Be a Robot

You Are a Robot.

A gross, warm, soft, bony, robot.

You need to keep this in mind as you train to become a more efficient and effective weightlifter.

Robots, for the most part, are created, programmed and built to perform a specific task.

 Thinking about the last time he missed a jerk. Hint it was never. Cause he’s a frickin robot.

Thinking about the last time he missed a jerk. Hint it was never. Cause he’s a frickin robot.

So when you train for a specific task it should be robotic if you want to have the highest success rate.

You need to get to the point where you don’t have to think about what you are doing you just do it and you do it well. LIKE A FRICKIN ROBOT! YOU SEE WHAT I AM TRYING TO GET AT HERE?! YOU ARE TRAINING FOR A SPECIFIC TASK NOT FOR SOME ABSTRACT RHYTHMIC GYMNASTIC IMPROV COMEDY SHOW! SPONTANEITY IS NOT WANTED HERE!

This does not apply to all of your training. Some of your training should be free and open like a leaf blowing across a verdant meadow BUT if you are training to hit a big snatch or clean and jerk in competition than you should be training like a robot most of the time…robots don’t meander across verdant meadows. They smash things.

Anyways, let’s think about the thought process that goes into creating a robot (And while we are doing that let’s pretend that I know precisely what the thought process is for creating a robot).

 Photo of me coaching at the American Open Weightlifting Series 1991

Photo of me coaching at the American Open Weightlifting Series 1991

The first thing is to understand and clarify exactly what you want the robot to do.

Do you want it to put a label on a jar as it passes by?

Do you want it to lift up a roll of toilet paper and deliver it to you on the throne?

Do you want it to locate victims trapped in rubble after an earthquake?

Once you have clarified the robots purpose you will have to break down that macro task into many many micro steps.

Using the Earthquake Rescue Robot 3000 example you will have to give it technology to seek out heat sources amongst a chaotic environment.

You will have to give it wheels, or treads, or crazy spider legs that allow it to navigate through the wreckage.

You will have to set up a live video feed so that rescue workers can see what it sees.

You will have to program it to do exactly what you want or else it won’t work.

In the same way you as a weightlifter are a robot.

Rather you are the team of engineers and the robot all mixed into one.

The programming you are following is the engineering side.

The way your body performs the lifts is the robotic side.

You can choose what type of movements your body has to preform and you choose the weights and the volume and intensity of your workload.

This will determine how you perform on the platform when it comes time for competition of whenever you decided to max out.

 Don’t. Just don’t.

Don’t. Just don’t.

I read a good quote recently by the Greek Poet Archilochus: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

This is exactly right when it comes to weightlifting.

The way in which you have programmed yourself will be made evident on the competition stage

If you have programmed the robot to not finish its second pull and miss forward on heavy attempts than that is what the robot will do.

If you have programmed your robot to be aggressive and stick it’s jerks than that is what it will do.

If you have programmed your robot to not listen to its coach, go off its program and max out with terrible form every time it snatches then it is going to end up in the scrap heap, broken and alone.

Weightlifting is wonderful in this way. You have all the power when it comes to how good your technique is.

You have to make sure that each rep is as perfect as you can make it.

This does not mean that you have to be cautious and never have fun, but you need to realize that your movement patterns come first.

That is something that you as the engineer have absolute control over.

You control how much weight is on the bar.

You control how many reps you do with crappy form.

It is imperative that you view each rep as a building block or as new code being written. Every rep needs to be precise and you need to be focused from your first warm up to your final attempt.

This is the only way that you are going to go from a beginner to an intermediate and advanced lifter.


And remember that even though you are a robot you are a living breathing savage robot that only desires to destroy barbells and feast on the dead carcasses of bumper plates.

So get out there and be STRONG!

Cliches for Gains

The following is a transcript that was sent to me by an anonymous source who only said that he had this experience a few years back. I promised not to reveal his identity but his name rhymes with Stark Slovak. He promised that this was a true event. He sent it to me because he knew that if I shared it millions upon millions of people would be able to read it and grow stronger as a result of it. 

Read on if you dare...

LA, California 2013:

Two friends meet up at Chipotle to discuss how to get jacked and how to get girls to look at them. 

Guy 1: Hey bro did you read that article about this new fitness program that is revolutionizing working out and eliminating the obesity epidemic and making fat guys skinny and then making those skinny guy look like Kai Greene minus the octopus tentacle that he has growing from his cranium???!?!?!

Guy 2: Whoa! That sounds too good to be true and I would be down to try it but I am actually kind of into the whole octopus tentacle attached to my head thing. I’m currently following his new 20 second program to grow a tentacle on my head in 7 seconds or less.

Guy 1: Yeah I understand. Well have you heard about this sick new supplement that will shred your fat in such a way that only your stomach gets shredded and gives you so much energy to do the things that you like to do like watch Netflix and scroll on Instagram and also allows you to communicate with dogs?!?!?!

Guy 2: What about cats?

Guy 1: No. But still...

Guy 2: True that is asking a bit much. That also sounds too good to be true! 

All of a sudden there is a flash of light and smoke and Arnold Schwarzenegger is standing before the two fellas. 

Arnold: Eyaygh! That is because it IS too good to be true!

Guy 1 and Guy 2: Arnold?!

Arnold: Eyaygh! Yes you idiots!

Guy 1 and Guy 2: (Stunned silence)

Arnold: I am here to tell you that all these supplements and all this new and improved workout mumbo-jumbo is getting you nowhere! 

Guy 1: So then what should we do Mr. Arnold? We are just your humble servants wanting to get jacked.

Arnold Eyaygh! What do you think?

Guy 2: Lift heavy things?

Guy 1: Eat more protein?

Arnold: Eyaygh!

Guy 2: Eat vegetables?

Guy 1: Drink water and get lots of sleep? 

Arnold: Eyaygh! YES! It’s simple. If it jiggles it’s fat.

Guy 1: OK....?

Arnold: Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer!

Guy 2: (mouthing “milk is for babies” while furiously taking notes on a scrap piece of paper)

Arnold: Eyaygh! The best activities for your health are pumping and humping

Guy 2: (serious look on his face while saying “pumping...humping” under his breath)

Arnold: The cock isn’t a muscle so it doesn’t grow in relation to the shoulders or the pectorals. You can’t make it bigger through exercise, that’s for sure.

Guy 1: Seriously?

Guy 2: (Still furiously taking notes) What else?!

Arnold: Having chicks around is the kind of thing that breaks up the intense training. It gives you relief, and then afterward you go back to the serious stuff. 

Guy 1: So what you’re saying is that we should just focus on the basics and not get caught up in all the marketing hype that surrounds the fitness industry?

Guy 2: (Turning to look at Guy 1) That’s what you got from this? 

Arnold: SILENCE! I do the same exercises I did 50 years ago and they still work. I eat the same food I ate 50 years ago and it still works.

Guy 1: But...but...that’s so boring...

Arnold: Hasta la vista, baby! 

And with that Arnold disappeared before their very eyes. 

The guy never forgot their meeting with Arnold and decided right then and there to stick with the cliches; to stick to the things that worked. Cliches like eating vegetables, training with intensity, and cutting out tasty soda pop. 

They threw away their shiny supplements and stopped hopping from program to program hoping to find the miracle cure for their lack of ambition. They realized that it was not the program that they followed that mattered but simply how consistent they were. 

They now knew that cliches and principles of training were there for a reason. Because they worked. 

They began squatting and deadlifting and running and jumping and doing pull-ups and curls and getting jacked and tanned. 

They realized that this was the best way to train. They realized that training wasn’t a way to simply look good and impress others, but a way to grow stronger and to help others grow stronger in turn. 

They knew that they way they trained was the way that they lived their life. They loved being disciplined and pushing themselves to the limit. They realized that it was not the destination that was important, but the journey. They realized that this was all very cliche but they didn’t give a shit. 

They realized that the fitness industry was rigged against them. It was an evil machine that allowed men and women juiced to the gills to pretend that taking BCAA’s allowed them to weigh 275lbs at 2% BF and that if you just follow their program you can add 12” to your biceps in 20 minutes or less. 

Then they realized that Arnold was pretty much the first dude to set this evil machine in motion...what the heck bro? But they quickly decided to forgive him because I mean have you seen Conan The Barbarian?!?! 

They were thankful for the lessons that Arnold had bestowed upon them and they vowed to train in a way that would make him proud. 

The fellas never saw Arnold again but if they sat in a quiet gym late at night they could still hear his voice whispering in the creak of the Lat Pulldown machine... "...the cock isn’t a muscle...milk is for babies... who is your daddy and what does he do?”