This post was inspired by:

1) Tony Gentilcore's Angry Trainer article, originally posted at tmuscle.com.

2) The Seinfeld episode with the "Airing of Grievances". If you don't know what I am talking about, click that link. You have a lot to learn about Festivus!

I don't know what it is about the world of triathlon, fitness, diet, and exercise that attracts so much bull, but, you see more crap in this sport than you do floating in Oprah's toilet on Black Friday morning. So, in the words of Frank Costanza, "I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you're gonna hear about it."

Triathletes who need to talk about all the training they're doing...
I am at the pool, and a guy dips into the lane next to me, with fins, a speedo jammer, a waterproof MP3 player, a pool buoy, and his Triathlete Training Diary. "Yeah, I do triathlons, mostly Olympic distance, but I'll do some half-ironmans, too." Jamming his pull buoy up his crotch, he explains that this is just his first workout of the day. "I have a zone 3 run on the treadmill when I finish in the pool. Then, I am going for a little spin this afternoon."


He proceedes to suck in the pool for about 50 minutes, explaining, "the run is my best leg, I am still working on my swim fitness". Later, as I am leaving the gym, I see him sitting in the smoothie bar, sucking back a cup of sugar and yogurt, probably explaining his training to any open ear. Keep up the hard work, you pussy.

Heart Rate Monitors for Swimming...

These just look like bras. I have seen them a few times in person, most noteably when some college swim teams came for winter training at Aquacrest Pool in Delray Beach, FL. I couldn't find a picture online, so I drew a diagram on some random dude... enjoy:

See, the normal heart rate straps which just circle the torso don't stay put when you swim. So, some marketing genius decided to lace up some straps to go over your shoulders. I hate it... just take the damn strap off and concentrate on your swimming.

And in this spot right here, I was planning on apologizing to the random internet guy whose picture I used in this diagram. Then, I realized he posted a picture of himself in smiley face underwear, compression socks, showing off his torso which hasn't seen a steak in years. I have no sympathy for you, random dude.

People who blame genetics for training like wussies and sucking at their respective sports...

I first ran into this mentality back when I was playing basketball. So often you'd hear out of shape, uncoordinated, lazy, 6'2" guys saying, "Man, if I had your height, I'd be awesome at basketball! I'd be dunking all the time!" No. You'd still suck.

I hate it when people blame their genetics for why they suck. It's just excuse making and rationalizing. (For the best article on rationalizing your crapiness ever written, check out Chris Shugart at tmsucle.com here.) The problem I have is when people use the 'genetics' argument as a rationalization for why they suck, or why they train like a pansy. "Well, I'll just do some isolation curls today. I have shitty genetics, so no amount of ball-busting olympic lifting will make me a better athlete." That's my beef. You're just lazy, and you're looking for any reason to explain why other people are better triathletes than you are. The reason is because others train harder and smarter, and you sit around talking about how the genetic cards are stacked against you.

I see this in triathlon with fat people. It's not your genetics making you fat, it's your diet.

People tell me that because I am 6'7", I am never going to be a good long distance runner. The cards are stacked against me, I might as well surrender to being slow. Listen, I may never run a 2:05 marathon and win the olympics, but that doesn't mean I can't train my ass off and run a 2:40.

People assuming exercise is miserable, and that it is confined to gyms...

This one gets me as angry as anything: Assuming that exercise is only something you can do in an approved facility (which, often, you must drive to), under the qualified supervision of an “expert” (or the substitute, the minimum-waged salesperson at Big Fitness), and with the constant fear of hurting oneself.

This activity must be done – reluctantly – for the American Heart Association-approved time limit.

Also, it must not be fun.

Geez, that sounds totally motivating to me. Not.

People, get outside. Your body knows how to move – look at children, who already know how to squat. And oh yeah, they have fun too, don’t they?

Exercise is life – it’s everything your body does.

Compare these two things:

1. Cardio
2. Getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine

Which one sounds more appealing to you?

Or how about:

1. Plyometric shoulder rotation exercises combined with core training or...
2. Throwing a frisbee

There’s a whole world of joyful, practical, useful movement out there. Start looking for it.

That's it for this installment of the angry triathlete. But, trust that I am still very angry, and there are still plenty of things for me to rant about. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Week:

You only go around once, so you may as well make the best of your time here by living the life you really want to live. "Well, Dave, I'd like to but..." But what? Do what you gotta do! There are many people out there who live "but lives," "I shoulda lives," and "I coulda lives." These people are easy to find. They're the ones we call critics: those who've become masters of the "have not" and love to spend their time telling us what we can and can't do. They make up 90% of the people I've met. Avoid them! They love to pull you down.

-Dave Tate


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