Times are a changin’.

Folks in times like the Great War did things because they had to. Nowadays most of us privileged, first-world folk get to do things because we want to.

I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.

–John Adams, letter to Abigail, 12 May 1780


Little did Mr. Adams know, people would hide themselves behind glowing screens, living vicariously through the exaggerated deeds of others. Past efforts in politics, war, and commerce provide the freedom to do…or don’t.

But that’s what sets us apart. Every time you step under a bar, you’re doing. Instead of talking or watching, you execute. Every time you look at the distance you’ll sprint or the thing you’ll lift with an honest, healthy fear, you are doing. When you look down at your hands and see grit, callus, and blood, it’s the product of work. The product of life.

You train for a purpose, do you not? Training is nearly synonymous with suffering, because true training is difficult. At times, it’s a giant pain in the ass. The moment is hard when the doubt or fear sets in. The planning is hard when you pass on adult beverages or place head to pillow one hour earlier. But there is purpose to this suffering. Not only for the end result, but the moment of clarity when you burst through the fear or adversity. It’s the small victory, the success in the moment. It’s re-racking or lowering a weight with quivering muscles, the electricity flowing through your body. At the success in the moment. There is purpose to this suffering.

And that’s why we do it.



Update: Today is PR Friday, which is a forum to allow you to share your triumphs and failures with your strength training brethren. How has your training been this week? What questions do you have for 70’s Big or your peers? Talk and mingle. Follow 70’s Big on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.






8 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Deadlift PR last night: 425 for 3.

    I’m in DC and super pumped to watch the WW2 plane flyover in a few hours. My grandfather fought in the war (Pacific Theater) like just about every man his age. One of the last gifts he ever got me before dying was a t-shirt that has a map of the U.S. with the text “Back to Back World War Champs!” He only ever spoke with me about the war once or twice, but he definitely didn’t want me to forget who won. It’s my favorite gym shirt; a great motivator.

  2. Great post today. The sense of accomplishment when I get under a bar for squats and push for a new PR is something the average person just can’t understand. People think I force myself to go to the gym and lift but the truth is I’m just so hungry. Hungry for that PR, for that jackedness, for that high from pushing myself so hard. For being able to look at where I was a year ago and how far I’ve come through hard work and dedication. Most people go months between accomplishments. Lifting allows me to accomplish something bigger and better constantly.

  3. I’ve been using the 70s Big LP for approximately six weeks now. Lifts are improving steadily, added roughly 5 pounds of body weight, and all of my measurements have improved. Since it is technically an arm specialization program, I’d like to note I’ve seen a 3/8″ increase in upper arm size compared to my first measurement. Both measurements were done first thing in the morning, cold, no flexing, taken by my wife. Not the most scientific but definitely shows improvement. I am still doing the entry-level template, so no accessory work at the end yet.

    My work sets are improving well as well (all in pounds). Press went from 105 to 135, squats 225 to 265, bench 135 to 160, deadlifts 245 to 295, rows 115 to 145, front squats 115 to 165, and RDLs 115 to 145. I’m doing chin-ups and dips with 20 extra pounds, and pull-ups with 10 extra pounds. I’m following everything exactly as written, the only deviation is instead of the accessory work at the end I’m doing 100 kettlebell swings in as short of a time as possible (right now I’m under 4 minutes).

    Since it’s tank top and short short weather, I’m trimming down but I will keep doing this same program as long as I can. I’m still doing sets across, but the presses may have to become ascending sets soon.

  4. I am back in PR territory after about 9 months back in the gym post-op. This week’s PRs are:

    Press – 160×8
    DL – 390×5
    Bench – 250×8
    Squat – 315×6

    Running 531 and pretty much living in all time PR territory each session at this point.

  5. Re injured my lower back after spending the semester rehabbing it with rack pulls from the knee. Started with sets of 25 and slowly worked down to 5’s. My question is this: I injured it the first time 3 years ago deadlifting. No pop, crack, nothing. Pain started after the session and got progressively worse. The pain was in the lower back and in the upper part of my pelvis (SI joint area sort of). I got MRI’s, X-rays, and went to a bunch of chiro’s/ PT’s. It continues to be a reoccurring issue. Does this sound like anything you may be familiar with? I’ve been dying to start pulling from the floor again.

  6. No real PRs. I had to trim down my program (previously TM), because of other priorities (BA thesis mainly). So, it’s just two days a week at the moment. I’m trying 5,5,5+ and a backoff set of 10. Has anyone tryed to progress a TM not over one, but two weeks (so you’re lifting only twice per week)? I tried it for two weeks, but felt that the light day was really a waste of time in this setup, but I also didn’t want to drop front squats.

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