Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do it Anyway

by Cristi Bartlett
We all know I love the deadlift. It’s been well documented.  If I could marry the pull and have little deadlift babies running around, I would.  But obviously and unfortunately that is not possible. 
On the opposite side of the love-hate spectrum, I have a strong dislike for the squat.  And that’s me being very gracious.  Nooo, Nooo, I’ll be honest, I hate the squat.  HATE IT.  It hurts, it’s hard, you have to get deep, it’s just a bunch of terrible things that accompany the squat; It downright sucks.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you have an awesomely strong squat, you’re pretty much certified in badassery.  And, it is one of the two (other of course being, THE DEADLIFT) single best exercises in life that will get you better at anything.  Want to get better at washing your car?  You need to squat.  Want to get better at playing badminton? You need to squat.  Want to get better at being the most awesome person in the room?  Well, guess what, you need to squat. Even if you don’t want to, it’s just what you have to do.  So when I say I hate the squat, I am not talking about the actual exercise I am simply talking about me alone, performing the squat.  Which brings me to my point; As much as I hate it, I know in order to increase my MONSTER status I have to do it, so in despite of my hate, I do it anyway. 
All throughout our history, as a species, we have done tons of stuff we did not want to.  Do you think cavemen wanted to wake up daily before the sun just to hunt for the days’ menu? HELL NO.  He wanted to get up once a week, kill a giant moose or some massive wooly mammoth to feed off of for weeks.  Then of course he wanted to take the carcass, find some nearby stones and build the world’s first barbell.  But did that happen? No. He continued to wake up 7 days a week before the sun and hunt. Even though he was tired and didn’t want to he did it anyway. 
My point is, there are things that we all have to do in regards to our training that we may not want to, but we do it anyway.  The guy that wants to gain some size, but is still super full and almost miserable from his feeding 2 hours ago but is scheduled for another meal, what does he do? He eats anyway.   The girl that wants to increase her total, but hates performing her less than par squat, what does she do on Wednesdays? She squats anyway.  Or me, the one who missed two reps (eek) on her 5x5 bench workout yesterday, and was basically forbidden to lift anything else because I’m not to miss a rep and that I needed to rest since I was “overtrained”, but was in the middle of doing some assistance work.”Well, what do you think I did? I sadly cleaned up my rack, ate food and did not lift anymore. I didn’t want to but  I rested anyway. And to add to that, I was also told that the day before I squat, I am to have a complete day of rest.  I’m sorry, what, I don’t understand?  I really wanted to do some heavy conditioning.  But ok, no conditioning, so today, I’m resting anyway. 
We all have obligations, we all things to do that we may or may not want to do.  But since we all have goals in mind, it is of paramount importance that we get shit done. Want to add some poundage to one of your much hated lifts, 1st learn to love it, and secondly and most importantly, get in MONSTER MODE and do it anyway.  Want to add some weight to your weak thin framed body, get in the mind of the cookie monster and eat anyway. Complain all you want, bitch and moan, do whatever you need to do, just punch the clock and DO IT ANYWAY. -That is all 
Cristi Bartlett is an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Pennsylvania.  She can summon "Monster Mode" at will.  You can reach her at

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.