Written by Gage Reid of Nova Strength
I am a firm believer that in order to be successful or excel in Powerlifting (or any sport in general, really) you must surround yourself with like-minded people on the same mission as you. One great example of this is that if you are the strongest person in your gym, then you need to find a new gym. Being strong is great, but complacency kills and having measurable goals is key to huge totals on the platform. Louie Simmons, Owner of Westside Barbell and coined the "Godfather of Powerlifting" by many of his peers, has always been a firm believer in a strong group training atmosphere where no one is allowed to be complacent and competition amongst teammates is constantly present. Always having stronger and better lifters around you will tap into your competitive, primal instinct and you will grow--- both physically, as well as mentally. Not many people touch on the mental aspect of Powerlifting, but those who do understand the importance of training partners and the right environment. If you're in a gym where the best female lifter only has a 600lb total, then you will strive to that and plateau, but if you're in a gym where there are ladies with 1,000+ pound totals and massive lifts, you will see that the sky is the limit and most important, you will learn first hand what it takes to be one of the best.
Speaking from personal experience, I've always gone out of my way to "recruit" lifters for our team so that we can provide mutual support in terms of progressing both physically and mentally. I am a huge proponent of a group training atmosphere, much like Westside Barbell, I believe that you must be in a constant competitive environment with strong, ambitious lifters.
Many of you reading are in search of personal records, state/provincial records, national records, world records or maybe even just go in the gym to improve your lifts for no reason but to get better at lifting. Regardless of your motivation, you should surround yourself with individuals much like yourself and always aspire to be better than you were yesterday. Powerlifting has been coined a sport of inches--- a marathon, not a sprint. Nobody has broken World Records over night, but if you surround yourself with people that will push you, then you will continue to progress overtime.