Sunday, July 20, 2014


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.  


  1. You know, it took me forever to figure this out because HIT and paleo had me convinced I could be effortless lean, strong, and muscular, and while you can stay healthy and not obese with relatively little worry, it's amazing how much suffering it takes just to even reach mediocrity, much less surpass it.

    1. Isn't it odd in turn how popular those approaches are? In a similar topic, my most recent deadlift video got posted on another forum and I am watching the majority opinion tear it apart, and all I can do is smile. It is amazing how no one wonders why it is that they all hold the same opinion on the right way to do something yet none of them are succeeding. From the outside, it seems obvious, but when you are in the circle, it blinds you.

  2. I saw your deadlift and immediately thought "oh no, he should deload back to the bar and work on form", as a joke in my head, and lo and behold. What is funny is those approaches have actually try to foster the opposite attitude, like "everyone is working out 4-5 a week and eating grains, and that's why they are fat and out of shape", so they use it as a selling point even as they become conventional ways of thinking.

    One thing you learn real quick though is to discount almost everyone's opinion except actually strong and experienced lifters who aren't keyboard jockeys, those are the guys that convinced me to train more often, to train the "Anello hinge" on the deadlift that would make more trainers shit themselves in fear, and step up my diet game.

    1. Exactly. The fear of straining and therefore lack of ever pushing out of the comfort zone has condemned many trainees to a life of mediocrity. We keep thinking that the solution MUST be the method, but really, it's the amount of effort which is applied toward the method.

      People talk about so many trainees that are "stupid", and only succeed because of genetics, because they clearly don't know the "smart" way to train, not even realizing that these trainees are the real genius here, because they learned that intensity beats intelligence about 99% of the time.

    2. Also incredibly true, I did a 12 week dedicated cut where all I cared about was losing weight, even stopped doing low bar squats, all I cared about was diet and hitting my reps in training, which consisted entirely of 10-8-6's, and lo and behold, I ended up PR-ing my squat, bench, and deadlift, while being 20lbs lighter.

      And everyone still keeps telling me to cut, not to bother with variations, etc etc. Turns out intensity and focus on *something* is better for powerlifting than focusing on powerlifting but half assing it.

    3. telling me to bulk*, I mean. because there's no way you can build strength while cutting, they tell me.

    4. Hahaha, I love that one. You hear it so much online. My dad always taught me "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right".

      Great story with the cut. We need more of those.