|The Animal Roadtrip to the Olympia
What happens when you take 5 bodybuilders (including 2 IFBB Pros)
across the country, pack them into a van, attend 4 ABC events and take
a road trip through the desert from California to Las Vegas to attend
The Cage at the O? You get a lot of pictures, videos, eatin, behind the
scenes stuff, visits to famous bodybuilding haunts, and lots of fun. I
just got back from the first ever Animal Road Trip, which ended with
the Olympia ABC event, and we had an absolute blast.
On Sunday, September 19th I met up with freshly mohawked G Diesel and
Vinny Galanti at Newark airport early in the a.m. We flew out to San
Diego where we met up with the mysterious Wrath. We headed straight to
World Gym and 619 Muscle. We were early for the ABC, and we were
hungry, so we dropped our bags and headed out for a meal. Now there is
a place that is only on the west coast called In 'n Out burger and as
luck would have it, it was in walking distance from the gym. We can't
get this at home! We hit it hard. Sunday is a cheat day for Vinny and I
so it was all good. We then went back to the gym where Rage was waiting
in the Animal van. It was a big white van covered in Animal logos. This
van would be our home for the next week. The rest of the SoCal crew met
us in the gym and we had an awesome ABC.
Next we headed up to Los Angeles and the hallowed grounds of Venice
beach. We hit up all the bodybuilding stops like Max Muscle, the
Firehouse, Muscle Beach, and we walked along Venice beach. We had a big
ABC event at the famous Gold's Gym in Venice. It was a who's who of the
bodybuilding world and there was a lot of energy in that place.
Afterward we had a great post-workout meal at the firehouse where I
think almost everyone ordered a “Bob Bowl.”
The following day we had our 3rd ABC in a row at a really hardcore, old
school gym called American Eagle in Norwalk, CA. This was very
different from the glitz of Gold's Venice. This was a down and dirty
Animal gym. I had an awesome workout there. It was a great atmosphere.
Wednesday morning it was time to head to Vegas. We had a 3-4 hour trek
ahead of us. Rage was driving us to Sin City. We had to stop in the
middle of the desert so Vinny could pee… again (he did this often
during the trip). After a quick meal in Death Valley, we were back on
the road to Vegas. When we arrived in Sin City it was off to the expo
hall to start building The Cage. This is an onerous task. However, we
were up to the challenge. It takes 2 days to build The Cage, but it's
well worth it.
Friday, September 24th. The Olympia Expo opens and The Cage makes its
official return to the Olympia since 2004. This year's version of The
Cage was awesome. The weekend was packed with incredible lifting events
like the Sgt. Rock vs. Big D deadlifting exhibition to Tiny Meeker's
800lb bench. In between, Nick Winters put on two impressive lifts. We
had several seminars from the pros and a special one with The House,
who was making his Mr. Olympia stage debut. All the while those who
couldn't make it were able watch the action on the webcam. There really
is nothing in the world like The Cage.
The Animal Road Trip ended with an awesome ABC event at Gold's Gym
following the Olympia. Everyone who attended got their hands on the
first official Animal Barbell Club t-shirt. Over 50 people attended the
event and got the opportunity to train with all of our pros and the
Animal Crew. We followed the ABC with a great meal at Blueberry Hill.
Then sadly I had to head home, back to New Jersey on a flight with
Vinny, G Diesel, Aggression and C.Coronato.
It was a long, tiring week of travel, but well worth it. I gotta give a
shout out to the SoCal crew as they are true “Animals.” A big thanks to
Rage for driving us around and organizing the trip. A thank you to my
traveling companions-G Diesel, Vinny, Wrath and Rage. This was a once
in a lifetime experience. Luckily we documented everything with lots of
pictures and videos, which you can view here.