When I lived in America I spent a few months training at a big commercial gym. I weighed around 76kg at the time and could squat 130kg, bench 100kg and deadlift 160kg. Not especially impressive but those numbers made me one of the strongest guys in the gym. I enjoyed that feeling briefly, but then realised I wasn’t progressing anymore. The lack of stronger people at the gym had meant I had got complacent. My perspective on what was heavy had been distorted. If nobody is deadlifting 200kg then it must be impossible, right? I decided I needed to find a different gym.
“ If you are the strongest person at your gym, you need to find a new gym”
My current training involves a lot of Strongman stuff, and there are two people I train with regularly. Both of them are 10kg+ heavier than me, more experienced than me, and a lot stronger than me. I love it!
I have only been training Strongman for a few months, but now I am a little more experienced in Strongman and am confident I won’t injure myself through being cocky and trying things that I know are beyond my capacity. This has led me to setting a new rule for myself: I have to attempt whatever weights those guys do. This has led to a few failures, sure, but it has also led to setting PRs in almost every event and has definitely led to me getting stronger much faster than I would have if I was training alone. The desire to keep up with those guys is what I need to push me that little bit further and try the things that I would dismiss as too heavy if I was training alone.
“ Well he just did it so it’s not impossible, so I’ll at least try ”
Competition is also a big driver for me. This week I signed up for another Strongman competition, in under 5 weeks. The way the weight categories are set out means that I will be competing against people 20kg heavier than me, which is a big disadvantage in Strongman (probably more so than Powerlifting). I’m not expecting to place anywhere near the top (I think there’s 11 people in my weight category and I’ll finish at or near the bottom) but the competition and the desire to keep up with the bigger guys will hopefully drive me to some good PRs.
So what I’m saying is this: find someone stronger than you and try to keep up with them, it’s probably the push you need to drive your progress higher than you thought possible.