Thursday, December 21, 2006

Squat cycle Day 2 and "Walking around strong"...

Day 2 of the squat cycle - 5 sets of 5 reps at 315# and despite being quite sore from tuesday I hit all the sets easily and feel better after the fact. I am wearing a loose belt for my sets and trying to hit below PL depth for all the reps. This is the base building phase of the cycle and things will start to get tougher as the weeks go by. Good thing is the cycle is only 5 weeks long so the pain is brief.

"Walking around Strong..." This is a phrase we have used from time to time to describe how it feels to possess a confidence building level of strength. I was recently talking to a friend who has made some great progress over the last 6 months (more that in the previous years of training- thanks to KBs and PTP) and he was saying how much more confident he feels now that he is stronger. Cardio does not build this confidence - Strength builds this type of confidence.

This does not mean a cocky or flashy demeanor - This does not mean bragging or "using" your strength to intimidate - This should not have any negative meanings - although some will take it this way.

"Walking around strong" is an inner strength and confidence in your body and your self that allows you to be more relaxed and more confident. In our cores we know we want and need to be strong. It wasn't that long ago that we truly needed, respected and worked for this type of strength - physical labor used to develop it, hunting and gathering used to develop it but now we are reduced to a level of ease (for some not all) that allows us to be weak.

And weakness breeds insecurity.
Dogs on leashes are a perfect example - once on a leash a dog will be aggressive and mean because it realizes that it's ability to defend itself and it's owner is limited by the restraint of the leash. Once off the leash the dog is relaxed and more likely to be friendly because it knows all its strength is available to it off the leash.

We are not so different. We realize that if we are weak we must put on a front of aggressiveness and hope that no one calls the bluff. This is not true strength - it is weakness in action.

Walking around strong is to walk around with a quite confidence that allows you to help others. I have had the honor of meeting, training with and talking to some of the strongest people in the world and they are some of the nicest, calmest, and best people you would want to meet.

Unfortunately - there have been those that have been perceived as strong that have used their "strength" for "bad" reasons - intimidation, bullying, "power", etc... and now strong can have a negative meaning for people. But true strength is a well of calm and an ability to conquer challenges - not with bragging but with quite purposefulness.

And strength comes in many different forms - and that will be tomorrow's blog.

For now - Can you say that you "Walk around Strong"?


Anonymous said...

who would have knew that you were such a plethora of strength "one liners". at last years rkc level 2 you threw out there "big isn't strong, strong is strong" the other day on the dragon door forum another beauty "weight room tarzan, grid iron jane" that one is classic. now on your latest blog entry "walking around strong" another gem. i love clever uses of the queens english, i wish i spent more time chatting to you at the rkc certs last year. maybe next year at one of the certs, we can exchange some one liners. keep up the good work.

anthony grokaitis

Scott Shetler said...


Great blog man! Funny, after a squat workout I'm usually "walking around weak"! You're right about people who are truely strong, they are the coolest, most laid back and most willing to help anyone out. I lifted in the AAPF/APF GA State meet this past August - backstage during the warm ups for squatting Marc Bartley was running the monolift, super cool guy more than willing to talk and give pointers, Steve Goggins was back spotting during the squat attempts out on the plat - nothing like a multi-time world champ and first man ever to break 1100 in a meet spotting you, talk about intimidating! But after each attempt he was more than happy to share tips on the lift, give advice etc.

However, go to the local Golds or whatever other fitness empire and you'll see more jerk-off's than you can count strutting around with the "lat walk" acting all bad. True strength is defined in one's noble and honorable actions, not in one's "lat spread"!

Great blog!


Sean Schniederjan RKC said...

great analogy with the leashed dog. i wonder if this principle applies to political power as well.

Brett Jones said...

I have million of em' Anthony - I look forward to spending some time sharing them at an RKC.

Thanks Scott - i know what you mean about the squats!

Chim - I think the analogy applies to a great many situations.

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