Monday, February 15, 2010

Training partners... is there a magic number?

I have trained solo and been in training packs groups up to four meatheads. I have some thoughts to bounce around in your head when you start training and people want to piggy-back on to your routine.

If you have that one guy that helps you stay motivated and focused on the task at hand, can spot correctly, and has a rough guesstimate of what weight you use on everything... get him to marry your sister and keep him around. Those are incredibly hard to find. If you have said fellow, adding too many others can water down your workouts. You get talkitive tim going on about the weekend and how bad his life sucks. You glance up at the clock and just your three-man rotation has been in the gym for 2 1/2 hours and you are only half done.

You have to keep the pace moving. If you have a newb that needs more one-on-one instruction about just learning the lifts, point him out to a good source like Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore or the latest NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning book. If you have time to invest in him/her, then pull them aside at a non-training time so you can focus on perfecting their form.

Training solo can blow on any pressing and/or leg day. If you need a spotter, you need a training partner. Trying for the lottery on spotters usually gives you the guy who touches the bar through your entire range of motion or the guy who lets you die and just screams,"YOU GOT IT! YOU GOT IT! PUSH!!!!" while you die under the weight. Both of these can be extremely frustrating and leave your record of reps completely inaccurate. You also wonder, well, how much did GUY help me? Can I really bench 315 for 10 reps with him and only 205 by myself?

Read as much info as you can from knowledgeable people and focus on perfecting your own form. Your strength will increase over time and you will have gym rat experience. Sometimes you will come across times to share your knowledge and people will probably want to jump in on your training days. Figure out how much time you can spend in the gym and how many people you like having in your training posse.

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