If you find yourself training in more than one gym, you will find that the atmosphere of your training ground can totally change the quality of your workout. The vibe of one gym can be totally different to another. A 20KG plate in one gym can feel a lot heavier than that of another.
Personally, I prefer the atmosphere and gear found in a hardcore powerlifting and bodybuilding gym. An old school gym like this has a testosterone fuelled atmosphere of hard work. Although somewhat outdated, the gear is designed for proper lifters.
If anything, the fact that the gear is a bit old and DIY gives you a better workout because you are working against the gear as well as the weight. The people there are usually absolute savages but they are friendly because they have the same interest in weightlifting as you. They speak to you and say hello but they know to let you train too.
My gym at home is exactly that kind of place. I love it, it is an almost spiritual place. I go there to put it work, its my spot. I feel at home there. I feel strong there. I put good energy into the universe there so that it hopefully returns to benefit me in other aspects of life.
However, I am currently studying at university so I cannot train there as often as I would like. I keep up my training when I am at university but I have to do it at the campus sports centre. I manage to get a decent workout in at the university sports centre but it isn’t nearly as good as my home gym. It is the total opposite of the atmosphere I described earlier.
It is a very corporate place, more designed for casual gym-goers than serious weightlifters. The spacing of the racks is all off. It is hard to find a position on the bench where you are close enough but the bar doesn’t hit the rack. When squatting, the plates often hit the safety bar below it and knock you off balance. The other patrons get in your way way and it is often way too busy.
All you can do when it comes to training in an environment that isn’t ideal, is make the best of it. You just have to adjust, focus, ignore that weirdo who stares at you and try to stay motivated. The times when you can train in the atmosphere that is best for you will come again soon.
For me, the best training gets done when I am home and get to train in my main gym. I have a powerlifting competition coming up in late April so I can’t wait to finish the semester and get good prep done at home.