Hah! Bane! You get it?! But seriously, Jeep Swenson was jacked.
I ask you, dear reader; when was the last time you applauded someone’s super reasonable accomplishments? When was the last time that you saw a bumper sticker that read “My kid is a solid B student at Doucheface High School?” How about that elusive copper medal for 4th place? Do you remember the parade your city threw when your college football team had a really decent season?
Reasonable goals create reasonable people: and reasonable people are BORING. We only remember the UNREASONABLE people in history. It was completely unreasonable for George Washington to think that a group of militia men with minimal military training could stand up against the largest and most well trained army in the known world, but that’s exactly what he did. It was UNREASONABLE for Alexander the Great to want to conquer the entire world, but that’s exactly what he did. It was UNREASONABLE for the US to attempt to land on the moon a mere 50 years after man had just barely mastered flight in general, but that’s exactly what we did. Where would we be as a society were it not for people having unreasonable goals?
...maybe a touchy subject
People mandating reasonable goals are attempting to choke your progress in an attempt to keep you mediocre. They tell you that wanting to bench 700lbs raw is unreasonable, and that you should focus on getting to 315 first. To hell with that; keep your eye on the prize. 315 will happen, and so will 320 and 325, but making these numbers the goal does nothing to break you out of the ordinary. Making these small mile markers “the goal” would be like if we celebrated every single mile from orbit until the moon during the first landing. You’re manufacturing participation trophies within your own training.
What is the downfall of having unreasonable goals? You’ll be upset when you don’t meet them? God I HOPE you are upset. I hope your failure to meet your goals eats at you with an ever consuming passion that DRIVES you to do whatever it takes to meet them. You want to be happy?! Why on Earth would you want to be happy with your training? Happiness is being content, and content people DON’T push themselves to the point of breaking in order to reach levels that only select few humans can only dream of. Do you want to be the guy deadlifting 320 who is super excited to have added 5lbs to their 315lb bench or the guy deadlifting 890 who is pissed off that it’s not 900?
Remember back when the 1,000lb club was for 1,000lb squatters?
Greed is good. That’s the lesson Gordon Gecko taught us. It’s one of the 7 deadly sins, but as Machiavelli pointed out, the company in Hell is much better than in Heaven. Those with their reasonable goals are remaining pious; they dare not pursue what is beyond their means. They are peacefully living the existence that is allotted to them. To hell with that; take what is yours by force! Ask not if it can be done, but instead who will stop you.
This is why I take no issue with people looking up to those using performance enhancing drugs and trying to emulate their success. These people are literally pushing the limits of what is possible for a human to accomplish, and it shows what CAN be done. Spending one’s time debating about if someone was or was not on gear when they accomplished something is trying to argue for reasonable goals. Who cares? At least we know it CAN be done. In the 1930s, a 1,000lb deadlift was unfathomable to the point of being science fiction, and a 700lb deadlift would be thought of as practically otherworldly. Flash forward to today and you can find some high school kids hitting 700. Why? Because the number has become so common place that the mental hurdle is gone, and part of that reason IS the people using gear to change what is considered normal.
No big deal, just Steve Pulcinella deadlifting 700lbs at 19 years old because OF COURSE he can
People talk about how the world now has unrealistic expectations due to the prevalence of steroid use (along with photoshop and other trickery) but this is honestly a smokescreen. Yes, it is true that the idealized male image these days (large and muscular with sharp definition) is most likely unobtainable by a natural trainee, however keep in mind that the STANDARDS of society are comically low. Everyone is fat and weak, and simply NOT being that is an accomplishment. If you pursue an unrealistic body image and, through the course of that journey, end up maximizing your potential and looking and performing as awesome as possible, you will stand out. Will you be The Rock? No, but hell, who is? At least you won’t be The Blob.
Make your goals unreasonable. Chase your unreasonable goals with an unreasonable amount of effort, tenacity, intensity and ferocity. Maintain an unreasonable amount of anger over failing to meet your unreasonable goals. Do all this, and you will create a margin between you and those who were pursuing reasonable goals that is completely unreasonable.