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Q: Can you make it to the highest levels of bodybuilding without a training partner?

Q: Do you believe that someone can make it to the highest levels of bodybuilding while training without a partner? I desperately want to compete successfully within the next few years, but my job forces me to train in the middle of the night—so a partner is pretty much out.

A: The answer is a resounding yes. You most certainly can be a successful high-level bodybuilding competitor while training all by yourself. Of course there are obvious disadvantages to flying solo in the gym, like not being able to use forced reps and other intensity techniques and having to stop short of failure on exercises like bench presses, leg presses and squats—but it certainly does not mean that you can’t still kick your own butt, my friend!

While I have had several amazing training partners over the years, I have lifted on my own for most of my career and have won my share of titles, earned pro status and even graced the cover of this very magazine. The keys to hitting the weights all by your lonesome lie in choosing the right exercises, picking intensity amplifiers that do not require the aid of a partner (cheat reps, X Reps, rest/pause, supersets, drop sets, etc.) and, most important, learning to be self-motivated, able to foster the necessary drive/passion to push yourself to your outer limits.

In other words, partner or not, when it comes to bodybuilding, it’s the individual who is (truly) singularly responsible for his/her own success or failure. In fact, I can honestly say that my most intense, gut wrenching, balls-to-the-wall workouts have occurred while training by myself with music blasting in my ears and no knowledge of anything going on around me. So stop worrying about not having a partner and embrace facing the daily battle with the weights on your own. Your greatest ally in the gym is none other than you.


Solo Pec-Punisher

Flat-bench dumbbell

presses (drop) 2 x 7-9(4-6)


Incline dumbbell flyes 2 x 10-12

Bodyweight dips 2 x max

Hammer Strength incline

presses (rest/pause) 2 x 7-9;
rest 15 seconds, max reps;
rest 30 seconds, max reps

—Eric Broser


Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at


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