My first Project Flex camp experience

04 May, 2015

My first Project Flex camp is in the books! I am so excited to share this flextraordinary opportunity with the fans. On New Year’s Eve, I signed a lease on an empty 10,000 sq ft warehouse space in Boca Raton. I took a video, walking through the building and had a call with my Brand Manager. He and I had been up late one night after the Nationals in November, having shot footage for the "60 Seconds with Flex" tip of the week videos earlier in the day. We were discussing what it would be like to have our own gym to shoot in, train in and conduct business out of. Five weeks after what seemed like another one of our late night great ideas, this was now reality. Over the next 4 hours, my team and I spent countless hours planning, building, taking deliveries, buying gym equipment, mats, weights –everything we needed to build a state-of-the-art private training facility.


On Tuesday, the week of the camp, I had just arrived back from a Glanbia International meeting in Arizona after leaving FIBO in Germany. Jet lag? Who has time for that?! It was time to get back to work and training. By Wednesday the rest of my boys arrived in town and we began putting the finishing touches on the gym by carefully moving each piece of equipment into place. Andrew Hall of Arsenal Strength helped setup a vertical leg press and 1000 lbs. donkey calf raise machine. BSN sent over four of my favorite photographs, blown up 10x10’ to frame out for the walls. One by one the photographs were hung and the gym started to take on a vibe of its own. Before we left for the night on Thursday, we trained up ‘til midnight. By Friday, we were eagerly anticipating our VIP guests to arrive on Saturday in time for the first camp.


On Saturday morning, around 10:15am I walked into the gym for the first time as the first camp was underway. Moments later, I was handed the mic and as I started telling my story. It was a surreal experience. I was trying to get through the story, but I kept looking around reflecting on the crowd that had come from as far as Mexico to see me. Crazy! I couldn’t have done this without my fiancé Ali Rosen and my Brand Manager –Joe had practically lived in my house for months building towards this day and now it was finally here.


I have to thank the sponsors who helped me put this event together. First, I want to thank Eric Hart and everyone at Team BSN –thank you for all that you did to help make this first camp a success. Special thanks for Rick at Muscle Maker Grill Deerfield who fed everyone a healthy lunch –if you ever visit you have to stop by MMG for a meal. Thank you IFBB Pro Candice Keene at ProCakez and Bruce Cardenas of Quest Nutrition for the great bars and chips everyone got to sample. To my friend Ryan Loco, who photographed the event –thank you so much to capturing the event. Thanks to Geoff and the good people at 6 Pack Fitness for donating bags to the camp for raffle prizes as well as Steve Cardillo of Cardillo Belts.


My favorite part of the camp was the 1 on 1 training segment where the camp was split into two groups, where the fans got to train with Candice and I. I find it very rewarding to teach the same training principles that I use in my contest prep for the Olympia to others. There is always one person in every group who is eager to jump in and train with me, until they do lol. Everyone wants to impress me with how much weight they can move, but I can assure you its not so much about how much weight you can throw around, its now you move it and on what angle. Before I knew it, day one was in the history books and my team was headed back to the house for food.


On Sunday morning, I finally got to the gym with Cosmo. When it comes to American Bullys, Cosmo’s blue gray coat and muscular structure stand at the top of the breeding line. Most people have never seen this type of dog in person. At first they’re often scared, but they soon realize Cosmo is just like any other dog and wants to be petted. After a few minutes, everyone was all over the dog taking photos. At the end of the opening training session, we closed the gym down to the camp and my team begin to train. The fans were encouraged to stay for this no photo session and ask questions. Just as we were wrapping up, there was a knock at the door –a woman came in and asked if anyone had ordered Subway? Not us I thought, sorry. My friend Alex, the promotor of the Korea Grand Prix had ordered sandwiches and had them delivered to feed everyone at the camp. Thanks Alex!


With the first camp in the books, my team and I are already thinking about ways to improve the next camp experience at the end of May. We have a couple of special guests in mind, but you’ll have to stay tuned here to my blog for any special announcements. To everyone who turned up at the first camp, thank you so much I am truly amazed and humbled by your support. We’re just getting started here at Project Flex and hope that you will join us for one of the camps this year. Who will be next to sign the #ProjectFlex Wall of Fame?!

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