Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stupid Shit I Did So You Don't Have To

My career as a fitness professional has been short by most standards thus far. I've been working with general population clients and athletes alike for going on 6 years, which isn't really very much time. In this short time I've learned a lot through classes, seminars, simply discussing random shit with other coaches to see if it's dumb or not. Just like everything else in my life, I also had to learn a lot of things the hard way and eat some crow along with it. I thought it'd be interesting to run through some of the stupider things I have done or thought of along the way.

For what it's worth this will be relating exclusively to the dumb shit I've done as a lifter/coach. Even though I'm sure my Dad would be interested in reading it, there's not enough words in the dictionary for all the dumb shit I've done as a human being (lol@ the time I slept through a sociology test at UMass Amherst because I didn't go to class enough to know there was a test).

When I Thought Olympic Weightlifting Was Useless
Even though I know compete and train (mostly) as a weightlifter, there was once a time when I thought it was dumb shit. My thinking was "I can deadlift so much more than I can clean, so why would I want to do a submax lift? I'm all about Da GainZ, bro." I had zero concept of power development and technique and thought max weight was the answer to every question. Fast forward to the first time I did an overhead squat during Show and Go and had to use 75 pounds and thought "this is dumb, I can front squat way more than this". Double fast forward to when we finally decided to start learning weightlifting and (of course) thought we knew every-fucking-thing and wasted 8 months of training slamming the bar off of our hips and maxing out weekly (don't do this, get a damn coach).

When I Made A Ton of Blanket Statements
I was the fucking King of Blanket Statements back in the day. "You do CrossFit? LoL all CrossFit will kill you." "You don't squat ATG? Well, you're a bad person." "If you don't eat at least 6 eggs for breakfast you're a turd." Well, these aren't exactly verbatim quotes from me, but they all sound like something Young Mike would've said at some point. I was pretty very dogmatic in quite a few of my views, and wasn't afraid to tell anybody what my opinion was regarding a subject. I have learned now that the answer, as always, lies somewhere in the middle. No, not all CrossFit gyms are bad, a lot of them are really quite good. No, not everyone needs to squat ATG, shit not everyone needs to even squat to parallel. You don't need to eat 6 eggs, but it's awesome if you do. I don't feel bad about my previous views on things, because it's good that I believed so strongly in something...but was able to change my point of view on it.

When I Thought Bodybuilding Was Lame
Well, the sport of Bodybuilding (to me) is still lame. I just can't get down with the idea of training to get on stage and let someone else decide if your body is good enough or not. Just seems like a big ball of body issues to me.

But I used to think that bodybuilding exercises were dumb and useless. There was no need for biceps curls; that's what chin-ups were for. Lateral raises were a waste of time, just do more deadlifts. High rep DB presses weren't doing you any good, just use heavier DBs for 8 reps. I didn't see the value in increasing the cross-sectional size of a muscle if it didn't have a direct impact on strength/power. Then I learned how bodybuilding exercises could work to help prevent injuries, as well as acting like a recovery day workout to move blood all around the body and flush out all the crap you build up from training. Now I'm on that Swole Patrol.

When I Did A Diet Completely Devoid of Fat And Carbs For 11 Days
I went into this knowing it was going to be dumb as fuck, but I needed to try it anyway. Four of us undertook this adventure together and it was 50x more miserable than I thought it would be. Basically nothing but lean protein for 11 days...and fucking mustard and Mountain Dew Zero and oodles of salsa. Things I learned from this:
- I will yell at people in line at Trader Joe's
- Fat is really important for certain things. Dan and Luis know what I'm talking about.
- When you scramble egg whites they have the consistency and flavor of whale boogers.
- No amount of salsa will make whale boogers appetizing.
- Don't do this fucking diet. For serious.

When I Thought I'd Learn Everything I Needed In Exercise Science Classes

Hopefully you guys can learn from some of these mistakes. Don't forget to keep an open mind and keep learning on your own though. Have a great day and go lift some heavy shit!

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