Monday Bacon: Magic Pills

I dunno why I let silly things surprise me but this issue keeps creeping into my life. Novice lifters who are looking for a special pill to make them better without actually putting time in the gym. These special pills come in many forms:

*Paleo Diet

*Zone Diet

*Gluten Free Diet

*Carb Backloading

*Specialized programming of accessory lifts

*Low Fat intake v. Full Fat intake and when either should happen

*Things that DON’T APPLY to 90% of you

There is a huge misconception that doing any of the above will suddenly make you CrossFit like Rich Froning; make you throw like Adriane Wilson or Matt Vincent; make you Strongman like Big Z; make you anything like a genetically gifted athlete who has worked YEARS at their sport or activity. Ask Big Z how he schedules his carbs and protein grams and he’ll look at you as if your head and arse were suddenly switched around. Why? Because he doesn’t sweat the small stuff. When asked (not by me) in Finland how he schedules his training, Z simply replied, ‘I do sets of five. When it gets too heavy, I do sets of three. When that gets too heavy I do doubles or singles. Then, I am strongest.’ You can’t argue with that.

Now, if you are truly in the elite class of athletes and your sport demands it, minutiae comes into play. Obviously.  But to say you’re going to add one or more of these items into your training or exercise just because the elite does, is silly. Duh. Silly. If you’re a rank novice who simply needs to train and gain weight, then train and eat more. If carb backloading has given you a big gut, you’re doing it wrong. And why are you doing it in the first place? You’re not special, you just need to gain weight. Special diets need not apply, eat more. YBF.

To say you’re eating Paleo to help your Fran time so you’ve come up with the perfect paleo pancake and ate four this morning, shut up. You just ate pancakes. Stop pretending it’s healthy. If you feel better with special diets, fine. Just stop pretending that you’ll suddenly wake up elite  because the top gun guys are doing it.

There are plenty of coaches on the interwebz who are selling specialty programs and diets on the premise that this is what the elite are doing. Buyer beware. The guys who have been around for a while more (Wendler; Tate; Westerling; Rip) have repeatedly stated to  just train and eat.  Especially as novice or intermediate athletes. If you are lucky enough and genetically gifted enough, THEN you start looking at the magic pills. But that’s a big ‘IF’ that won’t pan out for most of us.

But many will still look for the magic pill. Just be honest about it and stop criticizing fat people who look for an ‘easy’ way out of being fat. Many of you are doing the exact same thing with your training. Truth.

You want science and studies? Fuck you. I’ve got scars and blood and vomit.

Jim Wendler

Training Log

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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