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Tales of a Traveling Strength Coach – Going to a New Gym

Tales of a Traveling Strength Coach

Going to a New Gym

Sometimes when you go to a new gym, you feel dazed and confused.

Recently I went to a new gym in my town to get a quick warm-up session in and to prepare for my workout later that night at my regular spot.  It was easier for me because the local gym was only 3 minutes from my house and the facility I work at is about 20 minutes away.

I’ve never been to this gym and didn’t know really know what to expect.  But I do have a pretty simple rule of thumb when you go to a new spot.  They say when you go to a supermarket, you should stay around the perimeter and don’t venture inward.  That is because all of the fresh produce and perishable items are around the outside of the supermarket and the boxed, over-processed foods are in the inside area.

A gym is usually setup the same way; free weights around the outside and machines on the inside.  So I usually just walk around this outside path and get busy.

While I was there, I saw and experienced some good things:

Customer Support

The staff was very friendly.  This is crucial for ANY potential new clients who come into the facility because that is their first contact.  First impressions can make or break the sign-up.  They answered all of my questions and really seemed interested in helping me continue my fitness journey.


They were using the Functional Movement Screen!  I couldn’t believe it.  I live in a very small town and this really took me by surprise.  It is a combination PT and fitness facility, but using this standard was something I didn’t expect they’d even know about to screen and reassess their new and ongoing clientele.

Dress Code

All of the trainers had a specific dress code based on their position.  This showed a good level of professionalism and I liked how you could immediately identify the trainers from the clients.

They Didn’t Know Me!

It is very easy to get a big head, especially when traveling to all of the big fitness seminars all over the country.  People coming up and saying how much they love your site and appreciate all of your hard work.  You feel kind of special and it is very humbling.  But I liked going into a new place and just being a regular trainee.  It was cool being able to focus on my workout, instead of watching over everyone else.


They had bands, tires, foam rollers, airex pads, dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX’s and other equipment that I would consider a foundation for your inventory.  The kettlebells also took me back because, like I said, I live in a pretty small town.

The Gym Was Clean

This is a big one.  This shows that they take pride in the facility and they have a certain standard of professionalism they want to maintain.  There were towels and cleaning supplies for equipment that users can use to clean their area up after they’re done.

Good Traffic Flow

There was a good equipment layout and there was a nice flow to the floor traffic.  Everything flowed around the outside of the main area and filtered inward.

All in all, it was a very positive experience and I’ll probably go back sometime.  When you travel or have the opportunity to get outside of your comfort zone and regular gym, do it.  You never know what is on the other side.  You might find that the grass is greener or that your spot is better.  Keep in mind the points I talked about above and they will give you some key things to look for and might help you determine if the gym is right for you.

By on September 3rd, 2011


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Comment (1)

  1. Posted by - Andrew on September 3, 2011

    Nice post Smitty. I know what you mean about it being nice training somewhere you’re not known. I’ve recently started training at a different gym to where I work and its been like a breath of fresh air to my training.

    Keep up the good work

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