Find Your Spot – Do’s and Don’ts

July 20, 2015


Train Insane or Remain the Same.”


I’m not exactly sure what this means. Does one need to workout as if they are mentally ill to see results? The thought process of training like a mad man, not to be confused with “Mad Men” (does Don Draper even lift?) …invokes images of fast, half reps with terrible form. There is a difference between insanity and intensity. A good training partner can help intensify a workout without it going stupid. Such techniques include:


Forced Reps

Drop Sets

Heavy Negatives

However, not all training partners are created equal so we’ve asked John Davies, Founder of Renegade Training, to discuss the DO’S and DON’TS for your brothers (and sisters) of the iron.




During my coaching career I have had seen a wide assortment of training partners and, after trials and tribulations, the best types can easily be segmented into the following 3 groups;


  • The Sparkplug’ – Perhaps the best possible training partner who not only defines the notion of always ready but whose enthusiasm to train helps the entire gym.

  • The Rock’ – Always dependable, possesses a relentless work ethic in the gym and defines the strong and silent type. May not have the flamboyant side that most others do, but The Rock never fails and continuously leads by action and example.

  • The Machine’ – Determined, focused and the perfect team player. The Machine often lacks the natural talent but outworks everyone and day by day, year by year, progresses via relentless determination.


On the opposite side of the equation there are three decidedly negative types of training partners:


  • ‘The Anchor’ – Perpetually late, slow to get started and is seems that most of your training time is spent trying to motivate the unmotivated. ‘The Anchor’ is precisely that; they will slow you down and ruin the best training environments. As an aside, ‘the anchor’ is the first to suggest ‘all you can eat pizza’ night will not slow your progress and more concerned what time the bars close as opposed to what time they get under a bar.

  • ‘The Expert’ – As an example, despite not attending medical school ‘the expert’ believes they are able to diagnosis any injury and prescribe treatment. Closely related to ‘all talk, no action’ athlete, ‘the expert’ can never stop talking and assumes training time is a social event.

  • ‘The Publicist’– Rather than actually sweat and keep the training session moving at a brisk pace, ‘the publicist’ incessantly texts, films and posts highlights of each set in numerous social media channels.


Lessons from Training partners – Do


  • Positive Attitude – At the starting gates of success there is a positive attitude and a belief you can triumph over adversity. Each training partner must understand the journey ahead is challenging but it can and will be done.
  • Understand what motivates – This is part of the bonds of a training partner and can vary with age or region but it digs deep into the want and desire of an athlete. Be forewarned; goals are serious and endless joking around merely suggests one lacks what is required to excel- Focus.
  • Communicate relevant information – Relay technical information to assist your training partner in an efficient and direct manner.
  • Punctual – Be prepared to start your training session at the predetermined time and to be ambitious, show up early.


Lessons from Training partners – Don’t


  • Be negative – I’ve seen everything in my years of sport including a coach who would actually cry in the changing rooms because the players didn’t like him, but one great problem is many athletes lose before they start with a negative outlook.
  • Lack focus – The training floor for athletes does not permit mobile phones. This is a place of work, not a social club.
  • Constantly require support – It is important for training partners to support each other in the face of challenge, but this should not happen on a daily basis as it will only weigh down others.
  • Require the spotlight – It is not required to celebrate every single moment but it does speak volumes of athletes who require constant affirmation when performing a task. The determined and those of great destiny do not require the spotlight. Be humble.


Man up and be a better training partner. Don’t talk about it, be ‘The Rock’, be ‘The Sparkplug’, and #BeUltimate. Each of us a capable of a great deal more. #LiveModern!


TEAM USPlabs Amanda Gable and Anthony Thomas


Prepared by John Davies


Follow John


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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