The Best Fitness City in America? (with Angela Gargano)

Today I’m talking to my friend Angela Gargano, who is a bit of an “OG” in the fitness space. She’s competed on American Ninja Warrior multiple times, earned the title of Miss Fitness USA, and she’s also a serial fitness entrepreneur. She joins me from Austin, Texas, which just might be the best city in America for fitness pros and enthusiasts alike. Let’s find out why.

Angela Gargano on the BarBend Podcast

In this episode of The BarBend Podcast, David Thomas Tao and Angela Gargano discuss: 

  • Recording before the world shut down and now after (1:04)
  • Austin’s fitness community (including companies like Onnit) (4:20)
  • Are people just friendlier in Texas? (07:00)
  • How can “bro culture” impact gym acceptance? (10:30)
  • Who opening a gym is a lot more complex than you might think (maybe opt for a home gym instead?) (15:00)
  • Fitness content “pillars” (19:00)
  • Our most embarrassing fitness stories (22:00)

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

I’m like, “All right, I went and trained in that. I know how to do this.” I’m doing a few with the bar. Then I put the weights on it. I’m like, “All right, I got this.” I literally go, I snatch and I fall. [laughs] I just fall right back.

David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast,” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strengths. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

 

Today, I’m talking to my friend, Angela Gargano, who is a bit of an OG in the fitness space. She’s competed on “American Ninja Warrior” multiple times. She’s earned the title of Miss Fitness USA, and she’s also a serial fitness entrepreneur. She joins me from Austin, Texas, which just might be the best city in America for fitness pros and enthusiasts alike. Let’s find out why.

 

Angela, thanks for joining me again. The really interesting thing about this is the last time you were on the podcast we recorded in person, right before the pandemic. You were the last person we recorded live. We’re both sitting down across from each other, BarBend Podcast with. That was two and a half years ago.

That’s so wild. Time has flown so much. I remember that’s literally when I was thinking, “Oh, this is not going to be a big deal. Nothing’s really going to happen.” Then, all of a sudden, it was like, “Oh, everything’s close.” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

I remember as you were walking out of the building…We walked out of the building together, and we were like, do we high-five, fist bump, or hug? Is this OK? We didn’t know how COVID was spread.

It was a super-confusing time. So interesting. I love where your office was, though. That’s my favorite spot in Dumbo. That street was one of the signature spots that I love going to when I come back to the city.

David TaoDavid Tao

You, and every influencer on Instagram, who’s ever…

 I know. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 …visited Brooklyn love that spot. We moved in there. That office, for those who don’t know, the old BarBend office, was on this block in Brooklyn that’s right by the water. The Manhattan Bridge cuts across the block at least the eye line. It is that image that everyone on Instagram takes on that street, which by the way is an active street with cars.

 

Everyone who’s taking photos there stops traffic. It’s really annoying. When we moved into that office, that wasn’t a thing. A year into our residency in that office, that became a thing. Suddenly there were 4,000 tourists there every day at any given time.

That’s definitely me. I was that person doing the handstands in the middle of the road, the cars beeping at me, and stuff like that. I don’t understand why they just don’t shut the street down, that one section. They probably could do that and it probably would be fine.

David TaoDavid Tao

They did. They actually ended up doing that because it got…

They did? Oh.

David TaoDavid Tao

 For a little while, because it got so bad. It was backing up traffic for miles because people couldn’t really go through the street anyway.

 

If you see your favorite fitness influencers come to New York and take those shots and you see one with a big, blue bridge in the background, that was right where the BarBend office was. I’m sure Angela has a bunch of photos of her doing handstands there.

 

Yeah. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

I’m in Brooklyn right now. I stuck around. You’re not in Brooklyn. Where are you right now?

I’m actually in Austin, Texas. I stuck it through for most of that pandemic and I was living on the Upper East Side. I stayed through everything, the protests, all the stuff. Then I finally was just like, “Enough of this. I’m tired of being cooped up in my apartment.”

 

I wound up moving to New Jersey, closer to my mom for a little bit. Then I would up selling everything I own, [laughs] and becoming nomadic because I was like, “Why not?” I have the opportunity to do it right now, why not? I do everything virtually.

 

I traveled all around the world, which is really cool, and decided to make my home base here in Austin, Texas, which I’m loving so much. There’s a big fitness community here.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

Tell us about the fitness community in Austin. My impression years ago was that Onnit was based there, there were a few equipment companies based there, Kettlebell Kings is based there, or something like that.

 

Tell us about the fitness community in Austin. I knew it through the lens of there were these companies and brand partners that we worked with. Then I spent some time there and it’s an interesting culture.

What’s interesting is I feel like it’s an amazing fitness culture. Also, everyone’s very, very nice. Everyone’s trying to connect and trying to create a community. It can be a little overwhelming sometimes.

 

Not only do you have Onnit, which is an amazing spot to train. I love their programming there. There’s also gyms, kind of grungy gyms that I love. Squash Fitness, which is an inside-outside gym, which I love going to. They have great community events that they’re always holding there as well.

 

There is also Fringe Sport. Fringe Sport was there too. I think it’s Fringe. That’s another equipment company or whatever, but they had a gym for a while. There’s also Lift ATX. There’s now Collective, which if you used to live in the city, it’s like a Performix House, but a way bigger type of situation. There’s now all these gyms opening up.

 

What’s really cool about it is everybody’s really craving community, so there is just community events and fitness events happening all the time. Literally, every single day you can find a community event or a fitness event to be doing. Everyone’s doing that. Everyone is ice-bathing, sauna-ing. It’s the most-fit area ever. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Do people not work? They go to community events and they’re independently wealthy?

 Austin is really big. There’s a lot of tech here now. Everyone basically moved from San Francisco I feel like, to here. All the tech stuff is here. There’s a lot of tech sales. I call them the tech bros. There’s a lot of tech bros here. [laughs] They’ve got tech bros here and a lot of entrepreneurs are here as well because they all moved here for the same reason.

 

There’s a great community and a lot of people are entrepreneurs and fit and healthy and things along those lines. A lot of people are working for themselves here, besides the tech situation.

David TaoDavid Tao

I think you forgot the biggest reason that people in tech and entrepreneurs moved to Texas.

Why is that?

David TaoDavid Tao

No state taxes.

That’s true. That’s great. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

What you say about community, that’s great. It begets itself. As the community grows, it becomes more of its own draw, but let’s be real. Why were a lot of these original folks moving there? They don’t have to pay state taxes.

t’s way more expensive now though. There is a lot of now, apartments that are basically New York City rent wise at least now. They’ve gotten because everybody is moving here, so they can do whatever they want. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

When you moved to Austin, obviously you have a pretty big following, you’ve been in different fitness spaces for a while. You didn’t show up and you’re like, “I should try fitness.” [laughs] How did you start getting plugged into the fitness scene there? How do you find out about these events that are going on all the time?

What’s interesting is, I started coming here even during my travels, but even before that. I was coming because you could work out here during the pandemic, so I can go to Onnit. I was going to Onnit three days a week, paying the drop-in fee, getting my workout on.

 

I started to meet people there. What’s cool is when you’re going to these classes and going to these gyms, everybody is that friendly, where they’ll invite you to come to the park after. They’ll invite you to come to the next thing.

 

It’s easy, just by going to these classes you’re getting invited to the next thing and everybody shows up and it’s crazy. That’s how I got plugged in with a lot of these things. Again, there is a lot of community events.

 

A lot of them are from going to the gym and meeting people. In the sauna, too, you meet a lot of people. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of sauna-talk, but when you are in the sauna, people are talking about all sorts of stuff in there, whether it’d be business or some weird stuff.

 

You might get in there but a lot of times they’re also inviting you to do things within the community. It’s going to places, which is pretty wild.

David TaoDavid Tao

I don’t want to get either of us in trouble. What are some examples of strange sauna conversations? It’s very hot, you’re sweating. When I go to a sauna, I feel very vulnerable because it’s a hot box…

Yeah, exactly. You definitely get some interesting people in there. Especially being in Austin, people are talking about psychedelics or some weird thing that they’re doing right now. Some weird retreat they’re going out which is again, I don’t mean to say weird but it’s interesting.

 

You’re in there and you’ll get an interesting group of people, would just be entrepreneurship. I’ve met some multi-millionaire, billionaire founders in the saunas that you talk to like, “Oh, I didn’t even know that you did that, that’s really cool.”

 

There’s also all sorts of other things. It seems like there’s a lot of psychedelics-type stuff happening in Austin as well, so you’ll hear all these interesting stories or things they’re doing.

David TaoDavid Tao

Have you organized any of your own events or meet-ups in Austin?

I haven’t yet only because I feel like in a way, I can call myself an OG. I’ve been doing that for so long. I was doing that in Rhode Island every weekend. I was hosting events in Rhode Island and things along those lines. While it seems a little bit newer with some of the people here who were creating them, I used to do that.

 

I am hosting an all-females event in September at a gym just because we wanted to bring…I want to bring the New York City style type workout situation, but it’s going to be all females trying to get them empowered and focus on their strong…

 

I’m also going to be doing some pull-up workshops in the area. People keep wanting to learn their pull-ups. I’m like, “Might as well do it in person now,” but I haven’t gotten too crazy with it. I think it’s because I’ve done it all already, that sounds rude to say, but I’ve done it so much before everything before all of this was a thing.

David TaoDavid Tao

I’m curious. I don’t get invited to a lot of women-only fitness events which is a good…That means that the invites are going to the right people and not going to wrong people.

 

That’s not the first time you’ve done that, organized something like that. You’ve been involved in something like that. Tell me why or tell us why you focus on some of those events that are just for women, how that changes the dynamic, the vibe and why and what is the outcome of doing that?

 

A lot of these gyms that you’re going to are kind of bro-ey, obviously. To me, I don’t mind walking in there. I’m very much like one of the guys. It’s not a big deal. For a lot of females, they look at these gyms, and although to me, I’m feeling that friendliness and things along those lines, they get very intimidated.

 

You walk towards the gym, you see all these shirtless guys working out doing all this crazy stuff where, again when you go up to them, they are the nicest people ever, but from the outside looking in, it can be super intimidating.

 

A lot of my goals with these all-women fitness events is literally to bring them into it. Obviously, there’s no males in there, but show the friendliness and show that we are there to support them and that these women in these gyms do exist so they are not as intimidated and they are excited to get into the gym.

 

Again, it can be very, very scary and intimidating. They could go in and be like, “I don’t know what I’m doing. What if I’m doing this wrong, what if someone is looking at me.” You want to try and get people to feel accepted and excited to come into the gym.

 

That’s why we do a lot with the women. I guess it does change the dynamic a lot when you have these strong women coming in and supporting you. Like I said, after a lot of times, they are way more inspired to go into a gym maybe on their own without another female with them because we brought them in.

 

I think it’s like as soon as you get them in there, they are in, but you have to almost like lure them in or like an all-female type event to get them excited about it again. Like I said, people are craving being with people especially after the pandemic right now.

 

People are really craving that community, that actual connection. That’s another reason why we are bringing it together. I really just want people to be not intimated and scared to go in the gym. Right now, on social media, I’m getting really irritated because there’s so much hate going on to different movements and things.

 

People are using that to get views and to get exciting, but what they don’t realize is by them doing that, by them saying, “Don’t use the stability ball. It’s the worst thing ever and this is why.” Kicking it and being all dramatic about it.

 

You’re now making that female who might have been using that stability ball she’s now scared to come to the gym because she’s scared somebody is going to be looking at her and being like, “You’re using a stability ball. You’re doing it all wrong.” Type of situation.

 

That’s another thing that I’m trying to move away from is making sure that people realize that they are welcomed into the gym. If you’re just moving, that’s a win. That’s a win. Get started there and then you can fine-tune all the stuff later. There’s a lot of reasons why we’re trying to bring a bunch of other females together.

David TaoDavid Tao

Are you getting compensated by the stability ball lobby to say this?

No.

David TaoDavid Tao

Is this Nicki product placement, Angela?

No. I got so irritated though. I saw this post when someone I actually looked up to I’m not going to say, and I got so irritated by it. It was not…I get if you don’t like this stability ball, you don’t like the BOSU ball, l I get it. Whatever.

 

Maybe it’s not the tool you would ultimately use, but to some people, if you’re doing it a certain way and you’re fully bashing it to the point where people are like, “I was using that and now I don’t know if I should.”

 

Now they are going into the gym and they don’t know they should touch a dumbbell because are they supposed to use it. Not really sure. It gets them really scared. I saw the comments on the bottom from that, from people being like, “Wow, I don’t know. Now I’m scared to go on the gym.”

 

I think that I got a little bit irritated on that because I want people to be welcomed and just by them showing up there no matter what they are doing, I’m happy.

David TaoDavid Tao

 You used to own a gym.

 

I did.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

In the old days. By the way, in the old days.

Exactly.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

I don’t mean it was decades ago just to clarify here. You used to own a gym, you don’t own a gym now, would you ever own or operate a gym again?

 No. Never. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Why is that?

I would never own one again. Honestly, I’m obsessed with the people. The people were great. I had such an amazing community there. When you own a gym, you’re not just owning a gym you’re literally the accountant, you’re the janitor, you’re worrying about the hiring.

 

Then you can’t really go anywhere because that’s your home base. For some people, that’s perfect. For people, especially who have families and they like, “I own this gym. This is like my family gym and I’m going to be here.”

 

For someone like me, I want to be traveling around doing things. If you have a gym, I’m not going to be able to do that. I would never personally own a gym again. I do see why people do it. I see the amazing community you can create upon it if you’re ready to stay in one place, but when you own it, you ultimately need to be there.

David TaoDavid Tao

Do you think that’s something that people aren’t super aware of, the fact that there are all these other ancillary jobs that come with owning a facility?

Absolutely. I think that even not owning a facility, but even as a business owner, you don’t realize all other extra things you have to do. I was just training people then I got a big following in Rhode Island and I was like, “What’s the next step obviously?”

 

Like in my head I’m like, “Obviously, open a gym.” I just thought that. I did not think about all the other things that I would be having to do and learning it all the way and wearing all the hats at once.

 

When you’re doing the business, no matter what, most of the time you’re starting the business and you’re literally wearing them all hats at once until you make enough where you can outsource it and pay somebody else to do it.

 

Ultimately at the beginning, you’re not making enough. In the gym, a lot of the times, you’re not making money for, like what? Is it three years they say? You don’t actually make any money on the gym because really like it’s just you’re paying all the other stuff.

 

I think that it’s important for people to know that when they jump into it. I didn’t know. I was fine, but I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. [laughs] Yes, you wear a lot of hats and I don’t think people are aware of that. Even in the online space, you’re not aware that when you join the online space.

 

You’re not just coaching. Now you probably have to create the courses that you’re making. You have to do the marketing, you have to do client retention and talking to them and cancellations and all such stuff that you don’t normally think that is actually going to happen until you get into it.

David TaoDavid Tao

Running any business in the fitness spaces, it’s still a business. There’s still accounting that needs to be done, taxes that need to be paid, business licensing that need to be applied for and renewed. It depends.

 

There’re all these state regulations too. Like, owning and operating a gym in New York is different than in Texas because there are different local and city regulations and all this sort of thing. I’m having flashbacks. It’s like there are a lot of extra…New York always has extra hoops.

 

You can probably work.

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s pull it back a little bit. We’re not going to dive into owning gym horror stories because I know you can talk about that for hours. What are some trends that you do like in the online fitness space these days?

 

We talked a little bit about things that might be a little toxic or might be a little bit competitive which is fine. Hey, we need to talk about those. We need to identify those. Some people like arguing online. They are always going to find space to argue online.

 

What are some things that you see online or trends in the fitness space that might not have existed previously and you’re like, “Wow, that’s actually good” or “I really dig that”?

 

I’m liking that I’m seeing a lot more like…Again, we’re seeing the bashing, but then we’re also seeing people do some great stuff with education-wise so that people are understating different movements.

 

I think one of the persons that took off obviously was a knees-over-toes guy. He’s massive right now with all the stuff he’s doing. You go on his page, he’s walking through educating you, allowing people to actually understand some of the movements and things along those lines.

 

I do like that a lot of it, even on TikTok right now has been coming educational-based, which I know you’re an SEO master. People are now going on TikTok and they’re searching for things that they can get tutorials on because they’re a little bit easier to understand. They make them fun and things along those lines. I am enjoying that.

 

That’s personally the direction I’m going with mine if you go on my page, a lot of it is education. Like, “Hey, let me walk you through these couple movements that would be beneficial for your core and why.”

 

Then I go through all of it and then people are saving that like, “Wow, I didn’t know that. That’s great.” I’m enjoying the actual educational content that’s coming out of a lot of this stuff right now.

David TaoDavid Tao

What are some areas of content that you haven’t explored or you’ve only touched on a little bit that you want to dive deeper into?

I have pillars on my thing. I’m like, “I’m literally only talking about pull-ups core mindset and that’s basically it.”

 

David TaoDavid Tao

What about leg day, Angela?

I have talked about leg day a little bit, but everyone knows that I hate leg day because of my two ACL tear. It’s definitely super hard for me. Anytime that I have somebody message me a question on certain movements and things along those lines, I literally take their exact question and then make content based on it to answer it.

 

It’s a better way of answering them. Instead of you answering that same question a hundred times, you can say, “Hey, refer to this video,” or go and do this. I always say within my content pillar, some of the stuff I want to do more of which I was telling my friend about. I want to do some more funny comedy stuff on there, actually. [laughs]

 

Because I think that it could be relatable, especially for people who are having certain things happen. For example, when you do your Bulgarian split squat. How annoying is it to set it up sometimes? You’re putting your foot on the bench and you’re hopping all over the place.

 

I want to do some comedy things that are going to allow people to be like, “Oh yeah, I’ve done that. OK, I don’t feel so bad anymore because it happens to everybody.”

David TaoDavid Tao

First off, Bulgarian split squats. I was doing them earlier this week. I was like, “Oh, I get the best response from these.” I make so much progress in everything else if I’m incorporating these in my training regularly, and they’re the worst thing.

 

I’d rather run two miles sometimes than do a set of 10 Bulgarian split squats on each leg because I feel like I’m going to die.

 

I believe they never get easier, personally. I don’t know if it’s just my legs. I know how good though. They’re so beneficial, but you always feel them. I don’t know if they ever get easier.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s so weird. I was doing sets of 8 or 10 on each leg earlier this week. It’s not like I don’t train endurance. It’s not like I don’t train those metabolic pathways, but I sat down after it. Couldn’t catch my breath.

 

I was like, “What is wrong with me?” I could go run a 5k or go sprint, like do 200-meter sprints, and it wouldn’t affect me like this. I’m so glad you brought that up. I just need to vent. I needed to do it publicly.

 

Absolutely. That’s what I’m saying. I feel the comedy of some of these things that are happening that you are personally experiencing in the gym. I want to put that out there so people totally get it. The fact that people look at both of us and they’re like, “Wow, they’re really strong. They’re doing all this stuff.”

David TaoDavid Tao

No one looks at me and says that, by the way. Just to clarify, no one looks at me and says that. They look at you.

They’ll be like, “Oh, they are still having the same feeling that I’m having about these or even about running.” For me, all except for the legs. Running is always so hard for me even as much as I train it. My legs are so little. I’m just not as fast as a lot of people. To allow people to understand that and see that are one of the ones that I really want to make.

 

This is actually really funny. Have you ever done those like you’re in go-to fitness classes, but you’re in a fitness class, or you’re doing core movements and you’re sweating a decent amount, so the mat is kind of squeaking, so it sounds like a fart type of thing?

David TaoDavid Tao

I can’t believe you said the F word on this podcast.

 

I said it. It sounds like that and you’re looking around and you’re like, “Oh my God, I hope someone doesn’t think that. I actually just did that because it’s the mat. I swear it’s the mat. It’s not me.” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

What is your most…I will share some too. I’m not going to ask you this without being willing to share. What are some very embarrassing fitness moments you’ve had in the gym where other people see it happen?

 

Oh, man, I’m trying to think. I definitely…What’ve you got?

David TaoDavid Tao

I’ll start off with one. It’s a big question. I’m asking you to be vulnerable, I’ll be vulnerable. I was in a yoga class. It’s funny you bring up the slippery mat thing. I was at a yoga class a few weeks ago. A buddy of mine was teaching and I was like, “OK, cool.” I do it fairly regularly.

 

I’d never been to the facility before. It was a pretty quick intermediate class, like intermediate hour-long practice. We’re moving through it. We’re flowing. Everyone’s sweating. I’m sweating more than everyone else. I just happened to be a pretty sweaty person.

 

Toward the end of the class, my mat is covered in sweat, but I’m hanging in there. I’m hanging in there with some seasoned yogis. We move to wheel pose.

 

The instructor, my buddy is like, “If you want, no pressure everyone. It’s not for everyone, but you can move from a bridge to a wheel if you would like.” I was like, “I’m going to show these people. I can do a wheel pose. That’s great. I’m the newbie here, but I’m going to show up, and I’m going to do it.”

 

My mat was so slippery that I went from the bridge, and then, I put my hands…If you don’t know wheel pose is, folks, you’re going to look it up. I put my hands behind…

 

Like a bridge?

David TaoDavid Tao

..my head to extend my arms and go to the wheel, but my mat was so slippery. I get halfway up and my hands just slip. My upper back hits the mat with the loudest thud in the world. Everyone was like, “We’re going to ignore this. We’re going to ignore this guy.”

 

It’s not like I can’t do it. I didn’t expect that part of my mat to be that sweaty. It was the loudest, sweatiest thud in the world. I was mortified. I started off, you got to give me one now.

I love that. Now, people are like, “OK.” Someones were listening to me like, “Yeah, I’m totally done that,” especially when you’re doing yoga, like you said, you’re sweating on the mat. You can’t literally do anything. [laughs] You’re slipping on your sweat, especially the hot area.

 

I’ve had a bunch of embarrassing gym moments, honestly. I have two that come to mind. Number one, I was doing a lift session with Eric Hammond. Do you know him? He’s insane.

David TaoDavid Tao

 I don’t know, personally.

What else is he used to do? He used to do Iron Man and stuff like that. I’m in Colorado. I have learned how to snatch with the barbell, which I was super excited about a while back.

 

He was doing something in the workout. It was snatches or whatever. I’m like, “All right, I went and trained in that. I know how to do this.” I’m doing a few with the bar. Then, I put the weights on it and like, “All right, I got this.” I literally go. I snatch, and I just fall. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

With the barbell still in your hand?

It just fall right back. Like completely back. I’m sitting there like, “Oh my God. This is so embarrassing.” It was so unexpected. In my mind, I’m like, “I’m going to get it straight up. No big deal. It’s totally fine.” I didn’t even drop it. I literally fell back with it, landed back on the bar, and looked around, and I was like, “Awesome. That was great.”

 

I have to say the second one is, I was lifting. I always lift with guys. Oh, my God, I always lift with dudes. I work out with some dudes the other day. I dropped the 45-pound plate on my foot.

 

I was doing the training barefoot. I didn’t want to seem like it was a big deal. In my mind, I’m like, “Holy shit. Did I break my foot? What just happened?” I slid the plate off, and it went right under my foot. I’m just like, “No, it’s fine.”

 

Then, later on, I look down. My foot is super-swelling. They were, “Are you sure it’s fine? It looks pretty messed up.” I’m like, “No, it’s cool. Everything’s fine. Totally cool.” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

How is your foot now?

 

It’s honestly fine. Thank goodness. I iced it a lot, but it still got a big bruise on it. They were totally freaked out. I’m like, “No, we’re cool. Everything’s fine. It’s not a big deal. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Here’s another one I’ll offer because you gave two stories.

 

I’d love it.

David TaoDavid Tao

I’ll offer one. This was years ago. This was probably like eight or nine years ago. I had belt squats in my programming, but I was at a gym that didn’t have a belt squat machine.

 

I was like, “Oh, I don’t need a belt squat machine. I’ll just use a weight belt that you would use for weighted dips or weighted pull-ups. I’ll just load it up with a bunch of bumper plates. I’ll get up on two PLYO boxes out of the squat so that the weight hangs down between those PLYO boxes.”

 

If you don’t have a belt squat machine, that’s what a belt squat originally was. A belt squat machine, it’s just much safer and easier to set up. I had this whole complicated setup. I got probably a couple of hundred pounds hanging between my legs. I’m doing these belt squats on this PLYO box, I’m 24 inches off the ground.

 

A buddy of mine walks into the gym and says, “Oh, hey, David.” I turn at end of my set. I’ve got, call it 200 pounds hanging right off this belt. I turn, not even away, but because someone said my name.

 

I remember it felt like the slow-mo fall where my whole life flash. I was like, “This is where I, if not die, get catastrophically injured.” My friend sees it happening, comes over, running over. It’s like, “Are you OK?” I was lying on the ground, trying to feel all my individual body parts. Am I OK? Am I OK? Am I OK?

 

Then it was embarrassing because he had to help me unstrap and get out of this weight belt setup I had.

In doing that, at the end of the set, my legs are tired, the weight just shifted enough, like a pendulum, to where it pulled me off the set-up. I fell 24 inches to the ground with 200 pounds of bumper plates, hanging between my legs. I thought, as I was tipping over, I was like, “This is it. This is where I die.”

 [laughs] You were like, “So, can you get me out of this?” [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Yeah, “Can you get me out of this.”

I was stuck on the ground, like massive limbs, chains, and bumper plates.

 

That’s up there as well. but fortunately…

There’s got to be people who are listening to this being like, “Yeah, I have a story that’s absolutely insane, also.”

David TaoDavid Tao

Thank God, I wasn’t doing it right next to a rack. I could have hit my head or hit something. I landed on the rubber floor and still…Don’t get me wrong. It hurt like hell and I was prob…I’m sure it happened any other way. I could have been injured.

 

That was embarrassing because not only did my buddy see that. He then had to help me untangle from this mess of…It was bad. It was bad. Anyway.

 I love it.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Angela, just like that, we’re coming up toward the end here. Where can people follow along with what you’re doing? The adventure you’re speaking at, programs you’re releasing online, all that stuff.

Just follow me on Instagram @angela_gargano. Feel free to send me your…I always tell people after new podcast, feel free to send me a message if you’ve listened to this. [laughs] Maybe you have an embarrassing story you want to share with us or something like that. Let us know if there’s a takeaway that you got from here.

 

You could also go to my website, www.angela-gargano.com. That’s where you can find all my programs I have. I have pull-up programs, core programs.

 

Anything for the speaking events, if you ever want me to come in to speak on injuries or I allow to do a lot of speaking for females, especially to help them with getting empowered, not only in the gym but just in life in general. You can just contact me there.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Amazing. Angela, always a pleasure. Appreciate you catching up.

Yeah.