It's not every day that a summer intern is also a former athlete I've been lucky enough spend 5 years working with. Here is the story I've asked Alex Lashkari to share about his 5 years of growth with me within and outside of the walls of 1RM Performance. If you're a coach and read this, you'll know just how special it is to actually sit back and see in words the impact that you've had on a kids life. I go to sleep each night looking forward to the next day in the gym. This is exactly why!
Training at 1RM Performance for the past 5 years has influenced me far beyond the gym. Late into my sophomore year of high school I met Bobby through a teammate of mine and quickly became fond of everything that 1RM represented. As many new members of the gym can attest to, initial experiences with Bobby can be very humbling as well as revealing. Unfortunately, the epic lifts done during weight training P.E. do not translate the same at 1RM.
In my case, half-squatting 4 plates during baseball weight training class was something I was very proud of at the time. This was all until I started training at 1RM. I would quickly learn I had poor squatting form, ridiculous muscle imbalances, and really no chance of properly squatting anything close to 4 plates at all. I was in for a major reality check that grounded me throughout high-school and the present.
As Bobby likes to say, “If it looks like crap, smells like crap, then it’s probably crap.” I don’t find this expression to be harsh now because it was totally true. The whole basis of my strength training before joining 1RM was a self-taught, pumping-iron inspired, freestyle. Very simply as the meathead I was, I would only hit chest and shoulders including gross amounts of pec flys, side raises, and shoulder presses; and arms too of course. Legs and back were rarely worked out because 1. my back would always flare up, 2. they were harder for me and 3. i just didn't think they were fun. Long story short, I was wrong, wrong, and more wrong. With every workout, Bobby would completely expose my weaknesses and show me just how much functional strength I lacked. Fast Forward to today, and i'm squatted and deadlifting without limitations, and my back strength can rival Bobby's.
My time in the gym has been a humbling, yet lively experience to say the least. The high standards of the gym forced me to objectively re-evaluate myself, and everything that I thought was correct. I felt more of an obligation to be truthful with myself and put forth my best efforts in all aspects of my life. As I go through college, I now realize that I actually know very little, and that everyday is a chance to learn and strive for betterment. After nearly 5 years of training at 1RM, nothing has changed except for a small relocation across the street, and I’m swole now. Bobby’s standards remain high as ever, his training is continually evolving, and he is still quick to call me out as if it were my first time training at the gym. Besides pushing weight, this gym emphasizes doing things the right way, completing tasks to one’s fullest abilities, and never folding against what seems to be hard. The demand for effort and integrity are what mold 1RM athletes in and outside of the gym.
Now working as an intern at 1RM, I’ve found myself to be very influenced by Bobby and the principles he abides by. Working with athletes in the same position as once myself has shown me the unique power this gym holds in these young athletes’ journeys. As I approach my junior year of college, I hope to pursue a career in medicine where I can interact and help people. Though the gym is no medical practice, the movement work Bobby does with his athletes helps rehabilitate, correct, and optimize a bodies potential. From my own experiences with awfully impinged shoulders and a mega-tight back, I am very appreciative for the amount of one-on-one time Bobby spent helping me fix my compensations, improving my knowledge of training in the gym, and teaching me what it takes to be successful inside and out of the gym. One day I hope I can also positively impact people’s lives the same way mine was. As I write this article and reflect on my time at 1RM, I’m grateful for the guidance and influence the gym and Bobby have provided me on my own journey.