Monday, March 20, 2006

Training partners

Will be training solo for mondays and wednesdays now and it got me thinking about past training partners. Altough I trained alone alot while I was bodybuilding in the eighties I was also blessed to have a professional bodybuilder, Scott Wilson, for a training partner for four years. He truly taught me the meaning of training like a pro.Of committment to a goal; single minded dedication to a task and discipline like I've never seen.

When Scott was dieting for a contest he NEVER, I mean NEVER, broke his diet,-during the week.On his cheat day on Sundays count your fingers and toes if you got close to his ice cream.Same with training. He was never late and we trained at 7 am sharp. 5 days a week.He was always totally prepared as well,knowing exactly what the plan was for the day, having actually mentally rehearsed the workout and the planning the desired outcome.He expected to make progress and we did, or we analyzed it until we understood why we didnt. No detail as overlooked.

I realized then that true secret of the aspiring professional athlete was to LIVE like a pro first and then you got to BE a pro. I have tried to live that way ever since , no matter what sport I was training in.Except running. Had to do that alone. I also like cycling alone, much easier to find your own rythym.

ANd that is the tradeoff of a training partner; you have to compromise something in order to work together. Its never possible for each to have the exact same goals and weaknesses and need the same training. BUt that is also the value of a real training partner in that they are always working to bring out the best in you as well,and know your weaknesses and think about how you could improve them, as well as their own.

Scott taught me so much about being a pro athlete, dedicated to his craft.The absolute bottom line key was: Consistency. SO much is in just the showing up. Then preparedness, intensity, big balls and lots of guts.Being smart didnt hurt either.

Then I had the good fortune to find Scott Waits who at 6' tall at 177 pounds squatted 661, benched 367 and deadlifted 601. Lifetime drug free.He taught me the meaning of strong. both physically and mentally. Scott never gave up and many more times than once came back to make a big lift , both in competition and in training after missing it. Very hard to do.

Scott was a systems analyst and did we ever analyze our training. But we also argued like an old married couple.It was distrubing but he never tired of trying to figure out a straighter path to our goals.We were the first in Cali to fly out Louie SImmons of WSB so we could pick his brain about his new system of powerlift training.He also NEVER missed a workout. Never. Ever.If it was scheduled he made it. Period, end of story.Nothing worse than your partner bailing on a squat workout. Unless its a bench workout and you need a handoff.

Later I trained with Steve Silver, a gorilla of a guy who at 5"9 and 242, also drug free, had Intensity as a first and middle name. Steve was a brute but I had grown old and jaded and no longer wanted just anyone for a partner. When he asked if he could train with me I gave him a Powerlifting USA magazine ,told him to read the article, order a subscription and the back issues,read them, then come talk to me. He did and he was one of the best partners ever. Silver was a madman in the gym and we pushed each other to the limit. He did have a weakness for too much water skiining in the summer though....Everyone has their achilles heel.

Training alone, although much harder to make the greatnumerical gains offers many deep insights. especially when you find your own rythyms.IN fact the key to those insights, I think, is in finding and going with those inner rythyms.

4 comments:

Geoff Neupert said...

"Training alone, although much harder to make the greatnumerical gains offers many deep insights. especially when you find your own rythyms.IN fact the key to those insights, I think, is in finding and going with those inner rythyms."

You know Rif, I couldn't agree more. Now, training alone more than ever, I am really listening to what my body is telling me. I have a much better sense of when to push and when to back off, and it's more unpredictable than I'd expect. Also, for the first time in a very long time I'm enjoying training again. I may make it to Nationals by the skin of my teeth, but it's not a big deal right now. My goal is to listen to what my body is telling me to do. For example, I desperately want to start a heavy squat cycle to test out my newfound hamstring strength, but chronic bilateral knee pain is making me investigate other areas of quad work. In the past, I'd pull out the Icy-Hot and grit through it. No more.

Mark Reifkind said...

its the only way I can keep going; I HAVE to do only the exercises I can and no others. Plus if your partners arent doing pretty much, not exactly, but close to what you are doing it just becomes a distraction. although the energy is usually very helpful.

just becareful about testing other than the platform.the next step off a peak is........

DOWN>

We dont get too many peaks in an athletic lifetime I think.use them wiselly.The downs get steeper as the peaks get smaller.

Geoff Neupert said...

"Just becareful about testing other than the platform.the next step off a peak is........

DOWN>"

Truer words have never been said. However, in order to push my lifts up, I have to push my squatting ablity up, which unfortunately for me (not my weightlifting partner) is dependent on my hamstring strength. They help keep me upright.

Royce said...

I had a great training partner for 8 months straight, we never missed a workout.
We also did the exact same workouts, just different weights (and we were close there )
Then he got married to this jealous Bi...uhm....woman, and that was the end of that.