Why Atmosphere Can Be Everything


Today’s post is all about the experience of events – and how it affects your chance of success…….or failure.


A while ago I was at a Council leisure Centre watching a friend complete a mile (64 lengths) for the Nationwide Swimathon that helped raise money for sport relief and Marie Curie Cancer Care.



Just Different!

It was a fun event – and everyone was really friendly and encouraging.  The staff were ‘on it’ too – motivating all the swimmers involved, and they even did the 200 lengths as part of a ‘staff team.’  This helped everyone swim that little bit faster – and do that little bit more than they were used to.   The staff even brought tea and coffee for us who were watching!

It reminded me of my time when I worked at another council gym on a temporary basis. Again, things were fun, and it was great to be a part of things as the time just flew by.

It’s funny, because people often speak more highly of private gyms. Mainly because they’re  usually  cleaner, they usually have some of the latest equipment, and usually have more resources than council gyms.



Well, I have found many private gyms to be a total killjoy when I want to do a session if I am away from my Your Next Level Fitness Gym.


Say you go to your gym, and you cant get on a piece of equipment you need to complete your program…..for arguments sake, lets say a bench……for the bench press.

It will annoy you all of your session when you cant get hold of ….one…single….bench…for….5….measely…minutes.

Will this make you want to come back?


How ‘the experience’ can make or break your chances

Bare with me as I quickly condense some of my A-level psychology exams into 2 minutes!

You may have heard of classical conditioning.  Think way back to school – with Pavlov and his slobering dogs!

Basically, Pavlov rang a bell when he brought food out to the dog.  The response to the food, was that the dog produced saliva.  After a time, the bell got the dog to produce saliva – even without food.  Anyway, in another different type of conditioning (Operant conditioning) a bloke called Skinner got some animals to press a button and food came out…….or received an electric shock.


How does this affect you?

Well, lets say you have a positive experience in the gym.  Going back to the previous example, lets say you manage to get a bench – and you complete all your reps and you didnt have to wait for any equipment. Say, that you didnt have to deal with anyone using a mobile phone, anyone swearing, and you simply felt at ease throughout your training session.

There is a high probability you’ ll go back to the gym…..the next day or the day after.


Say you go to the gym, you feel awkward entering as the staff act like you’re another person they’ll have to clean up after. You stare at your beloved bench, (of which there are 3 or 4)…..but you can’t get on one as they’re constantly being used by groups of 3 or 4 people who are doing more chatting than training. You’re stuck waiting for the equipment that the gym only has one of (lat pull down / leg press etc) and there’s some chump talking on a mobile phone for 3 and a half minutes (but seems like 13 and a half as you watch the clock, and your heart simmers down to resting level.  As you leave, you say to yourself    ” unbelievable” in a sarcastic tone as you count the promises that have been broken between signing up for the gym and today’s disaster.

You will just about want to RIP YOUR OWN FACE OFF.

There is a higher probability you will not return……..and the more often this happens, the less likely you will sign up the following year.


The environment plays a big part in your efforts for success

What would I advise?

If you go to a private/council gym…………..try get a gym buddie.  They will make the crap you face that bit more tolerable!

If you’re not at a gym – look at getting a friend to train outside with you  – or look at a group class (either a circuits class at a gym, or Maximum Metabolism Bootcamp)

If you’re stuck by yourself  – invest in a MP3 player or IPOD – again, you will lose yourself a bit in the music and not be have as affected by the negative atmosphere!



So there you have it. My positive experience at the weekend showed how easy (or hard) it can be to keep making informed decisions, and keeping you on track for success – and not failure.










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