I constantly observe trainees asking if something is normal. Examples include:
“When I bench, I feel a strain in my wrist. Is this normal?”
“After deadlifts, I feel sore in my lower back. Is this normal?”
“I get really hungry after a workout. Is this normal?”
After my training sessions, I feel like a jackass. Is this normal?
Who cares? What does it matter if something is or is not normal? It’s reality! It’s the only reality you can experience, barring the use of hallucinogenics or astral projection. You can only experience what you can experience, and the experience everyone ELSE is having has no impact on your existence.
But furthermore, why concern yourself if something is normal? Normalcy is NOT the goal of training. Observe normalcy around you: it’s mediocrity at best. The status quo is abhorrent, with the majority of people on the planet being fat and weak. Why would you HOPE that what you’re experiencing coincides with what these people experience? Wouldn’t you pray for the opposite? Wouldn’t you wish with all of your might that you’re the outlier, in the hopes that one day you could build something of yourself to be proud of?
Does this seem normal to you?
Does this seem normal to you?
Be a freak. Jim Wendler spoke to this really well on a forum where someone brought up the idiocy that is “lifting ratios”. The crux of his comment was that it’s stupid for someone to worry about their ratios. If a dude can bench 900lbs but “only” squat 900lbs, why worry about making his bench weaker so that it’s inline with some sort of “golden ratio” of powerlifts? Why not instead just be the craziest bencher to ever walk the earth? Why not take PRIDE in our differences, rather than be ashamed and quickly try to assimilate with the masses?
You will get nowhere if you’re constantly trying to make your own experiences match those of others. Successful trainees are NOT normal. That’s what makes them successful. In one of my many streams of thought, I documented the time I drank a gallon of water at a meeting in an hour, and the looks of shock and concern I receive from my co-workers. What I did was NOT normal, and it blew their minds, and it was something I had grown accustomed to. It was my “normal”, and it’s due to the fact that my sense of normalcy is so fundamentally warped because I try my hardest to exist outside of the low standards that have been set.
Wait...this isn't normal?
Again, it’s not about being “better”, but different. It’s silly to place a great value on one’s ability to move heavy things better than others, and doing so will not make you “better” necessarily, but it sure as hell will make you different. You want to be abnormal. Be a freak, be a mutant, be “other”, just strive to avoid normalcy.
And no, this isn’t about “non-conformity”, or any other high school drama. It’s not being different simply for the sake of being different; it’s understanding that reaching your goals NECESSITATES being different. Mike Tuchscherer was once asked if it bothered him that so many people make stupid comments about how big he is wherever he goes, and his response was right on the money: “If I didn’t want to be this strong, I wouldn’t be this big.” Achieving success necessitates being different.
Winning isn't normal...that's why there is only 1 first place
Stop comparing yourself to others and quit worrying about if you’re abnormal. Embrace what you are, understand this journey you are on, and make yourself the 100% that YOU can be. We have no ability to influence our genetics, but we damn sure can work as hard as humanly possible in order to maximize ourselves and become as different from normal as possible.