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Training At Every Level

"A beginner does eight repetitions of a certain exercise with his maximum weight on the barbell. As soon as it hurts, he thinks about stopping. I work beyond this point, which means I tell my mind that as soon as it starts aching it is growing. Growing is something unusual for the body when you are over eighteen. The body isn’t used to ten, eleven, or twelve reps with a maximum weight. Then I do ten or fifteen sets of this in a row. No human body was ever prepared for this and suddenly it is making itself grow to handle this new challenge, growing through this pain area. Experiencing this pain in my muscles and aching and going on is my challenge. The last three or four reps is what makes the muscles grow. This area of pain divides a champion from someone who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens. I have no fear of fainting. I do squats until I fall over and pass out. So what? It’s not going to kill me. I wake up five minutes later and I’m OK. A lot of other athletes are afraid of this. So they don’t pass out. They don’t go on."

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