Once again I have ruffled some feathers. You know what they say, nothing like a bit of controversy as a way of good marketing. So yesterday on facebook I posted a fun little status labeled “stuff weak people say”… Well 90 mostly funny comments later and some not so happy private messages, as well as a few friends less I would actually say the status update was a success. I do what I do and it grabs attention. So it motivated me to actually blog, which haven’t done in awhile. My goal is to change the dialog out there.
So what is weak any way? Well if you are thinking it has anything to do with the amount of weight you lift then you are wrong, because I have some friends that really warm up with my maxes, so I am not speaking as a strength god. Weak has to do with the mental aspect of training. First, I have been a trainer for well over a decade. I have sat through 1000+ consultations with prospective clients. I have had people chat with me about losing weight, rehabbing an injury, improving health, increasing energy, improving self esteem, adding muscle, looking better naked, you get the picture. I could name off 10 more things as could you. Here is the truth. Nearly 100% of the time, regardless of the goal, the person sitting in front of me is underpowered 0r weak. Sure, there may have mobility issues or a medical history, but the ONE common thread is lack of strength. period. They may want to lose weight and improve awful mobility problems but the extra weight and poor movement has left the body in a WEAKened state which needs to be strengthened.
Here are a few examples of what motivated me to vent.
I train a man named Gene, he is in his 70′s and had a stroke a year and a half ago. He has trained with me consistently for a year. Never once has he said “I can’t do this” or “this feels heavy”. (these are things weak people say). Never once has he complained and talked about how strong he used to be, nor has he asked me when his 6 pack was going to come in, or tell me he is strong enough. He has trained hard. He came to me walking on a cane and unable to drive himself around, today he is walking cane free and driving daily. Guess what we worked on this year…. Cardio with some light aerobic intervals?? No, we worked deadlifts, pulling and pushing motions with challenging weights and of course balance and mobility drills.
Or here is Loraine that is 80 years old and 103lbs. She has never said,I don’t care about getting strong. Never once has she asked me where the machines were or that she is too old to train hard. She wants to lift things so she doesn’t have to ask for help.
On the flip side I get well abled bodies 40 years younger than Gene and Loraine tell me, that 30lbs “feels” heavy and they don’t want to deadlift it from the ground. Honestly I really don’t care how it feels. The fact is lifting things that feel heavy are part of the process of becoming stronger and more fit. Yet people want to do what they want to do and expect unrealistic results. The best are the people that come to me with crumbled bodies, awful posture, and in dire need of corrective exercise, and all they talk about are wanting to see a 6-pack. So yes, chronically weak people all say the same things. It is a truth and a fact. They all complain the same and have the same symptoms. They talk about things that don’t matter and how they want things to be, yet fail to listen and put in the work that matters. This doesn’t mean everyone needs to deadlift 500lbs or do weighted pullups, but it does mean that you should never set a limit on how strong you can be or be afraid to challenge yourself.
Jim Wendler a strength coach in the fitness industry has a great shirt that says “YOU ARE BEING LIED TO”. And I couldn’t agree with him more. What many people hear and believe in are all based on a marketing and sales model to boost profits, not based in what works, just look at your local big box gym with a team of sales people selling training like hot dog stand. I want to change the dialog out there and if it takes upsetting a few people so be it. Just remember don’t be weak.