Back when I started to lift weights, I also took up climbing as a way to work out different muscles, and as a way to use said muscles I work out at the gym and climbing will keep me toned and doing it regularly will keep me from getting too big too fast. Now that last part sounds a little odd, but I was seriously scared I would swell up to an unbelievable size very quickly if I weren't somehow making use of the muscles I was building. And even more odd is that I don't seem to really care about how much bigger I am going to get anymore.
So with that said, I bought a membership at Hoosier Heights in Bloomington and would alternate climbing and lifting days. At this time, I didn't like leg workouts at all so I would very rarely do them and you can imagine how much I overworked my upper body. I absolutely loved my overall workout routine as it kept me from getting bored, I got to meet new people, and I got to face my fear of heights head on.
As far as climbing gyms go, Hoosier Heights has been, by far, my favorite one. They have a huge bouldering room, 50 foot ceilings in their top rope room, and a very nice grade on the lead rope wall. In there, I could dick around for hours on end and it didn't even matter how much or little effort I put into actually following the tapes routes I would always walk away exercised. It was awesome. It was there where I learned that even I can get pumped muscles regularly. Within a couple hours I would get jacked and just stay that way for a while. Loved it. But on the rope and the instant pump halfway up a wall never felt good and seriously hindered my progress.
I eventually became able to climb the 50 walls with no problem, though this was largely dependent on who belayed me. With someone near my size or larger and was attentive, I knew I would be in good hands. There were times where I had a female friend belay me and I would only go about two thirds of the way up and then climb back down because she just would not pay attention. I would belay a dude who routinely slipped and fell on his way up so I had to stay on top of it the whole way. He seemed really stressful to belay.
I made a bunch of friends there and introduced a dude to climbing who in turn made it his life. He shoots videos, judges, participates, you name it. I gave this guy a direction.
After I graduated college, I moved about two miles from a climbing gym and find myself just not going. They are designed to be for beginners so most of their routes are just too easy. In addition, they only have 19 foot walls and they have the gri-gris anchored to the floor and they don't want anything attached to the belayer, which is just not how I learned. And the crowd is completely different. People at this gym don't talk to each other. There's no sense of community. The place is alright just to get a change up to my routine but I just don't care for it.
The last time I went was about nine months ago and I've put on twenty pounds of muscle since my heyday of climbing a lot which really makes a difference when go to climb. I stopped lifting to help the muscles needed to climb and just started lifting for size which ironically threw me down to beginner climbing level. And so it goes.