30min Rant about self awareness in a private gym

In this series of articles, I will give myself 30min to write about a topic – a rough draft to published. It will be rough and straight to the point. Let’s see how a few of these go and if I have any friends left after this period of time.

Training partners and those who you train with, duh. And to be honest, I’ve had more great partners than terrible ones. Some sort of fall in the middle, too. But in the last 3-4 years, I’ve started to sit back and analyze what I’ve seen work and what usually will not when it comes to a private strength training gym.

I think it’s important that you know where those that train with you – where you stand and where they stand with you. Are they your boys, or are they training partners, people you lift with?

Over the years, I’ve dealt with many different types of training partners. I’d rate them in 3 different categories for the sake of this diddy:

  1. Down to ride – no matter what, they are there. They don’t ever miss unless something serious happens, and then they still, most of the time, make it happen. Hold onto these people and treat them right. They are worth more than any stupid sponsorship, free gear, or anything. Take care of these people. Buy their lunch, give them gifts, and tell them how much you appreciate them. For a successful group, you need 75% of your team like this.
  2. Hot and Cold. These aren’t bad people or training partners; they aren’t down to ride; they let things get into how you and those like us wouldn’t let stop us from training, making a meet, or the like. They are mostly dependable but still not always there when you need them. You still need these people because not everyone loves the sport/to train and aren’t as dedicated as you are. Accept them, but know where to keep them. 20% of your team being this way is acceptable as you need them as they will be there most of the time and aren’t selfish typically.
  3. Those you know you can’t count on, so you don’t. This will sound weird, but you still need these training partners or at least available. WHAT? Yes. I fight back and forth on whether it’s worth having them on the team as back-ups or reinforcements, or around at all, and I can’t really ever concluded other than this: have some on standby that you can call in a jam, but these are not people you want to have considered being part of your team. Why? They cause more harm than good, as you aren’t even sure if they will come or not, which after 20 years of training in a private gym, this type of person throws off the mojo and keeps everything from being as cohesive as it may otherwise. It ends up looking like they get special treatment and can just come and go with the same perks, even if that is NOT the case.

I think we can pretty much sort out if we think about it who we train with and where they fall in this category. The problem with this is that it takes time to really know if someone is a good training partner. Typically a minimum of 6months, but for me, I’ve learned how little I can depend on people after 10+ years. That sucks, but it’s part of the process. You learn about someone when things become uneasy and difficult.

Please consider these thoughts if you are training with people at someones’ facility, especially if it’s at someone’s house; things like these really do matter.

Lastly, check your training partners’ egos at all times – just because they train with talent or greatness – does not mean they are; actually, most times, they are not. I see it time and time again, people who train with some of the best lifters of all time think suddenly that they are on the same level just because they lift with someone.

The self-awareness melts away over time then suddenly they think their theoretical total grows by 2, 3, even 600lbs and think they are on a level which they certainly are not. Now I know that everyone wants to build up their team, but egos must be checked. And, this is so easily done in powerlifting.

“Hey, guy, where do you rank in the top 50 all-time in the OPEN – what’s your best total, what have you done, and who have you beat, and where do you rank in this gym.”

Help them along with their self-awareness, even if it hurts.

The following two tabs change content below.
Avatar photo

Brian Carroll

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
Brian is a retired world-class powerlifter with over two decades of world-class powerlifting. From 1999 to 2020, Brian Carroll was a competitive powerlifter, one of the most accomplished lifters in the sport's history. Brian started off competing in bench press competitions 'raw,' then, shortly into the journey, he gravitated toward equipped lifting as there were no "raw" categories then. You only had to choose from single-ply (USPF) and Multi-ply (APF/WPC). Brian went on to total 2730 at 275 and 2651 at 242 with more than ten times his body weight in three different classes (220, 242, 275), and both bench pressed and deadlifted over 800 pounds in two other weight classes. He's totaled 2600 over 20 times in 2 different weight classes in his career. With 60 squats of 1000lbs or more officially, this is the most in powerlifting history, regardless of weight class or federation, by anyone not named David Hoff. Brian realized many ups and downs during his 20+ years competing. After ten years of high-level powerlifting competition and an all-time World Record squat at 220 with 1030, in 2009, Brian was competing for a Police academy scholarship. On a hot and humid July morning, Brian, hurdling over a barricade at 275lbs, landed on, fell, and hurt his back. After years of back pain and failed therapy, Brian met with world-renowned back specialist Prof McGill in 2013, which changed his trajectory more than he could have imagined. In 2017, Brian Carroll and Prof McGill authored the best-selling book about Brian's triumphant comeback to powerlifting in Gift of Injury. Most recently (10.3.20) -Brian set the highest squat of all time (regardless of weight class) with 1306 lbs – being the first man to break the 1300lb squat barrier at a bodyweight of 303 lbs.
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Contact Brian Carroll

Schedule A Consult Below

Take 25% OFF
Your first purchase
Subscribe Now!