The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is one of the Featured Coaching Logs at EliteFTS.

MONSTER GARAGE GYM is one of the premier powerlifting gyms in the US.

THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: MEET THE DAY GUY

He has a chest full of military decorations, a shoulder full of titanium and 8 combat deployments in the middle east….but all that said, he prefers simply to be called, “the day guy.” ….Here is what we mean.

I first met Richard Auxer in the mid-1990’s as he and I (and another guy named Rob Keyes, who I will talk about later) were competing at an APF bench and deadlift meet. Rich was in the 110 kilo class and I was in the 100 kilo class. Rich and I were both competing in this meet to deadlift as for both of us, the bench press is merely an inconvenience in between the two “real lifts.” Or at least that is how the two of us long-armed pullers and sub-par pressers like to refer to the bench anyway.


We had not met prior to the meet, but as we warmed up, being that we were deadlifters and both as pasty and ginger as they come, a conversation then ensued. If you had told either of us back then that the two of us would still be kicking around in this weight game and would be working closely together at a gym some 20 years later, I think we would have thought you had a few screws loose.


So let me back up a bit in order to get us to where we are today. Around the time of that meet I was starting in my career in education and Rich was starting his career in the military. Over the years we continued on with our lives, living in the two worlds that you also live in….the powerlifting world and the “real world.” I continued in competitive powerlifting and in my other life, my path in education led me to the position of assistant principal, where I still reside in that professional portion of my life. For Rich, his two worlds were more accurately described as the powerlifting world and the surreal world, the world of combat in the middle east. Rich began his military life in the Navy, then after September 11th, Rich changed military branches and for the final 13 of his 23 total years in the military was Army Special Forces. High-speed, low-drag.


Fast forward a decade to about 2003-2004 or so. I had moved to a new area and subsequently away from where I had trained at both Heavy Metal Gym and Frantz Gym, and found myself training at some corporate gym as I couldn’t seem to find a powerlifting friendly gym. I was in the process of putting together my own powerlifting area in my garage, as I continued to train at the corporate facility.

I recall training one day at that corporate gym and in between sets, I noticed a couple of powerlifters training and trying very hard not to standout. As I watched I noted that one of them looked really familiar, but I could not place the face. I also watched as both of them were training very stealth like. I watched them look around, then slide their hands into their sweatpants pockets and pull out of that pocket, a now white powder covered hand. Then, after lifting their weight, I watched them quickly wipe off the bar as they were trying the best they could to hide their use of chalk (again, think corporate gym rules). In between sets I watched this and was laughing to myself because that was the same ridiculous thing I was doing at this place. I watched them leave the weight room floor, adjuring to the locker room area only to return wearing sweatshirts that were clearly being worn to conceal their bench shirts (yes, those were a no-no at this gym too).


During this time frame of being in a new house and a new job and at this corporate gym, I was also moving a ton of my own personal powerlifting equipment that I had collected over many, many years out of storage. During the weekends I was putting this equipment it into my garage at my house so I could have a place to train and not just work out.

Long story short, I was nearly done with my home gym when I was getting in a final few workouts at this corporate place when I again saw these two lifters. When I saw them finishing up their workout, I approached both of them. I told them about my home gym and my powerlifting and asked them if they might want to stop by and train together on occasion. Well, turns out, one of those two guys, the chalk in the pocket guy, was Rob Keyes, and his training partner, Ronald Legaretta. Rob was that aforementioned lifter that also competed in that meet that Rich and I had done those years back. As it turned out, Rob had kept in close contact with Rich during those years. Rich at this time was now very active in the Army Special Forces and was serving the United States, fighting in Pakistan and Afghanistan, yet still managed to continue his powerlifting as a supplement to his SF training regiment.


Now, while myself, those two lifters and some others were training in my home garage, aka what I reflect back on now as Monster Garage Gym 1.0, Rich, who was still friends with Rob, would pop into M.G.G. 1.0 to train from time to time when he was back in the states. We would train, then afterwards talk lifting, the middle east and all topics in between.  During that time, a few of us turned into a little group, then a little larger group all training in my garage, and as most who know the M.G.G. know, that is when we met Phillip Daniels, then a Defensive End for the Washington Redskins as well as a powerlifter. Phil trained with us and after a couple of years, Phil and started and LLC and thus the birth of M.G.G. 2.0 in a rented warehouse space. M.G.G. 2.0 turned into 3.0 and is now 4.0 as we have been fortunate enough to grow into larger spaces every few years.


As this gym growth continued, through social media, email and visits when home from a deployment, Rich would come to the gym and train with me, Rob and the others and became a member of Maroscher Powerlifting Team vicariously via his gym in the middle east, where he would train his squats, bench and deadlift in between missions and the like. All this time the Monster Garage Gym was adding new members to its ever rotating roster of powerlifters.

With this week being a deload for our lifters competing at Relentless (we covered there bench training the prior three logs CLICK HERE) and the AWPC RAW lifters at the M.G.G. getting ready to go full force into their training, (their coaching log to come) this seemed like a good time to pause and reflect on that first chance meeting and conversation with Rich some 22 or so years ago.

Reason being is Rich just this past year retired from the Army SF and as of July 3rd, he is now “the day guy” at the Monster Garage Gym. Rich, myself and my wife Dawn (who owns the gym with me)  had weekly phone meetings and shared Google doc after Google doc during that year he was transitioning into retirement (the military has a process for everything, and with its sheer size, these things take time) and we planned and planned and planned out how we could expand this journey which is the M.G.G. All these years we have been open as a powerlifting gym we have only had evening hours and weekend hours as both my wife and I have our professions in the “real world,” (assistant principal and psychologist respectively). In other words, all we accomplished has been done so while open just 21 hours per week. In order to do this right, it has been to put it mildly, a challenge. That is not a complaint, that is just 110% pure fact.  This is something the gym owners out there who also have a “real job” will totally understand and identify with.

With Rich now being a fully retired, and still one very strong powerlifter with a couple of decades under the bar, we now have training hours starting at 6am during the work week as well as our established weekend hours. Said another way, all of the powerlifters who wanted to train at our gym but couldn’t due to the limits of the 21 hours we were open are now able to train within the four walls that are the M.G.G. Our already well established evening crew will now be complemented by the other powerlifters who can’t train during the evening and we are excited to provide this training environment to them.


The point of this coaching log (as there is always a point in powerlifting even when the weights are still) is that reflecting on ones good fortune and continuing to focus on the goal, (which is to help lifters reach their fullest potential and do so while helping the others on the team), is an important factor when looking forward.

In reflecting back, we at the Monster Garage Gym have been favored with the relationships we have formed over the years and that has translated into the ability to create a training environment for powerlifters to work to reach their fullest potential and to help others along the way. From relationships with amazing people like Phillip Daniels, to Dave Tate to Ernie Frantz and others, and now bringing Rich onboard as well as enjoying the support from those of you who follow our Coaching Logs each week, we feel pretty blessed. Also, as I reflect during this exciting time of forward movement, I would be remiss if I didn’t take pause to take a moment and say on behalf of all of us at the M.G.G., thank you again to Richard Auxer for his service to the country which has allowed for us, the freedom to create this powerlifting entity we call Monster Garage Gym.

With our to be formed day and afternoon crew of powerlifters, we hope to be able to provide for you even more powerlifting information and education through our weekly coaching logs. We will be back next week with our more standard Coaching Log and training video.

Wishing you the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM

You can find ALL of the prior EliteFTS/Maroscher Coaching Logs/articles HERE:

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