Building a Gym and Competing

Building a Gym and Competing

Jul 22, 2014


It will be fun, they said…. Do a bench competition in a shirt you haven’t yet touched in while building a gym… no sweat… yeah.  That was fun.

Actually, it was a blast!  After two and a half weeks of working with volunteers building out a new gym (with more work to go!), one of my partners, Joe Atef, and I, detoured to Romulus, Michigan (next to Detroit Airport) to participate in the Global Bench Wars (2014 WPC/AWPC CanAm Benchpress Championships).  Our other partner, Eric Stone (APF Illinois Chair) remained in Illinois working on the gym and preparing for the 2014 APF/AAPF Summer Bash on August 3, 2014.


^^ The day we took over the space


^^ A little progress


^^ Walls painted in the main gym, lots of stuff repaired, still much to do!


^^ Old flooring up


^^ As of the other day – other stuff complete.


^^ A selfie while we are working!

We made the decision to use the skills of those on Team Stone and other volunteers from a variety of gyms and even a number of non-lifters.  The gym is coming together completely by the combined efforts of the powerlifting community and our supporters!  We are hoping some awesome things happen as we move forward in paying back into the sport!


^^ Considerations for safety – and a local ordinance.  As we found out this week, make sure you are aware of all of the life-safety requirements of your community.  Some of the highest investments we have had to make in the creation of the 2XL Powerlifting LLC space is in the area of life-safety requirements.  Even when we thought we had them all – and I am directly responsible for facilities in multiple states in my day job – we were hit with multiple requirements before we can obtain our occupancy permit!


^^ The end game concept – the bathrooms and offices are in the back and, yeah, that is turf!  Two monolifts (EliteFTS), a brand new power rack (EliteFTS), two competition benches (with a third in reserve), glute-ham, chest supported row, banded deadlift systems, competition bars, brand new dumbbells, cable system, leg press/hack squat, and a bunch more accessory stuff including cardio equipment (commercial bike, elliptical, and treadmill, prowlers, sleds, tires) and strongman equipment.  Yeah, we’re loaded for bear!  A 51 inch TV with plugs for iPhones and video systems allow a larger view on lifts for coaching as well as a screen for competitions.

After all of this, we took a short break – last Thursday we hit Brookfield Zoo and discovered that IronAuthority gear (hat and wristband) combined with a 2XL Powerlifting t-shirt makes you twice as attractive to women!


However, I think it might have actually been the dolphins.


Yep, the lion sleeps tonight!  (How many of you are now repeating… just a whim away, just a whim away…)


Seeing as it was just prior to the Global Bench Wars, I did stop in to make sure I weighed more than a baby elephant!  I mean, how else do you perform as a Super Heavy Weight?  Letters are king!

I will speak more on the Global Bench Wars in my next article.  Suffice to say that I was EXHAUSTED going into the meet.  However, I did want to make the attempt to touch (for the first time) in the Overkill Shirt – I’m not kidding – never touched with it!  Training leading up to this meet was awful as I was down to 1 or 2 training days a week, dehydrated from working on the gym, and some work related noise (read that as stress).  The opener was dropped from the original ~520lb attempt to 463lbs, which was my PR in the loose shirt.  I ended up trying to touch way too high and still managed to muscle it down and up by reaching up with my chest.  This led to a small cramp, a problem I have had since the leg injury, which nailed me at the bottom with the 475lb attempt.  We decided to go for it and pushed up to 501 so that I could break 500 in a competition.  The weight came down beautifully, I was apparently almost there (less than a board) when the leg cramp hit again and my left leg shot out which caused me, from what I understand, to push the weight up FAST.  Good news.. it popped… bad news… it didn’t count and I ended the day 1 for 3.

The biggest bencher of the day tossed me his Super Duper Phenom and said – “Give it a try.”  Clint Harwood (Team Canada) had nailed an 860lb SHW open bench taking best lifter for the day!

Once I am ready to get back into bench gear (yep, it looks like it fits) I will report on the difference.

For those of my friends from overseas – yes, I am going to write about a lot more with the Global Bench Wars – I am just waiting for the video to go up so that I can steal a few pics and brag about many of you!!



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