T Nation

Atmosphere In The Gym


I recently had a discussion with some of my friends about where we train; between the 6 or so of us, we are split between the university gym, and a local powerlifters' gym (some of us split our time between both, some of us use one or the other). I usually split my time between both because the uni gym has better facilities, however, the point we disagree on is that of atmosphere- I prefer to do my big lifts in the spit n sawdust gym, feeling that I can really cut loose without worry of stares from the fashionistas etc., whereas some of the lads say that as long as a gym has all the equipment they can do their best session there. I'd just like to know some opinions on this as in my opinion I enjoy myself more and get better lifts when I lift in a gym with a bit more..."Je ne sais quoi".


I’ve never lifted at a really hardcore gym, but other people in no way effect my workout. My drive is purely internal.
It’d be kinda cool to have big guys at my gym to talk to or whatever, but I really don’t see the atmosphere effecting my workout. I know guys like Prof X that have lifted in lots of gym will say the opposite.


I can get a good work out at the university gym, its just that at the hardcore gym there is a really good atmosphere of friendly support and good natured competition, even with strangers; its like a little lifting community, really good cameraderie. I just prefer to lift there if I’m going for a PB, or if I’m feeling a little unmotivated or stagnant.

It would be good to hear from some of those guys on here to see if they agree…I’d like to see if they think there is some sort of happy medium between the two!


Atmosphere is one if not the most important thing in training, choose the powerlifting one.


Its not really a matter of choosing- the powerlifting one is too far away to get there more than a bout twice a week, I was just wondering what people’s thoughts were on the subject. If I had it the other way round, I would probably train once or twice at the university gym anyway just because the facilities are outstanding…apart from the fact that you can’t get on anything because people are doing curls in the squat rack and crunches with their feet under the wall bars!