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My recent trip to the USA for the first SUPER STRENGTH SEMINAR held at Metroflex Gym, Long Beach allowed me to really get my teeth stuck into the local scene and meet some truly wonderful people.

I spent the first night in LA at one of my favourite hotels, The Hotel Angeleno. It’s not that this is a particularly snazzy hotel but you get free valet, a huge bed, great staff and an awesome top floor restaurant for dinner and breakfast. The views are spectacular of the city and the dreaded LA traffic! It’s easy to get to Santa Monica, The Valley or Hollywood from this place. Worth a visit just for the views alone.

Checkout this ridiculous time lapse video I did from the bar!

The next day I headed straight to Metroflex and met everyone who were all called David it seems! Actually Sergio was there too and Metroflex owner Eddie was at his new gym at Metroflex, Orange County. I also met Bentley the ‘gym dog’ who lives there 24/7.

The gym is a huge, open space, warehouse design with something for everyone. There’s a Powerlifting section, a weightlifting section, a crossfit section, a strongman area out the back and plenty of equipment for Bodybuilders and athletes of all levels. It’s a great place with a great vibe and full of characters!

With Metroflex Owner Eddie Avakoff

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Eddie just let me have the run of the place, both for training and the seminar. He had posters up everywhere and everyone seemed to know who I was. Lot’s of ‘oh, you’re the Beyond Strong guy’.

Once I got the feel of the place and figured out where would do our class room work I headed over to Eddie’s other gym. This facility is smaller but has the best equipment money can buy as well as a top nutrition centre on the premises. High end indeed. I never got to train there but I will on the next trip.

After that I did a round trip around the whole area meeting up with various gym owners and getting an idea of what is popular and what’s not in the greater LA area. This was one of the most interesting and enlightening parts of being in LA this time around. More on this later.

I trained at Metroflex and saw a few machines I wanted to try.

Few gyms have Inverted Leg Press machines so I was eager to use the one here. I loaded that thing up with 100b plates (Metroflex has tons of these) and bust a gut on some really heavy reps! I like the Leg Press machine but it always amuses me to see virtually everyone cutting the range of motion. That’s why I love the machine at Vince and Roz’s because you can lie flat and really get a full range through the hips and knees. My only problem with this machine was removing the 100lb plates! I had to get one of the trainers to help me prise them off.

HEAVY leg pressing is good if done right

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They also had a stand alone ‘wrist roller and supination/pronation machine’ that looked like it had hardly been used. I’ve never seen one of these before and as a bit of a hand and grip specialist I was eager to play with it! The machine allowed you to do a wrist roller both ways and all types of supination and pronation of the forearm. You could even load it up for a ‘top roll’ arm wrestling movement. Really great machine.

If anyone sees one of these on Ebay let me know!

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That night I stayed at the Queen Mary which has been moored at Long Beach for over 50 years. It’s a MASSIVE old ship full of rich history. It felt like I was staying on the Titanic!

The gym, the hallway and the exterior of the HUGE Queen Mary

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The next day was my final prep day before the Seminar. I didn’t train as I knew I’d need to be demonstrating all weekend and since I was carrying a few injuries I didn’t want to risk making them worse. I spent most of the day tidying up my Keynote Presentation, grabbing last minute items (pens, pads, water) and making sure I knew where to take everyone for meal breaks.

I also picked a Power Rack and a lifting area to demonstrate form and technique. This is a KEY area for me and something I’ll never take lightly. Bad form = injuries. Whether they happen straight away or over time, bad form will always bite you! I find it amusing that even VERY strong people have poor form and yet they are copied by people because they are strong. Of course people will always say “So what if my form is bad, I’m stronger than you”. That’s just plain dumb. I’d rather lift less in good form and be injury free than lift more in bad form and be injured for weeks or months.

The final thing I did that friday was to meet up with Sharon Polsky and Nathan Harewood. Sharon has a fitness studio and gym in Long Beach and Nathan runs Gold’s Gym, Calgary. Sharon had helped get my posters put up and actually introduced me to Eddie Avakoff. She and Nathan were running their Supercamp weekend which involved everything from yoga to contest preparation to posing to nutrition. She’d asked me to do a slot for her fitness competitors on BEYOND STRONG which I was more than happy to do.

I walked into the studio as the girls were all walking around in gym gear and high heels! Nathan was taking them through posing and walking on stage. I figured they were busy and we agreed to meet up the next evening for dinner.

PART 2 coming soon