Building a Training Hall

by Roger LaPointe

The Ambridge Barbell Club can be classified as an "Old School" Training Hall!

Training halls are not built over night. What do you think of when you hear about a training hall? My guess is that a different image is conjured up from when you hear “fitness facility”. Am I right?

The old gyms and YMCAs, where many greats in the iron game trained, tended to be dingy after thoughts, as far as facilities would go. The great old training halls that I think of had beautiful woodwork. They may have had lines of old globe type barbells and Indian clubs lining the walls. There would always be a heavy duty, slightly raised wooden lifting platform in the center of the room. There was always some boxing equipment, or even and full ring.

These were the genuine “man caves” of a bygone era. You didn’t see pastel colors or ferns. There might be a mirror on one wall, but the art work would typically be nicely framed instructional courses, anatomical charts or promo photographs of strongmen from the past. There would be a bulletin board with the information on the next weightlifting contests or wrestling matches. Guys like Sig Klein would be your instructor, not a “personal trainer”. They were genuine record holders who had actually competed and set records. Respect was implicit and you asked them questions. You would never question them. You want to see training halls? Is it time that your place started morphing into a training hall, instead of just “weights in the basement”?

All the best, Roger LaPointe
“Today is a good day to lift.”

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