“Special Snowflake”, a phase we all go through?

starting strength gym
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: “Special Snowflake”, a phase we all go through?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    494

    Default “Special Snowflake”, a phase we all go through?

    • wichita falls texas march seminar date
    • woodmere new york april seminar date
    Been thinking about the apt term “Special Snowflake”. As I understand it, it applies to anyone who discovers some personal anomaly that is preventing them from continuing the program as written or precludes them from typical results.

    Parents in the ‘50’s and ’60’s confronted by their kids’ stupid thoughts, words or deeds would often say “it’s just a phase you’re going through”. Having completed LP, discussed SS with so many friends and acquaintances, and now dealing with my wife as she starts the Novice Program, I have an observation to make.

    When I started, I was convinced SS was just another program that probably wouldn’t work because nothing else had in the past. Why think otherwise? I kept expecting to go along for a while and then bump into whatever had made building muscle impossible for me, a “special snowflake”, to not get the results other guys were getting. I was (eternally doomed to be) an “ectomorph”. My shoulder hurt too much to bench press. I couldn’t get down low enough on squats because my leg/torso ratio was wrong.

    Having experienced all the benefits of lengthy application of the program I can look back and see how misguided all those reservations were. Now my wife is saying “but my hip hurts, just on this one side”, and “my knees keep popping, that can’t be right” and “my hands get so sore”, as if she’s found her unique fatal flaw. I tell her that she just hasn’t allowed herself to come to the conclusion that this stuff works, and that her body is fighting back against the new demands doing the program imposes, and that these things are typical and temporary.

    Conditioned to a world abundant with phony solutions, we spend a long time asking “is this true?”, believing our quirky little pains are proof of some unresolvable individual flaw, expecting another shoe to fall any time now; until one day, after pressing on and seeing undeniable results in the mirror we say to ourselves “this is universally true, and I’m one more point of proof”. And that’s when the “special snowflake” phase comes to an end.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    40,025

    Default

    This is important, because it affects so many people that try to use the program. The Program, as it is known, is based on the basic concepts of biology and arithmetic. As such, it is adaptable with very little variation to all humans, the variations being largely a matter of degree, not structure. The minute you decide that you're so special that The Program cannot be adapted to you without your insightful input into your fascinatingly complex personal circumstances, you have become a Special Snowflake. It's far more productive to just remain a human.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    605

    Default

    But if people are not Special Snowflakes it implies that functional corrective core imbalance glute activation assessments are bullshit. What will happen to the fitness industry!?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Oakland and Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,160

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    But if people are not Special Snowflakes it implies that functional corrective core imbalance glute activation assessments are bullshit. What will happen to the fitness industry!?
    People might start becoming fit and strong. We don't want that in the fitness industry! Fewer profits.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    874

    Default

    Sadly some people never make it through to the end of the "special snowflake phase", as you put it. One of these guys I know has a master in physics, yet is adamant about the fact that his rounding lumbar spine on the deadlift is caused by weak hamstrings and strong lumbar erectors, something Rip not only directly contradicts in the blue book, but also doesn't hold up to any form of basic scrutiny whatsoever. Yet he has a master in physics, one of the hardest schools of scientific thought, and I'm on my way to getting a bachelor in English literature. This has been going on for a full year now; his deadlift has progressed maybe 10 pounds and stay around an ugly 315 on TM after 3-4 years of training. I use 315 as a safe deload weight while he couldn't do a full set reliably if he wanted to; round from rep No.2 and sometimes earlier.

    Another one of these "special snowflakes" is a guy the previous snowflake knows from some kind of dodgy pickup artist group. He's been training with us for about 6-8 months and pulls about 275. I coached him for a while and I tried to keep tabs on his bodyweight, but he's gained maybe 6kg (~13 freedom pounds) the whole time he's been training. All the while I sent him Reynolds' article on eating till you're sick, waiting a minute, then eating again, Alan Thrall's eating videos including a more recently published one where he specifically outlines a 5,000kcal diet for people to follow, the To Be a Beast article by Coach Feigenbaum etc etc etc. Always was I presented with "but muh goals", "but muh skinny fat" to which I always responded with observable facts; that these things work themselves out when he's strong. But he never listened and at one time told me he "knew I considered him my personal project", at which point I told him to go fuck himself. Now all of his lifts have, of course, stalled and have been stalling for well over a month, but he's still hesitant. My guess is he'll switch to P90x or Crossfit or Bodybuilding and "lean down" to a buck 30 if he has to, all the way down from good ol' 175. And the story continues.

    People who aren't destined to be snowflakes go through a phase of temporarily being snowflakes. It's not a phase for everyone else, it's reality. I sincerely hope your wife's not "everyone else", OP, cos I'd hate to be the one to have to force myself through that disillusion.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    2,909

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    This is important, because it affects so many people that try to use the program. The Program, as it is known, is based on the basic concepts of biology and arithmetic. As such, it is adaptable with very little variation to all humans, the variations being largely a matter of degree, not structure. The minute you decide that you're so special that The Program cannot be adapted to you without your insightful input into your fascinatingly complex personal circumstances, you have become a Special Snowflake. It's far more productive to just remain a human.
    I understand where the idea comes from, but one of my pet peeves is the "well, we all respond differently" argument. It is true, but only a degree. And a small enough degree that in med school we study human physiology, not physiology of Karen, followed by a semester of physiology of Jim etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Jamestown, NC
    Posts
    1,125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marcf View Post
    People might start becoming fit and strong. We don't want that in the fitness industry! Fewer profits.
    A patient is cured, a customer is lost.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    494

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Scaldrew View Post
    People who aren't destined to be snowflakes go through a phase of temporarily being snowflakes. It's not a phase for everyone else, it's reality. I sincerely hope your wife's not "everyone else", OP, cos I'd hate to be the one to have to force myself through that disillusion.
    I think you make a good point that "snowflake" can be a permanent condition, and I would add that it’s a chosen state, because it requires denial of the mounting proof that you are experiencing personally and witnessing all around you. There is always another reason for that.
    My wife is burdened by a belief system instilled by an early diagnosis as “asthmatic”, which kept her from any sports engagement; plus membership in a family not inclined towards athleticism. She’s trusting me to be right when I tell her to work through each new twinge of pain or other issue that surfaces, and that puts me at odds with her doctor, who told her only to walk on soft surfaces and never on inclines when she reported knee pain at age 52. This will not be a short “phase” for her but I’ll get her through it. Looking forward to the day she calls me a pussy for complaining I have a sore elbow or am too tired to lift!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Provo, Utah
    Posts
    444

    Default

    I think all of us battle--SSS--special snowflake syndrome. Usually my lifting partner or I just recite one of Rip's saltier quotes to the excuse wimp of the day and shame him into the gym. I'm amazed how many PR's I've made while not feeling very well. Somehow the PR makes all the crap melt away. The worst day in the gym is better than the best day on the couch.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    186

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Bestafter60 View Post
    her doctor, who told her only to walk on soft surfaces and never on inclines when she reported knee pain at age 52.
    Wow, that is a really practical recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kirkham View Post
    I think all of us battle--SSS--special snowflake syndrome. (...)
    I'm amazed how many PR's I've made while not feeling very well. Somehow the PR makes all the crap melt away.
    The worst day in the gym is better than the best day on the couch.
    Absolutely. Bears repeating. So I do. *tips hat*

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •