‘Powerlifting’ and ‘Bodybuilding’ gyms can be a little (or a LOT) intimidating to the ininitiated – especially if you have no interest in becoming a competitive powerlifter or stepping onto the bodybuilding stage.
But even if squatting 800lbs or shaving your entire body, painting it orange and covering your nether regions with little more than an eyepatch don’t appeal to you, there is one VERY good reason you should consider training in a ‘hardcore’ gym over a commercialized health club…
Powerlifters and bodybuilders – although they’ll often go at it like cats & dogs (or more like Mexicans and Puerto Ricans) – are among the most supportive people you’ll ever meet.
Sure, when they compete, everyone wants to win, but ya’ know what? The iron game is about personal achievement, and PL/BB-ers love to see everyone (even their competitors) achieve personal goals and surpass their self-imposed limitations.
I’m pretty sure this has something to do with the fact that neither PL or BB’ing is considered a ‘mainstream’ sport. Winners rarely get more than a trophy or a plaque to hang on their wall.
With the big money of more popular sports out of the picture, PL/BB-ers train to compete for little more than the personal satisfaction that comes with self-improvement. Isn’t THAT the reason you’d want to join a gym in the first place?
Now if you go to a ‘fitness boutique’ or a franchised health club, you’ll often find just the opposite is true. Members are often more interested in the social scene than achieving any meaningful progress.
If social is what you want, stay home and play Farmville or take another survey on Facebook. (Just please stop inviting me to play along with you!)
Mainstream gym-goers frequently engage in subtle (or even flagrant) ‘one-upmanship’ . Ego’s flair. Opportunities to put another member down as weaker, fatter, less successful in life are frequently used to boost one’s own self-image.
Not a very supportive environment, in my opinion.
In a hardcore gym, the only thing that really matters is how committed you are to change.
To push yourself to new levels of physical progress.
To say you’re going to accomplish something – and then go ahead and actually DO it.
The weights are all the same & there’s no difference between treadmills. But people in a hardcore gym are more likely to help you, to spot you in a tough exercise, to cheer you along as you work towards a personal best, to challenge you to get back in the game when you blow your diet… while you do the same for them.
Because it’s the right thing to do.