Sunday, September 14, 2014


Here is a fun game to play at home: find any article on training that allows for comments, look at when the article was posted and then compare that time when the first dissenting comment appeared.  In most cases, this will be a difference measureable in minutes, and despite how amicable one may attempt to phrase the comment, the understanding is the same: I read through this and disagreed with it within seconds of doing so.

"*Psh*, I bet the author never even READ a Russian study on lifting."

What this indicates is a lack of even being willing to entertain the ideas of the author.  No time whatsoever was invested in actually absorbing or understanding the thoughts of the writer, or trying to earnestly reconcile the ideas presented with the ones one presently holds.  Instead, it is evident that the reader was doing their best to combat cognitive dissonance by rapidly employing every defense mechanism they had access to.  Justification, rationalization, pointing out of logical fallacies, appeals to exceptions, appeals to authority, etc etc, they all shine through as a reader points out just how wrong the author is to challenge their beliefs.

You need to be honest with yourself: if you have no intention of having your views changed, it does you no good to read something with an absolute closed mind.  If you ARE willing to learn or at least entertain different ideas, it behooves you to spend at the least a few hours milling over what you have read before you come to a definite conclusion on just how wrong it is.  Rarely is it the case that someone is 100% wrong on the subject, and in most cases you can actually gain some incredibly brilliant insight from even the most unlikely of sources.  It requires us to ignore our mind’s attempt to protect our current beliefs by screaming out objections and actually being willing to consider the views of others.

Not the best posture for learning

On this topic as well, we must understand that, when analyzing the words of those who are successful, we should examine what it is that most those authors different from us, not the same.  So many times when an author comes out with some comprehensive article on their approach to training, the reading audience is only receptive to the parts that speak to what they already hold to be true.  George Leeman is one of the shinning examples out there right now, were readers are willing to accept his philosophy on training hard, hitting big lifts, eating big, etc, but as soon as he talks about training high reps for strength and only using partial rep ranges, all the justifications in the world come out.  “Oh, he can manage that because he’s a freak/on drugs/right genetics/etc etc”, in essence throwing out the only part of George’s advice that we can actually attribute to WHY he is successful.  Everyone else on the internet is training hard, hitting big lifts, eating big, and many of them are also on drugs, and yet almost none of them are enjoying the same success that George is.  Why is it that we assume it is the things he does that are the same that are resulting in his success, rather than what is different?

On the topic of following the trend of success, why not compare the results of the author with the results of the reader. In many cases, the reader who is the first to point out how “wrong” the author is has never personally experienced any actually success in their own training.  They have lived off of a diet of all the “right” things, and yet, for some reason, aren’t getting the right results.  This is due to the fact that they require the support of volume rather than success, and in turn seek those things that are repeated ad nasuem by the population of other non-successful trainees, rather than instead being willing to listen to something that only gets mentioned in select instances by the elite.  These are the same people that come on to forums asking for someone to give them some links so that they can PROVE some guy at the gym wrong about high reps vs low reps, because now that they have encountered resistance to their viewpoints and do not possess any degree of self-confidence, they must once again be reassured about their decisions.  The successful do not require reassurance, their success is self-evident.

When you're the baddest man on the planet, you get to eat all the ice cream you want

If you catch yourself reading something, and your first response is to reply “yeah, but”, stop.  Allow the information to fully process, see if you can gain something from the exchange, and realize that most likely the author already had the thoughts you are having now, and still felt that what they were presenting was valid even despite that.  See if you can figure out why.

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