The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Train Alone? Or Strength In Numbers?

    So how about it guys? Are you able to keep motivated, move through your workout and continue to push yourself to new levels training by yourself?

    Or do you succeed better when you have good training partners around you who have similar goals and drive?

    I've done both, and honestly, made really good gains doing both.

    Right now I am somewhere in the middle. About half my time is spent training myself because my schedule is really hectic, I have a hard time being able to commit to a time, the other half, I train down at Westside and also have a super good group up here at my gym.

    I must say, on the days that I train with a group, I really do train much harder and longer. I do enjoy the comraderie that we have and the encouragement and often times rivals that come up. Really keeps me going

    However I've also had training partners in the past who became a real hinderance to my training.

    So what works best for you guys? How have you made either style work best for you?


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  3. #2
    Mr. Skinny Wrists Nicky's Avatar
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    I train alone in my garage but would love to have a partner to help motivate me. i have made great gains out there alone though. Twice a friend of mine came over to lift with me and it was fun with him pushing me to get just one more rep out, but taking some of the plates off for him then putting them back on for me kinda sucked up time. If I could get him here more often im sure he would quickly catch up with me and it would be the kind of workout you see in buddy movies HAHAHAHA.
    5'9". 34.-----------------------------BEST LIFTS-----------------------GOALS
    Bodyweight-------------------------BE 280 x 1------------------------BE 300 x 1
    Jan 2009: 151 lbs----------------SQ 365 x 2-----------------------SQ 400 x 1
    Jan 2010: 221 lbs----------------DL 405 x 1------------------------DL 500 x 1
    Current: 214 lbs
    bulking again -- working on my DL

  4. #3
    Do What You Love Rip.66.'s Avatar
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    I like lifting alone. I can concentrate on what I need to get done other than helping the other guy, I lift at a gym so I always have a spotter.

  5. #4
    Senior Member HeavyBomber's Avatar
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    Alone.

  6. #5
    Only happy when bulking radioheadhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyBomber View Post
    Alone.
    looking insane in the avatar, nice work!
    Height: 6' weight:197
    BF%: ~12%?

    bench: 280 x 1
    squat: 370 x 1
    dead: 360 x 1

    goal: 225 @ < 10% bodyfat

  7. #6
    Determined View 1's Avatar
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    Alone.

    I do train with friends from time to time, but 99% of the time I prefer to workout alone.
    Success is achieved by doing a little more than you thought you could, and a lot more than anyone else.

  8. #7
    Senior Member bass slayer's Avatar
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    I prefer to train with someone who has the same goals and mindset as I do. I found that if I train with someone who is stronger than I am, I will push myself so much harder because I know he will be there to encourage me.

    I rather train by myself though if the person im training with has different goals. It does not work very well at all if we have different goals. He will want to do a bunch of abs and running and Im trying to gain weight and dont really care about my abs right now.
    age: 21

    height: 6'3

    weight: 175

    short term goal: 200

    Long term goal: Lean 225

  9. #8
    Wannabebig Member shutUpAndSquat's Avatar
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    i've started training with a partner, and what i can say about it is: never train with someone (much) less experienced than you. You'll waste time. If we don't consider the time loss, i think training with a partner will push you to give the best. Certainly you're not going to show your pal you can't go heavy enough!

    But if i have to choose, alone is the asnwer. Good spotters provide enough motivation.

  10. #9
    Strength & Protection Kiaran's Avatar
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    I haven't really had the opportunity to train with a partner or group on a regular basis. I have a couple buddies that come over and train a couple times a week. The rest of the time I train alone. The times I do get to train with others are usually some outstanding sessions. They can also be very difficult as well. It's easy to train when everyone is firing on all cylinders and ready to kick some ass. Those are great sessions. It sucks when the person you are training with had a bad day or is tired and doesn't want to push and you cannot fire them up. It's an anchor to motivation. At those times, I'd rather train alone. Alone or not, I think WBB really helps motivation and all. I think sharing workouts in a blog holds you accountable for what you are doing. It's a virtual group/team of people with common interests at all levels. The community here can be as great as a good training partner, IMO.
    32 yo - 5'6" - 170 lbs
    USAPL Meet PRs (Raw @154 lbs): 347 SQ, 242 BP, 507 DL, 1096 TOTAL
    Gym PRs: 370 SQ, 270 BP, 510 DL

    The Riddle Of Iron - Kiaran's Garage Training Log

  11. #10
    Modding My Bod
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    Alone! I like to bang it out and be done. WBB and my mind are all the motivation I need.

  12. #11
    OG SDS's Avatar
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    I lift alone in my shop.....exactly the way I want it. But, I think I'd progress faster if there was some good old fashioned testosterone fueled male competition. It's easier to puss out when no one is there to call me on it.

  13. #12
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    I have to lift alone.
    Lifting is one of the few times in my daily routine where I actually can get into a serious mindset. If I have a friend with me, I can't avoid pointing out every hot girl in the gym and or making fun of every douche in a spaghetti-string tanktop flexing their biceps in the mirror.
    http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/

    Starting Current
    Bench: 45 lbs Bench: 235 lbs
    Squat: 95 lbs Squat: 285 lbs
    Deadlift: 100 lbs Deadlift: 330 lbs

  14. #13
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    I've done both and don't mind the company for some added T, but actually I kind of prefer working alone. Fewer interruptions, etc. I can still get a spot if I need one.
    I've got several friends that say they'll come and workout with me, but I tell them not to bother. I tell them how I train and I'm not going to train differently. That always scares them off.
    Last edited by rbtrout; 10-26-2009 at 11:08 AM.
    Give chalk a chance.


    49 years old

    665 squat
    700 deadlift
    325 bench

  15. #14
    Banned MPB's Avatar
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    I really enjoy lifting alone. I wouldn't want a partner that doesn't take lifting as seriously as I do.

  16. #15
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Alone
    _________
    ______
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    Off Road Journal

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  17. #16
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    I have done both. I think it makes a huge difference if you are training raw or in gear. Competing in powerlifting, I wouldn't have come even close to the numbers that I did without the training partners that I have had.

    Like Travis, with differences in schedules and also because I have to travel quite a bit more to train with my team, I currently lift alone 3 times per week and only train with my team once. I am training unequipped right now(just belt and wraps) so this works. If I was lifting in gear I would benefit much more from training with them twice per week.

    When I train alone, I get a lot more volume in and move much quicker.

    When I train with my team I can do things that I couldn't do alone and I have much more fun. I like the friends I have made from powerlifting and spending hours in the gym pushing each other to new levels and just BS'ing with each other is awesome.


    So I like a combination of both.
    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
    @165- 435 SQ 270 BE 560 DL.....1255 total
    @181- 535 SQ 300 BE 570 DL.....1400 total
    Best Meet Lifts(Multi-ply):
    @148- 575 SQ 315 BE 515 DL.....1400 total
    @165- 680 SQ 380 BE 540 DL.....1555 total
    @181- 700 SQ 375 BE 535 DL.....1605 total
    Best Gym Lifts(Raw w/wraps)
    545 SQ 305 BE 585 DL

  18. #17
    Go Bears Pete22's Avatar
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    I've been training alone for years now, and since I've started powerlifting I've put a few hundred pounds on my total by training alone. That being said, I'd love to do what you're doing Travis and train with a serious team at least twice a month. Not really for the motivation factor, but just to soak up info and tips from those more knowledgeable than me, and to have some live input on my form, technique, etc.

    I really do enjoy training alone though; blast the iPod and it's just you and the weight.
    My Training Log

    You want science and studies? **** you. I've got scars and blood and vomit. - Jim Wendler

  19. #18
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Interesting, seems a lot of people like training alone or the mix, rather than training with a team

    You guys bring up a very good point that it often does take longer when training with other people.

    I would imagine this boils down to a bit of a personality thing as well. I've seen some guys who really just draw within themselves and are able to push very hard on their own. I'm one of the guys who needs to be coached. I need to be screamed at, told I'm not working hard enough etc. I feed off it and do things that I never thought were possible before.

    Others find it distracting though.


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  20. #19
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    The team/coaching thing might work great for me too, I've just never tried it. I do know that having people check my workout journal here keeps me motivated to hit PRs though.
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  21. #20
    Senior Member McLaughlin's Avatar
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    Alone for me.

    Lifted with a friend once and he didn't take it as seriously as I do, was cracking jokes and such while I was lifting and nearly caused me to drop a bench attempt on myself.

    Maybe if I had a workout partner that took things seriously and was only there to lift and go home it would go better, but I don't see that happening any time in the near future.

    Trying not to die young.

  22. #21
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Travis - maybe this would be an interesting thread to attach a poll to?

    Personally I have trained both alone and with groups, in many different atmospheres from hardcore gyms to fitness centers. I have found that most of my gym workouts can be performed alone, although I do prefer to have a partner for heavy power movements in some cases. For bodybuilding I can go either way, it really depends on the quality and motivation level of the person who you are training with. If you are training with someone who is more advanced and you are motivated then it is a good scenario, but if your partner is not dedicated or has different goals then things typically will not work out.

    I would say that for bodybuilding and general strength training - having no partner is fine, for competitive powerlifting / strongman workouts it is helpful to have a partner or group.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

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  23. #22
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    To add to one of the above posts (from Off Road); as funny as it sounds I have found that keeping an online journal, youtube page, and having a camera in my gym bag has made training alone a lot more motivating. When you have people encouraging you and tracking your progress that will always give you an extra push.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 235 lbs | Front Squat: 510 lbs | Overhead: 375 lbs | Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  24. #23
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Depends on the day for me. I need a training partner on ME bench night, just for hand offs/spots helping with gear etc. But its really helpful to be part of the crew as well, being able to be coached as well as working on my coaching skills.

    But if its a day where I can come in, chuck on a cd, and attempt to kill myself (This may happen tonight!) without needing anyone there - I'd rather be alone.


    When I my house is finally finished I'll only go into the gym for the heavy squat and bench days, then I'll do everything else at home.

  25. #24
    Wannabebig Member
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    Generally I prefer to lift alone, it definitely allows for greater focus and concentration (for me anyway). Once in a while though I love to work out with 1 or 2 other dudes on a day that I have a lot of time. The camaraderie is awesome and the friendly competition and rivalries are beyond motivating. For me these kinds of workouts are really beneficial and fun in small doses.

  26. #25
    Senior Member Drew92's Avatar
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    I was just going to start a similar thread like this.

    If you do train with a partner and you are stronger then them, do you find it harder to lead(sp) with gains or easier? Is having a partner stronger than you more of a motivation to get stronger?

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