3 Things I Learned From The Gym.

a40958112cb69149d799060bd2d1554eI’ve been going to the gym regularly for some 15 years. From childhood through now, I’ve spent something like 4,500 hours working out. It’s a lot of time. And in that time, there’s a few things that I’ve learned.


Next time you go to the gym, take a look around you at the people exercising. You’ll likely see a full spectrum of effort. At one end of the spectrum, you’ll see people chatting with friends or texting on their phones. At the other end, you’ll see people engaged in a balls-to-the-wall workout giving 100 percent.

The golden rule of exercise is that you will always get out of your workout what you put into your workout. There’s no magic to it. And in this sense, it’s very easy to see who is expecting real results from their workout. It’s those people that are challenging themselves and pushing their limits.

The question becomes: Where do you fall on that spectrum?


It’s easy to become competitive, especially at the gym. But comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game to play. It’s a recipe for disappointment, frustration and even injury. The reality is, unless you’re a professional power lifter, there’s probably always going to be someone stronger than you at the gym.

And that’s okay.

Rather than compare yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself. Rather than lifting more than the guy next to you, lift more than you did last week. This helps ensure that you’re lifting the amount of weight you should be lifting, rather than the amount of weight you wish you could lift.

Everyone is at different places on their fitness journey. Respect where they’re at - and respect where you’re at.


Going to the gym is a big and important step. But showing up isn’t enough. And though giving 100 percent is crucial, there’s more to it.

Your workout also needs to be smart. Every repetition of every set of every exercise needs to be tied to a master plan. You need to have a strategy. I can’t stress this point enough.

Whatever result you want, there is a specific strategy or strategies for achieving that result. It might mean lifting heavy weights at low reps. Or doing high intensity intervals. Or lifting light at high reps, and so on. Look at the decades of scientifically valid research and educate yourself on exercise. Put knowledge to work for you.

In the comments below, share what you’ve learned from working out!

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Well, first of all I’m losing weight (lost 85lbs so far) and working out to gain muscle and burn fat. That said, gym is both a beneficial yet hostile environment. On the one hand, you develop endurance and strength together with muscle tone and self-confidence, while on the other you’re under public scrutiny. What have Iearned so far? Focus. You’re your own focus, therefore you’re your only competitor. If you let others put you down, you’ll crash down -no doubt about it. Discipline is also part of the pack, so all in all, you do become more responsible for yourself.

  2. I used to never think I’d be a fan of the gym. I grew up playing sports but hated all of the exercise outside of the actual game elements (i.e. unless a ball was in play, I didn’t care). If it wasn’t for a friend of mine inviting me to start going to the gym with him five days a week, I never would’ve gotten into it. He showed me the ropes and opened my eyes to all of the wonderful benefits of making consistent trips to the gym. But of all these benefits, I’d say added confidence in myself is #1.

    If you’re finding yourself struggling with your gym relationship (hah that sounds funny but it totally is a relationship), you might want to try the buddy system. I recently wrote a little bit about this topic - check it out if you’d like more information! http://www.gymandtoniclife.com