Keeping Fit Abroad Series: Bellevue, WA

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I reported here about a trip my wife and I took about a month ago to Seattle for the birth of a newborn in the family.  Being out of town for a week and binging on delicious Russian food and desserts can be a disaster fitness-wise.  Well, at least mentally, for me.  Anyway, of course I made sure to visit the gym and I found Iron Works Gym!   

IWG is what I’d call a hardcore/street/junkyard gym.  There’s so much iron in here, so many machines, so much rust…  It’s ugly!  But there is something about this place that when you walk in makes you want to go extra hard at your workout.  Their slogan?  The gym that’s not a health club.  In other words, if you come here, you’re gonna sweat, suffer, be uncomfortable and look ugly.   Love it!

No wonder it’s got such decent reviews in both Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare.  And one especially good thing about them is that their acceptance of drop-ins for a very modest fee no questions asked.  Remember, most gyms today won’t let you workout unless they’re able to sell you either an overpriced membership or an overpriced drop in fee.  I went twice, and they let me in for free the second time.

The gym has everything that you’d want for strength training – barbells, dumbells, cables…  There are chains everywhere, gymnastic rings hanging from the ceiling, prowlers, medicine balls…  There’s a cardio section with treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, stationary bycicles, spin bycicles, paralletes…  There’s an additional section for alternative training, such as pilates, cross-training, kick-boxing, etc…  It’s just so packed with everything.

Enough from me, though.  Here’s the gym in pictures:

The Workout

Warm-up, not for time:

5:00 treadmill jog

Workout, not for time:

Superset x 4

6 close-grip barbell bench press 1-1/4

10 face pulls

Superset x 4

6 weighted chin-ups (4-ct eccentric)

10 behind-the-neck push press

Giant set x 3

10 leverage incline chest press

10 wide-grip lat pull-down

10 machine shoulder press

10 lying t-bar row


Incline treadmill sprint

12 rounds of

20-sec work, 1-min rest (#12 incline, work speed mile PR pace)

Give me your thoughts