Why You Won't Do the Program, Part 6: Rip is Fat

by Mark Rippetoe | October 11, 2022

rippetoe in the gym

And after all, why would you listen to a fat man tell you about a fitness program? Aren't fit people skinny? Isn't that the point of exercise – to get skinny, like in high school?

First, I am not fat. I am 66, about 235 at 5'8”, carrying about 25% bodyfat. I'm not as strong as I used to be, because of many accumulated injuries as the result of not sitting around on my ass – I've only hurt myself in the gym a couple of times. I train twice a week, one of which is a conditioning workout. I can still pull 405 x 5 from 5 inches below the knees. Most importantly, I don't care about your opinion.

Second, I don't get paid for how I look. Neither do you, so we have that in common. I get paid for what I know, and what I can teach you. I learned all these things by making a lot of mistakes, figuring out what I did wrong, correcting my errors, and successfully teaching the better ways to my athletes and clients for 46 years. I got to a 622 squat, 396 bench press, and a 633 deadlift with shitty genetics and no technique coaching (or any idea of what good technique was or why) at the wrong weight class, while mowing yards for a living.

And third, if you think it's a good idea to only take exercise advice from Beautiful People, get Gwyneth Paltrow to coach you. See how that works out.

But the conventional wisdom is that Rip is fat, that fat people are not fit, and that only Tony Little or the other Tony, Horton, or P90X or whatever, are capable of making you fit. “Why would you take fitness advice from a fat person?” Perfectly sensible question. The problem is that I'm not teaching you “fitness” – I am a strength coach. I have made tens of thousands of people strong, and I know what I'm doing. You have the same problem that hundreds of millions of other people have: you haven't seen me naked, and you don't actually know whether I'm fat or not, but you think that I have to be skinny to know how to make you strong.

What you should know is that I am competent as a strength coach, and if you follow our program – like tens of thousands of other people are doing right now – you will get stronger faster and longer than you can by following any other program. All it will take for you to prove this to yourself is 3 weeks of following the program exactly as it is written in the blue book, without deviation and without personalizing it. Do it like I tell you, and it will work. Works every time.

And if you won't do that because you think I am fat, good. Stay the way you are right now. It's better to stay weak than doing what a fat guy tells you.

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
  • Part 5
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