The gym that time forgot in Lexington, Michigan

Just got back from a nice golf getaway with Vivian and her parents. We stayed at Lakeview Hills Golf Resort in Lexington, Michigan. I get the impression that Lexington's days as a cottagy getaway for Detroiters has passed but there is still alot of charm in the little town on the lake. Lakeview Hills Golf Resort boasts two 18 hole golf courses, a hotel, and some uncommon amenities. For one, they have a 16 lane bowling alley available if there is enough demand and two, they have a fitness facility that is truly a hidden gem if you're an old meathead like myself.


In the pictures on their website, one gets a hint of their 'fitness center' but it's not until you descend the stairs into the basement of the main building and turn on the lights (it was empty both days I used it) that you are immediately transported to the year 1992 or 1993.

Unlike most resorts, there is no charge to use the "Ultimate Fitness Health Club", this despite it being far better equipped for someone wanting to get bigger and/or stronger than any hotel/resort fitness center I had previously used. Since I was really on a golf vacation with Vivian and her parents, I didn't bring my squat shoes or belt but I knew I did want to get in a couple workouts if possible. After seeing that this gym was better equipped than the gym I use at home, I immediately regretted leaving my equipment at home.

Nothing but iron plates and old-school machines

The power rack is across the room

wobbly iron dumbbells up to 120 lbs
If the equipment wasn't enough, the walls were decorated with 8x10's of famous bodybuilders, some signed. Curiously, none of the pictures were from anyone famous in the last 20 years.  Prior to my obesity fueled journey back into the gym, the last time I lifted weights with a purpose was 1992-1993.  The pictures on the wall were the same pictures that inspired me.  Tom Platz, Cory Everson, Mike Matarrazo, Lenda Murray, Sandy Riddell, Tonya Knight, Laura Creavalle, Achim Albrecht, Momo Benaziza, Francis Benfatto, Lee Labrada, Christian Duffy, Sonny Schmidt, Jodi Friedman, Porter Cotrell, Lee Haney, Serge Nubret, all on the walls of this time capsule of a gym.  In fact the iconic picture of blue-jeans wearing Lee Haney lat-spreading out of the smoke was on the cover of my first training notebook.
1990's bodybuilding heroes

the Lee Haney pic, top middle, was the cover of my first training log

portable CD players, old supplements, old photos, Laura Creavalle and Tonya Knight
On a counter in the foyer of the gym were a bunch of photographs under the glass counter top of a guy I didn't recognize with various NPC/IFBB pros of yesteryear along with some old supplement containers and a couple portable CD players.  I half expected to see a rack of vintage Zubaz pants for sale.

Both times I ventured down to the gym, I was the only person there.  A shame really, that all of this vintage muscle building equipment would be so horrendously under-utilized. I have no idea where all the monsters went but Lexington, Michigan in the 1990s must've been full of them if this place was the center of bodybuilding culture.  If not for the security cameras (that may or may not have been on) I might've even popped a front double bicep or lat spread as this gym also had that particular style of lighting and mirrors so common in the old days where you always looked bigger and more muscular than in real life.

We played 18 holes in the morning so I had just enough time to get to the gym for two workouts.  The first one was too short as I didn't realize we had dinner at 5pm so I only got through three work sets of bench press.  The second workout the next day was better as I was able to take as much time as I needed to get through my squat and deadlift workout.

I didn't feel particularly strong while squatting but I'm going to chalk it up to squatting in flat shoes and the challenge of trying to incorporate some form changes.  Deadlifts went better but they felt harder than they should have been.  My lack of repetition endurance for these sets of 5 means I need to continue to focus on them.  Even though I can do singles into the low 600's in competition, the inability to rep out at lighter weights  means that I will lack the work capacity to push my 1 rep max significantly higher.  One can do singles and doubles but after a point, the base needs to follow in order to support higher and higher levels of singles and doubles.

This set of 325x3 was slow and grindy but I'm hoping taking two steps back will enable me to take three steps forward in the future.

465x5 top set in the deadlift.  Again, the last rep was slow and grindy.  Too slow and too grindy for a weight that's only 75% of my 1 RM.

Bench Press: 135x10, 185x5, 225x5, 245x5x2

Squat:  135x10, 225x5, 275x5, 325x3, 325x3, 225x5, 225x5  Drop down sets with 225 were spent trying to drill correct form.

Deadlift: 315x5, 365x5, 415x5, 465x5

DB Curls:  45x6x3 sets

Leg Raises:  15, 10

The leg raises were done on a pair of "Ab-Originals" straps.  I have no doubt these were the original Ab Original straps bought in the 1990's.
Achim Albrecht (on the wall) keeping a close eye on anyone hitting abs in the Ab Original Ab Sling
The Lakeview Hills Golf Resort was a great combination of golf and good-old fashioned family run business style hospitality.  The gym that time forgot was simply a fantastic bonus for a nostalgic muscle head in need of a good old-time workout.

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