T Nation

St. Louis Gyms?

Anyone here from the St. Louis area? I may be getting a job there soon, and will need to find a good gym, preferrably on the western side of town(or outside of town to the west, since I’ll be out in O’Fallon).

Ultimate Gym out in Hazelwood, near Lindbergh and Hwy 270. I know it’s a bit away from O’Fallon, but it’s a great gym, very powerlifter friendly. There’s a monolift. Bands, chains, and squat boxes are welcome. Mainly fitness people there, but quite a decent number of powerlifters there.

thanks for the input…i’ll have to get the map out and take a look. I’d like to find something close, but don’t know that there’d be anything worth a shit out there.

If you are looking for a powerlifting gym you can check out www.usaplnationals.com it is the Missouri branch of USA powerlifting federation they have some listings on their site. My dad owns a small private gym on HWY 40 in Chesterfield not too far from O’fallon. You won’t see many hot chicks there and we don’t have many fancy machines but if you like not having to workout in a crowded meat factory and wait forever to get on the equipment it’s a great place to train. It’s a 24 hr gym and all the members get an electronic key to the building.(we have leg press, hack squat, pec deck, dorsi flexor, adductor, abductor, universal, seated calf, smith, power rack, bench press, a couple bikes, 2 stairmasters, elliptical, preacher bench, hyperextension, dumbbells up to 100lbs, fixed bars up to 110lbs, cambered bars up to 115lbs, leg curl, and leg ext. and horizontal leg press.)

The previous post brought up great points which I failed to elaborate on. Ultimate Gym has two complete DB sets up to 120 lbs, plus one remaining pair of each increment past 120 up to 150 lbs. There’s a reverse hyper machine, two hyper benches, a couple kinds of leg presses, all kinds of rowing machines (cable, Hammer Strength, etc.). Besides the monolift, there’s two other squat racks. There’s a safety-squat bar, and a Texas Power Bar (I think that’s the brand, not too sure, though). Only disadvantage I could see is time. It closes at 9 or 10 most nights during the week and earlier on weekends (5 or 6 pm on Saturday and 2 or 3 pm on Sunday). Any more info, just ask. I think Ultimate Gym might be on the gyms list provided by usaplnationals.com

It is on the list. I didn’t know they had a rev. hyper, I’ve been wanting to try one out but we don’t have room for one at our gym. Maybe I’ll come down there one day when I have some extra time for the drive and get in a workout. I am one of the few heavy lifters at my dad’s gym (along with my dad and a couple other older,old school guys) everybody there is cool though. Are you a powerlifter Brad? What are your PR’s and stats?

Yes, I am a powerlifter. I’m almost 25 and have been lifting since I was 13, but just started competing when I was 23. My stats are okay, but certainly not impressive for a SHW. 530 squat, 408 bench (w/ pause), 435 bench w/o pause, 540 deadlift. My bench is probably going to be great real soon (based on last night’s 390 lb floor press w/ medium grip), but I plan on being conservative and going for 425 at my next contest. Anyway, I’m not too impressed by what I do just yet. There is a guy at Ultimate Gym, a Samoan named Vae Mafuli, who is pretty damn strong. I’ve spotted him on an 800 lb squat before, so I know what he’s capable of.

What meet are you competing in next? I am going to compete (along with my dad and his friend Steve) in the USAPL Central USA Powerlifting meet coming up in Cape Girardeau on October 26 (I think that is what it’s called). This will be my first meet. I have been lifting for a little over 2 yrs but I just started powerlifting about 2 months ago. I am 21 yrs old and my current lifts are 475 squat (with wraps/ without a suit), 290 bench press (without shirt), and 440 deadlift (raw) at 178lbs. Inzer messed up the sizes on my squat suit and they are sending me another one. I plan on getting at least 525 squat and 475 deadlift when I finally get the suit and I am going to use a shirt for the first time tomorrow in my Bench workout. My dad says he knows the guy who runs Ultimate Gym (Cliff Koontz?)and is going to see if we can come down there and train sometime soon. Congratulations on your bench press I dream of the day when I will press 400lbs, your squat and deadlift are good too. Keep in my mind not many people can claim to have lifted more than 500 lbs on anything.

Fuck that…i’m not going to those gyms after the lifts you guys listed…

Thanks for the congrats on the 400. More on that later. The manager at Ultimate Gym is Cliff Koontz (sp?). Great guy. He knows me for doing weird, dangerous crap that most trainers would “persuade” you to avoid, like the other week when I did a good morning to slightly above parallel and then did a full squat with 425. Felt like my eyes would pop out and my lungs would explode!! Tell you what, nothing tests the courage like such lifts. Anyways, Cliff is the coolest guy about that stuff. He’s always asking me where I learn all this stuff. A bit flattering since this guy has competed and won in BB contests for over 20 years, so he really knows the game. Before I forget, I will be competing at Central USA. It was my first full meet ever when I went last year. GREAT facility, lotsa spectators, loud music (Triple H’s entrance song played when I went for my last DL).

About the 400 lb bench. Anybody who knows me will say this is the biggest example of blasphemy towards my personal philosophy. For a long time I was like most, dreaming of 4 bills. I talked it, planned it, etc. Shortly after I turned 20, I hit 380 no problem. Trained hard as hell setting a target date for the big one to be 3 months later. In the meantime, this girl broke things off with me, screwing up my head. I twice failed miserably with 400, nearly destroying my shoulder. The trainer at my college back in KC kept me outta surgery, but it took me another 18 months of anger and beating my head against the wall before I finally did it. I let out the most God-awful roar ya ever heard!! My dad and older bro saw it. Gave my dad such a bearhug he thought I broke his ribs!!

So, I reached the top of the mountain and made the biggest mistake, I lost the hunger. I trained the same ol’ way, though kinda lazily. Regressed a little bit, actually. Had quite a few personal problems pop up. Once I got them straightened out, though, I revisited some old PLUSA mags, found elitefts.com, and became a full-time Westside student. Now, even though my bench hasn’t magically skyrocketed or anything, 400 lbs on bench is just another number, as it will be for you someday. At 178 lbs, you’ll certainly have room to grow. Myself, weighing 290, I think I can certainly hit 500 within 18 months and hopefully 600 lb bench by the time I’m 30.

Well, that was quite a bit. Hope this puts everything into perspective. My biggest advice, which I still have to apply more often, as I have a long way to go, is this… cast aside your crutches, get up, and walk (don’t use straps all the time, don’t be afraid to try something that looks odd or dangerous for those with that fear will be forever held back). You do that, and at the end of the day you’ll say one of my favorite motivational quotes, by Julius Caesar, “Veni, Vidi, Vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered)