No Pain No Gain
“The Author Relaxes Between Sets”
As I look back on the history of the gym and my experiences I can say that, oh I have my share of aches and pains but the benefits have far outweighed anything else. You see at my age, the high side off middle age we say “use it or lose it”. Have you ever heard the Rolling Stone song “I have been working out for a thousand years. Been to gyms all over this land. Sprained and tore and sweated many a time”. Well that pretty much sums it up for me. I remember looking at pictures of Charles Atlas posters saying that if I lifted weights nobody “would kick sand in my face”. Growing up north in the Yukon one had to be strong. I was hooked when I saw a set of weights on the stage of our junior high school and tried to lift them. Lunch time was spent with other young school mates doing daily tests of strength. Shortly after that Dad brought a weightlifting set home for Christmas and I was the happiest lad in town.
At this point of the game you can find the old faithful trotting into a gym somewhere three times a week. Got to keep up to all the young guys out there. The eternal flame of strength still burns in the breasts of men. You can get a workout almost anywhere if you try hard enough. BodyWerks, LRC, school, or even outside in the snow if you want it bad enough. I am starting to wonder if I am getting shorter due to the crush of all the weights I have slung. The only claim to fame I ever had was lifting 185lbs. on an Olympic bar over my head with one hand. Oh I was good at that one.
The impressionable times of my youth in the seventies are remembered with visions of Saturday afternoon watching the Wide World of Sport with Howard Cosell, and seeing greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mohamed Ali perform their magic. In the 70s working out and carrying a bit of muscle around became more acceptable due to people like Joe Weider, Steeve Reeves, Arnold, and other movie stars who liked the look. Later on you saw it in Sylvestor Stallone and Jean Claude Van Damme etc.. A few years earlier in the 60s early gym chains such as Gold’s Gym in Venice California 1965 sprang up. Joe Gold of Gold’s Gym Started the World Gym chain in 1977. Of course Gold’s Gym in California set the stage for the world’s greatest bodybuilders and the muscle craze that followed to this day. Oh there were earlier predecessors like Eugene Sandow and Jack LaLanne. Jack is pretty much responsible for the startup of the first workout gyms in North America in the 30s.
No longer was a muscular man considered freaky. The 80s saw the rise of the Corporate Gyms, people could now work out at lunch time on the job. Today lots of people belong to, or have belonged to a gym. A lot of these people would not call themselves bodybuilders. Gyms will be popular for decades to come.
The main point of going to the gym is to stay healthy and be active. Some of us still want to be “bigger than Dad” or in fact bigger than anybody, but most of us just want to stay in shape. Being in shape can make you feel confident and strong. There is a bit of a powertrip that gets you hooked to working out. You can see it in all the young guys and how they strut their stuff.
The media images out there are a bit much sometimes. One has to keep in mind that we have to be happy with our own body images and not set unrealistic goals. For me, gone are the days of 6 day a week split weight workouts, and the countless rounds of kickboxing. Oh we still love a good sweat and pumping iron. Things are a lot more scientific these days, in fact less is more in the world of bodybuilding which suits me just fine. Jack LaLanne set the bar pretty high and worked out till he was 97 years old. In the spirit of “mind and body harmony” we will soldier on as long as the big guy upstairs lets us. I challenge all of you to get your butts of the couch and get active. If an old iron man like myself can do it you can too. Forty years in the gym and still counting.
- Beaumont Rugby Teams go to Provincials This year both the Beaumont Girls and Boys Rugby teams advanced to the Alberta Schools Athletic Association’s (ASAA) Provincial Championships held in Lethbridge on June 7th and 8th. Both Bandits teams earned the right ...