Guest post by Grant Douglas from Australia, taken from the Renegade Strength Club.
My girlfriend and myself had been planning a holiday in the US for the end of 2010 to spend Christmas/New Years in New York and then move on to Washington D.C., Colorado and Vegas.
I have been following Jason’s writing/programs now for about 3 years and once we had decided we were going to be in New York for 10 days, there was no way I was going to miss the chance to make the pilgrimage and train at Renegade Gym in New Jersey.
The original plan was to head to New Jersey from New York on Wed, 29 Dec and train with the 9am crew. This plan went to shit after the first massive blizzard hit New York and knocked out most of the trains leaving the city for a few days. The next plan was to make it in time to train with the 9am crew on Friday, 31 Dec 2010.
This time there were no problems with the trains and after almost 2hrs spent on 3 different trains I finally made it to Renegade Gym. I thought I would be nervous or something when I got there but once I was inside it kinda felt like home in a weird way.
I was greeted by Jared, Jay’s brother when I arrived and he is a super cool guy and nowhere near as ugly as Jay makes him out to be….just kidding, just kidding…
I was there to train with the 9am crew, which I assumed would be a fairly small group, but in total there were just over 20 guys/girls in the group, which made the atmosphere really cool for the size of Jay’s gym.
Everyone I met and was introduced to were all really cool people, although they were a little confused/surprised at first that I had come all that way to train. There is no time wasting or fucking around at Jay’s gym, after everyone hit some foam rolling, the warm up started right on 9am (which I’m pretty sure was led by Ralph (Jay did a post on him and his training late last year, he takes his training very fucking seriously too). This was actually the fun part for me, to see how Jay and the other guys ran the training in a group setting. I usually train on my own so it was cool to see the dynamic.
Trap Bar Deadlifts were the main lift for the day. Jay had me work in for 4 other guys, who’s names I can’t remember unfortunately, again, there was no fucking around, we got straight in to the warm up sets and worked our way up. I am assuming my form was pretty awesome on these as Jay didn’t offer any tips ;)
After the Deads we moved to Barbell Hip Thrusts (I had forgotten how awesome these are and will have to bring them back into my training) and Face Pulls on the TRX. It was very cool to see everyone move from one exercise/set to the next with minimal instruction from Jay, everyone knew what they were to do and knew when to do it. That could have been because of Jay’s awesome coaching abilities or because they are scared shitless of him ;)
After the assistance work we hit the battling ropes for a finisher. I was secretly hoping for some Prowler Suicides but thought I would keep quiet once I saw the aftermath of everyone busting their asses on the ropes. I love the ropes just as much as the Prowler (well, almost), but after 5 rounds I realised I had been enjoying my holiday and the expensive bourbon a little too much….
That was the end of the session, and just in case anyone is wondering, Jay does practice exactly what he preaches, especially training wise, there was nothing going on in gym that you haven’t heard or read about from him in the past – he runs his own show and is definitely not a product of his environment. I thought I would be a little nervous when I first arrived to train, but the cool thing was that it was exactly like I thought it would be.
Overall, I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to train at Jay’s gym and to not only read about Jay’s exploits and follow his programs but actually spend some time talking to him as well. Jay is a super cool guy like everyone says and to prove it even gave me a ride to the train station and spent 10 minutes chatting.
I have learnt more from Jay’s writing, not just about training but life in general, over the last few years than from a lifetime of well meaning teachers. Everyone on the Renegade Strength Club Forum. will know what I mean, if Jay’s writing didn’t speak to you in some way you probably wouldn’t waste your time here.
I am truly thankful to be healthy and have the opportunity to train with the iron on a regular basis.
Training has changed my life and is the one constant that I know will always be there for me when I need it and never let me down.
If you ever have the chance to train at Renegade Gym – take it, you won’t regret it.
It took almost 3hrs to get back to New York after I left, mainly due to the fact that there were thousands of people heading to time square for New Years. Which by the way was fucking “awesome”….we spent 10 hrs standing in times square freezing our asses off waiting for midnight with no alcohol, nowhere to take a piss and no decent food…..Seriously though, it was a good time and something worth doing once.
Thanks again Jay, everything you do is very much appreciated man.