What Was It Like?
You’ll read below why I’m not doing this workout until next week, but it is the official workout of THIS week:
Sure, it’s my birthday week, but she made up the combo (and thank to all who have made my b-day something special. From kayaks to cakes, it has been a grand time. And I hope you all enjoyed Blazing Saddles for movie night).
Sacramento native Tommy Kono is back in town, and that can only mean one thing…
The Fourth Annual Tommy Kono Open! This means that a handful of us are in the final stages of meet training (and eating… if I put on a pound between now and Sunday I change weightclasses) and the atmosphere for us lifters is, in a word, giddy. Bodytriber and Ambassador to Middle-Age-Man Fitness, Ed Pierini began documenting Mr. Kono’s visit here.
Sure, he’ll be incredibly busy while in town, but we’re selfish enough to hope he visits Bodytribe yet again, blessing us with more lifting sagacity.
When confronted with living history, it doesn’t take to mind long to contemplate what the beginning of modern lifting might have been like, over a century before Mr. Kono was competing. Here’s some thoughts…
The First Lifters
Let’s pretend. You’re you, maybe a tad younger (in my case, let’s make that a pretty big ‘tad’), and the calendar reads 200 years earlier. You want to increase the ability of your body. Basic wisdom seems to be that hard work will help you to your goals. It seems to then reason that picking up heavy stuff might be a good way to create a sufficient workload, and eventually you might find others who agree with you.
That’s about all there is available in terms of lifting knowledge. The closest thing to an ‘internet’ in most parts of the world is a system of letter delivery that seems to be run on prayer and dreams. The librarian, if your town even has one of those new-fangled big-city book houses, might think you a ‘bit touched’ after you tried to explain your quest for a book about lifting stuff.
Ultimately it would be just you and the iron. No DVD’s, no Weider magazine empire, no liftheavyshit.com websites, no 24-Hour pump and neon McGyms, just you and a lump of something heavy.
(Ironically, infomercials were alive and well back even in this early date. They were called medicine shows, and the snake oil they sold was about as effective as the garbage hawked in the name of fitness and health today, like this gem Mistress Krista pointed out to me: FLUIDITY, or as bodytriber Ryan brought to my attention recently:
I’m sure this empowers women somehow, but not the way that is advertised)
Today we seek help, often in the form of ideas and knowledge pre-digested so we don’t have to think much. This makes sense, knowing our need for NOW combined with our desire to do as little work as possible. Leaving free thought at home to rot with those veggies you promised yourself you’d eat keeps you at the mercy of snake oil salesmen.
Dan John’s 9th Commandment
As quoted before Dan John once listed his 10 commandments of lifting. I’ll post them here, since he once told me he doesn’t mind me stealing blatantly from him.
1. Use whole body lifts; rarely isolate a muscle.
2. Constantly strive to add weight to the bar and move it faster.
3. The best anabolic is water.
4. Did you eat breakfast? If not, don’t ask me anything about nutrition.
5. If you smoke or don’t wear your seatbelt, please don’t tell me the quick lifts are dangerous.
6. Go heavy, go hard.
7. Keep it simple. Less is more.
8. You have to put the bar over your head.
9. Put the bar on the floor and pick it up a bunch of different ways.
10. Know and love the roots of your sport.
It was the ninth one that slaps rust off my brain. First, the commandment gives you complete freedom, releasing you from machines, gizmos and contraptions that limit your success. It says ‘take one thing and un-limit yourself,’ if I may be so bold as to paraphrase. The ‘bar’ could be a dumbbell, kettlebell, sack o’ sand or your passed-out prom date, the point is that the tool is not limiting, only your knowledge of it. The commandment dares you to create with an open challenge to explore, experiment and learn.
Learning the art of independent thinking is a type of strength all it’s own. It HAD to be when the modern incarnation of strength sports began almost a couple of centuries ago. Let’s not lose that desire to learn and discern.
I was BLESSED with two amazing reviews of our Strength Rituals DVD. After reading these reviews, even I want to buy a copy.
Thank you Laree Draper of Iron Online…
“Providing license to move from traditional weighted sets and reps to playful creativity, Chip then helps us figure out how to get started in this currently abnormal, but growing form of training. They’re working very hard showing us passion for movement and exercise, and having a blast in the process. His is a new definition of fitness, and it’s so much more.”
and my favorite strength ambassador from the UK, Gubernatrix…
I’ve never seen anything that has made me want to run out and train so much! It’s got all my favourite toys in it – barbells, kettlebells, sleds, tyres, bodyweight, leverage clubs….actually I’ve only ever handled a club once but after seeing this film it could easily become my new favourite thing!