Powerhouse Gym offers unique, hand-built equipment with athletes in mind.
Plattsburgh North Stars defensive back Tevin Connors said he spends more time at Powerhouse Gym than at home.
“It’s the best gym environment that I’ve been to,” Connors said. “It gives the feel of a raw, gritty gym.”
“Everyone wants to hit their personal bests every day,” he said.
Keith Provost and his fiance, Michelle Mosher, co-own the Powerhouse Gym. Provost built all of the equipment, which has been compared to the American Ninja Warrior television show, in his garage. He started with a rig, which had 6-by-6 10-foot ash timbers with connecting black iron bars.
He then chose to incorporate a peg board, which was inspired by ‘70s and ‘80s high school peg boards. However, Provost felt that this wasn’t enough.
With 30 years of construction experience, Keith decided to build a 45-degree angle peg board. He said the board takes away the use of your elbows, effectively making it a lot harder to climb up the board.
Provost said the original motivation for building the structure is to attract more “cross-training-type athletes” to his gym.
“In order to get those members, you have to have functional training room,” he said, and building that was his idea. “What we’re trying not to do is just to have a traditional gym; we want a training facility.”
From there, he added the salmon ladder, a normal ladder with only one rung. You have to use your upper body strength to get from rung to rung.
Provost then added his version of monkey bars. He added two bearings, so that the bars rotate drastically as you traverse the course, which increases your core strength.
The Powerhouse Grip Gauntlet was made with a rejected fire hose from the South Plattsburgh fire department. The gauntlet uses baseballs and softballs in place of monkey bars.
After trying out Powerhouse’s ninja warrior room, Connors said, “After one time, I was the most sore I’ve been.”
Plattsburgh State athletes also take advantage of the uncommon equipment.
“We can work as a team. We don’t have to be quiet,” PSUC men’s baseball catcher Alex Rodriguez said. “We can support each other when we yell and scream.”
After they finish their workouts, they often spend time in the Warrior room.
“I spend a big time of my workouts in that room,” he said.
Rodriguez likes the peg boards, medicine balls, tire flips and ab workouts there.
He described it as a team bonding experience. The atmosphere at the gym pushes everyone for their personal bests. It keeps the athlete in mind.
Conners said it’s the least commercialized gym in Plattsburgh. He explained that, in places like Planet Fitness, you can get in trouble for cheering for your friends or getting amped up after a set. At Powerhouse they welcome the camaraderie.
“A lot of these things you can do with somebody else, so that’s what we do as a team there,” Rodriguez said.
Brian Berran, a Plattsburgh State junior and nursing major, said he comes to the Powerhouse Gym to use its new equipment five to six days a week. His workout routine consists of heavy lifts and a mix of chest, back and arm workouts.
“Normal college-kid lifts,” he said.
Berran said he prefers Powerhouse to the PSUC Fitness Center because it is bigger.
“You could take the normal amount of people at the busiest time of day at the school gym, put them here, and it wouldn’t even look as crowded,” he said.
Provost closed the gym on a Sunday to bring the equipment in. Meanwhile, he informed the public about it on social media. The next day, the public had the chance to see the structure for the very first time.
While Provost said he didn’t model the equipment after that of American Ninja Warrior, he intends to build more equipment modeled after the popular television show. He said he has received calls from people in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, New York City and Montreal, all asking about the “Ninja Warrior room.”
“I knew that stuff was popular, but I never thought of it as a thing to offer in my gym,” Provost said. “Now, I’m making about six or seven more obstacles based on the Ninja Warrior show but still fulfill my needs for functional training.”
Email Tim Lyman at email@example.com