Geto Boys, 2 Live Crew, Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, NWA, Future, Boogie Down Productions, Cardi B, Lil Wayne and Drake. These are the artists I listen to when I start training. Other selections include Hatebreed, Motorhead, and Phantom Anthem, especially when I do squats.

I’ve heard the biggest guy in our gym listening to 1970s disco…DISCO?! He’s not even 30 years old and he likes disco? Another young kid that Joey trains, listens to hip-hop from my time, the 80s. We get along because of the connection of our music. Interesting stuff.

Music is so powerful that it isn’t uncommon for me to see competitors at a USAPL me backstage listening to something right before they hit the platform. Their faces literally change in an instant. I have an entire playlist that lasts four hours every time I’ve competed.

Music is so powerful that it can make or break a record PR. It’s so powerful that it can lift you on the shittiest of days, or it can bring you down because of a tragic memory. There’s a certain song I heard this week that made me angry as F-K and gave me one of the best workouts I’ve had since the last time I competed three years ago. Now I have the itch to get back onstage and finish what began in 1999.

Don’t underestimate the power of music. Minutes before you step into the gym, the music you hear as you drive in can dictate the mood of your training session. Carefully select the music from the moment you get in the car to the time you do your first set. I can guarantee that your training will be at a higher level.

Retired Special Education Teacher, NPC competitive bodybuilder, USAPL Certified Club Coach, general fitness trainer, and Pure Focus co-owner Chris Marzarella

Diet and Training Tips

food diet eggs clean-eating nutrients IBS
Snack time! Puttatas and eggz

We like to give out as much training information as we can, fix someone’s form and advise anyone who comes to us. We won’t turn you away or give you some bullshit generic answer. After all, we all look for ways to improve our training or diet.

Today, I’m giving you some of my current lessons I have learned in the past few months. I have a plan to compete in 2019. I want to try the classic physique division.  I am confident that this new category is custom fit to my size and weight. After all, when you go up against guys that are 5’8″, but weigh the same as you, (I stand at 6’2″), you’re kind of outmatched.
So, I have decided to add more calories to my diet. My current weight is 230. I am up from 224 from six months ago.  My diet is still ongoing as I would like to add another 10 pounds in six months. I can easily add size, but the trick is to not get as fat as one would on a dirty bulk. I am doing a hybrid of eating whatever I want, but 80% of the time, I am eating nutrient-dense foods. My calories hover around 4000 calories at the moment with another 500 to 750 coming next week, as I have hit a plateau for the past two weeks.
Another issue I have been dealing with is IBS and acid reflux. At times, I am in pain from eating certain foods that I normally wouldn’t have issues with. So now I use FatSecret to log my foods and see what foods hurt or help, as well as keeping me accountable for my calories.

  • That’s my first tip: eat what you want, but keep a log. You might be able to pinpoint a problem or find that you aren’t eating enough. You should also log your foods for contest prep-duh.
  • Next, eat for what your goal dictates. My goal, as well as a few other folks I know, is to gain size. For the amount of time I have allocated, I will be eating a surplus, and I don’t care if I am not as lean as I want to be. I also feel stronger and healthier with more food. I keep my eyes on my end result.
    If you are a bodybuilder in the offseason, don’t eat as if you have a contest in 6 weeks. It’s stupid. I am also not a believer in cutting weight for a powerlifting meet unless you are 3-5 lbs over your weight class limit. Only then do I suggest dieting. Simply stay near your class limit or eat into the top weight of your class for your prep. If you have maxed out in strength, only then should you think about adding weight.
    Also, don’t cut so much food out that you aren’t capable of improving your lifts demonstrably, or even worse, slow your progress. This sport is won by strength, not abs or striated glutes. Pretty simple. Cutting too many calories is self-sabotaging.
  • If you have an eating problem, try using a liquid meal, with quality ingredients that you know you aren’t going to screw you up.
  • Finally, coconut oil. I am amazed at how much better my IBS and my acid reflux have become. It has become much more manageable in a very short time. I talked to my doctor and he said to try coconut oil. I am shocked at how simple it was, and how much benefit it has provided me. My end result is to maintain my diet with foods that heal instead of hurt.

My list of tips is long, and this is the first of many. Reach out if you would like some advice or help with form or anything you might have a question. about.  My door is open. In fact, I dont even have a physical door 🙂

powerlifting USAPL bodybuilder
NPC Classic Physique Competitor, USAPL Certified Powerlifting Coach, MMA Strength & Conditioning, and Transformation Coach. Pure Focus Owner  Chris Marzarella

In the beginning…

powerlifting bodybuilding strength physique
This is us

One of the first things I did when I moved to Brick twenty years ago was to join a gym. The second day I woke up before I even unpacked everything, I went to Pure Focus. I didn’t even shop around. There were other gyms (fitness centers really), but as soon as I saw the old school feel and not a shitty commercial gym, I was hooked.

I started as a member, worked as a trainer, and now I am an owner.  Funny thing is, a year ago, I wanted to open my own warehouse gym. Every time I tried to allocate a space, something shot me down. At the end of almost one year of looking, Kent asked me why not invest here? It made sense, and honestly, it was always in the back of my mind. We’d discussed it several times, even came close once or twice.
We have known each other for almost two decades and Kent knows I am there if he needs me for anything. He’s one of the best guys around. Even though I am an owner for only three months and have worked here for over five years as a trainer, Kent and his family have taken this orphan in and made me part of his family.

The mission statement was clear from the beginning of our partnership. We are old school and proud. We want to keep the image of who we are, but update it, like this website you are on right now. Our goal is to give to do more for our members and make them proud to be part of a great gym.

We are a passionate couple of gym rats. We’ve been called throwbacks from a long forgotten era. We don’t expect to be millionaires in this industry, even though it would be nice. We do it because of our love of the iron game. We love strength, bodybuilding, fitness and we treat members like family, like the way it was in the 60s and 70s in the Arnold-Golds Gym era. Kent and I like to think this ideal breathes here.

Our goal with this blog is to connect even further with our members and anyone interested in who we are, what we do, what makes us better than the rest. Our mission is to remain the only real gym around!

Stay tuned there’s more to come!

Chris Marzarella

powerlifting USAPL bodybuilder
NPC Classic Physique Competitor, USAPL Certified Powerlifting Coach, MMA Strength & Conditioning, and Transformation Coach. Pure Focus Owner  Chris Marzarella