Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Squat, dude! It's not a Plié." - The Importance of A Workout Partner

 . . . in the gym this morning for the new leg routine on the FST-7 workout.

Yesterday was the first for FST-7 Chest and Triceps.  A monster frigging workout.  Sore today.

Tomorrow, my guess I won't be able to walk normally.

Got into the squats this morning and my partner, Kelly, pipes up, "Squat, dude!  It's not a Plié."


Not really nice, but necessary.

What she was saying is that my legs were too far apart and it looked more like a Plié (ballet move) than a squat and that limited my range of motion.

She was right.

Which brings me to the point.

A workout partner is ESSENTIAL to maximum results.

Arnold once said a workout partner was the most important component in his bodybuilding success.

I believe it both from personal experience as well as watching the professionals train -- almost always with a partner or a trainer.

Why is it so important?

There are several reasons, including the following:

1.  Accountability.  This means getting out of bed even when you're tired because you know someone is going to be at the gym counting on you being there.

2.  Motivation.  A good partner will push you when you don't feel like pushing yourself.  They can squeeze one more repetition out of you that you would not have gotten by yourself.

2.  Form.  We get to work out in a lot of gyms and see the same dynamic in all of them, what we call "hero work."  These are people who try to handle too much weight and sacrifice form, most often not using a full range of motion.  I see it most often in exercises like dumbbell bench press -- lowering the weight just a few inches rather than all way below the chest.  The same is true in leg press.  These would be funny if they were not so sad -- guys (and girls) loading on the plates and then doing a drop of about 3 or 4 inches instead of the full range -- knees to chest.  When you watch the pros workout as we did recently in Las Vegas, what you see is FULL RANGE OF MOTION.   That's what my partner did this morning for me -- pointed out that my stance was too wide and wasn't allowing me to get down into the hole on squats (butt below knees.)  Without her, I would have had a less effective workout.

3.  Making a difference.  It works both ways and when you drive someone else beyond where they thought they could go, it makes you both better.  It pumps them up and it pumps you up.  That can't be done without a partner or a trainer who is willing to get IN YOUR FACE.

Now, this assumes you want to improve, not just "stay in shape."  If the latter is your goal and you you're where you want to be physically, it doesn't take much to stay that way and you can do that alone.

But, if you want your muscles to grow, to change the shape of your body, it requires going beyond where you have gone before.  And that is best achieved by having the right partner or trainer beside you saying things like, "Squat, dude!  It's not a Plié!"

Train hard; diet harder.


No comments:

Post a Comment