Everything Is A Competition (Part II)

In case you missed it, I have already written a blog describing how Everything Is A Competition.

Instead of boring you to death with a wordy article about how competition makes your training better, I am simply going to show you.

The Scenario:
Winter 2011 Training Session: Chaos Overhead Squats.

The First Competitor:
Arthur Kuyan - probably the most competitive person to ever walk the earth.

If you tell him you can bench 380, he wants to bench 385.

If you tell him you can eat 13 cheeseburgers at McDonald's, he wants to eat 14.

The video below shows him performing a Chaos Overhead Squat with a 45lb plate on one side.

He wanted to do more, but I didn't feel he was ready.

He almost got shattered by his previous set with 35lbs on one side, so I told him to hold off on a big jump in weight.

(This is a key point in the story, so don't forget it).

The Second Competitor:
ME - within minutes of Kuyan finishing his set shown above, I perform the same movement with 50lbs on one side of the bar. (Unfortunately we did not capture this on video.)

Needless to say, Kuyan wants to rip my head off.

The Competition Begins:
To make it clear he is stronger than me, Kuyan performs a Chaos Overhead Squat with 52.5 lbs on one side during our next training session.

The Third Competitor:
Mike Morano - The all time Power Point champion.

Despite being the Power Point Champion three years in a row, he still feels he gets "No Respect".

Tired of hearing about how strong Kuyan is, Morano performs the squat with 60lbs on one side of the bar "just because he can."

The Competition Continues:
By total coincidence, these two animals end up in the gym outside one of our regularly scheduled training sessions.

They decide to play Mahoney.O and send me the film while I am away for business.

The videos below tell it all.

The Wrap-Up:

If these guys were training alone, there is no chance either one of them ever would have performed a Chaos Overhead Squat with 65lbs on one side of the bar.

When I say "alone" in this context, I don't even mean training without a trainer.

I mean training outside of a training group.

Even if I was training these guys 1 on 1, there is no way they would have been able to make such huge gains in such a short time.

The power of competition is amazing.

If you are training alone, you are missing out.


I feel like Advanced Training is starting to turn into my favorite TV show, Tosh.O.
(If you have never seen the show, I highly suggest you watch you it.)

Over the past week, I have received 8 videos that athletes have taken of themselves while training.

In one instance, I accidentally told a group in an email that their training session was moved to 9AM as opposed to 9PM*. 

These guys show up ready to go ... and there is no Coach Mahoney.

Rather than pack it up and go home, they step up and handle the session themselves.

Just to make sure I believe they actually got the session in, they filmed it and sent it to me.

Enclosed are three of the videos taken from that session.

They have not been edited, because I want you to get a feel for what the training environment really is like.

After each video, I provide some comments about what I like from the footage.

Take special note as to how these guys push and "coach" each other during each set.

They clearly have made what we do at Advanced Training part of their DNA.

Pearce DB One Arm Iso Bench Press

(The person you hear in this video is Francis Torres - the 2009 Toughman Champion. He has this same attitude for every rep of every set during our training sessions. I can say, without a doubt, that he has made everyone around him better this Winter - just by verbally pushing them through their reps. He actually tells people when they are done with their set to give him credit for "Mental Reps".
  • I like that Pearce's spotter, Mike Morano, told him the number of reps before he started the set. Its hard to hear, but he said something like "5 each arm baby" - meaning 5 reps each arm.
  • I like that Pearce keeps his arms tucked and tight, saving his shoulders from getting banged up.
  • I like the terms "War Daddy" and "Hammer Time"
  • I like that Pearce was struggling on his last reps, but immediately recovered once Torres and Morano started yelling at him.
  • I like that Morano did not help him move the weights while he was struggling.
  • I like that Pearce did not drop the weights on the floor when he was done.
  • I like that Morano gave Pearce a little push on the back to help him get up after his set was done.

Torres DB One Arm Iso Bench Press

  • I like that Torres used the same technique Pearce used - arms tucked and tight, and not dropping his weights after the set.
  • I like that Pearce, the person filming, told Morano not to touch the db when Torres was struggling.
  • I like that Torres only did 4 reps on each arm, even though he was supposed to do 5 - Yeah I said it, I am glad he did less reps. I have to assume he knew his body well enough to know that the risk of failing on the 5th rep wasn't worth the reward of bad form, poor shoulders, and the memory of not executing his last rep running through his mind all week.
  • I don't like how lightly Morano pushed Torres up after he finished his set. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was waiting for Torres to do the 5th rep he did not perform.

Side Plank with a Row

  • I like that these guys are "racking" the entire cable set. That is pretty sick.
  • I like that they change film guys in the middle of the lift without stopping the video. I am not sure if they thought this was being timed or something, but it did entertain me.
  • I like that the video was too long that it could off exactly when it did when I emailed it from my phone to my computer. Otherwise, it would have needed to be edited.


It made me feel real good to see these guys doing the little things I coach them to do, even when I am not there.

It means they believe in what we do and they do it because they want to, not because they have to.

(Note: This is the first and only time I have sent people to a session without me being there. I blame myself for trying to multi-task on an i-phone.)