Wanted: Hardcore Training Partners

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“Run to the hills, run for your lives.” —Iron Maiden

I know this may seem a bit strange, but it crossed my mind the other day as I was showering that certain individuals in history would make great training partners. I quickly compiled a list of historical figures that met certain personal requirements for being a good workout comrade. Although it was rather difficult, I had to cull the list to a manageable amount because my home gym is rather small, and the size of my training crew is best when there are only about 6–9 lifters. Without further delay, I introduce to you my ultimate dream team training crew and the roles they would fill.

Samsonthe stooge

I envision myself reclined on Freud’s couch. Freud says Adam, and I reply Eve. Freud says Sodom, and I say Gomorrah. Finally, Freud says Samson, and I instantly shout, “ass!” This guy constantly found himself somehow connected to ass. He used the jawbone of an ass to kick the ass of 1,000 men. And his constant pursuit of the aforementioned caused him much strife and eventually both his eyes. However, he would be welcomed as a training partner simply because of his tremendous strength and willingness to buck the current trend of shaving all of one’s locks. At least he did so unwillingly.

I have a feeling that Samson wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but every gym needs the stereotypical muscle head lummox to lighten the mood and insult without them ever catching on. He’s a keeper, especially if you live in an earthquake prone area. Just find a safe corner, and let him hold up the foundation.

Crazy Horse—the raw trainer and provider of buffalo burgers

This Oglala Sioux warrior’s Native American name was Tusunka Witko, and he is renowned for his bravery and tenacity. I included him based on reports of his athleticism as well as my perception that he would be willing to train raw and would not be a gear whore. It’s also important that he has the cool name. Anyone with a name such as Crazy is welcome anytime in my gym. Come on, do you really want to train with a dude named Sitting Bull? The guy wouldn’t get off his backside long enough to give a good spot.

Crazy was shot in the face under the left nostril by a displeased husband whose wife had somehow found herself in Crazy’s teepee. This tough hombre survived that episode and is best known for his involvement in the demise of the showboating goldilocks, Custer. Sadly, he died at a young age under suspicious circumstances. Touch the Clouds, a seven foot Indian, said it best upon the Crazy one’s death— “he has looked for death, and it has come.”

George Washington—the silent one, “shut up and lift”

I like the “father of our country” for several reasons. George was a big ole boy, especially for his time. He stood around 6’2” and weighed in at approximately 200 lbs. He has been described as having very broad shoulders and a thick waist. I know you’re thinking the same thing I am—Georgie would have been a good squatter and perhaps a successful strongman competitor. His core strength certainly seems to be a strong point. Throw into the mix that he had very large hands and you have the makings of a good puller as well. He was also an outstanding horseman, which equates to the possession of powerful quads and balance.

GW really has no apparent weak points. However, the major reason I included him is that he would most definitely keep his mouth shut when training. He had awful teeth with dentures made of both hippopotamus and elephant ivory. Amazingly, the dentures were made using a spring mechanism that forced him to actively clench his jaws or his mouth would fly open. This strong, stoic, dependable leader would simply train hard and keep his mouth shut. What more could you ask for?

Will Wallace—the lift-off man

I don’t know a whole lot about “Will the thrill,” but I do know enough to be fairly certain that he was nothing in stature like the pipsqueak Mel Gibson who portrayed him in Braveheart. Many believe William Wallace was a monster of a man towering 6’6” in height and wielding a sword weighing anywhere from 6–10 lbs and measuring five and a half feet in length. It took a mighty powerful man to swing such a sword, and this alone gets Will the invite. His height coupled with his forearm and grip strength would make him the premier lift-off man in the nation. Plus, every gym needs its very own freedom fighter. FREEDOM!

Hannibal—the coach and strategist

Hannibal Barca means “favor or mercy of Ba’al lightning.” The moniker alone is enough to have this guy around. This great Carthaginian general had a life’s goal of conquering and humiliating Rome. I must admit, quite a lofty goal, but admirable for setting his sights high. I picked Hannibal because of his ability to lead a diverse group of men and motivate them to succeed as well as for his genius in strategy and planning.

I have no qualms at all in allowing Hannibal free reign in workout design and overall training philosophy. This guy was meticulous and steadfast in his quests, and he would be an excellent role model. He had to be hardcore to choose to go through the Alps and lose half his men and war elephants in the process. This curtailed him in no way, and he went on to wreak havoc throughout Italy for years. You just gotta admire a guy who sticks to his goals no matter what the situation.

General Patton—the smack you upside the head motivator

“Lead, follow, or get the hell outta my way!” Man, you just gotta love it. Old Blood and Guts had a childhood dream of being a hero. Darn, I wanted to be a cowboy. I wore chaps and a leather vest with tassels. Oddly, I donned cowboy boots even when I put on my summer shorts. Quite a sight indeed. Bottom line is that Patton fulfilled his goal and I did not. Closest thing I have to a cowboy is my Clint Eastwood poster in my gym.

General Patton was quite an athlete. He even participated in the Olympics as a pentathlete where he finished out the medals mainly due to his insistence on using a larger caliber weapon. Patton possessed a nasty temper and a determination that bordered on stubbornness. So what? This guy could motivate. Every successful gym needs a guy that can fire up the crew, and I chose the wily tank commander as my man. Many individuals actually want a little slapping around to fire them up during competitions. I can assure you that my man Pat doggy dog has no problem whatsoever in introducing his hand to your cranium. For more passive lifters, he could simply whip out his ivory handled pistols. This should serve as enough motivation.

Genghis Khan—the mental warrior

I need a little eastern flavor in the gym so I have included none other than the great khan. He was supposedly born clutching a clot of blood, which is apparently a good omen. However, his childhood was rough indeed, and he is lucky to have survived. His actual name was Temujin, which apparently translates to blacksmith. This caught my attention immediately because equipment is a vital component to any gym, and I suspect Mr. Khan would have some skills in metalworking.

If this scourge of god would only share his knowledge with me as he did Benny Podda, I would be forever in his service. That’s all I’m asking. Seriously, Ghengis would be a welcome addition for mental preparation and the use of psychological warfare against my opponents. His “take no prisoners” attitude would send a strong message to the rest of the crew. Every base has to be covered, including the use of psy-ops.

Paul Bunyon—clothing provider

Ok, this is short and sweet. The man wore flannel. I like to wear flannel as well when I train. The man has a blue ox. I too like blue oxen. The blue ox would be the gym mascot, and Paul would provide me with flannel. He would only train outside during alley day because the sonofabitch is too big to fit downstairs. All I got to say is look out Pudzianowski.

Leroy Brown—badass!

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown. The baddest man in the whole damned town. Badder than old King Kong, and meaner than a junkyard dog. Nuff said.

There you go—my Power B dream crew. High honorable mention goes to my favorite, President Teddy Roosevelt. I just felt that Washington had more to offer in the realm of lifting. A few other honorable mentions, in case someone gets injured or can’t make it, include Vlad, the Impaler; Generals William Tecumseh Sherman; Nathan Bedford Forrest; and finally, my favorite historical figure, the Comte de St. Germain, for his conversation mainly. Feel free to get together your own unique training crew. But remember, I asked these guys first.

“I am the punishment of god.” —Ghengis Khan

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