1 The intellectual meathead.
Lifting is a verb and verbs by definition are doing words, Rene Descartes is famous for his quote “I think therefore I am” which in a philosophy is a perfectly valid concept the same link of though seems to have invaded lifting circles “I think therefore I lift” well no bro you still don’t lift.
One of the best sport or performance based acronyms is covered high school – Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS). If you want to get better at the three powerlifts start with first principals using squat as an example.
1 – How often do you currently squat?
2 – How often could you squat and recover from it?
3 – How often do the best lifters in the world squat?
4 – What programmes have given me the best gains in squat?
5 – What volume of lifts in a week work best for me?
6 – What average intensity works best for me in that lift?
If you can’t answer any of these questions then you have absolutely no need to read the journal of strength and conditioning. Lifting and nutrition for all the articles and references in the world are mainly experiential informed processes at the deepest levels of understanding.
Good training is framed around good physiological and training science knowledge but putting these on a pedestal above experience is putting the cart before the horse. We get it you are totally counter culture you are small, skinny fat and wear glasses but you also lift weights! Fucking brilliant maybe you should stick to lifting weights to the point where you can total something above a novice level then maybe start putting your opinions out to public tender.
2 – The caffeine “junkie”
You drink coffee we get it for some reason it’s not just the reserve of people who are tired or hungover rambling into work at 7am in the morning it’s now essential apparel for “lifters”. Like a lot of things that is wrong with the world today it can be reverse engineered back to Jon North walking around sipping on his muckle Starbucks before shagging a bar 25 miles out in front of him and spiking it into the floor.
It is possible to drink coffee or caffeine and not be an overzealous overbearing cunt in the process. Try drinking your coffee before you leave for the gym in the morning or maybe even drinking it in between sets without making a huge song and dance about it!
3 – The SBD clad fashion victim.
I made team GB so I’m going wear my sponsored singlet to every fucking training session for the next decade. Making the team that pays to go to the Masters or Junior Europeans out of their own pocket via being the only person in your class does not make you an accomplished international lifter and SBD sponsored “athlete”, it makes you a lifter in a class of one who has deep pockets.
Even outside of those who have managed to make an international competition and been lucky enough to get lots of SBD swag there are still plenty of lifters who pay plenty of money out of their own pocket to look like a billboard. The SBD knee sleeves are a quality product you got that one damn right. Their T-shirts are just t-shirts, their singlets are just singlets…
If you have been lifting for the princely sum of 3 months and have finally managed to break 2 wheels on squat then you could maybe you should hold off on that purchase of 250 quid to get the belt, knee sleeves, t-shirt and belt ensemble and maybe pay for some coaching to sort out your horrendous technique.
4 – The Athlete page
Mo ‘Farah has an athlete page and so does Usain bolt they also grossed millions of pounds in sponsorship in the past year. If you have paid to take part in a competition as a powerlifter, strongman or weightlifter awesome glad you joined a strength sport and have an awesome time doing it. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news this does not make you a high profile athlete or public figure.
Taking part in a strength sport is normally a hugely positive thing for most people it raises their self-esteem and helps them to make a positive connection to exercise in their lifes, bot of these are fantastic and positive changes. However, the narcissism trap some people can get caught up in is less awesome. Athletics or sport is 100% a meritocracy if you’re not famous or successful generally it is because you’re not good enough to be famous of successful.
Who came third in the first quarter-final for the 2016 Olympic games 100m? Chances are you don’t know, chances are you also don’t know who came 4th or even 3rd in the Olympic final. But you know Usain Bolt won the gold because the world of athletics is merit based and Usain Bolt is one of the all time greats who happens to be in his prime during our life time. He affects the lives of millions of people which allows him the fame and fortune that he enjoys.
Your friends and family might care that you came third in your first competition but the rest of the world does not give a fuck. When your time comes to be worthy of putting yourself out there as a public figure based off your achievements as a lifter you will know, you will probably also not want the attention.
5 – The veteran lifters who have been lifting for 2 years.
Lifting has become a lot more popular in the past 10 years, like A LOT more popular when I started the only places to lift where in two lads garage gyms (literally gyms in their garages) and the only place you could get information on how to start and what programme to do where on internet forums or shambles of websites like t-nation or bodybilding.com. The world of lifting was hyperbole and to be honest it was nice to have a hobby that just about no one knew anything about. When I went to university in Preston (a shit hole industrial town of 90,000 in the north-west of England) there were only two gyms that had squat racks both were bodybuilding gyms and one was weird and one was awesome.
I trained in a place called ultra-flex where the staff were cool as fuck and the gym was a bodybuilding gym through and through. No one did snatches or cleans and no one was clean. It was a great place to train now somewhere like Edinburgh has at least 8 CrossFit boxes each as samey as the next. All resplendent in rubber floor and shitty bars and coaches that only started lifting 2 years ago.
It takes a long ass time to get good at lifting and someone with less than 5 years of lifting and competing experience has around about the sum of fuck all business teaching others. It’s not something you can pick up quickly it takes a very long time to just become a competent lifter never mind help others become competent lifters.
You can have all the qualifications you want but the only one that means fuck all is time under the bar or time around the sport. All your degree and diplomas add up to the grand total of fuck all when it comes to coaching. The ground swell in lifters is absolutely awesome and it has allowed me to touch a lot of people in my local area and hopefully a lot more through the internet but please for the love of god don’t just listen to your “coach” because the chances are they are a grade A Fuck nugget.