the joy of strength training


May 15th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

How to learn from the best

One Christmas I walked into Genesis Gym in London, paid my fiver and was put through the toughest lifting session I’d ever experienced by Dave “Bulldog” Beattie, a world champion powerlifter. I learned more in those two hours than I had in the previous twelve months.

My friend Dan John suggests in his blog, “get out of the comfy confines of your local spa and go see what the best are doing.”

Hours spent under the bar are necessary, but we occasionally have to put our heads above the parapet and see what else is going on, lest we become complacent or comfortable.

This is especially important if you train in a ‘normal’ commerical gym. You’ll either be thinking you are the bees knees or you will just get sucked into the mediocrity, believing everything you read on the internet about ‘overtraining’, ‘5/3/1’ and how you must never squat on consecutive days or you will die!

Getting out of the spa is also a welcome opportunity to meet and chat with like-minded people. You know, people who know what a front squat is.

But how do you go about this? Here are some ideas:

  • Visit a specialist gym (e.g. powerlifting gym, weightlifting club)
  • Watch a competition
  • Compete in a local competition
  • Do a course
  • Interview someone you admire
  • Watch a great athlete train
  • Watch great sporting feats and world records on youtube
  • Attend a workshop
  • Go to a fitness expo

You will come back inspired and motivated!

Some of my inspiring experiences

What I’ve learned from strongman
Dan John seminar in Ireland
Ladies Who Lift
First powerlifting meet
World’s Strongest Man Experience

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  • 1

    This is very true, i find watching the training of martial artists, MMA/K1 in particular, very enlightening and inspiring, as i dabble in kickboxing training.
    I realise how hard they train compared to me, ok, they have been doing it for many years compared to my 3 and started young, i started at 39 3/4, but its always good to see how they do it and take ideas and inspiration from them.

    tentigers on May 16th, 2011
  • 2

    Very good ideas. I have tried to get some of my clients – particularly the women seeking serious strength, who can be rather lonely in their training – to go watch competitions, train together and so on. Unfortunately they tend to be rather shy, or simply busy with their lives outside the training sessions. I’ll continue my efforts…

    Kyle on May 16th, 2011
  • 3

    “Never squat on consecutive days”

    Huh? Never heard that one, so I didn’t realize that I didn’t had to obey.

    That’s just like the time I heard that I wasn’t supposed to do goodmornings and squats in the same workout.

    I’m always reminded of how few rules there really are to training.

    Justin_P on May 16th, 2011
  • 4

    This is so true for me. At a couple of my gyms I am one of, if not the, fittest people there. Yet I know in some gyms I would be a complete weakling and novice. It’s all relative, and it’s good to be able to put yourself in perspective.

    Steven Rice Fitness on May 16th, 2011
  • 5

    These are some great ideas on what to do when you want to work out but severely need to take a rest. I really like your writing style; it’s especially unique for a fitness blog!

    Marianne on May 17th, 2011


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