The Chalk Bowl

Cory Gregory


As I walk up to the chalk bowl, it means something different to me.  The pressure of a big lift or the excitement for the new personal record may be what people typically think about.  What I’m feeling as I stare down in the chalk bowl, which is part of my great grandfather’s barbell from the late 1800’s.  Looking past the bowl, I see the old coal mining belt from the coal mine I used to work in.  My thoughts turn to the four generations of coal miners, including myself, that have worked incredibly hard to support their families.  In my case, to work countless hours to save up enough money to give myself a shot to live out my dream of being a fitness professional and gym owner.  That’s what I see.

I feel like I’m representing my great grandfather, Joseph Boone, who died in 1935 in a coal mine explosion, and Franke Boone, who taught me how to lift weights and still talks about it to this day at age 90.  I see the families of the next generation and how they are going to operate, because of what I’m attempting to create through fitness and developing people.  I just don’t see chalk sitting in a bowl… I feel all of that.  That’s why I believe it makes me different.


These are the thoughts that roll through my mind when I hit the platform in an Old School Gym meet or when the video camera is rolling with the 4am crew.  Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding are not just hobbies or a sport.  This is what I do as a profession, and this is what is in my DNA. 

I’ve had some crazy personal, business and fitness experiences, but what it all comes down to is the walls of Old School Gym.  The walls have kept everything in check for me.  During this time, no one cares about what I do or did outside of the gym, they are trying to beat me.  It’s about the dedication and discipline to wake up at 2:45am in the morning, no matter how much money I’ve made or how many people know who I am.  That is what Old School Gym does, and why it’s one of the most hardcore gyms on the planet.


I used to have some crazy facilities in past businesses, but they were not my dream gym.  Old School is that place, and to this day I still can’t believe it’s mine when I lay my keys on the desk.  I wanted to mimic the 1970’s Golden Era.  I wanted to create a gym and environment in which people will challenge and push each other to get better on a daily basis.  It must be a positive atmosphere in which people from all walks of life can come to better themselves.  I wanted to own a gym and establish a long-term partnership with my best friend Dustin Myers from high school.  When people step through the doors at Old School, I don’t have to say a word because they feel it, and as the workout goes on, they understand.

The chalk bowl is a representation of four family generations that lifted weights, which allowed me to dream about the opportunity to do what I do today.  Countless hours invested, absolute faith, and belief in myself are what have gotten me to where I am today.  This is what I want for anyone who follows what I do, member of the site, supports our supplements at, supports the podcast Business & Biceps, or visits Old School Gym. I want them to have the self-confidence to excel in whatever they do, the love and passion for their job, and the ability to impact people in some way. 

If you don’t have generations to look back on, YOU are the one to start!  All of my family lifted weights, but no one did it for their job because it didn’t exist at the time.  I’m the first generation that is paving the way for my kids, to show them how it’s done as a professional at a high level.  The generational change is what I’ve always had as my definitive purpose: that I could change generations of Gregory’s by what I’m able to accomplish in this life.  I want my grandkids to say, “Grandpa was a G.”  I believe that wholeheartedly, and I’m already having conversations with my kids, to let them know that they can do what they love to do.  I’m leading by example every day, and discipline is rewarded when it’s combined with a true passion for what you want to do, as long as your intentions are in the proper spot.  I don’t do any special, I just don’t miss.  Effort is a Choice.

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