February 10, 2007 posted by

Gym Jones

At the climbing gym the other night, a friend asked if I knew Mark Twight and sent my to his training facility’s page:

Gym Jones

Twight is famously a completely different in person than in his musings. So much so, in fact, that one of his climbing partners stated, after reading an account of an epic they’d shared, “That’s not the same person I was on the mountain with.”

At any rate, this gym looks intriguing when you get past all of the macho horseshit on the front page. Now, if the guys are actually this serious it would suck. I mean, c’mon, it’s just training. But I’ll bet, like Twight is when you meet him in person, they’re just some regualar folks who like to get after it a little bit.

Anyway, prior to heading over the “wait on the doorstep” for acceptance, I need to do a little homework. First off, I’m not near prime pull-up shape. But since the company I work for just happens to have a perfect solution to this (P90X, a program I helped create that’s essentially the home version of Gym Jones), that shouldn’t take too long.

Furthermore, I’d like to smoke a few of their diciples PR’s before “appying”, so I thought I’d do a test run on Grandeur’s west ridge to see what I was up against.

Twight’s 56 minutes seemed pretty fast. Given its winter and that the trail would be a combination of slush and snow, onsighting it didn’t seem prudent. Plus, if it was a recon trip the Rat could come. So instead of Twight’s PR, we went in search of that fastest winter onsight ascent by a 12-year-old Malamute mix.

The route was gorgeous but a little tendious. I can see why Twight and his masocistic tendencies would like it. It’s like an hour long stairmast session at the higest level. The trail actually was in decent shape, for the most part, and in spite of a couple of water stops to make sure the little guy was doin’ okay, we were still with in striking distance of 56 m, or at least breaking an hour, when we hit the summit ridge and just a bit o’ snow. While fun, the ensuing post holing was slow going. We hit the summit at 68 minutes.

Tuco was awesome. On our first ascent of Grandeur, via an easier line, I had someone take out pic because “he probably doesn’t have too many summits left in him.” Well, we’ve nailed quite a few since then and his fitness is fine. He’s limping less than he was last summer, for sure, and he’s taking far less Rimadyl.

On the way home I though about going after Twight’s 36.42 on Beachon Hill. Unfortunately, I didn’t know where it was. When calls to a few friends proved fruitless, I joined my friend Dustin for a ride up Little Mountain instead and got smoked so bad that I guess Grandeur had taken a bit of zip out of my legs, even at the Rat’s pace.

All in all, a pretty decent training day.


  • Steve, I would love to see you smoke a few of their disciples too! I’ve been in Santa Monica with Tony and his buddies on the beach, and I can say that just about all of them could probably school these “disciples” in the beach workout there. Climbing and summiting the mountain might be a different story, but in all the gym stuff like pull-ups, dips, etc. Tony’s ‘disciples could have them beat. Have you ever joined Tony on a Sunday morning at the beach?Yeah, Tony was up at Alta all last week and we skied some pretty crappy conditions! It was hard and icy most days. We still had fun though.

  • Where is Gym Jones located?

  • Somewhere in Utah

  • I know where the gym is and have Mark’s home number if you want it. Just let me know.

  • I am considering training at Gym jones and would love to grab Marks’ number from you.

  • “But since the company I work for just happens to have a perfect solution to this (P90X, a program I helped create that’s essentially the home version of Gym Jones), that shouldn’t take too long.”lol @ this mindless drivel. I’m sure all the power yoga and Kenpo in P90X has prepared you to flip tractor tires and excel at a kettlebell Olympic lifts.

  • Those are just two of 12 (now 16) workouts, so that analogy doesn’t make any sense.It’d be easy to find out. If they invited Tony Horton over for a workout I’m 100% certain he would come. He’s got a signed poster of Mark on the wall of his home gym.I know a lot of Jonzers now and the place, I’m sure, is awesome. But Tony could hang. You can bet the farm on that one.

  • Although replying to something so vaguely incorrect seems like a waste of time, especially coming from critics that would most likely endorse billy blanks 12 min ab blast video or whatever bullshit you sell to fat american sludge.I think you should do a little research about what gymjones is about or what ideals they promote.The gym itself is not a competition, the athletes who train there are sport specific.They cross-condition to improve THEIR sport,not to beat records, not to blog to other keyboard warriors about how many pullups they can do. Beating any “PR’s” only proves that your motivation and desire are different than those that are allowed to train there.Stick to your cardio-karate or your buns of steal videos bud.At least until you get a real idea of what your talking about.good luck

  • Interesting rant. Odd that you would take such offense to this post as my review of the place is generally positive. My issue was with the tone of the language, and this was address on their site at some point because they were getting a lot of mail about it.I do, however, know a lot of people who train at the gym and can tell you that you are wrong; not everyone trains for a sport. Some do. Some don’t. My wife, in fact, is one that loved training there for fitness only. She loved it because it was competitive and fun. The funny thing is that most of those I know who train there are understated about their accomplishments and their training. They just like to train hard.Furthermore, having read Twight’s books (Extreme Alpinism is excellent, IMO) and one of my good friends allowed he and Steve House to borrow the space that became Gym Jones, so you could say I’m familar with the roots of the place as well.As for records, well, they all had their posted and challenged others to beat them (at least at the time; the site has changed since). Competition, to me, is nothing other than good clean fun anyone. I dig having a carrot dangling out there. I might even of beaten some of those times, though I don’t really bother reporting it. To me, the point is the adventure in trying. Accomplishments mean little in the end. Life’s about the pursuit.

  • btw, obviously you haven’t researched what our company does. We have a decent and growing list of high performance athletes, from MMA champions, to the NFL, to the US Ski Team. So whatever we do must work a little bit.I looked at your site and see that you, too, like to post personal records. Would others using your numbers for training targets be missing the point? Anyways, I also see that you race, so we can put our training to the test out on a course some where. See ya out there.

  • Wow! What a poser this guy is. Get off Gym Jones sack, you will never have the respect. Now get back to your swiss ball.

  • “The training here is not a sport itself. Timed workouts are used to measure increased or decreased fitness on a given day, within the limitations of the gym. Gym-specific fitness means little. Survival, overcoming genuine hardship, and improved sport performance mean something. Gym Jones only exists to support these outcomes. Increased sport and work capacity results from hard work done by the athletes themselves. Fighters beaten, contests won, missions accomplished, summits reached, and records surpassed result from the specific, technical skill of the protagonists. The role of the gym is supporting. “You can find the whole of the article on the website. You can search yourself, because it will mean more to you if you find it rather than I just give a hyperlink.I personally hope you applied to train and got turned down. The whole post was just a bragfest about your own self image. If you’re looking for something like that, try CrossFit. They don’t screen applicants and seem more inline with your personality.

  • It’s been over two years since I’ve seen to that site, and posted this. Most of my friends have left the gym. They have a new GM and location. Maybe it’s different. I don’t know. When I was last on the site I saw a gun and ridiculous threats posted towards those who hadn’t the will to survive and other such silliness. I never knocked the training, mind you–it was first rate for sure–just the over-the-top nonsense on the site. I’m sure a lot of people dig it. To me, it seems rather sophomoric.My programs are now training plenty of professional athletes. A lot more, I wage, than are coming out of this facility. So, no, I never had the pleasure of being rejected.

  • Your all pussies and jokes. Weak ones.

  • Hi all,Not sure where to begin as I am not a professional athlete and am not a PT either. I have however trained at Gym Jones and also completed the P90x program. One thing in for sure, they are COMPLETELY different. While I could get through the workouts with P90x, albeit after a few weeks of getting them into my system, but I have never felt so battered after my 1st session at Gym Jones. My the trainer Josh is quite simply put, a machine. Dont get me wrong, P90x has its place. In my opinion its an excellent system for people who simply wont/cant/dont want to go to a gym. If you have the self discipline required with any activity you desire results from then I suppose any soundly designed system should yield the desired effect. Gym Jones is more tailored to be Sport Specific, while they do train for GPP (General Prepared Physicalness) most of the people who train their are either budding or professional athletes. The programs are individually tailored around the person sport to help them excel in that field. Like I said before, I am no athlete nor am I a PT, but to blindly say Tony could 'hang' is probably inaccurate. I only say this because the program is designed around the individuals desired results (sorry for the repeat). I have no doubt that he would assimilate the program over a period of time and indeed perhaps perform better than the average armchair warrior. Either way, I would love to see him go head to head with Bobby Maximus. Like someone else said, max pullups arent really going to help with max DeadLift and Over Head Squats. Nor will the crossover to the "Jonestown Crawl" – 10x Deadlift @ 115% bodyweight + 25x Box Jump on 24” box, three rounds.Anyway, I am not really qualified to talk any further, so hope this helps the mix…From 'Sunny' England…

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