Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Adios, Comfort Zone

I've been preaching to my clients since I started training to get out of their comfort zone. "You need to get comfortable being uncomfortable" I would repeat over and over. Start going to the gym more. Eat foods that fuel your body and not your mind. Embrace the suck.

Well, I'm about 700 miles outside of my comfort zone right now. I just made the move from Boston to Cleveland (well, just outside of Cleveland). I made the move to be with Kelsi and I'm thrilled about it. However, I've been in my comfort bubble for about 10 years now. I left behind my family, friends and my training routine.

The nice thing about my lifestyle, though, is that wherever I go I can find a place to lift. 45 pounds is always 45 pounds no matter where I am and the easiest way to meet like-minded individuals is to be in the nice warm confines of a squat rack. 

Oddly, I haven't had to pay for a gym membership in at least 6 years. On day 3 of being here, I went out and bought a month at one of the local gyms that I'd heard quite a bit about: Titans Gym in Mentor, OH. The best way for me to describe it for you Bostonians reading is that it's 95% like Total Performance Sports in Everett, MA. This gym has just about everything a strength aficionado needs (and a ton that they don't need). The first thing I saw when I walked down the stairs to the weight room was a room on the side with a monolift in it. They had Eleiko powerlifting discs in there and just about every specialty bar you could hope for. There's also an EliteFTS GHD and a competition bench. Just tonight I noticed that next to this room is a room full of strongman equipment that I've yet to explore. 

Out on the floor, the first thing I noticed was an over-abundance of selectorized machines. I'd gather that theres probably 60 machines out there, that I personally have no use for. They have 2 sections of traditional selectorized machines and one section of plate loaded Hammer Strength/Nebula machines. In this section there are two machines I adore: a chest supported row, and a t-bar row. They are fantastic back machines, and that's one of the most important things for a weightlifter.

That brings me to my next point: this gym doesn't have shit going on for a weightlifter. This is wildly frustrating, and is something that plagues every lifter out there looking for a place with a platform and some bumpers. (note: if you're looking for a place to train, check out the gym locator at The Strength Agenda). CrossFit gyms are notoriously stingy with their open-gym time, and this area has proved to be no different. It's not the end of the world; I've been getting in a ton of squatting and overhead work and will be focusing on improving strength numbers until I have a place to consistently train my competition lifts. 

The really interesting thing to me is the population of this gym. The bulk of my training for the last 5 years has happened in 4 places: my old commercial gym, CrossFit Resilience, Risto Sports and Boston University Strength and Conditioning. I knew what to expect in these places, and was admittedly a little sheltered to what much of the gym world was like. Even in the commercial gym I spent almost 6 years in, things didn't get too bad.

In Titans, I've seen both ends of the spectrum: some really great lifting, and some awful bro-science shit that made me want to punch myself. I've seen a ton of awful deadlifts from High School kids (but they were still deadlifting), I've seen the same guys reverse-grip benching 95 pounds, and I've seen quarter squats galore. But I also squatted next to some regular guys squatting 425x3 with legit depth tonight, and seen some massive guys who train strongman move some serious poundage. I've also seen some pretty massive dudes who, while I won't call them bodybuilders, have clearly spent their fair share of time in the gym getting hyooge.

With that being said, this gym definitely has an emphasis on bodybuilding amongst the general membership; which isn't intrinsically a bad thing, it's just not my cup of tea.

All in all, it's a really good gym. With a few minor tweaks it'd be amazing;  but I guess you can't have it all. I've got to finish my month there but in the meantime hopefully I'll be able to find a place that better suits my needs.

Have a great day and go lift something heavy!

No comments:

Post a Comment