Why I Chose Old School Gym

by Dakota Graf

Why I chose Old School Gym

 For those of you who do not know what or where Old School Gym is, it’s in a small town just East of Columbus Ohio, in Pataskala Ohio. Owned by two of the most influential people I’ve had the opportunity to meet Cory Gregory and Dustin Myers. Old School Gym is a gym that prides itself in Golden Era bodybuilding and Powerlifting. The perfect combination in my opinion. What’s better than looking good and performing good.

 So what brought me here?

 We will rewind back to 2012 where I first starting working out. Just like most people out there, I wanted to make changes (mainly look better for the chicks since I was returning home from being stationed in Camp Casey, South Korea), and to become a better soldier. I was enlisted in the United States Army at the time. Not really knowing what I was doing I came across bodybuilding.com which was full of information. The very first program I chose to do was the Get Swole trainer from Cory Gregory. There were many reasons I chose this program amongst the rest and the main reason was Cory Gregory, killer physique and what I imagined for myself. After that I was hooked.

 Fast forward a couple years I had still been following Cory religiously. Anywhere from motivation, supplement recommendations, training, nutrition, you name it I was invested. When the Arnold Blueprint programs dropped I was deployed in Afghanistan. The blueprint to mass was exactly what we needed while over there to occupy your time. You don’t really have much to do outside of your general duties so a lot of times you train. Being a huge fan of Arnold I knew this was the program for me.

 Now fast forward to getting out of the military. I had a clear focus on what I wanted to do. I wanted to do fitness full time and impact as many people as possible just as Cory has done for me. I attained my personal trainer certificate through ACE fitness, and decided to pursue a degree in Exercise Science. From following Cory, I learned more and more about Old School Gym and Dustin. With the dream of someday becoming a gym owner myself and someone in the fitness industry I paid close attention to how these two handled business.

 Through the wonderful world that is social media I was also introduced to other members of Old School Gym. Not many places will you have 10-20 people waking up way before the crack of dawn to push themselves past their limits and push each other. At 4am you have multiple people from all different aspects of life inside those four walls to achieve the same goal, become the best version of themselves while doing something they love, lifting weights.

 In October of 2016 I had the opportunity to visit Old School Gym for the first time. What makes Old School so special is they have people drive x amount of hours to come and visit the gym. For myself I made the 8-hour trek from Wisconsin. I ended up sleeping in my car in the parking lot since I was only making the trip for that day. I had one of the best workouts of my life and got to meet some of infamous 4am crew members (people I have connected with over social media and made friendships with). The atmosphere inside the gym at 4am is unlike anything you can ever imagine. Well worth the drive in my experience.

 While there I was talking with one the guys about plans for the future and talking about transferring schools and he mentioned I should look at Ohio State. That thought never occurred to me. Since then a lot has changed. I kept in touch with the guys and it got me thinking even more and more. So I took the chance and applied to Ohio State. After a couple of weeks, I found out that I had been accepted to Ohio State. What started as a thought turned into a reality. Among Ohio State I was also accepted to the University of Wisconsin. The positives of coming to Columbus outweighed the positives of staying in Wisconsin. Among those were Old School Gym, more opportunity for career progression, the friendships I had built, and I have the opportunity to learn under two of the best people to learn under.

 Dustin and Cory have both been doing what they do for 20 years. Both have successful fitness careers, successful business, have been on covers of magazines. I would be a fool to turn down this opportunity.  I myself of a lot of those same aspirations. Gym owner, successful in the fitness industry, and help as many people as I can. So here I am today sitting here writing this getting to live out that dream. Every morning I wake up and get to train with the person who started it all for me. 

One of my favorite quotes in life is “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This holds dear to my heart because unless you take action you never know what will happen. To often people go through life just going through the motions. Through this gym and the people around me I knew I needed to take the risk and jump full force.

That is what drew me to Old School Gym.


Dakota Graf

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