Saturday, November 17, 2007

What do I have against Weights?

Kettlebells are catching on more than I thought that they would. Now, they're showing up at Dick's Sporting Goods. Not that I'm in any rush to buy them because what I'm doing is working just fine and I just can't justify buying something that I may not be able to travel with. I admit that I may have a bit of a chip on my shoulder and splashed with some distain for weights but when I sit down with a rational mind and think about it, I only have two things against weights:

1. They cost money (especially if you need a gym membership to use them).

2. I can't travel with them easily.

So really, my beef isn't with the iron itself per ce. It is more to do with the guys who advocate pumping them. Most of my bitterness lies with them.

Speaking of lying, that is my biggest problem with weight lifting advocates: The lies. Were you to listen to the overwhelming majority of them, there is only one way to get strong and that is by lifting weights. That is a flat lie and I have a bit of a perfectionist streak in me that just goes crazy when I hear someone saying something that is just flat out not true. Of course it's possible to get strong without them. I've been doing it for four years now (doing an organized, daily routine that is). Even as I've gone from 145 lbs to 177 lbs I've stunned my Brazilian Jui Jitsu classmates with my strength in relation to my size. The whole time I've been doing it, I've never touched a weight. I can't count how many push-ups and pull-ups I've cracked out over the past six years though.

There is another lie that I hear a lot too: You can't gain muscle mass with bodyweight. Bodyweight is only good for muscular endurance not for bulking up. The truth is that if you do high enough intensity exercises combined with the proper food intake, you will definetly gain muscle mass. I was up to 180lbs at one point this year and all I did was Bodyweight and eat more. No weights, no supplements (ah-HEM) .

Just remember this: Muscles will grow if you place enough tension on them. This will force small tears and prompt regrowth of the muscle to a much thicker size, thus increasing strength. Ultimately, your body doesn't know, and doesn't care, where that intense tension comes from. It could come from your body's gravitational pull, an opposing limb, an antagonist muscle, or a foreign object. It all works.

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