Jonesing on Strength Training.

Original Gym JonesMike Twight’s Gym Jones is not your usual gym.

For a start it has not four, but five cornerstones: “Power, Speed, Endurance, Suffering and Salvation.”

A quick browse through the website is not possible. It takes power, speed, endurance, suffering, and salvation.

Still, like everything about Gym Jones, it’s worth it.

Take the Knowledge Page, which begins with a disclaimer succinctly marked with a skull-and-crossbone:

“Let’s hypothesize that you assume personal responsibility and do some of the workouts; it probably won’t kill you, though some claim that – in certain circumstances – it can. A few people have ended up in the hospital after having gone too far.”

Bench without a bench

Who needs a bench, anyway?

Mmmm… scroll down the page, and you find yourself pleasurably lost in a black and white world of tasteful images and hard-core information about nutrition, training, work-out tips and psychological exercises that pretty much leave no room for doubt.

Gym Jones is a far cry from Dodgeball’s Globo Gym.

And it’s not Average Joe’s either. For one thing, it’s invitation only, like Fight Club. For another, it looks like this.

Original Gym Jones

Gym Jones: love what they’ve done to the place

The founders are unapologetic. “Gym Jones is private and isolated from the modern fitness ideal precisely because we believe that attitude to be poison.”


So if it doesn’t have AC, and it doesn’t have carpet, or hot receptionists, or a Juice Bar, or even windows… what does Gym Jones have?

It has an attitude which may be summed up as function dictates form. No wasted movements. Full Range of Motion. Because at Gym Jones, where serious athletes train by invitation only, there is no room for mistakes.

“We train in preparation for sport-specific tests or work-related challenges, we do not train for the sake of it or because conditioning is our sport or hobby.”

training at gym jones

Keeping up with the Jones

Which goes part way to explain, on the Quality section of the Knowledge page, a list of basic rules for everything from Pull-ups, to lunges to dips (“upper arm must be parallel to the floor (at minimum) in the bottom position, arms lock out in full extension at the top”).

According to Twight and the team, only by following rules and agreeing on the outcomes can meaningful comparisons be made. In other words, nothing is worth doing if it isn’t done well, and by well, Twight means, that “there is no reason NOT to execute movements completely even when doing multiple reps for time.”

Mike Twight, a competitive Alpine Climber for 15 years, is part of a team of like-minded individuals who are all pretty much in agreement that endurance is the primary goal, closely followed by power endurance. Strength training is a must to attain these goals.

Mike Twight

Founder Mike Twight does time in the Iron Dungeon

According to Twight, the intelligent use of strength training can cause the following physiological gains:
Improved muscle capillarization
Increased fuel availability (to the muscle)
Improved muscular endurance (due to increase in size/efficiency of mitochondria)
Stronger bones
Stronger connective tissue
Better flexibility
Improved neuromuscular coordination
Reduced fatigue in the arms and postural muscles
Improved movement economy
Reduced risk of injury

But for the best insight into Gym Jones, click on their videos page. They should put up a disclaimer for just watching The Jones Crawl.

So whether you are a celebrity training for his role as a warrior in an upcoming film, or an everyday gal training for the Squaw Peak 50 Miler, the guys at Gym Jones plan to wipe the floor with your ass. Literally.

sweat it out

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