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    Default Must read article for all lifters by Chris Shugart

    Merry Christmas, Bob
    by Chris Shugart


    "So, what are you doing for a living these days?" Bob asked me. We're sitting on the couch at one of those tedious holiday get-togethers, you know, the ones where you're supposed to be nice to family members you never see except during major holidays and funerals. I think Bob is my wife's brother-in-law's second cousin or something.

    "I'm the assistant editor and a writer for Testosterone magazine," I say. Bob looks at me with a blank expression on his face, as if I'd just told him I sell handmade testicle warmers beside the freeway and was looking to open franchises across the nation.

    "It's a bodybuilding magazine," I say.

    Blank expression. Deer caught in the headlights. Ronnie Coleman doing trigonometry.

    "Oh," Bob finally says, "I heard you were, like, one of those bodybuilder guys or something. So, what's that like, you know, working out every day and stuff? I just don't have time to lift weights all day, but I have been meaning to get rid of this beer belly." He takes another sip of beer. "What do you suggest?" Sip.

    At first I was a little offended. I wanted to grab him up and say, "You can't tell I'm a bodybuilder?! Look at my ass! Now, if that's not a nice round squat-built piece of sirloin, I don't know what is! You think that comes naturally? I can crack walnuts with this puppy! Wanna see? Huh, punk? Do ya? Do ya?"

    Then I realize this just might cause a scene and could cost me several Christmas presents. I was planning on returning any presents I got and using the money to buy a power rack, so I didn't want to jeopardize this gift getting opportunity. I also realized that old Bob probably had a certain preconceived image of a bodybuilder and I just didn't fit that image. I'm not gorilla huge; I weigh about 205 at 5'11" right now. (When I first started lifting I was a pudgy 159, so that's not too shabby.) Also, I wasn't wearing clown pants, a fluorescent string tank top, a hanky on my head and one of those little fanny packs. And isn't that what real bodybuilders are supposed to wear?

    Bob continued to sit there drinking his Natural Light, smoking a cigarette and waiting for an answer, oblivious to the fact that he'd come this close to seeing some serious walnut- crunching ass power. I tried to figure out how I could explain to the average guy what the typical T-Man does and why he does it. How could I get him to understand what it is we do, how we feel, how we live? So I took a deep breath and told him something like this:

    "Well, Bob, I guess you could use the term bodybuilder if you really need a label for what it is we do. Most of us actually don't stand on stage and compete, though. We lift weights and manipulate our diets so that we'll look good naked. Sure, it's healthy too, and we'll probably live a longer and more productive life than the average guy, but mostly it's about the naked thing. Truthfully, it goes beyond even that.

    "Let's be honest here. We do it because of people like you, Bob. We look at you sitting there with your gut hanging over your belt and we watch you grunt and groan just getting out of a chair. Guys like you are our inspiration, Bob. You're better than Anthony Robbins, Bill Phillips, Deepak Chopra, and Zig fucking Ziglar all wrapped up into one. We love it when guys like you talk about not having time to exercise. Every time we see you munching on a bag of potato chips, you inspire us. You're my shot in the arm, Bob, my living and breathing wake-up call, my own personal success coach.

    "You want to know what it is we do? We overcome. We're too busy to train, too, but we overcome. We're too busy to prepare healthy meals and eat them five or six times a day, but we overcome. We can't always afford supplements, our genetics aren't perfect, and we don't always feel like going to the gym. Some of us used to be just like you, Bob, but guess what? We've overcome.

    "We like to watch 'normal' people like you tell us about how they can't get in shape. We smile and nod sympathetically like we feel your pain, but actually, we're thinking that you're a pathetic piece of shit that needs to grow a spine and join a gym. You smile sheepishly and say that you just can't stay motivated and just can't stand that feeling of being sore. (For some reason you think that admitting your weaknesses somehow justifies them.) We listen to you bitch and moan. We watch you look for the easy way out. Because of people like you, Bob, we never miss a workout.

    "You ask us for advice about diet and training and usually we politely offer some guidance, but deep inside we know you won't take our advice. You know that too. We smile and say, 'Hope that helps. Good luck,' but actually we're thinking, 'Boy, it would suck to be you.' We know that 99% of people won't listen to us. Once they hear that it takes hard work, sacrifice and discipline, they stop listening and tune us out.

    "We know they wanted us to say that building a great body is easy, but it just isn't. This did not take five minutes a day on a TorsoTrack. We did not get this way in 12 short weeks using a Bowflex and the Suzanne Somers' 'Get Skinny' diet. A good body does not cost five easy payments of $39.95.

    "We like it that while you're eating a candy bar and drinking Mountain Dew, we're sucking down a protein shake. You see, that makes it taste even better to us. While you're asleep we're either getting up early or staying up late, hitting the iron, pushing ourselves, learning, succeeding and failing and rising above the norm with every rep. Can you feel that, Bob? Can you relate? No? Good. This wouldn't be half as fun if you could.

    "We do it because we absolutely and totally get off on it. We do it because people like you, Bob, either can't or won't. We do it because what we do in the gym transfers over into the rest of our lives and changes us, physically, mentally, maybe even spiritually. We do it because it beats watching fishing and golf on TV. By the way, do you know what it's like to turn the head of a beautiful woman because of the way you're built? It feels good, Bob. Damned good.

    "When we're in the gym, we're in this indescribable euphoria zone. It's a feeling of being on, of being completely alive and aware. If you haven't been there, then it's like trying to describe color to a person who's been blind since birth. Within this haze of pleasure and pain, there's knowledge and power, self-discipline and self-reliance. If you do it long enough, Bob, there's even enlightenment. Sometimes, the answers to questions you didn't even know you had are sitting there on those rubber mats, wrapped up in a neat package of iron plates and bars.

    "Want to lose that beer belly, Bob? I have a nutty idea. Put down the fucking beer. I'll tell you what, Bob. Christmas morning I'm getting up real early and hitting the iron. I want to watch my daughter open her presents and spend the whole day with her, so this is the only time I have to train. The gym will be closed, so I'm going out in my garage to workout. You be at my house at six in the morning, okay? I'll be glad to help you get started on a weight training program. It'll be colder than Hillary Clinton's coochie in there, so dress warm.

    "But let me tell you something, Bob. If you don't show up, don't bother asking me again. And don't you ever sit there and let me hear you bitch about your beer belly again. This is your chance, your big opportunity to break out of that rut. If you don't show up, Bob, you've learned a very important lesson about yourself, haven't you? You won't like that lesson.

    "You won't like that feeling in the pit of your stomach either or that taste in your mouth. It will taste worse than defeat, Bob. Defeat tastes pretty goddamned nasty, but what you'll be experiencing will be much worse. It will be the knowledge that you're weak, mentally and physically. What's worse is that you'll have accepted that feeling. The feeling will always be with you. In the happiest moments of your life, it'll be there, lying under the surface like a malignant tumor. Ignore it at your own peril, Bob.

    "Don't look at me like that either. This just may be the best Christmas present you'll get this year. Next Christmas, Bob, when I see you again, I'm going to be a little bigger, a little stronger, and a little leaner. What will you be? Will you still be making excuses? This is a gift, Bob, from me to you. I'm giving you the chance to look fate in those pretty eyes of hers and say, 'Step off, bitch. This is my party and you're not invited.' What do you say, Bob? Monday, Christmas morning, 6am, my house. The ball's in your court."

    Okay, so maybe that's not the exact words I used with Bob, but you get the picture. Will Bob show up Monday? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it. In fact, Bob will probably take me off his Christmas card list. He probably thinks I've got "too much Testosterone," like that's a bad thing. I think Bob is just stuck in a rut, and as the saying goes, the only difference between a rut and a grave is depth.

    The way out of the rut is to make major changes in your life, most of which won't be too pleasant in the beginning. The opportunity to make those changes seldom comes as bluntly as I put it to Bob. Most of the time, that opportunity knocks very softly. What I did was basically give Bob a verbal slap in the face. You can react two ways to a slap. You can get angry at the person doing the slapping, or you can realize that he was just trying to get you to wake up and focus on what you really want and, more importantly, what it'll take to get it.

    If you're a regular T-mag reader, I doubt you need to be called out like Bob. But maybe you've caught yourself slacking a little here lately. Maybe you've missed a few workouts or maybe you started a little too early on the usual holiday feasting, like, say, back in September. Just remember that the time to start working on that summer body is now. The time to get rid of those bad habits that hold you back in the gym is now. You want to look totally different by next Christmas? Start now. This isn't because of the holidays or any corny New Year's resolutions either. The best time is always now.

    Christmas day I want you to enjoy being with your family and friends. I want you to open presents, sip a little eggnog and have a good meal. But if your regularily scheduled workout happens to fall on December 25th, what will you be doing at six o'clock that morning?

    That's what separates us from guys like Bob.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age."

    -H.P. Lovecraft

    Kim Kardashian Sex tape:
    Originally posted by hadookin
    nice box... to bad that nigs face is in it

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    People like this are the reason I fucking hate going to gyms.. Holier than thou assholes who live their lives to judge others.

    I spent 2 years going to a gym (2001-2003) and I have to admit, I was looking pretty good. However, I never EVER got a feeling of euphoria, endorphines, adrenaline or any of the other BS people tell you you will get. I NEVER enjoyed even one minute of it. I liked the results, don't get me wrong, but the people like this at the gym who would look at me and call me a fatass under their breath ruined it for me. Why the fuck do you think I'm at the gym you knob?



    anyway, just my .02, take it as you will.
    Bought not built!

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    ^^ Maybe your not doing the right work out for you?

    Hell when I started at the gym years and years ago , I felt completely useless and hated all the guys who looked better than me , and actually knew what the hell they were doing. Now I am one those guys , and I see people come into the gym and i give kudos to them for starting..

    Better late then never right?


    .. But 6am on xmas day? Oh hell no , rest day
    2011 Mercedes C63 AMG //2009 Mercedes C350 SOLD //2008 BMW 335i SOLD //2006 Mercedes C Sold// 2002 BMW M3 SOLD// 2004 Porsche C4S SOLD// 2006 Audi S4 SOLD// 2005 Audi 1.8T SS SOLD// 2004 Subaru STi SOLD// 1994 LHD Toyota Supra SOLD//1993 LHD Mazda RX-7 SOLD // 2002 Honda S2000 SC SOLD// 2004 Range Rover SOLD//

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    The article made me laugh, but whenever I see someone out of shape in the gym, I think to myself "good for them for doing something about it."

    I listen to so many people whine about things but never do anything about it and it drives me nuts- the only person who is going to make something happen for you, is you.

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    I'm a relative neophyte to the gym, but I never once felt that people looked at me and laughed at me under their breath. This article was worded a bit abrasive perhaps, but the point is valid: there are excuses, and there are results. Doing it tomorrow is NOT the same as doing it now.

    That mantra translates to all aspects of someone's life, not just when it comes to physical health.

    Besides, I feel welcome at the gym. I don't necessarily chat with everyone, but the other day a guy that goes at the same time I do (and has been since I started) gave me a tip for a different tricep exercise, and then told me that he's impressed at how my appearance has changed since I've started coming.

    Man, how awesome is that? I don't know that guy, but he still gave me a good tip and, if nothing else, some serious motivation.

    This Christmas I saw family that hadn't seen me in months and they're just getting bigger. I'm not. My waist is shrinking, my cheeks are getting a bit less chipmunkish, and pretty soon I'm going to have to find a new series of pickup lines (my old standby, my double chin, is slowly fading away).

    Hell yes I love every second of it. The results are fantastic, yea, but seeing changes in performance, lifting that higher weight, running that extra mile... it all makes me feel fantastic.

    I revised my fitness goals: I used to want to be 14% bodyfat (I started at 29 and am at 20 now), now my goal is 11%. Why? Because I see now that I have exactly what it takes to achieve that goal.

    Wow, I went on a bit of a rant there. I guess it comes down to what moves you and what's important to you. I have a lot of "Bob's" in my life, and while I'm not necessarily jacked and shredded (yet) I know that I'm in better shape than most.

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    Originally posted by kevie88
    People like this are the reason I fucking hate going to gyms.. Holier than thou assholes who live their lives to judge others.

    I spent 2 years going to a gym (2001-2003) and I have to admit, I was looking pretty good. However, I never EVER got a feeling of euphoria, endorphines, adrenaline or any of the other BS people tell you you will get. I NEVER enjoyed even one minute of it. I liked the results, don't get me wrong, but the people like this at the gym who would look at me and call me a fatass under their breath ruined it for me. Why the fuck do you think I'm at the gym you knob?



    anyway, just my .02, take it as you will.
    You never got euphoria or endorphines eh? Let me guess you did something like cardio for 30 minutes, weights for 30 then stretching right?

    Try a real power routine, get under that fucking squat bar and put up more weight than you ever have, consistently week by week. That's the feeling. Advancing, overcoming.

    I'd hate going to the gym too If I used the same weights, same reps, same sets all the time..
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age."

    -H.P. Lovecraft

    Kim Kardashian Sex tape:
    Originally posted by hadookin
    nice box... to bad that nigs face is in it

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    The point of this article is simple, you have the power to change the way you look/feel, for the better. If you aren't willing to put in the effort, you have no right to complain about your ailments.
    Quote Originally Posted by max_boost View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    In Beyond We Trust

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    Nice read... After reading this I almost feel guilty for the xmas gorge, but not really, as it is just so damn good...and I had no trouble making it to the gym when it was open.. rest days otherwise

    I do love the gym from the workouts to the nice LuLu Lemon bums...

    I hate diets... which reminds me I have to go back to the plates of Christmas baking that need to be finished by January... I think I might end up diabetic this year

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    I had Wendy's yesterday: chicken burger w/ diet coke and chili. I feel guilty about it now, so time to hit the gym in a few hours. I've gone the last 4 days in a row so I don't feel so bad... bah, yea I do

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    hahaha I am Bob... or have been lately at least...

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    Originally posted by A790
    I had Wendy's yesterday: chicken burger w/ diet coke and chili. I feel guilty about it now, so time to hit the gym in a few hours. I've gone the last 4 days in a row so I don't feel so bad... bah, yea I do
    Light weight :P

    I am currently eating homemade perogies soaked in bacon grease with onions... can feel my arteries hardending already... but it tastes sooo good... Nanimo bars for dessert... haha
    This should be good for about 5 hrs on the treadmill....

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    Originally posted by kutt3r


    Light weight :P

    I am currently eating homemade perogies soaked in bacon grease with onions... can feel my arteries hardending already... but it tastes sooo good... Nanimo bars for dessert... haha
    This should be good for about 5 hrs on the treadmill....
    hahaha. I was pretty good over the holidays. I actually lost weight

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    PROTEEEEEEEEINNN

    Sorry to break it to you guys but jeez, full of yourselves much? lol
    I normally find your posts informative Darkane, but this article is hardly a "must read"

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    Originally posted by sabad66
    PROTEEEEEEEEINNN

    Sorry to break it to you guys but jeez, full of yourselves much? lol
    I normally find your posts informative Darkane, but this article is hardly a "must read"
    I thought it was a great article. Sums up my feelings on the matter perfectly.

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    The attitude in the article was a little much, but the underlying message of looking at overweight people and working harder to be fit is true.

    looking forward to drinking as much beer as I can on new years eve though

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    Originally posted by sabad66
    PROTEEEEEEEEINNN

    Sorry to break it to you guys but jeez, full of yourselves much? lol
    I normally find your posts informative Darkane, but this article is hardly a "must read"
    I am Bob from Dec 24 - Jan 1... I am on an unofficial bulk.

    It was a funny article, think you took it a little serious?

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    Originally posted by A790


    hahaha. I was pretty good over the holidays. I actually lost weight
    You suck dude...I have not looked at the scale.

    Congrats for staying away from the xmas goodies :P It is the one time of year I truly could care less about diet as I love my families horrible fatty cooking/baking and I am probably doing 4-6000 calories/day(or more), but man do I feel good at the gym, I actually had a guy come up and ask me who I was loading the bar for while doing deadlifts...

    I will design the 10k cal perogie and Nanamio bar diet.... BEEFCAKE!!

    Jan 2/09, new diet, new training.. 8-9% goal for Aug 15... (was going to shoot for 10-11%, but I have done that before and its not that hard... this should be a real challenge for me, considering the time frame), thinking about blogging it too, so all the nameless folks can poke and make fun of me

    *sigh* - no goodies or booze...

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    This article takes things a little overboard. While I am in pretty good shape and was going to the gym regularly for a decent amount of time, reading this article gives me the impression that the writer feels he is better than anyone who isn't in as good of shape as him. Constructive criticism is good but this just takes it too far.

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    This article strikes a chord with me. I had this same attitude for quite a while. I lost 70 lbs in about 6 months because I worked fucking hard every day. I am proud of what I did and it used to get to me and it felt like it cheapened my accomplishment when people had the "Bob" attitude.

    The way out of the rut is to make major changes in your life, most of which won't be too pleasant in the beginning.
    This is the part that people don't get most of the time; it takes MAJOR life changes to lose significant weight and keep it off, even if you don't appear to be obese or unhealthy. It is ignorant to ask for some simple, life changing advice in a casual conversation.

    I no longer care what other people say and I don't let it tarnish my pride but I do not lend sympathy to fat people.

    This article is what a lot of people think but won't say, for many reasons, like wanting Christmas presents from fat people!

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