T Nation

So Mad I Could SPIT


Background: 33 yrs. old. Post high school I was a 315 pound fatass. 4 years ago when I found T-mag I was a 280 pound fatass. Now I'm 197 and a wrestling coach/teacher in an extremely poor school where many kids don't see a future and I work like hell to try and show them one. Oh, and I have some undiagnosed joint issue that acts like rheumatoid arthritis.

  1. The football coaches/athletic director has so little respect for us that during football period they have the team work out in our wrestling room on our mat. IN THEIR STREET SHOES. Never mind that this is quickly tearing a 12,000 dollar district resource. Never mind that this causes MY athletes to get SKIN DISEASES like staph, ringworm, and a skin form of HERPES (which is incurable, by the way). Never mind that we have to spend 20 minutes of our practice time cleaning it every day since they won't.

Oh, and did I mention that our "head wrestling coach" (in quotes because he has never wrestled in his life - I run the practices) is also a football coach, knows better, and does it anyway? grrr...

Oh, and did I mention that one of the football players puked in the corner of my wrestling room yesterday? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count: Which team had to clean up the aforementioned puke, the football team or the wrestling team?

It's pretty hard to recruit and build champions when they're so disrespected they have to clean other team's vomit, don't you think?

  1. While I am happy to be in the best shape of my life, I am so damn tired of being weak. I can coach my kids to add 200 pounds to their bench in a year, and yet I'm stuck with a max of 135 total.

Unfortunately, it seems to be true that you can't add muscle/strength while dieting, and I've basically been dieting (or maintaining) for 3 years now. Thank God I only have 8 pounds to go and I can start a strength cycle. I know some of my weakness is due to some joint issues BUT STILL.....

Thanks for reading. I'll be better tomorow, and things could always be worse. I'd like to think that without me these kids might not have the opportunity to be better athletes since the other coaches don't care, and I'd like to think that once I start a strength cycle I can add some decent mass. But I'm tired of feeling like I'm being fucked by genetics and "the man."

/rant over.


Nice rant and I don't blame you in the least for being pissed.

My only question: What measures have you taken to stop the disrespect?



I would bring this up to these so-called coaches and to the prinicpal or someone else in charge and higher up on the totem pole to gain some respect for you, your team and the program.


Do you bench 135 because your shoulder can't handle anymore or are you blaming your diet?

That sucks that they abuse your wrestling mat. Sounds like you have to stand up and present the facts to someone that actually cares about the price of things or just roll up the mat and hide it between practices.


Even a dieting 200lber should easily be able to bench more than that. This is not because of your diet, it's just becuase you are not working out or you have some injury.

You claim to be able to add (x) amount of weight to others, so your claim is you know what to do--I guess I'm questioning that.

And if you're sick and tired of being weak, what's so vital about those last 8 lbs--(which according to your stats takes you to 189lbs??)--that you wouldn't forgo the weight loss to gain strength.

Your assertion that you can't gain strength and lose weight is not true. Especially someone losing your type of weight. Maybe a strong 200lber who wants to lose 12 lbs to get into a different weight class will have difficulty maintaining or gaining strength, in your case it doesn't fly.

Sounds like your kids need to see some leadership, not spitting.


Let's see...I've spoken to the coaches involved and the athletic director for the school on numerous occasions. Spoken to the district athletic coordinator several times. For some other issues that have ocurred on this campus.the district has actually been sued. I have been invitied by other districts to come coach there, but these kids need me much more and I don't want to see this team fade away.

BTW, our athletic director actually cut a different mat to shreds 4 years ago because it was being stored in the weight room and he felt it was in the way of his blocking sled. Instead of moving the mat. SO the disctrict bought us the one we have now, which is again being slowly ripped apart.

So yeah...beaten my head bloody. I deal with it fine by myself, but it's hard to give an answer that doesn't bash the foorball team when my athletes come up to me with questions like..."Why do WE have to clean up the football player's puke ?" "Why don't the football players have to take their shoes off? or at least clean the mat?"

I refuse to bash the football team in front of my athletes, and I squash it when THEY do it, because I want my wrestlers to be respectful. Hence my ranting.

I'd just suck it up if it weren't for them getting skin diseases. My wrestlers shouldn't have to suffer like that - staph infection HURTS. And cleaning up someone else's vomit is just humiliating.


Agreed. He seems sorely in need of some balls. Why continue dieting if it is making you that weak?


You know what you have to do.

Its just a matter of whether you'll build up the courage to do it.


Maybe you guys don't know aikigreg's situation, but because of his joint issues (much more severe than arthritis), he is unable to lift heavy weights because he doesn't have the strength in his joints to hold onto the weights.

So don't go tearing him down for not benching more but being able to add 200lbs to his kids' lifts. He has a legitmate reason.

If you knew his history and what he's been through, you wouldn't be telling him to get some balls. Balls don't matter if your body can't physically hold onto a bar of weight despite your best efforts.


I agree that I should be able to bench more. The problem is a combo of diet and my crappy joints. I may not ever get to a bodyweight bench - but I'm trying HARD to get there, along with dbl bodyweight squat and dead. However, don't tell me I'm not working out. My workouts always involve multi-joint compound exercises, 3-4 times a week for the past 3-4 years solid. I put in my time, even on those days when all my joints ache and I've already wrestled 2 hours.

shrug if you want to satisfy yourself that badly, take a road trip. I'm no Waterbury, but I know lift mechanics and thanks to T-mag, I have learned how to create good programs - or at least steal from the best!

Have you ever HAD a goal, my friend? When do consider yourself to have achieved it? Let's say your goal is to bench 200 pounds. If you only ever got to 190 would you have reached it?

It's called dedication. You think any of this wouldn't bother me if I wasn't dedicated? My goal is 189, and therefore I won't give up until I reach it. That should put me close enough to 10% bf for me to feel accomplished and move to my next goal: adding muscle.

The most respectful thing I can say in reply is that you have no idea how my body chemistry works, and after years of busting my ass to learn all of the science written here, I do.

I HAVE gone up in strength as I've lost weight, but I've hit a big sticking point, having lifted while cutting for years now. During this time I've doubled my own bench and squat, and tripled my deadlift. So I've had plenty of success (god bless this website for that) just none lately.

As to your assertion that my kids don't have any leadership, I dunno. It's hard for me to be objective when I bust my ass for them every day. Maybe you're knowledgeable enough to help me be a leader?

I do know I'm practically a father to many of them. Some of them wouldn't eat without me, nor would they pass their classes. A few have quit gangs
after I introduced them to wrestling, and one of those is likely to be a state champ this year. They trust me enough come to me with their personal problems and that is a HELL of a lot of trust when a teen does that.

I'd call that a success with the kids, and I'm pretty proud. But you make your own call.


I need zero respect for myself - I have plenty on my own. However, I can use all I can for my kids.


The courage is there and it will be done - 9 pounds from now.


My only plan would be to move the mats, make your wrestlers load them in a truck after practice and take them to a shed. It'll give them a workout just carrying the big ass mats, and no more football players in the way. That seems a little unrealistic, but there is a better alternative.

Whenever the football team usually comes in to use the mats, that is when you have practice. "Sorry, assbags, we're having practice, so... NO...you can't use my mats right now."

They change their practice time, you change yours. It may get to be bad blood, but in the meantime, figure out a better plan while stickin' it to the man.


I'm no paster so sorry for any confusion

I qualified my response with 'unless you have some type of injury' Nuff said.

I reevaluate my goals and change them as necessary. It doesn't make you weak of person to change a goal. It doesn't prove dedication to reach a goal that prevents you from another. Are you concerned with bodyfat% or weight? You seem fixed on 10%. Take what you have now and make it more muscular--bang 10%. Or are you going to get to 189 and then never gain another ounce and just get stronger at that weight?

So when you started at 300lbs you could bench 70 lbs! Come on man, you're full of excuses I'll give you that. Listen, I'm not here to beat you up, if you have medical issues then so be it, but you are the one making excuses.

The stuff with your kids is cool. My response was to your lifting and weight issues. My leadership pop was your crying about things you have control over, but choose to deal with in a way not exemplary of leadership. Cleaning up someone elses puke is not showing your kids how to respect themselves. Allowing you, your kids and your program to be run over is not sending the proper signals. You may not get what you want by standing up to the leadership of the district, but you'll show your kids the proper way to go about things.


That's a good point. Thanks. I think what I'll do is stay with my current program until the end of the year, and regardless of the outcome switch to a mass gain program. When you're an FFB, you get mighty scared about reverting to fat-ness, so that's why I'm a little fixated.

Not an excuse - that's how weak I was when I started, and while it's still a weak number, it's progress. I am determined to keep on progressing until I just plain give out or achieve my goals. It's not an excuse to admit your weaknesses and your frustration in trying to overcome them. I SHALL overcome. I just haven't YET.

That's a great point, and I should find a way to overcome that. As far as fighting the district, there are some lawsuits being prepared right now. In the meantime I'm not the head coach and I cannot do any good screaming at him in front of my kids.

You've given me some good things to think on, and I thank you.


Good luck


2 akigreg:

You deserve major credit for your personal accomplishments. I believe you will meet your new strength goals, and congrats on the major weight loss.

Regarding your job, that just sucks. I hope letting off some steam helped, it's hard to work with others who won't respect their co-workers, or have some kind of heirarchy hangup.

Is it possible to move and store the mats elsewhere, as was suggested above?

Maybe the idea that the rewards for this kind of dedication and sacrifice aren't perceptible at the time isn't any help, but someday . . . somehow . . . I have to believe that guys like you will be rewarded.



It seems like moving the mats would be your best bet. Even rolling them up and putting them off to the side would help reduce the damage. At our school we were lucky enough to fundraise enough money to buy a mat rack, to store the mats off the ground.

I have a lot of respect for wrestlers in general, and to you for contributing so much to the sport. Best of luck.


Don't get mad, get even.

Threaten the bastards that if they cross the line one more time, countermeasures will be taken.

You could tear down their goals.

You could have their field plowed over by some friendly farmer.


I say you do sprints on their field when when they are having practice there, if they are. Roll up the mats everyday after practice. You sound like a truly great coach, and this comes from a wrestler. The coaches who have influenced me the most have been those who I could talk to about things besides wrestling. Having a teenager confide in an adult, who are almost always viewed as an authority figure, is a huge accomplishment. Aikigreg, check you PM.