Picking Your Battles

You don’t have to venture far on the internet to see a viewer commenting on a lifting video about how much the video sucks because it doesn’t match the viewers standards. It seems that some people just can’t appreciate a big effort and hard work. Instead, if it doesn’t match their own views, the lift was garbage.

Part of this is inevitable. As LBEB brings together individuals from all strength sports, there will of course be differences in opinion when it comes to technique, especially the main lifts. Problems do arrive, however, when a lift is called into question for not matching one sport’s standards although the lift is for a completely different sport with completely different rules and regulations.

For example, nearly every time a deadlift video is posted on LBEB, someone bags on the fact that we drop the bar at the top instead of lowering it like Powerlifting rules require. This is because nearly all LBEB staff members and athletes are not participants of Powerlifting; we are mostly Olympic lifters and Strong(wo)men. We train the deadlift to get stronger, rather than as an event for a competition. For most of us, the deadlift is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. On top of this, we like to test different lifts just for fun. We don’t need to lower it because its not a requirement for us, just because your sport requires it doesn’t mean ours does.

I remember when I started lifting, I wanted everyone to follow my exact standards and if they didn’t, I thought they were doing it all wrong. I view this now as a sign of immaturity. If I see a video of someone half squatting 1000lbs in a competition and the judge calls it a good lift, it’s a good lift. I may personally believe in squatting ATG, but that is my personal preference and a requirement in the sport I coach. If a lifter’s sport only requires them to squat halfway down, then you better believe that is the depth they should train to in order to excel at their sport. Most of the time I won’t even offer advice or criticism on a lifting video that is posted unless I am asked, because I pick my battles and comment trolling is not a battle I need to be in.

Too many people seem to have “NO REP” on autotype on their keyboard. Another example would be Marshall’s 405lb thruster, a heavy lift that maybe 8 people on the planet can do (one of the others would be Misha). Immediately there were calls of NO REP on the lift because it looked like he didn’t squat deep enough. Are you kidding me with that? Not only did he do a flexible movement that is impressive for a man of 345lbs, he did it with a weight that is more than a lot of people’s deadlifts. There is a difference between offering valid criticism and pure trolling on a video.

The final subject of my rant involves trying to convince outsiders to do what we do. You won’t see LBEB going on to vegan sites and telling them all the problems we see with their way of life, and why ours is better, or onto marathon runner’s pages and doing the same thing. This is another battle I don’t need to be involved in. Just like with religion or football, telling someone why their beliefs suck just doesn’t work. In my opinion, it is better to let someone come around of their own volition (because forcing beliefs always works out well, right?) What we do is our way of life, and I don’t want to waste my breath trying to convince people who don’t want to listen. Chastising someone for their way of life does nothing but make them hunker down and hold to their beliefs even more, so don’t waste your breath.

In closing, try to avoid holding other lifters to your standards if it’s very clear that they don’t participate in your sport and operate by different standards. Pick your battle, save your breath, and work on smashing your own lifts.

Go forth and prosper, Pastor B out.

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