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I would first of all, like to thank Anytime Fitness of Columbia Mo for letting me be a beast in their gym. It is a rare occasion that I enter the halls of a commercialized gym other than to watch a “power meet” I was staying out-of-town last week, when the weather took a turn for the worst and it began to rain… well… to say it was raining would be a understatement, their were powerful storms moving through one right after another. I havent seen a day like this in a long time, I was feeling cavalier and when I’m traveling I do not like to let a minute away from my family go wasted nor not be productive. So in the middle of one storm to the next I would start working again. Maybe I bit off more than I could chew, this building tiers down in levels like a cake from the top roof of 7 stories goes down to roof of level 5 then to roof of 2nd floor. Well I was on the roof of 5 when the next thunder head showed itself. It came in FAST, and I was by myself with the equipment after my partner got off his drop. Never had to worry much when I was on a roof when it thundered and rained, but this time was different. It started to pour and when the lightning struck the thunder followed immediately, I knew it was right over the top of me. What made this one really bad was I couldn’t just repel down to the ground or just go inside. I had already had the equipment ready to bring up to roof of 7 and was only two stories away from 7 so I done the only thing I could do… ascend up my rope the two stories back to the top roof. Being a high-rise specialist there isn’t much that makes my butt pucker but when you’re hanging on a rope on the side of a building, with lighting literally right over you… you move with the speed of 10 men matched with the fear! Well I made it to the roof without becoming a crispy critter. Needless to say my adrenaline WAS pumping! by the look of the maps I been looking at all day, I knew I was not able to do my duties for the day, plus it was my “push day”. So I sought out a gym to spend some of this pent-up adrenaline. That is what brought me to a Anytime Fitness, for $5 you can not beat it, if you need a place for the day.

So I walked through the doors and paid my dues,  I went straight for the first barbell I could find… I couldn’t find one, instead of wasting time I went to the dumbbells and started. As I was doing my DB sets I was scanning the 30×30 strip mall room for any sign of a power rack or bench. Then off in the distance I seen a man inclined on a bench moving a bar up and down a another steel bar. Awe a Smith Machine… but wait their was only one, so I finished my working sets while keeping an eye on the man using what I knew was going to be my only hope in holding a barbell. As I stood there drooling over the machine while doing my “Arnold Presses” I thought to myself, how sad it is that these patrons do not get to enjoy free bench, deadlifts, or even a power clean, how are they to develop… As I shed my tear… well sweat from my eyes, I seen the man move away from the Smith Rack and I darted over to it, at the same time I seen a twink moving in for the steel. At first, I thought this kid needs it more than me but on the other hand I could have died today… I needed to feel at home. So as I approached the rack I glared at the kid and said It was my turn and if he was crunched for time like myself, he could work in his sets with mine. luckily for me, he read my signals and said he would wait.

It must have been High School the last time I touched a Smith Machine. I was mixed feelings about it than as I was this time, the glide of the bar, me moving and the bar staying fixed. Feels so weird but yet feels natural as well. I could feel what I believe to be friction or resistance from it gliding on the stay bar but it wasnt a bad feeling. I certainly felt like I was activating muscles in a way I havent ever before, which was invigorating. I enjoyed it so much that I forgot about the kid and was doing drop sets on all my push routine movements that this thing would allow me to do. I indulged so much that by the time I was done, the kid had gone and there was a line of people waiting to use the machine. This devise including my headphones and log book kept me so intrenched with my training, that I didn’t notice time or others surrounding me. I will for-ever remember this session for when I have a bad one I will remember what the great ones feel like, to help me punch the clock on those tough days.

I’m sold. If there is a time where I need to go to a big gym again, probably a Anytime Fitness. I will be looking for the Smith Machine and hope maybe that day will be a squat day, that will be an awesome experiment. If your gym has one I would recommend fitting it into your routine every now and then, but I wouldn’t make it my sole routine. With that said I did how ever leave a suggestion in the suggestion box… It read… POWER RACK PLEASE!

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