This is my first post, although I've been surfing this site for a few months now.
I'd like to say that I've decided to get back into weightlifting again, but all of my previous attempts at "lifting" were pretty much half-assed. My nutrition was always subpar, my form was probably horrible, I got all of my info from muscle mags, and most of my workout partners just weren't in it. I ended up working out on my own in my garage. I made some decent gains, but plateaued pretty quickly. And like I said, the nutrition was never really there.
Now that's changed. I've taken care of the nutrition and have decided that working out on my own in the garage just isn't the best thing. One problem: aside from some casual nautilus machine use, I've never worked out intensely at a gym. I wouldn't even know where to begin. For instance, what kind of gym is best? A giant franchise gym like LA Fitness, or a smaller, independent one? Also, how do you hook up with workout partners? I'm assuming you just don't walk up to the biggest meathead in the room and ask to be buds. None of my friends are interested in body building, either, and even if they were, they're as knowledgable as I am -- which is not very.
Another big problem: I don't know anything about training programs. Before I stumbled across T-Nation, I had gotten most of my training advice from random lifters I met in the navy. None of them talked about 1RM, 3RM, supersets, etc., etc. They all had their own names for what they did and were convinced it was the best thing ever. So that's a problem area, too.
I would appreciate any help I can get in these areas. I really have no idea where else I can turn for advice. Thanks, all.