T Nation

Dumb Educated People


It's amazing how stupid some educated people can be. A guy in my unit(my roommate actually) is just this type of person.

He suffered a rotator tear(not sure which tendon) during his last deployment, and had surgery to repair it when he returned stateside. After rehab, he went back to lifting like he used to. Now we are deployed again, and the same shoulder is bugging him. He continues to lift heavy, benches much more than he rows. But he claims he hurt the shoulder not from benching, but from a game of volleyball where he dove for the ball and landed on it wierd. Which may have agitated it, but the lifting ain't helping things.
After much pressure from myself and our corpsman, he took a week off, and then jumped right back in. Shoulder still hurts, imagine that.

Here's the funny thing: he has a BS in Exercise Physiology from UCONN. So you would think he would know better, or at least would have the sense to say Hey, that hurts, I should probably stop that for awhile. Chalk another one up for the Ego.

He has a degree, I am an ISSA home course dropout, and it seems like I know more than he does about preventing injuries, or at least not blowing them into something worse. I had the same problem, went to our trainer early, got a cortisone shot, and took a month off from heavy lifting doing nothing but rehab/prehab stuff. Guess what, I didn't have to get cut on. I've given him so much shit about making it worse, now he won't admit it even hurts, he just grins and acts like its fine.



Sorry to hear that, but no amount of education can dampen a person's ego or threshold of pain, right?

I know he's your buddy but, hey, it's his shoulder and if he wants to trash it so be it.

Don't sweat altho you'll be there to say "I told you so" when he rips that shit up worse than before.


There's nothing worse than an educated idiot.


Every single person I've met who has studied exercise physiology has almost reduced me to tears with their...knowledge...of training.

"Muay thai isn't a good martial art, it's not biomechanically efficient, we studied it in uni"

"Machines are safer, they help you activate the muscles more"
"Yeah, do that for 3*10"

It makes baby vyapada cry.


I reckon they should be called Dumb "Qualified" People instead.


ahhhaa, the thing with ex phys degrees (and I have one as well) is that there is no way to teach lifting experience. Sure you can learn the anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, etc., but as far as training goes you learn about the overload principle and other basics many people have learned reading magazines as a teenager.

But to be fair, I think this applies to any academic discipline. All the book knowledge in the world isn't useful if you can apply it (experience). So I suggest everyone to learn as much as they can about actual training and supplement it with book knowledge.


There was a quote in the strong words section, it went something like "you can know millions of things and still be an idiot." Very true IMO. People can memorise a shitload like drones and yet remain pretty underdeveloped as persons. Application of knowledge probably also has to do with this too.


ahhhaa, the thing with ex phys degrees (and I have one as well) is that there is no way to teach lifting experience.

Maybe, but you would think he would have learned some sort of prevention while he was there. And he's been an athlete of one sort or another since school(he's in his 30s). whatever


Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines. -R. Buckminster Fuller

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. -Calvin Coolidge

Just three questions:
1. How good are his numbers?
2. How good are yours?
3. Who's right you or him?


  1. He benches more than me, which is a little annoying since I outweigh him by 20 lbs. But I am not an ego driven person, I am competing against ME in the gym. But lately his numbers have been going downhill for some reason....(bad shoulder anyone?)

  2. My numbers are decent, and still climbing.

  3. Point taken, it's not about who's right. I guess the point is best illustrated by something he said to me recently when I mentioned reading the new research, 'They aren't finding anything new, there's only so many ways to do something. Now their just repackaging it.' So I guess once you get your paper(degree), you know everything and can quit learning now, right?

Dammit Lucasa, your logic has no place here!


Having a degree just means that you did 3 things.
1- showed up for class
2- regurgitated information from lectures/books
3- paid your tuition

The biggest IDIOT that I knew in college graduated with honors. Two of the more INTELLIGENT people that I knew in college failed out of school.

Go figure.


Sure, a lot of what is learned in school is memorized to be forgotten. But do you really think a degree is just the 3 points you mentioned?

Let's take one of my favorite classes in an ex phys schedule, kinesiology. I learned all the bones of the body, the articulations of each part of the bone, all the joints, the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. All the insertion points of the muscles, the actions of the muscles...

Do you think this information is not valuable? Maybe there is a reason this information is in books in the first place.


ahahahha, yeah I know what you mean about this. But that isn't the school's fault. If that biggest idiot guy was an idiot after school, he probably was one before.

I don't believe a formal education is absolutely necessary, because there are many paths to take. I especially have a lot of respect for the type of guys who bearly through high school, but could build a house from scratch.

This is the extreme example, but have a look a Bill Gates. I think he dropped out in his freshman year of college! A guy like him would have been successful no matter what path he chose.


Yeah. Book knowledge definitey doesn't always translate into practical application and smart training. It's also hard to restrain yourself sometimes. As a former athlete, I experienced this. There were definitely times I tried to push through minor injury when taking it easy or a little time off would've served me better. But it's hard to make yourself realize this and foucus on the longerm when you have a big game or meet coming up. I do think it should be less of an issue when you're not mainly training for performance or competing in anything. You'll get just as big and strong. It'll ust take a little longer.


i use to have this one human anotomy prof. She d go on and on about how the rep should take about 8 secs. For 4 years I d watch her take the 8 pound dumbell and lower it very slowly. I never noticed any improvement in size or strength for the duration of school.
This was the same lady which said , that squats ,deadlifts and cleans , have one purpose , to hurt your back!
There was this one student who lived by the word of the ex phys text book. he did almost all of his lifting on a swiss ball( this was when they had just started to hit the market).Hed claim that if you werent using the ball ,you werent using your stablelisers.And therefore not really working out.(Im not saying the ball isnt good .Theirs use and theirs abuse).For two years I watched him use the ball with no progress. Every time I d max out , hed come up to me and say" I ve seen alot of guys lift alot more than u"


I use to have this phys ed teacher.He was the cheapest man in the world.What hed do is NEVER BUY GYM CLOTHES. Hed go in the lost and found; at school , and find something to wear.It didnt matter if it fit. Often ,I wondered if he even washed the clothes.
When a nice looking female student would happend to pass by , hed stick out his chest (he had nothing to show)
while he was wearing the ratty, old ,with arm pitt holes and always a food stain t shirt.Thne hed try and start up a chat wiht the girl.

He use to brag about going to university!


Unless he wanted to be a UFC champion.






Here's something he failed at: