How An Open Mind Can Make You Stronger
Written for Norse Fitness by Anthony Oliveira.
“Wow. Look at that douche doing hammer curls."
“You see that clown eating out of a tupperware? Settle down, Arnold."
“Yeah, cool lacrosse ball and foam roller... better make sure you're mobile you fuckin’ goof.”
We've all been guilty of either saying things close to these or laughing when our training partner has. The common feeling within the strength community be it powerlifting, strongman, or even olympic lifting is that if it isn‘t something generally used in our sport it must be stupid and lame. And while I will be the first to say your pizza deadlift socks are whack and your matching bandana makes me assume that you're listening to dubstep in your Beats headphones and I want nothing to do with you, there is room to learn A LOT from people outside of your sport.
Take bodybuilding for example. These people get laughed at and mocked by powerlifters and strongman for their ultra clean diets and “inner chest” and bis day, while getting made fun of by Olympic lifters for the fact that their training is not based on functionality. The ironic thing is if we took our heads out of our own asses long enough to pay attention we could see how easily these things could help us with OUR OWN SPORT.
Take a powerlifter that eats fast food three times a day and a gallon of Ben & Jerry's every night to keep their weight up. If they could get the same calories while eating cleaner at least half the time their recovery and performance would increase greatly.
The same applies to the Olympic lifter thinking that curls and rear delt work is useless. Listen buddy -- if you paid more attention to small muscles and isolated them you wouldn't be struggling to put one kilo onto your massive 75kg clean and jerk. You may laugh at the goofball in the corner of the gym doing mobility work, but if you spent a few minutes doing the same thing you wouldn't be saying, "Bro I can't do overhead presses, they hurt my shoulders.”
The thing is, you can learn something from just about anyone, regardless of whether it's something you should be doing or something you should NOT be doing. So while it will continue to be hilarious to watch people eat cold tilapia out of a tupperware and it will continue to be easy to laugh at all the mobility tools that look like sex toys, you are leaving pounds on the platform because shit looks different or goofy to you. Take the time to explore the extra things that could be helping you.
Just make sure you do it in private or I will absolutely be the guy laughing at you.