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Old Friend, New Training Partner

Random pic of Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) never hurt anybody…

I was driving a few weeks ago and decided to give an old friend, Kyle Kintner, a call.

Kyle and I had known one another since at least the 5th grade, went to the same high school and college, and have always kept in touch here and there. He had moved away when he got married though and I had just recently heard that he moved back into the area, so I gave him a ring to see what was up.

We chatted for a few minutes and before hanging up I invited him to come up and lift with me if he ever was in the neighborhood and had the interest. Kyle’s job takes him all over the county and when I described where I lived, he said that he drives by multiple times a week, he just didn’t know where I lived or else he would have stopped in sooner.

I live in a small town and admittedly don’t get out much, nor do I really want to, since I’d rather hang around with my family, but that situation makes it hard to find a training partner. I thought I picked one up last Fall, but the Winter hit and he disappeared just as the Arnold Classic Mighty Mitts was coming up, so I was back to training alone again.

It’s one thing to train alone. It’s something altogether different to start to depend on somebody during a workout and then as the start time for the session approaches the guy is late every time or just plain doesn’t show up.

So, I had made the overture to Kyle, like I have done countless times to friends and people I meet who have a history of training, but wasn’t sure what to expect as far as a follow-up response.

To my surprise, however, Kyle texted me back about training the very next day. He said his rounds were bringing me back by my house and that he’d like to train and try out some of the stuff I was doing.

I was even more pleased that when Kyle showed up he came ready to throw down. Kyle was always an athlete, setting the Pole Vault record in high school and earning a scholarship to college for his track and field prowess, and he brought that same athleticism to the gym – it was an awesome workout right off the bat, and he said he hadn’t used free-weights in a workout for years because he owned a Bowflex, but it was hard to tell by watching him throw the weight around.

In a Grip sense, he was also very impressive, getting partial lifts on 5-Tens-Pinch and 2-35’s-Pinch.

For some reason, I wasn’t smart enough to film our first few lifts together (we’ve been hitting it for about a month now) but I did grab the camera last week and I put together a highlight video.

Some of the stuff we did:

1. Overhead Push Jerks and Presses

Kyle is a naturally powerful athlete. We would train together in college occasionally and he would almost always match me in the Olympic lift variations we would do. To this day he is still able to move the weight fast.

2. Incline Bench

Our previous two workouts, we hit flat bench, so we made sure to switch it up a bit. I don’t have an adjustable bench, so we sat one end of the bench up on a stack of bumper plates. Works great.

3. Grip Training

We did Adjustable Thick Bar and various forms of Plate Pinching. I got a good lift with either hand on 2-45’s-Pinch and Kyle got his first full lifts on film with 5-Tens-Pinch.

3. Biceps and Triceps

This was kind of a De-load Workout, if you can call it that, because we had been killing upper body so hard, but we made sure to stick some Curls and Push-downs in there for good measure. We hit some volume sets, and then I went for the “All important 1-rep maximum bicep curl,” aiming for as strict of form as possible i.e. The Vigeant Curl Challenge, and I matched my best ever mark of 75-lbs with either hand. I must say that this time it felt much better on my elbows, as the last time I had a touch of elbow pain, but my preventive work that I share in Fixing Elbow Pain has been working very well.

I didn’t film the Tricep work because my machine is in the storage room adjacent to the garage and it is scary in there.

Training with Kyle has been great. He is Intense and brings it hard every workout. He gets in my face, picks up on form and technique errors, and even has the balls to mention them, plus the biggest benefit of them all is that Kyle is supportive. You might not hear it in the video, but he gives the little cheers you want to hear before big attempts. That is the kind of thing I have been missing for years in my training.

I will close this post by saying this…

You don’t NEED a partner in order to have a good workout or to get stronger. Since 2008 when I began training alone, I have never had a steady partner for more than a few months.

So if you are using the excuse “I don’t have a partner, so I can’t train,” then that is complete hog wash. Get in there and get some work done, partner or not.

However, I do plan on getting Kyle fully immersed in the Grip Life, and I am hoping to get him to help me try some drills I have been meaning to try for some time with the Inch Dumbbell but haven’t had anyone with me strong enough to do them. It should go well.

Stay tuned for more developments, as I am sure Kyle is going to learn fast and with time progress nicely.

All the best in your training,


P.S. I also plan on getting Kyle involved in some Strongman Training. I will of course work him in slowly.

If you want to introduce Strongman Training to your program, or that of your athletes, make sure to do it the right way with the right technique.

Our DVD, Introduction to Strongman Training will help nicely.

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4 Responses to “Old Friend, New Training Partner”

  1. Rick Walker Says:

    Good to hear bud. Over all the years and all the training partners I have had come and go, I enjoy training with my wife the most. In about 10 years, I will have 3 boys that will give me some SERIOUS competition as well!


  2. John Says:

    Glad you found a new training partner bro!
    When are you gonna bring back the Grip Challenges? I live in a remote part of Europe and would love to compete online.

  3. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Yes, unfortunately, his company just put him on 24-hour shifts, so it si going to be tough to get the chance to train with him for a while. I will keep everyone updated.


  4. Jedd Johnson Says:

    There ya go man. That is going to be a great time.


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