Is One Better Than The Other?
This may be a trivial idea for many who are not involved in the fitness industry but the concept of different strength sports or training method is better than the next is a very real thing. Whether one way is more efficient, cool, brandable, better for you and so on has been debated for a long time. I am just as guilty as the next person of such discrimination of different sports, training methods etc.
I’m here today to say that IT DOES NOT MATTER how you showcase your strength but simply that you do. I have been a powerlifter for most of my teenage and adult life and have seen first-hand the prejudice between strength sports. Mind you recently it has not been bad. There is a growing respect among the top three strength sports (OL lifting, Powerlifting, and Strongman)
Even CrossFit Has Its Merits
Let’s take a look at Crossfit for a second. Many aspects of CrossFit do fit right into the world of strength but the unconventional (sometimes dangerous) movements they do have given them a pretty bad name to many and a lot of people have a preconceived notion that CrossFit is a one-way ticket to get your Sh*t snapped up. This may be true when CrossFit first came out but with the growing popularity of the sport, it has encouraged a growing number of extremely well-qualified coaches to enter into the sport. Which has grown both the quality of the competition, as well as the technique of most of the competitors?
There is one character trait that belongs to most crossfitters that almost all athletes should take into consideration for adoption. It is called having an open mind. The variety of training stimuli they must go through during training is immense and if they had a closed mind to different training stimulus they would be coming last in every CrossFit competition ever. They have different training tools tossed at them every day and they must learn to appreciate it and adapt to it. Simple as that, it is a lot like life isn’t it.
Don’t Understand It? Must Be BS
Not to throw CrossFit under the bus but they are the glowing beacon when it comes to judgment from the fitness community, but many others sit in the shadows. Many people have things they do not understand and are far too set in their ways to take the time to learn a little about the good and bad of a particular methodology.
Odd Tool Must Be For Fools.
Kettlebell training has begun to gain traction in the fitness industry and has been around for centuries but before it becoming mainstream many gym goers both criticized the tool as well as merely had no understanding of its use. So they passed it by and hated it. We now see entire companies dedicated to the used of the kettlebell as well as certifications to ensure the quality of the technique when using it. It is incredible the increase in open-minded gym owners and coaches are becoming.
When it comes to tools of fitness not being understood and looked down upon you can look at the rotational tools such as Indian club, Persian meels, and mace/gada. These tools have been used for longer than any tool in physical culture. In Persia, and India but have only started to take hold here in the western world. They were actually a huge part of British physical culture as they were discovered after the colonization of India.
Hard To Do? Leave That In The Circus
Again because of the difficulty of use they are always passed off as circus tricks. To use them is only a show, as opposed to seeing the value in which they hold. Simply because you do not know how to use a tool does not render that tool useless. If anything it renders your mind closed and therefore useless.
There are some other aspects of the fitness industry that is hated on every day. People do not understand them or have the self-respect to even try it for themselves. When you see someone doing something novel. Your first thought should not be too outwardly criticize it but to maybe think about it critically, why are they doing it? What good does it do? It looks like fun perhaps I should try it.
If you are incapable of doing something the first time and throw it away as useless, then your lack of endurance is your character flaw. Things take time to learn and unique training styles that are cultivated over time are not different.
Learn What Others Do, Keep An Open Mind
If you are a powerlifter why not take the time to learn what a weightlifter goes through or vice versa. Or if you’re a Strongman why don’t you go learn how to use clubs, maces, kettlebells, etc.? For all, you know the tools could be what you need to gain an edge in your sport.
Keep an open mind in training, and in life. Don’t be a cynic. Be a critical thinker and understand that many of the things that have worked in the past will work today. Take the time to learn them if you still do not like it or have judgment then that is great. You can’t talk sh#t about something you have never even experienced before for yourself.
All this being said it is important to separate the useful tools to things that are blatantly dangerous to us. I am not saying to go do lunges on top of a tractor tire. (Yes I have seen this) I am saying do some research on things and then make the call! Have fun, life is too short to be stuck in your ways!