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4/7/2013 6:44:02 PM -
Gym Recommendation

Over the past six months or so, I’ve changed my tune on commercial gyms. Training has become much more important to me, and after a few years of setbacks, injuries, and bullshit, I’ve made it one of the main priorities in my life to get shit back on track with both my training and my nutrition. No more stops and starts (in terms of what I’m training for, and what I’m doing), and no more letting shit get in the way.

A few years back, I’d resigned myself to spending the majority of my training time in shitty commercial gyms. This is because I can’t always train at the school where I coach, and because I don’t have access to a world-class facility where I am (without either forking over a shitload of money or driving over an hour each way to train with people I know—which is okay for weekends, but simply isn’t feasible on weekdays).

I’ve changed my mind and decided to say f**k commercial gyms. This happened about six months ago. Wherever I go, I either try to use my “connections” to talk my way into the better spots—I’m happy to pay, so that’s not an issue—or I do my research and decide on the best available option wherever I go. Oddly enough, when I travel, this usually means I’m going to a CrossFit gym, because they at least have shit I can use, and they won’t give me shit about training the way I want to train now that I’m healthy again and back to being a “somewhat strong motherf****r.”

My experience in Massachusetts last week notwithstanding (I forgot to mention the fact that they had a “Deadlift Club” sign on the wall right next to where I was told not to deadlift, btw), this has worked out pretty well for me.

Today, I want to give a little shout-out to a gym I love to use whenever I’m in New York. It’s a spot called Lea’s Survival Gym in Seaford, Long Island, and it’s owned by an NPC bodybuilder named LeaAnn Scelfo who, thankfully, has a real and genuine understanding of how athletes actually need to train—i.e., she doesn’t give a shit if you want to deadlift, use chalk, or do whatever else you need to do to train like a f-ing normal person, as opposed to some douche who goes to Planet Fitness.

This is a small gym, with one rack, one open squat stand/rack, and pretty much one of everything. The dumbbells go heavy, though, and although I don’t know the brand name of the rack they have, it has raised sidebars on the bottom, so it’s possible to attach bands—and nobody’s going to come over and question you if you do.

Best of all, they run this place like the Gestapo. It’s classically lived-in and old-school, but they keep it clean. Best of all, people there are respectful, and weights are ALWAYS put away. I’ve never gone in there and had to clean up after anyone.

This place also has a serious bodybuilding heritage, which is also a good thing when you’re talking about a gym that’s open to the public. LeaAnn has connections with most of the biggest names in the industry, the gym is filled with trophies, plaques, and autographed pictures, and she’s been a competitor herself for years.

If you’re on Long Island and you want an awesome gym that covers all the basics (and then some), with a family atmosphere where you’ll be left alone to train your ass off, this place is barely even marked, down a side street with a side entrance you wouldn’t even notice unless you know what you’re looking for. Highly recommended.

When I find "undiscovered" shit, I usually like to keep it to myself so nobody ruins it, but since they're super nice people, I'm advertising this place because I'd love to see them get more business. It's definitely worth going if you're in that area.

Angry Coach

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