Hardcore: Part 2

TAGS: Sports Training, athlete, strength, powerlifting, Inspiration, strength training, Elitefts Info Pages, barbell, training

I guess that I should explain why the subject of hardcore means so much to me. This is a very strong word in the world of powerlifting. Most lifters want to be considered hardcore to the point that they will train like maniacs so that people think they are hardcore. This really irritates me because I’m a person who hates wasted potential. It drives me nuts to go to a meet and see someone lift less than his or her potential. If this person is a friend or someone who I respect, it’s even worse. I already have a hard time trying to get people to listen to my theories and learn from the mistakes that I’ve made. If these lifters believe that my training isn’t hardcore, then there’s no way they’ll listen.

I have completely pushed my body to the edge—to the point where I was about to lose it mentally and physically. My blood pressure was way up, and I wasn’t sleeping at all. I’m sure that if I kept up that pace, there would only be two options—death or a mental hospital. I just couldn’t quit competing because I hadn’t reached my goals. My only choice was to adjust my training and find the balance that let me keep getting stronger while not killing myself, literally. Maybe this is something that a lifter must go through in order to understand what I’m talking about, but it was the most miserable thing that I’ve ever gone through. I even had a very close friend say that he thought I should move on to strictly highland games because powerlifting was screwing me up.

I just want to help people avoid these feelings if possible and help them get continually stronger. Maybe my program is a little on the extreme side because of my sleep problems, but I see many lifters who would get stronger if they just let their bodies recover a little more. I’m not talking about going to the gym and lifting. I’m talking about listening to your body, and when it is ready, go crazy in the gym. I can’t definitely say that my program and theories are the best, but I think that I’ve earned the right to ask people to look into them. Most of my theories aren’t set in stone. They are more like guidelines to help a lifter find the things that work for him. So I hope that people will see that I did train hardcore and still train hardcore.

Is this hardcore?

Say that a lifter never misses a workout and pushes his body as hard as possible. He comes in for a max box squat workout. He doesn’t feel his best, but he’ll get jacked up and go for it anyway. He screams, yells, and bleeds to get a 750-lb box squat. Now, the same guy, during his next session, decides to miss a couple workouts or spread his workouts out. It comes time to max box squat again. He again screams, yells, and bleeds. He feels much more intensity then the last time and his positive attitude is over the top. He feels great. He gives it everything that he has and hits a 900-lb box squat. Which workout is more hardcore and which workout has given him more from a training standpoint?

Say a lifter figures out that by moving the chest of his bench shirt up and down he can regulate the tightness of the shirt. He does a meet were he measures the line on his chest and draws them with a pen. It worked so he goes directly to his tattoo guy and has them tattooed on his chest. Is this hardcore?

Say a guy has trained for years. He has lived the life of a powerlifter and given everything to the sport. He works out every day as hard as possible pushing himself to the limit. He begins to feel weak, and his body starts to get run down. His health is slipping as fast as his strength. Is it more hardcore to keep pushing, try to work through it, and die or is it more hardcore to adjust your training, let your body heal up, and come back to hit bigger numbers than ever before?

Say a legendary powerlifter is done competing but still stays around the sport and has a lot to offer. He works with kids and could still teach tons to other lifters. Well, he has been big and strong for a long time. He wants to stay that way even though he is done competing and his health is in question. Is it more hardcore to stay big and strong and then die or to lose some size, still be stronger than most, and live to help other people in the sport?

This comment is about lifters like Anthony Clark, O.D. Wilson, Doyle Kennedy, and many others like them. These men were amazing lifters and had earned my respect whether they were still big or not. They will be missed, and we will miss a ton of knowledge that they learned.

Hardcore is an action and a state of mind…

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