Chaos and Pain




In the first part of this bit of wild-eyed polemic, I explained that the evidence-based coaches in the strength training community are, almost to a person, liars who resemble in many ways the idiots and psychotics who espouse the Flat Earth theory. The issue, however, goes deeper than conspiracies, however. The theoreticians behind the studies utilized by evidence-based training aren’t eminent lifters, nor are they wild-eyed optimists with the goal of advancing the human condition. However, they are shills paid to promote the degenerate goals of the cabal of coaches seeking to limit the potential of neophyte lifters to validate their weak sauce training methods and excuse the lack of results they produce.

Whereas the power of belief, the lack of mental limits on performance and growth, or the innate desire to achieve led us in the past to utilize training methodologies. Therefore, essentially amounted to “if you believe in it, it will work,” lifters now wait for “clinical evidence” to put a training method to the test rather than opening their goddamned eyes and taking what is happening before them as proof of concept. The insanity and weakness driving that mentality is staggering, yet most strength sports “athletes” (CrossFit and strongmen being obvious exceptions, because those people are hellbent on super humanity) take that stuff as gospel.

 “The whole machinery of the state, in all different countries, is turned on to making defenseless children believe absurd propositions the effect of which is to make them willing to die in defense of sinister interests under the impression that they are fighting for truth and right. This is only one of the countless ways in which education is designed, not to give true knowledge, but to make people pliable to the will of their masters.”

-Bertrand Russell

That’s right- it is a goddamned cabal of people who have no business discussing strength manipulating people who don’t know better into believing they’re preordained to be weak, then tricking them into the belief that the degrees they have validate their garbage training methods, which are designed for weak people by weak people to induce very marginal gains to ensure a never-ending income stream. And if the above quote doesn’t make you want to hang one of those pussy-ass poser coaches from the nearest lamppost, you are officially dead inside.

The bull crap adage “those who cannot do, teach,” is even less valid when it comes to strength and nutrition, because if they could truly turn anyone into a serious athlete, they likely would have started with themselves. Thus, if they cannot do, they have absolutely no business teaching.

Would you take advice about street racing from a guy whose parents bought him a Ferrari or the paraplegic who built his own rat rod from the ground up?

And as to their degrees, granted from institutions of purported higher learning who are willing to have their name attached to these charlatans- they’re no more meaningful than the Elite FTS shirt you have in your dresser. Does the fact they allowed you to purchase their stiff mean they endorse your lifting and the beliefs you espouse? Of course not, and the degrees for which these fraudulent coaches have paid are similarly meaningless. As Arthur Schopenhauer said:

“Ordinary folk have a deep respect for professional men of every kind. They are unaware that a man who makes a profession of a thing loves it not for the thing itself, but for the money he makes by it; or that it is rare for a man who teaches to know his subject thoroughly; for if he studies as he ought, he in most cases has no time to teach it.”

In this case, studying would almost entirely consist of actual lifting, and Schopenhauer sums up my myriad issues with these wussy, half-assed, witch doctor coaches who are nothing but money hungry pussies with perpetuating the weakness of others at the forefront of their minds. Hell, even when they succeed in making someone super strong, it is purely by accident, as the goal of their coaching is not the success of their lifters but the propagation of their system. As such, they don’t use logic to create their methodology- their method is eristic. The form of the conclusion is correct, but the premises by which the conclusion is drawn are untrue, because victory in the form of sales is their sole goal.

Pissed off yet? You should be, because these coaches, reliant on tiny studies and the broad conclusions drawn from them, are fakes. Impostors. Posers. Ersatz rather than genuine. They’re like Danielson at the beginning of the Karate Kid who thought he could fight after doing the exercises in those (awesome as hell, and I owned dozens) of ridiculous karate how-to books. Imitation might be the greatest form of flattery, but in this case, it’s just disgusting.

They’re like shaved monkeys pretending to be insurance salesmen, masquerading as logical while ignoring established anecdotal fact to promote their completely illogical agendas. Their popularity, which many holds as proof of the veracity of their claims, proves nothing more than the fact that people have been lied to so much that at this point they’ll believe any nonsense spouted by a limp dick in a lab coat.

Somehow, Ernest Cadine managed to transcend his natty genetic limits and trash everyone in Olympic weightlifting all without the help of science. At 5’6″ he competed at 181lbs and pulled a right-hand axle deadlift of 367lbs.  Bull crap artists like Lyle McDonald, Marc Perry, and Martin Berkham claim this to be impossible, yet it happened.

It’s not even that I have anything against the concept of evidence-based training, but the reality is that the scientists conducting the studies have inherent bias before beginning them and utilize them in a manner that allows them to prove faulty theories. Even if that weren’t the case, their findings are in no way commensurate with the practical, hands-on knowledge in strength sports that has been compiled and refined over the history of human existence. Hell, it’s not just strength sports- wouldn’t you rather take advice on building furniture from a well-respected carpenter or on fixing your car from an actual mechanic?

Not the guys who read books about it and never successfully did either thing themselves, but the guys who have the practical, hands-on knowledge in going it? Would you want sex tips from a virgin with a PhD in human sexuality or a prostitute? For whatever reason, that sort of question is never raised in strength sports, and it should be. People are metaphorically putting their kids in a daycare run by child molesting serial killers and happily overpaying for the service, and this nonsense has got to come to an end, because you’re better off trying to get to the moon in a rocket built by a Flat Earther than you are trying to get insanely strong and jacked using the methods of one of this evidence based asshats.

The glute guy, Bret Contreras, can coach you to a ridiculously subpar squat (my man squatted a hilariously low 424lbs at 242lbs as a self-proclaimed authority on the muscle group responsible for big squats) for the low, low price of $120 a month! For some perspective, my ex-wife squatted 350 for a double at 135, belt less, and didn’t think her lifts were in any way noteworthy… and Brett wrote a whole article excusing his crappy performance with genetics. Surprise!

For my money, it’s far more embarrassing to pay a poser for bad lifting advice than it would be for a suburbanite to take a trap out on a date that would end up in sex. Worst case there, you were fooled by solid makeup skills and overpowered by your penis, whereas paying a fake-ass authority on strength like Contreras means you’re weak, stupid, out a chunk of money, and unlaid.

In closing, the evidence/science/empirically-based training movement is a devious, illogical, close-minded, pretentious, and ultimately psychotic (in that the people perpetuating it are shallow and useless to the point of being mentally imbalanced) money grab that should be met with violent reprisals. The movement has ripped the soul out of two strength sports and is draining the life out of a culture that used to be about positivity (not the idiotic touchy-feely disingenuous nonsense you see in IG comments and hashtags, but rather the genuine communal desire for everyone to get bigger, better, and more jacked), because it is bereft of imagination, joy, aggression, and art. Yeah, art.

Strength training is as much, if not more, art than science, and anyone who disputes this fact is either an idiot or a liar (the exceptions to this rule are again Greg Nuckols and Mike Tuscherer. Nevertheless, I contend they succeed despite, rather than because of, their methods). Your body is not a Betty Crocker Easy Bake oven that you can construct following step by step instructions, nor is your deadlift a cake you can follow a recipe to bake to perfection. 

 The Soviet system didn’t produce beasts like Rigert and Alexeev- it just benefited from their existence. The rules and programs did not apply to guys like Rigert and Alexeev, who could train as they would.

It’s time to take back our scene and drive these false prophets of the false god of science the hell out of strength sports. Their methodology and attitude are destroying weightlifting culture- replacing the zest for life with banality, the camaraderie with attention whoring on the internet, and the desire to transcend the human condition with a solemn vow to wallow in it. For those of you who feel like you want a coach, check out this great video lecture on the subject of picking a coach by Jay Nera, who is both a great lifter and a really good guy, or just ask yourself two questions when choosing one- “what have they done?” and “who have they coached?”

If the answer to either is nothing or no one, find someone else, or just figure it out for yourself. Picking stuff up and putting it down is not all that hard- if you suck at it, you’re either overthinking it or not trying hard enough.

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