Your Training Sucks (On Guru’s and Cultists)

Confidence is knowing you’re right. Arrogance is believing everyone else is wrong.

There are various groups and personalities online that train only in certain modalities or with particular tools. Some disregard, or even scorn all other forms of training regardless of how well-established they might be, the credibility of the instructor or the weight of supporting scientific evidence behind other methods.

In the mind of the Guru or Cultist, All other instructors, or the science behind what they teach is flawed,or being blunt…your training sucks.

Somehow the Guru is above the possibility of being wrong, and that their training couldn’t possibly suck.

Bodyweight training as an example has certainly stood the test of time (Yoga and Martial Arts anyone?)and over the past few years has increased in popularity.  A person can certainly develop numerous positive physical adaptations from consistent training using only their bodyweight and in my opinion is the most convenient and excuse-free form of training out there.

That said, it isn’t without limitations and it isn’t ideal, or the most efficient for all adaptations. Just like any other form of training, it has its share of Guru’s and Cultists.


Based on what I’m seeing this lady either isn’t ready for this level of Push-Up difficulty, or just learned how to do it and hasn’t built proper technique.  The beach bootcamp coach quoted below believes otherwise….then again maybe its the coach doing the push-up.

“We use very few “weights” in our workouts and virtually no machines preferring progressions to “adding weight” and body weight / balls, bands, trx to machines and weights. That having been said, it really depends on your demographic and their goals. I can honestly say we’ve not used “weights” (with the exception of prone rows) in close to a decade. Personally, I find them useless and an antiquated modality for most of our clients whose goals are general conditioning and/or weight loss. I use them personally for a few  exercises but my goals are not the same as 99% of our clients”

If the beach bootcamp running lady (with 1% level goals) that made this comment is to be believed, then Mark Rippetoe (Starting Strength Basic Barbell), Louie Simmons (Westside Barbell), Pavel (StrongFirst), Martin Rooney (Training for Warriors) and Dan John (legendary Strength Coach) have all been very wrong.

I’m going out on a limb here and will side with the latter gentlemen’s opinions. This has nothing to do with BroCode.

Incidentally, all five gentlemen have made various levels of recommendations for  bodyweight training as an adjunct to what they primarily teach, or as part of the overall program.  I do the same.

What I find interesting is that a high percentage of Guru’s and Cultists lack any relevant experience in what it is they are criticizing.  I’ve been criticized for several of my thoughts on barbell training. Ironically my critics have never been people that lift heavy things, or coach people with goals of lifting heavy things.

I suppose it’s easy to become emotionally attached when one has invested considerable time and effort into something, especially if it happens to be tied to a single way of doing things, or single school of thought. Personally I feel it’s not a good thing to limit oneself to only a single way of seeing or doing things. I feel that it limits perspective,potential learning and possible training opportunities.

“If all you ever read was one book you’re limited to its contents no matter how many times you’ve read it.”  Louie Simmons

Wait…isn’t Chris sort of a Guru?
I don’t think I meed the criteria. My social circle is fairly big and I don’t mind if someone disagrees with me….even if they bring bad science or outdated information as part of their anti-Chris argument.

I’m perfectly fine admitting when I’ve changed opinion on a subject or admitting when I don’t understand something. I have a decent sized speed dial worth of professionals I can contact in the areas I absolutely don’t know.

Don’t I use primarily free-weights in training? Yes, but that doesn’t mean other methods aren’t effective depending on the goal and the client. Further, it doesn’t mean I’m lost without having Free-weights at my disposal. I’m equally capable of training people using bodyweight or odd objects in strength,mobility,restoration and performance.

It’s speculation on my part, but I would wager that “Mrs. weights are useless and an antiquated modality” is lost when it comes to weight training, specifically barbell based strength training.

I’ve made it a point over the years to have at a lay level understanding of Yoga (which I consider the opposite of what I do), CrossFit, Bodybuilding,Hardstyle Kettlebell and at least a passing familiarity with the mainstream group exercise formats. There are clients more fit for exercise than training (there is a difference between the two) and I like being able to give a recommendation based on some level of experience.


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