We often stand helpless against the swift changes in every aspect of the culture in our constantly value-challenging, progressively innovative modern world. We cannot stand still in the middle of the fast lane of global trends, technological development, the ever-growing search for a greater business profitability and finally the evolution of the collective mindset – influenced by all of that and much more. Now, this is not about embracing a fixed one-dimensional approach to the situation and not appreciating the benefits that a change of old ways will most certainly bring. It’s more like living with this bugging feeling that some of the most sacred parts of our lives are being violated, taken away from us and rebranded as cheap products for mass consumption. And the metamorphosis of the classic gym made for serious bodybuilding into a popular chain of fancy places where people go to stretch in branded clothing is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to victims of this powerful trend.
Let’s think about it. The basic gym was invented as a place where you come to work your ass off, period. The only offered way to do that was through hard, continuous, no-excuses kind of training, while getting a kick out of the intense fight against your body and mind, motivated by that moment of pure power when you succeed at the seemingly impossible and realize you are the master of yourself. It was a place to work at the strengthening of your body and the strengthening of your willpower at the same time. And the long-term reward – an insanely strong and chiseled body and a deep-rooted feeling of self-confidence and pride – is something absolutely worth all the sweat and blood.
Yeah, the basic gym was meant for people dedicated to transforming their bodies into the best works of art possible. It had the equipment you couldn’t afford to have at home and even better, it offered a sense of belonging to a small but closely connected community of people with similar struggles and goals. Sure, it wasn’t the most popular place to be, just like bodybuilding back then was not the most popular thing to do with your time. But it was personal. It was a way of living.
Today we have the huge, comfortable modern gym filled with cheap equipment and mostly full of people who periodically work out either because they think they are supposed to do that, wearing flashy clothes and checking their facebook in between sets, or as a way to wash off their guilt for consuming all that junk food and not taking any general care of their bodies and spirits. And sometimes, gym workout is being used as a method for instant elimination of the anxiety for being lazy and weak-minded in all other areas of life. It all makes sense, since the modern gym is nothing but a feel-good establishment that supports the trend of shallow obsessiveness about your physique, without any regards to the real bodybuilding philosophy and its values. Most definitely, that’s really beneficial for a part of the gym-going population. But our concern is that the people who are truly interested in bodybuilding are getting kind of lost in these changing surroundings. Eventually disappearing, perhaps. Today, we tend to care about discovering the easiest ways to do things – we want to get the best results using the least amount of effort possible, while gulping down an increasing variety of expensive supplements – which leads to slow degradation of the gym culture.
So, if you’re not happy at your regular gym, do some research and find a more serious gym that will suit your needs. Thankfully, there are still plenty of them around, but they need a membership of people who are really passionate about bodybuilding because their world is slowly dying out, swallowed by the fast-growing corporations. And finally, don’t forget: keep training hard and heavy and become the best version of yourself because the attitude of never giving up on your ideals is what keeps the genuine gym culture alive.