It is required that I reveal the secret to my continued success. I have abandoned my gym in a closet for Joes Garage. A friend of mine, named Joe, is also in the pursuit of strength. He has his own rack, bar, ~300 pounds of weight, and a two car garage with only one car in it. There was plenty of room for my equipment along with his. I made a make shift chalk box and Joe provided music (an ipod fitted with computer speakers playing mid-nineties grunge with some newer and older stuff mixed in). Schedules have been aligned and much labor has been carried out under the bar in Joes garage.
It is ideal to have a training partner and Joes garage has facilitated this. Training partners help you keep up on your training. There have been many days when I felt tired but we had a plan to train. I could have stayed home but that would have been really lame and my testosterone levels would have probably dropped due to such a spineless act. As stated in Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It:
"Neal, in Montana there's three things we're never late for: church, work and fishing."
Like Brad Pitt is deedicated to fishing, in Joes garage we are dedicated to training, we don't miss training sessions.
Another plus for getting a training partner is the moment form critiques. I have been working on squatting straight up and down rather than shifting over to my strong leg. Without a training partner I'd have to rely on a camera that at best gives me after the fact information. With Joe yelling out cues and observations at me while I squat I can make corrections precisely when I need to rather than after the fact. One common problem people new to squatting have is making good depth when the weight gets real heavy. Heavy weight is (relatively speaking) "scary" so it is not uncommon to squat a little high without realizing it during maximal training. On your own you might leave the gym thinking you just set a new personal record. In reality you did a bunch of lame half-squats. A training partner will catch you on every high rep and let you know so you can re-double your efforts and hit proper depth on the next one. This is much more productive than messing around with videos and lost training time.
If you don't have one, get a training partner.
In other news My wife and Joes wife have started training together as well. I'll have to write on post on them someday. Something along the lines of "Coaching Hot Chicks" or something like that.
Here is a shot of our spot.
And my latest PR's