Friday, February 22, 2008

A couple of rants for the day...

I don't usually do this and maybe it is lack of sleep and what not but I have to rant a bit on a few issues - advice, self evaluating, and strength.

Advice -
Advice is only speculation.
It is (or can be) a well intended collection of facts, figures, opinions or experiences offered in the hopes of helping someone.
And it is almost always speculative and incomplete because there is no way to properly guide someone based off a vague question. The statement of - "I want to gain weight." - will be met on internet forums with advice such as - "eat a lot, squat, take creatine, etc..." People with an injury will seek advice - "my shoulder hurts when I..." and the internet experts will chime in with any number of tips and pointers - books, exercises and therapies galore come flooding out.

But what if the person wanting to gain weight is skipping breakfast, wants to be vegan and thinks that bananas are a weight gain food (and lets not talk about the adult beverage liquid calories)? Add to this 12 hour work days, family stress, oh and a history of low back pain and a previous ankle fracture - and they don't know how to squat properly and are filled with movement restrictions and asymmetries. Would your advice change?

What if the person asking for the shoulder advice has a history of a hip injury, car accident and neck pain? They continue benching even though it hurts - oh and they forgot to mention that they work as an electrician and work overhead 10 hours a day -oh and did they mention that they are diabetic?? Would your advice change?

Responsibility in the area of advice runs both ways -the person giving the advice must realize that the advice is general and speculative and that it should be given with caution - the person receiving the advice has to still make their own decisions and take into consideration all of the specifics that they did not provide when they asked for advice. It is a two edged sword and can cut both people.
Think before you give, ask for and receive advice - BTW this may sound funny from someone in the "advice" business but this should indicate how seriously I take handing out advice and some of my thought processes.

Self evaluating -
"I am sore all the time, feel like a wreck and can't make progress towards my goal." Does a person providing this information really need an outside person to "clue them in" to the fact that they are overtraining and headed for trouble?
There is a difference between letting the weaker side of your mind pull the plug on your efforts and ignoring the warning signals being sent - you must self evaluate and make wise decisions based on your information.
Are you listening and self evaluating?

Strength -
Strength is a responsibility - meaning I think everyone is responsible for achieving "strength" in their lives - and - they are responsible for using that strength wisely and for good purposes.
Strength (physical strength) can take many forms - 1 rm squats may not be someones idea of strength but being weak and out of shape is not in the ball park either - decide what strength means to you and persue it.

Just a couple of rants...


P. J. said...

I think Friday should become rant day. You've made many great points.

Michael said...

uhoh, what's wrong with bananas? I have them every day.... I'm doing pretty good. I thought they were a good source of nutrition.

Michael in NY

Iron Tamer said...

Funny thing about the obvious: Sometimes it's so simple it confuses people.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks PJ - I actually try not to rant but maybe Friday Rants could be a regular.

Michael - bananas are a GREAT food but not a "weight gainer" type of food - which was my point.

Dave - too true my friend - simple seems to be difficult.

P. J. said...

But I find your rants so educational and in the face of conventional wisdom.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks PJ - I'll see what I can do.

Mike T Nelson said...

Rant away man!
Even the best advice still needs to be tested for results.
rock on
Mike N

Adam said...

awww man! you mean i can't jump on to DD and say---

"My doctor told me i have a sliped disc, but i thought that was bull crap, so i sought a second opinion. Amazingly, both doctors are obviously stupid, because the second guy also said i have a slipped disc...foolish doctors and all their "10 years of medical college business" anyway comrades, i am trying to increase my deadlift, but everytime i pull i get extreme pain that leaves me crying in a pool of my own urine. Does anyone know a special exercise to fix this?"

LOL love the rant's Brett! Keep it up.

Aaron Friday said...

Agreed. Keep up the rants. I know you have a professional reputation to uphold and feed, but spazzing out about things (when you're right, funny, or both) makes for great blogs.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Mike, Adam and Aaron - I'll keep ranting - a little ;)

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