My Journey: Pushing Limits

P13922901I will only dwell on this briefly before I go on with my column for this week. As of my latest weight in, I have lost over 60 pounds and am just now starting to have visible abdominals. 60 pounds! Imagine that for a minute. Next time you’re at the gym, pick up a 45 pound plate, or grab a 60 pound dumbbell, heavy? Now, try walking around with it in front of your stomach, everyday. Picture sleeping with it, playing with your kids with it, working with it.

When I look at pictures of myself at 230 pounds it doesn’t even look like the same person, I can’t believe how far I’ve come, and how badly I never want to go back! If I never win anything in Natural Bodybuilding it won’t matter, because I’ve made a difference in the quality of my life and of my family’s, and that’s what’s important!

Here’s me, in the middle, between my sister and cousin, at 230 pounds, three summers ago.

2D1E847B-FB0B-4EC4-8150-4D9DBF7F99B2Now, on with the column! I’m going to talk this week about training partners, not only how helpful they are for practical purposes, like having a spotter, but also how motivating and helpful they can be for your training.

Most of the time I train by myself, first thing in the morning. This is what my schedule allows due to our son and my partners work schedule. On days I don’t train in the morning, I go in for cardio first thing, then come back at night for weights. At night, I usually also train on my own, but I sometimes end up working out with someone at the gym. Maybe just asking for a spot, but very rarely do I make plans to go specifically to train with someone, until recently.

One of my best friends recently returned from working on ships. He leaves for 40 days and returns for another 40. He has like me, always enjoyed lifting weights, and like me admittedly can stand to lose some weight. He has no plans to compete, but merely would like to have a good, fit physique, without sacrificing much power or size (wouldn’t we all!) So he started training with me.

Within a week I’m noticing gains in strength and endurance. Better workouts, better weight moved – everything has improved! You’re able to push yourself so much more with someone else there pushing you, telling you that you’ve got one more left, it’s amazing!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy training alone, moving at my own pace, doing what I like, how I like, without explanation. I still train on my own in the mornings, but my night workouts have pushed me to new limits, and weights, I never thought I would be able to get to, and don’t think I would ever get to on my own.weight-lifting-benches1

So my advice is this; at least one workout a week, find a training partner. Not someone to chat with, not some one to hang out with, a TRAINING partner. Someone who you know wants to be there for the same reasons that you do, to TRAIN. Someone who will ask you for more, who will push you, someone who will not let you quit, and when you’re about to quit, they won’t let you. Someone to help you through your struggle to finish your set, rep, workout, or whatever you have yet to do.

If you’re lucky enough to find someone like this, hang on to them, don’t let them go. They are an asset, and will help you get to another level mentally and physically that you will have a hard time reaching on your own! You won’t regret it!

Happy Lifting!

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9 comments for “My Journey: Pushing Limits

  1. February 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    The first two paragraphs really moved me Luke! Seriously! I mean the whole article was great, but manoman those first two paragraphs! Keep up the AMAZING job… I don’t even know you but I feel great pride for you in your achievements!

  2. February 3, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I know that the aded push does come when you are training with someone else…especially among men…the competetive spirit gets thing going and you do push harder. But, Iam always so hesistant to partner as I find it hard to find someone of like enough miond and focus….so I tend to be a loner in the gym. I just like my focus too much to sacrifice it inhopes of a little competitive driven boost.But you can find someone once in a while, it does indeed work to push you just a bit harder!

    • Luke Aubin
      February 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

      I hear you Carl, for the longest time (and still quite often) I enjoy my solo workouts much more than relying on someone, who is often late as JC said, or who doesn’t have the same goals as you do.

      While my training partners goals and mine aren’t exactly the same, our mindset and attitude towards workouts is, go to the gym to train, get it done with as much force and intensity as possible, leave gym. Simple and straight forward. We both have kids so its difficult to find a lot of time for training, so when we get the oppertunity to go together (2-3 nights a week) we relish the oppertunity and get as much done as we can in the 45-60 minutes we have.

      I still love my workouts alone, I don’t think that will ever change. Keep looking for a partner Carl, don’t give up! Ur missing out on some amazing muscle building!

  3. February 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    It’s often said that the surest way to success is to find those who are already successful and model them – do what they do. In the bodybuilding world, natural or juice league, most top athletes have trainers, nutritionists and training partners. If even the top performers benefit from training partners, think of how much they can help those of us not at that lofty level… I think we’ll see a new trend developing among really motivated lifters where they’re using 2 trainers – an online pro they don’t have physical access to that will guide their overall training and nutrition, along with a local trainer for accountability and motivation.

  4. JC
    February 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I once found a training partner that had the same goals. We were perfect together. We lifted similar weight and really pushed each other. The problem – he was never on time. I would sometimes wait at the gym for over an hour before he arrived. I had to put an end to that. Haven’t had a training partner since. Instead, I am friendly with a lot of the people that lift AROUND me in the gym. They come up to me as needed and encourage when the set gets hard. I prefer that so much more than having someone by my side the whole time.

    • February 3, 2013 at 7:47 am

      I’ll second that. There’s something to be said for training solo and really getting into your zone. As long as I’m working in the 6-8 rep range, I rarely need a spot. I’ll just use pause rest-reps instead of forced reps. Same result in my opinion. However, if someone prefers to train with a partner, then go for it!

  5. February 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    If you can find a partner that is 100% into training towards the same goals as you are, then that is a great thing. It sometimes can become a compromise if you both aren’t on the same page completely, and that can get frustrating if you both have different goals. Sounds like you’ve got a good one Luke!

  6. February 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Great work Luke! I definitely like training with a partner, as long as you are both focused on the same things. My training partner I lift usually 3 or 4 days a week with will probably much just follow my plan which obviously works well for me. 🙂 It’s nice to have him there though, it makes us both better. We are always trying to outdo each other and motivate each other to work hard. I still love training on my own, but nothing like having somewhere there pushing you!

    • Luke Aubin
      February 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      I know what you mean. I love my solo training sessions, but somedays I just don’t have that extra push I get from having someone there to tell you “you’ve got one more, come on!” Those extra reps are the ones that seperate champions from the rest! You sir, are a champion Colin! Glad u enjoyed the read!

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