T Nation

Training Alone


Hey guys, out of curiosity, how many of you feel you can train really well when alone.

Im not talking with out a coach, but in absolute solitude. I can do it, but its pretty rare that i actually pull of anything special with out others energy/encouragement around me.

I know some people actually prefer to train alone. Why?


I prefer to train alone because i don't really need everyone else pissing around around me. I'm able to generate all the preparation and raging anger in my own head to psych myself for a lift but if I have a serious training partner I'll gladly take them.


I prefer to train alone. I used to get to quite a lot, but it is very rare that there isn't at least one other person in there these days. In fact these days I can find it a bit hard to even find a safe space to train because it is so crowded.

For me... Olympic Lifting is teaching me how to move. I try and focus all my attention on moving correctly. I'm quite a self-conscious person by nature and find it hard to tune out others. When other people are around I think I start seeing myself as I think they are seeing me, or something like that, rather than just being in the moment and feeling the movement. I also feel self conscious about practicing certain movements... Bouncing around in a squat or really working my lumbar arch or trying to pry my hips or whatever.

I've noticed that quite a few other people seem to get something out of training with others. Squats in particular. Other people yelling at them helps them move the weight. For me... What helps me move the weight the most is me being able to yell. I lose myself at some point and all there is is sheer bloodymindedness and one hell of a roar. I feel self conscious about that when other people are around and I can't find that space. I'm still finding my voice / the right attitude. Don't quite pull it off mostly. End up with a bit of a strangled squarp and I'm well aware it sounds ridiculous and is very ineffectual at moving the weights. I suppose I'll need to learn to train with others at some point...

Sometimes the gym atmosphere can be pretty cool when there are a bunch of people all doing their own thing. Couple guys in the squat racks... Someone on the bench... A couple people deadlifting or whatever... Everyone has their i-pod blasting and is mostly focused on what they are doing... But some kind of turn taking is taking place and just seeing each other person in the zone working with intensity can be motivating and helpful. Each person taking some kind of pleasure or pride in other peoples successes. Quietly, though. Maybe it is when I feel that I have personal space that isn't being invaded upon. Maybe that others are aware that I feel self-conscious when they are around so they back off in some way... Something... I'm not sure.

I expect it is a bit different for me because I am a girl and I hardly ever see other girls training. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable being spotted on squats... Other people yelling at me shifts my attention away from the bar... I'm aware of the sexualized environment... I know some guys really want me to be distracted by them and they purposely try and distract me. I don't know. At the end of the day I guess I think it should be just me and the bar. Nothing else. That is the way I want it to be, I guess.


I can't at all. My tuesday and thursday sessions are in another gym and depending on what time I get there I may be to only one in that gym. Then I just try to get over these sessions as fast as possible. Luckily I only do assistance lifts on those days.

I'm at my best when i train with other lifters. All my PRs in training have been set with my coach and/or other lifters observing and pushing me.


I am hit and miss both with and without a training partner, but when I am training with someone else, the hits are higher and the misses aren't as deep. I am pretty self-sufficient, and lift alone most of the time. My goals are mine, and that in itself motivates me to improve.


I prefer training in solitude to training in a room full of estrogen. Or a room full of people fucking around with pissant weights because they're not committed and don't care. If there's people in there who obviously have at least some inkling of what they're doing and are putting some sort of focus and mental effort into it, the energy in the room from that can be helpful on occasion, even though I still feel largely alone. I find it's a good thing to have other o-lifters around so you can push each other though. Makes for more pertinent inbetween sets chatter as well, I find.


You don't like training with women??


Not large groups of them, no. A few vaginas in and around the weight room, whatever, no big deal. But if there's a team or two of girls in there, the room starts getting a lot more giggly and high pitched (in my experience) and I don't find that to be conducive to a good training environment for me. Not to mention the distraction factor (yes, I get it, your butt looks awesome and I would do all sorts of things to it, but goddammit I'm in there to lift not ogle you in your fucking lululemon pants or volleyball shorts or whatever the hell). Although sometimes the girls can be better than the guys about not standing on my platform when I'm getting into position to lift.

I realize the above may make me sound like a chauvinistic asshole. Which maybe I am. Or maybe I'm just tired. Or maybe I just need to get laid.


Well that depends on what type of women we are talking about... I love training with hot female olympic lifters because 1) they are hot, 2) they are serious, 3) they make me lift heavier.

But on the reverse side of that, if a female soccer team comes in to go lift weights, regardless if they are all smokin' hot... then no, I would not appreciate that, because it would turn into a gossip session or they would all get the gigglies or something.


I train at the same place all the varsity athletes from my university do, so when I say teams of girls I'm talking university age field hockey, soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, etc etc girls.


For me, it depend A LOT on who I am training with. My partner shld be able to know me well enough to know the right timne to come in and spot and when to throw in those "words of engouragement", the converse is also true when I am spotting him. Otherwise, training alone would yield better result imo. I havwe more focus when I trained alone anyway.


didnt see this, yeah and if they were to start doing deadlift (stiff legged version), my numbers will be sure to go up!


didnt see this, yeah and if they were to start doing deadlift (stiff legged version), my numbers will be sure to go up!


oh fuck, didnt realise this is the olympic forum, if the OP is referring to oly lift (just started not long ago btw) then yea, I would prefer to train alone, no loud music or any other noise if I can help it, except for the sound of bumper plates on the platform of course. I find I need to focus a lot, especially on the first pull, or maybe its becos I am still learning the rope?


I wish I had more people training that are more "hardcore". A better and more competitive atmosphere.

Right now its a couple kids, another guy my age and a 24 year old girl as a "coach" who never really pushes them. She never pushed herself after all. Sinclair wise she lifts as much as me yet she's been oly lifting 14 years and probably has better technique than me. She doesn't even teach them technique much.

She just gets angry if they mess up and somehow they are supposed to figure it out on their own I guess? Except they don't care about it as much as I do so they don't try to figure things out and make the fastest progress they could. Basically its not very different than training alone.


I don't think that makes you sound like a chauvinistic asshole at all. I wouldn't like that either. I mean I don't have trouble oggling girls who are there to be oggled - but when there is a girl who is clearly there to be oggled I find it distracting - mostly because of the giggling, chatting, and getting in the way aspect of that.

There is a male equivalent that annoys the hell out of me. I don't find them hot though, lolz.

I think it is a bit sad that more girls don't train seriously.

I think girls perhaps do need to learn to push themselves a bit more than guys do. Getting properly aggressive with my lifts (something I need to do) is coming a bit hard for me. Of course smashing my knees into the platform the other day isn't exactly inspiring confidence right now...


I kinda do, too. To see what that would be like. Some of the other guys in my gym get that... But I don't seem to fit in... Because I'm a girl, I guess. Not their mate. Guess that has been made clear to me lol.

Hopefully I'll find some of that where I'm moving to... Then we'll see whether I still prefer to train on my own...

Actually, I do purposely train with a couple other people... But it is very much training in parallel with them since they are working different lifts.


I'd say focus more on technique than aggressiveness for now. I found that when I had less experience, being more aggressive and grunting and all that just made me mess up.

It sure did make me pull faster though. So unless you are too slow, I wouldn't recommend it. The 24 year old guy training at my club is pretty slow and I've suggested that he just be more aggressive. Instead that coach girl said that he should just focus on technique.

Part of the technique is speed. What's the point of doing a perfect slow pull and being slow under the bar? It's just a pull.


I gotta be more explosive with the second pull. Commit to pulling the living crap out of it instead of pulling it wussy or (what happened today) chickening out on the second pull altogether.

I got 40kg twice now...

The first time was in the club informal comp. When I missed 36kg twice (which should have been easy for me) and when they loaded up 40kg I thought it was for me (it was not) and I stomped on up there, pulled the crap out of it, and got it! Ugly as crap, though...

The second time was on Sunday when some guys were pissing me off and I miscounted and thought I only had 35kg on the bar. The first pull felt heavy but since I thought it was only 35kg I pulled the crap out of it anyway and got it!!

Typically... 40kg just won't go up. Because I don't give everything I've got to the pull. Or on the occasion when I do I don't give everything I've got to stand it up. It really is a strength max for me...

When things are going well... It is the same thing for standing up my cleans...

Gotta be more aggressive...

It is all in my head... Gotta think I can.


When my technique is okay on my warm-ups...

I think it would help me if someone got in my face and slapped me around a little or something. Know it is weird for Oly Lifting... But I need a burst of strength...