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Introducing Rich Man's Gym - Not To Be Confused With A PoorMan's Gym

Updated on February 2, 2015

Welcome To Rich Man's Gym!

Thank you for stopping by! Now, Rich Man's Gym is not to be confused with Richman as in the name and certainly not to be confused with Poor Man's Gym.

Rich Man's gym could be located in Encino, CA throughout Balboa Park. It's hours vary but it is open multiple times a week and one thing's for sure, hard work gets done at Rich Man's gym.

All who honor Old Time Physical Culture and Strength Training are welcome.

Originally, I was going to call it "Poor Man's Gym" but then it dawned on me that that is a misnomer in every aspect of the word. There is nothing poor about this gym.

How many gyms do you know of that can offer the fresh air, the shade of a giant tree, the morning sun, the moon and stars at night?

This is natures gym. Featuring primitive devices that date back centuries.

  • Russian Kettlebells
  • Indian Clubs
  • Cast Iron Dumbbells
  • Chest Expanders
  • Gymnastic Rings

I have struggled with a few things in the years since my transition from body builder wannabe to Hard Style Girevik.

  • Space. Turkish Get Ups in a busy 24 Hour Fitness on a Monday evening is not ideal.
  • Safety. Not so much much my safety but more so the safety of the spatially unaware people who are not accustomed to people Swinging and Snatching 53 plus pounds of cannonball shaped iron.
  • Equipment. Who want's to pay a monthly dues at a gym and then wind up having to do a 100 yard farmer's walk with an 88 pound Kettlebell on a heavy day? Not me! If I'm bringing my own equipment to the gym then the "gym" part is clearly not living up to it's end of the bargain. Not that I blame the gym. I take full responsibility for it.
  • Sanity. Not in terms of mental health(although that does play a part), but in terms of cleanliness. Dirt from grass and soil is far more acceptable to me than the toxic build up of sweat and germs running rampant in the contemporary modern day facility. On an exercise bike, ABC News found sarcinia, candida specie, staphylococcus epi and diptheroids. Dirt and grass stains please. That will come out in the wash. A staph infection comes out much differently. No thank you!


Presenting Rich Man's Gym!

A full service, old school training facility with all the tools necessary to develop strength of body, mind and spirit.

The Rules at Rich Man's Gym

A few of the "rules" at Rich Man's Gym:

  • Shoes are completely optional but if you choose to wear them, then flat soled is suggested.
  • Bench pressing is not allowed. Pressing will be done from the floor (ground) or from a standing position.
  • Continuous improvement of technique is mandatory. Strength is a skill that will be practiced, honed and explored daily at Rich Man's Gym.
  • Curling shall be left to the Scotts.
  • Music is allowed as long as it elicits strength and spirit.
  • Strength of spirit is tempered here. You must know your limits and weakness in order to conquer that which you allow to hold you back.

Strength Training

Rich Man's Gym is a school of strength. We follow the teachings of great strength coaches like, Pavel Tsatsouline, Mark Reifkind, Mark Cheng, Dan John, Mark Twight, John Spezzano, Grey Cook, David Whitley, Brett Jones, Marty Gallagher, and the list could go on all day.

We also, at Rich Man's Gym, have a deep affinity for the Old Timey Way of Physical Culture and look to greats like Eugin Sandow, Arthur Saxon, George Hackenschmidt, Bob Peoples and Sig Klein.

Through this training of the body we develop strength of mind and spirit as well. A warrior's spirit. Over the last few years I have studied the writings of several great thinkers, warriors and philosophers in a quest to incorporate these ideas into the practice of strength.

Some of these would be Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, Gozo Shioda and even Bruce Lee. Then we get into the Peaceful Warriors like Lao Tzo, Dan Millman (who coined the phrase) Wayne Dyer, and Neale Donald Walsch.

You see it takes a certain kind of mental muster and will to push your body to the edge. The training of the body to develop the mind and hone the spirit is a fantastic way to connect the physical realm with the spiritual. Many who have mastered their bodies tend to get stuck in this physical realm and struggle to bridge the gap as their body has become a complete reflection of their identity. Their ego is running the show. For others they become so spiritual that they neglect their body and become superior in their spirituality. Their ego is also running the show.

Rich Man's Gym looks to bridge the gap. To reconnect the physical with the spiritual.

Don't worry, there is no requirement to hug the very tree that the Olympic Rings hang from, but there is the suggestion to find balance in life and the world. By escaping the fluorescent confines of the modern day fitness center and by returning to the outdoors and nature we can also reconnect our body to the very energy from which we came.

Rich Man's Gym Can Be Anywhere

For me, Rich Man's Gym is either somewhere in the 91316 area code or sometimes Rich Man's Gym occupies the famous remains of old Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, CA. Sometimes Rich Man's Gym is off of Woodley on the Eastern side of Balboa Park. What about you? Do you have a Rich Man's Gym? I'm not selling franchise rights just yet, so if you do, you'll have to come up with another name..

Now, if you are serious about training and you're local, you'd be welcome to come by to train. Admission is free but donations for time and equipment usage will be accepted.

If you think you'd like to be coming on by Rich Man's Gym or need help opening your own version of Rich Man's Gym in your area, contact me David Bradley at and I'll be happy to help and advise.

Would YOU Train at Rich Man's Gym?

Would YOU Train at Rich Man's Gym?

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The Inspiration Behind Rich Man's Gym

Ode to the Kettlebell

Give me an open park with dewy grass
On an abnormally brisk March evening

Give me a rising moon and
The glare of the streetlamps on the wet road

Give me a tall thick pine tree
With sturdy branches to hang my rings

Give me pull ups and dips
To test my strength

Give me Giryas and Poods
To Swing and Press long into the night

Some may call this the poor man's gym
But tonight I tell you,
As I catch my breath
I am the richest man alive!

Important Lessons

Some Suggested Reading From Rich Man's Library

The Peaceful Warrior Collection
The Peaceful Warrior Collection

A must read for any person looking to live more on purpose.


Music Featured At Rich Man's Gym


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    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Hey, great hub. Your gym became quite inviting in this hub, and it would not surprise me if local readers snatch the opportunity to join your gym. Your writing is a pleasant exercise in itself, filling my lungs with that clean air I can almost breathe reading about it.

      Locally, the rich man's gym is Flag Hill Park, a one time hang out for drug dealers and perverts and perhaps still is, but the park itself is cleaned up and well kept and provides a refuge from the haze and a beautiful view of everything West of Yucaipa as well as Mt. San Gorgonio.

      AND, what in the heck do you have against tree huggers? This is not the first hub that you have disavowed yourself from tree huggers like they are some insane "branch" of the ancient Druids or perhaps politically correct but too radical for your otherwise well balanced soul! Tree huggers, I will have you know, are peaceful warriors! They are not synonymous with Jerry Brown nor Sarah Palin. I, myself, have increased my "reach" by a good three inches which for a short guy like me comes in very "handy" when reaching for the sky and when getting in the first punch in a fight which I have successfully avoided since age 13! But we all know, the most potent power is unused power, right? So I'm good.

      I love hugging trees, especially the gargantuan trees, and they become familiar to the touch after a few hugs. I'll be able to recognize them if I go blind. I love to sit on the ground with my back to them. It is the perfect way of knowing that Nature backs me up or has my back.

      Yes, it is a little embarrassing, when hugging a tree that is so wide in circumference that I cannot see the romantic couple on the other side picnicking (or whatever else folks do out in the middle of the forest). But they seem to understand and are often willing to share their picnic basket with me. Nothing like homemade potato salad from strangers in love!

      So thanks for an awesome hub. You are my hero. Maybe someday I can be as well toned as you and as strong as you.


    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      sweetie1, yes you can get a very effective workout and build a decent amount of muscle and strength using body weight only exercises.

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 6 years ago from India

      Hi david,

      There was a guy in our class who was in body building and he said that best weight is body weight. So you don't need any machine or anything just use your body weight to build muscles. I don't know how much correct he was but to me it made sense.

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Thank you MosLadder, glad you liked it!

    • MosLadder profile image

      Chris Montgomery 6 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Ah man, that was great! I am 100 percent in agreement. Gym dues are like an ancient and foreign concept to me now. Great job!