T Nation

No partner

I’m going to start Ian Kings “get buffed” program next week, but I have one concern - I don’t have a regular training partner. This really slows down progress! How do I train to reach new PB’s in the third week of each microcycle without killing myself. In particular, I’m worried about excersizes like squats, bench press, all negative sets, etc. Whenever I’ve tried to pull somebody into giving me a spot, I feel like I get a really lousy one (they don’t give any help on negatives, or too much help on concentric sets). So, do I grin and bear it with lousy spots, or try to change the excersizes to something safer so that if I fail, I don’t risk the chance of hurting myself?

be a man and train by yourself, hehe kidding, well i train alone, the way i see it, if you can’t handle the weight enough to do all your reps, then maybe you should lower it a bit, have you trained with a partnet all this time, never alone, just wondering, i’m not saying you can’t handle the weight, just saying you don’t exactly need a spotter, my opinion.

I don’t know about negatives in regards to Ian’s program but the if it can work within the program I would suggest using a machine, lifting the weight with both limbs then lowering with one. Also in regards to failure, I’ve squatted to failure without a spotter. As long as it is reasonably under control you just crumple down until the saftey bar catches it, I usually just lightly brush it when I squat anyway. If not that, DB squats are a great way to squat to failure. With benches I just roll it down to my hips then set it on the floor, pick it up and put it back. A training partner would be great but I’ve never needed one.

You could bench inside the squat rack with the pins about an inch below your normal range of motion. Of course, if someone wants to do squats in it they won’t be pleased with you being in there. Luckily for me, it’s not a problem in my gym as no one ever squats.

Thanks all that replied so quickly! I did have a partner about 2 years ago, but he moved away. Since then, I’ve been on my lonesome, and I really do believe my progress has suffered. I always seem to underestimate how much I can do (so should I just do more reps then?). I’m going to try the squat cage as many people suggested (we also have some squat racks at the gym, but you can’t adjust the bottom on them). BTW, if anybody is in the San Diego area and looking for an early morning workout partner, let me know.

A couple more comments…I just tried doing negatives by using a machine and lowering the weight with one arm, I have to say that it really felt uncomfortable (I was doing it with shoulder presses.) Maybe I was using too much weight, but it doesn’t seem to be a very natural movement, so I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. Doing negative with chins is obviously pretty easy, since you can jump up or “walk” up if it’s a stand alone chin station and there’s a vertical support bar right in front of you. The only problem is doing that with a dumbell at your ankles…so tonight I loaded my pockets on my shorts up with small plates and my pants almost fell down during my set.


I also tried to do negative shoulder presses by sitting down, lowering the weight, doing a front-box-squat to stand with the weight, racking it, sitting back down, unracking it, and lowering it. Needless to say, I looked like a damn fool and it didn’t work too well.

I guess my point is, forget the negatives if your training alone. I think the risk of injury is too great.

Jeff for shoulder press negs, just cheat the way up. Bend the legs and shoot it up like your Naim. What bothers you about holding DB’s at your ankles? I’ve used all different weights with no problem.

Nothing bothers me about holding a DB at my ankles, it’s just when trying to do negative pulls/chins…you can’t really jump up to the top of the movement if you have 40lbs between your feet.

I’ve also trained for years without a partner. I find a partner interferes/slows down a workout. I’ve been to one of Ian’s seminars and he really wants you to do your best with what you can handle in good form. I’ve adapted his routines and gone REALLY conservative on the 1st week of his programs and keep pushing it each week consecutively, BUT SHORT OF FAILURE. I think this has been the reason for my success with his programs. I’ve been reading about the idea of training to failure, and if this is your goal for your PB’s, then you have a good chance of injuring yourself or overtraining and the end of each cycle. It takes a while for the body to recuperate from failure training. I just stop 1-2 reps of losing good form/failure and keep gaining at a fast rate. What someone else said about needing a spotter is true. You only need one for the benching part, if you can’t lift-off the weight from the start position, then you’re handling too much weight in my opinion.