The pain of NOT moving

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(hey T-Nation, why don’t you steal this photo yet again?)

Today’s Workout

Max Effort Deadlifts.

Carrie, Sara’s favorite combo, and the one she made famous in the Strength Rituals DVD.

The whole workout looks like this:

The Pain of NOT Moving

It’s no secret… our brand of play isn’t for everyone. A past post on this humble blog delved a bit into the concept of workouts in relation to music genres, and we decided that Bodytribe is a mixture of bop and hardcore. This isn’t to everyone’s palate, as some folks like the meditative repetition of long term bouts with a low-to-moderate level of force development… maybe a good, long bike ride or a path-pounding run. Then there are the masses who opt out of making any actual progress from their workouts other than the slight chance the working certain muscles might make a mirror smile somewhere. Without delving into the psychological mess of folks chasing an external ideal for the quest for peer acceptance, or maybe just a little somethun-somethun, let’s just say that really isn’t fitness.

And it’s far from hard work. “I’m blasting arms today” would elicit giggles, possibly outright guffaws, around these parts not only because it is a lot of wasted time seeking some Weider-packaged he-man (or -woman) aesthetic, but it also is sort of a goofy way to spend time in the gym. In our sanctuary, trying to pass an ‘arm workout’ off as actual hard work just doesn’t fly. We demand some REAL effort.

But we get it. Most folks are not up for this. It’s not their cup of tea, their boat doesn’t float on these waters, they don’t like the cut of our jib. Sure, fair enough. Hard work is… well… hard.

But tribal survival, either against the zombie attack or against mass communication ennui (can we really survive on a diet of continually declining dialog skills like Twitter or baby-talk language like ‘where u at’?) will depend on a little hard work. Physical work. Tough play.

Heck, some of us actually enjoy this shit. We embrace the silliness of picking up something heavy, only to put it down again. Rinse. Repeat. A recent conversation I eavesdropped on had a pivotal utterance of “now it hurts NOT to move.” The profound idea behind this was as metaphysical as it was physical, but the simpler meaning was the acceptance of the craving for some intense celebration of what the body can do.

Can you dig it?


Here’s some ramblings from a real old post that I’ve expanded on a bit…

Here’s a thought: Any reason you can think of, any little story you have to tell yourself and others, any ‘out’ you might use to get out of this brand of fun that we ironhads and movement junkies lather onto ourselves like physiological/psychological shampoo – any excuse you have falls into one of two categories, Fear or Laziness.

Let’s play a little game and see which of the excuses from these lists below fit into which category (and keep an eye out for any that seem familiar to you):

The lack of resources list

I don’t have…

… a gym membership
… my favorite sexy headband
… every piece of super cool equipment I need to pump my pecs
… time

What you really ‘don’t have’ has nothing to do with external resources, but rather attitude and education, since a dash of both of those will overcome any of the above.


The self defeating list

I can’t…

… find the time
… handle the exercises
… stand the smell of burning muscles
… get around to washing my ‘special strength’ undies. I NEED them, or I won’t be strong.
… get to the gym
… because of injury

Can’t or Won’t? Replace Can’t with ‘not willing to’ and you’ll see the problem.

The identifying with your weakness list

I am…

… scared
… weak
… tired
… in pain
… totally baked, dude

You’re identifying with the crappy sheen of superficial self perceptions due to the fear that if you strip all that away to get a view of who you really are, you won’t see much. This is a bummer, since your foundation is probably a pretty groovy place, one that deserves coveting.

Now here’s a big leap for some to take. Could laziness simply be a form of fear? Often we’ll embrace laziness because we fear the alternative. The list above then makes more sense. Let’s NOT DO since DOING means having to face things we may not want to face. Clearing away the muck that we identify ourselves with will find the solid decent human underneath all that, but, as I’ve quoted many times before, “freedom scares you because it means responsibility.”

What’re ya? Chicken?



Strength Camp 2009

Okay, I don’t know about you guys, but I had one HELL of a time. I can’t thank you guys enough for playing with me this weekend. Our tribe grows and learns, plays and laughs, sweats and transcends. Oh, and you guys kicked some serious rear end.


Midtown Shape up meets Curtis Park Shape Up.

We vowed to get our community moving a little bit more. We vowed to not let fear or laziness prevail. We started with a 6-week community outreach program in late May and have turned it into a monthly program until the weather gets too nasty to meet outside. And out newest expansion is to add another park, another community, to the fun. Tav Byerhoff is letting Curtis Park have a taste of our brand of empowerment through movement, and it all starts the first Monday in September. Do the big click here to read more…


Challenge for Charity Update

Quick reminder: this Sunday is our next Challenge for Charity, but the sign up response has been slow on this one. We might have loaded up all our plates with too much excitement between all the workshops, strength camps and other meets and competitions that are popping up all around us. So if you were planning on knocking out some PR’s and kicking some butt this Sunday, let me know by Friday afternoon. Otherwise we might focus all our energies on the other collection of challenges and meets coming up in the near future and postpone this one.


Updated workshop list

The entire September and October Saturday Tune Up schedule will be up very soon. Ya know we dig teaching and learning as much as possible, so it shan’t be long until we post a complete list of workshops to start off our autumn empowerment training.


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Showing 7 comments
  • Craig in Seattle

    Last night I started my ‘new phase’ wherein I stop worrying and start cleaning and snatching all the time. It was good. I was working on the squat part of my clean when 16 Horsepower kicked in on the ITunes…American Wheeze. This is what was playing at Bodytribe when I walked in last Saturday. Made me smile.

  • chip

    “you say you’ve got a bone to pick
    well, there’s plenty showin’ on me.
    Come on up, yeah, bring your temper boy…
    we’ll see, we’ll see.”

  • chip

    I should mention a shout out to trainer-intern Amanda for all the pictures! Big thanks.

  • sara from Pluto

    Nice post, Chip. Unfortunately, the concept of fear and laziness keeping people from reaching their goals, dreams and potential seems to need constant re-iteration.

    I’m always surprised at how unwilling people are to question their reactions (the one’s manifested by fear and laziness). A willingness to do so might result in exposing the part of the self that’s begging for attention and little internally motivated personal work.

    Physical intensity in the gym can be scary to a lot of individuals. Hell, long runs are scary to me. But the red flags start popping up when fear paralyzes people to the point of inactivity and the lack any form of movement.

    Oh- and lack of resources is not a good excuse. Move to Humboldt County and THEN tell me you don’t have proper resources. In addition to my homemade macebell and club, I now have 5 tires- ranging from a sedan size tire to a 300+ lb. ‘loader.’ Oh yeah, and plenty of body weight for push up and pull up work. I would say logs too, but those are particularly easy to stumble on here. 🙂

    I miss you guys! Shot out to the Tribe. Don’t forget about me. I’m surviving, and living proof that there’s life on Pluto (aka Eureka).

  • Tyler

    I’m afraid of Chip. 🙂

    Just as you said at Strength Camp, Chip, you can use ANYTHING as a tool in movement. As I watch the “gym” of my day job become transformed more and more into a field of shiny black monsters (that looks suspiciously like BDSM toys, if you ask me…) and I see an ever-changing roster of members, clients and gym-acquaintances, it really places the concept of CAN’T versus WON’T into stark relief.

    This raises a very particular fear, in my mind: fear of alienation. I see it every day: people afraid to try something they haven’t seen someone else do, either in the gym or on TV. People afraid to be the one sweating, panting and working in the gym.

    Call it fear of alienation, humiliation, judgment, exile – whatever you call it, it’s the fear (or shame) of effort. We have become socialized to fear movement (phys or metaphys – ps, I first typed metaLphys, which is awesome all by itself) and the desperate attempts of fitness equipment manufacturers to create the most luxurious “ab lounge” possible are proof positive. Chip once said to me “You can’t sell what we’re about, because what we’re about is hard work.” It was probably more eloquent than that, but my memory sucks.

    You’re right – we can’t sell it, but we can create a judgment-free community/tribe/family/whatever that allows people to express and empower themselves through movement.

    So Chip & co are doing it in Sacramento. Sara’s doing it in hippietown, Craig’s holding it down in Seattle, and I’m still tippin’ cows in WI. Go team.

  • chip

    Okay, we’ve got too many smiley face icons in the comments (and from sara and tyler, of all people!).

    Tyler, I’ve never been eloquent, so your memory is probably serving you just fine. Oh, and ‘metalphysical’ is totally bitchin’. Sounds like the gym Dethklock would run.

    Can cow tipping be in our next DVD? Sort of a Dynamic Effort press workout.

  • ultrafknbd

    I think there’s a morbid tendency towards “results” in our culture – ignoring the journey, substantiveness, and what-have-you. Hence, magic pills & beans in the form of neon lights, nip, tucks, elixirs, and bells-&-whistles. The pendulum swings between hedonistic physicality and intellectual narcissism: nary a healthy homeostasis. And the divorce between mindfulness and movement is evident in persons who are book-smart sans common sense, or meat-head sans erudition. I often croon that mid-life crises are in fact the first instances of existential thoughts for most people – maligned interpretation and discomfiture of actual introspection, of mindful effort mirrored in movement. Perhaps, I’m incorrect and people have these thoughts all along but drown them until (or if) it reaches a critical mass. It truly is a fear of freedom, of responsibility. But it can also be disfigured dogma, a result-only-oriented perspective limiting and stifling in its scope where “you can’t buy what you want because it’s free.”

    Colon, closed parenthesis.

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