Tag Archives: gyms in Dickinson North Dakota

I Did Not Know That Women Powerlifters Pee When Lifting Heavy Weights

I did not know that women powerlifters pee when lifting heavy weights, but thanks to a YouTube video explaining this phenomenon, I do now.

I imagine that some women readers are hissing, spitting, and wanting to scratch my eyes out for writing this, but I am not making this up.  I never would have known about this, if these women in the video below, would not have made a video about this.

About two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post where I complained that there should be some weight room gyms, where men can expect to lift heavy weights without the distraction of women, interference of women, women taking up the equipment and not using it for its intended purpose, and women talking and fooling around.

There are several gym franchises such as Curves, that are for women only, and we all understand why women want to exercise without any men around sometimes.  So why can’t women understand that men want to exercise without women around sometimes?

Men and women are different.  I can absolutely guarantee you, that if I peed my pants when doing deadlifts or squats at a gym, I would be kicked out, and everyone would be furious at me, both the men and the women.

Apparently, it is very common for women to pee their pants when lifting heavy weights.  I don’t care that much, but like I said, if a man did this, he would be kicked out of the gym.  Probably, if a man peed his pants while deadlifting or doing squats at the West River Community Center in Dickinson, the Police would be called and they would try to charge him with lewd and lascivious behavior.  But women can just pee all over the place and get away with it.

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Women Powerlifters And Steroid Use

I found a very good YouTube video where a female powerlifter explains her steroid use.  You will first hear the straightforward admission from her about her steroid use at the 4:40 minute mark on this video.

This powerlifter explains that though some of the side effects of steroid use, like acne outbreaks, will go away after you quit using steroids as a woman, your voice change and hair growth everywhere on your body, will not ever go away, it is permanent.

Please also pay close attention to the 11:40 minute mark on this video, where she makes the statement, I knew that if I was going to compete at the highest levels of women’s powerlifting, I had to take steroids.

Remembering What I Forgot About Steroids

I have no interest in pharmaceutical steroids, testosterone, or human growth hormone.  I do not have very much interest in powerlifting or bodybuilding either.  I did have my own idea about what I wanted for my own physical strength and health.

I wanted to have useful strength, for the work that I did, and the things that I was involved in.  But once I became over 27 years old, I did not want to spend a couple of hours in the gym every day.  Partly, I no longer had time in my schedule to spend a couple of hours in the gym every day, and the other part was that it was no longer important to me to be overly strong or overly big.  Getting my work completed and making money was more important to me.

In my mid 30s, after I moved away from the city and had more free time, I began lifting weights again.  I was putting in good effort, but I was careful not to damage my knees, back, elbows, or shoulders by trying to lift too much weight.   Again, it was not important to me to be overly strong or overly big.

In my early 40s, I began trying harder to improve my strength, and it was something that I looked forward to, to try to make gains in the gym.  I was pleased with my bench press, dumbbell press, overhead press, lat pull downs, triceps dips, triceps curls, biceps curls, pretty much all my lifts and exercises, considering that I was now in my early 40s.

When I had to leave my home in Idaho in 2011 to begin working in the oil fields in North Dakota, Utah, and Texas, my life was disrupted in many ways.  One of the worst things that happened to me, was getting my back hurt so bad in 2011, that I couldn’t walk for several months.  But other things that were always a problem working in the oil fields, were lack of normal housing, and general chaos in just about everything else.

Working in North Dakota, for a couple of years I had to sleep in small campers on company property, and sometimes take showers at the Tiger Truck Stop.  There was a shortage of housing, and housing was extremely expensive.  Once it gets to be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and you live in a small camper, just staying clean and warm, and not dying, is what you are paying attention to.

It has only been in the past couple of years, once the oil boom ended in North Dakota, that I have had the time and opportunity to begin trying to go to gyms on a regular basis again.  The West River Community Center in Dickinson, North Dakota where I live is one of the nicest gym facilities in the United States.  However, it is a community center with men, women, children, and the elderly.

I never had a problem with the elderly people in the WRCC, they were not a nuisance at all.  The men were typical of what you would find in a gym anywhere.  But the women and the children in the WRCC were a nuisance, annoyance, and a distraction to me:  sitting on equipment and not using the equipment, placing belongings on equipment that they were not using, taking up equipment that they did not need for that exercise, getting too close and not understanding that they could get hurt, and fooling around being a distraction.

This year, I thought that I had found a small gym with only heavy duty power lifting training equipment, a place that would not have any women and children in it.  There was nothing in this small gym to be of any interest to women and children, I thought.  A couple of days ago when I was in this gym, everything that I hated about the West River Community Center, happened here in this small gym.

A couple of women came in, and were talking, socializing, fooling around, placing belongings on equipment, sitting on equipment that I wanted to use, and me having to worry about hitting them with a weight bar because they were close to what I was doing.  I was angry, and I wrote a blog post about what happened.  The owners of the gym and I got into a dispute over this, and they told me not to come back.

During the argument about women being in the gym, and in comments to my blog post, the gym owners, power lifters, and especially women, were telling me that there were women who could kick my ass in the gym.  I doubted this.  There were claims made about what weight women were lifting, so I looked it up.

I looked up the USPA 2017 Montana state records for women, which showed something like 238 lb bench press, and 315 lb squat, which sounded about right to me.  Then I looked up a specific woman who was given as an example, and her bench press and squat were maybe 268 lb and 400 lb in 2015, which still sounded about right to me.

When commenters began citing even higher numbers for female power lifters, and higher numbers for some of the women power lifters that I had already looked up, I checked more records as was suggested to me, and suddenly I realized what was going on.

For adult women who were power lifters, who had been training for several years or more, who had entered and won power lifting competitions, there was a record of what their bench press, squat, and dead lift were for each meet.  After several years or more of focusing on diet, nutrition, supplements, training, exercising, and working very hard, these numbers for bench press, squat, and dead lift represented a peak or plateau that they had reached, after several years or more of work.

Then in less than a year, their bench press, squat, and dead lift all suddenly increased by 40%, after they had already reached their physical plateau?  They had been working for several years to make gains of 10% to 20% per year, reaching their physical plateau, then all of a sudden all of their lifts increased by 40% in one year.  What was going on?

Let me put it this way.  Does a college senior baseball pitcher enter Major League Baseball and begin throwing 40% faster, No.  Does a college track athlete ever begin running 40% faster one year later, No.  Does a college swimmer ever begin swimming 40% faster one year later, No.  Does a college high jumper ever begin jumping 40% higher one year later, No.

So how could an adult athlete who has been training for years, suddenly have a 40% increase in strength?

Remembering What I Forgot About Steroids, Testosterone, And Human Growth Hormone 

Reading the records of the women power lifters, this started me thinking about everything that I knew about steroids, testosterone, and human growth hormone.  I will give some examples.

#1.  When I was in junior high school, about 8th grade, there was a school assembly in the gymnasium, where a 30 year old man was going to perform a demonstration.  This man named Chuck, he was from this town, he had joined the Navy, and he had taken up power lifting.  He had achieved some kind of powerlifting record, and today he was going to give a talk, and then bench press 500 lb.  At the time, I didn’t think that this was worthy of a school wide assembly, but I was glad to get out of class.

The point of this demonstration and school assembly, was that the school principal had been convinced that this was motivational, that this might give some kids an inspiration to get involved in power lifting, to put effort into something positive, rather than getting into trouble.  To Chuck, this was partly an opportunity to get publicity for the new gym that he was opening in town.

However, within about a year of Chuck’s gym opening, it was shut down, by the Police.  Chuck, his gym, and his gym members were found to be using, bringing in, and selling steroids, testosterone, and human growth hormones.  It turns out that Chuck’s above average strength, was primarily from steroid use, etc.  Within about a year of this drug bust by the Police, where Chuck was prohibited from using steroids as part of his probation, Chuck’s appearance changed, he became just a normal looking, average sized guy.

#2.  When I was in high school, our high school hired a strength and conditioning coach for the football program.  One of my friends named Bob, who was on the football team, his older brother played professional football.  Bob was only about 5’-10” and 180 lbs, and he knew full well that he was not going to be able to play professional football.

Bob had a brother named Todd, who was two years younger than Bob.  Todd was even smaller than Bob.  In elementary school, junior high school, and high school, Bob and Todd lifted weights together.  Bob tried to push Todd to do more weight, but Todd could only do what he could do.  For instance, when Bob was a junior in high school, he could bench press about 210 lb.  His younger brother Todd could maybe bench press 180 lb at this time when he was a freshman.

After Bob and I graduated from high school, when his younger brother Todd was a junior in high school, Todd was all of a sudden bench pressing 365 lb.  Within a year Todd went from bench pressing 215 lb, to bench pressing 365 lb.  Bob was really mad about it, because his younger brother was using steroids, and his physical appearance totally changed.  He said he told him, Todd, you are only 5’-7”, you are never going to play professional football, probably not even college football, so why are you doing this to yourself taking steroids?

There were several kids who were high school football players, who weighed about 135 lbs their sophomore year and were skinny, who within a year went up to weighing over 200 lb their junior year.  There were so many cases of steroid, testosterone, and human growth hormone use by the high school football players, that an investigation was done, and it was found that these pharmaceuticals were being administered by the strength and conditioning coach, who was then fired.

#3.  When I was a college student, some of my friends became involved in powerlifting and bodybuilding.  Even though they were training regularly, and working hard, there came a point when they quit making advances in their strength and muscle size, so they began experimenting with steroids and other drugs such as GHB.

One of my friends began ordering veterinary and ranch pharmaceuticals through the mail.  One of the things that I remember him receiving, were “feed lot heffer” cattle implant pellets, which were used by ranchers to implant in cattle ear flaps, to slowly release steroids into the cattle to make them put on weight.  He would grind these pellets up using a mortar and pestal, add linseed oil or propylene glycol to make a solution, heat it up in the microwave to make it dissolve, draw the solution into a hypodermic needle, and then inject the solution into his buttocks muscle.

One college student got arrested for receiving veterinary pharmaceuticals in the mail.  My friend passed out a couple of times, once inside of a gym, and he was very nearly arrested for various drug charges.  One of our friends who was a successful personal trainer and competitive body builder died at the age of 25 from drug complications.

My friends were using Dan Duchaine’s books, “The Underground Steroid Handbooks 1 & 2” as a reference manual on how to obtain and use steroids and other substances.  Dan Duchaine was arrested and put in prison twice for his involvement with selling steroids and GHB.  Dan Duchesne later died at the age of 48 from kidney disease.

#4.  My friends’ idol or role model were people like Dorian Yates, a British bodybuilder who was known not just for winning bodybuilding competitions such as the Mr. Olympia six consecutive times, but because he trained with very heavy weights, almost like a power lifter would use, and he was very strong, large, and well defined.

This was in the 1990s, and the professional bodybuilders were becoming so outrageously large in muscle size, and the professional powerlifters were making such enormous increases in weight lifts, that it was obvious that steroids and other pharmaceuticals were being widely used.  Very few competitors would admit this at the time, but now, many of these competitors who are now retired are coming out and admitting to their drug use, and are giving details about what went on.

Most of the competitors that are telling about their experiences now, said that they used drugs in order to be someone, in order to be a champion, in order to be successful, to be able to have things in life that they would otherwise not have had.  They said that the risks were worth the reward to them, at the time, in their mind.

These competitors also described the kind of psychological addiction to steroids and other drugs, the drugs that enabled them to lift enormous weight, have a huge physique, and  stand out in a crowd.  Once they had to quit taking steroids due to health problems, they became depressed and wanted to withdraw, because they could not live up to the image of themselves that people had become familiar with.

This first video does not have any commentary.  It shows the contrast between Dorian Yates when he was using steroids during his professional bodybuilding career, and what he looks like after he retired and ceased using steroids.

This second video is a discussion where Dorian Yates explains his steroid use during his professional bodybuilding career.

The problem is, that once people begin taking a serious interest in bodybuilding or powerlifting, begin training seriously, working hard, reading and learning more, keeping a record of their work out weights and repetitions, after several years of making gains they will realize that they have reached their physical plateau, where they are no longer making gains, and may even begin going backwards.

From what they have read, learned, seen, and heard by this time, they have to choose whether they are going to stay where they are, or are they going to try to make further gains by using steroids, testosterone, human growth hormone, or other substances.  Women are no different than men now in their willingness to take steroids, testosterone, and human growth hormones.  I think that some women are even more likely to use these drugs not solely to make gains in their weight lifting or muscle size, but to try to have equal or greater strength than men.

This last video, gives another person’s perspective on his steroid use, who was not a professional bodybuilder or powerlifter.

The Beginning Of The Ruining Of The Pit Gym In Dickinson, North Dakota

In December of 2017, I wrote a blog post about a new gym that had recently opened in Dickinson, North Dakota, called The Pit Gym.  When I looked in the window of The Pit Gym, I saw two heavy-duty squat racks, two heavy-duty bench press benches, and a long rack of complete dumbbell pairs going up to 100 lbs or more.

I was very happy and surprised to see this, because this was a weight room gym, and not a fitness center.  I had not seen a weight room like this, since I worked out in the Gainesville Gym, the Daytona Gym, and the Powerhouse Gym in Florida with power lifting and body building competitors.

Starting about twenty years ago, most gyms in the United States adopted a Fitness Center model, in order to appeal to a broader range of men and women.  In doing so, these gyms became more feminized, or emasculated, into Fitness Centers where achieving maximum size and strength was no longer the goal, but some vision of “general health and wellness”.

The West River Community Center in Dickinson, is one of the nicest fitness centers in the United States, and probably even the World.  It has an indoor Olympic lap pool, an indoor amusement park pool, an outdoor pool, hot tub, two indoor tennis courts, four indoor racketball courts, four indoor basketball courts, one indoor volleyball court, upper level 1/5 mile jogging track, outdoor skateboard park, indoor rock climbing wall, floor exercise area, aerobics rooms and classes, thirty pieces of cardiovascular equipment, bench press benches, squat racks, dead lift platforms, dumbbells, and cable machines.

The West River Community Center also has very large men’s and women’s locker rooms with many lockers, toilets, and showers.  There is also a children’s day care facility.  The cost of a membership is only about $30 per month.  Like I said, the West River Community Center is one of the nicest fitness centers in the United States.

However, one thing that the West River Community Center, and the Anytime Fitness in Dickinson do not have, is a heavy weight lifting area with the absence of women and children.

It does not matter that the West River Community Center has three heavy-duty squat racks and two dead lift platforms, when these squat racks and dead lift platforms are usually occupied by women or children who are only lifting just the 45 lb bar, without any weights, and doing many sets of exercises.

I think that women’s fitness magazines must have shown so many articles where a professional trainer is doing squats with just a bar inside of a squat rack, or lunges with just the bar on a dead lift platform, that this is what women think these things are for.

Squat racks, which are a heavy steel framework consisting of four vertical corner posts and overhead horizontal cross bracing, were invented about fifty years ago, to allow power lifters doing heavy squat exercises, to train without a spotter, and to help prevent a catastrophic injury or accident.  A squat exercise, is where you rest the bar on your upper back, and perform a knee bend and back bend, to where your upper legs become horizontal or parallel to the floor.

High School football linemen can typically squat about 350 lbs.  College football linemen can typically squat about 400 lbs.  Very good competitive power lifters can squat more than 700 lbs.  It is common when performing heavy squat exercises, for lifters of any age, to experience a problem.  The most common problems are a sudden knee weakness, loss of balance, or loss of footing.

If a power lifter is performing heavy squat exercises inside of a squat rack, there are horizontal safety bars that are set to stop the fall of the bar and the weights if there is a problem.  The horizontal safety bars inside of the squat rack, can prevent the complete and catasrophic failure of a knee or vertebrae, paralysis, death, and tremendous property damage.  Without the squat rack safety bars, 400 lb to 800 lb landing on your neck or head if you slip, can be fatal.

When the women and children at the West River Community Center are taking up the squat racks using only the 45 lb bar for multiple sets of exercises, usually they don’t even have the horizontal safety bars set to help them in a fall.  They don’t even really need the squat rack at all, and they are just tying up a strategic piece of training equipment and preventing others who really need it, from using it.

Most people do not know how much planning goes into even minimally competitive power lifting.  Most all power lifters keep a journal/log book of completed training and planned training.  They are on a very complex schedule of lift rotations, and weight levels.  Whether it is squat, dead lift, or bench press, there are weeks of training with increasing weight, leading up to one specific day, and one specific time of that day, that they have set to attempt a maximum squat, dead lift, or bench press.

Adult men who are involved in power lifting, will think all week about a lift, their maximum weight attempt scheduled for a Friday at 5:00 p.m. when they get off of work.  They will visualize a squat lift all week, and know all week that they plan on attempting 495 lb, 505 lb, the amount that they think they can achieve in a maximum effort for one repetition.  This lift will be the culmination of weeks and weeks of training.  But when they get to the West River Community Center at 5:00 p.m. on Friday to use the squat rack, there is some young lady doing squats with just the 45 lb bar, tying up the squat rack, and she doesn’t even need the squat rack.

In order to do something about this problem, Dave Clem a power lifting competitor in Dickinson, opened The Pit Gym in the Fall of 2017.  Now I already wrote two paragraphs describing everything that the West River Community Center has, from the pools, basketball courts, cardio equipment, weight training equipment, men’s and women’s locker rooms.  The only thing that the West River Community Center did not have, was a heavy weight lifting area for adult men, with no women and children around to get on dead lift platforms and squat racks that they did not need in the first place.

On this Saturday, 5/26/18, I was at The Pit Gym when two young men had brought their two young girlfriends with them.  At first, I just tried to not pay attention to these two young women, but they were talking a lot, as this appeared to be a social outing for them, like a barbeque or going to the beach.  One of the young women got on one of the bench press benches and was using just the bar with no weight.  And the other young woman was all over the place, not even lifting weight most of the time, just being a distraction.

I was very angry about this, and I felt like saying to the two young men, “Are you trying to fuck this up just like the West River Community Center?  The whole reason why this gym exists, is because women and children would go to the West River Community Center and get on the bench press benches, the squat racks, and the dead lift platforms, and use just the bar with no weight, fool around, and prevent other people from using the heavy weight equipment.”

I couldn’t fucking believe this.  The Pit Gym is small, about 35’x 50′, it doesn’t even have locker rooms or a shower.  All The Pit Gym has to offer, that is different than the West River Community Center and Anytime Fitness, are the two heavy-duty weight benches, the two heavy-duty squat racks, the dead lift platform, and the dumbbells pairs going up to 100 lbs, combined with the absence of women and children getting in the way.

If you introduce women and children into The Pit Gym, it has absolutely nothing to offer, and no reason to go there whatsoever, if all of the equipment is going to be taken up by women and children.  If the squat racks, benches, and dumbbell area are going to be occupied by women, you might as well just go to the West River Community Center as it is cheaper, has more equipment, and more amenities.

I was angry and distracted by the two young women in The Pit Gym on Saturday.  I left the gym without completing even half of my planned exercises, partly because I lost my focus, and partly because I did not want to do my exercises around these two young women because I thought that they might get hurt, or cause me to get hurt.

The behind the head curls that I was doing laying on my back on the weight bench, I thought that the one young girl using the adjacent weight bench was going to get hit with the bar because she did not know the range of motion that I was going to do.  And I could see the same thing happening with the other young woman when I tried to do dumbbell flies.

Like I said, these two young women were treating this as a social outing, and I don’t think that they were paying enough attention or had been around weight rooms enough to know what I was going to do.  Them walking into to me, the bar, or the dumbbells while I was in motion would not only have gotten them hurt, it might have gotten me hurt too.

I just left, and I was angry and disgusted.  I went home and I updated the first blog post that I wrote about The Pit Gym back in December of 2017.  I began thinking that maybe this is what Dave Clem and his wife Wendy want, to get as many people to join The Pit Gym as possible, even if this results in the exact same problems as what happened at the West River Community Center and Anytime Fitness in Dickinson.

I am going to finish this blog post by giving some complaints written by other people about gyms and fitness centers:

From Men’s Health, Lou Schuler 9/22/15

  • The gym noob who sets her water bottle and clipboard on a bench isn’t trying to piss you off. She just doesn’t know better.
  • A bit less forgivable are the five teens using a single leg press machine, but forming a cordon that blocks off three other stations.
  • Or the young woman who sits on a machine for five minutes between sets because she’s returning texts.
  • Don’t tie up equipment that you don’t need for the exercise that you are doing.  The people who tie up squat racks when they aren’t even lifting. I’ve seen it used for stretches, or to hold onto while doing single-leg calf raises with their own body weight.

From Return of Kings, Kenzie Atkins 2/28/16

  • I find nothing more frustrating than walking into the gym and finding it full of women and estrogen.
  • Working out with other men increases your competitiveness and forces you to push yourself and improve your personal best.
  • Let me set the scene—you have gone into the gym with the intention of working your legs, you have a set routine, and it’s coming up to the squat part of your workout. You go to the squat rack to find that it is being used by a woman who has a bar weighing 50 lbs.  (She is using just the bar, with no weight.)
  • We are all men, and let’s be honest we are often checking out women. There are some alright women in the gym and this can be a distraction during a time when we should be concentrating on our workout and improving ourselves.
  • Mixed gyms discourage this kind of fellowship by changing the dynamic. Instead of the positive competitiveness of sport, there is a tendency to compete for the “cute” girl.
  • Men only gyms would encourage the positive traits of brotherhood and support, while giving us a distraction free environment to improve ourselves.

I don’t know what is going to happen.  Why can’t the women just stay over at the West River Community Center with the swimming pools, hot tub, tennis, racketball, basketball, volleyball, jogging track, exercise floor, aerobics rooms,  yoga, cardio equipment, weight area, childcare, women’s locker room, women’s showers, and women’s toilets.  They have way more equipment and amenities over there.  Why the fuck can’t they stay the fuck over there?

This video shows a woman powerlifter who is serious.

This video shows a woman powerlifter who is not serious enough.

This video shows a woman getting hit with weights in the gym.

This video shows a woman taking up equipment and not using it for what it is for.

This video shows women being a distraction in the gym.

Backstory On Why I Like “The Pit” Gym In Dickinson, North Dakota

In my previous blog post I wrote about the new gym, “The Pit” gym, that recently opened in Dickinson, North Dakota.  This gym is a “Weight Room”, which is very rare now.  During the past 25 years, most gyms have been transformed into “Fitness Centers”.  “Fitness Centers” are part of the weakening and feminization of the U.S., and have made me and many males weaker and emasculated.

Let me go back 40 years ago, to start at the beginning.  I was a small, skinny, and uncoordinated kid.  My lack of coordination had a lot to do with my bad eyesight.  But I was strong.  I rode very, very far on my bicycle most days, much further than other kids.  I also paddled and rowed boats for hours and hours, longer than adults would have.  I was very strong in my legs and in my shoulders, from routinely peddling, paddling, or rowing way past the point of what was physically easy, and into what was physically difficult and even painful.  I had to if I wanted to get home.

In junior high school, this was back before they had middle schools, all of the six elementary schools from the region had their students go on to merge into one single junior high school.  All the kids had to start over again, not knowing anything about the other kids that they were now in classes with.  I was a small, skinny, uncoordinated kid who whore glasses, everyone expected me to be weak.

But I wasn’t weak.  In P.E. class, I was one of the best runners, long jumpers, and wrestlers.  In wrestling, the P.E. coach generally tried to not have small kids wrestle the big kids, so that the small kids didn’t get hurt.  I would challenge the biggest kids, which they hated, because even if they did win, they had to fight as hard as they could and they would just barely beat me, and the whole thing would be humiliating because they were so much bigger than me.

The strength that I had, was from riding bicycles all day, or rowing all day, starting from when I was six or seven years old, and going well past the point of what was physically easy, to the point of it being very difficult and even painful.  My father had wanted me to exercise more doing push ups and lifting weights, but I didn’t want to at that time.  I would mess around with my father’s rusty old weights some, but not very often.  It wasn’t until I was approximately 14 or 15 years old that I began to use my father’s weight set more often.

When I was approximately 15 or 16 years old and in high school, my father bought a weight bench for doing bench presses at a garage sale, and brought it home for me to use.  I was still small for my age, and I think that I was having a little difficulty with kids that were older or bigger than me in high school.  I would not put up with bullying, and I would not back down, but I was having difficulty.  In 9th grade, I might have been 5′-4″ or 5′-5″, and weighed maybe 130 lbs.  I recognized, and my father recognized that I needed to get bigger, heavier, and stronger if I was going to survive very well.  I was just too small.

Sixteen or seventeen was when I started to lift weights almost every day, using my father’s weight set in our garage.  I did many repetitions and many sets of flat bench press and bicep curls.  I did some overhead press.  My muscle size and my muscle strength increased, and my weight increased.  My coordination increased and my confidence increased.  Thank God.

I shudder to think what kind of person I would be now, if I had not begun lifting weights in high school, made gains in my size and strength, and understood how to make gains in my size and strength.  It was regrettable that I had not begun a simple routine of weight lifting in elementary school, and been that much further along in high school.  When I graduated from high school, I was approximately 5′-8″ and weighed 155 lb.  Still pretty small.

In my first semester of college, away from home, I quit lifting weights altogether, in order to focus completely on my classes, and I became pretty scrawny.  In second semester, I went to the college gym with some guys from my dormitory hall one day, and I continued to go almost every day from that point on.  Again, Thank God, because I almost completely gave up doing any weight lifting, and I was becoming very scrawny and weak.  I hate to think about what kind of scrawny and weak person I would have become, if I would not have continued to use weights.

That small college gym was my first experience in a “real gym”, where they had real weight benches and real bars, not shoulder width bar rests and 3/4″ diameter bars.  At this point, I will quit calling what I knew as “weight lifting”, and call it “weight training”, because I began to learn that there was more to it than doing bench press and bicep curls every day.

I became acquainted with people who were more knowledgeable than me about “weight training”.  I began to learn more exercises, how they developed different muscles, and variation of exercises throughout the week.  When I returned home to Florida for the summer break, I began going to a very large and competitive gym.

In the coastal town of Florida where my home was, people were very concerned, conscious, and competitive about how they looked.  One reason was, that everyone went to the beach and they didn’t want to look bad.  Another reason was, everyone went out at night in Daytona trying to pick up women, whether they were local girls or out of town girls, and you did much better with women if you were tan and muscular.

At the first gym that I went to in Florida, some of the young guys were on football or wrestling scholarships at various schools around the country, some people were seriously competing in body building or power lifting, one guy was a male stripper.  Everyone was very competitive about how much weight they could do, in every exercise, and in every lift.

One of my nemesis from high school, who was a little smaller than me, he could bench press 225 lb a couple of times, without a spotter, which I thought was a lot.  One of the steroid user football players from high school who was a year older than me could bench press two 120 lb dumbbells twice, which I thought was a lot.  Another guy from my high school that was a year older than me, he could squat 385 lb, which I thought was a lot.  In the gym, nobody acted like an asshole, but everyone was competing against each other.

That summer, I worked from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at a resort in a swamp on the ocean doing grounds keeping.  Every day after work, I would go home, take a shower, and then go to the gym.  I was young, tan, in shape, and very muscular.  Women, were nice to me, especially older women, even though I had bad acne.  My sophomore and junior year at the small college that I went to up north, when I returned after summer break, being so tan, in-shape, and muscular, the women were very interested in me and I stood out.

It was the competitiveness of the gyms that I went to that helped me.  I had a much, much better life, being in shape, being muscular, being more confident, and having more interest and attention from women.  Seeing men that were bigger and stronger than me, being able to do more weight than me, made me try to do better.  Seeing people squat 600 lbs, made me realize that I needed to do more, that I had a long way to go.

After three years of college, I transferred to the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida to enter their school of engineering.  The University of Florida was the hardest school in Florida to get into, and at that time it had 35,000 students.  These were the most aggressive, ambitious, competitive assholes that I had ever been around in my life.  The University of Florida football team won two national championships when I was there, and the young people in that town were very energetic and hyped up.

The Gainesville Gym had UF football players, ex football players, people who wanted to be “walk ons”, competitive power lifters, competitive body builders, bouncers, thugs, male strippers, female strippers, and steroid users.  The Gainesville Gym sponsored the Mr. Gainesville body building competition.  In the gym, none of these people were assholes, though it was very competitive in the gym.

By the time that I finally graduated from the University of Florida, this was just about the peak of my strength.  I was 25 years old, 5′-9″ and 195 lbs.  Though I could only bench press about 315 lbs, I could fairly easily bench press two 140 lb dumbbells for four repetitions, which in 30 years of going to gyms, I have only ever seen one other person do.  I could over head press 245 lbs while seated, which in 30 years I have seen one person do 270 lb.  I could do bicep curl repetitions with 135 lb, from a stand still without cheating, which in 30 years I have never seen anyone do repetitions with 135 lb from a stand still without cheating.

From going to “Weight Room” gyms, where everyone was competitive about how much they could lift, and seeing what other people could do, I became determined to do better and to do more myself.  Instead of being a small, weak person, who was susceptible to bullying, and easily victimized, I ended up being much much stronger than an average person.

As an aside, from going to “Weight Room” gyms for many years, I learned how to more correctly asses the strength of other males from their physical characteristics, and base how I would handle situations on this.  Likewise, other males who had gone to “Weight Room” gyms for many years, also based their actions on their understanding of physical characteristics.  In life, this often resulted in an unspoken and mutual understanding in potential conflicts, among all parties, that no one wanted there to be a fight.

Though I had meant for the above paragraph to just be a side note, it actually ties in to what I wanted to say about “Fitness Centers”.  When I was going to “Weight Room” gyms, some of the people at these gyms were violent criminals, had been violent criminals, were thugs, or bullies.  I can not recall at any “Weight Room”, where any adult male wanted to start a fight with me.  This was not out of kindness, this was out of a desire for self preservation.

In contrast, at the West River Community Center in Dickinson, which is a “Fitness Center”, I can hardly think of a time that some woman, some kid, or some man did not nearly start a fight with me.  Whether I was sitting on a toilet, and some kid kept banging on the stall door after I already told him how to get to the other toilet, or some kid was kicking a soccer ball from the basketball court toward the joggers on the upper level track, or some woman who wore short shorts and was hanging upside down showing her panties was acting mad at me because she thinks I was looking, or some guy ran into me, I couldn’t go to the WRCC without becoming so irritated that I just didn’t even want to be there.

The long walk from a distant parking space in the WRCC parking lot, the kids getting underfoot as you enter the building, the moms with a bunch of kids taking up the entire entry way and counter so that you can’t pass or scan in, juveniles running through the corridors and the weight area, women taking up the benches and weight racks to lift 10 lbs or 20 lbs, young women and young men in their groups of twos or threes that are really just there because they have no other place to socialize as a minor.

As a male, what is motivational, inspirational, or impressive to you?  A) A plump high school girl sitting on a leg machine, not using it, and sending text messages on her phone;  B) Three high school boys milling around pushing and shoving each other because they have no place else to go;  C)  A woman on an elliptical machine;  D)  Some guy who can bench press twice his body weight.

If you want to be emasculated, you might as well just cut your testicles off and save yourself the trip of going to West River Community Center.

New Gym “The Pit” In Dickinson, North Dakota

Update 5/27/2018:  When I first wrote this blog post article about the Pit Gym in December of 2017, I had a very positive and favorable opinion of this gym because it was the only weight room gym in town.  I am not going to re-write my initial reaction, but I have added to the bottom of this blog post, a description of what I think is going to be a frustration for powerlifters and bodybuilders at this gym.

Approximately one month ago I was driving south on 10th Avenue East toward Villard when I saw a sign for the gym “The Pit” right next door to East End Towing.  I have lived in Dickinson for a little over five years, and in this particular neighborhood for six months, and this was the first time that I ever saw that a gym was in this building.

I turned in to the parking lot, and I got out of my vehicle to look in the windows.  The gym was mostly free weights, weight benches, and weight lifting racks.  I had not seen a gym like this in years.  Virtually all gyms in the United States have been transformed into “Fitness Centers” over the past 25 years in order to have a wider range of customers.  The “Weight Rooms” are almost all gone now.

I thought for sure that the owner must be a Power Lifter, because who else would open a gym now with mostly free weights and weight lifting racks?  I went inside, and there was a blond lady sitting at the desk, which was a surprise to me.  I said, “I was expecting to see a guy at this gym, not a lady, this is a Weight Room.”  She mostly understood what I meant, especially because her husband is a Power Lifter, but she probably didn’t like me saying it, because she is a Power Lifter too.  This was probably Step #1 of me getting kicked out of this gym.

I talked to her probably longer than I should have, but I wanted to see if she and her husband had had the same experience as me at the West River Community Center.  There are just so many people at the WRCC, and so many things going on, that it is difficult to get to the free weights and the weight racks at the WRCC.

For instance, I could plan on using one of the weight racks at the WRCC to safely do overhead press, squats, shrugs, or dead lifts, using 300 lbs or more, and all of the racks would be taken up by “Fitness People” who wanted to do multiple sets of lunges or bent over lifts using just the 45 lb bar, with no weights at all.

When I found out who her husband was, Dave Clem, I remembered seeing him at the WRCC many times.  I believed that he probably wasn’t very happy with the “circus” at the WRCC, and it was no surprise to me that this was his gym.  Dave is a Power Lifting competitor, and he currently holds several national Power Lifting records.  He routinely squats 750 lbs at meets.

Membership at “The Pit” gym is $40 per month.  If you are serious and goal oriented in Weight Training, Body Building, or Power Lifting, here are the advantages of this gym:

  1. Multiple sets of dumbbell pairs, ranging in 5 lb increments from 5 lb to 100 lb, with no gaps.  Four weight benches dedicated to the dumbbells.
  2. Two heavy duty Power Lifting bench press benches.  Adjacent weight plates to load 700 plus lbs.
  3. Two heavy duty Power Lifting squat racks, with quick release bar rests, safety bars, and safety chains.  Adjacent weight plates to load 700 plus lbs.
  4. Dedicated dead lift platform, with bar jack for loading and unloading weight plates.  Adjacent weight plates to load 700 plus lbs.
  5. The walk from your car, to the weights that you want to use, is less than 75 feet, with no one, and no thing in your way.  Going to the WRCC, is almost like going to an airport.
  6. The Pit gym has 24 hour access.  If you come during the day, or later in the evening, you will almost certainly have immediate and uninterrupted access to the weights, weight bench, or weight rack that you want to use.
  7. At certain times during the week, Dave Clem and the Power Lifting team are training for squat, bench, and dead lift, and are watching and assisting in improving each other’s lifts.

Dave and Wendy Clem have a Power Lifting team that trains at The Pit gym.  There is a large white competition board that lists each member’s weight class, competition record for squat, bench press, dead lift, totals, and personal best lifts.  They encourage high school students to become involved in Power Lifting and they provide coaching.

At this gym, it is more goal oriented and results oriented.  In Weight Training, Body Building, and Power Lifting, people are interested in increasing the weight used in lifts, increasing repetitions with weight, increasing the size and definition of muscle, and increasing strength in a measurable way.  It is not like a “Fitness Center” where people dabble on a piece of equipment until they become bored or distracted, and then wander over to another piece of equipment and watch television on a monitor, not paying attention to what they are doing.

Change in my opinion of The Pit Gym 5/27/2018:

The whole reason for The Pit Gym to even exist in my opinion, was to provide access to heavy-duty, high weight capacity squat racks, bench press benches, dead-lift platform, incline leg press, and dumbbells in a way that the West River Community Center, and Anytime Fitness in Dickinson, North Dakota do not.

The West River Community Center is one of nicest fitness centers in the United States.  It has two very large indoor swimming pools, one outdoor swimming pool, two tennis courts, four racketball courts, four basketball courts, a rock climbing wall, thirty pieces of cardiovascular equipment, and a weight room with squat racks, bench press benches, dead lift platform, and dumbbells, all for less money than The Pit Gym in Dickinson.

What the West River Community Center and the Anytime Fitness in Dickinson do not have, is an area for adult men to use heavy weight equipment, free from women and children.

At the West River Community Center in Dickinson, there are all kinds of things for women and children to do.  Swim laps, use the water slide, play tennis, play racketball, climb on the rock climbing wall, play basketball, walk the track, run the track, do yoga or floor exercises, take an aerobics class, use thirty pieces of cardiovascular equipment, and even go do squats, bench press, dead lifts, with just the bar, with no weight, for as much as they want, for as long as they want.

The West River Community Center also has a day care for kids, and a very large women’s locker room with many lockers, toilets, and showers.  The Anytime Fitness in Dickinson is also very large, with just as much cardiovascular equipment and weight lifting equipment as the West River Community Center.  The Anytime Fitness has a women’s locker room with several toilets and showers.

The Pit Gym in Dickinson is small in size, approximately 35’x 50′.  It has no women’s locker room, no women’s only bathroom, no shower, just one piece of cardiovascular equipment, no floor exercise area, and far less weight training equipment than either the West River Community Center or Anytime Fitness.  The only thing that The Pit Gym has that what appealing to me, is the heavy-duty weight benches, squat racks, dead lift platform, and dumbbells, combined with the absence of women and children.

If you add women and children to The Pit Gym, and you have either a woman or a kid on the two squat racks, the two bench press benches, and using the dumbbells, The Pit Gym in my opinion is not worth going to.

I thought that Dave Clem the owner of The Pit Gym and a power lifting competitor, went through the trouble of finding a building to rent, and moved all of his heavy-duty, high weight capacity, power lifting training, exercise, and competition equipment into this building, so that people who wanted to lift and train with heavy weight, could do so without any conflict or interruption from the women and children at the West River Community Center or Anytime Fitness.

Yesterday, I went to The Pit Gym in Dickinson, and two young men had brought their two young girlfriends with them.  The Pit Gym is very small, about 35’x 50′, there are only two squat racks, and two bench press benches.  I got to use the squat rack that I wanted to use, but one of the young men’s girlfriends was talking a lot, and playing around, like this was their garage, an afternoon barbeque, or a social occasion.  I was not as focused, or trying as hard as I should have been, I was distracted.  The space is so small, that you can’t really escape how other people want to act, or what they want to do.

Soon, there was another young man that arrived with his young girlfriend.  She was attractive, and was wearing training shorts, and a sports bras top.  I became even more distracted, not just because this girl was attractive, but because she was talking on her phone, and talking about other things.  Again, this was like a social occasion for her.  And again, this gym is only about 35’x 50′, if other people want to talk about food, and what they want to go eat, you can’t help but hear them, which takes your mind off of what you are doing.

I realized that I was stopping short of where I should have in my exercises, because I was not paying attention to what I was doing.  It was not just the distraction, it seems like there is a natural response to not completely disregard or ignore other people, as if this would be rude or impolite in a social situation.  However, I was not looking for a social situation, I had intended to focus completely on my lifts, but I was not able to.

There was one bench press bench that I needed to use next, which was available, except one of the young women had left her head phones on the weight bar.  What else would this bar be used for, other than to hang personal belongings on?  I moved her head phones to the adjacent bench press bench.  I was going to do behind the head pull over curls while laying on the bench, and this was the only bench with enough room to do this without hitting anything behind your head while laying down on the bench.

I didn’t realize that the young woman was going to use the adjacent bench press bench, to do bench presses with just the bar.  I dragged the bench press bench that I was going to use, away from her, so that when I was doing behind the head curls while laying down, I would not hit her with the bar.

Lately, I would go up to 135 lb with behind the head curls, and in the past I was able to go up to 160 lbs.  But today, I stopped at 105 lb, and left the gym before I was done with this exercise, and before I was done with the remainder of my exercises, because of these two women.

I did not want to continue with behind the head curls while laying down, for more sets with more weight, because I was worried about hitting the young woman with the bar, hurting her, and possibly losing my balance, and getting myself hurt too.  I did not think that she knew the range of motion that I was going to make in this exercise, and I did not think that she understood how difficult this is to lower 135 lb behind your head and pull it back up using just your triceps.

My next exercise was going to be dumbbell flys, but the other young man and his girlfriend were socializing by the dumbbells and the dumbbell benches.  I was concerned that I was not going to be able to make a maximum effort because of being distracted and not being able to entirely block out this couple.  I was also concerned about being bumped into by the young woman who might not have understood the range of motion that I was going to make, possibly hurting her, and possibly losing my balance and hurting myself too.

In the 30 years that I have been going to gyms, I have always sought to go to weight room gyms where everyone uses heavy weights.  At Anytime Fitness, the West River Community Center, or any gym where there are women and children, I have often had to stop what I am doing in the middle of a repetition, to avoid hitting or harming a woman or kid, that did not know the range of motion that I was going to make, or understand the amount of weight that I was moving.

For instance, in the past, I would train with 120 lb, 130 lb, and 140 lb dumbbells doing dumbbell presses.  I could not use more than 100 lbs, at the West River Community Center, because women would come walking up beside you when you were on a bench, totally not understanding that this was 100 lb in each hand, that you were going to extend your arms completely in a press, and this movement was going to hurt them if they got in the way.  And after five or six repetitions with 100 lb in each hand, they had better not be standing where a dumbbell could land on their feet.  Women and children did not know, or understand, when you were lifting heavy weight.

In my opinion, there is absolutely no point, no reason whatsoever to join The Pit Gym in Dickinson if the owners Dave and Wendy Clem want this to be another fitness center with women and children.  This gym will no longer offer anything that is any different from what the West River Community Center and the Anytime Fitness have to offer.

I have seen from my experience in going to many gyms over a 30 year period, that most women and children have no understanding or comprehension of an adult male making a maximum effort to lift the heaviest weight he can lift, for one or two repetitions, in an exercise where he can be severely injured or fail at the lift if he is distracted.  Or, the understanding that they could be severely injured if they don’t move the fuck out of the way.

Here below are some examples with photographs:

What this guy below needs, is for someone else’s girlfriend to stand at the weight bench next to him, so that her leg gets broken when he puts down one of those 200 lb dumbbells.  Maybe he should learn how to put them down gently, 200 lb each isn’t very much is it?  That’s not that much more than 10 lb, is it?

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These two guys below, what they need is someone else’s girlfriend standing in front of them wearing a sports bras, and talking on her phone about where they are going to eat.  Some kind of distraction is what they need, to cause them to fail in the lift and get hurt.

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All three of these guys up above need someone else’s kids running around them and bumping into them, to cause them to lose their balance so that they can fail in the lift and get hurt.

Today, in response to my updated blog posts, Wendy Clem, the wife of Dave Clem, wrote some comments.  She completely disagrees with my opinion and my wish that her gym be oriented primarily towards men.  She believes that her gym should be open to everyone.

Wendy wrote some comments saying that I was Chauvanistic.  I agree on this, as far as my opinion on having one gym in Dickinson that is primarily for men.  Wendy called me on the telephone, and said that if I came down there right now, she had two women in the gym who could kick my ass in the gym.  I said that I would be right there.

When I got to the gym about fifteen minutes later, Wendy met me outside the gym with a refund of money.  She wanted to tell me what she thought.  I said where are these two women who can out lift me?  I was introduced to a very large young woman who had just completed a 400 lb squat.

I said to the young woman, O.K., you have me beat on squat, I admit it.  Let’s go do some 100 lb dumbbells.  She wouldn’t do it.  Then, I got told to leave the gym, and never come back.