When I began going to the local YMCA as a kid, I rode my bike there. Unlike the kids of today who get a ride to The Underground Strength Gym, even if they live 2 blocks away.
My bike ride was a good 15 minutes and I loved it.
The fresh air, the excitement of heading to the gym to transform my body and to feel that pump. To me, there was nothing better in life than getting the pump and seeing my body transform in front of the mirror in what seemed like a daily occurrence.
Spring and Summer were the best, that beautiful morning air was clean and fresh.
After all, it was 1990 (or perhaps 1989?) and the air was much, much cleaner 30+ years ago compared to now.
There were a lot of "characters" in the gyms I went to.
The YMCA was interesting because it was small, maybe 1200 sq ft or so if I can recall correctly.
One of the guys always trained with work gloves on.
He was a truck driver and you knew he was there because he parked his truck in the parking lot or on the street in front of the Y.
He always had on jeans, work boots and a white tank top. In NJ they call this a Guinea T.
This guy was STRONG.
I didn't see him work his legs as much as his upper body but I do remember seeing him curl the ez bar with 45s on each side.
As a 14 yr old, compared to my 10s on each side, that was impressive.
The YMCA weight room was downstairs. Right next to the weight room was the Basketball gym, the pool and
the locker room.
One evening on a school night, I walked through the locker room to use the bathroom before I started training.
I saw a few of the lifters in the locker room standing up in a tight circle. In that circle, I saw a few of the other
regular lifters, but they were not in their normal workout clothes.
These guys also wore the guinea t, and they were wearing striped sweat pants. Back then it meant nothing to me, until I learned in my 20s, this is often how the mob dresses. A track suit or a suit and tie.
The other guys, they were dressed up with a suit and tie and I had never seen them like that either.
Wearing a suit and tie at the YMCA? They must be coming here straight from work, I thought to myself.
As I walked by they all turned their heads but all I recall at that moment was hearing them say lot of "F Bobs"; This f--ing guy, f-- this, f-- that.....
I turned my head and kept walking because for some reason that I couldn't understand, I got nervous just from walking by these guys.
I had heard of the mob at this age but it didn't really hit home for me........
Enjoy this episode as I share stories from back in the day:
- How I gained 20lbs in 2 months the summer I trained with Mobsters
- How my Bench went from 135 x 7 to 225 x 3 in 2 months
- The exact "training program" we followed
- How I got money from Mobsters for my first car
Listen to this episode below:
Listen on Apple Podcasts HERE
Listen on Spotify HERE