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: PERSEVERANCE
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This Week’s Coaching Log:
“Good things come to those who wait.” A saying most famously used by Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie, known better by her pseudonym, Violet Fane.
In powerlifting this too rings of truth, but it is what happens within the waiting period, that is where the story and the power of Fane’s saying truly resides and where it ultimately brings life to her words.
In our great sport of powerlifting each powerlifter has their own goals. But the primary goal is and has always been to continually improve upon one's own self. I vividly recall a conversation I had many, many years back with the great Ernie Frantz. Ernie explained that becoming strong(er) than you were and continually doing so is a main road to follow in your powerlifting journey. He talked about the power of the personal record. How one’s personal records, when big enough would become state records, and through work, personal records when large enough can become national records, then perhaps world records. And if numbers were big enough, for that elite few, their personal records can become all-time records.
We train to get as strong as we individually can get and sometimes when our personal records are bigger than all other’s personal records, say in the state or nationally, we temporarily get our name etched in the history book that is powerlifting….until of courses that time when someone else’s personal records are high enough that they erase ours state or national or other records. Records after all, are meant to be broken.
A road that runs parallel to the aforementioned one leads us to landmark stops along the way. Stops along this destination-less journey where we work hard to pick up other rewards, memories, and trinkets. Some of these represent additional ways to get our initials etched into the grand history that is our sport of powerlifting. Parallel to the road toward ever larger numbers is this road that takes us to competition wins, victories and/or titles. Meet wins, championship wins, titles wins are stops along the way on our never ending trip toward bigger and bigger numbers. Sometimes we are on the road for the win, sometimes for the meet p.r.’s, and on rare occasions those two roads converge and you hit the p.r. while competing at the big meet.
As with any road trip toward a destination, there are detours. Sometimes you are driving along and everything is going great. You are headed toward your personal record and the meet is a big one, and you can see the win or title is nearly within your grasp. And then you blow a gasket, you have sustained an injury. Suddenly, you are no longer striving for the p.r. nor the win, you have down-shifted into the gear of self preservation and the new goal is merely being able to finish the meet. Those are the times, when when you fight the good fight just to be able to finish the meet you began, as that too (in its own way) can be as rewarding if not more so than setting a meet p.r. or winning.
The point(s) of this week’s coaching log are, that any of these three outcomes, be it a personal record, be it a win/title or be it just finishing a meet with an injury are all things that happen in powerlifting and each is an accomplishment in and of itself on this journey that is powerlifting. Also, perseverance is the not so secret, secret ingredient for all newer and intermediate powerlifters to develop.
This past week one of our teammates Robert competed at the AWPC Worlds in Great Britain. Robert competed at the AWPC Worlds last year placing 2nd. Shortly after that meet he began his planning and ultimately his training for this meet. During the last three or so weeks of training during one of his last and heaviest deadlifts Robert went to pull the weight off the ground Robert felt a “pop,” in his lower back. Not a good thing to ever have, but especially less than a month out from a meet he was looking to not only win but set some p.r.’s at. Fast forward to the meet date. During the squat, on the third attempt Robert went down with the weight and didn’t come back up (which is looking more than likely to be the same back issue from the last big training pull). Suddenly, not only were big p.r.’s and the win a big question mark, but being able to finish the meet if this injury was serious enough to stop him from pulling. But as we are fond of saying at the M.G.G., nobody travels halfway around the world to lose. At the end of the day, Robert did finish the meet, and in the process he did set a bench p.r. and had enough of a pull in him to also attain the win. Pretty much about as perfect of a competition trifecta as you can have when the plan goes sideways after an injury or in this case, re-injury.
Good things do in fact come to those who wait, but during that wait as we said from the onset of this article, was a ton of hard work in and outside of the gym.
There is something that is a defining trait of champions now and from decades gone by, and that is perseverance. In a social media society of “me first,” and “I want that now,” and “hey, look at me, pay attention to me, see, I am training,” we see in post after, ‘I need your affirmation, please LIKE this’ post after post. It is perseverance which has always been part of the bedrock that all success is built on. The work behind the scenes that gets the job done.
Perseverance means among other things to keep striving for the win, keep striving for the titles, keep striving to finish the meet when things go awry. Like you develop your training technique, work as hard if not harder to develop and utilize your ability to persevere. Developing and improving your ability to persevere, regardless of the obstacles that will constantly try to stop you from getting on these roads toward success, will in the end make “Good things come to those who wait,” a more likely reality.
Footage of Robert’s meet prep prior to the AWPC World Powerlifting Championship included in the accompanying video.
Robert Bain stats:
Robert is 36 yrs of age, a father of 4 and married to his bride Nichole for 13 years. Robert served his country as a member of the USMC, and is currently an Enterprise Account Director at Uber. This past week was Robert’s 2nd AWPC Worlds, having placed second last year. This year Robert competed at the AWPC Worlds in Manchester UK, placing first in his weight class. Robert came to the M.G.G.in 3 years and 1 month ago with the following numbers (S 551, BP 329, DL 645 RAW, no wraps). Robert’s current numbers are (S 705, BP370, DL725 RAW, no wraps). Perseverance.
Thank you as always for following our coaching logs. 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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