T Nation

Gym Observations and Ramblings

Having trained in a commercial gym for 6 and a half years, i have got to the point where i could have been driven to insanity by some of the idiots i am forced to train around.

The idiots are only half the problem with my gym…the other is the equipment. No power rack, no reverse hyper, no glute ham raise. However, i still manage to train using the westside template, despite not quite having the variety of equipment i would like.

This is a huge commercial gym and is better than any other gym in my city. Sadly at this moment in time i can not afford a home set up, hence the reason why i still train where i do. It could be worse, it does have a squat rack;)

What really rattles me is the people. No one in this gym TRAINS. They all workout. At best you have some guys who can bench heavy weights using massive hip thrusts, usually accompanied by really neanderthal postures and thick tracksuit bottoms to cover chicken legs.

No one, and i really do mean almost no one, trains legs. Squats and deadlifts are a rare commodity indeed. Although, perhaps this is a good thing as i never have to wait for the rack! Strangely i sometimes have to wait for a bench, even though there’s 5 or 6 of them!

In general the guys who “workout” around me while i train have really shitty attitudes.

I get dirty looks while deadlifting 4 plates a side(it makes too much noise), yet its ok for them to bang the weight when they finish their 12th set of tricep puchdowns and admire their guns in the mirror, all the time ignoring the fact that they have no lower body, often terrible posture, injuries and their strength levels have not gone up since the dark ages.

My final gripe is with the music in gym. The lack of equipment and viable training partners is bad enough. Some badass music could really help the atmosphere. But NO, this gym regularly plays 60’s love songs!

However, all this leads me to my conclusion. Today i was box squatting and 2 guys were incline benching on the smith machine next to me. They had the bench set so that the bar was about 8 inches in front of their chest!

I kindly pointed out that they should move the bench closer to the bar so that they were bringing it down in line with their chest. Gruntingly they took my advice.

I was so fired up by these clowns(with 16inch arms and 15.5" legs) that i used this anger to produce my best set of box squats( and it was my last)!

Conclusion…even when you feel like your in a less than optimal enviroment(in this case a training enviroment) if you ask yourself intelligent questions you can come up with some helpful and productive answers!

I simply asked myself… “whats great about this?” and figured that at least two people in the gym( me and my bro) are doing something right and getting stronger. This seriously fired me up and channelled my anger!

The war goes on…

I’ve pretty much given up on what other people do in the gym. Their actions don’t hinder my progress, so fuck it…whatever makes them happy.

My gym is kinda small, but has many resigning members, so most of us know each other. It’s not a chain, so I don’t worry about company policies. I’ve been knowing the owners for over twenty years, so I feel very comfortable there. And most importantly, there is virtually NO douchebags, braggarts, showoffs, or assholes there. Everyone goes in, does their thing, and leaves. It’s nice.

more rambling than observation, but I feel you. Finding the right place to train is like searching for the holy grail. Just make the best of it for the time being.

One day you’ll stumble upon the perfect place, or you’ll pony up and buy you?re your own equipment

You need a hug!!!

[quote]BigRagoo wrote:
I’ve pretty much given up on what other people do in the gym. Their actions don’t hinder my progress, so fuck it…whatever makes them happy.
[/quote]

Words of wisdom. This is really all you need to know. Learn to concentrate and focus on YOUR goals. Oh, and get a MP3 player.

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
BigRagoo wrote:
I’ve pretty much given up on what other people do in the gym. Their actions don’t hinder my progress, so fuck it…whatever makes them happy.

Words of wisdom. This is really all you need to know. Learn to concentrate and focus on YOUR goals. Oh, and get a MP3 player.

[/quote]

I hear you and i never said it was hindering my progress! I use the fact that im surrounded my fools and no hopers to motivate me more!

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
BigRagoo wrote:
I’ve pretty much given up on what other people do in the gym. Their actions don’t hinder my progress, so fuck it…whatever makes them happy.

Words of wisdom. This is really all you need to know. Learn to concentrate and focus on YOUR goals. Oh, and get a MP3 player.

[/quote]

Cant do mp3 player when im with my training partner. Doesn’t work for us

half of working out in a commercial gym is learning to put your proverbial blinders on. If they glare at you when you’re deadlifing, who cares? Just keep pushing. Learn to let shit roll of your back and your life will be so much better for it.

I always have to wait on the squat rack because most of the people in my gym actually do squats. I even see a few people perform overhead squats on a regular basis.

Sadly, they have no olympic platform or bumper plates.

who cares what people are doing around you when you’re training! I personally like public gyms it’s like going to the circus.

One thing I hate at my gym is the guys that set up benchs or other equipment and then go talk to other guys for twenty minutes. So basically 3-5 spots are taken up cause these guys talk for 2 hours at the gym. We have this one guy that comes into the gym in blue pants with blue shorts over the top of them, and about five shirts on that I am 100% sure does about four reps in a three hour period and talks the rest. I fucking hate this guy.

[quote]elliotnewman1 wrote:
Yo Momma wrote:
BigRagoo wrote:
I’ve pretty much given up on what other people do in the gym. Their actions don’t hinder my progress, so fuck it…whatever makes them happy.

Words of wisdom. This is really all you need to know. Learn to concentrate and focus on YOUR goals. Oh, and get a MP3 player.

Cant do mp3 player when im with my training partner. Doesn’t work for us[/quote]

So, your looking to others in the gym for motivation, but you have a training partner. Is he a “no hoper” too, or can he not give motivation?

It’s not like your there by yourself amongst these people. What am I missing here? It’s much easier to ignore the goons whe you have a partner.

Most of the time I’m so into the zone that the people around me or the music playing doesn’t bother me.

However, I do find it amusing when I see people flexing or lifting up their shirts and checking out their abs in front of the mirror. It’s ironic how the smallest guys do that kind of stuff, and the ones who actually have stuff to show off never do.

But I must admit, I love it when they play the Backstreet Boys or Jessica Simpson while I’m working out.

[quote]Rhal wrote:
I personally like public gyms it’s like going to the circus.[/quote]

haha

So how big are you when you weight 180 pounds? Why does it bother you how other people train? And I almost guarantee your arms are smaller since you brought up the leg issue many times…

[quote]ill wrote:
So how big are you when you weight 180 pounds? Why does it bother you how other people train? And I almost guarantee your arms are smaller since you brought up the leg issue many times… [/quote]

Er yeah my arms are smaller than my legs…it usually is that way! And i am not eating to be 300 pounds. Im training for strength(and yes i know putting on size helps with strength before anyone jumps on me for that)

[quote]elliotnewman1 wrote:
ill wrote:
So how big are you when you weight 180 pounds? Why does it bother you how other people train? And I almost guarantee your arms are smaller since you brought up the leg issue many times…

Er yeah my arms are smaller than my legs…it usually is that way! And i am not eating to be 300 pounds. Im training for strength(and yes i know putting on size helps with strength before anyone jumps on me for that)

[/quote]

Because there are no weights in between 180lbs and 300lbs? You are complaining about people staring at you and not wanting to take your advice. I’m sorry, but unless someone is extremely ripped at your weight (like near contest condition) or looks like they know what they are talking about, most people won’t be listening to any “advice” you have to offer freely in the gym. That is just the way it works.

In fact, given the attitude of many of these guys who think they know it all since they read a few articles, many don’t even listen to the larger lifters either so they damn sure won’t look to someone who isn’t “big” to tell them how to train.

If people are staring at you while you train, unless you are impressively built, it is usually because of something you are doing that they perceive as wrong. Maybe your attitude shines through without you saying anything.

I do believe the point that “ill” was trying to make, is that very often guys with small arms who “train for strength” yet aren’t growing much love to point out everyone else’s weaknesses even if the guy outweighs them by 50lbs of muscle or more…(like pointing out that some of the guys always wear pants to which you have concluded means they have no leg development and never train them…because you know that person’s entire routine and every single time they are in the gym)

I very rarely walk up to anyone to give advice. Any time I have in the past has been to someone I have seen regularly and know to some degree. If they walk up to me, like seems to happen more now, I will help them as much as I can. Other than that, I mind my own business in the gym and don’t try to judge who is “training” and who is “working out”…whatever the fuck that actually means.

[quote]elliotnewman1 wrote:
No one in this gym TRAINS. They all workout.

[/quote]

On a side note, what is it with the recent influx of people saying that they “train” instead “working out”?

Maybe because Dave Tate (today’s tip)and Jason Ferrugia recently (article) made a huge fuss over the distinction that now everyone needs to say the same?

It’s all semantics, like categorizing exercises by “movement patterns” over “muscle groups”. Why does everyone feel the need to be so unique? Let it go…

BTW: Charles Staley refers to his “workouts” as “practices” and doesn’t care much for the term “training” because in his mind you “train” animals, not humans :wink:

[/rant]

[quote]YourXLNS wrote:

BTW: Charles Staley refers to his “workouts” as “practices” and doesn’t care much for the term “training” because in his mind you “train” animals, not humans :wink:

[/rant][/quote]

I AM AN ANIMAL!!! So I TRAIN. When I train, I train WARRIOR STYLE!!! AAaaaaarrrgghhhhh!

Unconventional!!!

DB

[quote]Professor X wrote:
elliotnewman1 wrote:
ill wrote:
So how big are you when you weight 180 pounds? Why does it bother you how other people train? And I almost guarantee your arms are smaller since you brought up the leg issue many times…

Er yeah my arms are smaller than my legs…it usually is that way! And i am not eating to be 300 pounds. Im training for strength(and yes i know putting on size helps with strength before anyone jumps on me for that)

Because there are no weights in between 180lbs and 300lbs? You are complaining about people staring at you and not wanting to take your advice. I’m sorry, but unless someone is extremely ripped at your weight (like near contest condition) or looks like they know what they are talking about, most people won’t be listening to any “advice” you have to offer freely in the gym. That is just the way it works.

In fact, given the attitude of many of these guys who think they know it all since they read a few articles, many don’t even listen to the larger lifters either so they damn sure won’t look to someone who isn’t “big” to tell them how to train.

If people are staring at you while you train, unless you are impressively built, it is usually because of something you are doing that they perceive as wrong. Maybe your attitude shines through without you saying anything.

I do believe the point that “ill” was trying to make, is that very often guys with small arms who “train for strength” yet aren’t growing much love to point out everyone else’s weaknesses even if the guy outweighs them by 50lbs of muscle or more…(like pointing out that some of the guys always wear pants to which you have concluded means they have no leg development and never train them…because you know that person’s entire routine and every single time they are in the gym)

I very rarely walk up to anyone to give advice. Any time I have in the past has been to someone I have seen regularly and know to some degree. If they walk up to me, like seems to happen more now, I will help them as much as I can. Other than that, I mind my own business in the gym and don’t try to judge who is “training” and who is “working out”…whatever the fuck that actually means.[/quote]

You have read too much into my post and many people who have responded to this thread have misinterpreted me.

I never said i go round the gym offering everyone advice, im there to train. Interestingly the 2 guys who i did offer a touch of advice to are now pressing the bar down to their chest instead of out in front of them. So whether they liked being told or not they clearly think i was right.

However, thats a minor detail. Some people have respoonded to this thread as if said i cry myself to sleep every night about the state of the gym where train. Thats simply not the case. As the name of my thread suggests its merely things i see and i just happened to type down. The end of my thread even says i have found ways to turn negative states into extremely positive ones!

As far as the in between stage goes i agree entirely. There is a big gap between 180 and 300. However, as long as i can keep getting stronger at 180 i dont feel the need to eat all day and put loads of weight on