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  • Hunter2400's picture
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  • How to push through when going alone?

  • Hunter2400   •   Thu, Dec 6th, '18 10:09   •   41 replies, 351 views

I dont have a workout partner and dont want one. Im friendly with the loyal gym goers but dont like too much conversation and try to keep to myself for the most part. Down side is I find it very hard to push for PR's and find myself flaking off towards the end of my sets when I know I can do more. How do you push with no support? I have asked for spots from time to time but find most people get too chatty and i just dont like that.

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  • Johnny Bravo's picture
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  • Johnny Bravo
  • 1 day ago

When I’m not comfortable with more weight or can’t get into position I try something like this on a 5x5:
Next 5x6. Next 6x5. Next 6x6. Usually by then I’m comfortable with more weight. Something similar can b used on almost any rep scheme.

If I physically can’t get into position like with dumbbell work I’ll rest pause my reps until I hit the target and each week go for at least one more rep before I have to rest pause. So if I fail on 7/10 the next week I gotta get 8 before I rest pause. Once I’m comfortable with 10/10 I either gotta change exercises or keep going up in reps or sets like I mentioned above. Hope this helps

  • press1's picture
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  • press1
  • 2 days ago

Do you train in or have access to a Power rack at your gym? If you like training alone and even with a partner but train heavy then they are the best thing to have access to in order to keep going for PR's and to attempt them safely in the knowledge that should you not get it back up its no problem. This will happen a lot if you like to push for records whether its singles or reps you are trying to break, even missing the lift can be beneficial still as you are fighting the lift as it comes back down and its still breaking muscle. It all helps strengthen the tendons and thicken the fibres for next time. I'm the same as you, when I'm training its 110% focus on the entire workout as I'm not there to socialise or take pictures in the mirror.

  • Hunter2400's picture
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I do have access and use the power rack weekly. My problem comes with dumbbell and bench presses mostly. I notice the other day I was using 65lb dumbbells doing shoulder presses and I wanted to keep going up in weight but really needed support to get them in position so I stayed with what I had. That was day I questioned myself.

  • Pale's picture
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  • Pale
  • 2 days ago

Good thread. I feel like I have been in kind of a funk with my workout schedule this year too. But business had to come first this year. I feel like I am ready to snap back but time will tell. I also agree having a program does hold one accountable.

  • Hunter2400's picture
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  • Hunter2400
  • 3 days ago

Dude....you guys rock. Seriously, I did not expect this amount of advice and info from my question. The fact that each of you took time to lay out all this info is truly inspiring and shows there still is some good peeps out there in this crazy jacked up world. I plan to read and re-read each comment and apply a little something from each of you. Very grateful

  • JUICEBOX0331's picture
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  • JUICEBOX0331
  • 4 days ago

I just lift, I have a desire everyday to slay weights, release aggression and try to kill my body "not litterally" and with no rhyme or reason I turned into a 6' 260lb guy that apparently grabs a lot of attention, my wife always says the guys in there want to be me and the girls want to be with me, granted my wife is the chick the girls want to be and the guys want to be with so it's easy for her to tell me that. And I guess in some narssasistic sense, I secretly enjoy that fact. Lifting alone is what both of us do, she spots me when I need it and I spot her when she needs it, other than that we mind our own and get business done.

  • dextetherdog's picture
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  • dextetherdog
  • 4 days ago

I am keeping a track of all my lifts - every set, every rep and a rest time in between the sets.
Every time I do my set, I have a number set in mind that I need to get no matter what to have a successful workout.
Once you have a target written down on the paper, every workout becomes a challenge as you want to progress. Since I started writing my workouts down, I never got bored of the gym and never experienced lack of motivation to push to the max.

  • Makwa's picture
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The key to taking it to the next level is tracking your workouts. Sets, reps, rest can all be manipulated to keep progressing. If you don't track them how do you know what you did last workout so that you can best yourself with one more rep, extra weight or less rest time. It is impossible if trying to periodize your workout to keep the gains coming.

I dropped the pen and paper a long time ago and now use the Jfit app on my phone.

  • dextetherdog's picture
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  • dextetherdog
  • 16 hours ago
  • @Makwa

Think app would be a smarter approach as we live in the century of technology.
I kind of like the actual process of writing things down in my notebook and checking me previous lifts.
Think if I was doing that on the phone I would get distracted by missed phone calls or messages.
But I will definitely have a look at the app, that would be easier instead of carrying note book on you every day

  • giardap's picture
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  • giardap
  • 4 days ago

I don't train for specifically for strength, so you wont really ever find me aiming for PR's, too many injuries from past poorly executed ego lifting for me.

But progression as part of a periodised plan is what helps us grow and get stronger. To progress my db press let's say.... I start at 5 working sets, lets say ~10,10,9,8,failure/pause/failure... something like that. I progress it over the weeks to 5sets of ~12, or ~15/12/12/12/12 - as long as the last 3 sets are up to at least 12 that is.
Then I increase weight and start again. I guess it is the same as a 5x5 approach, but well out of the dangerzone of 1rm injury land... and it naturally increases what would be your 1rm of course.

Things that can be progressed to increase strength:
Rep #'s, rest time (shortened), weight, weight in weak areas of the resistance curve (bands help but there are machines too where you can load different points of the curve - or you can monster set e.g. incline flat decline etc.), volume/# of sets, frequency each week.

  • Makwa's picture
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Without periodization there is no growth. This is where most people fail and why they look the same year after year.

  • jayisk's picture
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it amazes me how many people that train either BB or PL and dont have a training program mapped out.
They just do whatever they feel like when they get to the gym.

That is why these people look the same, never break PR's, and waste their time yr after yr.
Just like with a persons diet and gear you need to have a plan.., and that plan needs to be able to be justified for what their goals are.

  • Carlos Danger's picture
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I think not just having a plan is problem but folks need to have the right plan for their body and their precise goals. So many guys want it all and try and serve too many masters. Not everyone has the genetic disposition to accomplish it all. Most average joes and janes need precise detail and goal oriented programs. It’s like the old fashioned bulk/cut cycles. Not many can add muscle while losing fat. Only a precious few walking planet earth can get away with that. Then folks need to realize that even with the right plan and programs it takes time. Instant gains leave just as fast. True muscle maturity takes years and so does the proper experience to not have to rely on others to draft their plans. Look at Rhoden. Dude is what 43? This all takes time to get it all right

  • giardap's picture
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Absolutely. Been there myself in the past, scratching my head for years.

  • Carlos Danger's picture
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  • Carlos Danger
  • 4 days ago

I do think 1x max once a week or every other week serves me well. I’m a fan of progressive overload principles but like mentioned below it can be tweaked to include other measures besides weight. TUT is a key contributor to breaking down the muscle and getting the lactic acid build up which forces the body to release GH and IGF1 leading to gains. A couple other processes like muscle cell proliferation and muscle cell activation help with the growth and repair of the targeted muscle groups. Ive found that lower intensity higher volume does a kick ass job at fostering the right environment for these processes to take place. A close friend of mine wrote up a forum on Lactic acid and muscle growth back in the day.
Another thought and practice I’m in love with is Lower weight longer TUT. Longer tighter contractions on the top of the concentric movement and slower controlled eccentric movements. Makwa wrote a bad ass forum on this principle. The shit is a perfect write up on something everyone should practice.

I think we can marry to two training principles of the high intensity low volume style Mentzer had us all fall in love with and the higher volume lower intensity style you see more popular in today’s age. I’ve tried sticking to a 80/20 ratio of 80% of my sessions are lower volume and 20% will be max lift sessions. That seems to have lowered my overall 1-2 rep max but my working sets have all increased. I keep things simple and use a lot of super sets giants and triples on high volume days. I stick to the smith machine or machines on these days as well to lock in form and it helps eliminate the need for a spotter.
On max lift days I always try to get at least 10-15lb increases without needing a spotter. It might be a definite slower way to my top end numbers on lifts but the pumps are sick and my body responds so well to this I’ll be sticking to this for the rest of this blast I’m on. I do think alternating styles has a place at the table. Keeping the body guessing is mission critical and you have to be ready for when you body tells you it’s time to switch things up. I’m pretending like I’m smarter than my body by doing the 80/20 ratio I’ve got going on.
Sorry fo such a long post:)

  • Makwa's picture
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TUT and intensifiers like giant sets is where it is at for muscles growth.
I think your 80/20 split is a good ratio, although I am at a probably 95/5 ratio.

I just don't do (can't do) heavy weight anymore. It is kind of the catch 22 scenario here. To build muscle quicker you need to do more high volume under maximal tension and the stronger you are the more tension you can put on the muscle (heavier weight). Now if you train for strength you will get stronger quicker but not as big. So what do we do as bodybuilders, Dabble in a little strength training here and there so you are not to far off with your 80/20 split. Now if your primary purpose was just to get stronger you will get stronger faster by flipping that ratio around but not as big.

  • Carlos Danger's picture
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  • Carlos Danger
  • 3 days ago
  • @Makwa

100% agree bro. I’m dealing with some injuries right now that limits my top end intensity. I’ve made some adjustments and too be honest I’m almost more satisfied with my results in these last 6wks than I have on 12wk cycles with 5x5 programs.

  • Kgp's picture
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This is a very interesting topic. Heavy and low of reps is all for strength. Light and high reps and its all endurance.

Hypertrophy lies in the sweet spot in the middle but I would think switching it up from time to time would be beneficial to shocking our muscles.

  • Makwa's picture
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  • Makwa
  • 3 days ago
  • @Kgp

Maximum hypertrophy occurs with a TUT between 40-80 seconds. Go below that and you are training more for strength and above more for endurance. 10 reps with a 4-0-1-0 tempo would give you a TUT of 50 seconds, 8 reps would put you at 40 for example. So adjust your rep/tempo schemes to fall in that range if your desire is maximum hypertrophy.

  • Kgp's picture
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This is great info. I am going to put it to use.

  • Rough's picture
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  • Rough
  • 4 days ago

Been lifting alone for 20yrs, prefer it that way. No one can push yourself as hard as you can. In my own head I use the gym patrons as if there all watching me like I'm the show. Not in a narcissistic sense but in the motivational way. Love to push myself to the limits, no talk just intensity. Every individual has his or her own but that is mine

  • Bill G's picture
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  • Bill G
  • 4 days ago

Maxing out on bench press with out a spotter is like using the pull out method. You want to go all out. But one mistake and your life is over

  • Hunter2400's picture
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Truer words have never been spoken lol

  • GizmoDuck's picture
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Haha. Pull out method works for me. All about timing. Hahaha

  • helloBrooklyn's picture
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  • helloBrooklyn
  • 4 days ago

I’m a firm believer in chasing numbers and tracking them. But doing so safely and with good form. Progression of volume is key. But PRs don’t necessarily have to be more mechanical tension. It could be one more rep, one more set, one less minute rest time, anything. That way, a PR can feasibly happen almost every time you step foot in the gym. Don’t think of them as one rep maxes. There’s really no need to work with singles if you don’t compete in strength sports.

  • Carlos Danger's picture
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Excellent feedback bro! These are all fundamental points that get clouded a lot by our pride.

  • wanted's picture
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  • wanted
  • 4 days ago

To me i like to find the same spotter.. nothing worse then getting a spot from someone that has no idea what he is doing.. some help to much and then some you catch not paying attention on the main rep you need him for

  • Hunter2400's picture
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  • Hunter2400
  • 4 days ago

Really appreciate all the advice. I dont go for PRs all that often. I just know that sometimes I have more in the tank and I fall short because I either dont want to tear something or it's my mental excuse to not go 100%

  • extremediezel's picture
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  • extremediezel
  • 4 days ago

you can always have do both, workout alone most days and have a workout partner once or twice a week.im a loner myself but I do have a workout partner on Sunday and it’s great.

  • johnmarshall12's picture
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  • johnmarshall12
  • 4 days ago

It's all about attitude if you go it alone. You have to want it! The desire to succeed can push you to the limits. A lot guys use TNE pre-workout for that extra edge and say it helps a lot.