“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Hat tip to Iron Radio this past week where Dr. Lowery was talking about this quote from Ben.
I love it.
I am not a fan of repeatedly failing in the SAME way, but you will fail at times. And that is ok.
Better to try and fail on occasion than to never try.
It is easy for people to point and say things. Some times they are valid and many times they are only critics. They do not have anything different for your to try or test, they just say “that won’t work.”
It is time for action.
Sign up for a powerliting meet, bodybuilding show, TSC, grip event, just pick one. No, you don’t have to wear a lab coat—only the really nutty people do that.
The goal is ACTION. The critics will ALWAYS be there.
They will never leave. You can look at athletes at the highest level and there are still critics chirping from their coach with orange fingers from Cheese Doodles who point out what the athlete did wrong. Far be it from them to try something.
In the coming year I will be doing more grip events and another powerlifting meet in June, despite a crazy schedule of work, teaching, travel, spending time with my wonderful wife and finishing my PhD in the process. Nothing special about me as everyone is busy, but the time is now. Send the stamp, sign up. DO something to move you towards better.
Let me know what you think! What new action towards your goals are you going to so this week? Leave me a quick comment to let me know!
Stay tuned to your email box as I will be delivering tons of new ways that are short and highly actionable to get you to your goals. If you are not on my email VIP newsletter, you can sign up at the link below and get a free video where I show you a very simple tip for more muscle and strength!
LaLanne receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award on September 3, 2007 during a ceremony at Muscle Beach (source)
Just the other day it was announced that fitness icon, Jack Lalanne, had passed away due complications from pneumonia.
While a sad day for everyone in the fitness industry and to those that grew up watching Jack on TV, he should be commended for his life long work in health and fitness. It can easily be argued that he did more for health and fitness than almost anyone else. You could pull people over on the street and virtually everyone knows who Jack Lalanne is. Read on as we learn more about him and I reveal 5 important lessons that I learned from Jack at a young age. He truly created massive change during his lifetime and was someone I always admired.
Jack first got into fitness at age 15 after going to a lecture by nutritionist Paul Bragg in 1929. Paul advocated using deep breathing, water fasts, organic foods, drinking distilled water, juicing, exercise, and listening to one’s body (hmm, biofeedback training anyone?) as methods of prolonging life span (source). Hmmmm, sounds like we could learn from that approach 80+ years later!
Jack went on to open many health clubs and even invented many common place exercise machines like cable stacks, pulley machine and even an early Smith machine (although I won’t hold that against him).
Many probably don’t realize that his message was far from popular at the time. He was talking about crazy stuff like people should lift heavy objects, and even women should lift weights!
That is just crazy talk! We now know the list of benefits of weight training is virtually endless from bone health, insulin/glucose management, strength, mood, etc.
“People thought I was a charlatan and a nut,” he remembered. “The doctors were against me — they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive.” (source: NY Times)
People also may have missed that Jack was one of the early performing strongman of the time and completed many insane feats
Here are just a few of his crazy feats of strength and endurance
1954 (age 40): swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, underwater, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of equipment, including two air tanks. A world record
1955 (age 41): swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed.
1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser.
He kept at it for years, into his 70s!
1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.
1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.
1984 (age 70): Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile. (source)
Jack doing finger tip pushups
Insane to say the least. I also like how he was constantly one upping himself, despite getting older.
Even in his 90s, he started each day with exercise, normally weight training and swimming (source).
“The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow” –Jack Lalanne (source)
When you watched any interviews, such as this one on Larry King, he had more life and vigor in him than most 40 year olds!
Jack Lalanne lifting 1,000 lbs!
5 Lessons I Learned from Jack Lalanne
Weight training does a body good
Age is NOT an excuse
Work to get better, each day
Communication is key
One heretic, can make a difference
What did you learn from Jack Lalanne? Let me know by leaving a comment below. He will be missed by all
As I was reading the follow up comments to Frankie’s post An Open Letter to Member of The Movement (if are easily offended, don’t read it and complain to me; you have been warned), it brought up something I have been thinking about a ton lately.
Am I helping people get better in the gym or am I making myself FEEL better?
Are they mutually exclusive?
Commercial Gym Training 101:
Some days when I go to a commercial gym (which is only about once per week since I normally train in the awesome Extreme Human Performanc Center: aka my cold garage), it is hard to not think “wow, they could be doing so much better.” How arrogant of me, I know, but stay with me.
Here is a story you will hear time and time again. I get to the commercial gym yesterday and luckily I remember my headphones since the music there is horrible (loving the last CD from the band Ventana by the way), and I am part of the way done when out of the corner of my eye I see a guy struggling on the flat DB bench from rep 2 all the way to rep 12. His arms were shaking leaves on a tree in a tornado, his face looked like someone made him drink raw lemon juice with no chaser, and I thought for sure he was going to blow a vein in his head.
Lifting should not be that hard. I am not advocating pink DBs for all now, but the goal is provide overload in 3 ways: 1) more weight 2) more volume (weight x reps) or 3) better density (volume/ time). The goal is not to blow vessels in you head. You bicep will not magically get bigger when that happens.
Nobody sets up their work thinking “Oh boy. I want to set up my day so that I am just toasted by the end of the day!”
Their goal is to accomplish as much work as possible, with the lowest cost (still feel good at the end of the day).
While you can’t see it, virtually every gym has an invisible force field that sucks out the frontal lobe of your brain as soon as you step through the door. If you enter a Planet Fitness, you get your whole brain taken out, so stay away from that place. Although I hear if you attempt to perform some illegal deadlifts there it shows you were able to block the force field, and hence will be kicked out anyway.
Stay out of Planet Fitness or risk losing this! (source:wiki)
Everyone (out there, not here) in the gym is convince that how hard you TRY matters.
I call BS on that.
What you DO and HOW you do it matters most. Remember that whole overload concept?
If you feel like it was brutally hard, that does not change how much weight you actually lifted.
Heck, I can apply the same thing to my own training looking back. I slap my forehead like Homer Simpson and yell “Duhhhhhh!” “What was I thinking?”
“Was I even thinking?” So I am far from immune to it.
The goal is overload, NOT the feeling of trying really hard.
Is your training going the wrong way? If so, stop! (source)
I can put you on a BOSU ball and you will FEEL like squating with a light weight is hard. It does not make it better. Quite the opposite –you just decreased overload. Wrong direction. Stop. You are going the wrong way.
Better Is the Goal
Let’s flip back to my question now of “Am I helping people get better or am I making myself FEEL better?”
Am I more married to how I feel about interactions with people looking to add more muscle, more strength and less fat than their result?
I used to try to explain to people from second one when they talked to me about their training about how wrong I thought not just part of it all of it was – ALL of it!
Oooops. What was the result of that interaction? I FELT better, but did I change THEIR behavior for the better? Nope.
Plus I am not young enough now to know everything!
If I am results based, how much was I actually helping them? Not much as they were in the gym doing the exact same thing.
If I am truly committed to “results first” I had to admit to myself that I was not seeing any results from my method, even though i felt good at the time doing it! I FELT like I was making a difference that I was telling them the truth! Maybe, but did I make a difference?
My entire goal now is to just get them to be a bit better (thanks Frankie and Adam), over how I feel about it.
Better, Bit by Bit
If someone has never gone to the gym, better is just getting them to the gym; even if they do extremely crazy, stupid stuff there. Now that they go to the gym, maybe I can get them to stay off the darn BOSU ball for a one exercise. Perhaps I can get them to eventually test one exercise.
I always struggle and feel like I need to get them to something better faster, but I really just need them to be a bit better, day in and day out. Even if that includes doing other things that may not be best. Overall they are moving in the right direction, and that matters most.
“Our job is to only point them towards better” -Frankie Faires
Just like the pyramid in the photo at the top, bit by bit each stone is laid in the correct position. It may not seem like much at the time, but over years the result is massive.
Each PR (personal record) is one step closer. Another stop in the correct location on the path towards your goals.
What do you think? Am I doing the right thing? Let me know by posting a comment
There is a lot of crazyness going out there in the world. Red Bull being banned in France, lunk alarms in an actual gym (I seriously thought this was made up when I first heard it) and a look inside a real gym.
The crazy French are at it again. They want to ban the energy drink Red Bull now.
They feel that the taurine in Red Bull may be an issue.
For those that slept through biochemistry, taurine is an amino acids and proteins are a bunch of amino acids all “stuck” together. If you are eating protein, you are getting the amino acid taurine. While you may not get a ton of taurine in per day, there does not currently appear to be much (if any) risk with it.
“toxicological studies did not reveal any indication for a genotoxic, carcinogenic or teratogenic potential of taurine” source and 1-13
There is so much bad information around energy drinks out there it is insane. I am working to alter this a bit by publishing a human subjects study on Monster Energy drink. Still working on it, but it is getting closer to submission.
In the meantime, I go off about energy drinks in this post, so just click on the link below
Hat tip to Dr. Doug Kalman on the crazy French Red Bull story.
2) Lunk Alarm at Planet Fitness
I first heard about this years ago and thought it was fake. Really, a gym that actually BANS heavy lifting and making a bit of noise.
What is this world coming to?
Unless I am completely out of my tree (perhaps), you go to the gym with the sole purpose to lift heavy objects!
3) A peak in a real hardcore gym: Metroflex
A gym is a place where people go to get better, period.
No wonder most people (nobody here though, the people out there) in commercial gyms look the same year after year. They lift the same weights, year after year too.
Hmmmm, perhaps there is a connection.
We all know that if you want to burn fat, add some muscle and add strength, you need to either
1) lift more weight (volume)
2) lift heavier weight (% of 1 rep max) or
3) increase density (volume/ time)
This is the definition of overload. Staying with the pink dumbbells in the corner, no matter how hard it may FEEL, is not going to help you reach your goals!
As much as this commercial overly simplifies the process, the reality is that is what we do!
Try to lift something that is really heavy for you with 15 thoughts going through your head. I wish you all the luck in the world.
Let’s take a deadlift as an example. Oooops, you can’t do that in Planet Fitness though as it is actually against the rules.
Your goal is to lift the weight from the floor to a standing position. That is the goal, point A to point B. Any extra movement is not efficient.
Now I highly recommned you test each movement to see if it good for YOUR body on THAT day (go here if you want to learn how) and then work to add overload.
I guarantee you will see progress.
“Adaption can NOT be stopped” –Frankie Faires
If you will excuse me now, I am off to the Extreme Human Performance Center to do some deadlifts while listening to The Agony Scene. If the drumming and the guitar riffs 30 seconds into the video below don’t get you in the state to lift some heavy stuff you need to check your pulse.
If I really crank the stereo, happen to let out a grunt, or drop a weight, I will still be allowed back in tomorrow.
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