I used to work out at a gym in downtown Dallas called Doug's Gym. Doug's Gym is the oldest gym in Dallas, probably one of the oldest in the United States.
The owner, Doug Eidd, opened the gym in 1962 and he has been working there as the only employee since then. For the math challenged that's 49 continuous years in the same location. Doug has never taken a sick day and he has never taken a vacation, though the gym is closed on Sundays.
Walking into Doug's Gym is like walking into a time-warp to the 1960's. All the equipment is still from the 60's and much of it is rusted. Doug's Gym does not have, nor has ever had, an air conditioning system only a few big fans.
Working out at Doug's Gym in the middle of a Texas summer is like working out inside a sauna. And Doug wouldn't have it any other way.
One day Doug was telling me, in between sets of bench….
“You got to sweat out all them toxins and shit. That's bad shit inside the body and it's got to get out. Them guys sittin' in offices never sweat it out.”
Pretty, ain't she? The squat rack, not Marilyn.
Working out at Doug's in the middle of July will quickly drench you in sweat, but with the windows open and the fans blowin' it's just about the best feeling in the world.
Sometimes it's hard to get a good sweat going inside the air-conditioned globo-gyms. And if you aren't sweating you aren't getting a great workout and you aren't releasing all them toxins Doug told me about.
Inside Doug's gym I had the best strength increases of my life. In my three months there I broke my deadlift record, my bench press record, and my behind-the-neck push press record. And I did it all while drenched in sweat.
Leaving Doug's I would always be completely drenched in sweat and completely drained, but it wouldn't matter because I gave it my 110%.
Now I tell you this, leaving a workout drenched in sweat is a feeling of accomplishment that no air-conditioned, comfortable workout can mimic.
But was Doug right about them toxins?
“When you sweat, you breathe faster, your heart works more, your circulation improves and your metabolism accelerates, all in an effort to resume your normal body temperature. Because your circulation is increased during sweating, many of the toxins and impurities are able to exit your body by way of your open skin pores. This is a good reason to exercise to the point of sweating or to sit in a steam room regularly.
Your skin also benefits from sweating. Your skin pores open and any dirt or impurities on the surface layers of the skin have a chance to exit. Sweating regularly, if followed by proper cleansing, will help you to achieve softer and smoother skin.
It is believed that the immune system also benefits from sweating. When your body heats up, your body generates more white blood cells. This strengthens your immune system.”
I guess old Doug knows a thing or two about keeping healthy and releasing toxins that all of us, in our modern convenience, forget or just don't care about. At over 80 years old, Doug would spot my bench pressing with just one hand. Strength training in the blazing heat with no air conditioning for 49 years is some Spartan living.
Old Doug Eidd on the right. Fitter than all them youngens and office dwellers.