Sunday, May 20, 2018

MORE THOUGHTS


-Kicking this off with a bit of genius from my wife.  Her and I both grew up with “clean plate club” parents, which was a byproduct of THEIR parents having grown up during The Depression, where food was scarce and you didn’t waste anything.  That’s a great mentality when you are starving, but when food is abundant, it’s a recipe for obesity.  We both had to learn how to get comfortable with throwing away food, just because American portion sizes are so huge.  However, my wife came up with a great way to be at peace with this.  One day, she realized that she would happily pay someone money to help her lose extra weight that was accumulated from eating all of the food on her plate,  which meant she could just cut out the middleman and “spend” that money by not eating all the food on her plate.  At that moment, the decision to simply not eat all the food on the plate was a no-brainer.

-I go through phases where I try to get leaner.  Usually it’s post competition, since I’ll have gotten a little sloppy in the prep for it, and I’ll want to cut some excess chub.  I never maintain the leaness, as I’ve found it’s hard to train hard enough to be strong on gameday while keeping it up.  However, what losing fat tends to teach me is that I DO significantly overeat when attempting to maintain a baseline.  When you start trying to cut fat and you reduce foods more and more, you’ll find that it really doesn’t take a lot of food to live, train and work. Guys that lift heavy wanna hop on board the “lift big/eat big” train, but it’s just a meme.  And unless you are a high school athlete, or a 400lb strongman, you can probably get by with a diet full of clean calories.  And if you wanna pretend like you don’t know what I mean when I say “clean eating”, you’re being a child.

-Speaking of children, I’ve said it before, but liquid calories are probably the biggest issue with childhood obesity.  I do say this with a case study of 1 individual, but it’s one thing I don’t allow my kid, and otherwise it’s pretty unrestricted as far as food goes.  My kid will naturally stop eating sweets/junk once they reach satiated, but on the VERY rare instances that we allow chocolate milk (something like Thanksgiving), they’ll try to drink the whole carton.  I knew I grew up chubby, and was sucking down kool-aid every chance I got.  We see this in adults too, with super sugary coffee beverages, energy drinks, alcohol, etc.

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This isn't coffee.  Quit telling yourself it is.

-After a 5 year break, I’ve started doing front squats again.  No harness, no rack position, just doing the arms crossed thing, because screw it.  Using it as a finisher on deadlift days, doing rest pausing and dropsets.  It’s working well enough, and I’m not getting the stupid amount of soreness that I used to when I did this with buffalo bar squats, most likely because the weight is lighter.

-I am at the point where I’ve trained in the AM for so long that PM workouts feel like cheating.

-I am constantly baffled at trainees looking to “increase testosterone” with whatever ways they can.  When did being an amateur endocrinologist be a thing?  At least the guys running gear are at peace with what they are doing, but all these kids trying to “naturally maximize testosterone levels” are simply baffling. 

-On the above, here’s a thought; maybe instead of trying to maximize your testosterone levels, you can try to get better results by working harder? 

-Only people with a surplus of free time think sleep, meal timing and training timing are important.

-I still think dips are the greatest assistance exercise for upperbody pressing.  And I probably think that because they require zero set-up.

-We gravitate to the lifters and coaches that resonate with ourselves.  I like folks like Kroc, Jon Anderson, Steve Pulcinella, etc, that are much more about the mental fortitude and philosophy behind training and far less concerned about the numbers and programming.  More cerebral types like Tuchscherer, Sheiko, Shaw, guys that are super meticulous about the details.  That’s not at all surprising, but what one SHOULD observe from this is that all of those dudes are great athletes/coaches, which means the methods all work.  The issue people run into is when they try to shoe-horn a method that doesn’t fit them because they’re under the impression it’s the best method.

-On the above, everyone is so concerned about being optimal.  Try shooting just for “good”, and then be good for 10 years.  You will be leaps and bounds ahead of the dude that has been shifting their program every 2 months in the search for the MOST optimal way to train.

-I swear to god I will have an aneurysm if I see one more person ask for a form check on face pulls.

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I mean, yeah, sure, I guess

-“Strengthlifting” is the new hottest thing on the market.  It’s like a powerlifting meet, except you strict press instead of bench, and sumo deadlifts aren’t allowed.  Oh yeah, also, you weigh OUT, instead of in, which is to say, you don’t get weighed until the competition is over.  So wait, you mean to tell me I don’t know what weightclass I’m in until the competition is over?  Which is to say, I don’t know who I am COMPETING against until the competition is over?  Jesus Christ, internet powerlifting has gotten ridiculous.  Remember when lifters used to compete against each other, and the goal was to win the MEET with the best total, no set some stupid obscure one off record for one lift?  How can no one see how ridiculous this is.  This isn’t a sport.

-I have no idea why I want the S-cubed bar from Ironmind.

-Ok guys, the American flag on the wall in the gym.  I don’t get this.  It’s always in front of the squat rack.  You’re either going to spit or fart on the American flag during an intense set.  I figure anyone hanging one of these babies up is meaning to present as a patriot, but that seems to be the opposite effect.  There is a reason I have a jolly rogers instead.

-There are kids in high school right now lifting weights with the dream of one day being a youtube fitness guru.  Goddamn we have fallen so far.

-Hey all you “hook grip master race” folks; go deadlift an axle.

-For the love of god people, it’s “5/3/1”, not “Wendler’s 5/3/1”.  Jim didn’t need to put his name on the program.  You wouldn’t call it “Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven” just because some garage band in Iowa did a cover of it once.

-You can tell someone is new when they want to compare programs, movements, diets, etc.  When you’ve trained long enough, you’ll have inevitably tried them all.  Just wait; you’ll get your turn.

-If you have to ask “how come there is no max row/pull up progression in this program?”, you aren’t strong.

-People will spend 3 years trying to figure out what is the best program to run for the first 12 weeks of their lifting careers.

-Maybe my time is more valuable than others, because when it comes to finding out about how to run a program, I’d rather spend $10 on the e-book written by the author that literally explains every single part of the program and sets you up for success than spend 27 hours scouring the internet for every forum post and “free” piece of information I can find.  Folks, if you’re only making $10 an hour, you just “spent” $270 for your “free” advice that is just plain awful.  And this is to say NOTHING of all the time you’ll waste running the program wrong and having to correct it.

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Alternatively, they'll follow a program written by a person who never actually existed

-The more I hear about the Vertical Diet, the more I wonder how the Hell people were eating BEFORE it came out.  “Dude, it’s all about NOT eating the things that upset your digestion.”  Why did you just not eat those things BEFORE someone told you to do it?  I know I don’t like having digestion issues, and if something gives me gas or bloating or runny stools, I quit eating it.  “Nah man, it’s all about focusing on getting your nutrients in first and then getting all the protein and carbs you need from good sources”  You mean eating like an adult?  I seriously don’t understand.  And this isn’t to slam Stan a tall, because it IS a diet that makes sense, but that’s the thing; why did people need permission from Stan before they stopped eating food they didn’t like?

-Why do people take the time and money to hire a personal trainer or coach only to post their routines online and ask random strangers if their coach is right?  Of course, I say this, but f**k me people will do the same thing with medical advice from their doctor.

-I am pretty sure MHP no longer makes their old formula for “Up Your Mass”, and it saddens me far more than it should.

-I have told my wife that she has to talk me off the ledge about running my own strongman show, because I’m at the point where I have enough gear in my garage to make it happen.

-I guess all these people super concerned about frequency of movements never ran Westside Barbell, or DoggCrapp, or any John Meadows program, or a bodypart split, or HIT, or any of the other millions of examples out there of folks getting big and strong not doing the same 3 lifts 3 times a week.

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*Psh* What could he know about getting big and strong? I'll get my advice from the internet, thanks.

-Sometimes I think I do things just to prove that they CAN work.

-I love this quote from Jim Wendler.  “You can always tell a trainee is new because they want to deadlift more frequently.  It’s the lift you can move the most weight on, so they like it the most.  You ask a new trainee what their favorite lift is and they say ‘deadlifts!’  You ask a guy who has been around for a while and he says ‘I don’t know man, I hate them all.”

-I had a reader contact me the other day asking if they could send me some money as something of a “thanks” for all I’ve written.  I definitely appreciated the sentiment, but I don’t write for money.  This blog is incredibly selfish, and it’s just a chance for me to practice my writing and get my thoughts out.  If anyone out there is wanting to spend money and give me thanks, go buy a NEVERsate shirt or program from Brian Alsruhe.  He is unquestionably the most positive force out there in the lifting world right now, and deserves way more than he gets.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

I HOPE YOU CHOKE


I hope you choke.  I wish misfortune upon you.  I hope you snap and break, that you fail, that you suffer defeat and that it all falls apart right in front of your eyes.  I hope you experience unfathomable pain, misery, torment and anguish.  Why?  Because the only way to experience this is to completely overreach.  To way exceed your capabilities and limitations and go completely beyond the scope of your abilities.  To actually have finally pushed yourself so hard that you break.  In short, I hope that you bite off more than you can chew, and as such, I hope you choke.

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There are worse ways to go

People wish for success for others, and it’s the complete wrong direction to hope for.  Success breeds stagnation.  Successful people are too content.  Failure motivates change.  It is the catalyst for improvement.  And the people that do everything possible to avoid failure are in turn simply and ironically failing at a much grander level.  They refuse to experience failure to the point that they simply never try hard enough to be able to fail, which in turn means not enough to succeed either.  They live lukewarm existences free of pain, misery, and anguish…but also free of the thrill of victory and the elation of overcoming.

Make no mistake; I am praying for your demise.  This isn’t some cheesy “darkest before the dawn” sort of thing.  I’m hoping that the dawn comes and inflicts a vicious sunburn on you that eventually gets infected and causes you to die.  I’m hoping that you choke; not that you eventually spit out what you bit off.  But why?  Because to reach that point, you’ll have had to have broken through a LOT of different plateaus and barriers.  To reach the point where you reach has FINALLY exceeded your grasp, you’ll have passed by a ton of people still refusing to even try.  You’ll surpass many self-imposed limitations and restrictions and governors people put on themselves simply out of fear, and you’ll evolve into something far superior.

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This would be a good start

And then you will expire.  Make no mistake about it: you will be the cause of your own demise.  But man, what power huh?  That is the absolute peak of power: to be able to control one’s own destiny.  To not be a victim of fate, but instead the one at the reigns.  The one who dictates and decides the future.  You crumble and fail and ultimately die, but by your own hand, on your own terms.  A violent death, facing off against dragons and demons you have absolutely no business whatsoever facing, compelled only by your own hubris and the believe that nothing is beyond your own abilities.  Doesn’t that seem so much more satisfying than peacefully expiring in your bed, slowly dying of absolutely nothing?

This is the consequence of pursuing greatness; it WILL consume you.  You are a human, which makes you a finite being.  You have an expiration date stamped on you from birth.  You will hit a peak, after which time you will simple become worse and worse until you eventually expire.  If you spend your existence constantly pushing the envelope, one day it will push back.  But the thing is, this will happen regardless.  The only difference between the person chasing greatness and the person chasing mediocrity is that the latter will get to do it for longer…but why would you want to?  What could possibly be your motivation to rack up some sort of high score for longest amount of time spent accomplishing nothing?  Yeah, if you chase a 700lb bench, you’re probably going to get stapled and crushed in your 40s or 50s when the strength reaper eventually says “no”, but at least you made it that far, rather than waiting to expire at the age of 90 because you slipped in the bathtub, broke your hip and died. 

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Or then there's this

At least if you choke it means you tried to bite off more than you could chew.  At least if you fail, it means you were trying to succeed.  No one cares about an undefeated record if it also contains no wins and no losses, and a guy who steps in the ring with a record of 0 wins and 400 defeats is a goddamn warrior, because nothing stops that person.  There is nothing more terrifying than a human with no quit in them, because you legitimately do not know what they are capable of.  Their max potential has yet to be realized, and you are watching it unfold in front of you as they fail, fall, get crushed, and get right back up and try again and again.  As they keep biting off more chunks and painfully swallowing them before moving onto the next bigger bite. 

It’s why I hope you choke.  Wish peace on your enemies, so that they never grow into the unstoppable monster you will one day be.  Wish joy on those that hold you back.  Pray for the safety of those you despise.  Hope for them no opportunities to overcome and grow strong.  Take it all for yourself, and grow into something hideous.  Become an affront to all that is good and pure and beautiful, because you will in turn be strong.  And when people see what you choked on, they will be disgusted you ever took such a big bite in the first place, because the thought to do so will have never crossed their mind.