Friday, July 25, 2014

HAVE YOU BEEN SAVED: PARALLELS BETWEEN JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY AND LIFTING

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Was this quote uttered by Jesus of Nazareth or the majority of trainees?  The statement contains within in many carryovers between the beliefs held in Christianity among other western religions and those perpetuated by a great amount of lifters and gurus discovered on the internet.  In it, we are claiming that it is not the mighty, strong and worldly successful entities that are blessed by instead the unsuccessful, for it is these individuals that will one day achieve success in the face of the others.  How can we support and abide by this philosophy in the face of evidence that suggests otherwise?  As a renowned warrior poet once pontificated, you gotta have faith.

No, not him, the one that got busted for glory holing

Faith is what is needed when there is no evidence of results or pattern of observable success to reassure us.  Even though we cannot see results, nor do we understand the methods that are being ascribed to us in order to achieve results, we must still have faith that the method we are following works.  This faith is the only driving principle for many to continue down a path, for as they continue to not observe the results that they seek, they must believe that they will one day receive the reward that they are justly due as a result of their due diligence and unwavering loyalty to their faith.

We observe this in many new and unsuccessful trainee, who latch onto one method or way of thinking as the “one true path”, and despite the fact that they are not succeeding with this approach, they refuse to “abandon their faith”, and instead insist that one day, they will receive their eternal reward.  In order to stay true to the faith then, it becomes necessary for one to surround themselves with like-minded member and followers of the one true faith, while also casting out the blasphemers and sinners.  Those latter individuals are destructive to the community, for they question the validity of the faith, and in doing so weaken and destroy the faith of those who are already wavering, in turn weakening the community as a whole.  Faith necessitates reassurance, which necessitates volume.


But what exactly is a sinner?  A sinner is one who willfully strays from the one true path, acting intentionally rather than accidentally, fully aware of their transgressions.  The sinners in the community of training engage in practices that fly in the face of the upheld values and norms under the church of iron.  They willfully utilize “dangerous form”, unintelligent training practices, and in general train, act and think differently from what is accepted as the standard.  A sinner may be an atheist, refusing to worship at the altar of Rippetoe, or maybe they are simply an agnostic, not having full faith in compound movements being the only worthwhile way to train, or maybe they simply don’t keep kosher, mixing their Westside Barbell training with their raw lifting, but in all instances, they violate the faith.  Whereas a true believer is content to receive their reward in the afterlife, a sinner is concerned with glory in the present, seeking gratification in THIS life by engaging in deviance.

What is the problem with sinners?  They get results, while the faithful do not.  While the faithful continue down the path of the chosen people, enduring hardship, adversity, plague, pestilence, draught and war, the sinners never seem to encounter any sort of consequence for their deviant ways.  They defy the teachings, and in doing so grow bigger, stronger, and more successful.  The very existence of these sinners calls into question the beliefs of the followers, for how can it be that these heathens and infidels seem to receive the rewards of the just while the chosen simply suffer?  What is the answer?

If this was still legal, youtube comments would be a lot more tame

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.”  We now understand the meaning and intent behind this expression, for in it is the assurance that, though the followers are not strong now, their time will come.  This belief is based upon the notion that the reward for faith is not encountered “in this life”, but in the afterlife.  Sure, the sinners are getting bigger and stronger NOW, but just you wait.  Soon, they will get hurt, sick, injured, small, weak, disqualified, banned for life, or die as a result of their methods, because what they follow is not the “true” path.  Additionally, in the future, the true followers will be rewarded with unfathomable gains and progress, and not only will they have the assurance that they obtain these ends “legitimately”, but in doing so, they will also be free of injury, disease, or any other complications.  The followers are promised that if they ignore the gains of the sinners and just stick on the true path, they will eventually be rewarded, while the sinners, who are enjoying progress and success now, will most surely be punished.

Nietzsche has a different interpretation of this teaching, believing that what we are witnessing here is not the recipe for salvation, but instead an instance wherein the herd mentality is being explicitly conditioned within the group in order to ensure the obedience of all members, limiting the instincts that drive success and progress and instead sewing the seeds of mediocrity.  We have developed values that are simply those instincts that limit our exposure to adversity and hardship, and in doing so limit our progress.  Individualism is great for the individual, but negative for the society as a whole, and as such, whenever the possibility exists in order for a group to come together and form a unit, it becomes vital that what we consider to be “valuable” are those traits that minimize individuality and promote cohesion, and in doing so cast those who aspire to be different as “outcasts”.  We tell the meek that they are blessed because we need them to remain meek, and we demonize the strong because they destroy the society of the meek.

  
It only takes one 

We must keep in mind that the only observable reality we have at this point is that the sinners make progress following the methods that they do, while the faithful do not progress with their methods.  Anything other than this is purely speculation, and is primarily based on hope for misfortune among the successful (easily understood as simply “envy”) while at the same time fear mongering the faithful in order to ensure their obedience.  The faithful willfully choose to avoid following a path with a clearly observable pattern for success due to the fear of an uncertain and improvable future reality, for there is no guarantee that the acts of a sinner will always result in harm, but there is observable data that it WILL result in success.  Meanwhile, what they faithful DO engage in is a path wherein there is no observable pattern for success AND another improvable future reality.  There is no way for them to know that their actions will one day result in success, much like there is no way to know that the actions of the sinners will result in failure.

Additionally, we have no proof that the punishment for the sin is a result of the sin itself, and not simply the result of aging.  We are in this instance entertaining the notion of Predestination versus Free Will, in that many trainee want to believe that they have absolute and total control over their future, and that the decisions that they make today will most surely result in a desirable and predictable outcome in the future.  However, we must remember that getting older in general takes a toll on even the hardiest of men, and that there are many instances of people laying in hospital beds, dying of nothing.  Joint pain when you get older may be the result of harsh training, or it may simply be the result of aging, as I know of many older individuals who experience this pain and never deadlifted anything over 135lbs, good form or otherwise.  If we may already be doomed regardless of our choices, isn’t that even more of an incentive to make the most of THIS life and deal with the afterlife once we get there?


On the other hand, these guys must've already made a deal with the Devil to be this successful only knowing 3 chords

Fundamentally, we have arrived at a dispute between spirituality and organized religion, witnessing that once we attempt to codify and enforce an idea, we end up defeating many of the positive qualities it once had.  The “commandments” of training, like religion, were all intended as ideas meant to protect people, but once they became rules, the meaning got lost.  We lost the intent and instead fixated on the rule themselves, claiming that they were of divine origin and therefore infallible.  However, we must keep in mind that, with the presence of these rules, we do not have the power to condemn others, only to live our lives according to our beliefs.  We do not have the power to say “you are going to Hell”, as this is God’s call, much like we do not have the power to say “you WILL get injured if you do that.”  We did eat pork not because God would send us to hell, but because it contained Trichinosis, and we tell trainees not to round their backs not because a rounded back is a guaranteed risk of injury, but because a new trainee won’t be able to tell when it’s acceptable to round versus when it is not.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, for in reality, the holy and faithful are in no place to judge, for while they may live a life of purity, they still bear the original sin of lacking success.  Those that have not succeeded are in no place to judge the methods of those who have succeeded, for they are still unclean in the eyes of the gods of iron.  You must be baptized in the waters of success before you preach at the pulpit of training.  No one wants to hear a sermon from someone still waiting for enlightenment and divine inspiration, for they are just as much a lay person as those in the pews.  Until you have achieved success and “seen the light”, it is not your place to stone the infidels.


Just kind of hard to take seriously at this point

I leave you with the last words of Machiavelli.  "I desire to go to Hell and not to Heaven. In the former I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, while in the latter are only beggars, monks and apostles."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MILESTONE UPDATES


This is a non-rant related entry, but something to update my readerbase with.

This blog recently reached 100,000 views, which is way more than I ever thought I'd see.  I appreciate everyone who takes the time to come by and read what I have to write, and especially those that comment and contribute.  

Also, I recently hit some pretty big lifts.  Here is a video of a 350lb dead bench.



And here a video of a 650lb deadlift

video

I've had some issues with the blogger upload, so if the video doesn't work, here is the youtube link


Those lifts are both ugly and brutal, proving I practice what I preach, haha.


I've included a recent photo as well.  I'm a lot more fluffy than I was when I started the blog, but bigger too.


Stay tuned, entries and PRs are still on the way.  Lets keep this up for another 100k views.




Sunday, July 20, 2014

"IF IT TASTES GOOD, SPIT IT OUT”

The title of this article, a quote from legendary fitness icon Jack Lalanne, is both a great strategy for ensuring longevity, fitness, strength and badassedness along with a testament to how we as a species aren’t designed to achieve physical greatness.  Humans, by their nature, are lazy, covetous and stupid, and as a result our approval over any practice or principle is of no worth.  In fact, it is quite possibly the opposite reality, in that the very fact we as a species find something agreeable is in actuality a testament to its lacking value.  Instinctively, we will be drawn toward those ideas that appeal to our inherently flawed nature, and in turn we will reject those ideas that are founded upon toil, work, effort, and thus, success.


Prove me wrong

We cannot trust out instincts when it comes to self-improvement, for we as a species are geared to survive, not thrive.  What this entails is that we pursue optimization, seeking the maximal results for the minimal amount of effort expended.  This, however, is a receipt for mediocrity, not greatness, for greatness necessitates inefficiency, suffering, agony and injury.  Becoming bigger and stronger is an affront to our very species and nature, and in turn requires us to deny our heritage in order to become something greater than ourselves.  The positive here is that, since we have figured out survival and no longer need to concern ourselves with our basic needs like shelter, food and security (at least, I assume you have done so if you are spending time reading this blog), it means we can afford the luxuries of suffering in order to become more than human.


However, market research indicates this guy makes up 80% of my readership

We must realize that which we consider “good” ideas most likely are the ones that will not result in success.  The very fact an idea has mass appeal indicates that it lacks value, for those ideas that become popular must in turn be those ideas that appeal to the majority of humanity and thus human nature’s desire for mediocrity.  In turn, I argue that even those ideas that are advocated by successful people may be lacking if they are found favorable among the general populace, and it is in fact those few ideas that people consider “crazy” or “wrong” from successful people that are the only ideas with any value.  We may even have a very effective metric here in gauging which ideas are of any worth by simply explaining all of one’s training principles to the population and seeing which ones are agreed as being “correct” and therefore the unsuccessful principles.  What is found favorable is most likely what is holding us back, for the general population fails at getting bigger and stronger when they pursue it, so clearly to emulate their methods and ideas will result in the same.

What’s bad is now good, and we must in turn seek out the bad ideas in order to progress past those following the good ones.  We must combat our instincts, understanding that those ideas we find undesirable speak towards their value, for these are the ideas that are undesirable toward a weak and lazy creature.  Through understanding the reality of existence, we realize that there are significantly more unsuccessful people than successful, and this indicates that those ideas not readily adopted by the greatest majority in turn bear the greatest chance of actually being successful.  The very fact we think an idea is wrong is the exact reason why we should pursue it.


For instance, we all come together as a people and considered THIS a good idea

Being different from the majority necessitates acting differently from the majority.  The reason why average is “average” is because being average is easy, and it is also why those who maintain the average are so unremarkable.  Those who are successful in any endeavor are not those individuals who simply maintained the status quo for the longest period of time, but were instead those that took radically unsafe risks and wildly deviated from the gameplan everyone else was following.

What’s bad is good, and vice versa.