Great vs Nostalgia

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Please Vote for Bodytribe for Best Gym! Lets make a statement to the corporate fitness world!! Tomorrow is the last day of voting, so make some noise. No, ya don’t have to live in Sac to vote:



After some serious heavy lifting, add a few of these into your playtime ritual:


Twist away the gates of steel
Unlock the secret voice
Give into ancient noise
Take a chance on a brand new dance
Twist away the gates of steel

Great versus Nostalgia

While acquiring my weekly rations of essential comestibles and pabulum from the towns grocer (goes by the name Trader Joe), I found myself in a Pavlovian karaoke, belting out words to a song before I consciously realized it was on the PA.

Look at you and your mouth watering
look at you and your eyes spinning
why don’t you just admit it’s all over
she just the girl you want!!

Trainer Allyson said, as if I do this sort of thing all the time, “the gym needs more Devo,” and I completely agreed. As I was dreaming up an iTunes wish list (Gates of Steel, yeah… and Peek-A-Boo… and Freedom of ChoiceMongoloid… yeah..), another song of the ubiquitous era referred to as “the 80’s” assaulted my happy bliss. Suddenly the high, winy voice of Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals reminded me that chronology shouldn’t be defined by any ol’ artistic flotsam and jetsam that poured out of that time period (especially when Flotsam and Jetsam DID pour our of that time period). We might actually want to use some quality control.


There is greatness, and there is nostalgia. A huge part of this 80’s revival is not because of the greatness of the era, but simple nostalgia. We hold onto many things and many memories through nostalgia, but not because they are great. For instance…

Devo = great
Fine Young Cannibals = nostalgia.

See… no one actually still owns or would actively seek out and purchase a Fine Young Cannibals album… uh, CD… because they made some pretty bad music. Oh, we might bop our heads to a tune when played through a grocery store muzak system, but this is NOSTALGIA talking. Meanwhile, DEVO CDs are still selling (I’m ordering one on iTunes right now), because they, for lack of better lexicon, rock.

More examples, not limited to music or the 80’s:

Mary Tyler Moore Show = greatness
Battlestar Galactica = nostalgia

Even within a single band, or even an album…

Hot for Teacher = great song
Jump = nostalgic song


Wanna see where I’m going with this?

Wide world of strength athletics = Greatness
seemingly endless world of aerobics classes and body-part training = Nostalgia

Holistic Physical Culture = Greatness
the Commercial Fitness industry = Nostalgia




Is your pursuit of strength escapism or personal redemption?

“The earth it moves to slow
but the earth is all we know
We pay to play the human way
Twist away the gates of steel”



Fun and Stuff…

Trainer Terri has a new program for runners!! Check it out here!

A couple new Saturday workshops have been posted, with more to come, including a Brutal Recess workshop this Saturday! Check them out here! There is also info on the upcoming workshops around the country as well as our Autumn Strength Camp!!

And that pesky Brutal Recess DVD will be available September 1st… despite my current battles with hardware and software. I’ll post complete details next week!

A local ongoing event here in Sacramento is the Sunday night Movies on the Big Screen, where they show films of a weird, underground or off-the-beaten path nature as an alternative to most of the crap that is playing in the major cinemas. This weekend is a showing of a strangely intriguing documentary, part sad, part hopeful, called Strongman, about struggling feats-of-strength performer Stan “Stanless Steel” Pleskun. I’ll be giving a small talk before the film about the history of Strongmen as showmen and the modern subculture of strength performances.



Scarlet update: our newest gym mascot is doing well. Looks like Russell, our Bodytribe apprentice might take her, but meanwhile she’s pretty comfy hanging out at the gyms in the morning and with me the rest of the day. She gets cuter by the day.


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Showing 8 comments
  • Craig in Seattle

    TAV! That vid rocks! September may become burpee month.

    Sweet, sweet puppy!

  • Zac

    Moar Devo.

  • Steven Rice Fitness

    I always wear an energy dome when lifting overhead. Not because I want to- it’s protective gear.

  • chip

    sure… we should make Bodytribe ziggurat hats!

  • Andy

    Haha I’ve got a few to add

    Regarding pizza:
    Chicago Fire — greatness
    Chucky Cheese — Nostalgia

    Regarding death metal:
    Celtic Frost — greatness
    Green Jelly[o] — nostalgia

    Regarding Sacramento’s William Land Park kiddie attractions:
    Funderland — greatness
    Fairy Tale Town — nostalgia

    And who could possibly forget:
    Bodytribe — greatness
    Chip’s former employer/local corporate gym giant, unnamed here for the intent of avoiding accusations of slander — Nostalgia

  • Daniel Holt

    I don’t know why everyone downs Chuck E. Cheeze’s pizza. Everytime I’ve had it I thought it tasted great. There’s never enough of it either. It really depends on which location you go to whether it’s nostalgia or greatness. Chuck E. Cheeze was better in the 80s. Their pizza can’t compete with the really good stuff but it can compete against the major chains IMO.

  • deb roby

    LOVED the discussion of great vs. nostalgic. Not going to add anything to that. And Scarlet is a love. If I were looking for another dog, I’d be heading up to Sac to give her a cuddle or three.

    As it is, I think I’ll concentrate on the shoulder surgery and healing – and aim to get there for Winter/Spring strength camp.

  • Jack

    great video!

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