Does it matter where you train? Is it possible that your environment changes how you train? Before some recent events I would not have thought so, but my mind is now made up.
During my initial bodybuilding contest preparation cycle I trained 3 times a week at Metroflex Long Beach. I did all my cardio exercise at 24 Hour Fitness. I really gave the environment very little thought. Due to issues getting to Metroflex on a regular basis I focused all my training mostly at 24 Hour Fitness. Occasionally I would train at Gold's Gym in Venice, California (“The Mecca”). Recently I went back to hitting Metroflex Long Beach 2 times a week (3 if I am lucky) and I found out some interesting things.
When you train at a gym where everyone is serious it pushes you harder. Your motivational level will peak. You will accomplish lifts you never thought possible. There is just something about who you surround yourself with that changes your entire workout. As an example, I have been doing my current split at 24 Hour Fitness for several weeks now. I went into Metroflex Long Beach and hit my shoulder workout. I finished it faster than normal but with 3 times the intensity. Just having a bunch of competitors around me pushed me harder. At first it was a little intimidating, but I did my thing and all was good.
When I trained at Gold's Gym in Venice I was surrounded by IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. Watching how they trained taught me a lot. It also inspired me to train even harder. These guys are so impressive when you stand next to them or watch them lift. I found it completely amazing.
I get irritated easily when people are not courteous. To me courtesy doesn't cost a thing so why not have some? When you train with people who are serious they allow you to work in on equipment with them, they offer to spot you and they help push you harder than you can push yourself. This makes training a dream. Sometimes we avoid the gym because of the BS that goes on there, but with serious people around us we actually enjoy training more.
Bodybuilding is a sport where you compete against yourself, but when you see others making major gains it pushes you to do the same. Hard work becomes easier because of others around you.
I have concluded that where you train truly matters. It makes a huge difference in the gains you make.