1. The morons who stand there with a blank stare and watch you lift.
I don't know how much of this you guys get. But compared to people my age I have much greater amounts of muscle mass. At my school it turns into an instant show when I walk in the fitness center. People stand or sit there and watch me lift. Then after I'm done come over and talk to me or go back to what they are doing until I lift again. Very annoying.
I get this, but not for my size. In my gym, hardly anyone deadlifts, or squats. those that do, do it wrong. And for the bigger, more experienced guys, their generally too unsure about squats from all the hype and contradictions that they try and be on the safe side and go no more than quarter the way down, and their too unsure of deadlifts due to all the crap about back pain that they just don't do them.
So if you go into my gym and deadlift, squat deep, or front squat, you get stares. When you go heavy on either, you get an audience.
It's actually an important point to note with regards to 'training atmosphere' - in my gym, if you deadlift 350lbs, your considered extremely strong. If you go into a PL gym, and deadlift 350, you'll be among the weakest in the place.
Recently I done doubles 410-420Lbs (190kg), no gear or belt, at a b/w of 160-165 at the moment. I don't know my max because I've not got to it yet, i've only came back on to deadlifting (4weeks ago) after a knee injury.
anyway, i get far too much attention for it. When I go to the local PL club, it's 'decent / respectable'. Far from anything special. I'm the lightest in the club by a mile, though, but even on a pound for pound, it's a 'decent' lift, and no more.
Commercial gyms suck. If I only ever trained at the commercial gym, I would probably mentally limit myself, which happens when you think your better than you actually are.
First time I trained in the PL club, for example, my previous best was a triple at 330lbs. I went in the club and was stunned at what I saw. DL's of 500lbs being executed like it was speed work. Since my weakest point of the lift was off the floor, I was DLing from a 2-3 inch deficit (making it harder / increased ROM), and pulled 350 for a double. This was the day after my typical DL day, I only intended on speaking to the owner etc to see about joining, but they wanted to see my technique and also suggested lifting from the deficit. I couldn't resist. Despite my back, a$$ and legs being zapped, I blasted a PR... And I put it 100% down to the atmosphere...
(i know the rant was kind of off topic...but it just came out)
To save my off-topicness...
Things that annoy me,
1. The atmosphere in a commercial gym.
2. The standards in a commercial gym
3. Commercial gyms in general.
4. The fact that, for now, I can't avoid training in a commercial gym!