Don’t discredit gym community and the part you play.
To me, experience is one of the most important factors when I train at a new gym or facility. Having worked in the fitness industry for over 14 years now I have both worked and trained in a variety of different facilities both in Australia and overseas. The ones that stand out the most to me in my mind weren’t the ones who had the latest training gadgets or the most expensive top of the line equipment, it was the ones where the coaches made the clientele feel welcome and valued, whether it was their first time visiting or they were a long-standing member, it was the ones that had a warm welcoming vibe and their business vision is built around community. My first ever PT job I stayed at that gym for 7 years because its vision was community driven. The gym I went on to co-own back in Perth was built with an emphasis towards community and members feeling part of a family. People like to feel a part of something, and we all need support and encourage at various stages throughout our training lifespan and through life. The very gym you train at can become an important support network, especially when things may not be tracking well outside of the gym.
Training for me, in particular weight training/weightlifting is something I have always enjoyed, it in essence became my hobby once I gave away with team sports, it is an outlet for me in regards to my mental health and is an integral part to my coping mechanics for when life gets tricky. Over my years I have spent many a session training on my own, and sometimes we need that, but there are also times where I have dragged myself to training be it to train with fellow colleagues, a training partner at the time, or with my weightlifting team and ended up having the best session and feeling so much more elated than when I walked in. Don’t ever discredit the gym community you have around you during those times. Simply being around others who can see your struggling and are cheering you on, having someone to train with that can throw a few jokes around in between sets after a bad day, or simply having a coach come up to you and ask how your day was and if you need anything to just come grab them as they are happy to assist you can have a profound effect on your training experience and even your session outcomes.
I have stepped into gyms where the staff on the front desk barely acknowledges you, to gyms where I have felt intimidated training because of how other regular members have behaved or simply felt uncomfortable, I have left gyms within 15 minutes due to rude or lazy coaching staff on duty, I have trained with coaches who haven’t taken the time to understand me as a person, nor take the time to properly understand my goals and have walked away from training sessions feeling worse than when I came in. I have also worked alongside other coaches who aren’t team players and are in the industry for the wrong reasons. For me, gym is my second home, I plan to spend a lot of time in this place (both for work and for pleasure) and I want it to be inducive to progress and positive experiences (even during the tough and rough sessions). Everyone plays their role in a gym community, its how staff interact with members, it is how members interact with staff and it is how members interact with one another.
It is important to surround yourself around coaches who are passionate, coaches who lead by example, coaches who will take the time to teach, educate you and genuinely want to help you to succeed no matter what your goals are. The group of people you surround yourself with can literally be a determining factor to success or failure, your vibe attracts your tribe, surround yourself with people who want to improve and take motivation from their failures and mistakes in the gym, train around people who are just as much about the process or the journey as they are about the end result, people who are in it for the right reasons, who are there to train because they enjoy it.
As my old coach and mentor used to say, when you step through the door into my gym, leave the days baggage on the doormat, be a nice human being, give me nothing but your absolute best for today, aim to lift some heavy shit well, but most importantly lets have some fun!
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