In just over a decade, Super Training gym in Sacramento, California, has risen from an idea in some powerlifter's head to the West Coast's mecca of strength, revered by CrossFitters, bodybuilders, and powerlifters alike. It doesn't offer some special machine or training technique no one else has. It has Mark Bell.
Bell, an all-time great of competitive powerlifting the founder of Super Training, does more than teach aspiring lifters how to learn the craft. In a world that sometimes does not appreciate the skill and beauty of heavy lifting, he is a true evangelist. As we've seen first-hand at Bodybuilding.com, he can speak to a room full of lifters, all with different goals, and make each one better in a matter of minutes.
Is your training stuck in a rut? Bell's Iron Mile speech is the shot in the arm you need.
Strong Community is Everything
"The only way to reach your potential is to be in an environment where everyone has the same goal: to get better," says Bell. "Training and results come first; everything else is secondary."
No, that doesn't mean you need to go lift at Super Training to achieve something of note under the bar. But it does mean that your community—or lack thereof—matters.
"You cannot contribute the level of effort needed to achieve greatness when 30 people behind you are riding exercise bikes and watching TV," Bell says.
Translation: Find a place where you can train seriously—even if that's just a sparsely equipped garage. Once you're in the right place, the rules are simple: Train hard, find your own path, contribute to the lifting community—and be prepared for the long haul.
"Keep your butts in the gym. Keep training hard. Strength is never weakness," Bell says. "When you start out, it could take you five months to add even 5 pounds to your deadlift. When you get stronger, adding that much more weight could take two years."
Bell believes the secret to consistency is putting fitness at the center of your life and making it a part of everything you do.
"But just be ready and willing to share what you've learned with others," he adds. "That's the way you help build a better community for lifters—and a better world for everyone."