The gym represents a multitude of purposes depending upon who you speak with. It is a place of solitude for some, a measure of one’s worth for others and for many, the gym represents a reprieve from their ordinary life. What you look for within the confines of the iron world is unique to you. There will be other like-minded warriors who push their limits and test their fortitude under bending bars and there will of course be those who simply want to escape for an hour or two and lose themselves in the physicality of it all. Regardless of what your definition of the gym is, there are certain commonalities that we all need from our gyms whether we are aware of them or not. When you’re a dedicated lifter, you’ve seen it all, experienced the good and the bad, have instinctively prepared an internal list of necessary elements that you must surround yourself with in order to extract the demons within and will settle for nothing less. In no particular order, here’s your list.
Where you train will dictate how you lift. If you want fancy and squeaky clean, then prepare to lift in silence. If getting down and dirty is your thing, then expect to see blood, sweat and tears amongst the piles of iron, rusted out dumbbells and the chalk pits that look like they’ve been through better days. If you want a hybrid of both, then you look for a Kingdom that has it all. You’re going to need high end equipment that has been selected with purpose, pride and distinction. I’m talking about the type of machinery that can and will withstand any and all tests of might placed upon it while providing you with a challenge unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Finally, you’re going to need enough plates to load up the leg press ten times over and if the dumbbells don’t go up to 200lbs, turn around and walk out. These gyms do exist and we’re proof of that.
What’s the air like in your gym? When you walk in can you feel it? Are you welcomed with an overwhelming desire to create havoc and annihilate last week’s training session? Can you smell the work, can you feel the passion, is the atmosphere electric with the fuelling of intensity just brimming at the seams with each Gasp tank top that walks past you. Does the scene in front of you cause you anxiety because you know what you have to do to fit in? Are you prepared to breathe all of this air in or are you better suited elsewhere? These are the questions you must ask yourself and once the answers become clear and second nature to you, then and only then are you ready for the true grit of real training.
As much as lifting is a solitary act in which you have no one else but yourself to rely upon, you don’t have to go at it alone. You can find others like you; they do exist. If you haven’t found them yet you aren’t training in the right place. Those who have dedicated their lives to traveling the iron trail, with all of its peaks, valleys and plateaus, will share a common bond. When you have discovered this and have allowed yourself to open up and accept others who are just like you in, the wonderment of training and mutual respect will take over in abundance and workouts the likes of which you have never experienced will ensue.
The gym must have it all for you to be great. If you’re serious about your training and you have made the epic decision to dedicate your life to an endless road of never truly being satisfied with what you’ve built, then your lifting list will be concise and clearly connected to your goals. Then when you finally begin building your body in your new home, “you lay that first brick as perfectly as you can and do that every single day” until the day comes when you no longer need your lifter’s list.
This is Brickhouse Gym.
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member