Tony Visits Texas: Highlights

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Well, I’m still here in Texas still getting ready to head back to Boston and I figured that since I had a few minutes to spare, I’d sit down and hammer out a quick post sharing a few highlights of my trip:

1. The Good News – There was absolutely no reason for Lisa’s dad to pull out his gun. WHEW! Which is a shame, because I really wanted to showcase my Matrix style, bullet-dodging prowess.

Truth be told, I think I made a pretty good impression with Lisa’s family (only dropped one f-bomb!), and I can’t wait to come back and visit more of the state.

2. Texas is big. Nuff said. And, I think I saw more NRA signs and badges in five minutes than I’ve seen in the four+ years I’ve been in Massachusetts combined. What’s more, there’s no state income tax! Pssssst, Eric and Pete, we need to move CP to Texas…….(only slightly kidding).

3. Lisa and I drove to Metroflex Gym in Arlington, TX to get a quick lift in on Saturday morning.

For those who aren’t familiar, Metroflex is known as a hardcore gym that many professional bodybuilders train at, as well as a slew of powerlifters. Most notably, Ronnie Coleman train there. Yeah buddy!

We got directions off their website, and after a quick 20 minute drive, parked in the parking lot, got out of the car, and I immediately heard the “my mother never loved me” music blaring from inside. Right then and there, I knew this was going to be EPIC.

We walked in the front door and were immediately greeted by this ginormous dude who looked like he just got done arm wrestling a bull. I asked if we could get a day pass and he said, “sure, that’ll be $20. The only rules we got is to pick up your shit, and don’t bother any of the pro guys until they’re done training if you want an autograph.”

Easy peezy.

We walked around the corner and immediately noticed the various graffiti on the walls, as well as the numerous pictures (and quotes) from all the famous people who have trained there – in the bodybuilding and powerlifting ranks, anyways.

What was most amusing was that there was a guy literally walking around with a blow torch, welding things back together. Nothing says “hardcore” than some random dude blow torching two barbells together in the middle of the madness. At one point he was like five feet away from Lisa as she was doing one-legged hip thrusters with chains across her waist.

The guy who greeted us at the door was training what looked like an amateur bodybuilder getting ready for a show. I decided that as much as I wanted to jump in on the gun show, I would start with some speed pulls vs. bands. I ended up working up to 405 (5×2), which I felt was acceptable given than I was half the size as everyone else in there.

From there I moved on to some front squats, followed by glute ham raises, and then did some kettlebell swings with Lisa. By the end, both of us felt like we needed a tetanus shot, but it was exactly the type of environment that I’ve grown to appreciate, and that most people reading would benefit from immensely if they could experience it just ONCE! As I’ve stated numerous times before, nothing (and I mean NOTHING) beats a kick-ass training environment.

4. Not surprisingly, it was a total meat fest while down here. And, I’m going to go out on a limb and just say that Texas has THE best BBQ. Ever. No competition. Saturday night, we ordered food from this place called – appropriately enough – Feedstore BBQ; and to say that it was anything other than the best meal I ever had, would be an understatement.

5. I was able to snake a couple free, three-day passes online, so we decided to train at a local commercial gym the last few days we were down here. I don’t know if it has anything to do with what they drink in the water, but I never saw so many people training with partial ranges of motion in my life.

Seemingly, almost every person I saw in the free-weight area was going out of his or her way to NOT train with a full range of motion. Bench presses, overhead presses, curls, squats, you name it, I rarely saw a full ROM.

What’s up with that Texas??????

6. And, finally, you can’t visit Texas and not attend at least one rodeo. As luck would have it, Lisa’s dad and step-mother bought tickets to the Fort Worth Stock Show, and we spent most of the afternoon Sunday walking around looking at horses, cowboys, and this:

I want to eat it!

In addition, as noted above, we attended our first rodeo which was unlike anything I have ever seen. I thought carrying around a chainsaw was manly, but after watching these guys get on the back of a bull (or horse), and risk their lives, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that nothing I do is as bad-ass as what they do on a nightly basis.

On that note, my girlfriend is giving me the cue that I need to pack so that we can make it to the airport. See you back in Boston!

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