During the off-season, I began to lift at my local gym by myself. A got a competitive edge from this training and I believe this is the only reason I made it to my age-group's top crew the following season. However, my strength had seemed to plateau not long into my weights training and I stopped making any significant gains. Looking back, I can see that I lacked the drive to push myself to grab the heavier dumbbell, or lacked the confidence that a spotter gives you. I found myself falling into the traps of the vampirish machine weights, and I missed a lot of potential growth.
Now that my rowing career is dead and buried (for now), I am concentrating on lifting some serious weight and begin the arduous journey towards a Herculean body. In addition to a training journal, proper nutrition, fitness and supplementation, I have employed the services of expert training partner, Big Cal Mahoney (I advise you check out some of his articles, as he is also an author at Bodybuilding.com). Cal, being the machine that he is, pushes me to out do myself. Training with Cal is great for a few reasons, and a lot of these can be applied to finding a training partner that will maximise your workouts.
- He is much bigger than I am This is great because he spurs me on not to be left behind. I am forever trying to match his weight.
- He is doing a Human Movements course This means he knows what he is doing when it comes to technique. Also, he knows not to egg me on to lift a weight that will rip my arms off.
- He is an old friend We trust each other, which is a good thing when you have 120kg resting on your sternum.
- His strengths are my weaknesses Cal has behemoth legs and I am walking around on matchsticks, but conversely my back leaves him crying in the sand. This forces us to work the areas that really need it.
Before you dedicate yourself to one person consider some of these questions:
- Can I trust this person to turn up to training?
- Will this person help me push myself?
- Does this person know what he is doing?
- Do I really want this person around while I work out?
- Will this person distract me from my work?
Now get back to work.