Scowling, Sadism, and Suchlike


Since it seems like, of the various stuff that’s gone up on this particular wall of the ‘tubes, “Scowling to Succeed” seems to be a perennial favorite, I thought it sensible to revisit the philosophy behind it.

Early on — probably a year or two after I got back into going to the gym, but wasn’t doing anything you don’t see the average casual gym denizen doing when they’re barely breaking a sweat every session (except at spin class; that’s not actually sarcasm — I busted my ass there, enjoyed it (though some of the music sucks), and was approached by the woman who taught the sessions I attended to think about becoming an instructor myself) — the movie 300 came out.

Take a minute to unravel that. I’ll wait. Once an English major, always an English major. I don’t always work in simple, if profanity-filled, declarative sentences.

Back?  Good. If anyone can diagram it, I’d love to see what it looks like.  I could never get the hang of it, but know proper sentence structure when I see it.

Anyways, an outfit called Gym Jones was credited with getting the cast into shape for it. So I began reading GJ’s site, and their “bust your ass to get results” modus operandi clicked for me. I’m fundamentally lazy; if there’s an easy way to do something, I’ll probably find it.

The easy way to get in shape, to get strong, to get capable, IS to bust your ass.

The shortest path to results is straight through a very thick forest of self-imposed challenges — the effort, the sweat, the iron, the food, the discipline, the abuse, the recovery, all of it. In a very real sense, there is no other way.

MFT, one of the progenitors at GJ, speaks to this in an email interview he shared on their site today.

Muscle & Fitness: Can you briefly explain your training philosophy at Gym Jones?

MFT: The mind is primary. Physical training is easy, especially if you only do what you already do well. Psychological training is hard. If sport performance is 90% mental – as most people insist – and you aren’t training your mind in concert with your body you are wasting time. Unfuck your head and physical performance increases instantly.

Some might consider [what we do] tough simply because what constitutes hard work has slipped over the last 30 years. These days unremarkable fitness is called elite. What we do in the gym isn’t old-school hard.

[….] Gym Jones is a place of work. It’s obvious when you cross the threshold. We insist on a high standard of effort. We believe that you become what you do, but perhaps equally important, you become who or what you hang around: if you want to improve find someone better than you to teach and inspire.

Nope, I have no idea why I listen to guys like MFT, or the rant Chris Shugart went on that spawned the StS item. No clue whatsoever. *cough*

When this blog went up in January, the tagline “Abuse, Inspiration (Occasional Insight)” went up shortly thereafter (once I figured out how to change the title graphic; my WordPress fu is in its infancy), and I stand by it. If what I’m doing inspires somebody to emulate it, cool. I look around for people to inspire me — Brandon at Brandon Smash!, for example, or my buddy D, who says shit like “Life is all about living it in 3D: Dedication, determination, and drive, bitches,” because I need it.

Being selfish, being pissed off, being vain, being inspired — it all helps, but none of it is enough.

There is only one person who can make you better. You.

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1 Comment

  1. […] you get out what you put in. There are no shortcuts to fitness and wellness, unless you consider working really hard [Warning: salty language behind that link] to be a […]


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