PR Friday – 13 SEP

Harder

Getting stronger is a process that demands that you get smarter by learning from mistakes. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? You just go to the gym, have a “workout”, get strong, occasionally mess up, but fix it and keep “working out”…right?

No, sir. The process of training is grueling. It can be fun when training with friends, pumping loud music, having a grand ol’ time. But for most of us, we don’t get that luxury. We’re in a gym, a garage, or a “fitness adventure”…alone with our thoughts. There isn’t anyone there to encourage crushing the first set of squats or to hit a sixth snatch in a row. Each set, each rep requires that you make a decision: “Do I give it my all here?” Doing it on every rep isn’t easy.

It would be pretty easy to not try. It would be easy to slack on some reps, to not bounce the hell out of a squat or not finish the pull on your cleans. Sure, it’d be easy. It’d be so easy to quit. It’s much easier to quit than do something hard, so why bother?

Fuck. That. Never avoid doing something that’s hard. Avoiding “hard” makes you a coward, and you can never experience or learn anything by being a coward. By convincing yourself to do something that’s hard when you don’t want to, you won’t just grow physically. You display a quality of strength that correlates and resonates far beyond the barbell. By overcoming the difficult, that process sets you up for success. Your thoughts formulate your feelings, your feelings compose your emotions, your emotions are exhibited through your actions, and your actions define who you are. By structuring your thoughts to tackle difficult challenges, to strive towards success regardless of the obstacle, you formulate into a better person. You manifest into 70′s Big.

Happy PR Friday (post PR’s to comments)

PR Friday – 6 SEP

Smarter

Chalk floats softly through the air. The thumping of your heart is all you hear, all you feel. You step to the bar and place your hands on it, feeling the cold knurling on callused hands. The whirling hurricane of emotion settles into the eye of the storm, the peaceful moment when you have to make a decision to begin.

If you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of an ass kicking by gravity, I can feel your disappointment, irritation, and likely rage. Missing reps is common among lifting, yet dealing with them is not. Powerlifters can go months without missing a single rep to experience the ultimate let down on a third attempt. Weightlifters who push themselves will miss in each workout, but it doesn’t make it any easier. After the initial moments of rage subside, remember that each missed rep is a learning opportunity.

The process of getting stronger is dependent on how you react to failure, and failure will be prevalent. In order to get stronger, you have to get smarter, and you get smarter by analyzing what went wrong, how to fix it, and doing it better next time. This may require a hard look at recovery methods (food, sleep, etc.), the program (levels of volume or intensity throughout the week and over time), and technique (inefficiencies in movement and bar path). The possibility may exist that you didn’t have any business attempting that weight, but you won’t know until you try. There’s always a reason for failure, but it’s up to you (and the coach) to figure out why. Otherwise you won’t get smarter about getting stronger.

Happy PR Friday (post PR’s to comments)

PR Friday – 30 AUG

040821_pyrros_dimas_vmed_2p.widec2Stronger

Training consistently is a learning process, an active process of introspection. Getting stronger isn’t easy. It requires a laboring, painful work that will only be expressed in the next bout of laboring, painful work. Yet with strength training, that process is just as important as the end. Choosing to do something hard — of your own volition — puts the mind in a vulnerable state. It forces you to decide whether or not you think you’re capable. Want to complete a set, but don’t think you can? You won’t. Staring down the bar, daring it to beat you and knowing that you will crush it; that is something entirely different, my friends.

It isn’t about merely attempting something that is Very. Fucking. Hard. But shifting the mindset into not just the possibility of completion, but the explosive dominance and subsequent victory you’ll have over that barrier. The mindset itself is the victory. The destruction of the set is the victory lap. The weening moments after when your heart is still racing and short of breath — that’s standing on the podium. Learning how to give everything you have mentally and physically to achieve your goals is what getting stronger is all about.

Happy PR Friday.

Strong Ain’t Wrong

Sy Perlis benching a world record 187.2 lbs

Sy Perlis benching a world record 187.2 lbs

 

Sy Perlis is 91 years old, has a beard, and is setting lifting records.

That, my friends, is what dudes do.

 

 

Sy Perlis is a World War II veteran who trains five days a week and has a pretty good lookin’ wife for being almost a century old (see it in video below). In the WABDL National Push-Pull Bench Press and Deadlift Championships on June 8, 2013, Perlis benched a world record 187.2 lbs on his fifth attempt (really old guys get more attempts). He was aided by what looks like a single ply bench shirt and a strangely perfect set of teeth (Excuse me sir, where did you purchase that exquisite set of chompers?).

One article also says he didn’t start strength training until he was 60 years old; it’s never too late to start. The man is in good health and is still kickin’ at 91 years old. There must be something to this strength training stuff; strong ain’t wrong.

70’s Big Attitude

Aaron is a PJ, or pararescue jumper, as well as a general badass. He’s already written a couple inspiring articles for us (Excuses? No. and Lessons From Lifting). In this one, perhaps his best yet, he has a call to arms. Are you ready to answer? Ladies and Not-so-Gentlemen, are you ready for some old-school 70sBig? – Cloud

Three years ago I was drawn to this site by the unapologetic, brash braggadocio only a true miscreant could love. Idolizing forgotten mastodons wearing short shorts and high socks. Celebrating facial hair and real meals, encouraging real men and women to be real men and women in a time of androgyny, man-scaping, skinny jeans, Twilight, and other things so horrible they shall go unmentioned. Like 50 Shades of Grey. Those things are not cool, bro, and like my personal heroes Michael Douglas, General Patton, Tyler Durden, Vlad the Impaler, the Techno Viking (that guy took ZERO shits), John W. Creasy, and Walter- this aggression will not stand, man.

In the movie “The Rock”, voted “the best movie of all time in the history of the world” by NATO and the Illuminati, it was said, “sometimes the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots.” Well sometimes the tree of 70sBig must be replenished with the fuel of attitude, with the liquid reduction of our resolve. In the interest of re-focusing ourselves, I charge you to live your life a little more recklessly this next week. Just for a while, think to yourself, “What would Ricky Bruch do?” I assure you, that answer is almost always, “Get extra mayonnaise, lift some heavy shit like a damn boss, and proceed to not give a shit, two monkeys or a damn.” Would Ricky pass up an extra conditioning session? Absolutely not. Would Ricky pass up the 4th steak in 2 meals? Not up in here. Would Ricky wear long, pleated slacks and watch NASCAR drinking a light beer at a tofu tasting party, politely discussing HOA fees? I just got a phone call – the message was, “Ricky Bruch’s estate wants to kill your family for associating his name with that scenario.” It’s that serious.

“But Aaron! I am entrenched in the corporate world; I can’t go stomping around like a heathen, shirtless, scaring the villagers! Also, I don’t know any villagers and my shorts are of an acceptable length for ‘casual Friday’.” Well, first of all, that’s unacceptable. If you say “Casual Friday”, you better be ready for aviator shades and some damn boat shoes. If that’s not the case, it’s time to get your swole back. It’s time to remember who we all are, at our base. Boil us down to brass tacks, twisted steel and ball bearings, and we all realize several immutable, undeniable, irrefutable facts.

We are human. That makes us all physiologically the same, genetically capable of tasks very much the same. If you are reading this saying, “Well, X person is bigger, stronger, I don’t think that’s totally correct…” STOP IT. That’s half the problem. Who’s to say you can’t do anything you want? Me? You? Anyone? What if you just refused to believe impossible things, and simply did them? That wouldn’t make you a superhuman; it would simply mean you refuse to be limited. Do you really have limits? Do you think that’s air your breathing? That’s a Matrix reference. Keep up.

Slap anyone that uses the term “swag”, either ironically or seriously, right in the gob. They know better. Go to YouTube, and look up every video of Leonid Taranenko clean and jerking 266KG, then cook a damn steak and do some mobility. Disagree with someone. Seriously, get into an argument, and instead of worrying how their feelings will recover, wondering how you’ll be viewed, so on and so forth- just disagree. Tell someone they are wrong, and that you don’t agree with what they are saying, and that you won’t be wavering. If the term “agree to disagree” is uttered, wage total war and destroy the room. The world understands. That phrase is about 10% of the problem today. So help me Zeus, if anyone around you says “YOLO” and you do not immediately beat him or her to death, I will find your house and mail you a strongly worded letter.

Here is the hard truth- there are no trophies for 5th place, no consolation prize in real life. It does pay to be a winner, and too often in today’s environment it has become acceptable to trivialize a loss, to rationalize poor effort, to soften heartbreak. Well I am here to call bullshit. If you work hard, you get rewarded. If you don’t work hard, you lose, and you don’t get a prize for that. I don’t know when ‘Murica, – the home of first place, the inventor of competition for everything, the bastion of bacon-wrapped-filets and filet-wrapped-bacon-filled-deep-fried-chocolate-coated-turducken-sandwiches became OK with second place, but I am here to tell you it stops now, and it stops with each and every one of us. It starts with me, and it starts with you.

So this week, get up early. Stop making excuses for yourself, and stop taking excuses from others. Get to work early. Put out as a friend, spouse, significant other, parent, older sibling, citizen, WHATEVER. Stop living your life only to keep breathing and start attacking it. Look for every excuse to get better, and get nasty about it. Are you a lady that wants to get “more toned” and look “better this summer?” Get your lady parts underneath a damn bar and do something about it right the hell now. The world is, quite frankly, not ready for that jelly, and I want more ladies bootyliscious when the sun shines bright and hot in 3 months. Are you a fella that can grow a sweet ass beard, or at least a somewhat child molestor-ish mustache, yet shave every day? By the light in Kate Upton’s eyes, grow that damn facial hair, and do it while you grill some meat and write out your week of programming. Is there a charity, a group, or an organization that is worthy of your time that you haven’t volunteered for? What are you, some sort of sissy? How about you do the right thing and donate some time to something bigger than yourself.

Look into her eyes!

If you haven’t torn up in the gym, so motivated that you wanted to literally explode into a ball of flame, or flipped a table in public only to be applauded for your gusto, or uppercut a punkass into a bowl of punch at a high school dance lately – well, dammit, now is the time (editor’s note, please avoid high school dances, thank you).

Now is the time we take back that attitude, and seize life by the horns/balls/ovaries. The part you grab isn’t important, the fact remains that we must grab that part by force. It’s time to get that 70s Big attitude back. And the time starts now.