Can you train at multiple gyms and still make progress?

Can you train at multiple gyms and still make progress?

Can you train at multiple gyms and still make progress?

This question is important for those that are training with progressive overload, periodization, powerlifting, strongman, etc. This may not be as important for your weekend warriors out there or anyone that is just looking to lose some weight.

The answer to the question is YES it’s OK to change gyms.

The negatives and positives are listed below:

… positives

⤴️ changing gyms up can bring new motivation and excitement into a stagnant routine
⤴️ being able to experiment with new equipment can be a positive if you find it works well for your body
⤴️ you can always learn new things about yourself in different atmospheres and you can potentially find a new permanent gym by trying out local gyms

… negatives

⤵️ it’s much harder to be precise with progressive overload
⤵️ if you are pre-planned to use a certain piece of equipment but the new gym that you go to does not have that same piece.
⤵️ much harder to stay on your prescribed reps in reserve (RIR) or RPE sometimes when you go to new gyms the excitement of the new atmosphere and equipment leads you to overdo that daily session
⤵️ you may not be able to train what you needed to for that day

…Practical take home…

Training at different gyms is something that you should pre-plan and, if you travel for work often you should program your training sessions to have more barbell and dumbbell work, not that fancy chest machine that only your gym has.

A big thing to keep in mind is that your muscles do not know how much weight is on the machine, they only know the total load/resistance that is being supplied to the muscle.

This is where you can use RIR. Let’s say you have a push day planned with a barbell bench press at 3 RIR, but you go to a gym that does not have a barbell bench press set up, instead, they have a machine you can just do the same amount of reps at the same RIR, and achieve a similar stimulus (more advanced but you can go off of the total pump, fatigue, etc. to gauge if you would wanna do more sets with that particular exercise to achieve the same stimulus)