lifting form changes with Dave Hoff

How To Be A Terrible Training Partner In A Private Gym

By: Brian Carroll (written in Feb 2016)


Chances are if you are training in a private gym, it’s not because of money issues, lack of dedication to your goals and or lack of training desire. It means whatever your goal may be; it’s not going to happen in a commercial box gym where there is no intensity, rules out the ass, and more clowns than a Barnum and Bailey’s circus, which is not conducive to lifting big weights and getting jacked.

Adam Driggers founded team Samson in 2003, and I joined right after in the middle/end of 2003. The mentality was a little bit different back then with newcomers to the gym, but most things have remained the same. Want to get run off faster than you thought possible? Try these things out when you are trying to make an impression on the gracious people that are giving you a chance to be a part of something scarce. A gym that helps you get better at what you love and all that it requires is commitment.

Be Selfish

This one is pretty simple. Only worry about yourself and your (most likely) crappy and mediocre lifts at best. Don’t ever come early, and don’t ever offer to stay late, and most of all, only worry about your lifting and nobody else’s. Team camaraderie is overrated anyway. Worry about your lifts and make sure that’s all that is on your radar as soon as you walk in the gym. There is no such thing as support as a team and being a part of the team. That is only for nerds and team sports.

Be Hard Headed

Whatever you do, don’t listen to expert or experienced lifters advice (if you are lucky enough to have them around) and do your own thing at all costs. Get an online Bro coach with a 1200 total at 220. No matter how many times you repeat the same mistakes, don’t ever take advice from seasoned vets. Learn everything the hard way and hope that you have enough time doing it alone and your style. It always works out well for these types, so why change?

Be An Askhole

Ask everyone in the gym about their opinions and for their help; follow either none or all of it at the same time so you can have no clue what works or not. Then go on the forums and social media polling random opinions on something they have zero investment in and listen to (some of) them too and implement it all at once. Or never change anything and never have results you look for. This is great for gym morale and vibe, so be sure to do this. Oh, and make sure that you bash them online with either overt or passive remarks. This is always great.

Be Cheap & A Mooch

Don’t ever volunteer to pay for lunch, chip in for equipment, pay your dues late, and use other lifters’ shit non-stop; let everyone know how broke you are at all times and how many people have helped you in the past. Make sure never to offer your handlers dinner or to comp their room when you travel. They should be paying money to help you succeed. It is an honor to be able to watch you dive into average lifts at best and to observe you struggle day in and day out. A real celebration for all of us! All this aside, training with our team doesn’t come with a monthly fee, but it is certainly not ‘free.’ Nothing with value is free.

Be Late Often

We know that shit happens where you are simply behind, and things come up. Not this – but just come and go when you please. It helps the morale of the team to have you creaking the door open in the middle of a big set or to short your team adequate spotters on a big lift day. It also means that you don’t care what time we ‘start,’ you will get there when it is right for you, and the time established doesn’t work for you. This is all good stuff and will help you become accepted by the team.

If you want to make your stay in a private gym short-lived, then follow the above, and I can promise you that you will not last long.

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Brian Carroll

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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.
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