Dr Strangestrength:Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the Silly Bullshit. Dr Strangestrength:Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the Silly Bullshit.

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Thread: Dr Strangestrength:Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the Silly Bullshit.

  1. #1
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    Default Dr Strangestrength:Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the Silly Bullshit.

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    Many people on this board are survivors of the realm of silly bullshit and sometimes looking back it is therapeutic to understand why.

    It has always been troubling to me, and I am not alone, that so many apparently very smart people believe in so much unproven quackery. Judges, Doctors and Physicists who read horoscopes, believe in UFO abductions, holocaust denial and invest time and money in psychic phenomena.

    The reason seems to be that smart people believe in weird things is because they are very good at defending dumb ideas they arrive at for non-smart reasons. For social, cultural and emotional reasons they surrender to one pseudoscience after another and go on to defend it.

    When someone finds out that the S & C coach of his favorite team is having them all do one leg balancing tricks, blind folded with a chop stick in between their toes and a spinning porcelain plates on the chopstick, it does help, I find, to think that; yes, he is a pretty smart guy, smarter than me probably, but he got caught up with this ridiculous BS because of a self perpetuating con job by marketeers and pseudoscience and instead of critical analysis he's using his intelligence to defend and spruik it.

    Rip, do you think that this goes part of the way to explain why those who are objectively very intelligent, end up surrendering to fanciful concepts like "core fitness training", Nautilus, Rubber-band-everything (fill the rest in for yourself)? I think its very important that everyone understand how very smart people can be so utterly and breathtakingly wrong on strength.

  2. #2
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    This is really two questions: why do they not choose an appropriate level of training progression for their athletes based on an evaluation of their previous training history, and why instead to they so easily go with the current flow of convention?

    1. They don't know any better. Most of them, the vast majority, have never worked with a broad enough population demographic to realize the nature of long-term training adaptation. They work with athletic populations who are naturally talented and strong, and anything they do gets interpreted as effective. And they use programming that is irrespective of novice/intermediate/advanced levels of adaptation because they have no experience with the differences, not because they are not present in their teams, but because they are unaware of their existence.

    2. They use the latest training fads because they get paid to appear "cutting-edge" in their training, there is a lot of peer pressure to do so, and they want to advance their careers among a group of people who regard this type of shit as the professional norm.
    Last edited by Mark Rippetoe; 03-04-2010 at 01:01 AM.

  3. #3
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    why those who are objectively very intelligent, end up surrendering to fanciful concepts
    Stupid is as stupid does.

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    It is sometimes distressing to think of how many are in category 1; ignorant. And how many are in category 2; self-conscious frauds.

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    Don't ignore the psychological effects, if we're talking about the capacity to express strength, not just to acquire it. The placebo effect is responsible for about 30% of cures in a whole lot of the areas of the medical trade ... actual organic ailments, as well as those others might dismiss as mental health.

    Belief in your trainer's God-like capacity to train will often translate in psychological readiness to actually perform to capacity ... with another trainer, the same physical capacity will translate into a sub-standard performance.

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    Wonderful, Tom. I hope it works for you. But that has nothing to do with the question.

  7. #7
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Wonderful, Tom. I hope it works for you. But that has nothing to do with the question.
    I think trainers are empiricists, and do stuff that they think will make their trainees perform better. If their trainees actually put up improved performances, the trainers associate those performances with the training stimulus.

    If the trainer has his people doing squats, cleans and sprints ... but also "one leg balancing tricks, blind folded with a chop stick in between their toes and a spinning porcelain plates on the chopstick..." then what's building the physical capacity is the squats, cleans and sprints. Nature won't be fooled.

    But if he's always programmed squats, cleans and sprints ... and the team's performing better on a diet that adds silly bullshit alongside the squats etc. ... they're quite possibly performing better because they believe they will. Not because the bullshit itself added any capacity. Squats provided the hardware ... but maybe the bullshit amended the software.

    The danger is when one confuses the hardware and the software, because nature really won't be fooled. I think that's the real problem hidden inside the question the original poster asked. Quit doing stuff which actually develops physical capacity, and after a very short while all the psychological motivation in the world will produce crap-all.

    But ignore doing stuff which produces psychological readiness - however disingenuously that stuff is worked into the program - and people with equal physical capacity but better-honed willpower and confidence will beat you.

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