Be A Good Team Member! Bringing Value In Your Gym
One of the biggest adjustments when I transitioned from 24 Hour Fitness to a powerlifting gym was having to train in a group setting with other powerlifters. No longer are you all by yourself on bench day and having to spend 5 minutes trying to find someone who looks competent enough to hand off & spot your set. You have teammates now, and they’re all usually working together to reach the common goal of getting stronger. Now having years of experience being a team member of a couple different powerlifting gyms, I’ve seen lots of people come through the doors and effect the team dynamics in some way. Even if you’re wearing your headset and getting through a solo session in, your presence and the way you carry yourself still plays an influence to the room’s vibe at that given time. Here are some quick pointers that I feel make for being a better member of your powerlifting gym:
- Bring a positive attitude to the gym! Come into the gym ready to train and forget how shitty your work day was or how your girlfriend scratched your car when she was backing out of the driveway. People feed off your energy to get amp’ed up and motivated to lift some heavy weights; this is why oftentimes, powerlifters always refer to the “atmosphere” that only a powerlifting gym can provide. You are a contributor to the gym’s atmosphere while you’re there, and your presence should bring the place up, not down.
- Help your teammates. Whether it’s giving a little bit of coaching on fixing form or a technique cue for a new lifter, or simply helping load a 45 pound plate on the other side of the bench – be useful while you’re training in the gym. This is how group settings work best; everyone contributes a little bit of value, and everyone gets to cash out on the rewards. Help your teammate rack some weights off the squat bar after they’re done with their big set. Learn how to run the monolift. If you learn how to wrap knees, your value on squat day instantly skyrockets to the top. Having a reputation for being good applying knee wraps for the team makes you worth gold. I have offered money for certain teammates to wrap my knees on meet day – even though they never accept it, that’s how grateful I am for someone good to wrap my knees when I’m trying to hit PRs on meet day.
- Don’t be condescending to your teammates. It’s perfectly fine to joke around and bust your training partner’s balls about something, but don’t directly insult your teammates or call them weak when they are trying to learn the ropes. The last thing a powerlifting gym needs is toxicity and drama, and even if you’re strong and being helpful with offering advice, people will remember how much shit you talk and they won’t want to be around you.
- Have good hygiene and wear deodorant. I’m not joking, I’ve been around enough lifters that don’t shower before coming to the gym and it just sucks.
Those are some things that I can think of about what you can do to be a better team member of your powerlifting gym. There’s definitely more things out there that can help, but those are the main principles that come to mind. Hope this quick read was of use to you, and that you TRAIN LIKE A MUSCLEBEAR, EAT LIKE A MUSCLEBEAR, AND GET JACKED TO GET FUCKING STRONG LIKE A MUSCLEBEAR! Rack the weights back after you’re done though.