That’s it. I can’t take it anymore. These sissified commercial gyms and their clipboard holding trainers have just about ruined the weightlifting world. All of their gym rules and bullshit gimmicks—one set to failure, super slow, twice a week is all you need, don’t lift heavy weights because you’ll get hurt, don’t do abs if you have low back pain. Are you freaking kidding me? Why not just put up a big sign that says pay us money for fake advice and get no results?

So “What is the answer?” you might ask. The return of the hardcore gym. These commercial gyms and the people who work there and go there have left me with no options. And yes, I did say the people who “go” there as opposed to “train” there. People don’t train at these gyms nor do they want their members to train there. So what have I done? The unthinkable. I have officially opened a new hardcore gym in northwest New Jersey. At Hanisak Sports Performance (HSP), we do not workout. Working out is a hobby. At HSP, we “train.”

This is a real gym, a place where athletes or anyone who is serious can come and train. Make a mess with chalk, scream and yell, lift as heavy as you want, and if you aren’t lifting heavy, then get the hell out. Pumped up tunes like Metallica, Disturbed, Pantera, and other bang your head off the wall music. There are no machines, no calf raises, and no treadmills. If you want to run, do it outside. My gym is located at the bottom of Montana Mountain Road, perfect for an intense run. Or if you really want to step it up a notch, go out to the parking lot and give the tractor tire a few flips. Yes, people will look at you like you’re crazy, but do you care? Got a meet coming up? Put on your bench shirt and crank some freaking iron, brothers. Want to lift with your shirt off? Go for it. If anyone is offended, they don’t belong here. And just when you thought this was too much, I have added a grappling mat. We not only accommodate powerlfiting and Strongman but have open mat time for wrestlers, grapplers, and MMA fighters. Now, does it get any better than this? Not at any fitness club I’ve been to.

So what forced me to make this decision to open a small, grungy gym with stone walls and all the makings of what the “average” person would call insane? Well, it was a few things. After working as a trainer in many fitness gyms over the years, it became apparent that it just wasn’t me. I refuse to promote programs and exercise theories that I don’t believe in. I refuse to let some pencil holding geek gym manager try to tell me how to train my clients. I can’t stand people who go in the locker room and fix their hair or the guys hanging out who are obviously there just to pick up chicks. I could just smack those people. Oh, did I mention the music? How the hell can I get fired up to Justin Timberlake? One time, I actually saw the owner bitch at a guy for deadlifting 365 lbs too loudly. He was on the damn deadlift platform for crying out loud. Did they realize what they had bought? Not to mention he was training for the NFL combines. That’s a guy you should be willing to accommodate. Be proud to have someone of that status in your gym. But I guess he was scary to the 45-year-old fat lady who will pay a year membership and only go to the gym for a week.

So what else does a hardcore gym offer besides a rugged environment and motivation? Well, all the gyms I’ve trained at, including mine, will offer professional advice. There are actually men and women who are willing to show you the way to get results. They will motivate you and support you throughout your training. You go to a regular gym and you’re on your own, unless you want a personal training session from some dude who has been lifting for years and has no muscle at all.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to train at a few of the country’s most hardcore gyms. I owe much of my progress and inspiration to Newman’s Gym and Southside Iron. The lifters at these gyms were willing to take me under their wing and do whatever they could to help me improve as a powerlifter. Why were they willing to do this? I guess because they saw a young guy with motivation and drive, and they remembered when they were coming up along the same path. It’s called giving back. And that is a big reason why I have opened my hardcore gym. I want to give back and provide a place that caters to the few dedicated athletes who will stop at nothing to reach their goals. I want to offer an option for those who don’t fit in at the other gyms, for those who just want to train hard.

At this time, I would like to commend all the hardcore gyms across the country. Keep doing what you do and let’s keep this thing going. We may be a minority, but we are a very strong minority. The hardcore gym isn’t something that is for everyone, and most people will never understand what we do. That is okay with me. For those who do understand and would like to find out what hardcore is all about, just walk through the door and we will be waiting with a loaded bar and all the motivation you need. Stay true to hardcore!