What would you expect if you were walking into a gym full of Gorilla's??!! Guys that are ALL well over 200lbs?? Would you be intimidated?? A little shy or out of place????
NOT at the Gorilla Pit!! I traveled to Mentor, Ohio this week to spend 3.5 days with the boys and girls of the Gorilla Pit!! I was greeted at the airport by a very smiley, friendly Jay Ashman. Jay is full of energy and enthusiasm. Sometimes his strong New York accent mixed with fast speech makes him a little hard to understand, but once you tell him to slow down a bit...he is full of great stories and loads and loads of great training and coaching advice! We wove in and out of traffic and I got to see the city lights of Cleveland as we drove!
The next morning I was greeted by THE Gorilla himself as I was picked up from my hotel room and wisked to (everyone get ready to gasp here....) MacDonalds for coffee and a sausage mcmuffin! lol (K so my diet took a bit of a hit for 3 days...im over it! lol) then it was off to the Gorilla Pit!! I walked in the back door with Ty and as he turned on lights it felt like heaven!! Tires line the walls! There are squat racks and benchs, barbells, kettlebells, punching bags and all sorts of strongman playing gear! It was AMAZING!!! The gym is bright and colorful!!
I spent the day hanging with Ty and meeting the interen, Steve (a total sweetie!) and just relaxing, discussing ideas and training. Picking the Gorilla's brain about training for Figure, Womens Tri Fitness and strongman stuff!! Just a wealth of postive information! REALLY do not let his gruff exterrior fool you. Ty is very approachable and easy to talk to. Thoughtful and caring! And a day at the Pit is full of a LOT of laughter as the guys banter and entertain VERY well!!
As time grew closer to my first workout at the Pit I found my stomach doing some butterflys! Here I am amongst ALL these ridiculously strong Gorilla's and I am gonna have to work hard to prove that im totally UP to Gorilla Girl standards! My first thoughts were 'where are the trash cans located should I happen to puke?!'
Ty put me through a GROOOOOOOOLING workout!!! This was by far tougher than anything i've done to date!!
4 Rounds of
Prowler Push - with 110lbs on the prowler - down the full length of the Pit and back!
10 Box Jumps
10 - 75lb Power Cleans
10 - 25lb KB Swings (I SO should have done the 35's on this...but I kind of liked the 'rest' before going back to the prowler! lol shhhh dont tell Ty!)
50 Sit ups - Legs up on the bench and touch the other side!!
25 Burpess (I ****ING HATE BURPEES! which I did say a few times...but no whinning! lol)
20 Standing Lunges
20 Jump Squats
20 Jumping lunges
Tire Flips!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYA I finally learned how to flip a tire!!! 345lbs I flipped it over 8 times total with some very good coaching from the big guy!!
I got threw this with some spitting!! NO puking (phew) and a whole lotta sweat!! ****ING AWESOME!!! I loved it!! 48 hours later I could feel it! lol
Day two again started with McDonalds coffee and sausage mcmuffin! lol Then onto the gym where I got to watch Ty train other clients. His intern Steve and I walked down to the little corner store and grabbed the Gorilla some coffee...WHICH he did say thank you for!! :P ( Ty i just OUTED you for manners right there!! lol) And then later in the day I got to meet Kate Rawlings as she had made her way over to the gym to train with Jay! I worked on deadlifts with Nikki!!!! I SO <3 Nikki! She is warm AND badass! Such a great combination! Also, anyone who knows that she trains with a lot of pain, cannot help but be insanely inspired by JUST how badass she is! I pulled 205 on regular deadlifts. I DO have to keep working on my form. The Gorilla was watcing and says that I am not getting my arse down far enough yet. (thank god he totally complimented me on my clean form!! lol). While i have pulled heavier in the past, its been over 6 months since i've pulled over 155 due strictly to lack of weight to do so at home...so I was very happy with 205!!
And Nikki also taught me how to do sumo deadlifts!!
Watching Jay, Sean and Sean (lol) train was so much fun. The pics really say it all! They work SO hard, the expressions on their faces showed the intensity of their determination in everything they were moved, lifted and shoved! The young ones wrestled in between the equipment at the end...covered in sweat! lol (pics are up!)
Then it was time to watch Ty deadlift! (it was a hard moment in life...I had Kate working squats on one side and Ty doing deads on the other...which way to turn?!?) I took many photos of Ty as he worked his way up to a 675lb deadlift! Numbers that I cant even phathom! I watched in total awe at his determination, skill, YES GRACE, and just total concentration for each pull! 'TOTAL AWE' is the best way to describe how it felt to watch such a big brute move so much weight!! The word 'badass' does not do it justice!
I also got to meet Ty's mom, who is TEEEEEENY! Like TEENY TINY TEENY on the first day. On the second day she took me driving and over to the lake! We walked along the beach and had a totally lovely time!!
Day 3 began in much the same way! Off to McD's and the gym. But I also got to see more of Cleveland in the day light as we wandered off to the airport to pick up Emma James and Chris Turnbull. Meeting Emma was a huge highlight of my trip! I only spent about an hour with her from the drive to the airport to her hotel. But in that time I was impressed and inspired by her grace, charm, humor and knowledge. She is very down to earth and has a genuine warmth along with an icredible sense of humor!! I look forward to learning from her in the future as she is a wealth of information on the mind/body connection!!
Due to timing of planes coming and going, I didnt get a third workout in at the Pit, although I did get a huge hug from the Gorilla when I was leaving that made me have to tense every freggin muscle in my body so I wouldnt be crushed (****er has HUGE arms and a soild ass chest! SHESH! lol).
What I found in Mentor, Ohio at the Pit was a bunch of VERY down to earth, funny, interesting and over all GREAT group of people who can immediatly make you feel like you are at home! I cant wait to go back!! And I will not only be doing some modeling for Ty, but will be getting him to train me for Figure in 2011!! Bet ya'll didnt know a Gorilla CAN train a figure girl!! Stay tuned....more fun from the Pit to come!!
From the Eye of the Storm
THANK YOU TY, Nikki, Jay, Sean, Sean and Steve for making me feel SO a part of the family at the G.P.!!!
Stay tuned as I work with Ty Phillips of the Gorilla Pit to ready for the 2011 Figure Stage!!