The conversation began in terms of how much weight could I bench press. We’ll call the trainer Al for the purposes of this blog and to protect identities. Al explained, no matter how much I thought I could bench press he personally guaranteed me that in reality I could only bench press half that. Looking at him incredibly I asked him to explain why he felt that to be true.
Al explained to me, most of the guys pushing weights in gyms all had this idea of what pushing weights looked like. He felt that on the face of it, it looked easy. Barbell up, barbell down - easy. Except Al felt it was anything but easy. Al said to me, yeah, most of the guys in the gym looked big but looking inward you’d miss the context. Al felt that the context was time. These people had been training for so long, throwing anything and everything at themselves, that eventually some stuff stuck, but if you asked them what had contributed to their growth inevitably they wouldn't really know nor understand. Al then made a bold prediction. He proclaimed that if a person truly understood what they were doing they could get big and ripped in under two years. How big I asked him, Schwarzenegger big he explained. It was at this point that Al really caught my interest.
In my mind I started doing the math and relating it back to martial arts. It is true that over the years I have met many individuals who have trained for longer than I, but occasionally some were nowhere near my level. On reflection this was often because anatomically I have a better idea of what was going on than they, and my own teacher taught me the principles and ideas behind what I was doing rather than the up - down mentality.