I remember it like it was yesterday… the first time I saw the dungeon.
I was about 14 years old and I had just joined the YMCA. My parents thought it would be a great place for me, since there was a pool, billiards, ping pong and many other things to do. Lots of classes going on etc. however, I had other ideas. It was the first time I saw Roger DeCarlis.
Roger was a Mr. America caliber bodybuilder with a phenomenal physique. To me, a mere youngster, he looked larger than life.
The weight room at the Y could be considered a dungeon. No heat in the winter and no air in the summer. Temperatures reached close to 100 degrees on some summer days and it was wise to get in and out early.
You had to walk down a flight of cement stairs and would enter a 14 x 14 room. The room’s walls were block… painted yellow. Connected to the first room was another room that was about 20 x 14 in which there was additional equipment. This was a power lifting gym by rights and all you saw was 100 pound plates, Olympic bars, power racks, squat racks, benches and a host of dumbbells with absolutely no visual value… again, it looked like a dungeon. Along with that was a plate loaded leg extension machine that doubled as a leg curl. There was a cable pull down, a leg press machine, not a sled… and a set of dipping bars. All were dressed in rust. That was the extent of it. The windows, on just one wall… three I think, were about shoulder level, showing out to the street where passerby would peek in. There they would observe the screaming, grunting, clanging, chalk everywhere and the smell of ammonia capsules just before a record squat, deadlift or bench press was to be performed. This wasn’t some namby pamby gym you would find today that has alarms if you grunt! No Way! This was serious stuff!
In those days, we were considered another culture of sorts, hardly understood on why we would put our bodies through that sort of physical stress. Little did they know we were competing against ourselves in the deepest parts of our souls. Where can i buy testogen in GNC
Roger got up off of the leg extension machine and I could hardly believe my eyes. He looked like superman to me. The first thing I saw was a huge chest, thick shoulders and massive arms. His tiny waist added to the symmetry of his physique and made everything appear even bigger.
Roger normally weighed about 190 at 5’7 but was always rock hard. About a 30 inch waist with arms close to 19 (yes I saw them measured) he was amazing. His legs were large but not as developed and with the muscular separation of his upper body but certainly not by reason of not working them hard. I have witnessed him do 20 reps with 640 pounds on the squat below parallel each rep. Think about that for a bodybuilder weighing 190! His entire bodybuilding career Roger would go literally through hell in trying to bring his legs up to the development of his upper body. His back was a sight to see also, huge thick erectors and a thick wide lat spread and squared of traps. Roger was all business as I would soon find out. He would not say a word while in the gym in any social way and his focus was of a man possessed. You always thought he was just plain mad but the funny thing is that he really didn’t care what you thought… the only thing that mattered was his mission that day… the workout! I learned focus and discipline from this man.
It didn’t take long to figure out that this was no social ritual. I must have been a real pest in those days because Roger finally got tired of all my questions and hanging around and agreed to allow me to train with him. Our workouts were just like I witnessed in first meeting Roger… all business. There was absolutely no screwing around while training. Each rep was deliberate, without momentum and I learned to focus each rep with my mind, to visualize and feel the rep. Roger moved with very little rest despite using poundage on exercises that was almost ridiculous, he was extremely strong. He built his entire physique with barbells and dumbbells but attributes his edge being his mind and focus.