I don't often do the rant thing, however I feel like it's appropriate and timely right now. There may be more profanity in this post than usual. I also hope you're sitting down. This is obviously not for my readers and fans who give me a tremendous amount of support. In fact, I hope my "voice" speaks loudly for you if you have grown tired of the same shit.
It's been quite the week for introspection, laughs, and shit that just makes you flat out say "what the fuck?"
I've said many times that the internet is both a blessing and curse, and the dichotomy of it all is that while it gives wise people a voice, it also gives fools a voice as well. The simple minded, the dogmatic, and the proverbial chest thumping keyboard warriors who love to sit on message boards or forums and sling bytes of shit like Greg Maddux used to sling heat, they all get a "say". Whether or not it has merit or bears truth is entirely inconsequential.
This paradox does not escape me. I've been told my writing is both touchy-feely and "macho man" all in the same week. Maybe I'm the touchy-feely Macho Man!
"Ooooohhhh yeahhhhhh, what a beautiful butterfly."
Hey....make up your fucking mind.
Or how bout that I made up my mind long ago. I've written hundreds and hundreds of articles, answer hundreds of questions a week, all free of charge, many times following up. No matter how trivial or redundant. I freely give. I legit enjoy helping someone progress and achieve things they thought not possible. In life, in lifting, any way that I can.
If you don't respect me as a man, lifter, or human being, that is your fault. Not mine. It's not my job nor requirement to meet your standards. Nor is it your job, to meet mine. There will be times when I do what did a few weeks ago, and raise money for the Emilie Parker foundation, or talk about how I "feel" about shit. There may be times when I voice my displeasure in the overly effeminate "males" of today.
I don't have to live my life, or my writing, in a vacuum.
If you need to find someone different to emulate or look up to, then by all means do so. If you don't like my training principles or methodologies that's fine. Find ones that work for you, and don't waste my time arguing about it. If part of your day is spent on a message board whining about something I blogged about, well, sucks to be you.
From two of my closest friends this week about this shit............
There is a reason to stay off 99.99% internet forums. They are a waste of time, bandwidth, and energy that could be applied elsewhere. Generally just full of a intermingled mix of the lowest form of life. The internet keyboard warrior. Big fingers little everything else. - Phil Stevens
if you don't want to be criticized...say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. I stand by my statements last night about the twats of the world. - Jim Wendler
I write my thoughts on a blog about the life I've lived, my thoughts about training, being a father, husband, friend, and a man. I put myself out there. I don't hide behind a pseudonym giving no qualifications about my ability to speak on things. Neither do the two guys quoted above.
I've said for a long time that I will probably never hold any world records in powerlifting. Nor if I did, would I crow about what fucking king kong I was because of it, and develop a superiority complex due to it. I would be proud of achieving such a goal, do a Borat styled "high five!" and say that my principles served me well.
It's because I care far more about what my kids, wife, and friends think of me in that context of their life, than that other shit. The day I let weight on the bar define me as a man is the day I fucking lost. Period.
You lift more weight than me. That's awesome. Do you want a medal or the chest to pin it on?
There is always someone stronger than you. Even if you're Ed Coan, someone out benched you, or out squatted you, or out deadlifted you, just at some other bodyweight more than likely. Go watch the video where Efferding talks about setting the new 275 total. He said after he told Coan that, Coan told him "what did (Scott) Weech do?"
See, it didn't matter to Coan what the weight class was. Stronger, was just stronger. Someone else was stronger. And someone else always will be.
So if that's the basket you are putting all of your "life eggs" into, then you have LOST. You can't win. Not that you won't, but you CAN'T.
On the flip side, if you haven't done SHIT, i.e. competed, trained people, done seminars, put your time in, or even thrown up some videos (that are real, mind you), and you're on a board or forum talking shit about someone who does those things, what does it say about you? It says that you're either a jealous asshole or incredibly insecure in your current situation, whatever that may be. More than likely, you're just a dickwad "know it all" that wants to argue to make himself feel empowered somehow. I mean seriously, I had a 170 pound asshat tell me that Poundstone curls "could not work for size" when they took my arms up 3/4" of an inch in about 6 weeks. I don't need to expound on how idiotic it is, that I would be put into a position to even argue with this assbag. Maybe I'm the idiot here for finding myself in such a position. However I often feel the need to "educate" people on the how's and why's of the shit I do. I have found that this often serves me no purpose other than to get drug down to their level of childish bantering/arguing, because they were never really looking for answers in the first place.
Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I should stop that? Because I know. I know what it means to be that asshat on the other end of things. Arguing for the sake of arguing.
This is not a behavior exclusive to lifting by any means. A long time ago I posted on some football boards too, and the shit slinging in there can go on for days, weeks, or months as posters cherry pick stats and try to act like real life General Managers of professional sports teams. Claiming that THEY have all the fucking answers. Not that coach or general manager who has spent three quarters of his life sitting in a dark film room dissecting every minutiae of plays, players, and tendencies about the other team or how to run a professional sports franchise.
No, no, no you there, Mr. Armchair Quarterback/GM/Coach/Talent Scout.....you're the smart mother fucker here. You're the one that has all the answers to having that golden draft where every pick is a hit, and every player is hall of fame bound before he puts on his baseball hat at the draft. You've got that shit narrowed down better than anyone. Even better than guys that have devoted every minute of their life to it. You pick apart every failure they have made, talking about what idiots and dumbshits they are behind some name like "BILLS-PUT-BOOT-2-ASS" or something similarly clever. Look at you, Mr. Football Genius, you. Why the fuck are you working down at the Exxon station with all that golden and exquisite football knowledge?
Truth is, I was that guy at one point as well. Oh and then I grew the fuck up and realized what a waste of time it was to argue trying to change the mind of someone that was every bit as stubborn as I was in their stance.
People will go to the ends of the Earth to "win" arguments that cannot be won. I mean, for the love of God, I had a guy make a video using fake weights to "prove me wrong" about barbell rows. He easily could have written, "well, I disagree and here is why..." and generated some intelligent discussion. However lots of people often aren't out to obtain wisdom or generate intelligent discussion. They are usually out to find enablers to let them know how right they are, and tell you how wrong you are because it runs counter to what they like. And they will do ANYTHING and argue ANYTHING to PROOOVE they are right. Even when something cannot be proven, and the party they are arguing with has zero intentions of changing their mind.
When I told this cock biter that made the video with fake weights that I'd buy the dinner of his choice if he could out total me at the Nationals he side stepped it like a bitch. So did another blow hard that showed up to talk shit this past week. You know why? Because it's easier sit back and stroke your shaft about how you're the cock of the walk, but then when it comes down to the nut cutting not everyone likes to deal with reality. Let me add, I'm hardly saying I'm the cock of the walk either. But granted that I'm healthy, and can afford it, I will travel and compete once or twice a year. I coach guys each year, I write articles, I put up videos, I compete. I DO. I don't brag about shit behind a fake fucking name. Even if my accomplishments aren't worth the cost of stamp that you wouldn't write home about, they still exist. They are tangible.
There are a shit ton of guys that I respect in the strength field, that I have some lift I can best them in. Does that mean anything? Not a god damn thing. I want to learn from those guys, just like there are guys stronger than I am, that have learned from me.
One of the best traits about Eric Lilliebridge is that even though he's going to go down as one of the greatest powerlifters ever, he still asks me my opinion about shit, and is open to hearing it. Even at times when he doesn't ask and I offer, he's receptive. That's why guys like that get better. Because even though they have all the tools, they don't close off the most important thing you can use in your training.
Fucking enablers -
A while back someone was pissed that I used Coan and Karwoski as examples of guys that got super fucking strong using some basic periodization.
"You can't use those guys as examples! Genetics!"
"Oh I'm only supposed to use weak people to support my belief in training methodologies?"
I've never understood this.
One particular argument that used to always make me laugh was when I talked about the simpleness of this kind of training, and the people who hated it would respond with "well guys that are super freaks can train that way, but normal guys can't train like that and progress. They have to do other shit."
This left me dumbfounded time and time again.
So how is it, that the genetic monsters always ended up training that same way over and over again for the most part? If all the great ones had just known about your "everyday man training" or methods using all sorts of complicated scheming to get strong, they would have been even better?
The entire argument behind this, is that the weak of mind and body often do not want to recognize it. They believe that there is SOMETHING they could do, that would make them elite, and do so very quickly. This is why it can't be simple. It can't be! If it were simple, then it would require me to look in the mirror and say, "there is no magical training solution. It's really......just.......you."
But that's too fucking hard, isn't it? It's just too fucking hard to say the shortcoming is with the man in the mirror. No, no, no it has to be that I just haven't found that perfect god damn scientifically backed training method that will make me the bastard child of The Hulk and Thor by next week.
Let me let you in on a little secret. Lots of guys DON'T do the main lifts, with straight weight, because it exposes them as weak fucks. Yes. Fact. You know why a guy adds bands, and chains, or does EVERYTHING BUT BENCH, SQUAT, PULL, AND OVERHEAD with straight weight? Because those things are easily measured. You know that a 500 bench is good. That a 700 squat and pull are good. But if I can't do those, I'll just say I have eleventy billion pounds of band tension.......with 225 on the bar. Because that's eleventy billion 225 pounds. Which is a world record in every way possible.......except that I can't do 4 bills in straight weight.
"That's bullshit. I train with accommodating resistance because I am weaker at the blah blah blah point in the ROM blah blah blah" vomit vomit puke puke.
No one EVER got weaker, by getting stronger with straight weight. I know, that statement is just retarded crazy, but no one ever got weaker.......by getting stronger on basic shit. I know lots of guys that got weaker on basic shit by getting too fancy though. Oh yes, I do.
I'll give you an example of said bullshit.
I had a guy I was helping with training for a while that had been stuck in a rut something awful. He fought against everything I told him to do, of course. Totally wasted my time on everything I suggested to him. He told me "I hate going into the gym and JUST squatting every week."
Again, I was dumbfounded.
"What the fuck is it you want to do then?"
"Well, I want to box squat one week, and then do some chains or bands the week after that, and then maybe some SSB squats."
"Which of those are you doing at your meet?"
That's right. Nothing. He just didn't want to do the very thing that was going to help him the most. Just go into the gym and squat, squat, and squat. There had to be something outside of that "hard work" shit that was going to make his squat soar, get his house paid off early, and put hot chics on his crotch.
Of course he bombed at his meet, and I stopped helping him because he thought he knew better. People always do.
A few years later, he e-mailed me and said his training had taken off. That for the first time in years he was progressing again.
"I stopped fucking up, and I ended up doing all the things that you had been telling me to do. All the things I didn't want to do, and found every reason not to do them. But that's what I needed. I'm sorry I was a stubborn asshole."
So you see, what people REALLY want to do is say "I think that singles will make me strongest! They have to! Because that's what I want to do! Now tell me that's the truth no matter what!!!"
When you don't, they get pissed off, and find every reason to tell you that you are an asshole or an idiot, during which time they have gone on a fact finding mission that proves their stance is right all along.
If it was right all along and you knew this, why the fuck were you arguing in the first place? Why weren't you just in the gym kicking ass with it? Hmmmmm..........
This is pretty much the attitude I find over and over again from guys who live to argue. They just want to be told that what they WANT to do, is the right thing to do. Not that they should be doing is THE RIGHT THING, and that those can be very different things.
One of the things I eventually figured out about all of these genetic mutants, was that one of the factors that played a part in them getting to where they were, was that they had better instincts than most as well. Instead of skirting around the issues, they welcomed the hard work, the progression, the journey, and the ability to grasp what had merit and what did not, very easily. They didn't spend time on message boards arguing about why shit would, or would not work or the merits of it. They DID shit in the gym. Part of what led their training down certain paths, was that they actually had to figure shit out, and put in the work. That meant sticking with something for a while, and not belaboring on and on about it with other fruitcakes that lifted half the weight but argued four times as much, trying to figure out if it worked or not.
No, they actually did the shit. They did the shit. They did.....the shit. They did it. The shit.
I loved seeing people talk about all the ways the 100 rep stuff wouldn't work and had no merit, blah blah blah then watching story after story roll in where guys elbow pain disappeared and their biceps blew up, or how the front raises made their shoulder pain disappear.
These were the guys who just saw an idea, and thought "fuck it, let's try it." and rolled with it. They didn't need to have 69.8% of some forum agree that it's worthwhile. They just gave it a shot, and then were able to give an educated opinion about it, and benefit from it.
When I got off of forums for the most part (though not all together, which is what this article stems from) many years ago, and tuned out the bullshit, my training ideas grew because I wasn't handicapped by allowing my ideas to be shit on by other people who live for nothing more than to tear you down.
The internet is a great tool and yet the biggest bane of the sport. The forums are places where key board tough guys rip apart the greatest lifters in the sport without having any idea what it is like to be on the other side of their comments. -- Matt Kroc
If you want to grow in training knowledge and as a man, stop being part of the "participation generation" and just go do work. Develop a training methodology that resonates with you, gets you better, doesn't let you avoid the hard work, and keeps you on course. I don't care if it's my program, or 5/3/1, or Joe Bob's hand me down bench, squat, and dead routine. But keep an open mind, don't be dogmatic, and don't be a chest thumping blowhard regardless of your accomplishments. There is always someone who did more, or who will do more, who may have because they were far more flexible in their thinking.
How many message boards do you think that Coan, Karwoski, Kaz, Zakk Wydle, Adrian Peterson, Ray Lewis, Michael Jordan, Georges St. Pierre, Neil Peart, etc go to, to make sure what they are doing is met with acceptance?
I don't expect everyone to agree with me, my thoughts, my training methodologies, politics (I have those? I think I do, I just rarely talk about them), taste in music, art, TV, or women. My point of being "here", writing (which is something I love more than lifting) on this blog, and helping people is because after more than two decades I really enjoy helping guys out. I find it funny how words can resonate with people in such different ways. The same fat kid that latched onto my philosophies that loses 100 pounds and finds a new way in life is forever grateful. Some other guy can read the same piece and go "that Paul Carter is a douchebag."
You'd also be surprised at how many guys write that kind of shit that also claim to be your "friend". I know who my friends are. They don't talk shit about me because anyone who is a friend of mine I treat with respect, dignity, honor, and love and you can ask any of them that.
If your life isn't a reflection of what you want it to look like, tearing people down won't get you where you want to be any faster. I've never seen negativity breed and multiply anything except dysfunction, hate, jealousy, rage, ineptness, and strife. If that's what you want to surround yourself with, don't expect a lot of success in any endeavor you plan to engage in.
To quote John Mcclane.... if you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem.
Stop being part of the keyboard tough key crew. Start being part of the solution. I'm not from the government, but I am here to help. If that makes me a douchebag, then douse me down with vinegar.
Let me add that the irony in all of this, is that this post will be linked on some forum where the butthurt over it will be tremendous.