You know it’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That is a lot of words. I felt like writing this because sadly many are losing touch. Take a second and look at these photographs. The first one is at Muscle Beach in Venice, California.
What does this photograph say to you? I know what what it says to me. Fresh air, muscles burning under iron and working hard amongst good ole pals. Laughing in between sets at the joke of the day. It is a family out there, an iron family. Some days you don’t want to show, but you have to because you know your pals are going to bring their "A" game. Pick me up! Is a saying in sports when you need help and one of your teammates swoops in like powerful eagle and bails you out. Yeah that is the idea. Other days you will be seething with intensity and you will be the eagle and pick up your buddy who is stale. Notice how he has an attentive spotter and people cheering him on. This is the unspoken stuff that leads to results. Compare this scene to the guy who is wearing headphones and trying to bench press alone. When it comes to that last vital rep, the rep that means results or no results, he will quickly cop out. The guy (pictured above) with his spotter and friends yelling at him will find that extra push and make it happen. This is the difference. The magic. Everyone involved gets a powerful jolt of motivation. It is a joy playing your part and being involved when you see one of your friends struggle and grind through that final gut busting rep. Everyone wins. Who’s up next!
The second picture is at the original Gold’s Gym in Venice.
Back in the 70’s, things were quite different. Sadly, I wasn’t alive yet to experience it. That doesn’t mean I can’t recreate and relive the feeling. Notice the equipment: Racks, Barbells, Dumbbells, Dip & Chin Bars, and basic cable apparatuses. Pictured were some of the physique superstars of that day and age: Arnold, Dave Draper, etc. Notice again how the buddy is cheering on the worker. Are there TV’s? Nope. Fancy machines with elaborate paint jobs? Don’t see any. All I see is honest hard work. People working as a unit to push each other to the limits of their genetic potential. Now, really stare and absorb these pictures. Think about the dynamic results these guys and gals earned. A major misconception is that men’s and women’s training should be vastly different. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many women think that they should get on a cardio machine and watch the attached television. Other ladies think they should do a little resistance training with light weight for high reps only to avoid looking “manly.” What a bunch of hogwash. I’ve witnessed countless women in our gym of all ages and backgrounds drastically change their physique for the better by doing hard, basic weight training and eating right. It is really that simple. In my opinion, men and women both need to train heavy for a period of time. Then take a period of time to work in a little higher rep ranges. Obviously they should also stay away from the goofy stuff that will eventually get you injured. Actually avoid it like the bubonic plague. Personally, when I design a block of programming I like to focus on one goal for a period of time (stronger, muscle development, leaning out, etc). Trying to accomplish all at the same time is foolish. Chase two rabbits catch neither. Want to lean out? Focus on leaning out by eating a little less everyday. Want to gain muscle? Eat a little more and hit the weights really hard. Truly, it is that simple. The trouble is that the internet, magazines, inexperienced “fitness people,” etc like to use deception and create confusion. This usually leads into the purchasing of some miracle powder, workout routine, trying the newest and best workout ever, or name anything else goofy that doesn't work that people will quickly sucker for.
That is why I love these pictures. Sure I can write an excellent program for someone or a group. However, the magic is in keeping it simple, eating right and working with a group of like-minded pals. That is truly the long lost gym. The Pals. Today, you walk into these massive department store looking gyms and they are missing that magic. These “gyms” are too concerned with their TVs, Saunas, Cardio Machines, Spa (that is an interesting one let me tell you), how to keep kids entertained, etc and they are missing the whole point of their existence. Gyms like the ones pictured were created as a place you show up at, work hard, have some fun with buddies, and most importantly obtain dynamic results. Your results should be all that matter. Go to the gym to watch TV? Does that even make a bit of sense? I don’t know about you, but when I am gritting my teeth to power through a brutal last rep of a heavy squat, I could give a rat’s ass about what Dr. Phil thinks about global warming. Comfort and results are like oil and water. If you want to feel like your in a flower shop at a perfect 70 degrees and sipping on chilled water, watching TV, and thinking that aimlessly trotting along on a treadmill and doing a few haphazard sets on shiny machines is a real gym experience, you have such a life-changing opportunity in your hands! If you can change your mindset and your surroundings to be results oriented, then you will receive the results you've always desired. Most of the time at these giant department store gyms people wander in with headphones in and aimlessly go from machine to machine. If they feel insecure or frightened they will go into the forest of cardio machines and pick their new ride for the day. Push a random button and start “exercising.” How lame is that?! No wonder most quit after just a few weeks.
This is why I absolutely love our gym. Look at these pictures below. Notice anything? Forty plus years may have past, but the heart is still beating strong. The heart of a true, honest iron gym. Same equipment, same pals, same gut-busting hard work, and most importantly, results. Our place is a refuge against such a “ME, ME, ME” focused world. Go outside and walk around. People are taking selfies, endlessly staring at their phones, looking at facebook hoping they got another like. In such a self-absorbed world, I am grateful for a place where people are happy to help others win. People who are happy to small talk and laugh. Don’t get me wrong when it is time to work, all jokes are set aside, and we know how to work very hard. We win as a team everyday when somebody betters themselves. It is truly music to my ears when I here a loyal member say, “I was going to skip today, but I couldn't because I knew you guys would be here.” That’s the magic. Dig in.