Pull More Weight and Feel Good Doing It

I've never been the type of coach who feels he's figured everything out. Sure, some things are set in stone:

  • You need to lift heavy things in order to get strong(er).
  • It never hurts to do a bit of cardio.
  • There's no inherently "bad" exercise, just people who aren't a good fit for said exercise. (Except kipping pull-ups. Seriously, stop.)
  • He-Man is pretty much the only person in history to have pulled off a bowl cut.

Outside of this handful of things, I tend to fall in the "it depends" camp and take the middle ground on pretty much every issue.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear a coach wax poetic about how their way is the only way to teach a specific lift. Or worse, they insinuate that you're a moron if you don't follow their way of doing it. There's almost nothing more dubious in strength and conditioning than the words: everyone, always, and never.

  • EVERYONE must bench press.
  • You ALWAYS have to use the low-bar position on the back squat.
  • NEVER sumo deadlift because it's cheating.

Whenever I hear someone use those three words in a sentence, my bullshit meter immediately kicks into high gear. My rule is simple:

Unless your name is Gandalf, get over yourself. He's an all-knowing wizard and even he'd agree that every exercise should be catered to the health history, needs, goals, and ability level of every lifter.


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