Introducing Rich Man’s Gym – Not To Be Confused With A Poor Man’s Gym

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 through out 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 mysafety 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 paya 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.

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