I recently did a guest spot at a different local gym. It was totally unlike mine and I believe a change of scenery can sometimes be a good thing for me. Other than needing to figure out where everything was located and abiding by the gyms rules (no chalk, no bare feet and no bags on the floor), I can still say I had a good training session.
This is also why I typically prefer smaller gyms to bigger ones. I once had a momentarily embarrassing situation at an upscale gym when I got lost in mens restroom on what must have been naked senior citizen day.
My ideal scenario.
That said, my best work both as a lifter and coach have been in gyms that fall more towards the serious lifter side of things. This includes not only the equipment and general gym vibe, but also the clientele and other trainers I might be working around. I actively scan for gym D-Bags and keep my distance.
SIDENOTE: For now at least, I’m the last man left standing at my current gym. No other trainer could sustain a clientele.
Many people might consider my gym intimidating, perhaps dated and lacking certain “essentials.”
We don’t offer child care, We don’t offer trendy group exercise classes, We don’t have spa facilities, or even a shower, We don’t have TV screens on every piece of cardio equipment and We don’t have a small army of U̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶ ̶s̶a̶l̶e̶s̶m̶e̶n̶ Personal Trainers.
We don’t even have a Bosu…which is not a negative in this guys world.
I’m not in the gym for these things, but I don’t have any issue with those that are. In truth, available child care and group exercise options alone have probably helped more people than I can count.
I’m there to get better and to help make others better. I’m something of a training minimalist by nature and don’t need very much equipment to get the job done. My workout one day consisted of a single kettle bell, the floor and a horizontal bar. There were other days where all I needed was the floor and a wall. Equipment didn’t matter much, and environment could have been anywhere.
A large wall looms over the deadlifting platforms. It lists the names of people who have lifted hundreds of pounds over bodyweight just for a place on it. That wall is filled with Intent, and this was the environment where it happened.
I believe that training Intent comes before training Environment. Could I have a solid workout at a regular commercial gym? Yes, I can have anywhere, but that is because I carry intent with me wherever I may roam. I also believe environment has its effect on people and that a type of selection pressure is at play. The environment, in a sense, helps shape and focus ones intent, which we often equate to being a purely internal thing.
Intent is key. Why are you there in the first place? The gym could be any version of “the best gym for you” (an ideal environment), but without intent you could find yourself wasting your time.