T Nation

Strength Training Down Under

Not what you guys expected? My name is Markos and I have followed T-Nation from before it was a forum, in fact I stll have some of the mags.

Anyway, 18 months ago I started a gym at home. At first it was full on novices who had spent their lives doing isolation work in health spas. It took me awhile to turn their thinking around, as gyms like mine are extremely hard to find. I have been lifting for 30 years and I’ve never found one.

So I set about building a strength training facility that I would love to train in. I am slowly succeeding.

In 2007, before it was open to the public, I held my first comp. Lifters came from interstate, which made me very happy. We now have 3 comps a year, with people travelling from every state in Australia, and when you consider that Australia is the same size as the USA, thats a fair effort from a garage gym in little old Frankston.

I run 5 lift comps, consisting of squat/bench/clean/overhead/deadlift. No assistance gear at all allowed, not even a belt. I also run Strongman comps. The interstaters stay at my place, it gets very crowded.

Check out pics at www.ptcfrankston.com

Anyway, the lifts are getting into what I call the intermediate area. Our best lifts at PTC (Performance Training Centre) are

Squat (to an 11" box) - 475lbs
Bench - 365lbs
Powerclean - 277lbs
Clean & press - 255lbs
Deadlift - 585lbs

I have 30 clients who can deadlift 450lbs + 100% raw. I have a 16yo who powercleaned 220lbs weighing under a buck fifty, his lift is on Youtube. He lifts purely for sport,he plays soccer. He can squat double bodyweight and 150% bodyweight for 20 reps. He has got 210lbs overhead.

I have young 19yo girl who just dealifted 300lbs. My wife has State and National records, she benched 180lbs weighing 127lbs.

I have bands, chains, boxes, Stones, kettlebells in my gym. This might not seem so extraordinary to you, but no gym within 50 miles of me has this stuff, I doubt any at all have it.

Anyway, I would like to say thank you to every writer and poster on T-Nation, they have helped me immensely. I now write a nesletter for my clients, well it was initially, now it has close to 1000 readers, its become quite popular.

Thank you


you are living the dream man! nice work

Thank you, I dont consider what I do as work anymore.

Any T-Nation reader is welcome to train at PTC free when holidaying in Australia for as long as they are down there.

My contact details are on my website www.ptcfrankston.com

Hey Marcus, I just got back from having a bit of a scooby at your website. Great job setting up the gym and I must say, I loved the way you call out the guys who miss their sessions in your newsletters! Great work.

I’m working on a little garage gym myself around the other side of Melbourne (Werribee area), not a patch on your set-up, but I’m getting there…Squat rack, olympic bar and plates, some kettlebells and a big old loader tyre (I think it’s probably around 200kg’s) and a few other bit’s and pieces.

Anyway, just thought I’d say G’day and let you know how impressed I was with what you’ve done. Shame I’m not a little closer to Frankston… I think I could learn a lot from you guys!

You know your going to have to come over, its only around 75 minutes, I have a client from Pt Cook.

Here is a section of one of my most popular newsletter editions to date, hope you guys enjoy it

In my job I get lots of people sending me pics for diets, so I get to see a lot of lifters that are living in Crapville. They may take off to get to Buffville, but as the long indirect journeys continues, the destination blurs, and most end up in Fatville. Some may get close to Buffville, eventually, but they will move back to Fatville because life is easier there.
If you get to Buffville via the back streets, and visit towns like Drunkville and Stonedville, stopping at Weakville, you may not like the discipline that is enforced in Buffville by the town Sheriff, moving back to Stonedville where there is no Sheriff.

Most should simply stay in Crapville and save the petrol. I have met many people who come to the Travel Agency to buy a map for Buffville, they then realize it takes around 12 months, with no sightseeing, so the journey never starts. They may get in the car, but it never starts. Then there are others who take off for Buffville, but when they weigh up the costs, they turn back after 3 months, or simply move into Failureville, planning to move to Buffville, but never quite get there, stopping off at Pissedville or KrispyKremeville, and figuring that was good enough.
You see, I work in a travel agency. I have lots of people come to me for maps, but it seems map reading was never a priority at school for most, either that or their satnav is playing up. I have nearly run out of maps for Weakville and Ordinaryville, I have lots and lots for Buffville though.
Itâ??s true that the scenic route to Buffville is interesting and exciting, but the chicks look so much better in Buffville, no muffin tops there, I canâ??t say the same for the chicks at Loserville though.

Maybe I should post up some holiday snaps of people who have come in for a map to Buffville or Strongville, only to never get there due to lack of discipline and purpose. The problem is that most people have no idea how long it takes to get to Buffville. Itâ??s a good 12 months of solid driving. No time to check out the small towns like Smallville and Lazyville on the way, stopping at Drunkville will slow you down as it takes awhile to get out of there.
The best part is though, once you realize itâ??s a 12 month journey, and you commit, you can get there in 6 months if you go flat out and ignore the sign posts like, Party drugs here, Last stop for beer, Turn left for Disco biscuits. Upon arriving at Buffville, you will feel euphoric. You will feel you have accomplished something. Your neighborâ??s, just 2 minutes away at Strongville will greet you on arrival and invite you over.

Now holiday planning in Buffville is exciting, as it only takes a weekend to get to Drunkville and back, as opposed to getting to Buffville in the first place, which is a much much longer trip. That what people who have never been to Buffville donâ??t realize. You donâ??t have to stay there indefinitely, you can take weekend holidays whenever you like, for you will always remain a resident of Buffville once you get there. Very few tourists reside in Buffville, seems no one wants to leave when they get there.
Pity so few make it. I donâ??t expect anyone that hasnâ??t been to Buffville or Strongville will ever understand. The road to Strongville is just as tough, but in another way. You will get battered and bruised on the way, its part of the fun. You will get some dreadful directions from people who claim to have been there. Itâ??s easy to spot the ones that have, if you know what youâ??re looking for. Generally, a teenager will be clueless, he doesnâ??t even realize it exists. He lives in FitnessFirstville, a place that is filled with weak misinformed individuals.

They hop on these machines that spin up quite fast, bikes, rolling roads, moving stairs, thinking they will be at Strongville in no time, only to never get there, living out their years in Ignorantville instead. They search and search for Strongville, but theyâ??re looking in the wrong place. Itâ??s okay to move into Buffville if you donâ??t wish to move up to Strongville, Buffville is a very pleasant place, but they regard their neighborâ??s at Strongville with awe.

It disappoints me to see people get so distracted on their journey. I know how hard it is. I also know the rewards that await those that get there. Life in Strongville is great. You make friends easy, guys want to be you, girls want to be with you, all seek advice from you. Life in Undisciplinedville is the exact opposite. You can kid yourself that youâ??ll move out of Undisciplinedville, seldom happens. Life is easy there. Why move. Nobody ever expects you to do anything or achieve anything. Life is simple, yet somehow empty.

I donâ??t expect those that have never been to Strongville or Buffville to understand, but come for a look, I know you will love it. Plan to take 12 months to get there, quicker if youâ??re really disciplined and stick to the main road. If you currently reside in Disciplinedville, I should be seeing you shortly.

I also know of girls living in Denialville. They think eating sweets will have no effect to the way they look. It may not while they are eating them, but collectively it takes a heavy toll. You canâ??t walk it off. Denialville is littered with overweight girls pumping their arms while they go on long drawn out walks. They should keep on walking till they reach Disciplenville, because until they do, nothing will change. They deny themselves pizza, fish and chips, because it will make them fat, but think nothing of drinking wine or eating chocolate. News flash. Wine has zero goodness, empty calories, at least fish or pizza has protein. These citizens are easily the most stubborn and ignorant. They come up with a host of different excuses. The problem is there are no schools in Denialville, myths are passed along from generation to generation, while gleaming over dessert menus. Not much sex in Denialville either, at least not with the lights on. If you are living there, move.

Moronville also has its share of problems. Leather, vinyl and lycra are in high demand. Gloves are worn 24/7, just in case something heavy needs to be lifted. You look naked if you walk the streets without a belt. Singletâ??s and lycra are worn to church, all gathered around the preacher bench, waiting for their turn. Belts tightened, they burp out funny noises while pumping their biceps full of blood while simultaneously draining their brains of any intelligence they may have possessed. These guys donâ??t even realize that any other towns even exist. Life is bliss in Moronville. We donâ??t even have a branch there.

I’ll send you an email, Markos…

Sounds like a good place to work at, I might pop in one time, and I’ll be using the ‘T-Nation’ freepass :wink:
I’m out at Eltham though, so its a fair way out. What’s a good day/time to come?

I’ve already picked up 2 clients from Doncaster and Werribee off T Nation, free pass is obviously only for international lifters, locals pay like everyone else.

My wife pressing the kegs during the Easter Strongman comp

[quote]PTC Frankston wrote:
My wife pressing the kegs during the Easter Strongman comp[/quote]

My god that is sexy… Lucky man.

You just made her day lol

Just for you

Chinning with added weight, dead hang to right over the bar, overhand grip

Markos loved the editorial…you remind me of a few guys I met years and years ago, John McCaul, Bob Taylor and Bruce Walsh. John got within 20lbs of WR snatch back in the 50s and Bob and Bruce were national coaches.

I often think 90 % of all my training knowledge that I actually use, come from these three guys from 1970-1973.

When I came down to Melbourne next would love to meet you…

No problem, my details are on my website, please drop by.

Oh god if only you were in Sydney. Im only young, but this is pretty much the exact type of Gym I want to open/run when Im older.

Thank you for your kind words. From the day I decided to start PTC, I was always going to make it the kind of place I wanted to train in.

Looks like an awesome gym you’ve set up there. Would love to visit next time im down there. (hopefully not too long)

You live in a wonderful area btw. My sister took me to philip Island, and I didn’t know what to expect, so it was quite a sight to see.

I’m glad my gym has struck a chord with T Nation members, T Nation was the inspiration behind my gym, as well as Milo magazine