The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    The Spear of Benkei

    Monday, June 12, 2006



    Towards the entrance of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, there is an abnormally large spear placed in a hole in the wooden walkway. The staff itself is rectangular and smooth, about 8 and a half feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. Legend has it, that the warrior-monk, Benkei, used it as a walking stick and left it at Kiyomizu temple. Also, according to legend, if you can lift it, you will be rich.

    The staff/spear is not anchored. It is resting in a slot in the wood which demands that it be lifted straight up - it cannot be leaned at all.

    Benkei's Spear


    Well, being with a group of 20 students who were begging me to try to lift it, I had no choice but to try. The metal of the staff was very smooth with really no way to get a secure grip. There was a single, tiny peg sticking out of the staff at about eye level, but it was not an aid at all - if anything, trying to use it probably made it more difficult. It did not budge for me at all.

    In retrospect, I should have tried to hold it with a choke-hold and lift it that way, but there was a line of tourists waiting to give it a shot, so I gave up after a couple uninspired attempts.
    Last edited by Sensei; 05-06-2007 at 08:51 PM.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

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  3. #2
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    thats pretty cool man
    2000 or bust

  4. #3
    Senior Member Jinkies's Avatar
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    Ive always wanted to take trip to Japan, this just adds one more reason

  5. #4
    Senior Member KevinStarke's Avatar
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    Very cool, i've always wanted to go visit Japan, stay for a few months but i've always lacked the funds. I'll get around to it someday, and i'll not only lift that spear but i'll strike down my enemies with it.

  6. #5
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    going to japan in 6 months! I'll be sure and post a picture of my swinging that thing around

  7. #6
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    had it been directly on the ground i gaurantee you could lift it

  8. #7
    Wolfy!!!!! bigbadwolfe's Avatar
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    Is it held up by that wood or how is it sitting upright? Just curious alsmot looks anchored in a way. Please elaborate on Benkei? Who what when where how? you know the typical questions enquiring minds wanna know!!!

    Wolfy!!!
    MONSTER MODE

  9. #8
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    on a similar note, there is a guy at work who is about 50yrs old who is always talking about giant people and how they used to exist as recently as 100 years ago still.

  10. #9
    Iron4Life
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    Very Interesting Sensei...
    Like those Scottish and Irish Stones...
    I bet there are a bunch of stories like those around the Japanese templates..
    good luck on your next one.. tourist..

  11. #10
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    It does remind you of those Scottish lifting stones, like Inver, doesn't it?

    The staff/spear is not anchored. It is resting in a slot in the wood which demands that it be lifted straight up - it cannot be leaned at all.

    Benkei was a warrior monk in the 12th century. He is most famous for posting himself at a bridge in Kyoto and defeating 999 samurai and collecting their swords. The 1000th warrior he faced was Minamoto Yoshi-tsune (*edited w. hyphen to bypass filter*) who defeated him - Benkei became one of Minamoto's most famous warriors and eventually died in battle under his service.


    Toki,
    Good luck! Get pictures. I will probably make a special trip and give it another shot the next time I am in Japan.
    Last edited by Sensei; 05-06-2007 at 08:47 PM.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  12. #11
    lockupgym.com waynedang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei
    It does remind you of those Scottish lifting stones, like Inver, doesn't it?

    The staff/spear is not anchored. It is resting in a slot in the wood which demands that it be lifted straight up - it cannot be leaned at all.

    Benkei was a warrior monk in the 12th century. He is most famous for posting himself at a bridge in Kyoto and defeating 999 samurai and collecting their swords. The 1000th warrior he faced was Minamoto Yo****sune who defeated him - Benkei became one of Minamoto's most famous warriors and eventually died in battle under his service.

    Toki,
    Good luck! Get pictures. I will probably make a special trip and give it another shot the next time I am in Japan.

    bring some chalk and a belt next time
    pain is inevitable suffering is optional

    www.ryanopower.com

    http://www.prowriststraps.com

  13. #12
    Wolfy!!!!! bigbadwolfe's Avatar
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    Waynedang you beat me to that!!! I was gonna say chalk and belt!!!!

    Wolfy!!!!
    MONSTER MODE

  14. #13
    big pimpin biggimp's Avatar
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    lol. just practice your deadlifts man.
    Rock Quotes:
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    -Look..first I am scared little freezing virgin munk, but then I bare my self and I am nothing like a freezing virgin!
    -Then I saw a little african boy sleeping, and I thought...that is little Okeke, he is tired from herding all the goats and the big goat got away today.
    Quote Originally Posted by fixationdarknes
    And I'll clench my buttcheeks as hard as I can to keep free of intruders.


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  15. #14
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    I'll be making a trip to Nippon again this summer. Time to start training grip and be a little more serious about my upper body work - hopefully, if I get to Kyoto, I can actually make a decent attempt at it this time around.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  16. #15
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Yeah, never say die!

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    I'll be making a trip to Nippon again this summer. Time to start training grip and be a little more serious about my upper body work - hopefully, if I get to Kyoto, I can actually make a decent attempt at it this time around.
    I bet the people behind you would **** their pants if they saw you lift it. That'd be awesome.

  18. #17
    Senior Member Jinkies's Avatar
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    Has it never been lifted?

  19. #18
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Just do the choke hold next time. If it's 200 lbs, you should have little trouble getting it out if you get a decent grip on it. ( or just use chalk )
    5'9" 195 lbs
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  20. #19
    !!! TTT's Avatar
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    Does that wooden platform have sidewalls? Can you put your feet underneath it, next to the spear, or do you have to kind of lean right over the top of it with your feet away from the base of the spear? Because that would make it exponentially harder.

  21. #20
    Senior Member vrizzle's Avatar
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    How about strongman tacky?
    snatch: 185
    Bench: 245
    Clean: 245
    Jerk: 275x2
    C+J: 245
    TANDEM C+J: 442
    Weight:148.5
    Need to weigh: 62kg
    Body fat: 6.3%
    Goal for State: 255 Bench, 260 C+J. and 205 snatch for OLY

  22. #21
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTT View Post
    do you have to kind of lean right over the top of it with your feet away from the base of the spear? Because that would make it exponentially harder.
    Yes, you do. If you could get in closer it would be easier.

    I don't know how much chalk would help - the spear is totally smooth. Stickum spray or strongman tacky would probably make it A LOT easier, but I'd feel like a cheater, not to mention the fact that the next poor sap would end up with unexpectedly sticky hands after giving it a shot... Ah well, I guess I'll just have to lift it RAW DAWG!!!
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  23. #22
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Yes, you do. If you could get in closer it would be easier.

    I don't know how much chalk would help - the spear is totally smooth. Stickum spray or strongman tacky would probably make it A LOT easier, but I'd feel like a cheater, not to mention the fact that the next poor sap would end up with unexpectedly sticky hands after giving it a shot... Ah well, I guess I'll just have to lift it RAW DAWG!!!
    i have faith in you! make sure to update us before or after your next attempt.

  24. #23
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    I would just do a lot of isometric holds with something smooth, work your way up in weight, and then when you try it again with the Spear you'll have sufficient hand strength to do it. Seems mostly to be an issue of grip strength.
    5'9" 195 lbs
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    "Most people don't want to learn new things. They only want to hear about things that validate crap they're already doing." - Mike Boyle

  25. #24
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    I'm thinking about rigging something up w. chain and 3" diameter PVC. Shouldn't cost more than a $10 to make - probably be fun.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  26. #25
    Learning as I progress
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    I know this is kinda off topic, but reading this has reminded me how much I like reading books about japan/china in the ancient times.

    Sensei, do you know any good fiction or non-fiction books about some of this stuff?
    Complication breeds desperation.

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