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New Gym and Training Schedule

by Gary F. Zeolla

After competing in the IPA World Championships on July 10, 2004, I changed gyms once again. I am now working out at the Iron Pit Gym in Leechburg, PA. This is actually the gym I wanted to join at the beginning of this year, but at that time the owner wasn't taking new members. As I kind of figured, he was in the process of selling the place. He ended up selling it to his brother, and he has done a nice job fixing up and taking care of the gym. It is in the basement underneath a rifle/ archery shop on Market Street.

The entrance to the Iron Pit. Click for a larger image. It is a small place, but it has everything I need. There's the essentials: two power racks, two benches, mats on the floor for deadlifts, several bars, and 1000's of pounds of weights. There's also incline, decline, and free benches, a dip station, a press station, several cable machines, a wide range of dumbbells, and a few machines, namely leg press, hack squat, smith machine, leg extension, leg curls, and a standing calves station. Oh ya, there is one treadmill and one air-dyne bike.

The most exciting thing about this gym is that it is key-entry. So I can workout anytime, 24/7. So there will be no more having to rush to get done with a workout before the gym closes early on weekends or even is closed on Sundays (as the YMCA I was working out at is during the summer). And no more not being able to workout due to the gym closing on holidays.

And with being able to workout whenever I want, I might try a new system in my training. I have been working out 4x/week, usually M, W, F, Sa. But lifting the two days in row always really seemed to get to me. Also, I would always feel a little overtrained after about month of training. So I would have to plan on taking a day off once a month. But what I am going to try now is lifting every other day. I'll still alternate through four workouts, so this means my "weeks" will be eight days long.

I actually tried this once before, but I got messed up when the gym closed for a holiday, and then the next week I had to miss a Saturday working because I had somewhere to go in the early afternoon and the gym closed too early for me to get a workout in afterwards. But with the key-entry gym, such things won't be a problem.

The down side to working out every other day is I'll get less workouts in. If I counted correctly, lifting 4x/week and taking a day off once a month would give me 63 workouts between contests (IPA Worlds and my next contest, IPA Nationals on November 19, 2004). So that would be one workout shy of a full 16 weeks of workouts. But with lifting every other day, I'll only get in 60 workouts. This will give me exactly 15 "weeks" of training if I don't miss any workouts.

Otherwise on the Iron Pit Gym, it's further away from my home than the Y was, but it will be worth the extra drive time to workout at a more powerlifter friendly gym. There are no showers. And with it being so small, I'll probably be the only one in the gym most of the time. But I already tried putting one of the free benches in the power rack, and I can set the safety bars at the right height. So I can bench safely alone. And in a way, it's nice being alone. I can set the radio to whatever station I want, and the music is always cranked up. The only problem will be when I go to use full gear. Somehow I'll have to make sure someone is there to help me get out of my suits!

But overall, I am excited about the new gym. Despite a few problems, I think it will be much better than the YMCA. For the training program I'll be using at the Iron Pit Gym to prepare for IPA Nationals, see Training Routines and Drop Reps  (7/16/04 - 11/12/04).

New Gym and Training Schedule. Copyright © 2004 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site July 19, 2004.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: My Training Routines

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