JACK OF ALL TRADES, MASTER OF NONE, RIGHT?....NOT SO FAST....

The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is geared to the new to intermediate powerlifter. LIVE, LEARN and PASS ON.

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THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: Jack of all trades master of none, right?....Not so fast....

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This Week’s Coaching Log:
“Jack of all trades, master of none,” we have all heard this figure of speech. “A jack of all trades,” was the original term, which was meant to complement those people who are great at fixing or doing just about everything. We all know someone like that and they are great to have around. “Master of none,” was a term later added (somewhere in the 1700’s) thus changing the connotation from positive to negative. In essence meaning, someone who dabbles or is superficially involved with many things masters none of them.

In our iron game, one might hear a bench only lifter utilize this phrase about full meet lifters, or perhaps someone says it about athletes who bodybuild and powerlift. But what if you are a lifter who loves competing in all of these iron sports? Fact of the matter is, depending on the level of depth one devotes to something, they could either be a jack of all trades, or if the depth is missing, a master of none. I think we all know bench only lifters who, quite frankly, are not great benchers, and although rare, we know those lifters who can pull off bodybuilding and powerlifting, or strongman and powerlifter, or some combination of these things. The God Father of Powerlifting, Ernie Frantz comes to mind.  In 1974, Ernie placed 3rd in the AAU Mr. USA bodybuilding championship, and THAT SAME DAY won the 1974 World Powerlifting Championships.  

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There are those who are in fact a jack of all trades when it comes to the iron game.

Today’s coaching log features a true jack of all trades and one who masters them all quite well. Justin Pascual is a Machinist Mate 1st Class and a Recruit Division Commander for the United States Navy. This is an occupation that keeps his hands full all the time.  Having said that, Justin is a competitive bodybuilder, a competitive powerlifter (having won among other meets, the USPA North American Championships, the USPA Mr. Olympia Pro Powerlifting Championships), and is a co-owner of Mana Barbell, THE hard core powerlifting gym in Honolulu, Hawaii. That is a lot on one man’s plate, if not a complete smorgasbord.

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The point of this coaching log is to help illustrate how there are in fact some special few who are a jack of all trades, although the vast majority are masters of none. There is a long list of traits for those who can master many things, here is the short list: they possess unrelenting commitment, they are consistent, their work ethic is seldom matched, they are methodical with regard to all the details, they are students of the sport and don’t just study the sport and its nuances, they apply them, they understand that gym time is fleeting time and they utilize every moment possible. They also focus on their vision, their mission, and the work that must be done. Also important is what they do not focus on. They do not focus on the shortcomings of others. This last point is more important than you might realize. See someone who is a constantly critical of others, see someone who will never reach their full potential as they have already watered down their focus.

With regard to powerlifting, Justin is in the 181LB class (squat: 705lbs, bench 468lbs, deadlift 600lbs) and we are going to give you a quick peek into one of his bench press workouts. In this training session, Justin works his bench utilizing a 65LB squat bar (it is fatter and heavier than a standard bench bar), slingshot, and mini-bands. He then moves onto close-grip bench with the black Elitefts shoulder saver, then moves onto the triceps with the Elitefts Grenade, as well as dumbbells and some Hammer machine pushdowns.

In closing, take the time, just like you do studying a program and reflect on your training. With a critical eye, ask yourself if you have the tools to be a jack of all trades, and if not, what tools does your training tool box require for you to be so. Not everyone wants to compete in more than one iron sport, but if you do, know that it takes a special kind of dedication and determination. But also know, if this is what you want to do, it can be done.

Wishing all of our weekly coaching log readers the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM

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