Friday, June 3, 2011

John Nolan & Amanda McDonald

Workout Partners: Why You Should Find One

I won't sit here and tell you that working out with a partner is always going to work. Some people are habitually late, others refuse to take their training to the limit, and some like to yap away on the phone, text message, check out romantic interests, and or gossip about this guy and that girl and that product and this kinda music...SHUT UP & LIFT! (lol)

Back in the day, I was training with groups of four, five, six, and even one time SEVEN PEOPLE! Could you imagine having to wait for six guys to do an exercise before it was your turn to go again? Then we'd try to do two exercises at once, to reduce the delays, but in the end we conceded the groups were just too big.

What you want in a training partner, is someone with similar (even if not identical) goals, a similar work-ethic, and a serious commitment. Training days and times are set the week before, if you wanna socialize -- DO SO! Grab lunch after, maybe go out on the weekend. But while in the gym, focus on the training. And to the same certain extent that we all help each other, from all over the world, right here through the network -- the kind of help/push you get from the person spotting you in real-life is tenfold!

Training Solo

Still, the hardened gymrats of old -- those who seldom speak -- almost as if the monks weren't the only ones to take a vow of silence... these guys frown upon training partners and they even frown upon mp3 players! Their music is that of their own heartbeat, their workout partners -- are their muscles. And while this all sounds very hardcore, it limits the utility of the training one goes into the gym for.

Take bicep curls -- you can force reps out, you rely on BodyEnglish to get you through the tough reps, but you really want to put so much to chance on squats, military presses, bench presses? Do you realize that you play with your joints -- if not your life in general -- when you ask a COMPLETE STRANGER to spot you on a heavy lift. Many guys/girls assume that just because someone is in the gym and drinking an NoExplode, that they've been schooled in the principles of sound spotting. WAKE UP!

If you're serious about pushing yourself to the limit... and you want to train solo, you had better know the person spotting you really well. A "spot" is not just that extra 10-20lbs to help you up. If you're benching 315 -- you need someone that can ROW 315...if you go LIMP ... 20lbs of assistance might mean you'll be spared one rib --- but you'll still be dead as a friggin doornail.