Lessons From Brooklyn

I began my serious weight training and education at R&J Health Studio in Brooklyn.  R&J was made famous by all the incredible bodybuilders who called R&J home, including my good friends Dennis Tinerino, Jerry Brainum and Lou Ferrigno.  Scenes from the movie Pumping Iron were filmed there documenting Lou’s preparations for his clash with Arnold in Pretoria South Africa.  This was the golden age of bodybuilding and what attracted me to this hard core dungeon of a gym.  Several years after joining, I ended up buying R&J.

Gyms like R&J were the laboratories for our current fitness revolution.  Even though many don’t realize it, the bodybuilding community has been leading the pack with regards to developments in the wellness, weight loss, and fitness arenas since the beginning.  If you want to know what the next diet frenzy will be, just look at what the bodybuilders are doing today.  If you are an avid reader of the Labrada Nutrition site you know all this!

Training in Brooklyn, we saw some of the best physiques you would ever see.  All of these people had jobs so they had to make sure they were effective in the gym.  They came in the gym ready to work out, found their training partner, said hello to a few people and then they trained.  You didn’t see them sitting on equipment texting or making a phone call.  They never wasted time with chit chat.  They were there to train and that is what they did.

This video clip below is a scene from the movie Pumping Iron.  It shows Lou Ferrigno getting prepared to compete against Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Mr. Olympia title in South Africa.  You may find it as fun as I do.  It also shows that Louie was serious as a heart attack in the gym…and still is! 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqY5woMdv4A&feature=player_embeddedI noticed that some guys only came in to train once or twice a week but looked great, others came in  three or four days a week and seldom did you see someone at the gym more then four days a week.  They trained hard and heavy.  They did what they had to do and got out of there.  The mindset was that the gym was for training.  You lift as hard as you can and go home because you grow when you are at home eating and recovering, not in the gym.

Now don’t get me wrong.  They had fun bantering with each other, but only in between sets.  You never saw anyone get into a deep conversation.  There was no time for it.  In these old gyms you never had to go around and look for a spot there was always someone there when you needed them.  Since everyone looked out for each other, there was always someone with a helping hand or word of encouragement.

In gyms today, I see people “living” on pieces of equipment and it is not uncommon when you ask someone if you can work in or share the equipment that they say, “I only have four sets left” (meaning “No you can’t work in.  You will have to wait.”)  Back in the day, this never happened.  The gym was an environment to train and get into shape.  All undertood this.

What you can learn from my Brooklyn days?

  • When you enter the gym, know why you are there.  (have a plan)
  • Do what you have to do and go home.  (execute your plan)
  • Be focused but nice to everyone.  Help anyone who needs help and hopefully they will start doing the same for you.  (have manners, what a concept)
  • You don’t have to do anything fancy, just be consistent and you will get into fantastic shape. (Lifestyle)

Let me know how much time you are spending in the gym or putting into your fitness regimen.  The key to getting and staying in shape is to enjoy what you do and to do it consistently.  Sound familiar, these are the very principles Lee has been espousing for years.

If you can’t get into shape doing this then… forgetaboutit!

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