Now that the holidays have come and gone, we make another attempt at starting the new year right. This is that wonderful time of year where gym owners salivate over the renewed enthusiasm for fitness. The first 90 days of the year will see fitness centers packed with people that are “really serious this time.” Of course we all know that by April many of those same people will hang it up, decide to “wait till next year”, and devour an entire chocolate Easter Bunny family tree in shame. Apparently the average American believes it is impossible to make any progress headline for gambling
towards their fitness goals during the winter months.
I would like to think that this stereotype doesn’t apply to the Mammoth Strength crowd. As a group you go hard all year long, and because of that your results are significantly above the norm. Instead of restarting where you left off last fall, our fans use this time to assess their progress from the previous year and plan their attack for the coming year.
Even our fans aren’t above looking for an occasional shortcut, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Considering that supplements are a billion dollar industry, some of them have to work right? If some of them work then we can assume some work better than others, and if that’s the case then there has to be a “Best Supplement”.
The only problem is that you have to pay for quality. Once we determine this holy grail of supplements how the hell are we going to pay for it. Let’s be honest, you can only have one first born child at most; some don’t have that many to barter. If you typical supplement costs $30-$50 a month, how much would you guess THE Best cost? What if I told you they were FREE?
What Is The Best Workout Supplement?
The Answer is Training Partners
Yes I know Cell-Tech and Met-RX have you convinced that “Supplement” means nutritional pills, powders and potions. However, supplement actually means “something that enhances something else when added to it”; and nothing enhances your training results like training partners.
I am reminded of the first time I went to train with Brian Carrol. I was getting ready for a powerlifting meet and one of the first questions he asked was “who do you train with now?” And I replied,”right now I train by myself.” He quickly said, “you can’t get strong that way.” In that little exchange he reminded me of the importance of training partners. When I stop and look back all my best training session were in a group. Over the past few years I have been forced to go back to training alone, and my training has suffered because of it.
The Benefits of Training Partners
Accountability– You want to know one of the main reasons that Personal Trainers exist? It’s because some people are so unmotivated that they are willing to pay someone to make them show up at the gym. Having training partners means that you have to schedule your workouts. When you train alone you can procrastinate and put your workout off. We all know that consistency is the key to training. The more often you “punch the clock” as Dan John would say the more progress you will make. When you know people are counting on you to show up at a certain time it eliminates all of the bargaining we do in our head.
“Most champions are built by punch the clock workouts rather than extraordinary efforts” – Dan John
Safety – This may seem like a boring reason, but hear me out. Yes, having someone to spot you on bench press is good idea. It definitely helps reduce your chance of injury. However, what is sometimes missed in this is that having a spotter allows you to train heavier. Once you remove the “if I miss this weight I might get crushed and have to park really close to Walmart” thought from your head it frees you up to really push your limits. It can be the difference between hitting huge PR and being scared to even try it. All those tiny little 5lb victories will definitely add up over the course of a few years.
Competition – I personally think this is the most important aspect of having training partners. Yes having a well thought out program is important, but training in a competitive environment is just as important. The beauty of training partners is they don’t live in your body, so they don’t feel your pain or experience your doubt. This frees them up to push you harder than you can push yourself. Good training partners know how to motivate you, and great training partners are willing to call your mother a whore if they think it will piss you off enough to set a new PR.
Despite all the benefits there are some things to look out for. Speaking from experience, bad training partners are worse than training alone. If you are training with someone that isn’t as dedicated as you, or doesn’t want it as bad as you then they will eventually hold you back. If your goal is to be the best at something then you are going to have to make sacrifices. Your training partner must be willing to do the same or it won’t work.
The truth is finding a solid training partner that brings the best out in you is like finding a significant other. It definitely is not an easy process, but it is worth it. If you currently train alone I would encourage you to “put yourself out there.” Wear your good t-shirt to the gym and see if anyone takes an interest. I can promise you that once you do find the right training partner your training will go to a whole new level. And thankfully if your training partner decides to leave you, you don’t lose half your shit.