It was 1989, and Dwayne Johnson, long before he was the "Rock" and a Hollywood movie star, was a prized high school football recruit, pursued by Florida State, Penn State, and many others. However, as Johnson writes in his biography, he chose the Miami Hurricanes, in part because of a difference he saw in environment. While the other schools showed him new and gleaming facilities with all the latest bells and whistles, Johnson was surprised to see a weight room at Miami that was small, cramped and dirty. The weight room that would produce multiple titles in the 80's and so many NFL greats was a veritable dungeon. Johnson liked the atmosphere of hard work, and chose Miami.
As fitness has become popularized, weight rooms like Miami's have been replaced with pristine facilities emphasizing comfort over training. Gyms are air conditioned and quiet. Training aids such as chalk are banned for the mess they make. Dropping bars, which may disturb others, is strictly forbidden. Music is played at a soft volume. TV's are everywhere, and potted plants add to the ambience. Gym goers spend as much time looking at their phones as they do "lifting". Add it all up, and the atmosphere closely resembles a library.
At 212 we like to think of ourselves as a throwback to the old days, when dedicated athletes lifted with focus and determination in sweat boxes like Miami's. 212 grew out of a small garage, with just a few people who loved to train. Though Equiptment was minimal, great results were produced, and quickly a new facility was needed to accommodate athletes looking for the same results. With the move came more space, but we never lost the attitude of the old garage. At 212 there is no air conditioning. No TV's. The music, to our neighbors regular dismay, is very loud. The sound of black iron crashing against the floor throughout the day shakes the walls. Chalk is everywhere by the end of the day, and there is graffiti on the walls commemorating big lifts. Everything in the facility is geared towards getting athletes better, not appearance or comfort.
Those who have gone from strong to weak know that WHO you train with is massively important, but don't neglect the importance of environment. When training is the emphasis and not appearance/comfort, it's often the extra edge athletes need to have great workouts and see great results. And at 212, excellent results is what we do.