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Thread: Importance of Training Partners

  1. #1
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Importance of Training Partners

    How many of you guys train with a crew and how many of you train by yourselves?

    Sometimes if a crew isn't run in an orderly fashion, I know a lot of people who have opted to train by themselves for both the simplicity as well as the efficiency.

    The flip side of that is you lose spotters, loaders, coaches and handoffs.

    If you train with a crew, how has it helped you progress in powerlifting?

    If you train by yourself, same question.


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  2. #2
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    A crew greatly helped my progress in powerlifting. I have two groups of training partners. One for bench and one for lower body. The bench crew sometimes get a little large because my main "coach" is very inviting to people who need help. For the most part everyone is there to work but it can get a little chatty. The squat crew for the most part is all business and we bust balls afterwards.

    I think its really important to have training partners especially ones who are around the same strength so you have someone to compete friendly with. Its also great to have someone alot stronger then you who can be like a mentor. It gets plain dangerous to squat or bench heavy in gear alone.

    Another nice thread Travis.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    I'm not on everyone's level here as far as strength goes but I'll chime in anyway. I train alone and frankly I think it hurts my progress. There's no encouragement, no spotter, nobody pushing you. I'd prefer to lift with others
    Last edited by big ragu; 04-15-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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    When I was in the equipped days I wouldnt have benched 700 or 800 or totaled 2605 with out my training partners. In gear its just a neccesity. Back then I had a group of 4-6 dudes every workout that pushed me and made me get better each workout. They werent by any means all star lifters but the had a better work ethic then me and pushed me harder then I ever could have myself.

    Training raw is and was different thought., Lots of guys fly solo raw and do well. I have a much smaller group now and some days it may only be me and one other person and its still easy to progress.
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    I am lucky enough to have 3 or 4 other guys around most days.
    We aren't all on the same routine, or rotation, but we still spot/load/encourage/bust/cheer/help with gear/coach each other on pretty much each lift.

    2 of them are pretty much on my same level, the other one is way stronger than me - and I will catch up with him.

  6. #6
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock1984 View Post
    I am lucky enough to have 3 or 4 other guys around most days.
    We aren't all on the same routine, or rotation, but we still spot/load/encourage/bust/cheer/help with gear/coach each other on pretty much each lift.

    2 of them are pretty much on my same level, the other one is way stronger than me - and I will catch up with him.
    Out of curiosity, how do you all train in a group if you aren't even doing the same routine?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    Out of curiosity, how do you all train in a group if you aren't even doing the same routine?
    We do this often too. I have a core gorup of 3 guys. The 4 of us train together year round. Rarely are we ever doing the same thing though. We have all the same "Days" per say but two of us might be doing a swiss bar while the other two are doing DB bench. We just spot and load for each other like we are on one bench.
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  8. #8
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    That makes sense.

    I've honestly never trained in a group that way, but I could see it working.

    I suppose I shouldn't say that. There are days where we have the morning crew at Westside broken up into two groups. Usually divided into groups of similar strength levels. We are all working up to singles on similar exercises though.


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  9. #9
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    As Scott said: we just help each other on everything, no matter what we're doing.
    This can and do involve a LOT of loading/unloading, but let's call it GPP ;-)

  10. #10
    Gaining Size WaNNaB3Bigg3r's Avatar
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    I train with only 1 partner. If theres days when I have to train alone I dont mind but I dont lift as much due to spotter reasons.
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    Due to time constraints and location, I've never had the opportunity to train with a crew very often, so that has really affected my ability to train in gear vs. raw. With that said, I wish I had better access to training with a crew on a regular basis to critique form, workout load, etc. About the only way to correct form is to view video of yourself, and even that is time consuming if your workout time frame is limited and you have to wait until later to give yourself feedback. Of course, with this forum available and the talent that chimes in with feedback, that isn't much of excuse anymore!

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    I used to train with a group of guys in college. It was fun and I made a lot of great friends, the only downside is training took about twice as long as it should.

    I train by myself now, and I can say I actually prefer it. Sure it can be a pain trying to find good spotters at times, but I enjoy the "alone time" where I can just space out and focus on nothing but lifting. No distractions.
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  13. #13
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I have the best of both worlds, I train bench with a crew and the rest by myself. As a bench only guy I don't want to have to be in the gym for hours on end working on stuff other then the bench. I do that alone in my basement. Motivation can sometimes be an issue, but I think there are very few situations where people would get me working harder than I already do on my own.

    I will say this, my guys are awesome on bench night. They are so super supportive. I have a buttload of bench exercises while following Josh Bryant's programming. I am on multiple benches at the same time and the guys always interrupt what they are doing to help me. I always feel safe with handoffs and spotting. It's a reassuring feeling. I'm really lucky.


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  14. #14
    JERSEY IRON Brian C's Avatar
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    In Jersey Iron, we have usually 12-14 crew members on Saturday mornings squatting and pulling at Iron Sport. Then 2 benches going on Monday nights with the same guys. So we have a few different routines going on. But like Scott said, we all are doing the same movement day, so we just adjust person to person whether they are using straight weight, or adding accomidating resistence.
    For me, having a crew and also a few guys that are stronger is more important ten the equipment itself. In most cases, your progress will eventually stall training solo without stronger crew members to feed off of and learn from.(Something you actually told me a few years ago)
    Last edited by Brian C; 04-16-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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    I honestly train alone, and used to train with a little crew. Training alone is HARD...and I still wish I had those couple of guys to train with...but scheduling just doesn't work right now. So...I get myself motivated and just keep in touch with guys outside of the gym.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    Out of curiosity, how do you all train in a group if you aren't even doing the same routine?
    I have trained around other lifters since day one, but rarely been able to hold a crew together. In my part ov the world it is just so goddamn impossible to find anyone truly serious about getting to the next level. I have, pretty much since my first year, had to train people to get them to lift, and no one has ever come even close to getting really strong... because they just never last. I've always been the strongest guy in the gym and i hate it. Some guys love that... i guess... but i would THRIVE training at a club where i was the weakest one there. Thats how i started and it did not last long.

    When we DO get a few guys on the same page, they're almost never doing the same thing. Even when we DO get a couple guys on the same program, schedules have them doing things on different days. I personally dont train on a 7-day week... i train on a 4-day 'week', so my 'powerlifting day' (for instance) is on a Monday this week... Tuesday next week, Wednesday the third week, etc. That hurts the issue even more. Now that i'm Olympic lifting... i have one guy thats on the same page and schedule i am... but lifting half the weight. The rest ov the guys are there randomly doing 5/3/1, bodybuilding, or usually just one ov my own programs.

    Best i get is to just have other lifters kinda around, in case i need a spot or some eyes on my O-lifting. Its more ov a social thing. There has never been and (where i live) could never be say, a "Monday is bench day/Friday is squat day." I'd kill to train in environments that some ov you train in... or better yet, a serious weightlifting club.
    Last edited by Judas; 04-17-2013 at 03:48 AM.

  17. #17
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    I train by myself and it has had a mixed bag of pros and cons

    Pros are mostly, I don't have to talk to anyone when I don't feel like it, my raw workouts can take a lot less time.

    Cons are, I compete single-ply, so getting random gym users in the commercial gym I train at to help me in and out of my gear, give me spots, ect is very time consuming and occasionally terrifying if I can't find anyone strong/smart enough.

    So I've started to establish a facebook group of other serious lifters (not necessarily competitive, but just non-frat boys) where we can all post up when we are going to be at the gym and if we might need help, and so far its worked really well. Can't get everyone to lift together or all at the same time, but we've almost made a buddy system where you know that someone half decent will be there to spot you when you need it

  18. #18
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    I was lucky to have started with the Frantz crew back in 2007.
    Now I'm lifting with the Overkill crew and making trips out to the MECCA to push my bench whenever I can.
    A good crew not only helps you train better but can also help you deliver more of your potential at a meet than trying to just have a random buddy come and handle you.

    Having good training partners is worth the drive both for what it does for your lifting and for the camaraderie.
    A squat/Dead session can take 5 hours, bench sometimes 3 or 4, auxiliary days 2-3. That's a lot of your life spent with a group of guys, never mind traveling for meets. I don't go to the gym to talk, but with so much of my life spent there and not in bars with my non-lifter friends I'm probably closer with my teammates than most of my long time friends outside the sport.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    How many of you guys train with a crew and how many of you train by yourselves?

    Sometimes if a crew isn't run in an orderly fashion, I know a lot of people who have opted to train by themselves for both the simplicity as well as the efficiency.

    The flip side of that is you lose spotters, loaders, coaches and handoffs.

    If you train with a crew, how has it helped you progress in powerlifting?

    If you train by yourself, same question.
    I have a small group of regulars---with others who float in and out depending on work and school. It is just enough to spot and help with handoffs really, but not too many to be crowded.


    In the past I have trained my myself. What I eventually learned is you reach a point where you have to have other people.. no matter how good you think your training is, adding in the correct other person will make it better.

    One of the big things we've started doing because we can't always be together is use online resources to share training videos and information. We've been known to get a PR and immediately text message the people who aren't there to ask for feedback on a video we email them. It is not ideal, but it is a way that training partners can be involved when life keeps them from being at the gym.
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