Originally Posted by Tannhauser
Having great lifts or an impressive physique does not a guru make either.
I see this argument all the time - that if someone doesn't look the part then their advice can't be any good. It seems to be applied by bodybuilders and some powerlifters more than in any other field.
I wonder how many of the great boxing coaches had great fight records themselves? Being a good coach,or having an understanding of how something works, is a different skillset to being able to excel at something yourself - especially at a top level.
It's that suspicion of book learnin' that isn't shared by many other sports - runners, cyclists, track athletes embrace the qualifications, and they profit from it. A top cyclist wouldn't care how fast his strength coach could cycle.
Only in our field would someone look at an author with a stellar academic record, and a successful clientele, someone who has devoted years to systematically studying strength and muscle, and say 'yeah, but how much does he deadlift?'
It's a bit like saying, 'Yeah, just because Robert Ressler has a PhD in Criminology doesn't make him an expert on serial killers. I mean how many people has this dude actually killed?'
I'm a book-worm myself. I think you should have the knowledge AND the in-the-trenches experience with a barbell before proclaiming to be an authority in the stuff that makes me elite. At least Rippetoe competed in powerlifting and put up some respectable numbers before becoming a damn good coach.
I'm not advocating people take the advice of some random gym-rat just because he's strong and muscular, but I will -always- ask how much the self-styled gurus (T-Nation and elsewhere) can deadlift. LOL