When I was 18 to almost 21, I thought that weights were the key ingredient to build muscle and burn off fat. I could barely do a push-up yet I was strong in quite bit in the weights. After my accident and learning about Bodyweight Exercises, I found out I didn't really need the gym anymore. When I did it was extremely rare maybe a couple times a year and the most frequent time I did go back was when I was working at Gold's doing maintenance. Crap job but I got a free membership so what the hell.
Didn't work out too well (pun intended) and the universe was telling me I didn't need to be there and find my own path. The only time I really ever do some form of machine or barbell/dumbbell, is when I visit family and go to the gym with my dad while he uses the elliptical. I test out my strength and at this gym, there isn't enough weight for me to do what I want to do and I'm afraid of the rules there because basically its there for two reasons; for a few trainers and college kids to get in some of exercise and for much older folks that take up all the machines. Another time is a one day thing in Tahoe with my sisters and I use as much weight as I can get my hands on cause quite frankly I go nuts about my strength.
When I really put in my efforts to be more observant and pay attention to things around me; the gym is basically nothing more than a place for young tinny boppers who want to show off their ass in shorts that resemble boxers, guys who think they're the shit by thinking that they have muscles and showing them off yet have no real strength whatsoever. Also notice very rarely anyone does some level of heavy lifting and basically use no more than 20 lb. dumbbells and think they're going to get strong. For me, too many egos, no real motivation to get any better and the trainers from my point of view are downright shitty and it boggles my mind that they get paid for crap they probably got out of a damn manual. There's really no creativity, just the same type of routines flown around and believing what they're doing is really progress. Not all of them are like that but I'm very intuitive and rarely ever wrong when it comes to things like this.
The atmosphere is not forte anymore and it becomes too cramped up and no room for me to do what I really want to do. I'm no where near the level of a germaphobe but there is still a line that I draw on and it can get very disgusting even for my own taste. I can't stand the long workouts, they're boring, un-motivating and because you wait at times for so damn long you're not even getting to do something you need to be doing. Its a waste of money when 75% of the time many don't even go and just let that money go down the drain in a horrific way.
The only real way I'll ever train at a gym is if I'm with friends and they're giving me a reason to bust my ass in there. I don't like much of the music cause its too varied and most of the time for me its very distracting. Besides why be in a building with a bunch of people you'll never really see again and just go through the motions. Another way I'll do it is testing my strength and for all intents and purposes, I'm very strong without needing a barbell or dumbbell let alone a crap machine somebody forgot to wipe down. I'm able to train anywhere I choose, develop strength skills that gyms don't have the right equipment for and the only I pay for training wise is the equipment I want to use and the courses I learn from. Saved so much by not doing the gym thing and I'm happy for it. Gyms are just a building with a bunch of unneeded equipment and most mainstream gyms have too many rules and will even throw you out for being fit.
Be smart about where you train and what you want to use. Build your own gym in your garage, backyard or frontyard for that matter and have the freedom to do whenever you feel like it.