Doing the work

While the internet gives me a forum to share my experiences and to hold myself accountable (if it's written it's real), the internet is also a source of frustration.  Thanks to the internet and multitudes of forums and message boards, every kid that's read "Starting Strength", pored over www.westside-barbell.com, and memorized every article on www.elitefts.com thinks he's an expert because he can regurgitate things he's read.  Never mind that none of these kids have years of training under their belts and none have ever lifted anything heavy.  Coach Rip or Louis Simmons or Dave Tate says so and they repeat it like a mantra.

Equally as frustrating are the internet 'experts' that are so afraid of hurting themselves (are these the kids that grew up never having an unsupervised play date or never rode bikes all day knowing to be home before the streetlights came on?) that they preach "form over weight".  Again, never ever lifting anything heavy and, ironically, not using great form either except when the weights are so light, there's a zero chance of any of useful adaptation.

They contribute to the 'noise' on the internet that makes it very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff and to learn anything from the vast amounts of information and mis-information available.  Luckily, when I actually step foot in the gym and start lifting weight, I can forget about all the crap I've seen on the internet that makes me want to stab myself in the shoe.  When it comes down to it, if you want to get stronger you have to do the work.  Whether it's a 'program' that prescribes the work or your own discipline that forces you to do it, the work is what makes a difference.  There's too much talk and not enough work and that's why people don't get stronger.   Same goes for losing weight.  You have to do the work.  Whether it's planning meals, preparing meals and having the discipline to eat them rather than take the easy way out and eat something processed, or finding ways to subtly increase your activity levels to boost your metabolic output, it requires work.  It doesn't happen by itself no matter what the sales and marketing pitch.

As it happens, I'm trying to accomplish both at the same time which, admittedly, is virtually impossible.  That isn't going to stop me from trying; one way or another, I will accomplish at least one of the two objectives so that's a win in my book.

 Today's workout was cluster sets of heavy low-bar squats, overhead presses, barbell shrugs and pendlay rows.  The squats went pretty well, first five cluster singles with 405 and the next 5 cluster sets were 365x2 reps.  All 10 sets were finished in 14.5 minutes.  It took me a little longer than last week but I've been on carb restriction for the last day and a half so I was pretty gassed.  (My post-workout tub of greek yogurt was awesome!).  Still, despite lowering the weight, I managed to get in another 5 repetitions.  Weight loss is killing my squat but I'm not giving up without a fight.

Overhead presses went well, three works sets of 5 reps with 165 lbs.  Barbell shrugs were worked at 495 lbs for 3 sets of 5 reps and I finished up with 3 sets of 5 reps with 225 lbs in the Pendlay Row.  Aside from my dwindling strength in the back squat, everything else felt good and fresh.  I felt good about doing the work, none of the exercises or weights used hurt me, and I'm excited to get back to the gym on Thursday.  I can't ask for much more than that.


Comments

  1. I completely agree with you about the internet and training. There's a mix of boosted anonymous ego, personality worship (just repeating Rip and Wendler with arrogence as if they had the experience of the people they're quoting), and some classic coaching without doing.

    Thanks for the point about babying weights and form. I can tell mine kinda sucks when the weights get high for me, mainly with squats. Also, thanks for the point of view, it's refreshing.


    nosronfuuk (fitocracy)

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