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New Member
Aug 3, 2009
Cocoa, Florida
I'm new to the whole gymnastics scene so please bear with me. First off we took our DD and DS to a new gymnastics gym to try out on Friday. This is a very large facility and it's in a metal building. I was very shocked to find out that there is no air conditioning in the gym part....ever! All they do is open up some screened in large bay doors and have some industrial fans running. We live in Florida so it's hot. The gym was so hot and it stunk to high heaven in the gym part. Is it normal to practice in these conditions? ( meaning no air )

Second, the gym has open gym every Friday night. This is the same time as DD and DS's classes would be. When we went in the gym part there was a group of kids acting like fools and getting on all the gym equipment with no supervision. It looked very dangerous. This doesn't seem like normal practice in a gym setting. The owner was there and didn't bat an eye at the situation.

And lastly, In my son's class there were kids pinching him,pushing,trying to trip him while he was doing his drills. The coach said nothing. DH wants to sit in on his next class and address the issue since our son is only 5. WWYD?

All in all we liked the gym,They did alot of activities with the kids and the kids love it. Both kids want to go back but DH and I are worried about their safey. Any opinions?

Thank you!
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Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2008

Our gym doesn't have a/c, but we are in Connecticut. I didn't think that Florida would have anything without a/c:eek:

I would not like the open gym during my child's class time either. Our gym doesn't do open gym because they feel that it is too dangerous.

I'd look around to see if there are any other options available to you. It seems as if you have several reservations about this gym.


Yikes, we live in Oklahoma and our gym definitely has A/C. It's not super cool, as it's in a metal building too (I guess metal buildings are common, with their high ceilings), but it's certainly cooler than it is outside.

We have the occasional open gym, but the coaches are out to make sure nothing stupid happens.


Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
All three of your points would make me look around a bit more. If your kids liked a gym that was hot, smelly and your son was bullied in, just think how much they would love a gym with a/c and enough siupervision that your kid won't get bullied or hurt from a flying open gym kid!

Seriously though I know that there are lots of gyms in Florida, I would visit at least three before making any commitment. I would want to see a low ratio of gymnasts to coaches at your sons age, I would also expect that the coach was always near enough to see what was be said and done to whom and by whom!

A/C must be an essential in that climate.

I cannot even imagine an open gym like that, sounds like a law suit waiting to happen.

Please look a bit further and once they have sampled a few gyms make a choice based on safety first, both emotional and physical.


Active Member
May 27, 2009
Region 6 (Northeast)
I won't put up with the open gym mess situation either. We do have open gym on Fridays during our practices but kids are normally watched pretty closely. The team coaches get very uptight when they see kids running around waiting to get hurt.

As for AC and smell, I don't know. Our gym has AC but many of the ones we've been to don't. And, some really smell as well. Then again, we are in the Northeast where long running heatwaves aren't too frequent.

If you were just starting out in the sport, I would also suggest you looking around. Now, if they were competitive gymnasts, maybe the heat isn't such a bad thing. I would suspect other gyms in your region they potentially will compete at may also be non-climate control.
Apr 15, 2009
Washington State
As others have said, I would definitely look around at other gyms. We don't have a/c at our gym either but we live in the Seattle area so it usually isn't a problem. We are in a concrete building and we open up these huge bay doors to creat a cross-draft. Our gym also doesn't really stink. There might be a faint sweat odor but I wouldn't call it stinky at all. Also, I don't think our gym has open gym except for the team girls as a treat every so often. I don't think there is one available to the open public. We have a preschool playtime which is basically an open gym for the under 6 set but that is run by a coach and is only in the mornings a few times a week. I think your children (as well as all children) have a right to enjoy gymnastics in a fun but safe environment! Good luck!


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
I agree that I would look at other gyms first. No A/C does seem to be common sometimes. We live where it gets in the 110s in the summer and only have a swamp cooler and lots of fans. The girls are HOT, but mist themselves and drink lots.

Having young kids classes when their is open gym seems strange. Both gyms my DD has gone to has open gym when there are no classes going on.

And dealing with a kid pinching him already? Yikes. Doesn't sound very fun or safe to me.

I would check out a few more gyms and see what is out there. Good luck!!

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
I would keep looking at other gyms. The kids may simply be excited at doing a gym class and not really pay attention to the things like the ac and other kids fooling around.

Many gym don't have ac and they do smell. We're in the mountain west area and no ac(of course it does get cool here), but there is an odor in the gym. Deal breaker for me would be classes and open gym(with apparently no supervision) going on at the same time and instructors that let the pinching, poking behavior go on with no discipline. Our gym has open gym, but its held on Fridays after all classes and team practice are done AND there are 1-2 coaches in there to keep control of the kids that do come.

I think some of the "odor" problems you may notice come from the fact that many of these buildings were originally built as warehouses, grocery stores or something like that and bought by someone that wanted to open a gym so not great air circulation AND you have lots and lots of sweaty bodies in there on a daily basis.


Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 20, 2009
I would be looking around as well. You are paying for the classes and should not have to put up with what sounds to me like an unsupervised environment. Hopefully you can find another gym close to you. Good luck


welcome to the wonderful world of gymnastics!!

No A/C is the norm for us be we are in NH no schools or kid activity places seem to have A/C. But in FL I would think you would need A/C.

The rest of what you posted I would not like at all. I would be looking around for another gym where the bullying and "open gym" havoc isn't happening.

for us Open gym night is always a special thing that all classes would be canceled and just an open gym would be happening. Open gym can look very disorganized.

the bullying just isn't acceptable

both I would bring to the attention of the coaches and owners. You pay good money for your kids to be there learning not being run over by others.


Proud Relative
Aug 29, 2007
I guess it is a sign of the times. I find it funny that parents question the no a/c. I'm only 30 years old, but when I was a gymnast we had no a/c and still did fine. I often found it funny at one of the gyms I worked at when the girls would find out that the gym had no a/c they wouldn't practice and would complain like it was no one's business. I just explained to them that hey, most of us trained and competed without a/c and we lived. I actually went through Volleyball practices for my HS for 4 summers with no air, and did fine. Was it yucky, yes, but we lived and learned how to push through. With that said, those gyms without a/c usually have practices in the mornings, and have a lot of water breaks, and usually have a door opened with a bunch of industrial sized fans. And it did smell, but that's what gymnastics is all about. Hard work and determination.
Apr 15, 2009
Washington State
I think a lot of it depends on where you live. I am 40 years old and grew up in Texas where most places had a/c, even way back when. I remember heat advisories being issued and we all had to stay inside in the a/c (just talking in general here, not gym) With 110 degress in the shade as late as early September, working out with a/c isn't just a lluxury but could be life-saving. I now live in Washington and my daughters' gym doesn't have a/c nor do any of them up here that I know of. But there is a huge difference between the Northwest and Texas lol


Trust your Instinct

I think you have to trust your instinct. If you feel uneasy, or feel that it is dangerous...there is a reason...and you need to trust yourself. Keep looking. As for the a/c...Florida, in the summer, no a/c... can't even imagine (I'm in FL). Gymnastics can be tough enough without "looking" for more misery...LOL :)


Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
I can't add anything else that has already been suggested! Regardless of the A/C issue... your son is being bullied, it is too chaotic and therefore dangerous!
Jan 22, 2008
The no AC is a norm for many gyms, it is VERY costly to cool building like this. Our gym in the summer has an avarage temp of 100+ and no AC. We don't have much heat in the winter too because of the cost. The girls usually are wearing under armors to warm up. As for the open gym during the day our gym has open gym and it is during the younger kids classes. Our open gym runs from 8am till 5 pm every day. As long as the open gym is not affecting the classes they tend to over look them. Now as for the behavior in the class I would be addressing that because your son should not have to deal with that at his age. Best of luck. I would still look around and see what your options are. Good luck


WOW! Thats a little weird we dont have a/c but i am in minnasota lolzzz :O .But about the open gym my gym has it but its very very very strict if A lets say NON-GYMNAST persone is doing something they should not be the coches step in right away an tell them NO !You might looke for another gym with stricter rules :)


Moderator/Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Aug 3, 2009
In The Boondocks
i would be concerned also...we live in Arkansas and all gyms i have been in here DO have A/C.

the open gyms while the little ones are practicing would be concering for me too..esp since it doesnt seem like the "open gymers" are supervised

and the bullying...maybe that was just a one time thing..a sorta domance type deal..dunno...but there was this one girl that kept hanging and pulling all over my daughter when they were doing things on beam and bars (DD is 4).....kept pushing in front of her to get to things first...i said something ot the coach and they put a stop to it right away.

i agree with the other ladies...i think i would check out any other area gyms and just see what they may have to offer
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