As a general rule in the last three years, I've really offered no opinion pieces that weren't littered with facts. That has apparently irked some people, as they found my ranty bits of not-quite-so-over-the-top violent intellectualism preferable to whatever it is one would characterize my current streak of incredibly heavily researched articles. This piece, however, is going to take us back to the old school, because 1) it's an opinion piece, 2) this was, as they used to refer to them on shitty pop stations when people still listened to the radio, a "listener request", and 3) because there's no real reason to include facts when either side of this argument is generally too stupid to form a cogent thought and too emotional about the subject to consider facts even if any were offered.
According to the guy who requested this, Facebook has been more jam-packed with plaintive missives about how people shouldn't devote their lives to training than it is with inane posts invoking magical men in the sky. Frankly, I cannot imagine a bigger waste of one's time than issuing a public service announcement about the myriad reasons one should not allow lifting to dominate their life- the only assholes with the time or inclination to chime in to the contrary don't actually train (they're fucking posers), and the people supporting the supposition are likely only doing so in an effort to excuse their own failures in the gym and on the platform. Know what the people who've actually devoted ourselves to training are doing while those dipshits are expressing more butt hurt than a newbie felon in a "punch in" prison fisting weekend? Training. That's what I've been doing, but thanks to by bi-yearly illness and the fact that writing is now essentially my job, I'll weigh in on this stupidity.
Who, then, to address first? The lazy fuckers or the posers. Well, let us start with the posers, because I hate them so very much. These are people who have invariably been training less than five years, consider themselves to be experts on strength training, usually hold a hilariously useless exercise science degree, and have at least one post a week on their Facebook page referring to the importance of one plane of movement or another. These people, to a person, know exactly fuckall about training. They're always weak, always have a wide array of excuses to offer about their weakness, and if they spent half as much time in the gym as they claimed, they'd be ten times as strong as they are.
Unsure about who I hate more- pickup trucks drivers or fat southerners. Luckily, there's a lot of overlap in that Venn diagram. If only there was an oven into which this fat bag of sadness would fit.
The posers seem to think that talking about training equals training time, and they spend an inordinate amount of time doing so. They're the 2014 equivalent of the kids in the early 90s who would wear Stussy gear all day long, but you never saw them on a skateboard- they're like people who wear Bob Marley shirts but don't smoke weed, or people who claim flying the Confederate flag says they're into state's rights rather than dragging black people to death behind their stupid fucking giant hillbilly pickup. They carry bags of foam rollers everywhere, wear shorts made of sweatshirt material, apparently refuse to let cloth touch their upper body unless it says Rogue or Elite FTS on it, and they suck shit at lifting. Make no mistake about the last bit- they suck fucking shit at training. If they claim to be posterior chair "experts" you can bet dollars to doughnuts they can't squat for shit... actually, if they profess to be a "guru" or an expert at anything at all, it's an ironclad guarantee they suck shit at it, and they've an endless litany of excuses why.
Holy shit I love Medusa piercings.
These almost invariably sloppy dipshits will yammer on endlessly about how devoting one's self fully to training is essential to being awesome at it. In the event that they have read anything other than their utterly useless exercise phys books (they'd work far better as training aids if they declinated their trunks and engaged in training partner assisted anhydrous transrectal tome assimilation along the saggital plane), they might offer up Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers as evidence that one must put in the requisite time to become excellent at something. While that might be the case, time spent in the gym by one of these posers does not equal time spent in the gym by an actual hard trainer, and the fact that if one does not have innate aptitude for an activity, they will never be good at it.
Don't believe me? Perhaps, then, you'll side with the autistic, social justice warrior-style. Autistic savant Temple Grandin, who's made a hell of a living looking like the grandpa from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as well as communing with cows to determine what makes them happy on the way to the slaughter, vertical couches intended to mash autistic kids until they stop freaking out because the dog accidentally brushed them with its tail, and writing books about food animals, said that anyone who thinks 10,000 hours of attempting to be good at something, pitted against someone who's actually good at it, will make the try-hard victorious is a fucking moron (Grandin). That's right, Facebook gurus, an autistic broad just called you a stupid motherfucker.
Kelly Pierce showed aptitude for being a t-girl long before she had tits.
To be successful at something, as anyone with a fucking brain would acknowledge, you obviously have to put in the work. That much is obvious. Temple Grandin, however, fleshes out the concept a bit:
"Certainly Buffett put in his ten thousand hours or ten years of work. He bought his first shares of stock at the age of eleven, founded a successful pinball-machine business with a friend at the age of fifteen, and before he graduated high school, he was wealthy enough to buy a farm.
This is not the career trajectory of someone who’s interested in business and is putting in his ten thousand hours. This is the career trajectory of someone who lives to do business. You might say it’s the path of someone who was born to do business. You might even say it’s the path of someone who was wired for business at birth" (Grandin).
The amusing bit is this man is likely far stronger than the Facebook try-hard know-nothings jacking off over their ACSM Advanced Exercise Physiology book.
Thus, you can see why I might call a grown man weighing over 200 lbs with a 385 lb squat a poser if he's yammering on about how he "lives for this shit" and posting various Rob Bailey lyrics-esque shit on the internet. If he actually lived for it, he's be good at it. Shit, I was squatting hitting what were likely high 405 lb singles (but no one gave a fuck, because I wasn't in a meet and I didn't take 9,237 videos of the shit and post them everywhere and beg for attention while whining at the negativity coming out of people who likely don't lift and shouldn't be bothered with publicly commenting on some stranger's squat depth anyway) with no spotter or belt as a 135 lb college wrestler with absolutely no coaching, direction, programming help, or input from anyone at all. The idea that a grown man can't squat double his bodyweight is as much an anathema to my lifestyle as personal pride is to theirs, it seems. In sort- if you suck at it, find something else to do or just keep your excitement to yourself- no one likes chihuahuas or the people who own them, and if you're a shitty lifter who's endlessly blabbering on about lifting, that's all you are to the Leonbergers of the lifting universe.
The Leonberger doesn't even know that horrible rat dog is on his back, because it's insignificant, but will provide a nice snack when it starts its fucking yapping.
Moving along to the other side of the argument, we have the people who suck at lifting an know it. These people will claim that they have families, jobs, girlfriends, pets, children, grandparents, neighbors, lawns, weather, astrological events, illnesses, and at the end of the long list, a massive rant about performance enhancing drugs, that interfere with their ability to apply themselves fully to training. What they don't realize is that no one gives a fuck- they made their bed, so they can fucking lie in it like the corpse they are. If I wanted to end my life, I might have a kid, too. To my knowledge, however, I've not yet come up red when I bet on black with a broad, so I've no massive drains on time and finances that would impede my training as only a child can, so I can still train whenever I want, drink whenever I want, fuck whenever I want, play Xbox whenever I want, and basically engage in whatever self-absorbed, puerile activities I see fit. For those people who've chosen otherwise- sucks to be you, but you chose to do it, so shut the fuck up about it and let the rest of us enjoy our lives while you suffer through yours.
What a winning mindset looks like. I don't know of an instance wherein Goldberg has ever posted fitspiration bullshit... because that's what fucking posers do. Winners are internally motivated.
In the end, as many of the inane arguments on the internet about training are, this whole discussion is fucking moot. If someone is devoted to training and wants to be the best at one or more strength sports, bodybuilding, mas wrestling, or some other related pursuit, they're going to put on their fucking blinders, diet their asses off, train like they're possessed, and tell anyone with something to say about it to keep their fucking teeth together if they want to keep them in their mouth. They won't let two jobs, a nagging cunt of a spouse, a kid, leprosy, or anything else get in their way. Hopefully, they'll have an aptitude for whatever they chose, unlike the fucking goof who emailed me asking if he should quit his job and live as a homeless person in a van in the desert for three years to make it to the Olympics, though he was at the moment both fat and so piss-weak I wondered if I was being trolled. If they do, they won't listen to the people on Facebook suggesting they need "balance" in their lives. Balance, like moderation, humility, even-temperedness, political correctness, and every other thing people who love Michael Bolton, beige, and tapioca pudding proffer as the ultimate character traits and aspirational qualities, is for fucking losers. Winners treat balance like we treat everything else the sheep bleat about- something to be crushed on the path to victory.
Fuck balance. Fuck IBM blue button downs. Fuck politeness. Fuck Dockers. Fuck minivans.
You want to kick fucking ass?
Grab what you want with both hands by the neck and throatfuck it into submission.
Grandin, Temple and Richard Panek. Your Genes Don’t Fit: Why 10,000 Hours of Practice Won’t Make You an Expert. Wired. May 2013. Web. Jul 2014. http://www.wired.com/2013/05/so-you-know-that-10000-hours-makes-an-expert-rule-bunk/