Saturday, January 24, 2015


Humans will always seek a way to justify their nature as not only acceptable, but in fact preferable and ideal.  This of course comes into conflict with the reality that we are a flawed species and our nature is contemptible, such to the point that it is only those that rise above human nature that are worth emulating.  We seek this justification of our natures because it is far easier to simply convince ourselves that we are the ideal than to instead change ourselves INTO the ideal.  Oddly enough, it is this laziness that is crucial to our flawed nature, and in turn many trainees attempt to transform this laziness into a manifestation of being “hardcore”.

We have all seen this delusion before.  At present, it’s very en vogue to not engage in direct ab training under the premise that “squats and deadlifts will train the core”.  Not only do these trainees claim that they do not need to engage in direct ab training, but they scoff at those who do, because surely these trainees just aren’t squatting and deadlifting heavy enough to get a good ab workout.  I ask you dear reader, on what planet is it hardcore to do LESS work?  Wouldn’t the real warrior be able to squat and deadlift heavy while ALSO employing some heavy and intense direct ab work?  Why is it the case that geared powerlifters, who put on their backs hundreds of pounds more than their raw maxes must engage in intense ab work to be able to support such a load?  Shouldn’t it be the case that simply squatting such heavy weights is more than enough to build up an incredibly strong core?

I suppose we could draw the conclusion that his abs got strong enough to do this from squats...if we were stupid

What of those trainees who refuse to engage in any sort of grip training?  Why is it that these are always the same trainees that bemoan the necessity of getting in “grip work” on NON-grip exercises?  These same individuals belittle lifting straps and those who employ them under the premise that it’s not “hardcore”, but when it comes time to do some grippers, plate pinches, static holds, etc etc, they are nowhere to be found.  They get their grip work from deadlifting, doing rows, doing chins, essentially, from NOT training their grip, and in turn, they develop weak grips.  Meanwhile, those that actually care about developing an impressive grip recognize the value in conserving their energy on the non-direct work so that they can really focus when the time comes.  Those that care about being stronger know they need to work MORE, not less.

This guy is going to feel pretty silly when he realizes how weak his grip is getting

Direct arm work receives double the disdain from the fake hardcore crowd, for not only is this a chance to justify laziness as superiority, but additionally an opportunity to espouse one’s lacking vanity and condescend those who desire physical improvement.  Curls are used as a punchline by those with pipe cleaner arms who speak of the benefits of chins and pressing for total arm development, while those trainees who actually possess enviable arms in terms of strength AND development understand the value of direct training.  Every successful strongman, arm wrestler, highland games competitor or any other strength athlete will dedicate time to direct arm work, for what sense does it make to allow yourself to have weaknesses when the goal is to be stronger?  Meanwhile, those who scoff at direct training will continue to achieve nothing while awarding themselves the accolades of being hardcore.

"Lol, curls, am I right guys?"

I recall an age when being hardcore was classified by how MUCH people trained rather than by how little.  We whispered of trainees who spend 3, 4, 5, even 6 hours a day, training marathon sessions, with no muscle group spared.  We admired those who competed in multiple sports and athletic endeavors, being well rounded and capable.  Athletes who were big, fast, strong, swift and tough, who ate nails and bled battery acid.  Why did we turn our admiration to the unaccomplished?  Why did we decide to praise those who train so little and accomplish just as much?  Is it because it’s simply easier to lower the bar than to rise above it?

Bring back hardcore for real.  

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