Saturday, November 12, 2016


Alright, so before I get started, YES, that is a reference to a Weird Al song, and I realize that taking parody seriously tends to be a recipe for disaster, but stick with me here.  There is no shortage of intelligence out there today when it comes to training.  There are studies, focus groups, forums, people with PhDs, and all sorts of super nifty tools available.  There are percentages, golden ratios, strength standards, and all manner of facts and figures to aspire to.  So why aren’t we witnessing an influx of better trainees?  Why are Americans at the fattest they’ve ever been?  Why are we witnessing one of the first instances wherein the current generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than the previous?  Why are we all so smart yet still not succeeding?  Maybe it’s time to be a little stupid?

Image result for squatting on a bosu ball
Too stupid.  Real it back in.

We’ve been building big and strong bodies WAY before we had the help of science.  Sandow was born a mere 20 years after the year we decided it was a good idea for surgeons to wash their hands before performing surgery, just to give you a little perspective of where we were scientifically when physical culture was really finding itself.  Arthur Saxon died 30 years before we developed the polio vaccine.  Bob Peoples deadlifted 725lbs at 181lbs in the same year we discovered radiocarbon dating.  Suffice it to say; people were getting big and strong WELL before there was ever a need, want or desire for science to get involved.  The answers were obvious before we even began to explore, and those who made it a goal to pursue it set off with effort, intensity and consistency.

In fact, it was something of the wild west, where everyone had their own method and they all worked!  The Saxon’s developed their own strongman brew consisting of “dark lager beer (or Dublin stout) mixed with Holland gin, the yolk of an egg and plenty of sugar”. Bob Peoples figured out ROM progression, because why WOULDN’T it work, and Paul Anderson perfected it.  Arthur Jones, crackpot that he was, still managed to develop a system that broke every single rule in existence and STILL managed to produce results.  20 rep squats?  Of course it works.  German Volume Training?  Yup!  Every single guy in “Pumping Iron” training differently than everyone else?  They all go to the Olympia!  As I’ve said before, the key for success in all these cases was effort, consistency and time. Pair it with a little blind fanaticism and there is no WAY you can lose.

Image result for heaven's gate least the had good running shoes?

And now?  Are we better?  For how many more people are into training, why are there so many skinnyfat people after a year of training?  Why are there so many people diligently following the absolute most optimal programs and getting terrible results?  Sure, we can blame the poor quality food, the toxicity of plastics, how having a desk job is apparently the worst thing you could ever do to your body and gives you 8 types of cancers and 47 types of movement dysfunctions…but maybe we just traded in too much of the art for the science.  Maybe we killed off our passion and traded it for precision.  Maybe the blood, sweat and tears were traded for 1s and 0s.  Maybe we got too smart, when what we really need is to get a little stupid.

This is my rallying cry to you; dare to be stupid.  Dare to set off on a course that is completely reckless, defies all conventional wisdom, and has no possible hope for success.  Train everyday of the week, and once you can do that, train multiple times a day.  Run yourself completely into the ground at night, and then wake up and do it all again in the morning.  Train your heavy compounds last, work during your rest periods, use the wrong percentages, the wrong reps, the wrong sets, the wrong movements, on the wrong days of the week.  Find out WHY these things are supposedly wrong.  You may discover that it’s actually QUITE difficult to train “wrong”.

Image result for Arnold cheat curls
I already used the squatting on the bosu ball pic, so here you go

This is my guiding principle every single Saturday.  After I train my deadlifts (using some ROM progression, thank you Bob Peoples), I set up the bar in the rack, and on the spot try to come up with the absolute stupidest squat workout I can possibly fathom.  I never have a plan coming into this, and many times things change as soon as I get under the bar.  My goal is simply to inflict maximal misery upon myself, with no rhyme, reason or method taking priority.  Drop sets?  Certainly.  Rest pauses?  You bet.  Pyramids and reverse pyramids?  Why not.  Once the bar is in the rack for good, I’ll usually spend the next 4 minutes swearing at myself while trying to take my shoes off and catch my breath, and then I’ll limp for the next 4 days while it feels like my hamstrings are going to snap like a couple of cold rubber bands.  And then I’ll saddle up and do it again next week.  And doing this has done WAY more for my squat than any intelligent programming ever did.  I’ve traded science for art, effort, intensity and passion, and it’s been a good trade.

I normally try to end on a pithy quote, but instead, let’s go with the lyrics that inspired this.

Put down your chainsaw and listen to me
It's time for us to join in the fight
It's time to let your babies grow up to be cowboys
It's time to let the bedbugs bite

You better put all your eggs in one basket
You better count your chickens before they hatch
You better sell some wine before it's/its time
You better find yourself an itch to scratch
You better squeeze all the Charmin you can while Mr. Wimpole's not around
Stick your head in the microwave and get yourself a tan

Talk with your mouth full
Bite the hand that feeds you
Bite on more than you chew
What can you do
Dare to be stupid

Take some wooden nickles
Look for Mr. Goodbar
Get your mojo working now
I'll show you how
You can dare to be stupid

You can turn the other cheek
You can just give up the ship
You can eat a bunch of sushi and forget to leave a tip
Dare to be stupid

Come on and dare to be stupid
It's so easy to do
Dare to be stupid
We're all waiting for you

Let's go
It's time to make a mountain out of a molehill
So can I have a volunteer
There's no more time for crying over spilled milk
Now it's time for crying in your beer
Settle down, raise a family, join the PTA
Buy some sensible shoes and a Chevyrolet
And party 'till you're broke and they drive you away
It's OK, you can dare to be stupid

It's like spitting on a fish
It's like barking up a tree
It's like I said you gotta buy one if you wanna get one free

Dare to be stupid (yes)
Why don't you dare to be stupid
It's so easy to do
Dare to be stupid
We're all waiting for you
Dare to be stupid

Burn your candle at both ends
Look a gift horse in the mouth
Mashed potatoes can be your friends
You can be a coffee achiever
You can sit around the house and watch Leave It To Beaver
The future's up to you
So what you gonna do

Dare to be stupid
Dare to be stupid
What did I say
Dare to be stupid
Tell me, what did I say
Dare to be stupid
It's alright
Dare to be stupid
We can be stupid all night
Dare to be stupid
Come on, join the crowd
Dare to be stupid
Shout it out loud
Dare to be stupid
I can't hear you
Dare to be stupid
OK, I can hear you now
Dare to be stupid
Let's go, Dare to be stupid
Dare to be stupid
Dare to be stupid
Dare to be stupid
Dare to be stupid
Dare to be stupid
Dare to be stupid
Dare to be stupid


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