I guess my point is that I wouldn't expect anybody from West Side to take anyone under their wing, unless that person has proven themself to be serious. Guys move to Columbus and literally live out of their cars for the chance to train at West Side. These people are able to demonstrate how serious they are. Why would they even consider letting the OP in? Just because he wants a spot and some help with his form?
I don't mean to discourage anyone, I'm just stating what I've seen. People get into this "honeymoon" mentality about powerlifting. Then something happens:
- the gains quit
- you get hurt
- they find out they aren't that special
- you join a group where all of a sudden the needs of the group outweigh the needs of a single person
- they don't want to compete
... and they quit. I see this happen ALL THE TIME.
My advice is not to even entertain the idea of joining a private gym unless you have a decent base of strength, are serious about competing, and you're willing to pay your dues. Once again, I'm not trying to discourage anybody -- I'm just trying to save you some time and heart ache.
If despite what I've said above, if you're interested in joining a private gym -- go to a meet. See what you're getting into. Ask the meet director if you can help spot & load. It's not glamorous, but at least you're showing that you're willing to work for it.