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:
- 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.
- Two heavy duty Power Lifting bench press benches. Adjacent weight plates to load 700 plus lbs.
- 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.
- Dedicated dead lift platform, with bar jack for loading and unloading weight plates. Adjacent weight plates to load 700 plus lbs.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.