| January 17, 2015

Fitness, Health & Sports, Podcast

Art of Manliness Podcast #97: Physically Cultured With Bert Sorin

If you’ve played college or high school sports or served in the military, you may have used Sorinex strength training equipment. For 30 years, Sorinex has made strength training equipment right here in the United States. Today I talk to the CEO, Bert Sorin, about the history of the company and why every man should strive to be what he calls “physically cultured.”

Show Highlights

  • The history of Sorinex
  • Why every man should be strong
  • The strength benchmarks Bert thinks every man should strive for
  • Bert’s dad’s tradition of deadlifting 500 lbs on his birthday
  • Why grip strength should play a role in your strength training
  • Bert’s experience with the Highland games
  • And much more!

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Special thanks to Keelan O’Hara for editing the podcast!

Show Transcript

Brett McKay: Brett McKay here and welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. If you played college sports of high school sports or if you’re a cross fitter or you lift weights on a regular basis, you might have seen Sorinex Equipment at your gym. Besides the Power X bars and weight lifting plates, they also make a whole slew of functional fitness apparatuses like prowlers, landmines, rip training devices. Today on the podcast we have the CEO of Sorinex Bert Sorin. He’s a big giant man with a great grisly beard, and today we’re going to talk about the mission of Sorinex and helping people become physically cultured and what exactly that means. We’re going to talk about why a man should be strong, what fitness benchmarks every man should try to strive for and also talk about grip training. Sorinex has played a big role in bringing back modern grip training. We’ll discuss why that’s so important to your overall physical strength and what you can do to improve your grip strength and much more.

Great podcast. Practical information you can use right away in the gym tomorrow. Let’s do this.

Bert Sorin, welcome to the show.

Bert Sorin: Brett, thanks for having me.

Brett McKay: All right, so you’re the CEO right, of Sorinex Equipment?

Bert Sorin: Yes. My father started it thirty-four years ago, I grew up in it and now I’m running the ship.

Brett McKay: Can you tell us, I thought it was interesting how your dad started it, because it’s the American dream exemplified. What’s the background on this?

Bert Sorin: Okay, in the 70s my father was a weight lifter and a shot putter in college, and was always into power production sports and really loved it. He grew up going to York Barbell as a kid and actually jumped on a train when he was twelve or thirteen years old to go to the old York picnic with John Grimek and some old athletes like that. That’s where all of this started, as a young man that always wanted to live the strenuous life himself. When he was a kid, he didn’t read very well, so his dad gave him all the outdoor life magazines and strength magazines and that allowed him to read more and more, and that’s what infused that love into him.

Fast forward a little bit, he was a coach for athletes and physical education teacher and started building playgrounds and then started building weight lifting equipment because there’s nothing else out there that lived up to his standards of what he felt was heavy duty and adjustable and safe enough. He’s always been the da Vinci of weight lifting equipment. Built our own stuff out of the garage and it was one of those crazy things where he would coach all day and he would run a weight lifting class for the kids in the evening to get more kids fit and then he would take his 1974 Land Cruiser across town and strap pieces of steel on top, haul butt back home and cut stuff in our garage by hand and just built it up in there.

He would sell one bench or one squat rack and take the money that he made and go down to Man Tool here in our town and buy one more tool and then just literally build the business from the ground up in the garage until the point where it got big enough where he decided to quit teaching and go at it, make the big jump and go at it full time and see if he can make it work.

Brett McKay: That’s awesome. It’s crazy that he was teaching weight lifting back in the 70s because I know there was a physical culture and movement in America, but it didn’t seem like weight lifting was all that big of a deal back then as it is today.

Bert Sorin: Oh no, it was I wouldn’t say taboo, everyone was very uneducated about it. Him coming from the northeast where Olympic weight lifting was a bigger piece, he came down here to South Carolina, like I said, on that scholarship, and when he came back here everyone still had the idea of being muscled down and everything like that. He built the first weight room at the University of South Carolina as a freshman here. He insisted that he needed to lift weights, so he drove back up to New Jersey and picked up his barbell and came back down and started the first weight lifting.

Then when he had his Kindergartners and even fifth graders and all these kids, he had them lifting weights. I have pictures of kindergartners in 1974-1975 doing full snatches with wooden dowels and had some clippings from the paper and he was saying kids need to know these movements and triple extension and being able to jump and run and everything. That’s something that you’re seeing en vogue now. It’s funny. It was almost forty years ago he was pushing that really hard.

Brett McKay: It’s crazy, even just ten or fifteen years ago the idea of kids lifting weights, you’d be like, “No, don’t do that. It’ll stunt their growth.”

Bert Sorin: Right. Everyone told me that in the mid 80s because we had a thing where I was taught early on, a joking but not so joking that you weren’t really a Sorin until you deadlift double body weight. I think the first time I did that I was maybe in second or third grade, and I remember going to school the next day and it happened to be what’s the greatest moment of you life, and I told them how I finally deadlifted a hundred and twelve pounds. Which if you think about it, I was fifty-six pounds, which is hilarious that at fifty-six pounds I thought the that the coolest thing ever was deadlifting double body weight.

Some people said, “Oh you’re going to stunt our growth,” and then I turned out to be 6’3″, two hundred and fifty pounds. It worked out.

Brett McKay: It worked out all right.

Bert Sorin: If I hadn’t worked out, maybe I’d have been nine feet tall, who knows.

Brett McKay: Who knows? Speaking of deadlifting, I thought this was an interesting fact that I heard from the guys at Atomic Athlete. How old is your dad?

Bert Sorin: He turns sixty-four in June.

Brett McKay: Sixty-four in June.

Bert Sorin: He turned. Yeah, he’ll be sixty-five this year.

Brett McKay: He has a birthday tradition that he does every year still. What is that?

Bert Sorin: He deadlifts five hundred pounds.

Brett McKay: That’s crazy.

Bert Sorin: He deadlifted a lot for many, many years, a little over seven hundred during his competition years. A couple years back, I asked him, I said, “How long have you been deadlifting over five?” He said, “I could always do it every year.” He goes, “I’ve been doing it since I was fifteen.” We started thinking, I said, “Dang, let’s see if you can make it to sixty-five and have fifty straight years of deadlifting five hundred pounds or more.” He made it last year at his birthday, and actually tried for a second rep but it wasn’t quite there.

He laughed at me, he’s like, “Man, I’m tired of this.” I was like, “Well you got one more year and then I’ll let you off.”

Brett McKay: Let you off the hook. That brings up an interesting question. I know some of our listeners are older, middle aged, getting into fifties. There’s this idea there as you get older you’re going to get weaker. Your dad has obviously not done that. What has he done to maintain his strength, even into his sixties?

Bert Sorin: It’s consistency and it’s doing the big movements. A lot of folks, they’ll go and especially as they get over they’ll go over to the little machines and they’ll do tricep kickbacks and all this other stuff. Dad has squatted, benched, deadlifted and some of the other big exercises three to four times a week for fifty years. I just see that and I realize his bone density is still very high, and that’s where a lot of folks lose, because obviously your testosterone’s going down and your muscle quality and density goes down. You really exacerbate that problem when you go away from the muscle instructor building exercises like deadlifts, squats, presses, standing presses, things like that.

I pretty much call BS on anyone who says, “I’m forty-five now. I can’t be strong.” I literally remember dad front squatting a lifetime best at forty-nine years old. He’ll tell you, he was his strongest probably in his mid to late forties, and then it started going down pretty steep at fifty-five, although the numbers are still good, but you can’t outrun father time. Staying with the big exercises, and maybe you don’t do what all the little twenty year olds are doing, but staying with the deadlifts, the squats and things like that are obviously, that’s the key to it and doing it as much as you possibly can, not only doing it if you can go heavy. Do it to whatever level.

In the old Confederate days of the early partisans of our country, they had a lift they called the health lift, and really all it was was a deadlift lockout from the mid thigh, and the idea was you would have a random amount of weight on there, some three, four, five hundred pounds, six hundred pounds, whatever it may be, and you’d walk up to the bar from a mid thigh and you just pick it up every day. No specific rep teams or sets or anything like that, but the idea was if you pick that up every day, it will keep you healthy.

Really if you think about it, it’s really an idea, even working your grip. You’ll work your forearms, your upper shoulder girdle for stability, your wreckers and your spine, your core will stay strong, your legs, your hips, your back. Those are all the things that were needed in that society to be manlier and to be strong. It’s interesting that the deadlift was once called the health lift.

Brett McKay: I like that. I never knew that. That’s really cool. Your guys’ model over at Sorinex is physically cultured. What does it mean to be physically cultured and how do you strive to be physically cultured. You don’t really hear that word physical culture anymore.

Bert Sorin: Right. That was a bit of an homage back to the days of, I don’t really know how to put good words to it. It’s really a lot of what I’m seeing in your website and in your writings. Cultured as a man, but physically cultured will take that one step a little bit further. TR used to talk about the strenuous life, to be physically strong, to be physically blessed with stamina or at least worked into having stamina, flexible, being able to move. Not being a bodybuilder of sorts or a Greek God kind of thing, but it’s just being able to use that tool of your body to do whatever your brain can tell it to do, but the next part about cultured is to know where the exercises came from, to know why you do them, to know what the muscles do, to know how to recover them and stimulate them.

Just to be an athlete or just to do a physical task only is one portion of it, but to be cultured in that is to live in that realm that honors the strong and honors the ones in the past that you’re still always pushing forward to new heights. That’s what we feel being physically cultured means, the lifestyle.

Brett McKay:  That’s awesome. Speaking of you, you mentioned Teddy Roosevelt and the strenuous life and being strong and manly. Why do you think it’s important for a man to be strong? Even if he’s not an athlete, even if he’s not law enforcement or military, why should he be strong?

Bert Sorin: A few reasons. If the man is going to decided to have a girlfriend or a wife or kids, most likely he’s going to be the strongest or if the crap hit the fan, that light is going to turn to him to be the one who gets them out if it. Whether that’s pushing your car out of the ditch, whether that’s moving the washer and dryer upstairs in your house, whether that’s fighting your way out of a bad situation, defending your life, carrying your kids out of a burning house, blah, blah, blah. All of those things that, let’s be honest, they’re going to look to the man to do that.

I really have a hard time feeling that I would be ill prepared to do such tasks when called upon. It’s more of a service mindset. It’s not of “I’m so great because I’m strong.” I can’t reach my potential to be a father, a husband, a business leader if I don’t have physical and mental strength. I will eventually let someone down. That just doesn’t sit well, and I think it I have the ability and the testosterone and the frame that the Lord gives me to build that and get to the highest potential I can, I think that being strong is something you’re almost obligated to do. Otherwise, your load falls on someone else’s shoulders.

Brett McKay: I like that. Yeah, Teddy Roosevelt talked about you need to be able to carry your own pack, right, as a man.

Bert Sorin: Sure.

Brett McKay: Carry your burden, yeah. Do your part.

Bert Sorin: Because otherwise it has to go to someone else. It has to be defrayed to someone else. I couldn’t imagine not being able to save my wife or something to get her into safety or my kids or whatever it may be, that just doesn’t make sense. Especially if I have the opportunity to be able to do that.

Brett McKay: On that same topic, are there benchmarks, strength benchmarks that you think every man should strive for?

Bert Sorin: I think probably the simplest from a judgability as well as trainability would be that two times body weight deadlift. It’s something that I think it’s not your average strength level. Many people won’t be able to quite get there. I think if you train long and hard enough and you train seriously, I think it could be attained by most, but you’re not going to do it casually. I have yet to find someone who could deadlift double body weight that wasn’t strong everywhere, that wasn’t strong across the board, that if I knew that we had to carry lumber or climb a tree or chop an ax, using an ax to chop wood or all the other crazy things we get ourselves into, I’ve rarely founds someone that has that level of strength that really isn’t good at just about everything.

Because that’s either meaning you have to have a high level of strength or it’s really a high level of strength as comparison to body level, which is a great balance. If you weigh four hundred pounds and you have to be super, super strong, that’s rare.

Brett McKay: Sorinex is known for just their awesome squat racks, benches. It’s just high quality stuff. Colleges, training facilities across the country use them, but are there any other pieces of equipment that are unique that have come out of y’alls factories?

Bert Sorin: Sure. The two that are probably the most seen that people may or may not ever know that we came up with, one is called Landmine and it’s a universal joint with somewhat of a pipe on there, you shove a bar into it and you do a ton of different multi planner modalities, different movements. A lot of companies make them now. A lot of them hacked off the idea, and the reason why is it’s a great piece. The funny part about it was it was never even intended to be a product.

I built it myself with the help of my dad’s inventive mind back in 1999 as a way to help my hammer throw training. When I was training for the 2000 Olympic Trials I needed something that would bridge the gap between a really good squat and bridge the gap into a rotary torso motion that the hammer throw was needing. The Landmine is probably one of our most favorite. The second would be what you would consider a cross fit rig that multiple uprights connected in a thousand different configurations. That was also another invention of ours for the cross fit community as well as other tactical communities and even colleges that just saw a problem. That’s really what we’re about.

Sorinex, our mission statement is to physically culture the world through innovative training solutions. That solution might be a piece of equipment or it might be an application or an idea.

Brett McKay: Besides that, I also read that you guys played a big role in modern grip training.

Bert Sorin: Right.

Brett McKay: Why the focus on grip training?

Bert Sorin: Part of being physically cultured, like I said, is looking back into history and seeing the great ones that came before you, and if they kept really good records at least you could test your metal against some of the greatest of all time. In the early to mid 80s, my dad was reading a lot about Herman Goerner who was a German strongman in the 20s and 30s, and he died in the 50s, but he was very strong German fellow that was a really, really good deadlifter but had an amazingly strong grip. I believe still to this day he holds the record for a little over seven hundred pounds for a one handed deadlift at a body weight of about two sixty-five, which is just absolutely shocking.

Dad got a list of Goerner’s achievements, and a lot of them included thick bars and a lot of different hand positioning on bars, and so dad tried to replicate some of these feats and just see how strong Goerner was and if he could beat him on some of these things. In doing that, dad started lifting anvils by the horn and he invented what they call the blob, which is half of a York dumbbell. The old convex head York dumbbell gripping it fifty pounder, gripping it with a wide intense grip, and really started playing with what are things that aren’t necessarily very heavy but the shape of them makes them very difficult. He went on about a ten year quest of just really understanding how the forearms and hands work and how do you make them really, really strong and became the first person ever to close the number three Captain Crush Gripper that was thought to be uncloseable by a human and cemented his name as the father of modern grip training.

As that happened, more and more folks wanted to do grip training and we helped them out any time we could.

Brett McKay: Awesome. Are there any exercises or pieces of equipment that a guy who’s listening to this podcast can start doing or using today to improve his grip?

Bert Sorin: Sure. Two easy ones would be one would be a plate pinch where you take your Olympic plates and you could do tens, you could twenty-fives, forty-fives, whatever. If you could get the old style that has the smooth backs to them and you put them face to face with the outsides of the plate are smooth and you set them vertically and then you smash them together and you basically just take their hand, your thumb on one side, your forefingers on the other and you pinch them together and try to deadlift them up. World class would be two forty-five pound plates, two thirty-fives would be someone of a very strong athlete. Two twenty-fives, most pretty strong guys could do. Then obviously you go into your tens and those are pretty easy.

Then you could start to multiple tens, and I’ve seen dad do six ten pound plates, which is crazy because now it’s so wide, just literally the tip of his thumb and middle finger were wrapped around the edges. Those are some things that without a lot of money you could test your grip in different ways and really make your grip very, very strong. I’m sure you’ve heard and probably written about the mark of a strong man are his hands.

Brett McKay: Yeah. Okay, great. Plate pinches. I’ve done those before.

Bert Sorin: Plate pinches would be great. Another quick one are you could take the end of your Olympic barbell, which is two inches in diameter, load plates and do landmine deadlifts with that because now it’s going to be a thicker bar on your hand, it’s going to open your hand up more, decrease the mechanical advantage that your fingers already have and build that talon like grip. Those are things that you could do in your garage, your basement or just about any gym out there.

Brett McKay: Very cool. Before we started the podcast you and I were talking about your history. You were actually a Highland Games guy for a while.

Bert Sorin: Right.

Brett McKay: For listeners who aren’t familiar, can you talk about what the Highland Games are and what exactly they entail?

Bert Sorin: Sure. The Highland Games are an old Scottish event that goes way back to the days where they were being ruled and it was illegal for them to exercise or to have weapons back in the day because they didn’t want an uprising. What they would do, they would have these contests, these games of sorts, and they weren’t allowed to do military training, I’m sorry. They were allowed to exercise, but they weren’t allowed to military train. They came up with these basically clandestine ways to train for strength and stamina by throwing trees, throwing rocks, throwing hammers. In those days, it was Scottish hammer but it was basically a spherical head sledge hammer, all things that they have in their agrarian society, they would throw fifty-six and twenty-eight pound weights that they would use on their scale when they’re weighing out different crops and things like that.

That was the way that they trained to get strong. That was their way of protecting their homeland if the raiders or their own government came in, they wanted to be strong enough to defend themselves.

Hundreds and hundreds of years later those traditions have kept up in the Highland Games and there’s probably fifty or sixty games around the country every year, one of the biggest being in San Francisco. It’s called the Pleasonton Highland Games. I think this is the hundred and fiftieth year of the games, and it’s the longest running athletic event that has humans as the athletes, besides the Kentucky Derby that has been going consistently since through all the World Wars and everything going, it’s never been cancelled. I had the opportunity to compete there a few times, and it’s an awesome event, a few days and probably thirty, forty thousand people show up and watch a bunch of big strong men and women in kilts throw trees and rocks and hammers and weights and yell and scream and then go drink some beer.

It’s basically the most fun thing ever.

Brett McKay Isn’t there an event where you get a pitch fork and you hoist over?

Bert Sorin: Yeah. That’s called a sheath. It’s a burlap sack filled with chopped rope and it’s supposed to be like a bale of hay. Obviously they would stick the bale of hay back in the day and as they flipped the hay up on the pile, the pile would get higher and higher and higher. Obviously you had to throw it higher and higher to get your bale of hay to stick on there. Back in the old society, only the strongest and best man can work the longest that day because after a while the pile got too high for the lesser men to keep going.

Brett McKay: That’s cool. Yeah, I’ve always wanted to do that. They have one here in Tulsa. Haven’t been able to do it yet. One day it’s going to happen.

Bert Sorin: You ought to. I just realized you got to block out your calendar after that because you’ll probably start throwing and you’ll kill a lot of time. I know I did.

Brett McKay: I went to Twitter and I asked some questions. I know we have some followers who are fans of your all’s products, and here’s a few. One I got was when’s the best time to work out? Morning, evening or does it really matter?

Bert Sorin: Right. There’s anecdotal evidence and there’s evidence that is scientific. I’ll first give the scientific evidence from what I’ve read a number of times and talked to certain athletes, and they feel that it’s most the strength coaches I speak with, they’ll try to train about ten o’clock in the morning, and the reason for that is depending on their sleep schedule, your testosterone as a man is the highest in the morning as you wake up. You’re trying to feed off of that testosterone and that growth hormones spike early on so you want to train as early as you can during the day, but you have to couple that with your core body temperature and your circulation and your nervous system firing, which rarely is every early in the day as we all know.

They feel if you can get about three hours of awake time for your body to start heating up and your joints to lubricate, that you’re basically crossing your highest testosterone and growth hormone with the first time your body is prepared from a temperature and circulatory standpoint. You have yet to burn up a lot of your energy throughout the day, your nervous system and glycogen.

I know a lot of athletes who will train anywhere between nine and eleven period of time makes it nice. You can train, you can ride it off, you go right into lunch, refuel the system. Best case scenario, that’s probably it. That being said, I have lifted probably ninety-five percent of my life at five o’clock PM and that’s more of an anecdotal and cultural thing around here. Probably because of my days in college, we threw the hammer from two o’clock to five o’clock … for whatever we were doing and then we went right to the weight room, which tended to be five o’clock, we’d lift till seven and then we’d go eat.

When I started working full time, we’d work our full day, knock off at five, and then everyone meet at the gym and go at it. I say whichever one works better for you. There’s the scientific approach and then there’s the “Hey, whatever works for you approach.” I wouldn’t train too late though because I think that your nervous system will get in too much sympathetic fight or flight while you’re training and it’s going to be hard to downshift into parasympathetic, which is going to allow you to sleep well and relax and recover and recovery as we all know is the main name of the game when it comes to strength games.

Brett McKay: Yeah. I’m learning that. For a while there I was really overtraining and wasn’t making any progress. Because working out everyday, now I’m just three times a week and my games have gotten better.

Bert Sorin: Right. Exactly. He who recovers most and fastest wins. That is the key to it all. Actually one of my mentors Jeff Nichols, who runs Virginia High Performance, he’s been mentoring me on even that next stage of recovery and Jeff happened to be not only a deployed and active member of Seal Team 6, but was also in charge of a lot of the recovery, both mental and physical at the team’s, as well as a lot of their exercise pieces. It’s been a blessing to know and to become friends with him to really learn how the body and the mind works together and different protocols go through to relax the body to achieve maximal recovery. Might want to look him up. He’s way smarter than I am with that.

Brett McKay: Awesome. Another question we had was someone who had a small space available for a home gym. What are the very basic pieces of equipment you think they should have if a guy wants to start a really small garage gym or even a gym in a little place in their apartment?

Bert Sorin: Sure, absolutely. I’ll go from a bang for the buck standpoint. It’s really hard to get around. If you really want to get strong and to have some real things happen, a barbell. If you want to lose some weight and become more active and you literally have zero space, get a few kettlebells, you can put them under your bed. Hopefully you don’t because you’ll probably forget to ever use them. They carry a very, very little space and you can swing a kettlebell just about anywhere and they take up very little space and you can get a lot of stuff done.

I actually knew a girl that lost eighty-two pounds just by swinging kettlebells. No other cardio, no other exercises, it was just after she had her kids and she put a kettlebell beside her couch and she said, “Anytime the commercials would come on, I would just swing the kettlebell through the commercial breaks.”

Brett McKay: Wow.

Bert Sorin: Simple. It was pretty wild how that worked. Now going back to if I wanted to become brutally strong and go towards that goal of a man of deadlifting double body weight, you’re going to want a good Olympic lifting bar and some sort of plates. Bumper plates are generally pretty popular because they don’t ding up your floor. They’re a little bit quieter. I would say three hundred pound set of bumper plates and a bar bell would be my start. From that you could get really, really strong. You could get eighty-five percent as strong as you’re probably ever going to get without sport specificity thrown in there.

That would be a start. The next thing I would get would be some sort of squat rack with a pull up bar option because now you could do suspended relative body weight things like pull ups, you could use your TRX straps, things like that and you have an anchor point. My exact home gym, that’s pretty much what was in there. In my whole house, I didn’t have a lot of space in the garage. I literally had a rack that took up four feet wide, eight feet tall, two feet deep and a bar bell, and I have a thick bar as well. That was what I trained on when I couldn’t get to the gym, and I stayed relatively strong and in shape with very, very little space and I would laugh at if my entire gym took up eight square feet.

Brett McKay: Okay. That’s not very much space.

Bert Sorin: No. You get it done.

Brett McKay: Awesome. We had another Art of Manliness reader ask, I think he’s wanting to start a gym, and he’s asking what’s the realistic cost of the equipment to start a gym that supports twenty people?

Bert Sorin: Ooh, that’s a hard one. That’s like saying how much does a car cost? It really depends on what the outcome of training that you’re looking for for those twenty people. Are they training together at the exact same time? Are they circuiting? I’d hate to even try to answer that. $5,000, $10,000, I really don’t know. It really depends on their need, their specific needs for that and if you’re saying twenty people, you’re probably thinking of something like a cross fit setup. Not to use the term cross fit like that’s the only thing, but the listeners will know the idea.

From there, you’re going to need I would say eight to ten bar bells, kettlebells, bumpers, some sort of racking or rigging system, you probably are looking the ten grand area to get that squared away, bare bones.

Brett McKay: That’s actually not too bad, if you’re trying to start a small gym.

Bert Sorin: It’s not.

Brett McKay: Small business.

Bert Sorin: Sure. You could get after, again, there’s not going to be lap of luxury, but people over calculate and over-think weight training a lot. It’s resistance against a lever arm or a muscle that makes you strong. It’s not that difficult, but there are a heck of a lot ways to do it wrong, but it’s pretty simple to do right.

Brett McKay: What’s in the future of Sorinex and where can we learn more about the company and its philosophy?

Bert Sorin: Sure. The future, it’s bright and it’s fun. We’re actually moving to a new facility. We’re literally moving there as we speak, seventy thousand square feet, manufacturing space made in good old South Carolina. We pride ourselves on American manufacturing, and with that, a project that’s fun for me is the expanded gym space that we’re going to have that’s going to be open to any athletes that want to come by and train any time. We want to give back to the community by giving them a safe place to come and learn and to come teach us and have that open information so that the gym is going to be a fun part.

My baby of it is going to be the museum of physical culture that we’re going to have. It’s going to be the first museum of its kind in the southeast that I know about, the other one being the Stark Center at the University of Texas, good friends of ours Jan and Terry Todd are the curators there. The museum is going to be a spot where you have magazines and books from the last century on physical training. It’s going to have artifacts of different times and areas of the world with strength, few hundred year old kettlebells and Indian clubs and where you can really come and get your hands on the pieces and take a sabbatical of strength, come check out what that physical culture is all about.

Those are some projects that I’m excited about. Besides that, it’s just always growing the brotherhood of strength, how we consider our customer base and learn from them and teach gym as well and just keep trying to get better. That’s really what it all boils down to.

Brett McKay: When’s the museum slated to open?

Bert Sorin: The museum? The museum we’re shooting for late June, which is what we call our Summer Strong Event, and it’ll be Summer Strong Eight. This is the eighth year we’re doing it, June 26th, 27th weekend, and it’s our opportunity to give back to our community and our brotherhood of strength. We bring in some of the best coaches and trainers and strength athletes in the world, some of the names that people read about and never get to talk to, thankfully we’re friends with most of them. We’ll bring them in, and for very little cost we’ll allow people to come to Summer Strong. It’s a three day Woodstock of strength and physical culture where everyone gets to hang out and learn and participate and compete.

We have a lot of meat, and I have a couple adult beverages and just make friends and network and just get to all sharpen each other’s swords. That’s my drop dead day that I want the museum, I want to unveil it at Summer Strong day.

Brett McKay: That’s awesome. It sounds great. I’ll have to make a trip out there. Sounds right up my alley.

Bert Sorin: Glad to have you hear. You will be a VIP for sure.

Brett McKay: Well Bert, thank you so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure.

Bert Sorin: Brett, it was awesome getting to talk to you. It really is an absolute honor. You guys are doing some great stuff, and I log in a lot because I need to learn and always sharpen my weapon as well.

Brett McKay: Thank you sir.

Bert Sorin: Thank you sir.

Brett McKay: Our guest today was Bert Sorin. He’s the CEO of Sorinex and you can find out more about Sorinex and their equipment at Sorinex.com. Well that wraps up another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. For more manly tips and advice, make sure to check out the Art of Manliness website at ArtofManliness.com. I’d also appreciate it if you’d check out Store.ArtofManliness.com where you can find Art of Manliness products. Again, we’ve just launched a journal inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s Virtue Journal that he developed for himself as a young man. It’s a way you can track your progress in becoming a better, more virtuous man. It’s pretty cool, so go check it out.

You can’t find it anywhere else. That’s Store.ArtofManliness.com. Until next time, this is Brett McKay telling you to stay manly

Last updated: October 10, 2017


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