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05 November 2010

Innovate or Stagnate- The Choice Is Yours, Part 3

To this point, we've established conclusively that many strength athletes of the modern era, in addition to the vast majority of the populace, suffer from an intellectual malaise for which there seems to be little cure.  Understanding the issue, however, might shed a bit of light on its resolution, and at worst, we can identify the symptoms of this malaise so as to avoid it in ourselves.  The prevalence of this problem cannot be understated- it spans nearly every single school of thought, industry, and sport, and has retarded the intellectual growth of millions of people.  As I've stated previously, however, the ubiquitousness of something is hardly proof of its preeminence, a statement that is even more poignant given the fact that it identifies clearly the problem I've thus outlined- people are lemmings, led around by common mis- and preconceptions, and they give little or no real thought to alternatives or consideration to ideas that fall outside the confines of their belief system.

Strength athletes grappling with the weighty matters I've thus laid bare.

It's not a lack of intellect at play here- it's society. Philosopher Richard Rorty suggested in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature that there is no absolute truth- people's ideas about truth are produced and shaped through their communication with others. Thus, if their communication lies solely with an insular group, it's likely to match that of their peers. It's then further cemented by the impersonal medium by which they communicate- the internet. Post modernist philosopher Francois Lyotard predicted in The Postmodern Condition that knowledge would become increasingly defined and directed by communication technology. The knowledge they transmit, generated for economic purposes, is guided by both economic and technological forces, and is then further refined, cemented, and reinforced by the aforementioned factors.  Though many have opined to the contrary, I have got no ulterior, economic purpose for the generation and dissemination for the information I've compiled- I write this blog because I love doing it... not because I'm some evil supergenius who's spent over a year mindfucking you into buying shit from me.  
The Mighty Atom- a strongman-philosopher who stopped a bullet with his forehead.  Obviously a fucking lunatic- you can tell by his Unabomber asthetic- but a thinking man who could kick a lot of ass.

My detractors fail to understand that even while they assert that my blog is merely the point of a spear for some nefarious monetary plot, the programs they're utilizing and lauding are precisely what they fear out me- information related for economic purposes.  As such, they're fucking idiots.  They claim that I'm the Pied Piper of unthinking, suicidal gymrats and doing so to bilk you fuckers of your money, all while they use programs like 5/3/1 for which they've ostensibly paid.  The mind absolutely boggles.  Even if these individuals based their extreme hostility to ultra-scary (unconventional) routines, there are really only two instances in which a person should mindlessly follow the advice of another person:
  1. if they have found the best way of doing something
  2. things don't change
Let's examine these two conditions, which are accepted by the modern scientific community as valid instances for deliberate ignorance to alternatives. (Langer 145) First, that the above parties have discovered the best way of doing things. Perhaps they have, but I can name at least one person to disprove both- Mariusz Pudzianowski. At 260 lbs, his powerlifts are elite- 924 deadlift, 836 squat, 616 bench,(WSM) which would give him elite status as a powerlifter, equipped or unequipped, at 275.(CB) He would even be considered elite at the next weight class up in both divisions with this total... all while displaying a physique upon which countless people have commented would destroy in bodybuilding. His workout is completely unlike anything either group of naysayers would utilize, as he trains 4-6 hours a day, six days a week. As such, it's safe to say that the first condition has not been met with the powerlifting or bodybuilding routines currently in vogue.  His volume exceeds even the most dedicated and extreme powerlifter or bodybuilder, he utilizes an exercise selection that could best be described as a "grab bag", and does more cardio than anyone of whom  I've heard this side of Lance Armstrong.  In spite of this, he crushes shit in every strength sport, or strength-related sport, of which one could think.
Next, the idea that things don't change is absurd when considering a workout routine. There are more variables at play in determining the possible efficacy of a given workout routine than play into predicting the weather, yet blowhards will uniformly discredit anyone promoting a workout outside of the extraordinarily narrow bounds of their reality, into which they must compress their tiny brains. Thus, Langer's words again ring true when she states that "while it is true that [experts] might know more about the [subject of their expertise] than we do, that does not mean we should not be aware of the circumstances of our own situation.' (Langer 150) Had people like Arnold Schwarzennegger, Franco Columbu, or Mariusz simply blindly adopted the programs that were in vogue when they embarked upon their journey in strength sports, they likely would have failed to achieve the greatness they did.
When examined more deeply, the second condition becomes even more interesting. People often agree that the world around us is a fixed, static thing, although they'll concede that it's not in theory.  This discrepancy is due to the fact that there is a distinct difference between an absolute fact (the idea that reality is an absolute, static, unchanging thing) and a situated one.(Langer 42-43, 45)  Take, for instance, the concept of wood. Most people would describe wood as an organic mass of cellulose that comprises the majority of a tree's mass. It can be petrified, however, and thus becomes rock.  Additionally, if you asked someone what eleven times eleven equalled, they would insist that it could only equal 121, and that it could not possibly equal anything else. This, however, is only the case when using a base 10 mathematical system.  Had you asked someone who used shitty math and notated his results badly, you might get the answer 151 (thanks to anon for pointing out my mathematical fuckup).  It'd equal 1, however, if you were combining wads of chewing gum, or 441 if you asked an Inuit, ancient Basque, the same Mayan, an Ainu, or an ancient Celt, as they all used the vigesimal system. (Don't believe me? Check my work here)
Don't act like you're not impressed.

Reality becomes even less fixed when we examine various scientific "truths" that have been replaced over time. Take, for instance, the following: 
  • as recently as the 19th Century, scientists thought that a massive continent, called Godwanaland, sunk at some point in the distant past, creating the Atlantic Ocean. We've since discarded that theory for the plate tectonics.(Grant 60)
  • Pliny asserted that moonlight "causes a water to evaporate with a gentle and imperfect force, and indeed increase its quantity."(62)
  • scientists thought until recently that the Earth was at rest in "luminiforous aether"- i.e., the Earth was floating, stationary, in a solid mass of aether upon which light travelled and the Earth sat. This theory was supported by none other than Lord Baron Kelvin and other prominent physicists until Einstein released his theory of Special relativity in 1905.
As you can see, reality is very rarely static.  Instead, reality is completely dependant upon one's perception of it.  Lyotard cautioned at length against blind acceptance of the products of science, and gave the following scathing rebuke thereof in The Postmodern Condition:
"That scientific and technical knowledge is cumulative is never questioned. At most, what is debated is the form that accumulation takes – some picture it as regular, continuous, and unanimous, others as periodic, discontinuous, and conflictual.
But these truisms are fallacious. In the first place, scientific knowledge does not represent the totality of knowledge; it has always existed in addition to, and in competition and conflict with, another kind of knowledge, which I will call narrative in the interests of simplicity (its characteristics will be described later). "
Thus, the workout programs already discovered are not necessarily the best that can be produced.  Similarly, those that are in vogue are likely only so due to the method in which information is created and exchanged, rather than because they are the best humanity has of yet produced.  Just as the ancient Greeks, among other civilizations, knew that the Earth was a sphere of approximately the size we now know it to be, the theory that the Earth was a disk prevailed for a considerable period of time thereafter.(Read more)  The knowledge that the Earth was round was only regained once people shed the blinders of groupthink and began thinking for themselves once more.

Shed your blinders, and start looking at everything with a critical eye.

And I do mean everything.


"Powerlifting Equipped and Unequipped Elite Classification Charts." Critical Bench. Retrieved 10/26/10.
Gardner, Christopher. Reuters. March 4, 2010.
Grant, John. Discarded Science: Ideas That Seemed Good At The Time... Surrey: Facts, Figures, and Fun, 2006.
Langer, Ellen.  Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility.  New York: Ballantine, 2009.
Lyotard, Jean Francois.  The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge.  Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984.
"Mariusz Pudzianowski." The World's Strongest Man.  Retrieved 10/26/10.


  1. "scientists thought until recently that the Earth was at rest in "luminiforous aether"- i.e., the Earth was floating, stationary, in a solid mass of aether upon which light travelled and the Earth sat. This theory was supported by none other than Lord Baron Kelvin and other prominent physicists until Einstein released his theory of Special relativity in 1905."

    I beg to differ on this. Lord Kelvin (and his contemporaries) didn't believe the Earth was stationary and floating in aether. Classical physicists were trying to figure out how light, as a wave, could propagate, so they imagined a sort of three dimensional substance, infusing the Universe, aether. As water in a pond propagates waves of energy from a stone thrown into it, so electromagnetic waves were hypothesized to propagate through aether. The whole point of the Michaelson-Morley experiment was to measure the speed of light as the Earth traveled into the aether vs the speed of light in the three other compassal directions. When Michaelson and Morley found that the speed of light was the same regardless of the direction of travel through the hypothetical aether, Einstein stepped in with Relativity.

  2. Blacks smell and have big nostrils

  3. I think I've just been mindfucked.

  4. Your philosophy of "do whatever you want as long as it works" reminds me of Bryce Lane's stuff.
    (I don't mean that as an insult. It is a compliment.)

  5. You've reached a totally new level with this post, way beyond "physical culture". Saddly it may not be fully appreciated by most of the people, as they won't be able to truly understand many of the implications of the post ... at least not right now. Hopefully they'll read it again after some time has elapsed. Seeing someone perpetually aiming for the highest standart in any area is refreshing, so keep doing it. I'll make myself sure to return to this entry some time in the future, meanwhile, I just realize that I have at least two more books to read. Fucker!!!

  6. This is definitely the free market version of training. Whatever profits most will survive. The strong will push themselves and their profits will snowball.

    I only compare it to the free market because I've received email propaganda from training socialists:

  7. Manbearpig.

    I've read the article you linked and i've come across this quote :
    "I don't care if you grab a program from a book or an article or if you hire someone to write one for you. But if your body is important to you and you want the best possible results, you need to relinquish control to someone else and have them hook you up with a plan. "

    WTF ! How could someone else be able to know more about your goals or what you want to achieve than yourself.

  8. Great work here. Spot on.

  9. Mind bottling.

    Rather offtopic, but I ran across this interview with Arnold today, and it is word the read:

  10. This is why you should never post your new routine on any message board asking for it to be critiqued. Everybody who fancies himself an "expert" (or even if he doesn't) will tear it to shreds. There's no reason to second guess yourself before you've even field tested your own idea. If it seemed like a good idea in your head, it probably was. The best workouts are ones you come up with for yourself. At worst, refining it over time would have played out better than having a group of teenagers tell you what they would have done better when they've done a whole lot of sweet fuck all for themselves.

  11. Talking of blacks smelling funny, anyone see that chimp in the papers that lost all it's hair? In a Chinese zoo i think, muthafucka looked like a muscley nigger, better looking though! Any of you guys measure your upper arms lately? Mines 17 inches (flexed), could that be called impressive yet. I don't take roids.

  12. Jamie,
    did you ever elaborate the routine/way you trained for that powerlifting meet some weeks back? If I missed it, my bad. Good shit as always,

  13. Although the practical message of this is useful, that is, doubt anything you do try or discover by yourself, the philosofical implications of this post-modernist thoughts are that since everything is moving and nothing is static, then nothing is "true", then nothing matters, NOT science, NOT philosophy, NOT religion and NOT post-modernism, so the theory destroys itself, effectively leading towards nihilism. But we know that at least there are constants, you can stop believing in gravity, but it won`t really matter and you will not start to fly (I know some idiot eventually will kill himself trying to disprove gravity in this fashion)


  15. Jamie,
    I've been looking at some of your photos - damn you're a good looking guy! I've NEVER been turned on by a dude before now, but shit man, you're fucking doing things to me!!! How tall are you?

  16. Nice one, 12 yr-old. The above's not me, Jamie.

  17. Ares der Metzgewhatthefuckever,

    Philosophical is spelled with a ph.

    Before speaking on a subject, make some effort to become familiar with it. Read the Wikipedia article on Epistemology at the very least.
    It should give you a primer on the "philosofical" thought which led to the skepticism which is associated with post-modernism. While there are arguments (albeit problematic) for the possibility of certain knowledge, rest assured that skepticism is not so easily dispatched as "if nothing matters then skepticism doesn't matter."
    Did you get this intellectual refuse from from an English or Art professor, or did you make it up on your own?

    People like you give thinking a bad name.

    Great article, Jamie. The number-system thing is a real mind fuck.

  18. Lol, hey MR. CnP, great post, must have read some Chomsky as well i take it?

    "postmodernism is meaningless because it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. He asks why postmodernist intellectuals won't respond as "people in physics, math, biology, linguistics, and other fields are happy to do when someone asks them, seriously, what are the principles of their theories, on what evidence are they based, what do they explain that wasn't already obvious, etc? These are fair requests for anyone to make. If they can't be met, then I'd suggest recourse to Hume's advice in similar circumstances: to the flames."

  19. Mayo- I posted the training here:

  20. Hairless chimps:

    Do they look fucking brutal or what?

  21. Nathan your comments hve already been adressed by the quote rejuvenile posted, post-modernism is NOT the same as skepticism, post-modernism is best related to relativism, which does indeed denies itself. you should study the principles on which post-modernism was founded upon and the phillosophers who gave "birth" to it.

  22. I guess that Ares didn't read the part about the math using different base system. Gravity may be a constant or a law, but only in it's current context here on Earth. Change the context and you change the truth. That is what (I think) that Jamie is trying to say.

    With regards to training, it would seem that there is at least one truth that is truth: if you have the ability to and choose to not dead lift or squat then you are a giant fucking douche...

  23. Nihilism can be passive or active. One can come to the realization that nothing matters and we can know nothing and do two things.

    1.Get depressed and kill oneself because of how pointless everything seems.

    2. Realize that we can create our own meaning without it being assigned to us by a higher entity. We can have archetypes like the Greek or Norse gods, but they are not sovereign over us and are meant to be examples of greatness.

    I'll have number two please.

  24. I personally think most of the lifting world could use a solid program to get them started.

    These posts are great, but make more sense for a seasoned lifter. Mock Rippetoe, or 5/3/1 as you must, but I think they're doing good stuff for getting the n00bs involved and stronger.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Rip's program is to do all the useful lifts and add weight every time. It's so fucking trendy to say he sucks. Well, he might suck, in a different capacity, but not in this way. What he recommends is what a smart beginner ought to do.

  27. I'll admit I didnt get the scientific part but I get the gist of it. I gotta say man I've been reading more and more of your blog and shit its changed alot how i view things. the whole "do what works for you and shit too bad if it dont work for anyone else" mindset is spot on. Almost reminiscent of how Bob Peoples trained (deadlifting more than twice a week, round back, etc...) All in all love the blog . Keep it up.

  28. Hey, enough of all this gay showing off about philosophy "ooh, i know a philosophers fucking name, i want to be Jamies boyfriend". Lets get back to that fucking hairless ape.! I wonder if anyones ever done a blood test on one to see what their hormone levels are like. Looking at those pictures though, i still think they're just naked spooks (niggers).

  29. It's easy to be in the weight game for many many years and bash people like Ripp and starters. And no, Gallon of Milk a Day isn't churning out anything pretty. But they work.

  30. Some of you guys sound like you should go and lift some weights, instead of the philosophical masturbation. I have read enough philosophy to gather that the so called “great thinkers” didn’t have it figured out anymore than the rest of us, no matter how fancy you want to make it sound.
    Why Glen hasn’t pointed this out, is a mystery for the historians.

  31. Why can't we lift weights AND masturbate? Philosophically, of course.

  32. I will concede to your valid point.

  33. WHAT THE FUCK CHRISTINE?!!! What the fuck are you doing to yourself?!! -

    You've gone too far girl -

    Actually i wanked off to this one -

  34. Why one or two of you fuck-wits have to goof on Christine is beyond me. She's beautiful, lifts heavy, and has a great blog. She's far better looking than those links you posted.

  35. Fuck you for getting my hopes up, ass.

  36. Ares-

    You're a bit off in your conclusions in re post-modernism. As someone above stated, the point I was making, and that many post-modernists make (although they're hardly a unified group) is that facts are situational. As such, it's not that nothing matters, it's that nothing matters all the time. Using your analogy, gravity IS situational, depending on where you are. On the surface of a gas giant (assuming there was a solid surface) gravity would crush you flat, whereas in deep space it'd have no effect, and on Earth it's taken for granted completely. Any reader of scifi can attest to having given thought to the idea that we'd be far more jacked if we lived on a high-G planet, just from being alive, and would thus be able to wreck shit like King Kong on a low-G planet. Finally, I'm no nihilist, but I definitely think everyone needs to stop taking themselves and everything else so fucking seriously.
    "I dust a addition, I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century."

  37. Check out this article on Neanderthals:

    It includes a sweet illustration that is supposedly accurate based on height, weight and body fat measurements. Looks like a triple-hard bastard.

  38. Ummm... 121 base 10 does not equal 151 in bases 13 or 20. Further, your attempt to show that truth is "situational" in math is misplaced. 94 base 13 = 121 base 10, i.e., they both represent the same number. Your argument is the equivalent of saying, "What I call a dog a mexican calls a perro, ergo the concept of a dog is situational."

    Also, are you looking at everything with a critical eye? Why has your philosophical/intellectual journey has led you to this point. What questions were you hoping to answer when you began this journey? Were you merely hoping to confirm your worldview/beliefs, or were you persuaded to change? If you changed, how? And does the journey continue? If so, in what way? And finally, will you remember these days as well spent?

  39. I stand corrected- I've no idea what I was calculating with that. I think I attempted to calculate base 11 and fucked it up, then misnoted it. As to the perro-dog thing, you have a point, but the idea was more that people were unaware that 11 times 11 could equal anything but 121, rather than the fact that the two numbers were disparate in reality. The math is not situational, but the translation of the answer is.

    To my goal- I have no goal. I simply learn shit for learning's sake, as I lift shit for lifting's sake. My worldview changes accordingly, as I gain knowledge and experience. To the last, of course I'll remember these days as well-spent, as I spent them bettering myself. This is in stark contrast to your average person, who merely rolls through life with their eyes closed, yelling the same shit at the top of their lungs with which they've been indoctrinated their entire lives. I think that at this point I've become open minded nearly to the point that my brains might actually be leaking out, but I'll wager that I'm far better off living like that than your average person, intellectual troglodyte and mindless consumer that they are.

    KC- That pic was one of the things that actually got me interested in Paleolithic nutrition. I think it was posted in National Geographic years age.

  40. The average person is not stupid. Prove me wrong.

  41. Thomas Kuhn shifting paradigms in this bitch. I like the neopragmatist better than the postmodernist.

  42. Damn. This was such an intelligent post with many well thought out replies...

    Why did I have to be the guy that asks for the name of the chick with all the tattoos?