Training Log

Starting Strength in the Real World

Things You Should Never Do

by Phil Meggers, SSC | December 28, 2021

phil meggers threatens

Here are a few training-related situations that you should try to avoid. At all costs. Watch out, now.

1. NEVER train when injured. If you’ve pulled your right hamstring, for instance, it doesn’t matter that we can modify training to deal with this and help the healing process along. It doesn’t matter that you can still make excellent progress on - at the very least - your upper body lifts, and it doesn’t matter that you have three other perfectly usable limbs with which you can train (you know - your right leg and your two arms). Just don’t do it. Never do it. You might start to develop the inclination and ability to make progress in the face of adversity. This would be Bad.

Instead, just rest. Stay home. Get weaker. Mmmm . . . weaker. Sounds delicious.

(Oh, and definitely don’t read the excellent article - A Clarification on Training Through Injuries - by John Petrizzo.)

2. NEVER train when tired. If it’s early, and you’re still sleepy, hit the snooze. If it’s after work, and you’re exhausted, head on home for a drink. It’s just one workout. It probably won’t become a habit. Besides, we live in a very physical society these days - you’ll probably get a nice training effect from mowing your lawn on Saturday with your self-propelled or riding mower. It’ll be fine. 

3. NEVER train if your MD, PT, PA, chiro, masseuse, dentist, mechanic, dog walker, hair stylist, relative, or barista tells you that you shouldn’t be lifting weights, especially if they tell you that “you don’t need to be lifting those heavy weights!” These people have an intimate understanding of your goals, your training history, and what goes on in the weight room when you train, so always pay attention to them. Also, these people are your masters. Do what they say. That’s why they pay you . . . wait . . . no, nevermind. Do not think, talk to others, evaluate, and then make a decision for yourself. You might start to develop an independent spirit. Self-reliance, even! This would be Bad.

4. NEVER perform the Olympic lifts if you’re over 40. Old farts like you die every day doing these lifts! What were you thinking?! Don’t you know these lifts have to be performed with absolute perfection?! Arm pull? Death. Less-than-optimal rack position? Death again. Just not very explosive in general? Death to you and your progeny! 

You thought you could approach these lifts like a sensible human being - learning the lifts with the help of a coach, practicing the lifts, and then deciding whether or not you want to keep doing them?! Sheer idiocy. Good heavens - you might even enjoy the process and improve over time! How dare you.

We hope these words of wisdom help you in your journey to NEVER get stronger and live better. 

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