TWO ENDS OF THE SAME SPECTRUM

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.

MONSTER GARAGE GYM is one of the premier powerlifting gyms in the US.

THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: TWO ENDS OF THE SAME SPECTRUM

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Separated by some four decades, and leading two completely different lives, young twenty-something Alex Carl and 65 year old stage 4 Cancer survivor, Jerry Lezon both competed in their first powerlifting meet this past weekend. Young or old, healthy as a horse or having looked the grim reaper square in the face and having said, "BACK OFF!!!!!,” powerlifting is a sport that measures you against you and in the end, that is the ultimate test.

For several years now, APF IL State Chairman, Eric Stone hosts at his gym an APF, Intro To Powerlifting Meet. This meet is based on the idea of literally teaching those brand new to the sport lifters about our amazing sport of powerlifting. Each year with the meets like the APF IL State Powerlifting Championships growing with over 200 lifters annually, and with explosion of RAW powerlifting, this Intro To Powerlifting meet could not have been developed at a better time in the history of our sport.

I recall being a new competitive lifter, having had my first meet in 1989. I recall competing in my first equipped APF meet a couple years later. I recall the meet being run on two platforms, with over a hundred competitors, (100% equipped lifters), and I recall I was pretty much the only “new” guy with the vast majority of lifters being grizzled vets who were putting up some huge numbers. I can juxtapose this with the last 10 or so meets I have attended in the last three or so years, and there are an incredible number of new lifters, many of which are coached by folks who have fewer than a handful of meets under their own belt. Looking back, (such and old guy sounding thing to say) you didn’t have a coach per se, you trained with a powerlifting team and learned from the team. That said, a good chunk of the new lifters are coming from corporate gyms or Xfit boxes, thus there is not that seasoned mentor-ship happening. What you see instead is anyone with three meets under their belt, a singlet and a clipboard, “coaching” their, even greener than they are, athlete through the meet.

We all see the effect of this, lifters taking their opener in the warm-up area, opening with a near max weight, dropping body-weight to make a weight class, having no concept of the history of the sport, missing the fundamental “here is why” to the sport, the rules, the strategy, etc. Basically many new lifters are learning the sport on the fly without any guidance, all the while texting and posting during a the meet because they have no real concept of the mental aspects of the meet because they are being coached by a newbie (although well intended) themselves.

So this meet that Stone runs is a sanctioned meet, combined with a three part seminar. The meet part consists of a weigh in, a rules meeting, 3 certified judges and a professionally run sanctioned meet. The seminar part is broken down into three parts, each part prior to a competitive part of the meet. In other words, there is a seminar portion, then the squat portion of the meet, a second seminar portion, the bench part of the meet, then the third part of the seminar followed by the deadlift and conclusion of the meet.

The lifters at this meet are comprised of first time lifter's and the seminar portion is packed with the basics, essentials, and some great insights geared to the bigger picture of the meet. From chalk vs baby powder, to how to pick an opener, equipment specs, how to read the score sheet on the screen, to strategy for the meet, and a ton more. It is like reading 10 EliteFTS articles about a competition, all presented by a seasoned powerlifter on a powerpoint presentation, all during the breaks of the full power meet.

With the scarcity of true powerlifting gyms, seminars like Stone’s at this meet, the amazing seminars at EliteFTS, the ones run by the GOAT, Ed Coan, the deadlift seminar we at the M.G.G. just ran for active military and vets MILITARY VIDEO: are all serving to teach this new crop of powerlifters. You have to look past man-buns and social media lifters as somewhere in this mix of new lifters are the hidden gems, the new to the sport lifters that are eventually going to be ALL TIME record holders, the next generation of truly awesome powerlifters.

Jerry and Alex, whom I mentioned in the opening are on two different ends of the same spectrum. Jerry is a stage 4 cancer survivor and is looking to fulfill his dream of training at a powerlifting gym, compete in powerlifting meets, build his body back up to pre-illness levels and suck the marrow of life. He is doing all of these things. Alex is a kid who I tell, “my squat shoes are older than you.” He aspires to powerlifting greatness and knows by watching the other powerlifters on the team, that powerlifting is a journey, and he is embarking on this journey with the support of the team behind him. Both Alex and Jerry are part of the Maroscher Powerlifting Team at Monster Garage Gym and both want to be the best powerlifter they can be regardless of where they are in their life journey. They are both learning lessons each time they train at the gym and now both have dipped their powerlifting shoes into the awesome waters that comprise the world of competitive powerlifting.

The point of this week’s coaching log is that to be a true powerlifter, you have to be or have been a competitive powerlifter. The meet is what the sport is all about. Pitting yourself against yourself, being better each meet, learning about the sport, knowing the history of the sport and so much more is all contained within the competitive part of the sport. Be you older like 65 year old cancer survivor Jerry, or a young up and comer like Alex, the rubber hits the road when you enter your first meet. Both are taking the powerlifting bull by the horns!!!!!!!Bull-Brand-Desktop-12

Don’t just train, compete. Don’t just compete, compete often.

Wishing you the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM

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