Gym Whore Galore: Why You Shouldn’t Always Train in the Same Place

You will be completely shocked by how few hours I actually get of one-to-one coaching. There are times when I can go a couple of weeks without seeing Dave. This is mainly due to the fact that our schedules just don’t line up at the moment. I train in the evenings when he is coaching weightlifting clubs or private clients, and can only rarely make time to see him during the day when has space, because I’m busy PhD-ing.

He and I do talk every day, either about the programming he’s sent me, or about training videos I send him. But still, you may be wondering how on earth I manage to get away with this and still develop as an athlete.

The answer is: by learning from others. I regularly train in five or six different gyms around Birmingham and the Midlands. I believe this has played a crucial role in my progress. I’d probably still do it even if Dave and I went everywhere together.

Arya+The+Hound+Game+of+Thrones
#thiscouldbeusbutyouplayin

I highly recommend you consider becoming a gym slut. It has several benefits:

  • Fresh perspectives. It’s always great to hear how others believe a lift should be performed. Working with different people exposes you to different teaching. You may hear a different cue or technical training point that just seems to click. Hearing already known information also seems to have a different effect when coming out of a totally new or different persons mouth.
  • Seeing how other people do it. I’ve learned a lot by watching how other people build up weight to a max squat, how long they sit on their arses between sets, and their different ways to warm up.
  • Constantly changing environments. Training in different places regularly has helped me adapt to different surroundings, noises and general ‘vibes’. This has been particularly helpful for when I go to competitions. Nothing is much of a surprise, so when I get into warm-up rooms and different competition set-ups I’m ready to settle and just get on with my work. No matter where I go, a snatch is still a snatch, and clean and jerks stay and clean and jerks.
  • Different equipment. I’m spoilt in that the gym I train in most regularly is kitted out with the highest-end gear you can come across. For example, I train with my almost personal ‘London 2012 Eleiko bar’. Moving around gyms exposes you to a variety of platform surfaces, bar gnarls, bar bearings (bearings spin at different rates, which will mostly effect the way you snatch if you are not used to slow or fast bearings) and temperatures. I know so much about my body now because of this. Different warm-ups to add in, where to apply tape if I need it.
  • Different Training Partners. This is the best aspect of moving around a lot. I have met a hell of a lot of wonderful people and gained some tremendous friends along the way. A few of them now join me as I wander about these various gyms. Without them, MiniBIGLifts wouldn’t even exist. It has also given me new perspective and taught me how to find my optimal training environment, which I can now pick and choose depending on the session I have set and who I want to do it with.

So moving around, for me, is incredibly helpful. However, I think this is also because I have a strong sense of what could be useful and what’s complete bollocks. My coach is still numero uno. I know that the things he tells me to do are for good reasons with methods behind them. But it still pays to put them to the test by getting outside my comfort zone! You should try it too– you’ll learn a lot.

A few of the wonderful places I’ve been to in the UK:

Warley Weightlifting 

The University of Gloucester

MSC Performance Birmingham 

Rigs Fitness 

Mmm squats. #olympicweightlifting #olylifting #squats #girlsthatlift #weightlifting

A post shared by Sarah Glanvill (@sarah_glanvill) on

British Judo Performance gym

Powerbase Loughborough 

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