Monday, May 5, 2014

The Machismo Filler

From time to time I’ll get an email or a message on reddit asking the question, “why don’t I write an ebook?”  Well the first thing that comes to my mind is why the hell would anyone buy an ebook from a dude with as little education and experience as me? So I responded to the questions with that reason.

However, this week it was pointed out to me that my rationale doesn’t make a lot of sense. With more and more people having success after following my method it seems obvious that I would compile all of my thoughts and publish them in a nice, handy, convenient little ebook- or hell, a physical copy even. At least something a bit more substantial than what is currently available. After all I’m already responding to emails and messages every day.

Maybe then the number of people seeing success with my method would grow! Maybe then I could stand to make some good money off of it.

But still, I found myself against the idea.

So I thought of more reasons and the biggest one that struck me was this:

Most training books I read are filled with hyper-masculine overtones that essentially boil down to- Train Like a Man.

I think that is the biggest reason why I, at this time, refuse to put out a “real” strength-training book of some sort. This could certainly be my personal selection bias, but there are a small handful of training manuals out there that aren’t at least sprinkled a little bit with this nonsense. And the worst of them seem to build their entire reputation upon how “manly” they are; which then clearly makes their training practices better. Because after all, they’re manly!

At best this sort of tripe is used as page filler to artificially lengthen the material. (Second only to maybe page after page of spreadsheets.) At worst it’s used as the foundation on which the training ideas are based because “that is how a man trains.”

What the hell does that even mean?

What does being a “real” man have to do with lifting weights? Nothing. Ardent supporters of this Macho Man Randy Savage authorship style are quick to exclaim, “Lifting weights toughens you up!” “It takes discipline to get under the iron every day!” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Please. Get over yourselves. Lifting weights is easy. You go into a gym, move around a little bit, maybe get sweaty, and leave the place feeling more in love with yourself than you did before you entered.  Maybe from time to time you’ll sustain an injury and then you can’t train. Then you become a little saddie cause all your gains are lost.


What makes the dedication of consistently lifting weights more masculine than the dedication it takes to get better at playing piano? The latter is certainly very difficult to master. Progress is much slower. Unlike lifting there’s no special equipment, supplement, or drug you can buy to take you from playing Greensleeves to Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. And what, because the guy has soft hands and an ear for Liszt means he’s somehow less of a man than the guy in the squat rack?

The guy who lives and dies by his pre, intra, and post workout drinks? The guy who spends his time looking at half naked pictures of men in muscle rags? The guy who spends hours reading about how to better contract his deltoids? The guy who lifts to get stronger to impress other guys? The guy who lifts to get bigger to further impress other guys?

That guy is somehow manlier than one who doesn’t lift?

Why? Because his hobby requires a more physical effort and therefore his discipline means more? This idea that lifting weights makes men, men, is pretty fucking ridiculous.

I know I’ve built a huge straw man here.  Yes, it is absolutely possible to be both a great pianist and a great lifter. But that’s not the same kind of person who spouts this machismo garbage. And the kinds of guys who believe that nonsense are the same kinds of guys who buy training ebooks.

The ones who are not so discreetly securing their manliness in the size of their traps and biceps are the ones who are buying up materials on how to make those safeguards to their masculinity bigger and stronger.

Those who are not do not purchase training manuals. Why? Because like I said, lifting weights is stupidly easy. And with anything that easy it is pretty hard to justify the purchase of a manual on how to do it.

That’s exactly what I want to avoid should I ever publish an actual training manual of sorts. It adds no value to the material. It puts off potential customers. But by not adding in these chauvinist overtones I’ll be putting off even more customers. So really, it’s a lose/lose scenario.

Either I put all my ideas into an ebook, make a meager sum, then 80% of the buyer’s torrent it (thanks, assholes) or I fill it with dick swinging feel-goods and make a pile of cash.

Then I’m phony as hell. No thanks.

Honestly, that’s not the kind of message I want associated with the GZCL Method. And really, I’m feeling pretty good about helping others for free. I’m sure I’ll reap the benefits in time.

Grok lift rock. Grok man now.


  1. I'm right there with ya man. I'm real sick of all this pseudo-inspirational bullshit about being a hardcore animal, man, or whatever because you lift. Just lift for funsies and grow up.

    1. Glad that you're against machismo as I am.

  2. Please please please write a good manual on lifting that isn't full of machismo bullshit. I'd love to have something I can hand off to folks without a billion "ignore the macho bullshit" disclaimers.

  3. also sick of it. because i am a woman. probably. if you need an editor, call me ;)

  4. Cody

    Go here

    Set it up so I can transfer some Nano to you, do with it what you want. Publish your Nano wallet address. Free, no fee transfers.

    Off and on I have been lifting since 1984 and still am... Great article. I practice the Banjo and am in awe of Bach :)