Today I went over to CT Fletcher’s grand opening for Iron Addicts gym in Long Beach. I got the opportunity to meet with CT Fletcher and some of his family. I heard about some of his accomplishments and other people that have helped inspire him. He spoke about a lot of the people that came to support him and how his family helped to create the gym that was a lifelong dream of his.
My impression of the gym was that it involved a lot heart and had a lot of character with paintings on the walls showing the true spirit of CT himself. The gym was edgy and it definitely reminded me of my high school days when I first started training with weights in my football years.
The weights and the equipment were hardcore not like these pansy corporate gyms that are afraid to have barbells, squat racks, shoulder presses, free weights – you get the idea. Anyways, CT is no joke. He’s the real deal and it seems like all the people that I ran into while shooting and taking photos were like him in some way or another – meaning humble and serious about training.
I got a chance to speak with his son, Samson, who was a very positive, friendly person. Even though my conversation with him was brief, I could see his father in every word he spoke to me. With hundreds of people showing up at CT’s grand opening, you start to see why so many people came to support one man’s vision.
Iron Addicts gym appeared to be a very family friendly, welcoming place, which is quite the contrary to what most may think when seeing such big, beastly, hardcore, giants walking around the gym. One thing that hit home to me was the true essence of bodybuilding and weight training from the core like I remember growing up, reading the old muscle magazines. In those days, training in people’s back yards or outside apartments with the old cast iron weight sets was what I used to do. These new found yuppy exercises that involve swinging medicine balls up and down, or pulling stretchy bands until you bust a sweat would have been laughed at back then.
It was a refreshing visit in a literal and figurative sense of the word because it brought me back to my roots of hardcore training and gave me hope that people still believe that basic weight training without all the glitz and glamour is what really matters.