Saturday, February 4, 2023


I first put my hands on a set of weights at the age of 15 doing basic weight training downstairs in the cellar of my parents’ home and then relocating to the back-patio area during summer vacations from school.  I put a lot of miles on the 110lb. plastic coated and cement filled weight set and weight bench rated at about a 300lb capacity.  Ultimately, I replaced this with a 110lb. York steel barbell set and recall getting an EZ curl bar for Christmas one year.  I grew up in a very small town with no gym and no means of transportation to travel to even the nearest one.  Nope, home gym training was how it all began for me.

Taking an immediate interest in weight training, my home gym venue continued for a number of years until I first joined a commercial gym in my late 20’s.  With a few more resources available, I still focused on the basic exercises with the occasional fluff added in.  However, during this time, I did not know what I was missing.  Over the years, it seemed like the commercial gym route was the most feasible as my life schedule changed.  However, once the COVID-19 hit, my gym at the time went out of business.  Little did I know that my commercial gym days were behind me.  It was back to the way it all began for me.

Initially disappointed as I enjoyed the spacious area of the gym that allowed me to do more functional exercises; farmer carries, sled pushes/pulls and sandbag carries, I had a Plan B in the works for those times when I could not get to the gym before it closed as I’ve always been a late evening person for training.  Back home, I had an Olympic weight set, a few dumbbells and would periodically make a few purchases of different implements that I became curious about as a result of reading more about functional training.  It was during this time, that my old school training interest really took off and continues to build.  I love the nostalgia of how the old timers trained with basic functional movements.  With that, my arsenal of resources has multiplied enormously which has resulted in my current training venue.

Being a big believer that “without your health nothing else matters”, and continuing to train all natural and having just turned 57, I have set up shop in my garage gym.  With dimensions of 11’W x 20’L and 14’H ceiling, I’m in my place of solace.  Opening and closing hours are strictly at my discretion.  Filled with atlas stones, natural stones, anvils, kegs, sandbags, bumper plates, horse stall mats and miscellaneous implements, I have everything I need.  The investment has been well worth it.  It has become my self-insured health plan.

After 42 years of training and seeing various commercial gyms over the years, garage gym training is where its at today.  The garage gym has allowed me a venue to do many functional movements with implements that are hard to find elsewhere.  I’ve learned a lot about the old-time strongmen and other iconic figures and how they used to train and have parlayed that into my own new approach.

I’ve always looked forward to my next workout, but now I can’t wait to open and raise that garage door!

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Vintage Bodybuilding Literature

Vintage Bodybuilding Literature
Oldtime Strongman Books

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