I’m going to close this series on Common Sense with the most important point: We don’t need as much advice as we think we do. That may sound odd after posting three blogs giving out advice but hear me out.
Within the last twenty-four hours I’ve responded to the following questions:
I don’t care about drug testing in fact, I prefer a non drug tested federation and I’m not likely to set any state records. I just want to compete on the platform from time to time. Which powerlifting federation should I lift in?
Should I buy an amino acid supplement that’s capsule based or one from the same company that’s a mixable powder?
I’m coming back after an injury. Which is better 5×5 or 5/3/1? I’ve done 5/3/1 before and had success with it I just don’t know my maxes.
My answers in order were:
- Pick the federation that’s closest to you, that is the least expensive to compete in and that you think you’ll enjoy lifting in the most.
- Powders are easier to ingest; capsules are more convenient. If you don’t care one way or the other and IF both products do the same thing, then just buy the cheaper one.
- Do what you already know because what’s most important is to just get started. You can always adjust as you go along especially with a template like 5/3/1. You’re familiar with the program so just set your maxes according to how the program directs you and have at it.
To me those were all simple questions. To the people asking them, they didn’t have obvious solutions. I know that I ask questions sometimes that strike more experienced people as things I should know but there’s something about human nature that wants a guru to show us the way.
I’m going to come out and say it to myself and to all of you. We are all ultimately the best suited to make decisions for ourselves. Only I know my goals, only I know what hurts and what’s just uncomfortable. Only I live with the regret if my plans fail due to my lack of effort or poor planning. Maybe that’s why we want the guru to tell us what to do. So if the plan fails we’ve got someone to blame. My dad used to always say he preferred to hire a plumber rather than fixing things himself so he’d have somebody to sue if the toilet started leaking.
I get that. And I’m not saying go skydiving by yourself just because you read the manual three times. What I am saying is at some point we all need to take responsibility for our own health and fitness. When it comes to your goals and objectives, weaknesses and strengths; YOU are the expert. Stop wasting time waiting for somebody else to tell you which magical program, supplement or device is going to Alakazam you into the body you’ve always wanted.
If I think I need a coach, I’m going to find one. I’m not going to ask somebody if I need one. If
I think I need to go on a diet because the only shape I’m in is round, then I’m going on a diet, not asking somebody else if they think I’m getting fat. If my sleeves are loose as a Hula Hoop on a drinking straw well obviously I need to add muscle so I’m going to start doing things that add muscle.
Do your research and make a decision that you feel is right for you. If it doesn’t work, try something else. You’re a grown up. Be a grown up. That’s what all of your heroes did and that’s why you look up to them.
John Greaves III writes everywhere that will return his nagging emails. He is the founder of https://garagegymlife.net/ and has authored two fiction books involving powerlifting which aren’t boring but are available on Amazon.com. John earned a Combat Action Ribbon the old-fashioned way in Operation Iraqi Freedom II and taught hundreds of motivated Devil Dogs how to punch, kick, stab and strangle as a Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor and flew home from the 2001 International Kickboxing Federation National Championships angry because he only got a silver medal. Now he’s learning the way of squat, bench and deadlift as a competitor in the Masters Division on the Gogginsforce team. John is constantly seeking out interesting people who have rejected an average life in favor of building an extraordinary legacy. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .