Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I read a great quote the other day, and I wish I could remember who said it because it’s completely on point.  “Questions about programming are just asking for permission”.  If you browse any forum dedicated toward lifting, about 100% of the time, anytime someone is asking a question about a program, they are simply seeking the permission to perform an action.  In some cases, they disrespect the author directly, like Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 forum on t-nation wherein kids wonder why Jim built such a stupid program, and in other cases people seek the approval of strangers on the modification of someone elses’ program, but the end is still the same.

Image result for jim wendler
I mean, what could this guy know about getting bigger and stronger anyway?

Why do we seek permission?  Because it alleviates us of the responsibility should our idea fail.  We no longer need to assume the blame for our terrible ideas, as we have received the permission and blessing from an outside agency to proceed.  CLEARLY, it is the case that these authority figures have betrayed us, and it is their folly that led us astray, not our own.  We cannot be at fault, for we did everything we were “supposed” to do.

It is this fleeing from personal accountability that is hindering our progress.  As much as many claim to appreciate the psychological joy of “trusting the program”, it is evident that the trust is merely lip service in this instance.  Doubt still permeates one’s mind in all of their training actions, and they hold themselves back because they refuse to dedicate themselves full tilt toward making substantial progress.

 Image result for bungee jumping
This seems daring until you realize it's a suicide attempt: now it's just non-committal 

Quit asking permission and just do it.  Whatever crazy idea you have, try it without asking if it will work or not.  Most likely, if you believe it’s going to work, and you kill yourself in the weightroom trying to make it work, it will.  Additionally, if you DON’T believe it will work, it most likely won’t. 

Before there was the internet, before there were forums full of beginners, before there was a recommended reading list for everyone and a steady diet of “5x5” was the only recommendation ever, trainees just did stuff.  If you had an older sibling or relative, you probably did what they did.  If you had a coach, you did what they told you to do.  If you were on your own, you just winged it.  And yet, somehow, despite a lack of scientific studies that clearly indicated the exact rep range that promoted hypertrophy along with a maconutrient spreadsheet that dictated down to the exact calorie how much and what to eat, people made phenomenal progress figuring this stuff out on their own. 

I mean...how did he know if he had anterior pelvic tilt without the internet?

There is zero consequence for failure in lifting.  This is something beginner trainees don’t understand.  Engaging on a plan that fails provides numerous opportunities to grow. You learn what DOESN’T work, you learn how NOT to train, you understand what NOT to structure your training around, and in turn have continued to refine and define what works for you.  Meanwhile, REFUSAL to ever do anything that might not work results in one never learning how to best train to suit themselves.  If all you’ll ever do is what has been approved by the majority of the people, you are doomed to a life of mediocrity, because, surprise, the majority IS mediocre.  Asking permission to train is asking permission to remain unelite.

Dare to be stupid.  Dare to go off on the worst training idea anyone has ever had.  Dare to find out the one thing no one has thought to try and go do it.  You need no one’s permission but your own to succeed, and hesitating is simply delaying your ability to achieve greatness.

Don’t wonder if your idea is good, sound, safe, viable, workable, logical, or party approved: just do it.

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