Gym Culture Builds a Community – Which Impacts Your Gym Experience and Success

Gym Culture Builds a Community – Which Impacts Your Gym Experience and Success

The culture of your gym can make or break your experience and can impact how successful you are in the gym. It is essential to find a gym that suits you and a community that can take your gym experience to the next level.

What is Gym Culture?

The culture of a gym drives expectations, experiences, and philosophy.  It also defined the values that guide member behavior, and is expressed in member self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world, and future expectations. Culture is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid.  Culture provides the building blocks to create a fitness community and that community is built-in retention for long lasting members.

The Fitness Community

One of the appeals of the continuing growing sport of CrossFit is the sense of community that is felt and unmatched in globo-gyms.  Working out in an environment that is both friendly and competitive provides the necessary drive to always push your hardest, but the sense of friendship that keeps you accountable and coming back to hang out with like-minded people. Your community builds a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Many of us have found our gym tribe and have grown those relationships both in and outside of the gym. Some of my best friends were gained from a CrossFit class, and I continue to see the power of a “fit fam” every day.  However, it took some trial and error to find them.  It is essential to continue to look for your tribe if you haven’t found them yet as having a great gym community can improve your own workout success.

Five Warning Signs of a Bad Gym Culture

The hardest part about gym culture is that it has to be experienced and discovered over time to find out if it is right for you.  However, there are some clear warning signs that may make you proceed with caution in a new gym setting.  This includes:

  1. A physically dirty gym – this is a clear indication there is no respect in the gym. Owners do not care about their gym and clients do not want to contribute to making the space nice
  2. Body shaming – a gym that allows body shaming is not a gym that promotes community
  3. Too much gossiping – are you hearing negative talk about other members as soon as you walk into the gym? This may be a sign that there is a lack of sense of community or respect for others
  4. Lack of authenticity – is the gym a carbon copy of other gyms? Can you tell there is no sense of sense?  There is also probably no sense of community either
  5. Unfriendly members & staff – did you walk into the gym and no one greeted you? Did you try to engage with a member and their response was less than warm?  Building a community within this atmosphere will probably be very difficult

The Takeaway

Gym culture is an important component to individual success as the culture of a gym makes or breaks the community within that gym.  Having a good community creates long term members, grows relationships, and creates a growth atmosphere; however, bad gym culture will likely contribute to an inability to keep members and an all-around bad atmosphere.  There are some clear warning signs of bad culture that can be noticed quickly so someone looking for a community within their gym may want to avoid a gym with warning signs.

Tell us about your gym culture!  How does your gym community impact your workout? Talk to us on social media!