Manasquan NJ


This Morning was the FINAL Morning Summer STRONG session at The Manasquan Underground Strength Gym.

This was our 3rd Summer! Time flies……

I signed the lease on this Building 1 month after Hurricane Sandy.

The building was a mess when I walked in there with my wife and kids. I remember standing in the dark, empty building and it looked like something out of a horror film, seriously!

The walls and beams were covered in grease with saw dust was caked on top of the grease! I wasn’t even looking for a Gym in Manasquan. I had been looking in the areas about 10-20 minutes north of Manasquan and a few days before my birthday I saw this warehouse for rent in Manasquan and checked it out.

I didn’t even know Manasquan had warehouse space!

I will admit, I went through a tough time after Hurricane Sandy so my mind was in a strange place.

I didn’t even have home damage nor did I lose anything and I can’t imagine what people experienced on so many levels who DID lose homes and more.

I remember taking a bike ride passed the barricades that blocked the streets over the rail road tracks just 2 weeks after Sandy.

I rode my bike through Manasquan past the train tracks and the moment that F–ked me up was when I saw on the sidewalk a mattress, a blender and a stuffed teddy bear. It crushed my heart seeing that Teddy Bear stuffed between a mattress and ruined furniture on a sidewalk.

That image stuck in my mind for months and years, I don’t know why, it just did.

I think it made me think if it happened to my own kids…..

That inspired me to want to help the kids & families in Manasquan….. I felt so compelled to help and it was on my mind 24-7, how can I help Manasquan.

I e mailed ALL the coaches many, many times once The Manasquan Underground Strength Gym opened…..

I called the Guidance Dept multiple times and offered free training to ANY family / athlete who was affected during Sandy…..

I sent them e mails, left voice mails and more…..

I spoke with The AD and e mailed him many times…..


I learned that you can’t help people until they WANT the help.

I learned that just because someone NEEDS it doesn’t mean they WANT it.

This morning’s group in Manasquan was unique in that it was all of our younger athletes.

Seeing Zach Goodale here made me feel similar I assume to how his Dad, Coach Scott Goodale probably felt when he started the program at Rutgers Wrestling.

ALL the naysayers come out of the wood work and tell you what to do, how to do it, then they tell you that you can’t do this and can’t do that……

It’s stressful because ALL you want to do is share your passion and help others succeed and you’re confused as to WHY people don’t want to have any part of that. The naysayers sway you away from being passionate and try to convince you things can never change for the better.

Deep down you KNOW the answer is to work your hardest and do the right thing…..

Ignore the naysayers, stay relentless.

You learn that the MOST important people are those who are standing on the front lines WITH you, especially during the TOUGH times. These are the people who would “go to war” with you if there came such a time.

THOSE are the ONLY people who count……

Those Gossip Queens & naysayers are on the sidelines advising you on things they NEVER dared to do, those people must be ignored. They will always be there, being negative and dramatic. IGNORE THEM! 

I started to build momentum at The Manasquan Underground Strength Gym when my kids told me they wanted The Underground Strength Gym stickers and t shirts. I realized if my own kids believe in me, then THAT is all I need to REALLY crush it.

I got my kids their stickers and t shirts and they put the stickers on their computers and constantly wore the t shirts. I knew I had to inspire my own kids. I knew right then and there that YES, we are MORE than a “gym”.

Of course, Along the way I made some mistakes by allowing the wrong people through those “brick walls”…… Here and there, the wrong people sneak in and I wrongly assumed they were dedicated athletes with supportive parents.

If only the Seas were always so smooth, but that is never the case.

But what’s Awesome is the wrong people weed them self OUT because the athletes who ARE Dedicated create a standard of excellence that the wrong people can not handle. Their intensity pushes out the kids who don’t want any part of consistent, hard work.

There were days in the beginning where it would be just myself and 1 athlete.

We would train together and in my mind it didn’t matter if there was 1 kid or 20 kids in a group. What mattered was having the RIGHT kids…..

Kids who were work horses.

I always said, I’ll burn this gym down before I let lazy people take over. I won’t stand for it……

The crew this morning just DESTROYED the gym. They reminded me how LUCKY I am.

Of course, the harder you work, the luckier you get. I learned that lesson LONG ago.

This morning was special though…….




These athletes worked their tails off and smiled the entire time.

When I see the kids who are here, finding The Underground tucked away behind other stores and the Manasquan Train tracks, I USED to think we needed a “better location” because for years locals would tell me they didn’t know we were there.

But I realized we’re back there, tucked away for a reason.

From Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

“The brick walls are there for a reason.

The brick walls are not there to keep us out.

The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.

They’re there to stop the other people.”



These athletes in the photo above travel here from Howell, Toms River, Spring Lake, Barnegat and Wall.

The Underground Strength Gym NEVER stood for being for everyone because NOT everyone wants this type of work. For years I found myself wanting it more than some of the kids or caring more for their success than their own parents.

The athletes and their parents who ARE here understand what we do.

They accept our intensity and “craziness” because “normal” actions achieves normal results……

The teams with losing records year after year…..

THAT is NO accident.

That Mediocrity is Earned through “normal” work.

The teams with winning records year after year…..

THAT Success is NO accident.


Thanks to ALL who have helped make The Underground Strength Gym what it is…..

Including those who told me not to do this and that, you can’t do this, just do bla bla bla……

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

To stop me, you’re gonna have to kill me. Sounds crazy to the normal people but as I always say, I don’t want to be normal and I don’t want to work with normal people. You have to be a little bit crazy to be successful in this world, not just in sports but in life!

THAT is the dedication I have. THAT is the dedication I will ALWAYS have.

Live The Code 365

For Serious Athletes & Supportive Parents…..

Apply for A Trial Workout HERE

[vimeo width=”777″ height=”444″][/vimeo]