Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Please Do!


You can shave 'em, you can stick 'em in a speedo after covering them with ego-oil, you can forcefeed 'em to the point of near-illness and death to become strong of body in pursuit of what may be delusion and an inferiority complex, a low-level self-centered goal, but really, they're still what they are underneath, aren't they?

Feel free to comment! I salivate just thinking of the possibility of using these symbols so often expressed in sound to express thoughts with one another.

Lifting . . . A pointless self-deception, or a noble hobby of some worth in the long scheme of things currently present on the Earth-dream?

Let's toss out all the crud and get near-real for a spell. You've read the free words I've transcribed for 13 years here . . . now it's your turn, to perhaps take a few minutes away from reading the free and return the favor. It should be very telling and I may learn something of a lesson in human behavior here! 

Let's Play! And let's try hard not to engage outfitted only in a response we all already have heard enough times to bring on bore-tears. You know the ones. We all know 'em already so bring fresh meat to the table. After thirteen years I don't really believe this is asking much at all, but then, we humans do have that ability to surprise one another with our actions and/or inaction. 


Jan Dellinger said...

A life devoted to serious weight training boiled down to either a pointless self-deception or a noble pursuit which,over the long haul, elevates one's quality of life? Pick one! Sort of a loaded and leading proposition which could go either way depending on one's expectations from a life of lifting.

Mr. Give It A Name knows of my opinions on this topic, which views general weight training endeavors as a wonderful hobby which has been allowed to run amok in some quarters (not all), and this vanity expression
has only exploded with the introduction of the Internet. Admittedly, though, my biased view has probably been swerved by my being too deep in the lifting-bodybuilding "forest" for too long. I might have lost sight of the "clearing."

For most of us, the beginnings of a weight training career revolves around some sort of physical self-improvement--look more fit, be more fit (think health) and stronger or improved performance in athletics. All these goals are admirable.

Come to think of it, there can be a decided boost in mental and emotional outlook thanks to regular training in these early stages. Teens are often searching for ways to achieve on their own level, or set themselves apart from others...within acceptable limits. In my teen years, this was mimicking Superman; currently it is assuming the look of a Marvel charter or WWE wrestler.

Nevertheless,weight training affords teens a regular outlet on which to spend productive time, and offers them visible signs of physical improvement, at an age when one wants to start distinguishing, himself or herself but isn't quite sure how. This is, however, a cross roads of sorts as one can stay within the realm of positive attention and common sense, or, if maturity is lacking, go off the rails. I've often wondered if competitive bodybuilding, especially competitive teenage bodybuilding contests, are not counterproductive as there seems to be increasing numbers of pitfalls associated with it even for adults. Some of these same negatives have spilled over into competitive lifting and strongman. Maybe we should scrutinize the "competitive" aspect more closely in analyzing the original question.

As a general lifelong hobby, weight training is unquestionably a worthwhile pursuit, tending to improve one's physical and health statuses even into retirement years, and perhaps beyond. It is what it is, and only when one attempts to make it more than it is, do the questionable consequences arise.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! From the outside in, lifting is pointless hobby. So much effort and strain for such a small return on investment. And its all temporary if you choose to stop! And yet I feel drawn to lift every day in the hopes of becoming 1% stronger.... 1% bigger. Upon reflecting I dislike lifting. But in typical vanity I love the effect lifting has on me physically. The emotional and mental benefit should not go unnoticed. Pick up heavy things, sad voice goes away.

DJ Frank said...

I've once heard it described that bodybuilding is like building a sand castle. There is the obvious similarity between the art of sculpting the earth, from marble to sand, and sculpting the body. One starts with nothingness - not the absence of everything but an amorphousness that borders on infinite paltriness, so common and mundane that it's unrecognizable, undiferrentiable, and practically non-existent - and uses craftmanship and effort to manifest aesthetic. Aesthetic can be beautiful, grand, gentle, terrifying; it is only limited by the vision and skill of sculptor.

However, the sculpture of stone has a permanence. Marble busts from Rome still portend the vision and skill of those Roman artists. Temples in India built thousands of year still display their engravings of the gods proudly, the art expressing not only the grandeur but the permanence of these deities. However, the sand castle only lasts one day, and the body lasts for just a part of one lifetime. Therefore, taking pride in such a project can be the height of vanity and folly; only despair awaits those seek to defy their own ephemerality.

However, the beauty of human life is its ephemerality. The muscles and strength built in the gym will only last so long, but that is not only enough, it is the source of this aesthetic. The journey from birth to childhood to adolescence to adulthood to parenthood to twilight to death is itself profoundly aesthetic. It is a delight of its own to sculpt one's body and very life to one's desires and sensibilities. As long as you enter lifting with the desire to embrace, not fear or despise, this ephemerality, I think it's beautiful and worth it.

Mongo said...

I don't give a second thought too much about the people using boatloads of drugs. That's on them.

I started to work out to get the girls. It got me laid a few times, but I soon realized that the main problem was in my head. I had to work on that to really get somewhere.

Now it's about feeling feeling good and staying pain free. That's almost as good as sex.

Jeff said...

Happy to oblige your request! I really enjoyed your recent Hepburn entry on building strength in later years. Now I hate nitpicking, but I just wanted to mention that article had a table of contents in which was a section on nutrition, and it seems as though it was left out. I have a pretty good idea on what Doug would recommend but seeing as how this article is geared mainly towards older lifters his advice may be different because from previous entries you transcribed, he said as you age you eat less. So, I'd be interested in what his dietary suggestions would be for older lifters.

Personally, even though I'm 31 I can't stand force feeding and bulking up. I've been 230 for many years and found I'm no stronger than I was at 200. I recently lost 10 lbs. and feel much better at a height of 6 ft 3. I strongly agree with Doug's opinion that true strength is derived from tendons and not the muscles themselves. Even though my full range strength isn't great, most of my time spent training is on partials where I really hoist some decent poundage. As of today, my best full deadlift is 410 but from just above the knees using straps I can do 700. My current quarter squat is 705, half squat 505 and full squat 325. These are just some personal examples of mine that I think support Doug's claims regarding the true source of strength. Keep up the great work and I sincerely appreciate your contributions to the advancement and preservation of strength culture and knowledge!

Paul Leonard said...

I have loved this blogged since I found it. To me, strength training has been the most objective pursuit in my 39 years of training. All my greatest personal triumphs and friendships have come from its practice, participation, competition and reviewing any material about it. My YouTube is Paul L if any kindred spirit is interested.

giveitaname said...

Well here's a sweet deal to wake up to!

The question being seen as different by each responder . . . perfect!

THANK YOU for taking time to reply between reading for free!
Good stuff . . . let's continue.

I have no dog in any sort of fight that may be imagined happing here, none at all.

I want to get to know the "readership" I guess it's called. Different ways of seeing how the same activity, lifting, is seen by them, and me too by thinking about responses.


Tricky Fatul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
giveitaname said...

Jan Dellinger? "Sort of a loaded and leading proposition which could go either way depending on one's expectations from a life of lifting."

That's it exactly!

giveitaname said...

That's what this is. No right answer, no arguments. I want to know more about who reads this, why they lift, answers on any level, body, mind, spirit. That way it'll be easier to gauge whether an article of book fits. Not training styles . . . what's underneath it all, what's driving us (hey, I read this stuff too, eh) where we hope to go with it . . . you know.

giveitaname said...

And it's never "just lifting" -- there's a world of activity inner and outer going on with this thing-of-ours.

giveitaname said...

These are great replies! Wow!

Anonymous said...

Great site!

Tricky Fatul said...

I think, therefore I exist - so the ancestors (and Descartes) said. He who lifts weights thinks and therefore exists. After all, it was not stupid to raise and lower the barbell. here you need to think over a training system so that one muscle group rests, alternate traction and push workouts, you need to think about nutrition - you won’t go far on carbohydrates, you need to disengage from everything and relax mentally, etc. etc. Search for new theories (analysis of pubmed studies, when protein synthesis in the body is better, etc.) and reading mastodons of practice in the 30s and 40s. This is also a kind of creativity, I don’t want to be pathetic, but it’s akin to sculpting a plaster statue ... Thought, action, result, work on mistakes, thought again, work again ... Searching for the ideal in terms of form, in terms of training and nutrition For many it takes a lifetime. therefore it is an infinite thought process, an infinite existence, not existence - but life. The main thing is to enjoy both the process and the result.
selling a garage.

giveitaname said...

OH HELL YEAH! It's like I just took a hot shower and all is new again here.
BIG SHINY THANK YOUS! Youse? You's. You know who you are, no need to giveitaname.

Anonymous said...

I discovered lifting in my early twenties, after growing up a fat kid, being pushed into academia and on my way to a engineering degree. To earn more money than my parents and to "win" life. The vain reasons to start lifting aside, I soon discovered the golden era greats, and those who came before them, the mental aspects of training, the selfcare as one might say. For me lifting, every workout or maybe even every set can become a shallow, or not so shallow hero's journey in itself. In a soft word, strapped to a desk or conference room most of the day, the hour of sweat, stillness and hard work is freeing. Someone said doing the same things over and over again hoping for a different result is insanity, but what if the repetitiveness of lifting is the be all end all in itself?

Keep up the great work, I would like to state that this might be the most informative and wholesome resource there is on the internet. A real gem in a large pile of s**t.

Unknown said...

I Read your blog Every morning for THE last 12 years.I först säga about it in old ironage.us.
I refer tobthe routines here for inspiration Many Times.
Thank you for all that

Unknown said...

I started "lifting" when I was a kid because I wanted to look Arnold. Now in my 40s, I still lift for that "look" but also for that "feel". You know the one you get when your deadlifting and you feel that Jón Páll Sigmarsson "There is no reason to be alive if you can't do deadlift" feel? Along the way I learned so much more about the iron and more importantly about myself. Comparing my health to the health of my peers of the same age, the iron has treated me well. Respect the iron and it shall show you favor. Over time my goals changed from looking the best to becoming as strong and I could genetically become. Believing you can do it is what makes me keep moving forward. I plan to keep moving forward for the rest of my life. Its the inner fight to improve that propels you forward. Never give up believing! Its a warrior spirit. To keep fighting the fight.

This website I read almost daily. It keeps me motivated. Its such a great fountain of information. I re-read many articles Ive already read because I pick up nuggets of information I missed. At first I was just looking for new "sets/reps/exercises" but what I found is the really good information is what is written in between. The philosophy these great lifters had is more valuable than their set/rep schemes. As Ive gotten older Ive started looking for and reading more from the old articles from the golden age and this website delivers. Older never seen before articles from Reeves, Grimek, Pearl and a ton of other people I never knew existed are on this site. Most importantly are the articles from Anthony Ditillo. I had no idea who this guy was before I came here but he has some outstanding articles. The best thing about Ditillo writings are, they are practical and real with real expectations. Cant believe it took me 40 years before I find them but better late than never.

Thanks giveitaname for all your work on this site!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog a few weeks ago.I really enjoy it,especially the '30s and '40s stuff. and the do it yourself equipment,I love that! Im 65 and i started lifting around 20. I knew before long id never be a "bodybuilder" or a competitive lifter,but I knew I didnt want to be a fat guy anymore.And in a couple years, I wasnt. And I havnt been since. I never stopped, its the only thing in my life ive stuck with. When youre in your 40s and a girl in her 20s says "gee, youre pretty buff for an old guy",you figure you did something right! And then at 60, the Doc says "wow you keep yourself in good shape" its worth it.I tell my friends its a great addiction. If you were wondering whether the work on your blog is worth it,I think most of these replies have told you yes.

Dr.Mike Palumbo said...

Until you can’t workout, you don’t realize it’s a privilege.

giveitaname said...

Yes! Thanks for that wee reminder, it's much appreciated on this end.

giveitaname said...

No worries here on the worth of the blog-time-money spent at all now. And it's great to know a little more about why we lift, our different views of what we're doing with it. Okay, back to it with a fresh view! Several, actually, so thank You!

Peter Pheltersnatsch said...

There is no substitute for good health and some form of exercise or training is part of that health. At 38 and over 20 years of training with free weights, I realize the benefits are plenty and worth every injury that came with it. Life is hard but strength makes it a little easier. I'm happy to say I'm lifetime PED free. Used to compete in the IPF and realized that drug tested is far from drug free. It's about integrity, not testing and unfortunately there isn't much in the industry these days. These drug users are strictly concerned with winning, not health.

My doctor once told me to live a long and healthy life, one needs to;
-Exercise regularly
-Eat whole foods
-Sleep 7-8 hrs daily
-Avoid drugs and alcohol
-Manage your stress

Socrates once said, “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this website. I read it almost every week.

I appreciate all the information, especially the lifters that became strong as bulls before the steroid era (late 1960's to present).

I learned lifting the hard way in the late 1970's. No internet, plus all the BS crap in the bodybuilding magazines made it very difficult to figure out the basics; big weights equals big muscles, good nutrition, and rest / recovery. Get in, and get out quick. Hit it hard. No marathon workouts.

Funny story. Lifting in a bodybuilding gym in Troy NY, my brother and I were both getting ready for college football. Surrounded by incredibly large dudes in the gym. My brother and I were stronger than the huge guys, but were no where near the size that they were. I cornered the owner of the gym (bodybuilder who was on the cover of some magazines) and asked him point blank, how is it that I am doing more work / weight that these huge dudes ?? He came clean. Steroids. He had a Dr diagnose him with some bogus muscle atrophy disease, and got his steroids totally legally.


Lee Pinac said...

Weightlifting/bodybuilding/strength training all involve self-improvement which is why most of us started this endeavor. 41 years later I'm still at it, flailing against the specter of mediocrity. It helps me keep my sanity and maintain some modicum of strength.

giveitaname said...

Thank YOU all for letting me know a little more about who you are why you lift!
Great stuff here.

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