Authentic in Just 12 Weeks!


It’s official! I’ve seen my first “HAVE THE BODY YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED IN JUST 12 WEEKS!” commercial. Ok, I want a body like Ingrid Marcum. Here’s my money but I better be snatching in the 80’s while sitting around 75kg by my March meet or I want my money back. FoReals.

But we all know that this isn’t how it works. At this point, the commercials and promises by fitness studios and globo-gyms are speaking to the 80% of Americans who don’t know that this isn’t how it works. Oh sure, it’s never worked before but that’s not their fault. Right?! It would work if you were more dedicated or self-controlled or whatever else they tell people why they’ve failed. It’s never the fault of the gym or “personal trainer” (by the way, don’t ever call me a personal trainer. It’s insulting. Also, don’t ever call a personal trainer a “strength coach.” It’s insulting. We saw a post recently by one personal trainer dressing up like a strength coach that said her lifter just hit a 300# PR on his squat. Uhhhhhhh, so his squat was 0 and then he came in that day and hit 300 pounds? JHMFC, if you’re going to pretend to be a strength coach, at least understand how that works.)


A new body in 12 weeks isn’t “typical.” Oh sure, a few out of one hundred may hit their goal by the end of March and maybe out of those 3-5, one will be able to keep the changes they’ve worked for. One. Because we all know that drastic changes don’t last. Not only do they not last for three months, they probably won’t last 3 days. You may find drastic dieters last three weeks but that’s about the time where their 5-7 pounds a week weight loss have completely stalled out with their 750 calorie a day diet and they feel like death. So just a burger here and a piece of pie there and within a week, they’re back to being a fat. No worries, at least the person who prescribed the diet has their money.

At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. That you pay your money and are handed your cookie cutter program and diet and whether or not it works will be up to you. What is the slogan? It only works as well as you work it. Hmmmmm. FYI, drastic never works. Never. Oh sure, you can fake it for a while but that’s all you’re doing. Faking it.

How about a program that promises something different? LEARN TO BE AUTHENTIC IN 12 WEEKS OR LESS!! Careful, there will be the not so fine print in the corner that will state, must be able to take truth and tough love. Shoot, I just lost all potential customers. Again.

Quite honestly, I cannot imagine the personal prison people live in who fail to live an authentic life. Who go through their days faking it. Now, I’m not talking about the “fake it ’til you make it” mask we all sometimes put on when we’re in nervous situations. If you’ve ever been in a warm-up room, you’ll understand that. I’m talking about the chronic fear of either hiding who you really are or just the overall ability to not care that you’re a different person in front of different people. Both suck. Both are untrustworthy. Both are to be distanced from real people.

I once knew a young man who would adopt personalities of whomever his current boss was. Weird. I’d see it a lot too when I was doing certs/seminars with Rip’s crew. Young men would instantly try to adopt Rip’s persona, especially new coaching staff. It was complete barf. In fact, it just occurs to me right now that the few people I stay in contact with from those days are the ones that own their personalities. That believe in the systems but do it in their own ways. I like that. I’m awfully proud of them. Winnipeg in winter has nothing on that Texas crew environment, especially once they turn on you. Anyways.

I remember a powerlifting meet a few years ago where I had to get stern with a lifter. Like, fucking stern. Her squat warm-ups were a mess. Every rep was high and she had a deer in the headlights look about her. I couldn’t reach her. She snapped at me constantly that she was hitting depth, in spite of the red lights on her first and second attempts. And then I snapped, “Look, you can argue with me but you’re about to fucking bomb out of this meet because you refuse to be coached. Now get out there and fucking sink your squat.” Only I yelled it. In front of everyone around us. And guess what, she sank her squat and salvaged the meet. (In general, I hate talking to people like that in competition. If it’s what you need in order to perform, I’m probably not the best coach for you. I prefer quiet confidence. Cues. Do them and succeed. If I need to bring Harsh Juli to the meet, we shouldn’t hang.)

Afterwards, while she was chilling out with a group who came to cheer her on, we “laughed” about having to yell and swear at her to perform. One of her clients (she’s a fitness instructor) said, “Wow, that sounds familiar” and I quizzically looked at her. She mentioned that she may channel “her Juli” when coaching these days. Uhhhhhh, that was hint one that this girl was a bit unhinged. Why do you have to channel me? Just be yourself, isn’t that why people come to you?

Yes, I know. Being “yourself” is tough some days. People won’t understand why you’re this or that or not walking the earth to please others. You may believe that friends won’t accept you and ya know what? You may be right. But then they’re not really friends, are they? If you’re actually a malicious, self-absorbed piece of shit and you’re able to fake it to certain people, just know this; you won’t be able to fake it to everyone. And those you fool will find that out someday. HEY! I KNOW! How about just be a decent person? I’ve actually had people, who have behaved incredibly poorly, say that they care about how other people view them and want to change. Awwww, you go girl! But then they don’t. In fact, they behave even worse and offend an entire new group of people. Uhhhhh, you go girl. Good luck with that.

At the end of the day, all I can think of is what a complete crap way to walk through life. How exhausting it must be to be so fake. To live in constant fear that those around you will figure out that you’re not who you say you are. It must be horrible and I can actually have a lot of empathy for you. But ya know what? It doesn’t have to be this way. Cuz I have a program where, in just 12 weeks, you can be an authentic person living an authentic life. Even better? You don’t even have to pay me. Just do this…

…tell the truth. Nothing drastic, just tell one truth where you’re usually telling the lie. Be honest where you usually aren’t. I tell ya what, my life changed when I started to say, “I don’t know.” I was in my 20’s and a single mother of baby twins, living on $220 per week and oh by the way, daycare got half of that. There were many times I’d have to say, “I don’t know.” And guess what, I was ALWAYS rewarded in some way for asking for help and admitting I didn’t know how to do something. WIC; the food shelf; emergency utilities help, I quickly learned to humble myself and say, “I don’t know how to do this.” Now, I WAS determined to keep working and move my way up in a very successful technology company and I’m awfully proud of that but there were many days where I didn’t have time to be fake. I needed help and I needed it fast and bullshitting my way through this thing wasn’t going to work. I tell you what, being asked, “what do you need” goes a long way to someone struggling and will enable you to forget about the bullshit way YOU go through life. Authentically.

It’s freeing. It’s not easy, but you can look yourself in the mirror night after night; day after day and give yourself a little ‘atta girl’ for another day well done. Doesn’t that sound nice? A whole day of not hiding from who you really are? And you don’t have to go to fake gyms (truthful disclosure here, I go to a fake gym to get my cardio and sauna on. But come on, SAUNA!) to achieve these results. You just wake up and start being honest, if only a little at a time while you gain comfort with it. And suddenly it will be March and you’ll realize that you’re leading an authentic life.

It’ll change your world. If you have the courage to do it. I hope for you that you do. As for me? I’m over here realizing that an Ingrid Marcum body with an 80kg snatch isn’t up for sale so I’m gonna have to work to hitting 90kg in weight with a 70kg (plus, hopefully) snatch before that March meet. Oh well, not everything is able to be bought I guess. Such is life.

Heroes are never perfect, but they’re brave, they’re authentic, they’re courageous, determined, discreet, and they’ve got grit.

Wade Davis

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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