This is an interesting time of year for responsible strength coaches and trainers. On the one hand we’ve seen, year after year, the resolution gang get into their gym and “diet” with passion and vigor only to last a few weeks or so. On the other hand, we want to encourage these exact types of people to FINALLY get into the gym and put away the sugar. Now we know deep down that few will stick with it, “it” being whatever they’ve decided to try. But it’s still our jobs to be encouraging for those we know to give a strength and conditioning program a try while tweaking their diets.

The world of Facebook has been alive with gyms all over the world advertising their disdain for the the R.Gang. We’re entitled, right? We’ve been training day after day. We’ve been sore; sick; tired; hungover, and still we go. We’ve kept our eye on the scales, tweaking our diets to either lose or gain. We’ve counted carbs or carb backloaded. We meet the barbell every session with renewed piss and vinegar. We pass a SNAP fitness with a snicker knowing that we do so much more than those guys. Clearly, we’re a step above the R.Gang. 

But not really. SRSLY. As much as we’d like everyone we know to get on an efficient barbell focused strength and conditioning program, we have to realize that this is not for everyone. And no, not because it’s so hard and people just don’t want to work hard. Remember, someone who is completely detrained and has lacked motivation for some time finds any changes they make as “hard.”  The changes they make in a globo gym will represent hard work for them and for any of us to disregard that fact is Dick. Don’t be Dick.

The reason that our type of training isn’t for everyone is as simple as NOTHING is for everyone. No diet works for all, no training works for all. We like being strong so we’ll put in the effort and deal with the consequences of that pursuit. There are many in gangland who just get tired of feeling like shit. Support them. Just get them into the gym. For as long as they go.

First and foremost we need to look after each other and give a shit. It serves no one to be an elitest ass-swole. (heh, I like that one…ass-swole.)

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

J.R.R. Tolkien

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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