Getting supervision

5.70 A training partner, someone who trains with you, is likely to be your most practical option. Either alternate sets (especially if your training programs are identical or very similar), with each of you taking turns at supervising as you go along, or, one of you completes the workout with the other supervising, and then you reverse roles. ^e second alternative usually takes much longer for both of you to get your workouts done. It also may be hard to supervise someone well while feeling wiped out as a result of having just completed your own workout.

5.71 If you train at a commercial gym, getting a training partner is likely to be much easier than if you train at home. As you get to know gym members you may find someone you could work with. Publicize your search for a training partner using the gym's notice board, or newsletter if there is one. If possible, also put up a notice in other gyms in your town. You could even extend your search to any colleges that might be in your area. Even if you train at home you can use the same channels for your search for a training partner.

5.72 It is not necessary that you have approximately the same level of strength, or are using the exact same sequence of exercises. What matters most is having a similar training philosophy and degree of seriousness, and that you get along with each other and are both punctual for workouts. You also need to have similar recovery abilities so that you can agree on a mutually suitable and productive training frequency.

5.73 Regardless of if your supervisor is a training partner or a non-training one, he needs to understand that your training is a very serious matter, and has to be treated as such. It is not difficult to keep your attention on training if you have set the rules beforehand. ^ere will be:

a. No non-conservative criticism or advice from either of you.

b. No defensiveness to constructive input. Each of you must learn from the input of the other and be open to criticism.

c. No socializing chit chat until after training has finished.

d. No personal discussion until after training has finished.

e. No fooling around and taking things lightly.

5.74 If you can afford to employ a personal trainer, be sure to check out his competence first. Despite the "qualifications" tagged on their calling cards, many personal trainers have major deficiencies in their knowledge of training.

5.75 To help determine whether someone can help you in the gym, critically watch the trainer at work with a client, with this checklist in mind:

a. Is the form he teaches like that explained in the insider's tell-all HANDBOOK ON WEIGHT-TRAINING TECHNIQUE?

b. Does he remind his charge of key points of form before a set starts, and even in the course of a set when necessary?

c. Has he modified his client's exercise selection and form according to any limitations the trainee may have? Has the trainer avoided a "one size fits all" training program?

d. Does he keep accurate records of weight and reps for each work set performed?

e. Does he consult his client's training log before each set, to ensure that the correct weight is selected? And does he carefully load the bar?

f. Is he supportive, serious and respectful?

g. Does he keep his charge's mind totally focused on the work at hand?

5.76 If he does not score on all these points, look elsewhere. If he scores well on these points but the deadlift, squat and some other major movements were not done in the workout you inspected, ask the trainer to demonstrate how he teaches those movements. Compare his instruction with what is described in the insider's tell-all handbook on weight-training technique. If there are more than just minor differences, then look elsewhere for hands-on help with your lifting technique, though the trainer in question may be valuable in other areas.

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