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So You Think You Train Hard?

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[…] At the moment my focus was on my 16-year-old client Jared. He had 10 weeks left before football practice started, so I was training him four mornings a week with the goal of adding as much quality muscle as possible before he started those brutal three-hour practices under the blazing August sun in the stifling humidity of a Massachusetts summer. I had talked him into waiting to compete in bodybuilding until next year, for a couple reasons. First of all, I didn’t think he was truly ready. Jared had a good build, but I knew that with another year he could look a lot more impressive. Second, he would be up against 18- and 19-year-olds in a teenage class, and there is a big difference physically for most young guys between 16 and 19. I wanted him to do well his first time out, and holding off one more year would increase his chances for success.

Just about everybody thinks that he or she trains hard, but most people don’t even know what that really means.

So there we were, putting Jared through the rigors of a tough leg workout. He had already done squats and stiff-legged deadlifts, and now he was on the new seated leg curl machine our gym had acquired in the spring. Management had actually gotten rid of a lot of older machines (some of which I had liked a lot, dang it!) for a new line that had you rocking back and forth as you lifted and lowered the resistance—kind of like amusement park rides. I often thought that each machine should have a sign in front of it: "You must be X tall to ride the leg extension (or whatever it was)."

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