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Ask the Scientist
Jeff Golini is the owner of All American Pharmaceuticals and EFX Sports. He is a former competitive bodybuilder based in Venice Beach, but he’s also been in the supplement industry as a formulator, patent creator and manufacturer since the 80s. He has a PhD, and lives in Montana where he owns and runs a supplement factory. Jeff’s most famous for coming up with the idea of adding acid buffering ingredients to creatine monohydrate to help ease the damage the stomach acids have on the creatine you consume. This novel idea has created a massive following of buffered creatine users all over the world! Facebook. Instagram, YouTube
Training at Golds Gym Venice Beach in the 1980s
As a young bodybuilder in the early 1980s, there was nothing quite like training at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California. Yes, this is the one once nicknamed “The Mecca of Bodybuilding.” You see, everyone who was anyone trained at Gold’s. And if they weren’t there, they were down the street at World Gym. World Gym was quiet and calm; Gold’s Gym, on the other hand, was loud and rowdy. For me, I preferred the atmosphere and camaraderie found only at Gold’s.
It all started at when Gold’s Gym opened at 4:30 a.m. I’d already have a good caffeine fix going as I entered the gym. “The Breakfast Club,” as we liked to call ourselves, was a unique group of bodybuilders, athletes, and actors who liked getting our workouts in before the mainstream crowd arrived. You could find the likes of Lyle Alzado, the Barbarian Brothers (Peter and David Paul), Samir Bannout, Tim Belknap, Tom Platz, Charles Glass, Robby Robinson, Chris Dickerson, Mike and Ray Mentzer, Magic Schwarz, Mike Christian, Janice Ragain, Tonya Knight, Mike Quinn, Hulk Hogan, Jeff Goldblum … the list goes on and on.
On any given morning, you could walk in and someone would ask, “Who’s training legs this morning?” Who had that body part would train with each other. We trained intense, heavy, and hard! Then, we’d grab some food and head to the beach to catch some rays. A few hours later, it was back to Gold’s for a second workout later in the afternoon.
I have hundreds of stories from those days. However, here a couple of my favourites. One morning I walked in and asked if anyone wanted to train chest. Both David and Peter Paul responded with a “Yes.” That’s when David asked, “Jeff, do you think I look big today? “ I answered, “David, you look huge! “Then he smiled and said, “Let’s get to work.” Just then, his brother Peter yelled, “David, you look small today!” David then replied, “Forget it! If I’m looking small today, I’m leaving!” So … he left!
Another time, Tom Platz asked me to train legs with him. Even though we had very different training styles, we both knew it was better than training alone. I started warming up with the bar while Tom laughed as he used 135 pounds. Next, I went to 135 pounds for 20 reps and Tom to 225 pounds. He was still giggling while professing he was going to out-squat me. However, I immediately jumped to 405 pounds. Shocked by this, Tom said, “Jeff, you don’t have to prove anything … you’re going to get hurt!” My replay was simply, “Tom, this is light weight—I’m still warming up, brother!” I proceeded to knock out another 20 reps, talking to him between each one. I continued to add 45-pound plates until I had eight plates per side or 765 pounds. I did it for a few reps and told Tom, “Today is just my light day!” Tom chuckled and told me I trained way too heavy for him. Of course, this cracked me up. If you’ve ever seen pictures of his legs, you’ll immediately understand why. These were certainly the days, an era unlike any other.