Something really cool happens when rank beginners are working out in the same room with more advanced (and even professional) athletic folks who are extremely fast and strong. The advanced folks lead the way because they generally know what hell they are doing. The stakes are very high for them. They invest an incredible amount of time and effort in their training. They tend to work with professional, certified and experienced coaches who have a history of success.
I often witness high school kids and older folks who have been going to gyms for years. Most of their workouts consists of isolating limb movements like biceps curls, or leg extensions completed in fancy looking fitness machines. You see them doing the same exercises day in and day out. For the ones who are really dedicated, you’ll see them complete a sequence like this: bench press, incline press, decline press – 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions, on “chest day” – month after month, over and over and over again. When they arrive at our gym, they can often be seen staring quizzically at the athletes and others who doing an entirely different regimen. They sometimes inquire: why aren’t those people doing more curls? Why are they always in those big racks?
In the correct environment, these folks quickly snap out of it. They see the bigger, stronger guys and ladies in awesome shape who are dead-lifting, benching, squatting, doing heavy pulls, box jumping and practicing all kinds of proven methods and principles. They also witness them write down everything, with constant attention to the empirical notation of improvement in the number of repetitions, resistance and speed. They are curious. They want to follow and many quickly do just that.
Now, you need a very civilized room here. You need a place where new folks are first shown their way around, taught the basic free weight barbell exercises and provided with explanation as to why they work. It should also be a room where the really strong folks are not ego-maniacs but are free to lift to their limits and beyond with the right equipment and atmosphere.
I first heard Louie Simmons speak about this in regard to power-lifting, where world champions at his famous Westside Barbell Club are training beside rank novices. This no doubt will help to allow those new folks to reach their full potential. It’s totally true and it makes for a hyper-productive, supportive, and positive team based atmosphere. In other words, a place to where people look forward to going and being.
The blind are not following the blind. People with real insights who are always learning are sharing their knowledge and everyone – especially beginners – absolutely benefits. No time or effort is wasted and all are training optimally toward their goals. That is, goals which are measurably and most certainly being attained.