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Is there a disconnect between Gen Z gym-goers and older generations in the gym?

To start, I’m 24 years old so I’m gonna make the assumption that I am one of the younger individuals on this forum. I’ve been working out for 10 years now and most of my experience within the gym was learned from MUCH more experienced gym members, strength coaches from playing hs/college football, and watching YouTube (EliteFTS, IFBB pros, etc).

Something that I’ve always noticed early on is that there’s always been people at whatever gym I workout at that are super friendly or helpful but they are usually +30 in age. I have 3 training partners (1 everyday, 1 a few times a year, and 1 only over the summer because he’s in college out of state) who are all relatively the same age as me but we’ve known each other for years. I’ve always found it funny interacting with people my age or younger in the gym. It usually turns into a dick measuring contest… I’ve had people tell me my physique/lifts don’t count because I take steroids (I’m open about my use if asked). Once I had a kid curse me out because I wouldn’t tell him where to buy gear(personally I think it’s a right of passage to find it yourself, which isn’t very hard). It’s almost like in my generation people are competing against each other to look better than the guy next to them. Obviously not everyone is like that but it is becoming a theme as I’ve become more experienced.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s always the older guys (by old I just mean above my age range) at my gym that are the first people to congratulate you on a big lift, compliment you, etc. I’ve also learned a lot just from taking lil pointers here and there. This question is aimed more at the individuals on this forum who have made the gym apart of their lifestyle and have years of experience but do you ever feel like the gym culture you grew up in is completely different then the gym culture younger generations are experiencing? If so what are the things you like or dislike?

Nice post. I think a few things....The "old guard" guys (35-50) are often now lifting at home gyms or more spread out because there are so many commercial gyms. I had a 36 year old JM blakely, a 38 year old Mike Francois, and multiple 35-45 year old legit bbers in my gym growing up when I was 22. It was competitive, but as you noted...supportive. I literally trained with a 40 year old national competitor and a 50 year old top national level competitor when I was 22. I learned it all.
People like me are now 40-50 (I'm 41) and I don't go to a gym. I train at home. I'd be one of the people helping foster the environment I had...but I don't...because I train at home. That is what a ton of my friends do as well.

The stuff you mentioned just didn't used to happen unless you were training at some random ymca. But here we are...

That said, I'm not doing my part as I noted. I like getting to know people at the gym so it would have been likely I would have started training with random 20 somethings and help be a mentor just like I had...and I'm forever grateful for the guidance I got.

I often think about meeting some of those guys at the gym for friday 7:30pm training sessions. Gosh that was almost 20 years ago for me now...
 
I rarely get bothered about anything at the gym, but I can say that I do notice a big trend in lack of form/technique/range of motion in the younger crowd that comes in in the morning. I often see someone trying to bench 225 lbs. on incline only to watch them not even hit a 90 degree angle with no concept of stretching/contracting the muscle.
 
I had a 36 year old JM blakely, a 38 year old Mike Francois, and multiple 35-45 year old legit bbers in my gym growing up when I was 22. It was competitive, but as you noted...supportive.

The stuff you mentioned just didn't used to happen unless you were training at some random ymca. But here we are...
I’ve always wanted to try the JM Blakely bulking diet for a day, love watching his videos, but that must of been an awesome environment.

I train at a Worlds gym currently, equipment is great, 24/7, and I’ve made some good friends. It’s whenever we go 5pm or later, excessive mirror posing, tripods, not a lot of sets going on. It is what it is, just gotta focus on myself
 
In my opinion, most likely has to do with social media, the reigning open Mr.Olympia has 1.3m followers on insta while the second place classic Mr.Olympia has 5.8m, that’s just absurd but classic visibility is so much higher/wanted in comparison to Open on social media

Social media is a big proponent for sure!

I workout at the same gym as the current Open Mr. Olympia and have known him for a few years even before he won the 212. He is one hell of a nice guy and way younger than me and I still ask him for tips on things from time to time. Our gym is one of those places where there is all sorts of levels of BB’s and I am for sure not one of the ones that competes or gets paid for it. Nick Walker worked out here for a very long time before moving and it was great to see him working out with Derrick and then heckling each other during workouts in a very fun and competitive way.

Wife and I also workout at LA near house at times and at our local base gym and it is surely different environment between the three.
 
I’ve always wanted to try the JM Blakely bulking diet for a day, love watching his videos, but that must of been an awesome environment.

I train at a Worlds gym currently, equipment is great, 24/7, and I’ve made some good friends. It’s whenever we go 5pm or later, excessive mirror posing, tripods, not a lot of sets going on. It is what it is, just gotta focus on myself

He used to have me do one exercise leg workouts (he had major joint issues so was limited) and eat multiple candy bars during the workout and right after. I'd literally eat king size snickers, milky way, etc. while working out. and then pick up a large pizza right after. One time I came to the workout with a dozen krispy kreme and just ate it before/during/after. It was very hard to not throw up.
 
Also I've noticed the 35+ crowd is its almost all dudes. No joke, probably 80%. Where did all the women in the late 20's to 40's go?

I worked as a personal trainer for 14 year and 99% of the time when the girl would land a boyfried she'd quit, fatten back up, repeat the process.
 
I'll be 55 this week, so I definitely fall into the old crowd in the eyes of a 20 something. I was so fortunate to train at a hardcore gym when I joined a gym at age 16 (1985). People trained hard but there was camaraderie! These guys that I looked up to would come over and tell me how to do a certain lift properly or show me a new exercise and I was grateful beyond belief!! I pass that on today. I help the younger guys with form and training. I could never charge for the information because it was given to me for free. I tell these young guys today they're carrying the torch and to pass it on.

I'm not judging anyone, but now people put on their headphones and hoodies and think that any social aspect of the gym isn't hardcore. They have no idea how much camaraderie played a role in training back in the day. People trained hard but threw out jokes and general BS between sets.

Funny story, one of the guys, he's a good kid, was joking around and referred to me as old man. I said, "Old man? Did you just call me old man?" He's 19, and I'm older than his parents...LOL! I said, "What exercise are you doing next?" He said, "Weighted dips." I said, "Ok, let's go and we'll see who's got it." In my mid to late 20's I could do 8 reps with three 45lb plates. I haven't done them in some time, so this was going to be interesting. We used one 45lb plate. The 19 year old got 9 reps. I got 20 reps. Hahahaha! I told him he has a ways to go before throwing old man around or claiming any gym bragging rights!! :LOL:
 
the tiktok generation would not take steroids or even care about bodybuilding one bit without social media.
 
He used to have me do one exercise leg workouts (he had major joint issues so was limited) and eat multiple candy bars during the workout and right after. I'd literally eat king size snickers, milky way, etc. while working out. and then pick up a large pizza right after. One time I came to the workout with a dozen krispy kreme and just ate it before/during/after. It was very hard to not throw up.
Jesus Christ
He used to have me do one exercise leg workouts (he had major joint issues so was limited) and eat multiple candy bars during the workout and right after. I'd literally eat king size snickers, milky way, etc. while working out. and then pick up a large pizza right after. One time I came to the workout with a dozen krispy kreme and just ate it before/during/after. It was very hard to not throw up.
Sounds about right. Lately I’ve been doing a dextrose shake intra-workout and a crumbl cookie post workout along with beef and white rice so I can vaguely relate
 
the tiktok generation would not take steroids or even care about bodybuilding one bit without social media.
Tiktok and social media have definitely glamorized steroids. Lately I’ve seen a lot of accounts documenting their steroid use for views. I’m talking people who have literally just started working out or have less then a year in the gym
 
Tiktok and social media have definitely glamorized steroids. Lately I’ve seen a lot of accounts documenting their steroid use for views. I’m talking people who have literally just started working out or have less then a year in the gym
I guess its a honeymoon phase affect taking place too.

Do you remember making your first initial gains and feeling big? AFTER that, you never feel big again LOL. It's amazing the perception changes that happen over time, initially young people are generally disillusioned about their condition
 
Didn't read replies but imo tripod should be banned from gym. People setting that shit up, recording cute little videos for their tick tock fans...now your taking longer on the equipment other people can't get on it. Wanna creat content for teeniboppers great...get a home gym knock yourself out
 
My first gym was a YMCA in 1979... So yup, times have changed. Leaky pipes and roof, only barbells, dumbbells, benches.
(No machines at all)...

With the whole social-media thing, I think it's bizarre, and can barely stand being in modern gyms. (But thats just me).
(Kids w/ no muscle and broccoli heads, posing, etc). I do go at 5:30 AM so I miss most of the shenanigans I hear about.
 
Didn't read replies but imo tripod should be banned from gym. People setting that shit up, recording cute little videos for their tick tock fans...now your taking longer on the equipment other people can't get on it. Wanna creat content for teeniboppers great...get a home gym knock yourself out
🙄man take the stick out of your ass... a little more slack
 
🙄man take the stick out of your ass... a little more slack
No stick at all. People are busy... time is more valuable than money..can always make more money but not time. I view the gym as a place to train.. whatever someone's physique goals are...not a place to fuck around for hours.. which is what many do
 
No stick at all. People are busy... time is more valuable than money..can always make more money but not time. I view the gym as a place to train.. whatever someone's physique goals are...not a place to fuck around for hours.. which is what many do
these are public gyms and you have to accept the fact that most people don't come to train but "pretend to do something", talk to someone, etc. I also don't like it when someone blocks the equipment but I accept it because I have to - one day this will definitely be my goal opening his little private gym just for me
 
No stick at all. People are busy... time is more valuable than money..can always make more money but not time. I view the gym as a place to train.. whatever someone's physique goals are...not a place to fuck around for hours.. which is what many do
Switch gyms. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your workout or life it shouldn’t matter.

I don’t carry around a tri-pod, but kudos to these kids for having the balls to post their lifts online and keep themselves accountable. More than most guys can say on here. We can’t even get pics out of members. 😂

I train at a gym that restricts all cell phone usage to the lobby only. And they enforce it. If a pro or national competitor wants a film crew there it has to be scheduled with a release signed.
 
Speaking of which, anyone want to open a gym for influencers with me? Charge an hourly rate on top of the membership? Seems like a cashcow
 
these are public gyms and you have to accept the fact that most people don't come to train but "pretend to do something", talk to someone, etc.

There have always been people who go to socialize, that's fine because they're not at the bar drinking and it's profit for the gym, but I don't think they should be allowed to take up more space than necessary, their bodies and their water bottles. This alone is too much of a nuisance for those who are trying to work.
 
Social media is a big proponent for sure!

I workout at the same gym as the current Open Mr. Olympia and have known him for a few years even before he won the 212. He is one hell of a nice guy and way younger than me and I still ask him for tips on things from time to time. Our gym is one of those places where there is all sorts of levels of BB’s and I am for sure not one of the ones that competes or gets paid for it. Nick Walker worked out here for a very long time before moving and it was great to see him working out with Derrick and then heckling each other during workouts in a very fun and competitive way.

Wife and I also workout at LA near house at times and at our local base gym and it is surely different environment between the three.
LA are always good gyms, I was a district manager for a while and was grossing 40k monthly in PT sales in SD, met the CEO wife MISHU WELSH in lake forest OC at an elite meeting :) I saw her walk into my gym under cover, and fire almost an entire staff, tiny lil jap lady
 

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