A relatively recent trend among the internet only division of recreational free weight resistance training enthusiasts (I use these terms instead of “powerlifters” and “bodybuilders” because if you haven’t competed in either, you aren’t a “powerlifter” or a “bodybuilder”) is really pissing me off. This trend… this paradigm that’s infecting more and more people everyday is the polar opposite of all the things that got me interested in training. We have an ever growing culture of validating weakness in almost every facet of strength sports. I starting training when I was 13 years old to get bigger and stronger for high school football. The thought process now isn’t big and strong. It’s more along the lines of who can lift the least while weighing the least while being able to explain their lifts the most. Like, “a heeled shoe high bar ass to grass halting pause 1 and a quarter squat halfway through a 30lb weight cut so that I can break the Podunk Tri County World Record.”
I don’t know if it’s the strength that anonymity imbues people on the internet or if the general tone of our mediocrity celebrating culture has towards… well… everything, but this is getting ridiculous. Here are some of the most popular weakness validating topics the internet strength community has to offer plus an explanation of what someone is really trying to say.
“I suck because I have bad genetics” or “so and so is only good because they have great genetics.” There are a couple of issues here. The biggest one being that most people who use an argument like this never train over a long enough timeline for their genetics to even be a factor. Yes, there is a genetic component to your potential to lift weights. Like, if you’re born without bones in your legs, squatting will be difficult for you. But, can we realistically assume that training doesn’t affect your genetics? Or that genetic potential isn’t more of an elastic sliding scale than an on and off switch? What if our “genetic ceiling” is made out of glass? Hitting it hard enough will break the fucking thing eventually.
I don’t know anything about genetics. Mostly because I don’t care. I don’t think it matters. Even if you become and expert on this topic and develop a sure fire, 100% accurate 100% of the time calculator that tells everyone their genetic maximums as far as max weight they could ever possibly lift… so what? What happens when you actually lift that weight? Are you just going to stop because of “genetics?”
From personal experience, when I started training, I was 160lbs. I was a stupid looking lanky bastard and my stupid body could barely walk in a straight line without my crippling Osgood-Schlatters flaring up, sending me crashing into the ground, which made my scoliosis hurt, which would cause me to panic myself into an asthma attack. I was also born with a condition that causes my hips to sit permanently out of whack. Basically, my hips are the same as a woman with a crowning baby… all the time. This causes spontaneous sports hernias every once in a while.
Sitting here now, I weigh 255lbs and literally have zero issues with any of those stupid bullshit problems nature tried to make me have. The difference between then an now? Almost 15 straight years of training.
Training and life are both just a constant tooth and nail, life and death struggle between the person you could be if you worked hard enough for long enough and the person you’d be if you just gave up. In short, fuck your stupid genetics. Work cures all things.
“My femurs are too long to squat a lot.” Along the same lines as genetics, you’re not weak because your legs are long. You’re weak because you give a shit about how long your legs are.
Not Using A Belt/Sleeves/Wraps
Ok. We get it. You cherish the sanctity of the game and want to prove what you can lift without “having all that equipment on to lift it for you.” Well, if this is just a personal preference or you don’t want to spend the money on expensive accessory equipment, then that’s perfectly fine. But, you celebrating how hard you aren’t taking training/competing seriously by not using every single possible legal advantage at your disposal is just awful. Hearing people use a vegan-like intensity to explain why all those thin neoprene wraps are adding 50lbs to people squats literally makes me want to kill myself. A strength sport is measured by who lifts the most weights. Not who lifts the least on purpose.
A2G or Ass to Grass Squats
Squatting so low that your prolapsed colon hits the furnace in the basement tells me one thing:
You have a gross misunderstanding of what the rules of competition are.
You don’t get bonus pounds for going lower than you have to. A touchdown is when the ball crosses the goal line. Its not more of a touchdown is the ball is caught closer to the goal posts. Training squats are one thing. Just don’t celebrate your ability to do more work for no reason at the sacrifice of weight on the bar.
Not Taking Supplements
“None of that stuff does anything” or “creatine is steroids” or “its all a waste of money” are red flags in conversation that tell me that I am talking to a moron. True, there are many products out there that are a waste of money or may contain illegal/harmful ingredients. But, with the droves of research around the safety and efficacy of such things as creatine, beta alanine, theanine, citrulline malate, caffeine, taurine, leucine, health benefits of whey, etc., using blanket statements like the ones I mentioned above is incredibly dumb. Please read an actual study (not an abstract) or an actual book (not a forum post) to get information related to this stuff.
“So and so is only stronger and bigger than me because so and so is on steroids.” No, you just suck. From what I can gather from what I have seen on the internet:
A 225lbs one rep bench press max is natural, anything over a 225lb bench press max means that person is on steroids, and anything under a 225lb bench press done for more than 2 reps is crossfit.
Drugs don’t improve work ethic, effort, consistency, magically make a training program more effective, make your diet not suck, make your technique better, etc. So, the solution here is to either put in the time to get better or pull the trigger and buy some vitamin S. Either way, if you’re whining about this in the first place, you’re probably still going to suck.
Admittedly, this whole post is stupid. It doesn’t actually help anyone. There is no information here that is going to make anyone a stronger lifter. So, sorry for wasting your time. Just, please, for the love of everything that is sacred and holy, if you are one of these kinds of people, can we just have a silent understanding that I do not want to talk to you.
Sprint. Kill. Eat.