Training Partners

Today we did a circuit consisting of 8 exercises and completed the circuit three times. One of the stations included the barbell bent press. It was the first time for many of the members to try this exercise with the barbell. Some used the kettlebell.

This afternoon I read a couple chapters of a book originally published in 1906 by Arthur Saxon titled The Development of Physical Power. Arthur was one of the original strongmen. He was 5′ 10″ and weighed 200 pounds. His record Bent Press was an astonishing 370 pounds! In the book he has a chapter titled The Bugbear of Training: How to Avoid ~~~. This chapter especially caught my attention because in it he discusses a common pitfall of training. Here is an excerpt:

The bugbear of training loses half it fearsome aspects to the tired athlete who has a lot at stake, and must continue at his work, if it be done in company with a friend or friends. There is nothing so fatiguing as the raising of iron weights time after time with no one to watch, no one to encourage, no one to advise – to express surprise at your improvement. To surprise and beat your friends is always an encouragement, and in practicing with weights you cannot get the right positions unless you have an expert lifter to occasionally offer a hint. Lifting, too, may become dangerous if practiced by oneself, so you see the idea is to endeavour to make your training as much a pleasure as possible.

This is great advice from the World’s Strongest Man over 100 years ago, and this advice is still highly relevant today! How many times do people go to the gym and simply go through the motions? Or, worse yet, decide not to workout at all because they don’t have anyone else to go with!

At Core Fit ‘N Motion we meet these recommendations provided over 100 years ago. We offer group training that gives everyone the opportunity to workout with a friend. For example during today’s circuit, each person was paired up with another friend. The partner approach really helps each person push themselves a little harder than if they were at the station alone. After the workout I was talking with one of the members about a workout we did a couple months ago. During that workout I gave all the members a group of exercises and told them to complete them as many times as they could in 30 minutes. This member worked out next to another highly competitive member and they unknowingly pushed each other the entire time. Following the workout they talked about their accomplishments. Each person admitted they looked over and saw the other still working and trying heavier weights, and as a result worked harder himself. As a result, both achieved so much more in that workout than had they worked out on their own.

The other key idea that Mr. Saxon provides in the excerpt is the idea of working out with another expert. Not only are the classes led by Art of Strength trained instructors, each person working out in the class is an expert in their own way. It’s hlepful to see another person working out at a similar ability level and observe their form, weights used, pace, etc.

By taking Mr. Saxon’s advice and working out with friends and under the eye of an expert, we can all achieve our own personal goals, train safely and make improvements every time we hit the gym. So come on out, train hard and have fun!


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