Excerpt From Dave Tate's Training Log 12/12/12

1. the ability to read and write: capacity, capability, potential, potentiality, power, faculty, aptness, facility; wherewithal, means.

2. the president's leadership ability: talent, skill, expertise, adeptness, aptitude, skillfulness, savoir faire, prowess, mastery, accomplishment; competence, proficiency; dexterity, adroitness, deftness, cleverness, flair, finesse, gift, knack, genius; qualification, resources; informal know-how.


Bread Crumbs

Yesterday I posted the results from my last three MRIs. There were several reasons why I did this, with the biggest being "bread crumbs." I think it's important when keeping a training log to let the readers know why you are training, what adversities you face, and then show how you deal with them and move forward. Leaving "bread crumbs" the readers can follow.

I will share more about my issues, treatment, and modifications in my log as my journey continues, but I do not want to use this post to focus on this. Instead, I want to focus on what happened after I posted my results.

Throughout the day, I received emails from many veteran Powerlifters (whom I will not name, but many are very well known for their amazing accomplishments). These emails were along the lines of support, but they also began sharing their own stories and MRI results. When I say I received some emails it was MANY more than you would think. No doubt we all paid a price for the years we put into the sport.

Before I continue, I feel that I need to make some statements:

*Not everyone will end up a train wreck.

*There are many factors that play into this including family history, bodyweight carried over the years, years under the bar, and many others that I am sure every specialist in the world will point out.

I have been around long enough to know that many will say that my training is the main reason. Others will say it was nutrition, and some will say it's all about bone structure, family history, multi-ply gear, not taking MSN, not using a specific mobility program... you name it, I have heard it.


The Truth

Here is the truth: When you spend three decades doing essentially the same movements over and over, training hard and heavy, weighing close to 300 pounds, and training around and through injuries, you will pay a price. A very quick guess would indicate that over the past 30 years, I have performed over 6,000 training sessions. (This is based on a low average of four sessions per week, but I spent years training 10 sessions per week). Out of these 6,000 sessions, I have performed, on average, way more than one million loaded repetitions. While I'm not 100% sure, I do not think our joints were made for this. I also feel that how hard you push yourself is a big factor.

HOWEVER - MANY - MANY - MANY lifters do get away with it, and this is where I feel that your family history and bone structure come into play. But the thing is, there are MANY factors that all come into play—there is no way you can point to just one and say, "that's it." When I am asked why this happened, the only real answer is: a lot of reasons.

This brings up the next BIG question that has been part of all these conversations and emails...

Was it worth it? and... Why do we keep doing it?

I think this is very personal for everyone, but I would be lying if I said I hadn't asked myself this questions many times over the past few months.

Last week when I was driving home from getting the results of my third MRI, my mind was in a haze. Each MRI got worse. While I knew they were not going to be good and was expected worse, it still sucks when you are smacked in the face with the reality of the situation.

Years ago, I used to joke with others lifters about how it didn't matter how I would feel when I was 40 or 50 years old, and if I pushed hard enough, I hoped that all of my joints would need to be replaced.

Whatever it takes!

This was an awesome philosophy back then. Now that I am looking at the possibility of this, I'm not quit sure how I feel about it. I sure as hell am not as excited about it as I once was, but I would also be lying if I said I didn't realize that there would be a price to pay.

Was it worth it?

Midway through my drive home "The Dance" by Garth Brooks came on the radio.

But if I'd only known how the king would fall

Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know

The way it all would end the way it all would go

Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain

But I'd of had to miss the dance


The Ride

I may have suspected, I may have underestimated, but I am glad I didn't really know at the time because as I get older, I see that there are not many things that really end well. EVERYTHING burns out, fades away, and dies.

BUT - the ride (the dance)

This is where it's at!

Lift Hard! Get Tight! Push Hard! and give everything you got because when you do this, you will find incredible things you never could have imagined. Extraordinary things—memories and character that will carry you through your entire life!

It can all be (and one day will be) taken away from you, but extraordinary memories last a lifetime.


Be Extraordinary!

I have no regrets and will find a way to keep training hard and doing what I love to do (modifications are part of life). I feel extremely lucky that I found something I love so much and I'm willing to pay the price—and NOW I KNOW exactly what that price is.
I will end this with a message I received from Coach X - Buddy Morris.

Welcome to the world of "fucked up beyond all reason" (fubar). It just goes to show how hard we have pushed our bodies, and I wouldn't do it any different, if given the opportunity. You can either be laid to rest peacefully or slide into the grave screaming "wow what a fucking ride. " I choose to ride!!!!! You're the best.
- Buddy



We all have Ability. Over time our ability changes, but as long as the passion stays the same, we will always find a way to be extraordinary.

- Dave Tate