Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dave Draper's World Gym (The Weight Room)

Dave Draper, have you heard of him? Mr. America, Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, Mr. World, “The Blond Bomber” has held many titles.

Below is a funny short video of him in a movie with Davy Jones of the Monkee's!

He’s a local boy, lives and owned a gym in Santa Cruz, just over the hill from me. I read his weekly newsletters that come out and last week saw a surprise. They were selling off the contents of his old gym, the place was closed and everything had to go. It would be auctioned off. At the top of my post  is the old sign, over the loading dock in the back of the gym. It was called World Gym when he owned it, then a few years ago he sold it (and still trained there) and the name was changed to The Weight Room, so it was no longer part of the World Gym franchise.

Below is a video of Dave and Bill Pearl speaking a few years ago, in that very gym! He has his hand on a huge black piece of equipment, it was built especially for him, and it was the only piece that didn't sell. It just weighs too much to move, so I'm not sure what they will do with it. What I find interesting about his "discussion" is the fact that he talks about modern day bodybuilders as "freaks", and I agree, the desire to get so freakishly huge, it doesn't even look real.

I browsed through the auction items online and I saw lots of things I would love, but nothing I really needed. Roy, however could certainly use many things. I sent him to email and told him to check out the auction.
Monday night of the week before the auction we met to train and we had both decided what we wanted, he would set up his pre-bids for several pieces of equipment, I would try for the stairmill and a Vita-mix, a commercial Rancilio espresso machine and a commercial coffee grinder.
You can set up pre-bids with maximums then follow along online and even raise your bid or bid on new things.
I was at work so really couldn’t spend much time following the auction, it was live in Santa Cruz, online on the Internet and very exciting. Roy was also working so when one of us had a chance we would check and if we saw one of our lots come up, we would text each other.  “Lot #311, low bench, you win!” I would text.  “Espresso machine next” he texted to me.  It was all so very fun and exciting!
At the end of the day Roy got several large pieces for his gym and I got everything I wanted (except the stairmill that went for over $800.00).
Roy, David and I piled into Moby to go pick up our haul.  We drove over the hill to Santa Cruz nice and early. This picture is taken while I am standing in the entrance, looking through out the back loading dock, this is all that's left of the equipment.

I turn around and here is the front counter where the VitaMix and espresso machine are located. The gym has has pretty much been raped and pillaged, rather sad and an end of an era of great bodybuilding.

Did I mention that I won everything I bid on (but that stairmill)? I suppose I could have bought the sign but really didn't want that in my house.

Here is the espresso machine, a hulk of a thing that is larger than this looks here. It's a Rancilio S27, apparently it has a cult following of people who love classic commercial espresso machines. The owner is unhooking the water supply. Crud- I didn't think about plumbing the darn thing when I bid on it, but like so many other things in my life, it will be an adventure I guess!

Roy is talking with some of the guys who are also picking up their equipment while  David is driving Moby around to the loading dock.

The prize piece - a deadlift platform! Roy and I are both super excited about this piece, now we can do so much more in his gym. And to think about the fact that Dave Draper used this, and probably his buddies, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other bodybuilders of his era.

Roy's benches waiting to be loaded into Moby.

The low bench is nice, its for bench press but it's low to the ground. As we loaded it into Moby a guy came up and said it was his favorite piece of equipment, after almost 20 years of using it everyday he was really going to miss it, I could see a tear well up in his eye, I had to look away or I would cry too. I assured him that it was going to a good home.

This would have been a great picture to have! There were so many available but I didn't think of getting one at the time.

Roy is holding onto my espresso machine that we moved to the roof of Moby as David backs the truck up, he had moved it to allow some other people to get their things out.

All of these pieces will forever carry the history of a great era of Bodybuilders and I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to be involved in this. I cannot wait to do some deadlifts on the new platform! 


  1. Wow. What a nice world gym. Hope that my husband can visit there sometime so that he'll be motivated to be fit. :)