Saturday, April 20, 2013

EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION


Was watching this a little while ago

Definitely watch it if you get a chance.  Great video.
In it, Matt Kroczaleski says that training is "evolution, not revolution".  The idea being that you don't throw out the baby with the bathwater with your training, and instead of constantly changing everything, you use what works and throw out what doesn't.

This is a great philosophy, and one I am employing at present, but I would also expand to say that evolution cannot exist in the absence of revolution.  By this I mean that, if you are not afforded the luxury of excellent coaching and instruction from day 1, the road to getting bigger and stronger will instead be one paved with constant failure and half baked ideas.  The only way to know what works is to spend a lot of time finding out what doesn't work, and the only way to appreciate something working is to abandon it, spend time doing something that doesn't work, and then come back to it.


Your mileage may vary on potential retries


Without revolution, we're all doing 3 sets of 10 on some machine circuit.  Without revolution, we're all doing high reps for cutting, low reps for bulking.  Without revolution, we're all eating less fat to gain less fat.  The revolution doesn't just exist against conventional wisdom and dogma though, as there are many concepts that work for everyone, have tons of scientific backing and anecdotal evidence, and still just plain will not work for you.  You have to stop banging your head against the wall with this stuff and just revolt.

Like many revolutions, not everyone can be a leader.  Some must be followers.  Additionally, like many revolutions, some leaders are genuine, and some are crackpots.  If you have no knowledge or experience, you may find yourself following the latter, but having someone doing the thinking for you at least absolves you of your sins and gives you some manner of structure to utilize, which also makes it easier for you to discover principles that work and principles that don't.  You may also be fortunate and accidentally follow someone that knows what they are talking about, and be able to make some great gains along the way.


This guy seems legit


The crux of this revolution is that you have to not be afraid to fail.  Many trainees are so absolutely paralyzed by fear of doing something wrong that they simply stagnate for years and make no progress.  Tell me, is this not, in and of itself, total failure?  When nothing is working, what harm is there in going completely off the reservation and trying something that "doesn't work"?  In all honestly, failure is liberating, as it means you are no longer confined to any paradigm.  When everything is broken, you owe loyalty to no program or protocol, and can start experimenting, learning and growing.  When something is working, you owe it to yourself to stick with it until it stops, as altering a working program is just silliness.

All this having been said, once an idea has been milled from the process of revolution, it becomes necessary to utilize this in the process of evolution.  We may all start as blank slates, just stumbling around in the dark with no guidance, but eventually we discover principles, ideas and concepts.  Eventually, one is able to assemble these ideas into some semblance of a training protocol, and it is from here that we exist in the realm of evolution.  We do not change everything all at once, but instead continue trucking along with what works and making minor adjustments as we go along.  You may consider these adjustments to perhaps be "mini-revolutions" within your evolutionary process, but you must keep in mind that it's all part of a bigger plan.  This is about keeping things in perspective, as in realizing that assistance work is there to assist the primary movements, and as long as the primary movements continue improving, what you are doing IS working.

When all else fails, try anything.  When everything works, change nothing.

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