The Barbell in the Basement

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I did an interview for Eric Fiorillo's Motivation and
Muscle Podcast Show last week, and we were
talking about training alone in a home gym
versus training at a commercial gym.

Now, a good commercial gym can be a great
place to train, and training with a couple of
like-minded, serious, gung-ho training partners
can be tons of fun and thoroughly motivational.

And if you're training for OL, working with a
knowledgeable coach is always a good idea.

But there's something to be said for the idea
of training alone -- in the solitude of your
basement, garage or backyard.

Theere can be a certain kind of magic to your
own training quarters -- and to training alone,
just you and the iron.

John Grimek started his career by training
outside in his parents' backyard -- and up
in the attic in the winter.

Later, of course, he trained at the world-famous
York Barbell Club gym -- which at one time may
have been the most famous gym in the entire

The old York Barbell Club gym was loacated at
51 North Broad Street. It was small, and spartan
and basic -- and had the feel of a home gym --
and the magic of a home gym.

But as the years passed, it started to get old
and beat up and in dreadful need of repairs.
Some of the out of town lifting and bodybuilding
champions started to give painfully blunt
assessments of the old gym.

"It's a (unkind word)-hole." said one top body-
builder one day, when he was in the locker room
changing and thought he was out of earshot to
everyone but a friend.

But Grimek overheard him -- and got to thinking
"about it -- and chewing on it - and stewing on it.

And the next thing you know, he started to urge
Bob Hoffman to build a new "modern" gym for
the York Barbell Club.

Hoffman resisted.

Grimek persisted.

Hoffman finally gave in, and the new gym was

Grimek stepped inside, looked around, and

The new gym was cold, barren, sterile and lifeless.
Grimek hated it.

And he started to sneak back to the old gym, which
stiull had a barbell and some dumbbells, and doing
his old workouts all by himself, alone at night, in
the dark and the quiet, surrounded by familiar
friends and good memories.

Hoffman finally found out about it, and made Grimek
start training at the new gym. (After all, everyone
who came to York expected to see Grimek when
they visited the new gym.)

So Grimek set his teeth and knuckled down and
started to train at the new gym that he had begged
and badgered for -- and that he loathed.

Later, when he retired from York, Grimek set up a
small gym in his basement. He had an old set of
free-standing squat racks, a barbell, a bunch of
mismatched plates, and some dumbbells.

And he was perfectly happy training there.
He had come full circle -- from backyard to most
famous gym in the world to fancy new gym to
basement.And that basement gym is where he
took his very last workout.

Those of us who train at home, alone, can
understand the magic.

As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more about John Grimek and how he trained,
grab this great training course:

P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right here:

P.S. 3. Thought for the day: "Be it ever so humble,
there's no place like your home gym." -- Brooks