Truth: 2 Rules of Thumb – Scientific Consensus vs Popular Opinion

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I never give a crap what other people’s “opinions” are. I DO care about what is TRUE. Throughout history, popular opinion has usually been on the WRONG side of the truth — especially when it comes to anything ethical. From science to slavery, humans have gotten nearly everything wrong. The reason we had to invent […]

Self-Deception – Bishop Butler: Quote

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“Things and actions are what they are, and their consequences will be what they will be: why then should we seek to be deceived?” — Bishop Butler The Romantic personality type can handle anything — save for the facts. I deplore this tendency in our lowly species; even more so its rampantness, and its promotion […]

Willpower: Mind over Glucose – “Beliefs About Willpower Determine the Impact of Glucose on Self-Control” – Research Review

Emma-Tamara-win-contest-Weightlifting-Academy

Fuel is important. Your mindset is importanter. If you tell yourself that you “can’t”, you won’t — no matter how much fuel you have. If you tell yourself you can, you might, no matter what the obstacle.1 There are many potential lessons here. Paper — Job, et al. 2013. Beliefs About Willpower Determine the Impact […]

Safety: The Fountainhead of Progress – Especially in Strength Training

Emma-Front-Squat-Crazy-Eyes-Weightlifting-Academy

Strength is a skill. Foundational to that skill is your ability to breathe & brace correctly during heavy lifts – of all kinds, not just squats & snatches! So with newer athletes we always start by teaching people how to stand like Bruce Lee. Maximizing your intra-abdominal-pressure is key to both your safety and the […]

No Will-Power? No Talent – Goethe on Hiring Actors for the Theater

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“If considering his personal qualities… above all things, whether he had control of himself. For an actor who has no self-possession… has, generally speaking, little talent.” — Goethe This doesn’t just apply to actors! The quote is Goethe on hiring new actors for the theater, from Conversations with Goethe with Johann Peter Eckermann. Nietzsche called […]

Anger: The Coward’s Way to Overcome Fear – How to Find Focus & Intensity Without Emotion

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“Since you have free mastery of your body as a result of your training, you will win through your body; since your mind is accustomed to this way, you will also win through your mind. Once you reach this stage, how can you be defeated?” — Miyamoto Musashi “Anger” and “Aggression” are spelled differently for […]

Coaching & Criticism: When Being Harsh is Healthy (OR, How To Have Success Tomorrow by Keeping it Real Today)

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If you can’t laugh at yourself, I can’t (read: won’t) coach you. Back in grad-school, I was once told by my adviser that a test of mine was “fucking bullshit” and that he couldn’t believe how much of a “God-damned moron” I was being. That may sound harsh, but he was right, and we were […]

How to Read Like a Slap to the Face & a Handful of Blood – Zhu Xi: Quote of the Day

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“Here’s what is necessary: one blow with a club, one scar; one slap to the face, a handful of blood. Your reading of what other people write should be like this. Don’t be lax!” — Zhu Xi Zhu Xi has been, perhaps, the most influential commentator on the Confucian classics in history. If you’ve ever […]

CrossFit Snatches: Safety vs Stupidity in the Name of Sport (with Video)

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Before I get started, please read this intro so that we’re on the same page: This is NOT one of those annoying “bash CrossFit” posts. I wrote it out of genuine concern for the safety of regular people who do CrossFit — not for Games-level athletes. I realize that because of the already-existing antagonism between […]

The Value of Uselessness: Biceps & Bourbon – Quote: Zhuangzi

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“The mountain tree plunders itself. The candle fat scorches itself. The cinnamon tree is edible, and thus it gets chopped down. The lacquer tree is useful, and thus it is cut down. Everyone knows how useful usefulness is, but no one seems to know how useful uselessness is.” — Zhuangzi The picture is of George […]

6 Episodes: Squats, 3rd Pull, Programming, Competition – Weightlifting Academy Weekly

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I’ve got 6 Weightlifting Academy episodes for you below! Everything from failing safer on squats, to improving your 3rd pull, to some tips on programming and contest prep. Weightlifting Academy Episodes Under each video is the link to the original episode over on Weightlifting Academy Squat Safe! How to Squat Every Day (Without Injury or […]

My Solution to the Gender Pronoun Problem

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I admit (and embrace) the fact that I am an oddball sort of man: I wear make up, I love glitter, I wear pink — and yet, I am quite straight and proudly self-identify as male. It turns out that this (non) dichotomy is relevant to the kinds of gender-specific pronouns I choose to use […]

Herbert Gintis on Karl Popper: “Go Get’em Karl!”

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Herbert Gintis is a game theorist, and the author of what is, in my opinion, the best beginner-book on Game Theory out there: Game Theory Evolving. Interestingly, he is also the author of a boat-load of Amazon book reviews. Here’s one he wrote for the book, The Myth of the Framework, a collection of Karl […]

How to Train Your Marshmallow Mind: Why Will Power Matters

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What if I stuck you in a small room with a marshmallow? What does that have to do with Will Power? What does Will Power have to do with your life or lifting heavy barbells? — find out in today’s episode of the Samurai Strength podcast! If you were alone in a small room with […]

Shakespeare vs the Poverty of Convention: Sonnet 130

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My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red, than her lips red: If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And […]

New Coaches: Need Help? We Get It – Super Total Cert. Now With Payment Plan

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Chris Duffin and I set up the Super Total Certification to help NEW coaches get as much good information as they can — so that they can help more athletes. However, in the real world, new coaches are often struggling financially! I never want that to hold you back from something you honestly can benefit […]

The Losing of the Way: 10,000 Years of Decline

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“Hard times make discipline difficult.” — Yung-Chia This is a line from The Song of Realizing the Way which is attributed to Yung-chia, but was likely written by someone else, after 700 C.E.. In the compendium The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, the editors, Nelson Foster and Jack Shoemaker have this to say about […]

Shoulder Mobility, Zen Mind, Contest Prep, & a bit of Sumo – This Week in Weightlifting Academy

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Below is a collection of Video Lessons I put up on Weightlifting Academy this week. Mobility & Strength Training: Shoulders, T-Spine Hanging Hollow-Body Drill — for shoulders, low-back strengthening, and t-spine: Flying Swan Pulls — for advanced shoulder work: Zen Mind Training More Zen-Mode — It’s time to stop acting like a “Bro”. Less #Beastmode, […]

Oblivion & Freedom: The Point of Meditation Training

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“One sits in oblivion … In order that one may learn to walk in freedom.” — Winston King The point of meditation isn’t to contemplate or figure anything out. The point is to train yourself to deal with nothing. Only then can you deal with something. Meditation is the act of training the physical structures […]

I Don’t Have Time for the Fast Lane: The Job of Teachers & Coaches

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“Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I […]

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