Monday Bacon: Tis The Season


Well, it’s that time of year. The time where every globo gym; internet guru; fitness magazine, and next door neighbor will expound their expertise on how to “ditch the holiday fluff” and “finally love the body you’re in.” We all know it’s coming, it’s an automatic tidal wave that hits on January 2nd of every year in America (no, not January first. We’re still hungover and decide “since we’re already hungover we’ll just go ahead and eat our comfort food for one more day. I’ll start tomorrow.)


It’s tough. First off, people are actually using the squat rack when you need it. Sure, their form hurts your eyes but who cares, you need the squat rack ‘cuz your Wisconsin State Meet is in 16 days. GET OFF MY RACK! (Sidenote: I don’t want to hear whining about people curling in the squat rack. We’re adults, you simply walk over and say ‘Howdy, can we switch out so you can curl on the outside while I start warming up to squat in the squat rack?” If they say no, than you wait your turn. Don’t wanna wait your turn? Build your own gym but shut up already about this. It’s boring.)

The gyms are crawling with newbs who are in your way, all of the treadmills are full of fats who don’t know what else to do at the gym, and people are standing in front of the drinking fountain talking story (jeeeebuz, why is this hard? It’s a drinking fountain, MOVE!)

Even better? Those that won’t even hit the gym. They’ll start running. Running. Feeling fat? Run. Blood pressure is up? Run. Don’t want to join a gym? Run. Cuz really, ‘I don’t need to be strong, I just want to be fit.’ Do you even know how many times this has actually been said to me? To my face. As if I’m supposed to just politely stand by and nod. ‘Oh, okay. You just want to be fit. Okay, my bad. I thought strong was fit. I thought a strong system working as a finely tuned machine was fit. I thought strong organs and joints and tissue was fit. I thought increased muscle mass and lower body fat was fit. MyBad. I’m so silly. Thanks for setting me straight.’


The hoards may never realize that strong is fit. A strong body, strongest, will perform so incredibly more superior  than a weak body (no matter how thin or good that weak body looks in their Gloria Vanderbilts.) People will still make comments about wanting to “get fit”, “lower the blood pressure”, “get off heart medicine”, “avoid the ‘betis that’s heading my way”, etc. They’ll say them to me. Or to my husband. Two people they KNOW who train with barbells. Two people who have found some relative success in their fringe sports.

And ya know what? I’m kinda tired of it. I’m tired of feeling as if I need to be nice and show respect to people who just don’t have a respect for all of our hard work. Cuz see, working with barbells is hard. It causes us to be sore, or have tight hips; some days walking isn’t pleasant. Couple that in with competing in a season long sport and more often are the days where moving around is less than optimal. Maybe I can’t do something to be part of the crowd the night before a heavy and important training session. I choose that. I own it. But I’m not going to politely take shit for it. I’m proud of my hard work. I am not on any medications. To my knowledge I am disease free and I tell ya what, if a day comes where I AM dealing with a disease, being stronger will aid me to become well. True story.

There is no “instant” pill or diet or technique or program to make you “fit.” Increasing muscle mass and losing fat will be achieved through a solid barbell strength and conditioning program along with a solid food program that’s best for you. It may take months, it actually may take years to dial in everything. Not the “Miracle 12 week” program that most commercials are promising.

I asked my hot yoga instructor today if hot yoga is like gym memberships on the New Years. Will it fill up like crazy for about three weeks and then die off?

Yup. Which means I need to get there sooner to be able to get my mat down near the door like I enjoy. PIA.

Luckily I don’t have to deal with squat rack issues because we train here at the house. I don’t need to train with silly girls in spandex or Bro’s tryin to help out the little lady (me) with my squat form. STFU bro’s, I’ve got this. But it DOES mean that I get to hear conversations around me talking about the latest boot camp where people get really strong (no, you don’t. You will probably, at first, get in better shape than doing nothing but realize you will quickly adapt and then you stop making significant progress. Duh.) You don’t get strong at yoga, not even hot yoga. Know why folks are so flat and bendy in yoga? Cuz they lack the muscle mass that tends to get in the way of being so bendy. True story, today the instructor tried to push my shoulders down to the mat. Afterwards, she apologized and said she didn’t realize they were so muscular. Now, no, they’re not swole. But they ARE swoler (that a word?) than the average yogi and most instructors don’t realize that. That’s okay, one in the world is hip to the fact now.

Strong is an integral part of “fit.” In fact, I contend it’s THE most important part of it. Strong comes from barbells. Sure, you can add strength with kettlebells; slam balls; wall balls but adaptation is finite with those methods. Barbells are loaded and you get to play with loads and reps to push adaptation through life. But it’s hard. And it’s not the season of hard, it’s the season of quick promises. Empty, but quick.

Good luck.

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.

Cavett Robert

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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