Training Log

Starting Strength in the Real World

10 Essential Quotes for the Strength Trainee

by Nick Delgadillo, SSC | August 25, 2016

a lifter trains

You embrace the fear. You love it when it feels heavy. You hate variety. You think people who make up bullshit excuses to justify their desire to do something easier are just scared, and you are not one of them. You are a lifter, and you lift heavy things. When you walk into the gym, you look around at all the bros doing arm work and five different chest exercises, and you smile because you know they don't know what you know. Or, maybe they do, but they don't have the balls to stay the course, put more weight on the bar and squat something they're afraid they can't squat. But you do that. You do that three days a week. You face your fear over and over and over. And sometimes you fail. Sometimes you can't get another rep. But you show up for your next session, and you try again. You stick to your plan. You learn how to fail. You learn how to try again. You learn that it won't kill you. And because you learned that, when life kicks you in the nuts, when your dog dies or your girlfriend dumps you or boss fires you, you can handle it. You can face it and feel it and know that you will get past it. And that, my friend, is more important than how much weight is on the bar. It's supposed to feel heavy. You're supposed to be scared. If you're not, you're not living.

— Paul Horn, Horn Strength & Conditioning

“The majority of the human race is composed of lazy slobs that are prodded through their miserable existences by the media, preconceived notions and prejudices, rumor/hearsay/innuendo, bad advice from fools, and the hope for an easy way to do everything.”

— Rip, Incremental Increases

“The squat – particularly the proper low-bar kind that lets you use so damned much weight – is the real life equivalent of being bitten by a radioactive spider or getting caught in a gamma bomb explosion, by far the best way for you to become as close to superhuman as possible.”

— Gary Gibson, Powerlifting, Year One

“The diet that must be followed is the one that best facilitates the program, and this will be different for everybody depending on age, body composition, program adherence, and genetic potential.”

— Rip, A Clarification

“The hardship of the exercises is intended less to strengthen the back than to toughen the mind. The Spartans say that any army may win while it still has its legs under it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must produce victory on will alone.”

— Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire

“It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.”

— Henry Rollins, Iron and the Soul

“It's hard to get mad at the guy who cut you off in traffic after you've left your lunch on top of the hill after bear crawling up it.”

— Jim Wendler

“Has Easy ever worked as well as Hard? No.  Next question.”

— Rip, Easy Doesn’t Work

“It always feels heavy. You just get stronger.”

— Jordan Feigenbaum channeling Greg LeMond

“The most important drug is to train like a MADMAN – really like a madman.”

— Alexander Karelin

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