Seriously now, how many people are genuinely concerned with their ability to walk up a flight of stairs and not be puffed? This is really your motivation for getting off the couch and working out? This activity plays such a huge role in your life and causes that much angst that you need to train daily for it? Stair climbing? Really?
Before you start on your meaningless, empty, cliched justification of why you think walking up stairs means so much to you and is your gauge of physical prowess, let me butt in and say “bullshit!”
Be honest. You train because you want to look good. Running up stairs is of no interest to you. You want people to look at you and be impressed. You want to look good in clothes. You want to look good naked. You want to look in the mirror and be happy with your reflection. Its shallow. Its pure vanity. Its beautiful!
Never be ashamed to admit that.
There is no glory in getting to the top of a flight of stairs and not puffing. No one gives a shit. No one sees you coming down the street, stops and points and says, “there goes that guy who walks up stairs without puffing!” They do stop and stare at someone who looks good though.
Looking beyond the lies we tell ourselves, the real reason the majority of us train is because we want to look a certain way. Guys want to be big and muscly. Blah blah blah quit your protests and stop saying, “oh I don’t want to be too big.” Let me repeat myself, bullshit! You do so! If there was a single pill that a guy could take that would take them from what ever they currently looked like to a muscle bound comic book character, I guarantee you 99% would take that thing so quickly you couldn’t even get the words “potential side effects” out.
What most guys really mean when they say they don’t want to get to big is: they aren’t willing to put in the work and effort to get there. There is nothing wrong with that. I’m certainly not. Im the first to admit I would love to look like a in shape pro bodybuilder, but I’m sure as hell not willing to do what they do in an attempt to get there. Especially as there is also no guarantee I even would. As a result, I’ll always be a representation of what I’m willing to do.
And the girls who say they don’t lift weights because they don’t want to turn into muscle bound men, oh bullshit! Of all the hundreds of thousands of women around the world lifting weights, the percentage of muscle bound manly looking women would be less than 1% and those are the ones who dedicated their entire existence to getting that way. They didn’t trip, stumble over and get up looking like that.
Once again, if there was a pill that women could take that turned them into a lean, athletic version of their current self with a perfect firm ass, flat stomach, shapely arms, shoulders and legs, they couldn’t produce the pills fast enough to keep up with demand.
So if we all know this, why are so many people doing everything in their power to not get there? Wouldn’t it just be easier to do the things that will give you the outcome you desire? I just don’t get it.
What are you running up stairs for? Where in your life do you have a need to run up stairs that much that you need to train to be better at it? Who in the history of mankind transformed their body from running up stairs? Yes there are some awesome looking athletes out there who run up stairs as part of their training, but they don’t look that way from running up stairs!
What are you doing Crossfit for? Even Crossfit doesn’t know what it is which is why it has to make up a random workout each day for people to do. Plus the best looking Crossfitters, don’t do Crossfit! The fat, dumpy, out of shape, looks like he is about to have a heart attack man who created Crossfit, doesn’t do Crossfit!
What are you running for? You cant seriously want to look like a runner? Have you ever heard someone look at a bunch of marathon runners and go “mmmm yes thats how I want to look.”
What exactly are you trying to achieve?
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
Why are gyms cluttered with people doing utterly useless activities with absolutely no purpose? What the hell does “functional training” even mean? Functional as opposed to all the other types of non-functional training that have no direct carry over to every day life? I mean I constantly find myself on the floor in a plank position, just chilling. How many times have you needed to do a handstand today? Good thing you did all that training on a bosu ball to stabilise your core for those spontaneous handstands! In my thirty plus years on earth I’m yet to find myself in a situation where I need to wave multiple heavy ropes at people, yet this seems to have taken off amongst functional training “athletes”.
How functional are squats and deadlifts? How many times do you bend over and pick something up each day? How many times do you sit down and stand up each day?Thats how functional they are. How functional are box jumps? When was the last time you needed to jump up something 3 feet high? That’s how functional that is.
Ignoring functionality, how is any of this useless crap going to make you look good? Why are you doing it? No one really cares about core strength. No one is losing sleep over the state of their core. How many of you walk down the street and constantly fall over? None of you I’m guessing, which means your core is perfectly fine. Core strength is just some bullshit term physios and chiros made up to get you back in to see them 3 times a week. You don’t have back issues because you have a weak core. You’ve got back issues because every fucking physio has told you to stop training your back!
There are so many rules people are being forced to follow completely ignoring that they just want to look good! No one really cares how perfect their technique is. Why would you? You just want bigger arms dammit! Who cares if you swing the dumbbell and engage other muscles to curl. “Omg I didn’t isolate the brachiallis and may have engaged the delt and pec major. The entire set is ruined. Completely useless. I may as well have done nothing at all.” People are being told to adhere to strict lifting guidelines so much that now they’re completely unable to lift anything!
The amount of people who can’t even bend over and pick up a bar with 60kg on it is staggering! They approach the bar, look down at it confused and run through the check list of things their AIF flunky trainer told them they need to focus on. Are my feet the correct width apart? Are my hands the correct width apart? Is my back on a perfect 45 degree angle? Are my shoulders pulled back enough? Am I sitting down enough? Is my weight back enough? Do I push with my legs first? When do I straighten my back? When do I drive my hips through? What if my back rounds? JUST FUCKING STAND UP!!!
Why is it I can tell a new client to walk up to a bar and say, “Pick it up. Don’t think about it, just walk up and pick it up”. Without thinking, they walk up, bend over and lift the bar up perfectly. It’s just natural. Yet when I tell them to deadlift the same bar, all of a sudden they’re so concerned with the angle of their back, the position of their ass, are they sitting back far enough, is their back rounding, do they push through their legs or pull with their back, that they can’t lift the same weight that only 10 seconds ago moved effortlessly without any thought.
To the trainers out there, my message to you is this: if you can’t do it, don’t teach it! There is no shame in teaching the small amount you do know and teaching it well. And if you don’t know anything? Get a new job! Quit giving out incorrect advice on how to lift if you don’t know yourself. If your experience with deadlifts is what you’ve read in a book or seen on youtube, stop trying to teach it! You’re dangerous and you’re ruining peoples lives and their training. If you deadlift less than the average 90 year old, don’t teach deadlifts!
The point of training is to make progress. To get better at something. Footy players train to get better at playing footy. They aren’t there day in and day out to follow the rules of footy training and to go through the motions. Want to win a spelling bee? Pick up the dictionary and train your mind! The point of weight training is to get better at lifting weight. Progress is quite simply measured by: are you able to lift more weight? If you can’t lift more weight, you haven’t made any progress. It doesn’t matter how wonderful your technique is, how much burn you caused in the muscle, how sore you were the following day or even how slow your up and down tempo is, if you’re not lifting more weight, you’ve gone no where, aaaaaand you probably don’t look any different!
It’s gotten so bad that people are apologising for training hard. Keyboard warriors are causing people to feel ashamed of their progress. Social media has made people so scared to struggle, let things get ugly, not be perfect that every video post opens with an excuse for why the reps aren’t perfect rather than just saying, “I lifted some heavy ass weight and I’m fucking stoked!”
I’m not quite sure where the message has been lost. Most people instinctively say they’re going to start going to the gym because they want to look better. It’s just accepted you go to the gym to use the equipment to tone up and lose fat. Yet today we see most people not using the equipment and doing a multitude of other things that have never shown any success in transforming a physique. All the while being led by a trainer who also has no physique.
At the end of the day I’m certainly not knocking anyone for trying to get in shape. I’m definitely not saying continue to live that sedentary lifestyle of couch surfing and eating junk food. What I am knocking is the misinformation being spread that the body you want can be achieved by the rubbish training being done.
As always, everything I write is horribly generalising and I admit there are so many exceptions to everything I say. Where my opinion wont change though is that for the average person, the reason they started training was to look better in some way. Don’t tell me not everyone goes to the gym for aesthetic purposes. Bullshit! I understand the desired look is an individual and subjective thing but most people are there to improve the way they look. They wanted to fit into their clothes better, drop a few dress sizes, have broader shoulders or just get bigger. They didn’t start training because they wanted to train. Most people hate training. They want the quickest and easiest way to achieve their goal. The problem here, is people are being led to believe that the meaningless fitness based training they’re doing, being taught by equally out of shape unqualified morons who make it up as they go along, is going to have them looking the way they want.
It wont and it isn’t.
You don’t really care how fast you can run up those stairs and if you’re puffing when you get to the top. All you really care about is do you look awesome doing it?