BodybyKris (BBK) a popular gym down Gregory's Road has been closed for maintenance and according to the owners will be opened again on the 10th of April.
The story on the grape vine however is that the gym has been closed due to non-payment of rent on the premises, most probably by a court order. For the sake of the fitness fanatics of Colombo let us hope that the gym is re-opened quickly because it is one of the few properly equipped gyms in the country.
For as long as anyone can remember there have always been gyms in the country but for the most part they were used only by a few hardcore bodybuilders. Sportsmen played their sport and practiced but apart perhaps from running on a field did not do much in the way of general fitness, and what little they did was not in a gym. Gym's were found in places like the YMCA or the Youth Centre in Maharagama and were equipped with weights - dumbbells, barbells a few benches and not a lot else.
The revolution in gyms came about with the advent of PowerWorld in 1994 or 1995. Fitness suddenly became fashionable. Gyms were equipped with air conditioning, piped music and machines - no longer was it necessary to work only with weights. Something that was previously the haunt of lower class men became a past time of the rich. The middle class and upper class started going to the gym, as did a number of women.
The craze spawned many imitators and gyms began to multiply. Given the wider availability one would expect that quality would improve but this was not to be. While the appearance, the decor and the amounts invested in equipment has increased, no one gym is fully equipped. The problem seems to be that the people investing their money in a gym do not seem to understand the needs of the users.
The expensive gyms in the large city hotels and places like Waters Edge and Fitness First are all built around cardio machines with varying levels of other equipment thrown in. It is extremely frustrating to go from gym to gym and finding each one wanting in one respect or another. The only two gyms that were, in my opinion properly equipped were PowerWorld in Colpetty (closed since December 2007) and BodybyKris.
The minimum equipment needed for a decent gym in my opinion are:
1. Incline, decline and flat benches.
2. Shoulder press rack
3. Cable crossover machine.
4. Low row, T Bar row, incline T bar row.
5. Power rack and Smith machine.
6. Preacher curl.
7. Pull down machine
8. Pec dec.
9. Leg extension, curl and press machines.
10. Calf raise.
Other desirable machnies:
1. Preacher curl machine
2. Chest press and incline press machines.
In addition, plenty of bars, wheels and dumbbells plus some cardio equipment.
The closest to a fully equipped gym in Colombo was BodybyKris and one hopes that someone will ensure that the gym equipment does not go to waste, although in the light of other pressing issues, this is likely to be last thing on people's minds these days.
UPDATE: According to the latest information available, the management says the gym will be open on the 16th of April, not the 10th.
UPDATE 2: The gym was due to open yesterday (16th) but is apparently still not open. According to the rumours going around members have been told that the gym will open in due course and that they will be notified when this happens. Memberships will be extended to cover the period of closure.