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BendtheBar 01-07-2012 10:45 AM

Me and my dogma

I thought I would make a post and reflect upon my ignorance over the years.

Between 1986 and 2006 I developed a lot of strong dogma. Of course, not being part of Internet strength building communities I was also unaware of my blind spots. Simply stated, I had no idea that there was a lot of information and concepts I was ignorant about.

I was a happy little camper, and a very anti-Weider one at that. I found security in my anti-Weiderism, and assumed I knew more than I did. I was a compound and progression guy, focusing on simple workouts in a world of madness. And I was pretty confident I had 99% of the knowledge I would ever need.

Since 2006 I have come to realize that what I knew wasn't the was merely a whiff of the truth. Sad to admit, but there are many concepts that I embrace now that I once scoffed at in 2006.

I regret being a narrow minded idiot, I really do. In my defense I really had no clue how much information was out there, from Westside to Bompa to Rippetoe to Bulgaria. I also had never trained with experienced lifters, and because of this I was very close minded about may of the things they were using to succeed.

So I want to leave anyone reading his with a couple of take home points. They are not meant to insult your lack of knowledge, but rather to help prevent you from making the same dogmatic mistakes I made (and still make - sacred cows tip every day).

1) Be willing to learn from those that are successful. Don't take everything they say as gospel, but rather look for common themes among successful lifters.

2) Understand that the truth you know is merely a whiff of the truth. We can smell an onion from the next room, but that doesn't mean you have held the onion and peeled back the layers (deep thought, but that's the best I have today so it's all you get).

3) When an experienced lifter expresses a concept/practice you don't agree with, research it.

4) Be willing to say "I was wrong". I do it every day. There is no need to build a facade and act like you know everything. We are all learning and that's ok.

I once had a debate with John Broz. Well, it was more like a heated debate. Well, it was more like 2 guys pointing fingers at one another. I had my dogma and he had his. He called me "the reason American lifting was a failure." I was pissed at him for a long time.

But the truth is this: the problem wasn't John was me holding on to my dogma and taking his opinion personally. It was me unwilling to learn a few knew things, and being unwilling to experiment with concepts outside my belief systems.

But my point isn't about Broz or training frequency.

Be willing to learn and try new things. Understand that the concepts you dismiss today may be the concepts that lead to gains 5 years from now.

bamazav 01-07-2012 11:15 AM

Great post BTB. Now, if I ever meet a real bodybuilder or powerlifter, I will know how to behave. :D

Seriously, great insights.

Off Road 01-07-2012 11:28 AM

Trust me I know there are a lot of different methods that work. Having admined a forum with some of the most beastly guys on the planet has taught me one thing; there are many ways to the same goal. Even the top lifters are always experimenting and learning.

I think for me, dogma is comfortable and safe. I know what I can expect from training the way I do...and I'm not much of a gambler.

gaspers04 01-07-2012 11:46 AM

Well put and a great outlook to practice SteveO.

Pull14 01-07-2012 01:46 PM

Great post Steve. In the last two years I've also gone through my own transformation of the mind, not only in regards to training, but also 'life.'

Although I still dismiss weiderism, and with good reason!, I've opened my mind to most all methods of training. The most humble among us will realize that the more we learn, the less we actually know. That also lends itself to occasionally walking out on a limb and risk crashing to the ground; or when we choose not to, careful observe those that do.

BendtheBar 01-07-2012 02:11 PM


Originally Posted by Off Road (Post 205294)

I think for me, dogma is comfortable and safe. I know what I can expect from training the way I do...and I'm not much of a gambler.

Neither am I.

The problem for me was that I thought my way was the only way. I remember at one point thinking Westside was ludicrous, and that speed work was inherently dangerous.

I had not moved past the point where basic progression hadn't finished running its course and I thought it would last forever if I just worked hard enough and stayed patient.

Beast 01-07-2012 08:10 PM

Well written and thought provoking post.

I imagine we are all very similar. We are interested in something, we learn a little about it, then we begin to define ourselves by what we know. Later something might come along to challenge what we know, and we often fear it.

On a different note, that picture of the dog in underwear is possibly the most sinister photo I have ever seen. Wrong on so many levels :)

Shadowschmadow 01-07-2012 09:06 PM

Excellent thread Steve.

glwanabe 01-07-2012 10:02 PM

I have my dogma as it relates to training.
I like to think I keep an open mind, but I know I have a few hard set opinions.

MikeM 01-08-2012 01:54 AM

It worries me that people I look up to are worried about their opinions!

HA! Just kidding!

"Knowledge" is only a point in time. There is no complete knowledge. If you're not learning, you are dead or should be.

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