I am going to devote today’s “tip of the day” to the “truth.”
Everybody is looking for the “truth” about what bodybuilding/powerlifting/weight training for fitness, is “really” about. If I only had a nickel for every post I have read about that describes what constitutes the absolute “ultimate reality” of effective weight training. Everyone is looking for the definitive program that lays everything out for them, step by step, at least within a reasonably definable framework of a “system” that is the system of all systems. Guaranteed to make you the god or goddess you yearn to be……………..
And the absolute truth is…….I hold the truth. Problem is so do MANY, MANY others. And the so very interesting thing about this “absolute truth” is we are all right!!!! And all wrong at the same time!!! Some of you might have guessed that I was going to get philosophical here, and I am. Because I truly believe that unless we all can share more than how to get bigger and stronger, we are only achieving a part of what can be accomplished in this arena of information exchange. We then are operating more like a raft and not the river. The raft may get you to the other side of the river, but the river is the power and energy that makes it all possible. Unless the articles and posts are helping one not only build their bodies but their minds and spirits as well, only a small percentage of the possible benefit has been achieved.
Let’s take a peek at the “truth.” Ask anyone of respected authority about what constitutes effective training for size and strength and you are sure to hear the “truth.” While there is nothing wrong with what most of the experts in the field have to say, the component that is usually lacking in their version of the truth is that it is their truth, and it will be a non-truth for many others as long as they are dogmatic in the application of their pet theory. Many of these truths are an absolute lie (or failure of progress) for a big percentage of the trainees seeking the “truth.”
Weight training, is somewhat like religion, art, and many other activities that throw in that totally unpredictable wildcard of human individuality into the equation. Ask 10 deer hunters what the best caliber for deer is. You may get 10 different answers. Ask 10 Harley riders, or street rodders what the “best” way to go fast and look cool doing it is and you may get WAY more than 10 answers. And they are all right!! Dogmatism and limited perspectives are some of the many human conditions that keep us as a species from growing and fulfilling our almost limitless possibilities. And I will tell you it is damn hard to find an activity as ruled by dogmatism and generalities “carved in stone”, as the various branches and systems of weight training.
We look at the world through our own eyes, and while it is plainly obvious that we all have eyes, it is apparently not so obvious that what we see is filtered through our own unique perspective that colors all that is experienced by our individual bodies, minds, and spirits. The way we interpret and react to any stimulus is the totality of our physical bodies, our minds, and the experiences that came before every second of “now” that have shaped how we perceive things to be. The “reality” of my perceptions, your perceptions, and the next guys, are the sum total of the mind, body, and spirit (for those, that believe they possess one (myself included) (can I do parenthesis in parenthesis) (yes, I guess I can—lol).
What you should avoid as much as possible is the belief that your belief is the only truth, and that the way that is most productive for you is the only path to the destination. If you have read much of my writings you know that I am an advocate of lower volume training. I would bet it “all” that if you picked someone at your average gym in anywhere USA, or the country of your choice. Then blindfolded them, spun them around like a contestant in a piñata bash, and told them to start walking blindly until they ran into someone, and kept doing the same thing in this blind and impartial fashion until they has 100 “picks”, they would find that the greatly larger percentage of this selectively unselected group would do much better on low, or lower volume and frequency training than what is popularly advocated by the glossy magazines that showcase the genetically elite.
These are the role models that have set the so-called standard as the best way to get huge. Be that as it may, my opinion in no way refutes the fact that some people of the group would thrive much better on high volume and frequency workouts. So……..we are back to the fact that for every “truth”, there is a “lie.” In this case the lie being all those that did better using the other guys truth. And I understand that my experience with this may be totally different than others, I can and do accept this.
Opening yourself to see that the other training and diet philosophies are valid can have more impact than you would imagine. The impact will be scaled by how you apply it. If only taken in the context of how it can be applied to your understanding of training and application to your routine and diet, it will be worthwhile. It will have significant benefits of helping you better understand what might be potentially productive options training and diet wise. Hell, if the only benefit was to stop some of the never ending “theory bashing” that goes on at many of the online forums the training world would be much improved.
But if you can use this little shift of thought to open yourself to the notion that in any human interaction there is bound to be differing viewpoints on any topic or issue of discussion you will reap the real benefits. It is absolutely amazing how much energy is wasted by peoples need to be right. People alienate themselves from those with differing views, conflict and struggle at all levels from two people in a hostile debate, to wars being fought because of peoples absolute need to be right at all costs, and inability to see that others viewpoints, no matter how “whacked” they seem to be, are still right for them. This doesn’t mean to adopt an attitude of “anything goes”, nor does it mean that you should refrain from trying to show people your point of view. It does mean that when you disagree, you agree to disagree and understand that even the most diametrically opposed viewpoint is valid for the person holding it, and you should not spend inordinate amounts of time and energy trying to beat your perspective into others.
I often find links to boards I have not been to yet and will sign-up as a board member, answer a few posts, or post an article or two, and the reaction at some boards is often downright hostile. Simply because my posts didn’t go along with the prevailing “experts” on the forum. And so it goes with life too.
Can’t we all just get along—lol, Rodney King