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Do You Still Think Weight Training is Wrong?
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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07-12-2017, 11:27 AM
Hello Everyone,

I received an e-mail this morning from a guy asking me: "Do you still think weight training is wrong" ?

Answer: I never said that it was "wrong"---EVER.

I have always stated that the best and most functional form of strength training is to develop the strength of your body in direct relationship to the body itself from all angles and all directions. Think Isometrics-Self Resistance-Body Weight Calisthenics.

By doing so YOU will be developing PROTECTIVE STRENGTH as the muscles become extremely strong in direct proportion to the body itself and perform their function of supporting the skeletal structure.

Conversely, when the muscles are over trained with the wrong kind of exercise to the point that they are too fatigued to perform their supportive function ( think crossfit and extreme weight training) that is when injuries to the body's connective tissues take place. It is then, as the joints and connective tissues are continually over taxed that they sustain injury. Then in time the muscles can no longer be exercised due to joint pain and they become weak and do not perform their function of supporting the bodily structure itself. With the passage of time the muscles become weaker due to lack of exercise and the downward pull of gravity further accelerates their decline. None of you want to experience that. Especially when it is not necessary.

This is why freehand strength building with Iso-Dynamic Exercise is so extremely beneficial. Not only aesthetically but from a health and structural perspective as well because the muscles will literally keep the entire body structure in perfect alignment when properly exercised and compensate for the continual downward pull of gravity.

Weight Training itself, if properly done as George Jowett advocated in his book "The Unrevealed Secrets of Man" would be every bit as beneficial as Iso-Dynamic Strength Training from the physical perspective but not the intellectual and psychological whereby a person develops total control over their own muscular system and can exercise and create strength in direct relationship to the Mind-Body-Spirit without relying on apparatus of any kind. To understand what I mean re-read the Galen Gough and Benny B thread. Both men created their incredible strength through mind over muscle training first and foremost. This is the thread:

My bottom line is this: there is nothing wrong with weight training or weightlifting by it does not take the place of direct Mind-Body-Spirit Self Mastery. In fact, if you acquire Mind-Body-Spirit Self Mastery you can then apply it to weight lifting or any other sport or endeavor you want to master.

As relates to what Jowett taught read this:

Mental concentration is where thousands of bodybuilders fall; they fail to see the dividing line. Blindly they stagger about the road and fail to read the sign at the crossroads. Their case is a reminder of “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” You never saw a pitcher successfully curve a ball over the plate while arguing with the umpire. No, and you never saw a body culturist acquire the super state of physical manhood with movements that lacked pep and a mind filled with “Gee whiz, how soon will I be done?” They are like the youngster learning music with his eyes on the clock.

Practicing a movement a hundred times or thousand times will not get you anywhere, nor will pulling and hauling at a ton of iron. The more mental impulse you put behind an effort the less time is required. Movements become clockwork, too mechanical, and hauling a ton of metal is like praying to a bronze Buddha to hand you out a check for a million dollars.

Weight lifting is a sport like baseball or swimming. Your mind is centered on raising the object. In this take a lesson from the men who have acquired the most fame in feats of strength. They never used heavy weights, but dumb-bells light enough to supply them a certain amount of resistance, that did not interfere with their mental concentration. Likewise they did not harness a set number of repetitions to each exercise, they allowed their physical condition to be the guide. As they became stronger the dumb-bells were increased slightly in weight, but never exceeded 25 pounds each. Not even for the huge muscles that form the broad of the back, or the quadriceps femoris-fourhead muscle-that comprises the bulk of the thigh. The success of their methods is proved by the marvelous demonstrations of strength they are capable of and by the beauty of their lordly body. As Coolidge put it, "It is not enough to teach men science; the greatest thing is to tech them how to use science."

The science of bodybuilding is the science of concentration between mind and muscle.

Now, with the above stated, isn't it obvious that training as Jowett stated above or as I do with bodyweight and self resistance can yield great results and even the same kind of results? It is not dependent of gravity but upon the intensity and concentration of contraction. Most of you have my books and know what my physique looks like and my new 'Living Strength Courses' will be available soon as well video clips so that you can see my development today at age 65. My point in saying this is that I have never been a weightlifter and I have had fantastic results. Yet, I am the first to admit that there is no reason that a person could not train as Jowett stated above and achieve the same kind of results S-A-F-E-L-Y without developing "Busted Up Weight Lifter Syndrome". Using 25 pound (maximum) dumb bells is not going to compress your spine or overtax joints, ligaments, and tendons. By doing so you would be accomplishing the same thing as self resistance exercise and body weight training Living Strength style accomplishes.

Bottom line: It's not weight lifting vs. body weight & self resistance. It's about the methods/techniques employed and not being stupid with either method by pushing to failure and thereby compromising joints, ligaments and tendons. It's being totally aware of what you are doing while you are focused and concentrating on the muscles so that you do not tear muscles needlessly but instead develop complete muscle awareness and control. Jowett's method outlined above is the only S-A-F-E weight training method that I could personally endorse. Please read it again and see that it fits in perfectly with what we teach and have always taught. No need to trash weights. the weights were not the culprit. Over working to the point of injury was and is the culprit.

---John Peterson
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JLA_1962 JLA_1962 is offline
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07-12-2017, 03:20 PM
John I agree completely. A great example of what you wrote is Pull Ups vs The Bench Press. To Hell with bench pressing. Seriously. Pull ups are REAL strength not destroying your shoulders trying to life an arbitrary amount of weight up. It really just comes down to the gargantuan amount of ignorance that is currently in the world especially the United States.
" The Spirit of Lady Liberty can be found in it's people " - Captain America
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