T Nation

What Happens When You Go To A New Gym


So I’m making use of a new gym for the summer months, and maybe it’s just me and my brain, but there seems to always be pros and cons of going somewhere new, especially if you have had any success with your own physique (and believe me, I’m not walking around wearing contest shirts or my customized training belt with my name on it -lol).

I figure I’ll throw out a few while I’m sitting here between sets of pull-ups and see if we can get some run rolling.

-New equipment to try
-New possible friends and “eye candy” (needs to be said-lol)

-ugh I can’t find that one piece of equipment I like to use for my calves!
-getting “eyeballed” by the resident “big guys”
-getting unsolicited advice from people who clearly don’t know what they’re doing

I’m sure I’ll have more as the summer rolls on :slight_smile:



Every time I switched gyms I always felt like a guest in someone else’s house, which I think is basically a version of:

For the first couple of weeks/month, I’d try to stay out of everyone’s way so I didn’t upset the normal routine of the regulars until settling in and becoming part of the routine myself.

Now I’ve got a home gym, which is awesome, but I miss being able to chat with the bigger guys and pick their brain about training, getting/giving a spot, etc… I was lucky to run into a lot of @bulldog9899 type of guys early on, which every young pup needs, imo.


I recently returned to my old commercial gym (which is a great local business run by wonderful people). I spent the previous year doing almost only Brazilian jiu jitsu training with very little lifting and prior to that I lifted at my area’s strongest powerlifting gym.

-Ego boost from people stopping what they’re doing to watch a heavy set from me.
-Hot tub, pool and sauna on-site.
-Now that I’m bouncing again, it never hurts to have customers witness a little show of strength.
-New friends.
-Interesting social interactions, both experienced and observed.

-That one guy who doesn’t shut up about how, in the distant and undocumented past, he used to be better than me at everything I can do right now.
-Unwelcome interruptions in my workout to tell me things that are irrelevant or just plain wrong.

-There’s a guy there who plays this game of “monkey see, monkey do”. If I’m squatting in the power cage, he’ll more-or-less match my plate loads for a squat workout, except he’s doing quarter squats or calf raises on the smith machine with the load. Perhaps that’s his plan for the day and it just happens to coincide with my squat workout, but I suspect he’s demonstrating his masculinity in a beast man display of visceral strength warrior power of the one percent most hardcore iron gladiator.



Haven’t gone to a new gym in over a year, but I did bounce around a few commercial gyms till I got my home setup squared away.

Getting a spot or tips from actual strong folks
Climate control
Of course the eye candy

Where the hell are all the barbells?
Why is there no space to deadlift?
How can you break a hack squat machine, and why isn’t the fix simple/done?
Wait, there’s a prowler, airdynes, climbing rope, gymnastic rings, boxes, rower, and turf strip in the next room, but it’s for use with personal trainers only?! IT’S ALWAYS EMPTY!
Who cleans these bathrooms?


Get off your phone, you are supposed to be in the zone, use that time to flex and glare at your new competition. You will never get anywhere with that level of dedication…


Nope, but I’ve been to Matt’s gym before and he’s got some animals down there too.

L/A Strength.

1 Like


  • A bit of added drive from being, ‘the new guy’
  • New stimulus means more brain activity means (if you’re able to focus) better numbers.
  • When visiting, it works as a solid de-load for me, because I want to try all the new stuff, ha.
  • If I’m there for a bit longer duration, possibility of different/new training partners
  • When I visit another gym it tends to be a more ‘normal’ gym (ours caters to mostly geriatrics) so I get to see a different crowd/approach (sometimes good, sometimes bad, always interesting, ha)


  • Tends to throw me a bit off my schedule/planned numbers due to wanting to ‘prove’ myself
  • If I’m not really focused then the new environment works as a negative with sensory overload and my numbers suffer.
1 Like

On the phone between sets, BLASPHEMY!!!


I was lucky that the first gym I ever went to was a old school Bodybuilding gym where a large % competed. The owner was the main guy in the state with AAU for Bodybuilding. Was diffidently not a fitness facility…

I will be honest… the only gyms I can tolerate any more are garage type gyms. Commercial public gyms just irritates the hell out of me.


Ya, I hear you. I have a home gym to avoid the nonsense.

1 Like

on my end…winters suck and so do hot summer days when its in the mid to upper 90’s

1 Like

I go to an old workshop full of old (but good) equipment. I train with sweaty men.

Now and again I’ll go to a YMCA type deal. Which has nice carpeting, isn’t either freezing or boiling. Has change rooms instead of one crappy toilet. Has nice equipment and has a good portion of young, pretty girls wearing skimpy little things and moving in alluring ways.

I have no idea why I don’t make a permanent move haha

1 Like

The first winter I had my rack in my garage I went out to lift in 7* weather. I moved it to the basement shortly after.


I bust my poor shin on some piece of equipment that’s in a dumb spot.

Dudes start copying my coolest moves.

1 Like

Lol, just moved mine to the basement as well for a similar reason (not fucking 7 degrees though…)


That is the cleanest home gym I’ve ever seen.

1 Like

I haven’t used it yet and the squat stand and plate holder are new… We just re-did the floor and I’ve only moved about 75% of my stuff in so far.

Tonight is supposed to be the first workout.

*My garage was/is a nightmare…


I was about to say, gym looks like it hasn’t ever been used haha.

1 Like

Yeah you need to get a bunch of grime all over the walls, scatter chalk dust everywhere and get some puke stains on the floor before you even think about picking up that barbell.


-New equipment
-New eye candy
-Have people stop to look at me when they see this 5’7 180lb guy with 405 on his back (actually start getting looks once 315 goes on)
-Sometimes they have tires or other cool shit that I don’t get to play with
-Sauna, swimming pool, etc.

-People ask me stupid questions
-Don’t know where anything is (a lot of places don’t have dip bars)
-Having to wait for the squat rack
-Some of the sensitive strong guys staring at me because they are bigger than me but I’m lifting more than them in some lifts and I’m taking only 1 min breaks with no headphones in.

I think I’m a create of habit though, I like going to the gym that I’ve been going to.

1 Like