Saturday, January 6, 2018

THE HELL I CAN’T


The longer I train, the more it seems that my training is based purely around doing things people say won’t work.  Oh sure, I started on the straight and narrow, did my 5s and drank my milk and got adequate rest between sets and workouts and all the things a good little lifter does…and then decided I wanted to actually make some progress and start doing the things no one else was doing.  And along the way I encountered a lot of static, with tons of people assuring me things wouldn’t work, and when they did, assuring me that I must have trained wrong WRONGLY such that, my wrong training was actually right.  What?  That, or it was my “superior genetics” that carried me through.  In truth, it has been simply my willingness to abide by a simple mantra; “The Hell I can’t”.

Image result for SAC patch blood from turnip
I love this patch so much

“You can’t get a stronger deadlift from pulling touch and go”  The Hell I can’t.  “You can’t get a stronger grip using straps”  The Hell I can’t.  “You can’t get stronger without sleeping 8 hours a night”  The Hell I can’t.  Can’t perform well first thing in the morning with no food?  Can’t perform well without a mobility routine?  Can’t ignore research?  Can’t train well off low carbs?  The Hell I can’t.  I’ll squeeze blood from a goddamn turnip and make camels drink too.  Why?  Because I’m not going to let others dictate MY future.

People are too willing to accept defeat simply because it conforms to conventional norms.  It is much easier to fail exactly like everyone else has failed than to succeed and be a pioneer, because it’s far lonelier in the case of the latter, but I believe you’ll find that it’s always lonely on the outside.  However, the company is MUCH better there, because you’ll be among the exact same lunatics as you that decided that just because logic, science, reason and experience dictates something will happen doesn’t mean it has to happen for YOU.

Image result for squatting on a bosu ball
I don't think he'll be there though

Yeah yeah “special snowflake”, hey, why not you?  Yeah, the sheer statistically odds dictate that you are PROBABLY average, but they ALSO dictate that, in any given population, some people will be average, some will be below, and some will be above.  Why can’t you be in the above?  Poor genetics?  No talent? Who cares; you’re insane!  That still makes you different, and you can leverage that difference to be, if nothing else, DIFFERENT than average.  This means you don’t need to let the rules of reasonable people dictate your existence.

It’s why people so quick and ready to apply experiences and studies utilizing average people are trying to limit your success.  “It’s scientifically proven that you NEED restful sleep in order to recover and get stronger; it’s just a fact!”  Yeah, and we’ve also seen special forces operators hump a mission for a week straight with no sleep and still accomplish their objective, so I think you can probably get by with 6 hours of sleep instead of 8.  “HIT doesn’t work; it just can’t!  Where’s the volume?!”  Well goddamn if it didn’t work for a bunch of lunatics in the 60s, 70s and 80s.  And hell, before that, didn’t we just use to call it Super Squats?  And afterwards, didn’t we call it DoggCrapp?  Unhinged people have been achieving unhinged results while the rest of the world lives a comfortable life achieving modest success.  And there is nothing wrong with accomplishing modest success, but to consider it the zenith of possibility severely limits you.

Image result for eddie hall 500kg deadlift
We were all laughing when he said he was going to do it, until he went and did it

I’ve discovered what I can get away with purely by trying, and these days it’s become something of a challenge to see how dumb of an idea I can make work.  It always starts slow; I’m going to start training in the morning.  Then it’s training in the morning off very little food.  Then it’s training in the morning off very little food and sleep.  Then it’s training in the morning off little food or sleep while physically exhausted.  And as I continue to build up my tolerance to my own insanity, I see myself achieving success with methods I am told will not work.  Sure; they probably wouldn’t work had I tried it from the get go, but the further along you go, the more you realize it really is an instance of “The Hell I can’t”

You have to find a way to get to yes.  If you start out believing things are impossible, they absolutely will be.  However, if you start with things being possible, all you need to do is work backwards to figure out WHAT it will take to get there.  I did exactly this when I ran “Building the Monolith” in under an hour, despite the fact that people told me it HAD to take longer than that.  I sat down, looked at the program, figured out where time could be saved, came up with a plan that looked absolutely nuts, executed it on day 1, spent the duration of my shower after that workout contemplating quitting the program because it absolutely sucked, and then finished out the rest of it.  And I’ve done this same thing with ridiculous conditioning workouts, training plans for competitions, recovery from ACL surgery, diets, sleep, etc etc.  And consequently, after I had my experience with Building the Monolith and posted my approach, there was a sudden rash of people knocking out the program in an hour or less too.  And I don’t say that to point out that people were copying my approach, but to point out that I’m NOT a badass and anyone else can do it too; sometimes it just needs to HAPPEN so that we know it can be possible.  So why not let it be you?

Image result for paul anderson
Yet another lunatic doing things that couldn't possibly work


See this as a challenge.  See it as a calling.  There are so MANY things out there people say can’t be done that you can surely do.  Get stronger lifting less weight, or while under fatigue, or with poor form, or while injured.  Lose weight and make your lifts go up.  Ultimately realize that these are things people don’t WANT you to do, not things they really think you can’t do.  It’s upsetting to these people to observe someone succeed with methods they already ruled out because such approaches were immensely more difficult than just throwing their hands up in the air and giving up.  And pretty soon you’ll find yourself in situations where, the instant someone says you can’t do something, all you can think is “The Hell I can’t”

14 comments:

  1. Been encountering that kind of doubt lately at the gym! So many guys seem to think its impossible to get stronger without working near max weights. On BtM i didnt pull a single rep over 400 and still pulled at fast 475 at the end of it.

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    1. Good on you to be a living example dude. People like to push heavy lifting because it's easier than volume work, haha.

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  2. Hey Punisher. I've been following your blog and T Nation training log for a while now. It's been especially interesting as I broke my collar bone a year ago which severely impacted my training. I'm now back to where I was pre-injury and setting new PRs.
    This blog is always interesting and thought provoking.
    I'm not sure if you've done a post exclusively on this before but I'd be really interested in your thoughts on rest and recovery between workouts/working out while still suffering the effects of the previous workout or non gym based fatigue and managing your fatigue and soreness in every day life.

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    1. Hey man, appreciate having you as a reader. I think that's an excellent topic to cover. It's going to be a lot of me telling people to "suck it up", but perhaps I can put a somewhat literary spin on it.

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    2. I knew that would be your basic response but there must be a point where this would be counter productive.

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    3. I'm sure there is; I just haven't reached it yet, haha. I'l make sure to go into more depth when I write it out.

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  3. I think that following proven routines is good for beginners or to get back into the game, so to speak, but I agree that it is important to experiment as time goes on. Sometimes something works, sometimes it doesn't. I actually cut out rest times entirely for my calisthenics training for a week or two and ended up smoking myself in about 20 minutes, while still making gains on reps. I put rest times back in because that level of cardio combined with doing sprints two times a week was too much for my conditioning level. It would certainly be interesting to re-visit. I know now if I ever find myself in a position where I don't have the space to run and don't have gym access, heavy calisthenics is the way to go.

    What worries me more, however, is all of the junk science out there, that people follow. That stuff doesn't give you moderate success, it results in failure. When i picked up running 6 months ago, I didn't find a lot on the subject, and the stuff I did, was just "run more", and "run more and you'll get faster", except it doesn't work that way unless maybe you have been doing it for years. The 4 minute mile barrier wasn't broken until people started putting sprint workouts in their training plan and training speed along with endurance. My runs have gotten a lot faster as a result of me doing those myself.

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    1. Thanks dude. It was good to get out.

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  5. Hey Emevas, I have a question. I saw somewhere on your blog that you mentioned having a resting heart rate of 44. I was wondering if you noticed any changes in blood pressure as well. I have always ran on the line of pre hypertension to hypertension. N joke, last reading was 138/80. Doctors suggested weight loss and exercise, which I am now working on in earnest,and I was wondering if this actually helps with blood pressure. I am trying to join the military and the cut off is, i believe, 140/90, which means I could be a no go on a bad day pretty much.

    This is probably a stupid question and you'll say that you're not a doctor, etc, but i value your thoughts and thought maybe you have tracked this at least somewhat.

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    1. Hey man, saw you've been commenting all over, and I'm trying to get to some of them, but for this one, didn't notice any changes in my blood pressure correlating to resting heart rate. Still good to get your heart health in shape, but I'm not sure how to go about lowering it.

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    2. No worries man. I understand you're busy with life, work, and training. I have health insurance now so will be discussing with a doctor momentarily what to do. Thanks for following up.

      Anyway, this is Hawk45 from the GameFAQS days.you have a great blog going here.

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    3. No problem man. Yeah, I pieced together who you were after a few comments, haha. Good to see you still training.

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    4. Thanks.

      I can't say that a lot has gone right in my life but I have been fortunate enough to stay active even if it was just through work.

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