Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Macs and Muscles.

I am passionate about training, but I makes sure not to get inamorate of specific methods. If something works, use it, if it stops working change.
I was speaking to someone recently about training, and realized that the main "talent" I have in training (and maybe in life) is that I can keep things at arms length. If it works I use it. If not, figure out the weak point and go after it. The same holds true for my day job. Computers and particularly computer networks don't care what you want to do. They either work or they don't. The only time I get emotional about training, or computing is people who are dishonest with their clients/customers/themselves.
In computing, the Macintosh zealots are a prime example. I truly loathe them (and I'm probably going to piss off a lot of people, but hear me out) you buy a Mac, it works great for a few years (and yes, I'm a PC person who admits Macs work great in the short term) until it runs out of support and you have to buy a whole new computer. It's disposable. You can't replace hardware, you are limited in how far you can upgrade, you use it as you bought it, or admit the whole thing is no longer valid and throw it away. PCs are not limited. You buy the hardware from the open market, and the OS from Microsoft. If a piece of the hardware breaks or becomes the limiting factor, replace it. If the OS, or one application becomes the limiting factor, upgrade. Each part is separate, which means you have to manage/fix it yourself. You have to take responsibility for how well it works. With a Mac you just chuck the whole thing and the fruit purveyors tell you what you need next. The truth is, you like your Mac because you'd rather throw it out than figure out what the limiting factor is and work on it.
The same holds true for a lot of people in the gym. I was walking around the gym today, and realized that I've been going to this gym for just about 18 months. In that time I've gotten significantly thicker in my upper shoulders, hips, and back. My deadlift has gone up, my 1a row has gone up, my bench and OHP have gone up. My hip mobility is better. Every one else in there (with few exceptions) look exactly the same.
There are two guys in there who have been training with the trainer at this gym that whole time. They are in there with him nearly every day that I am. They are busting their butt doing everything he asks, but they look exactly the same as they did 18 months ago. More over, they're doing the exact same things they were 18 months ago. What are they paying for? Is that trainer so limited in what he knows that he can't do anything about it? Is he just so invested in his "method" that he won't admit there needs to be a change?
It's ok to change your mind. It's ok to admit that the training program or computer you pulled out of the box isn't going to be what you need forever. That doesn't mean you were wrong when you bought it. It doesn't mean you need to chuck the whole thing. It just means your needs have changed. Maybe technology has changed. What is wrong is to dogmatically hold on to ideas or objects in spite of their effectiveness. To get emotionally invested and not look honestly at what you are doing, and take responsibility for its efficacy.

EDIT: I've been thinking about this post a lot. I want to be clear. If you use your Mac, and love it, good for you. You're not the person I'm referring to.
There are certain instances where I would recommend a Mac to people.. they are few and far between, but they do exist. The people that get my goat are the "PCs Suck" people. Generally these people are either spouting outdated information, Mac propaganda, or some combination. I get it: PCs are harder, you don't want to bother. Good for you. I like them, and more over as an IT professional, I don't want to support Macs because we can't fix them in-house, and I'm limited to buying hardware from a single source and they're unnecessarily expensive. The whole point of the post is the right tool for the right reason for the right job without emotional attachment.

Yesterday's training:
snatch: worked up to 1x135
clean and jerk: worked up to 1x205
some light conditioning.

Today's training:
Deads week 2
3 at 315 (it was supposed to be 305, but I couldn't be fussed to pull out all of the bits and pieces)
3 at 350
9 at 395
5 at 315
5 at 315

Hip extensions (feet elevated) :
3 x 10 at 135 (still playing with these)

Don't compute with fruit.


fredly said...

Ever read this?


J. B. said...

I have, great book. Neil Stephenson is a very bright guy.