If You Don’t Train Like Me Then You Suck And You’re Stupid

I get so amused at how angry and upset some people get if you don’t have the same training philosophy as them. It’s almost like politics and religion.

If you’re confused about what I’m talking about then go into a Crossfit forum and try discussing isolation exercises. Don’t wanna do that? Then go over to gymnastics forum and discuss Crossfit. Or go into a runners world forum and say “i love crossfit endurance”.

The discussion of how we choose to train seems to polarize communities of fitness enthusiasts like it does religions. For the most part we’re all working out to improve ourselves. To each that means something different. It might mean dropping 50 pounds, or just the most recent 5. It might mean to run a faster 5K if you love running. It might mean doing the machine circuit at your closest gym just so you can get off the couch without making a grunting sound. Don’t we all just want to be better? Better at life, our hobbies, playing with our kids, walking without aches in our knees and hips.

I think that unless you’re an elitest (power lifter, oly, bodybuilder) training for a specific goal, the how you choose to go about it should be fine and dandy. Even the worst workout (done safely of course) is better than sitting on the couch watching a “shake weight” infomercial.

Yes, there are some styles of working out that some would rather pull their eyeball out with tweezers than do that workout. But so what! What makes is so wrong? If thousands of people are out there doing it, loving it, singing its praises, and claiming to walk on water for brief periods of time after a workout, then good for them. Who am I to tell them how that style of training is just stupid as hell?

I’ve trained in several methods/styles over my 20+ years of doing this stuff. I’ve ran distance (hated it), trained size and strength (got big & strong – but fat and felt out of shape), interval training and light weight, low rep stuff (in shape but weak), body weight and calisthenics (still felt there was room for strength improvement). There are other things like cycling, rock climbing, motocross, racquetball, etc. but those are activities rather than training modalities.

I haven’t done bodybuilding, gymnastics, oly lifting or anything goal specific like that. I train to be functionally fit and generally prepared for anything life has to throw at me. I’m 42 years old. No, that doesn’t mean I can’t do some of that stuff. Nor does it mean that I shouldn’t be doing some of that stuff. In fact, it doesn’t mean anything at all. But there are those that would say that I’m foolish for trying improve my power clean. Asking “what are you trying to prove?”

Why do I have to be proving something if my training is unorthodox?

Can’t I just do something because I love doing it and it makes me feel better?

The most basic human movement is a squat. Little old ladies do lots squats everyday. They sit down to eat, watch TV, take a crap, etc. etc. and what is they do to stand upright again? They squat!!

But try to tell someone you’re training Grandma to squat and they’ll most likely laugh at you or ask if you’re out of your mind.

Bottom line…. train, do what you love, and enjoy the process. If there are haters of your methods then who cares. Get out of their forums and move on to the next workout – YOUR way.


  1. Sterling Brown says

    I have been lifting weights a minimum of three nights per week since 1958. For the past year or so it’s been five nights. Once I took off a few months to paddle a canoe from Pittsburgh to New Orleans, and a few months another time while building a house, but otherwise I’ve only taken a few layoffs of a week or so. Coming off a layoff is a tricky process if you want to avoid injury. I’m always interested in something new. Basically I’d like to be able to continue exercising. I’ve found that as my strength has dropped somewhat, my endurance remains. Anyhow, I think your approach is sensible. My only qualifier is that you appear to shave your chest and arms, and I can’t see how this improves your functional strength or anything else. But I’m an old guy and what do I know.

    • Bryan says

      WOW! I’m sort of speechless after reading that. I have no idea why you think I shave my chest and arms. And to say that is a “qualifier”? Should I assume you mean that if I shave my arms and chest then you can no longer see my approach as sensible? Maybe you’re comment is facetious.

      Regardless, kudos to you for staying in top physical shape for over a half century.

  2. Sterling Brown says

    My apologies. I saw a video on Youtube, and let my fingers type words without first engaging my brain. The person in the video doing cleans looked shaved, which I associate with bodybuilding and stage competition. It’s none of my business. I don’t want to insult anyone. My comment wasn’t facetious — just stupid. I think you’re doing a great job here. By the way, about forty years ago I read an article in a medical journal about a study concerning Olympic-style weight lifters, and it said that x-rays showed that power cleans very often resulted in stress fractures of the spine. None of the lifters in the study was aware of these fractures, the journal said. No pain. Anyhow, I’ve kept that in mind all these years. The repetition clean and press is a great exercise, but caution must also be exercised. Injuries are no fun. I was in the gym business for fifteen years and trained many people, and am convinced that the type of exercise you advocate is essential to a balanced life. And the older you get, the more important it becomes. I agree with you about dips, but again you have to be careful. I strained a shoulder doing dips once, and stopped them for a couple years. Then a few months ago I tried one. And that’s what I got — one. Now I can do three sets of thirty. You suggest adding weight at that point, and of course you mean for relatively young men. But I’m not sure if that’s a good idea for old guys. High reps are probably a worthy challenge, and they may be safer. I’m trying to figure it out as I go along.

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