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

It’s 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
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    What separates us from them..

    OK I know some of you have probably seen this before but I just read it again as I have kind of lost mu hunger as of late...

    Well here it is...

    <b>What Seperates us from them</b>

    "So, what are you doing for a living these days?" Bob asked me. We're sitting on the couch at one of those tedious holiday get-togethers, you know, the ones where you're supposed to be nice to family members you never see except during major holidays and funerals. I think Bob is my wife's brother-in-law's second cousin or something.

    "I'm the assistant editor and a writer for Testosterone magazine," I say. Bob looks at me with a blank expression on his face, as if I'd just told him I sell handmade testicle warmers beside the freeway and was looking to open franchises across the nation.

    "It's a bodybuilding magazine," I say.

    Blank expression. Deer caught in the headlights. Ronnie Coleman doing trigonometry.

    "Oh," Bob finally says, "I heard you were, like, one of those bodybuilder guys or something. So, what's that like, you know, working out every day and stuff? I just don't have time to lift weights all day, but I have been meaning to get rid of this beer belly." He takes another sip of beer. "What do you suggest?" Sip.

    At first I was a little offended. I wanted to grab him up and say, "You can't tell I'm a bodybuilder?! Look at my ass! Now, if that's not a nice round squat-built piece of sirloin, I don't know what is! You think that comes naturally? I can crack walnuts with this puppy! Wanna see? Huh, punk? Do ya? Do ya?"

    Then I realize this just might cause a scene and could cost me several Christmas presents. I was planning on returning any presents I got and using the money to buy a power rack, so I didn't want to jeopardize this gift getting opportunity. I also realized that old Bob probably had a certain preconceived image of a bodybuilder and I just didn't fit that image. I'm not gorilla huge; I weigh about 205 at 5'11" right now. (When I first started lifting I was a pudgy 159, so that's not too shabby.) Also, I wasn't wearing clown pants, a fluorescent string tank top, a hanky on my head and one of those little fanny packs. And isn't that what real bodybuilders are supposed to wear?

    Bob continued to sit there drinking his Natural Light, smoking a cigarette and waiting for an answer, oblivious to the fact that he'd come this close to seeing some serious walnut- crunching ass power. I tried to figure out how I could explain to the average guy what the typical T-Man does and why he does it. How could I get him to understand what it is we do, how we feel, how we live? So I took a deep breath and told him something like this:

    "Well, Bob, I guess you could use the term bodybuilder if you really need a label for what it is we do. Most of us actually don't stand on stage and compete, though. We lift weights and manipulate our diets so that we'll look good naked. Sure, it's healthy too, and we'll probably live a longer and more productive life than the average guy, but mostly it's about the naked thing. Truthfully, it goes beyond even that.

    "Let's be honest here. We do it because of people like you, Bob. We look at you sitting there with your gut hanging over your belt and we watch you grunt and groan just getting out of a chair. Guys like you are our inspiration, Bob. You're better than Anthony Robbins, Bill Phillips, Deepak Chopra, and Zig ****ing Ziglar all wrapped up into one. We love it when guys like you talk about not having time to exercise. Every time we see you munching on a bag of potato chips, you inspire us. You're my shot in the arm, Bob, my living and breathing wake-up call, my own personal success coach.

    "You want to know what it is we do? We overcome. We're too busy to train, too, but we overcome. We're too busy to prepare healthy meals and eat them five or six times a day, but we overcome. We can't always afford supplements, our genetics aren't perfect, and we don't always feel like going to the gym. Some of us used to be just like you, Bob, but guess what? We've overcome.

    "We like to watch 'normal' people like you tell us about how they can't get in shape. We smile and nod sympathetically like we feel your pain, but actually, we're thinking that you're a pathetic piece of **** that needs to grow a spine and join a gym. You smile sheepishly and say that you just can't stay motivated and just can't stand that feeling of being sore. (For some reason you think that admitting your weaknesses somehow justifies them.) We listen to you ***** and moan. We watch you look for the easy way out. Because of people like you, Bob, we never miss a workout.

    "You ask us for advice about diet and training and usually we politely offer some guidance, but deep inside we know you won't take our advice. You know that too. We smile and say, 'Hope that helps. Good luck,' but actually we're thinking, 'Boy, it would suck to be you.' We know that 99% of people won't listen to us. Once they hear that it takes hard work, sacrifice and discipline, they stop listening and tune us out.

    "We know they wanted us to say that building a great body is easy, but it just isn't. This did not take five minutes a day on a TorsoTrack. We did not get this way in 12 short weeks using a Bowflex and the Suzanne Somers' 'Get Skinny' diet. A good body does not cost five easy payments of $39.95.

    "We like it that while you're eating a candy bar and drinking Mountain Dew, we're sucking down a protein shake. You see, that makes it taste even better to us. While you're asleep we're either getting up early or staying up late, hitting the iron, pushing ourselves, learning, succeeding and failing and rising above the norm with every rep. Can you feel that, Bob? Can you relate? No? Good. This wouldn't be half as fun if you could.

    "We do it because we absolutely and totally get off on it. We do it because people like you, Bob, either can't or won't. We do it because what we do in the gym transfers over into the rest of our lives and changes us, physically, mentally, maybe even spiritually. We do it because it beats watching fishing and golf on TV. By the way, do you know what it's like to turn the head of a beautiful woman because of the way you're built? It feels good, Bob. Damned good.

    "When we're in the gym, we're in this indescribable euphoria zone. It's a feeling of being on, of being completely alive and aware. If you haven't been there, then it's like trying to describe color to a person who's been blind since birth. Within this haze of pleasure and pain, there's knowledge and power, self-discipline and self-reliance. If you do it long enough, Bob, there's even enlightenment. Sometimes, the answers to questions you didn't even know you had are sitting there on those rubber mats, wrapped up in a neat package of iron plates and bars.

    "Want to lose that beer belly, Bob? I have a nutty idea. Put down the ****ing beer. I'll tell you what, Bob. Christmas morning I'm getting up real early and hitting the iron. I want to watch my daughter open her presents and spend the whole day with her, so this is the only time I have to train. The gym will be closed, so I'm going out in my garage to workout. You be at my house at six in the morning, okay? I'll be glad to help you get started on a weight training program. It'll be colder than Hillary Clinton's coochie in there, so dress warm.

    "But let me tell you something, Bob. If you don't show up, don't bother asking me again. And don't you ever sit there and let me hear you ***** about your beer belly again. This is your chance, your big opportunity to break out of that rut. If you don't show up, Bob, you've learned a very important lesson about yourself, haven't you? You won't like that lesson.

    "You won't like that feeling in the pit of your stomach either or that taste in your mouth. It will taste worse than defeat, Bob. Defeat tastes pretty goddamned nasty, but what you'll be experiencing will be much worse. It will be the knowledge that you're weak, mentally and physically. What's worse is that you'll have accepted that feeling. The feeling will always be with you. In the happiest moments of your life, it'll be there, lying under the surface like a malignant tumor. Ignore it at your own peril, Bob.

    "Don't look at me like that either. This just may be the best Christmas present you'll get this year. Next Christmas, Bob, when I see you again, I'm going to be a little bigger, a little stronger, and a little leaner. What will you be? Will you still be making excuses? This is a gift, Bob, from me to you. I'm giving you the chance to look fate in those pretty eyes of hers and say, 'Step off, *****. This is my party and you're not invited.' What do you say, Bob? Monday, Christmas morning, 6am, my house. The ball's in your court."

    Okay, so maybe that's not the exact words I used with Bob, but you get the picture. Will Bob show up Monday? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it. In fact, Bob will probably take me off his Christmas card list. He probably thinks I've got "too much Testosterone," like that's a bad thing. I think Bob is just stuck in a rut, and as the saying goes, the only difference between a rut and a grave is depth.

    The way out of the rut is to make major changes in your life, most of which won't be too pleasant in the beginning. The opportunity to make those changes seldom comes as bluntly as I put it to Bob. Most of the time, that opportunity knocks very softly. What I did was basically give Bob a verbal slap in the face. You can react two ways to a slap. You can get angry at the person doing the slapping, or you can realize that he was just trying to get you to wake up and focus on what you really want and, more importantly, what it'll take to get it.

    If you're a regular T-mag reader, I doubt you need to be called out like Bob. But maybe you've caught yourself slacking a little here lately. Maybe you've missed a few workouts or maybe you started a little too early on the usual holiday feasting, like, say, back in September. Just remember that the time to start working on that summer body is now. The time to get rid of those bad habits that hold you back in the gym is now. You want to look totally different by next Christmas? Start now. This isn't because of the holidays or any corny New Year's resolutions either. The best time is always now.

    Christmas day I want you to enjoy being with your family and friends. I want you to open presents, sip a little eggnog and have a good meal. But if your regularily scheduled workout happens to fall on December 25th, what will you be doing at six o'clock that morning?

    That's what separates us from guys like Bob.

    Credit for this article to T-Mag.com
    Last edited by PowerManDL; 04-28-2003 at 11:55 AM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Nice.
    Facebook - BW166 SQ585 BP405 DL660 CL310

  4. #3
    Meathead Philosopher Pup's Avatar
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    That definitely gives me inspiration today, great post Hulk.
    May you be in heaven an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

  5. #4
    Hmmmm..... Spiderman's Avatar
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    Wow Hulk, man that is inspiring...damn......

    "Success is never behind you, it is always, always in front of you."

  6. #5
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Hulk
    We know that 99% of people won't listen to us. Once they hear that it takes hard work, sacrifice and discipline, they stop listening and tune us out.
    I'm proud to be part of the 1%...
    Last edited by The_Chicken_Daddy; 02-20-2001 at 07:40 AM.
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  7. #6
    Gonnabebig Member
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    Hulk,

    Thank you sooooo much for posting that!!! The best thing i have read in a looooooooong time. I would like to give this to all of my "excuse making" friends, but won't cuz they'll always be in that 99%. I am hanging this on my bedroom wall.

    100% proud to be in that 1% also!!

  8. #7
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    I've seen that before, but it still brings atear to my eye to read it. Does anyone have a tissue?
    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
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  9. #8
    Geordie The_Chicken_Daddy's Avatar
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    HOORAY for the Minority!

    And even for the soppy fools like Latman who cry things....
    "Geordie/'d3c:di/n. & adj. Brit colloq. n. 1 a native of Tyneside. 2 the dialect spoken on Tyneside. adj. of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or its dialect. [the name George + -IE]

  10. #9
    Gettin Lean Goin_Big's Avatar
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    Nice article.
    1%.....
    can't be that few
    btw, I have the nice gut and more fat that bob prolly does and yet I can jog like a mile, so wtf, i'm getting screwed. : )
    Beachbody coaching lets you turn your hobby into a career - Beachbody

  11. #10
    Senior Member
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    I've read a similar article about martial arts - same undedicated bruce-lee-wannabes coming in for a 3-month trial and dropping it as soon as they get their black belts. Oh... if they only knew the REAL training begins at black belt.

    I agree with this article 100% - go hard, or go home.

  12. #11
    Senior Member lick's Avatar
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    Hulk,

    Awesome post man. definitely something we should all read every now and then when we are slacking

    Leviathan,

    might you have a link for that martial arts article?

  13. #12
    Wannabebig Member
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    The post is great for us but... whenever I talk to someone as if they are Bob, they get mad at me!!!

  14. #13
    Senior Member
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    << might you have a link for that martial arts article? >>

    I wish I did... I read it in a martial arts magazine several years ago (possibly Black Belt Magazine, but I think it was probably Karate Illustrated). If I find it again, I'll post it on the training message board.

  15. #14
    Wannabebig Member
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    So Mad!!

    Boy am I mad now!! I want to go to the gym so bad now!! I still have a few hours of work and it is snowing out now, so by the time I get there, they will be closed!! UGH!!! This sux.......... Ohwell, hitting the gym twice as hard tomorrow now!

    Great Article!

  16. #15
    Banned David's Avatar
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    hey guys just bumping this up for all the new people!
    hell yeah!


  17. #16
    bone crusher
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    BUMP!

  18. #17
    Shifferbrainz SweatHawg's Avatar
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    Great post Hulk!
    I was just thinking about cracking those walnuts with my ass last night when i was doing deadlifts! Well, ok.......anyone thats seen my ass knows I could only bruise 'em..LOL.
    Keep 'em coming Hulk.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk.That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."

    "I can resist anything but temptation."

    "You don't appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older.Little things like being spanked every day by a middle aged woman:Stuff you pay good money for later in life."

  19. #18
    Focus on your goals El Kelio's Avatar
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    I am proud of what i have achieved in 9 years of training, it's great to be in the other side of the table than Bob.
    But, how many of us were "Bob" once ?



    Keep pumping !

  20. #19
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    bump.... i was looking for something to read for motivation and this always does the trick...

    for the newbies who have not read it yet
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  21. #20
    Senior Member
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    Definately without a doubt inspirational.

    Kinda makes me mad for be lazing this morning. I got out of bed late, and didn't have time to make my usual lunch. Now, I have to order the F$%k out.

  22. #21
    Party of "No." Tryska's Avatar
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    where's bob? i feel like kicking ass right now. and that article only helped me along.

    damn moodswings.
    A little learning is a dangerous thing...

    Live Dangerously! Learn a Little!


    Dude, did Doogie Howser just steal my fucking car?

  23. #22
    One Bad-A$$ MoFo!
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    Excellent article Hulk, written wonderfully!

  24. #23
    Simplistic
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    The sad thing is that people like Bob (99%) probably get seriously offended when thay read that, makes me feel good about what I do. Great article Hulk, thanks.
    Last edited by Neil; 01-17-2002 at 02:12 PM.

  25. #24
    Party of "No." Tryska's Avatar
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    you know what?

    f*ck bob!
    A little learning is a dangerous thing...

    Live Dangerously! Learn a Little!


    Dude, did Doogie Howser just steal my fucking car?

  26. #25
    Push powerlifting heathj's Avatar
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    As I eat a fig newton, I stop. Soon to my tuna!

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