Shifting the Brainwashing


o shifting the brainwashing
I am absolutely elated!  I’m joyful and in high spirits training speaking (and yes I’m talking about Ballet Beautiful).  I never thought anything other than weightlifting could bring me to a place where I’m both happy and full of plenty endorphins.  For thirteen years I’ve devoted lots of time, effort, tears, injuries, strains, tears and more into the lifestyle of weightlifting.  This has been a part of me like my genetic makeup.  The iron has forever been my best friend when I didn’t have any best friends.

The truth is over the last year or two – I associate a lot of negativity with weightlifting.  There were endless moments where my weightlifting sessions were more about doing my best to fill in my countless voids rather than for the purpose of how I looked or other health related reasons.  I was destroying my body to the ground with force and brainwashing myself with negative words and connotations.

Day in and day out I would break my body.  I used to work hard for hours in the gym doing 60-90 minute cardio sessions and a separate 60-90 minute weightlifting session a day up to 5-6 times a day for many hours.  I bet I could light up Times Square with all the energy I gave to the gym daily.  Sometimes I would split the sessions up and other times I would do it back to back with a protein bar or a shake in the center of the sessions.

The twenty-four hour gym was my haven – it was my alcohol and bar.  I gym hopped from one gym to another especially when the manic nights wouldn’t let me sleep.


This leads me into another subject where I built more brainwashing for my training life mind.  I tell you now that everything is a lesson in disguise if you have the ability to recognize it and flex your self awareness often.  The fitness industry can be a motivating place for some and a disheartening place for others.  The one thing I know however is the fitness industry has a powerful impact on everyone in the world.  I wish I could say I’m immune to it, but I’m not.  Sometimes I get caught up in the strange world.

I like to pride myself on rarely looking up to anyone in the fitness and bodybuilding industry because no one is like me and I’m not like anyone else.  I don’t look up to the pros in the fitness industry because I don’t agree with most of the things they say.  Everything is airbrushed, enhanced and they’re in competition mode selling us lies that come in imagery, supplements and pill bottles.

The thing that gets me the most about these fitness pros is their brainwashing – it is pretty much the same talk and mentality.  They’re like clones of one another with their mantras:  “No pain, no gain” and “Train insane or remain the same.”  Should you train with pain?  It depends on the kind of pain.  Should you train through your pain?  No.  Will these pros tell you that?  No.  But they’ll tell you whatever you want to hear to make you buy the products they themselves are forced to sell.

To my knowledge (and I don’t know of every person in the fitness industry), almost every single coach, IFBB/National Pro and even fitness gurus talk about extreme dieting and extreme training.  One day I viewed a video someone on Twitter linked and was shocked when I saw a powerlifter expressing his extreme viewpoint on why you should work through elbow pain, and if you don’t, then you really don’t want your personal records and so forth.

This is hogwash!

Just because you refuse to bury your body into the ground and you want to live and die for your weightlifting/Powerlifting numbers – doesn’t mean YOU should.  Just because you have a tear in your shoulder/knee and need to beat out your competition as a way to prove to yourself and the whole world YOU can do it – doesn’t mean YOU should DO it.  You should take a step back and really analyze the world and what they’re telling you and what dream they’re selling YOU.

The thing is you need to look at facts aside from asking:  Why are you putting your body through hell?  What are your reasons?  Are they good reasons?  Or are you doing it for your business, for your team or for your country?  Is there something in your life that you’re running away from?  Or is there a void you’re trying to cover?  Or do you simply live for the passion and want to break your body in return for this passion you’re feeling?

To be continued..

-Pennington

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3 thoughts on “Shifting the Brainwashing

  1. “If it’s hell, you’re doing it wrong” Me

    Still, I’m glad you are finding peace on your new path. I wish I could have coached you — I think you would have a different perspective on the iron. Forty-two years in and a burned out day/moment is still the exception.

    Wishing you well!

    Like

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