What is different about my gym, is the second question I would like to answer in this series of articles. This question makes me laugh when I hear it. You would laugh too if you have ever been down to The Iron Empire Dungeon. This gym is the very last of its kind in the area. I have to admit that if you are not truly serious about your training, this place will not be for you.
The words “hard core” or “old school” get thrown around a lot. Sometimes correctly, other times not so much. I believe that our gym meets and maybe exceeds these terms. Here on Long Island especially, it surely takes the last of the true warrior type athletes to lift with us. We even had some of the biggest names in Powerlifting on LI pass on The Empire.
It seems that not having heat in the winter or AC in the summer may have been a bit too much for these big time lifters. I think those that train here come to appreciate the hard core atmosphere and training. If not, maybe it is the results that they know they can’t achieve anywhere else that keeps them coming back. One thing for sure; they are not sticking around to flirt with the girls!
There certainly is not much about the gym that is very fancy. We have plenty of steel and lots of bars. Some of them are custom and you probably have never seen the likes of them before. There are plenty of odd things to lift and carry.
The center of the gym is left open to drag or push sleds around. Or it could be used for other exercises that greatly help increase athletic performance. Some power racks, benches, a wrestling mat, chains, bands, and a few machines that get a specific job done pretty much sums up the bulk of it.
It puts a smile on my face when I think that a Strongman from 50 or maybe even a 100 years ago would be right at home training with us. If you ask the kids they might even say he’d recognize the music. He certainly would be able to get a workout in.
Louie Simmons once said something to the effect that it is not the facility or even the equipment that makes his gym Westside Barbell excel. While I think we would both agree that it helps having some great equipment, we both know that men have gotten very strong with almost nothing to work with.
So what is it that truly makes a gym different? I will talk about the things that I feel are most important in part III. I want to thank all who have supported and continue to support my efforts! It would not be possible to run this gym without these good people spreading the word and recommending their friends, neighbors and teammates. Till next time, Coach Ellinger