Strength is never a weakness -Mark Bell
You may have seen the recent article in the Monroe News Star that touched on my life in fitness, and how Spearpoint Fitness came about. I wanted to go a little deeper into the topic, and give you a little more to the story in my own words. Gerald and Cindy Ingram did an incredible job on the article, and I am incredibly honored and humbled that they put that together. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, go check it out!
As Paul Harvey used to say, “and now, for the rest of the story.”
So this all started when I worked at the brewery in Fort Worth. I was really out of shape and had trouble bending over to put fittings on the bottoms of the tanks. My oldest son was also a few years old, and I realized I was setting a pretty poor example for him. I didn’t want him spending his time playing video games and treating himself like a dump. So I started running and lifting weights, and my wife and I really cleaned up our diets. We went paleo for quite a while, until we were able to just make better choices with our nutrition. Since then we’ve been focusing on just making good food choices for us and our boys. I tried a few different lifting programs, and ultimately settled on the Starting Strength program, created by Mark Rippetoe. I did the novice linear progression, but looking back, I’m not really sure what I was doing. It definitely wasn’t “the program.”
This is one of the reasons why I decided to do what I’m doing. I had experienced what it’s like to be confused about what to do, and ended up doing a blend of programs that ultimately won’t work. Doing a program out of a magazine can work for maybe a few weeks, but you have to find a good training program and stick to it consistently. A coach and a facility that is tailored to the specific needs of a program will help with that consistency tremendously. I wanted to start something where i could help people eliminate the confusion of trying to figure out what exactly to do.
During this time, I was also running, doing triathlon, and obstacle course racing. I was started to get the competitive bug in these sports so I foolishly dropped the lifting so I could focus on endurance. One thing I realized quickly is that when you focus solely on endurance, you will lose a lot of strength. This is pretty unfortunate, because strength is what keeps you healthy. Some endurance coaches will say that strength training will slow you down. It may to a degree, but more importantly, it will keep you healthy. It will reduce injuries and allow you to continue training. I really felt that weakness in the obstacle racing, or specifically the Spartan Beast in Dallas. This is a 14.5 mile trail run with a variety of obstacles. The ones that were pretty humbling for me were the obstacles that required any level of strength. These obstacles were especially taxing on me, and by the end of the race my pace had slowed to pretty much a crawl. The 14.5 mile trail run shouldn’t have been that tough. I could typically do that on any given morning without any issues. This time my lack of strength had really shown through as a weakness.
After the Spartan race, I went back to the garage and really started hitting the weights hard. This was about the time that I had decided to change careers and go into the fitness world. These two life events aligned and I decided that getting average people stronger is what I wanted to do.
I dug deeper into Starting Strength. I went to a Starting Strength seminar, and spent the summer making a few trips up to Wichita Falls Athletic Club to work with Nick Delgadillo on my own lifting and on becoming a better coach. I started to train a few people out of the garage too. This is about the time my family and I decided to move back to Louisiana to be closer to family. After looking for a facility we decided to go with the current location on Ferrand St. and opened up this past January.
The primary goal of the gym is to teach people how to get stronger using basic multi joint barbell lifts. Most people who come through won’t be on the strict novice linear progression (that is for trainees who want to gain the most strength and size). We will tailor the program to fit your own personal goals. The program can work for anyone whether you are a 23 year old college student or a 60 year old retiree who just wants to feel better and not be in pain. Mom’s and Dad’s can do it to stay in shape. Strength is the physical attribute that can improve all other areas of fitness. If you are a high school kid who wants to play a sport, but are too small or out of shape to make it, this is definitely for you.
I created this gym to give everyone a place that they can come and train to get stronger, and have a solid model and program for training. The name has had several meanings to me over this journey, but it means that I want this gym to be the tip of the spear. The leading edge into your fitness journey.