Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the opening hours?
Why are the opening hours so limited?
How do I join, and how much is it?
When should I come along?
How long does a session take?
What happens in the first session?
What does coaching involve?
What should I bring?
Do I need to bring gloves?
Do I need to bring a belt?
Do I need special shoes?
Can I use chalk?
Do I have to compete?
Can I pop in for a form check?

What are the opening hours?
Current opening hours are listed here.

Why are the opening hours so limited?
BGWLC works differently to the commercial gyms you may be used to. Unlike a commercial gym, we are not open-all-day, come-when-you-like. We are open for specific sessions and there are always coaches present. If you’re used to the convenience of a commercial gym, this can seem like an imposition, but it works this way for a number of reasons:

Firstly, there will always be a coach present. We don’t charge extra for coaching, we consider it a basic necessity. Our coaches have many years of experience working with lifters at all levels.

Secondly, training in a group is more effective and more enjoyable. When other members of your group are lifting, you’ll be spotting, loading and observing form. When you’re lifting, they’ll do the same for you.

Finally, it’s expensive to keep the gym open and staffed at all times. This is why commercial gyms have to charge extra (a lot extra) for coaching and why they have little in the way of free weights equipment.

How do I join, and how much is it?
Interested in training with us? There’s no application process, but we appreciate it if you would contact us before you arrive.

If you’re a beginner interested in Olympic Weightlifting, contact the beginners coach at beginners@bgwlc.co.uk

If you’re interested in Olympic weightlifting and have some experience, come to the gym on a Wednesday or Friday evening and have a quick chat with the coach on duty, who will be able to answer your questions and explain how the facilities work.

If you’re interested in Powerlifting, or are unsure which discipline you’re interested in, email coach Martin Bass info@bgwlc.co.uk

Let the coach know your level of experience and when you’re able to attend.

For details of costs and membership options, see here.

When should I come along?
As a rule of thumb, evenings are busier than mornings, and Monday is our busiest day. We don’t recommend you choose a Monday for your first visit. Obviously, the quieter the gym is, the more attention the coaches can give to each individual.

Note: If you’re an Olympic Weightlifter and you haven’t trained with us before (even if you’re an experienced Weightlifter) you must first talk to the Coach at a Wednesday or Friday Open Session.

Beginner Powerlifters can come to any Open Session on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.

Opening Times

How long does a session take?
You should allow at least an hour and a half. If you’re new to the process, the earlier you get to the session, the better. The gym tends to get busier during each session, so again – the coaches will have more time to spend with you if you get there at the start.

What happens in the first session?
There’s no formal “induction” period – you’ll be training from day 1. The first time you come to a training session, the coach on duty will spend time with you to understand your experience and – if you’re new to training – to start teaching you the basics.

What does coaching involve?
Coaching is not a 1-to-1 process like personal training. The coaches are responsible for all trainees and will move around the gym throughout the session. If you need advice or help, the coaches will be happy to offer it – but they are a shared resource.

What should I bring?
Bring basic sports kit (t-shirt, shorts/jogging trousers, trainers). If you want to have a shower afterwards, bring soap and a towel.

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Do I need to bring gloves?
You don’t need gloves, we don’t use them.

Do I need to bring a belt?
If you have your own belt, by all means bring it, but we have plenty of belts available of all sizes.

Do I need special shoes?
Not on Day 1. If you decide to get serious about Olympic Weightlifting you’ll want Weightlifting shoes (some Powerlifters also like them) but it’s not necessary when you’re getting started. Trainers with a non-compressible sole are a good place to start.

Can I use chalk?
We recommend it. Chalk is provided.

Do I have to compete?
We’re a competing club, we make no bones about it: the club was set up to support competition. But there’s no obligation on individual members to compete – you can train your entire life without entering a single contest.

We encourage everyone to try – it’s more fun and less stressful than it might seem, and there are competitions at all levels. Yes, we send lifters to the World Championships and we have many national-level competitors, but we also have plenty of members who only compete at regional level or even just in our annual club competitions.

Competitive lifting is also a lot more equal than it may appear – competitions are divided up into classes by gender, weight and age – the people you compete with are people like yourself.

Can I pop in for a form check?
If you’re an experienced lifter, you’re welcome to come in and train and if you have any questions the coaches will be happy to take a look at your form. However, the coaches are a shared resource and they can only spend so much time with you in a session.

We do hold occasional workshops and masterclasses outside of normal training sessions. If you want to do advanced in-depth technique work, let us know and we’ll drop you a line next time we schedule a session.