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I have been fairly quiet the past few months, meaning anything you have seen online from me is tied to the ever evolving life I am building AROUND my training, not letting my entire existence be defined by my training.
But what that has done, is prevent me from sharing ideas that I haven’t tested. I have been doing the work. I train every single day, many workouts have made little to no sense on paper, but they feel like they have been the best in reality. I have been delving into my past and contacting old training partners, and having them rehash some old stories with me. I believe that I have trained with some very incredible people, many that preceded the Internet in there lifting greatness.
There were several gyms that we came to know as “THE GYM” in my town. you had Sipple’s in the early to mid 80’s, then Total Fitness, then Powerhouse, then Total Fitness, then Richmond Athletic Center, then Total Fitness. The gym may have changed over and over, but in this small town of 10,000-15,000 (thats a stretch) people you could walk into these gyms and see routinely 400, and 500 lbs bench presses, 400, 500, and 600 pound squats for reps, buried ass to grass, wearing a Wal-Mart lifting belt, deadlifts for 500, 600, for reps, and the occassional 700 lbs single.
How did this happen? Most of this was done, prior to the internet explosion, prior to anyone knowing what the hell “pelvic tilt” was, and most of these guys looked like in shape bodybuilders. Well, as one guy put it “we were too stupid not to get better.” These guys didn’t have a million resources to pull from, and they most certainly didnt have the latest and greatest training knowledge. Sound familiar? I quit listening to all that was being put out and just reinvented my relationship with the iron. I stopped allowing myself to see myself as an “expert” and started back doing what built my desire in the first place. I worked hard, and i built progression into each workout from the last. Simple. What they had, that I proudly tout as my own gifts, was heart, drive, and pride.
I remember on numerous occassions seeing a training partner of mine bench 315 for 25 reps on say a Tuesday, someone would come in running their mouth about how they could beat it, and he’d lay down cold and do his best, and my partner would also lay down cold and rep out 27, or 28.
I remember one time our workout was “Hack Squats for an hour”. We just hammered rep after body and mind numbing rep for an hour. Does this fit into any book of methods? Or reason? No. But, you know what it does accomplish? One, I think it built a tremendous base of muscle and strength in my body. Two, it removes your “quit button”. You know the guy you see in the gym that has some reason to quit during workouts? EVERYTIME? I wouldn’t have been allowed back in the gym had I quit.
So what the hell happened? My gym experience mirrors life. Kids now are increasingly disconnected from physical effort. I watched two of the best state football teams last fall, and aside from a couple of standouts, the rest looked they don’t know Muscle or efforts address. The majority of young lifters that I talk to online want huge results with minimal effort. Parents have allowed their kids to be weak, and they expect them to succeed in this life? Anyway without further rambling keep checking back, as I will be reviving my gym past through guys I used to train with, and I am sure some of the stories will inspire you, cause disbelief, and probably make you wish you had trained harder, but that’s the point.