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Time Read: 3.5min
The success a gym is able to have, the history it is able to make, and the lifters and athletes it is able to produce depends entirely on the culture, standards, and expectations the gym has.
In the modern world of powerlifting there has been a movement towards gyms being no judgement positive vibes only zones. What seems to be a benevolent gesture to create a diverse community within their gym is nothing more than a numbers game adding members to generate profit and increased internet popularity.
Don’t get caught up in the herd, some of the best gyms are in warehouses or garages with membership costs between free and 40 dollars a month.
As an athlete or lifter, being able to train at a gym that is geared specifically towards both your training and competitive goals will immediately increase the chances that you will be successful.
The first thing you need to do is evaluate your ability level. If you are a beginner you need to find a gym and training group that is willing to bring in and teach a beginner lifter.
Not all gyms and training crews will be willing to do this. You would be cheating yourself by expecting lifters and athletes training for high levels of competition to have the time to specifically work on teaching and correcting you during training. If you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter you will want to find a gym or training crew that takes away any ability you have to be the big fish in a small pond.
Many times strong, skilled individuals will elect to stay where they feel comfortable instead of seeking out a challenge. Don’t fall victim to this weak way of thinking, you will hold yourself back from growing physically and mentally stronger.
The challenge of having training partners in direct competition week in and week out throughout training is infinitely more beneficial than lifting in front of a bunch of impressed gym goers that cheer for you every week.
If you are the owner of a gym, or the leader of a training crew, you are responsible for setting, teaching, and maintaining the culture of your training facility or crew. Owners, don’t be afraid of losing customers by adhering to a specific mindset and training style. You will never be able to cater to all customers, so it is better to follow your vision and properly establish your brand.
Authenticity has no expiration date, let your gym be what it is and avoid faking an image or selling out. Your long term success depends on the athletes you produce and the reputation you establish, trying to fit in with what is currently popular is a fool’s bet. If you are running a training crew, you must always personally live up to the standards you set for the group.
A crew leader must constantly work to become more knowledgeable, more disciplined, and a better teacher. It is up to you to teach the methodology and reinforce the expectations and the mentality of the group.
Having the proper gym culture and training with the proper mindset are two things that will have an immediate positive impact on strength and conditioning progress. People are quick to change their program, change their diet, when they need to change their mindset and environment. If you want to be the best, you have to be around the best.
Do you want to be the best bench press specialist at the local 24 hour fitness, or a world record holder? Do you want to be perceived as great, or actually be great? The choice is yours.