These gyms are incredible! Students have access to several humongous gymnasiums equipped with Squash, Racketball, Basketball, Track and Fields (both indoor and out), Swimming and Diving Pools (both indoor and out), Weights (both free and static), Saunas, and relatively clean locker rooms. I would spend my days riding to campus, reading at the library, working out at the gym, and biking back to my apartment. My bicycle adventures began around the same time when my older brother gave me his old 'fancy' bike after cleaning out his garage. I was riding everywhere, including across town to the boxing gym. In a short time, my legs grew thick as tree trunks, my waist from 30" into 32". My ass was bulging out of my shorts like the Incredible Hulk!
I knew the benefits of leg exercises such as dead lifts, squats, and cleans as far as the old boxing adage "in order to build the body, start with the legs". The largest muscles in the body are found in the legs. Stressing these muscles greatly fatigues the body and causes bones to produce growth hormones that aid in muscle growth, recovery, and increased metabolism. I was taking full advantage of all the great power-lifting equipment these gyms had to offer. Even my chest and arms began to grow beefy. My gray hairs started turning black once again. My 5 o'clock shadow showed up earlier, and grew into a beard more than a time or two. I was actually startled at how fast I outgrew my clothes. I had to buy new pants and shorts, which I was not happy about. Since my weight hasn't fluctuated too much in the last 5yrs, my clothes were getting pretty shabby and new clothes were probably over due.
I discovered that with big legs, I couldn't run like a gazelle with their elegant lean strides. I was having trouble keeping up with the other leaders of my running club, something I worked hard to dominate and keep competitive. While I was beginning to doubt the benefits of my new workouts, I was invited back to spar at my original boxing gym with my old friends. As it turns out, having strong back and leg muscles significantly improves punching power as the added body weight and mass flows through each punch. Some of the guys were in incredible shape and had been actively boxing; whereas, I hadn't been to the boxing gym in regular attendance for months. I was close to 15lbs heavier than when we last fought. Surprisingly, I did well for my first few times back. My light-heavyweight buddy said he'd never been hit so hard and even experienced a momentary black out in the ring from a "torquey" right hook (He avenged himself with a crushing liver punch) . We danced for 7 rounds but eventually I did tire out. Great boxers aren't always the most muscular, but rather they develop the functional physique of a strong core, legs, and back. Big boulder-like arms can't do much without the ability to torque the punch.
Incidentally, I renewed my lease and decided to write this post in honor of my old friends, who continue to inspire, motivate, and keep me healthy. I miss you, but I'm optimistic the Universe will provide us a place to meet again and sharpen ourselves in mind, body, and soul.