One of the few advantages of being on the road is working out in new gyms -- different equipment makes for different angles on the muscles and keeps you fresh -- never bored using the same equipment day after day.
Never is that so true than when you get to work out in one of the many famous gyms around the world.
When I am in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, for example, I often work out at MetroFlex in Arlington, Texas -- home of Ronnie Coleman (8 time Mr. Olympia winner) and Branch Warren (2nd in last year's Mr. Olympia contest.) It is the definition of "hard core" - old equipment, heavy duty, with a lot custom-fabricated pieces just to handle the monsters who work out there. It's dirty, but motivating.
This weekend I have been able to workout in perhaps the most famous gym in the world -- Gold's in Venice Beach, California. This is the gym where Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, and Franco Columbo, and dozens of others who brought bodybuilding out of the YMCA's and into the spotlight worked out in the 70's. While now at a different location in Venice, California, the vibe is still there and so are hundreds of photos that litter the walls of those who came before. The only photo missing under the "Mr. Olympia" section is Arnold. For some reason I don't know he asked that his picture be removed. His loss.
The gym is huge but relatively crowded in certain areas. Most cool is the "outdoor" area where there is equipment you can use outside in the sunshine -- only in southern California. Unlike the old days, Gold's Venice has not only the professional bodybuilders but regular folks who are fighting the fat battle, and all types in between. The only disturbing site was a few women who apparently had been professional bodybuilders years before but who stayed on the steroids way too long. The look is indescribable, sad, and reminds me why the natural way is way to getting in top physical condition and staying there.
We worked arms, did a half of cardio, and left. The memories will stay fresh for a while.
This morning we switched to Gold's in Redondo Beach near our hotel. I've worked out there many times before. Plenty of equipment but not a great feel, not a positive vibe, and that is what makes gyms different - that something you just can't put your finger on but you know exists. Some feel like home. Others make you feel less than welcome. At each and every one of them you can get serious, get your workout, and create some memories that you won't soon forget.
Train hard; diet harder!