Lifting in Zagreb Croatia

Lifting in Zagreb Croatia

Sep 3, 2012

Zagreb, Croatia, has a number of gyms available that are powerlifting friendly, some larger and some smaller. My holiday schedule limited lifting to Saturday morning which left a few options. Most of the gyms that were available opened at 10am and we needed to start around 9am. Barbara Horvat recommended several through Facebook (Zele Gym; Basic Gym One; and, Core Gym) and, as it turns out, one of our hosts, Tin Klasic, works out at the Basic Gym One.

We arrived shortly after 9am and met with Marino Basic, the owner, and a well known sports trainer in the area. The location is in a building that also supports indoor tennis, amongst other sports. The atmosphere is friendly and, it turns out, some local American football team players train there. The gym is relatively small with an organized chaos that felt quite comfortable.

We were training light squats and deadlift as there is a limit on weight and the squat rack is very basic, requiring spotters for heavy lifts. I noted that the diameter of the weight disks for the bench and squat rack were small – ie: the 20kg and 25kg were about the diameter of 25lb and 35lb commercial gym disks respectively. For our purposes this was good as we had tour plans that involved a lot of walking!

Light Deadlift Training

When we first arrived I asked if they had foam rollers – they did. In the training room they had a full set of bands and assorted supplemental work equipment. We discussed a few different power training philosophies and, yes, it appears that Europeans who are familiar with powerlifting are referencing American methods such as Westside Barbell, etc. It was very interesting after hearing references to Eastern European methods in America to then hear Eastern Europeans referencing American methods! Great discussion with Marino, who also speaks excellent English and is working on completing his PhD in Kinesiology.

I should note that in this part of Europe English tends not to be a second language with the exception of many of the younger generation (under 30 years old) and people who do business outside of Croatia and Serbia. Keep this in mind when selecting a gym – while iron is a language of its own, proper communication between people involved in powerlifting is extremely important!

So far as equipment, the bench is a good solid flat bench about as narrow as a commercial gym in the USA, they have a deadlift platform (also used for clean and jerk), a variety of boxes for box squats, a squat rack, supporting cable equipment, dumbells, a smith machine, and some cardio equipment.

I would definitely rate this above a commercial gym as it is specifically designed for training and not just ‘working out.’

Ratings: Hours – 4/5; Equipment – 4/5 condition and 4/5 powerlifting friendly; Ability to Train – 4/5 (supplemental, speed and form work); Atmosphere – 5/5; and, Location – 3/5.

General Comments: Given a choice between a commercial gym with more weights and this one for travel, I would go to this one for supplemental work and atmosphere. I plan on visiting some of the other gyms when I return to this area in 2013 to see how they rate, but will definitely train at this one.


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  1. I just gotta say that this is awesome! I am glad that you are contributing to this site. Always entertaining and a lot of fun to read about. Thanks Howard!

  2. Such an enjoyable read, and fantastic comments

  3. Thank you very much for that excellent article

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