The first gym I went to didn’t have a chest press. To do a chest press exercise all we did was lay on the floor. The gym called The Kings Hall was a redundant cinema that had a piano in the corner a remnant of the silent films, Charlie Chaplin, The Keystone Cops, Laurel & hardy all of them acting to the twinkling of the keys.
Dotted across the gyms we had the globe like weights that we filled with sand and had to take some out to make them lighter. Now we have adjustable collars or even a whole range of dumbbells. The Olympic barbells were considered a luxury and unlike today we couldn’t drop them on the floor because the steel wouldn’t take it, neither would the floors for that matter. We didn’t have rubber around the plates, steel was the only winner when your floor is fully varnished. It was great working out then but not nearly as much as it is today with the variation in equipment, cable machines and cardio.
We loved to train but today’s variety is really special with things like the Freemotion Incline Trainer. The supportive staff is a huge advantage with what you have available in your Functional Areas no wonder you get the gains that you do.
Back then everyone who I worked with was expected to do the plank, lying on the floor face down with your arms stretched out in front, we didn’t put our forearms on the floor. Working the lower back, delts, abs and glutes, not everyone could maintain it for long periods of time but there were some who could last for an age. It’s such a great exercise and one that I think should be done on a regular basis.
Words by Ken Heathcote