A Thank-You to Ghost Rip For April Fool's Day
Dear Mr. Rippetoe:
Thank you for Starting Strength. It speaks truth into the unwilling, prideful, weak and self-indulgent heart. Everybody thinks he's an exception. Everybody wants to fuck with the program. This asshole thinks he's a special case.* He thinks this chick needs a special squat made-to-order just for her, too. Everybody thinks he's his mom's special bunny, because his mom told him so. Well, my mom told me so, too.
I have small bones. I'm an ectomorph. I have the wrong leg proportions to squat. I must have slow-twitch muscle fiber. I have gastrocnemius equinus. I have reduced ankle dorsiflexion. The bullshit goes on and on. I was thinking all these things when I watched you instructing the squat on YouTube.
Then you turned to the camera and you said, Brian, listen the fuck up because i'm not going to repeat myself. You are weak not because kettlebells failed you (even though the damn things did) or because you have hardgainer genetics (even though you do) or because boxing tweaked your ankles. You are weak because you have been AFRAID TO SQUAT since your high school coach told you squatting was bad for you. You are not a special, unique snowflake to anybody but your mom and Jesus and possibly that cute girl in your grad school class, so man up and DO THE SQUATS and by the way drink your fucking milk. You will get strong like every other pukeling who will do the program, and you will trade your illusions of uniqueness for the beginnings of strength.
I argued with you, Ghost Rip, for a while. I have been following personal trainer's advice and doing magazine workouts since 1991. I have alternately lifted weights, done bodyweight exercises, calisthenics, sprints, swimming, running, judo and kettlebells for most of that time. I would bust my ass for 6 or 8 months and get almost no real results, then get discouraged for 2 or 3 months before trying something else for another 6- or 8 months. You've said here that anything will work for 6 weeks. Not for me, not so far.
I gave in and started Starting Strength on April Fools Day. It's the second most life-changing thing I've ever done, which probably doesn't say very much for my life accomplishments. I did the program and didn't get cute with it. I drank my damn milk. I've doubled my squat total and put on 28 pounds of bodyweight since then. I'm still weak, I'm still skinny, but I'm not a special, unique snowflake anymore. I'm still gaining nearly a pound a week and my squat goes up 5-10lbs every single time. Tonight it went up 15. I have given copies of your articles to the men I coach with and they are talking about implementing Starting Strength in our football program.
Thank you, sir. Thank you. Thank you.
My question: I can't afford your seminar. You're coming to my town in June. Can I shake your hand?
*sorry Reverse Hypertrophy. I'm an asshole too, no deliberate offense intended.
I'm not worth the trip across town. But if my book has helped you see what you can do for yourself, I'd be proud to say I helped.
Is this post "nutswinging"? Maybe. But if somebody thanks you sincerely, what do YOU do?