This weekend while Dave Palumbo and Chris Aceto were hard at work teaching their S.M.A.R.T. training course, I took Dave’s Mercedes to Bev Francis and Steve Weinberger’s Powerhouse Gym in Syosset, New York. People often refer to Bev’s as the “East Coast Mecca”, and although I got there at 2pm on a Saturday, l was able to see why. The gym had a few dozen serious lifters, from IFBB Pros to Legends in the sport. I was there to film upcoming NPC Bodybuilder, Shawn Robinson, and train chest. But, as you all know, I’m always on the lookout for a scoop, and I found a few in the gym this weekend.
The first person I bumped into was the Brown Bomber, Leon Brown. If you aren’t familiar with Leon, he was one of the groups that regularly trained with Arnold at Gold’s Gym Venice Beach, and even appeared throughout the pages of the book, Pumping Iron. What many people might not know is that Leon, like many of Arnold’s old friends, still speak to him regularly. After snapping a picture with Leon, I asked him if he’s talked to Arnold lately, and he responded, “I spoke to Arnold over Christmas.” I asked him if Arnold told him about the status of his marriage, and Leon told me that Maria, Arnold, and the kids were celebrating the holidays together! I was a little surprised by this, because even though there have been rumors of Arnold and Maria reuniting, I didn’t know it they had in fact, reconciled. Leon informed me, with a huge smile that Maria and Arnold would in fact be getting OFFICIALLY back together in the near future. He also informed me, “Arnold is back to training again. He has a scene in the Expendables 2 without a shirt, and he doesn’t want to let Sly Stallone make him look bad!”
New IFBB Pro Juan Morel was also in the house. He and Akim Williams had just finished blasting legs. You may have seen Akim recently squatting 600lbs in a recent In the Iron Asylum Training video(http://www.rxmuscle.com/videos/iatraining/4801-akim-williams-squats-600-lbs-at-bev-francis-powerhouse-gym.html). I also had the opportunity to meet Juan’s girlfriend, Karen McEnany. Since Juan recently signed with Weider/AMI, and wants to stay on their good side, I only got a picture of his back! The three of them were heading out of the gym, and to Juan’s second home, McDonalds.
I also ran into Ron Noreman, CPA to the stars, and he told me he is still laser focused on being “the most muscular guy in the old folk’s home”! Ron hasn’t even hit 50 yet, so he’ll have to settle for world’s most muscular CPA!
As I was leaving, I bumped into my twitter buddy and Top NPC Men’s Physique competitor, Christopher Villa. In typical MPD fashion, he had a plethora of attractive women around him, and training with him. Here is a picture of Chris, Sharissa Roman (right), and Stephanie Becerra (left):
It’s easy to see why people refer to Bev’s as The East Coast Mecca! To me, the energy of a gym is more important than equipment, the people, the ambiance, or anything else. It’s hard to explain in words what “energy” in a gym means, but the best way to explain it is like electricity. I have heard Chris Cormier explain that same feeling when walking into Gold’s Gym Venice in the 80s and 90s. When I walk into Bev’s, I WANT to train, and train hard!
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