My Strength Hobby: an Update

Have you ever taken up a new hobby? All of a sudden it’s all you care about. Homesteading, motorcycles, learning sign language? You watch a few episodes of the British Baking Show and now you want to bake all day?

I remember a time when I thought Scorpions were a really good rock band. I still like them, but I don’t think they are the band for our times. Enthusiasms fade. Churches know this: the new convert is very eager to do everything perfectly; the old members nod and smile.

About 12 years ago I became very enthusiastic about barbell training. I started lifting to try to cure back spasms. It worked wonderfully! In fact I don’t recall having back spasms at all since my first day of deadlifting. Your mileage may vary. I learned about the squat, bench press, press, and deadlift and pursued them with nearly religious zeal. I bought books, attended seminars, got a certification, went to conferences, started coaching, and made it a career.

This was no ordinary enthusiasm.

How is it going, after twelve years? I can tell you that my zeal has not faded very much. Unlike Scorpions, the value, the concrete goodness of strength training is still there, and it’s still good for you. If you give me a moment, I’ll tell you that you should deadlift. I’ll explain how it makes your life better. I’ll ask you to imagine being twice as strong as you are today. "How would that change your life?" If I’m in an apocalyptic mood I’ll go on about how physical strength will be much more useful to you if SHTF than a high VO2 max. Nothing has changed.

For me personally, it has changed a bit, but just because I have gotten older. We’ve had a stressful year with many changes here at Schudt Manor, and it’s hurt my training. My strength levels are down. But I still train, and I still try to get PRs. I just don’t get them very often. I’m 51 years old and very strong for my age, but unlikely really to get much stronger. I’m ok with that. I’m still almost certainly stronger than you, dear reader, and I know that you need to add strength training to your life.

I am a barbell coach, and I still love my job. You can find me at Barbell Logic if you want to get coaching. We give you 24 hour feedback on all of your lifting, intelligent programming, and nutrition coaching if you want it. It’s a very good service and I’m proud to be associated with it. You’ll get stronger!

4 thoughts on “My Strength Hobby: an Update”

  1. Yeah, I was never able to max out effectively on deadlifts my PR was 405lbs years ago (at least 25). I train more like a bodybuilder with volume amounts of sets. I’ve had lower back deformities still so I’m in physical therapy. Dr. Blake found a lot of my exercise form to be the culprit. I train mostly at home, though I have a power pass membership at X-Sport. I just want my back to get better and lose some bodyfat. The basic powerlifting moves I don’t do because of my back issues. I’ve been doing deadlifts though (Sumo) and flat bench press. I remember you telling me your bench was at 457lbs!

    Love your blog especially the Philosophical elements!

  2. Karl, I’d love to hear your opinion and elaboration on why you think physical strength is more valuable than aerobic conditioning in an apocalyptic/SHTF scenario. Sounds very interesting

    1. If the energy and food got shut off, you’d have to be your own energy. Working a field or wrangling critters is hard. You don’t need to run, though, unless you are endurance hunting the antelope.

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