wear and tear
A Concept That Needs To Die ASAP
Alec Enkiri | 5/23/22
Wear And Tear
I front squatted 250lbs for a tough set of 20 reps last week. The video is embedded above. It was a fun challenge between myself and Bald-Omni Man (Paris Butler), just to see who could 20 rep the biggest weight on the front squat. Hellish, no doubt, but fun. As lifters and athletes we are constantly looking for ways to challenge ourselves, become better than we were before, and keep things fun and interesting in the process.
Are 20 rep front squats ideal for strength and hypertrophy I don't know, man. I could make arguments for both sides here. But this challenge was fun and it forced me to work really hard. In fact, I never would have even tried this if it hadn't been framed in a competitive way. I had never done a front squat for more than 10 reps in my life prior to this and I didn't even think I could do this many reps with 250lbs until I actually did it. And then I received an interesting comment on my Instagram that got me thinking:
A Myopic Sentiment
I have done many things in my life that people would consider innocuous that put me into a great deal of pain for extended periods of time.
I have figured out how to pull myself out of those pain cycles.
I have done many things in my life that people would consider stupid and dangerous that are supposed to render me physically incapable that have left me feeling like a million bucks.
I have taken people who couldn't lift heavy weights anymore or do athletic things anymore and helped them to resurrect their bodies from the dead, escaping chronic pain cycles so they could both feel better on a day to day basis as well as do more of the things they enjoy doing without hurting the whole time.
Wear and tear.
It's so antiquated. The human body isn't a car. The human body is adaptable. It is constantly in flux; there are ebbs and flows. But most importantly it can heal. It can recover. It can adapt and overcome and when you expose it to a stressor it doesn't just add another mile to the odometer and tell you that you're now one step closer to shutdown.
If this logic had any validity to it whatsoever then the best thing we could all do for the sake of our long term joint health is park our asses firmly on the couch and never fucking move again.
But we all know that that is the absolute worst thing we could do for our health from any perspective. Pain is not so simple as X causes Y. Sometimes things bug my body that "shouldn't " and sometimes things that "should" don't.
But no matter what, the body presents you with a remarkable gift: the ability to heal, adapt, and overcome. You aren't just adding miles to the odometer each day. If you figure out what works for you pain can be overcome, and the body can adapt to handle tasks that may have been problematic before. Connective tissues can become stronger and more resilient. Pain can be quelled and coaxed away.
The person regurgitating this antiquated sentiment knows nothing of my history. The blood, and sweat, and tears that it took to get to this point. Adaptation after adaptation. Stacked and stacked endlessly for years; decades. My body was prepared to handle this stress seamlessly because I have been conditioning my body to handle this type of stress for the last 15+ years. I have not been BREAKING myself. I have been BUILDING myself.
I just front squatted 250lbs for 20 reps and I feel great today. Am I one step closer to shutdown?
Yes, but only because I'm one day older! It has nothing to do with this antiquated concept of "wear and tear." I've been spitting in the face of this idea for years now and I'll be spitting in its face until I'm fucking dead. Which is where this concept needs to go ASAP.