Only several blocks from the plasma-TV filled, Brittney Spears blasting, packed-to-the-gills-at-5pm Gold’s Gym that I’m currently a member of (and not to take away from Gold’s, because it definitely has its place), lies a little gem in the rough… uh, extreme, rough.
It’s fittingly named The Weight Room, and there are no frills, no polo’d personal trainers with clipboards meandering around rearranging stability balls for the 80th time, and if you tried to play Brittney Spears I’m pretty sure your iPod won’t make it out alive.
Believe me, this place isn’t for everyone, but then again I don’t think they want everyone working out here. It’s a small, serious gym, that attracts big, serious lifters… and me, evidently.
I went there this past Saturday to lift with my friend Chris, because they have all of the strongman implements (atlas stones, log, yoke, farmers, etc.) that a wannabe strongman could desire. According to Chris the gym was “packed” at a ungodly 5, that’s right five, other people there. Now granted, the gym isn’t very big, but believe me the 5 people in there weren’t a problem, and we didn’t wait for anything.
In fact, it’s kind of nice lifting in a small niche gym, because it forces you to get to know some people… Well, maybe not force, but you’d look like a real jerk if you didn’t at least say “hello” to the 1 or 2 other people that are in there with you… and the handful of people I’ve met there are 10x friendlier and more willing to help you out than anybody I’ve met in my years of lifting at a commercial gym. The owner, Chris Lawyer, is probably one of the nicest people you ever meet. I know that term is thrown around loosely by pretty much everyone, but seriously, sit down and talk with the guy for while and you’ll see what I mean.
Also, want to give a shout out and thanks to Joey Tedrow and Danny Clingenpool, a couple of stongman veterans that were kind enough to give Chris and myself some pointers on how to not kill ourselves while doing the different lifts.
Joey putting on a clinic... show off.
So how’d I do?
Well, not too bad, but there’s considerable room for improvement as well. I’m still stalling at 165 on the log press, but I’m fairly certain that it’s more of a technique issue than anything else.
This is how it's done
My yoke walk I maxed out around 445lbs, which I’m not unhappy with, but I almost lost a limb doing it. My right leg caved at one point and I had to drop the frame and regroup for a minute.
Chris raging on a 260lb atlas stone
On the Atlas stones… oh man, the atlas stones. I was all excited about the stones, and feeling pretty confident, but the platform at TWR is much higher than the one I used at Brute Strength, and boy did that make a difference. At 52” or so, getting the stone up on that sucker was more than a little bit of a struggle. I managed to do 215lbs 3 times, but it got uglier, and uglier every rep. No worries, just means I’ve got more work ahead of me.
After a solid 2 ½ hours at The Weight Room, we shot on over to another little ghettofabulous establishment, known as The Dairy Bar. As we were walking up, there was a guy out front chaining up the tables on the deck.
“Are you guys closed?”
I guess they were battening down the hatches in preparation for a flashmob robbery or something. Anyway, though in the ghetto, the food was awesome…. and a complete and utter Paleo fail, but after almost 3 hours in the gym I think I earned a few carbs.
Moral of the story? I think I may have found a new home for the near future (both gym and dairy barn).