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The State of Training Today – A Curmugeon’s View Part 1

I am an American ex-pat living in Sweden, so this is where I train. I have made some observations of how training trends have come and gone over the years , but the below view is how it is in Sweden, at least.

Unfortunately, the decade long campaign to shame people out of benching and curling has been successful. Now you can’t get near a squat rack or power platform because nowadays everybody is deadlifting and squatting showing off their YouTube-learned form. Back in “my day” (don’t you hate that expression) only competitive powerlifters or people “in the know” deadlifted. Enter the gym at 5pm and you could pretty much count on the squat rack being open. It was great—those were good times. Now you are in competition with all the fitness lifters - both men and women - trying to get their functional training on (I am still waiting for someone to invent a gym exercise which will help me do a better job of leaning back in my chair and holding a phone up to my ear while I talk to our IT service desk). But anyway, I won’t complain about the site of a fit woman doing her RDL’s on the power platform to keep the tush in shape, but shit, you’re in my way and I don’t have much time to train. I’ve been deadlifting and squatting (and of course benching, but more about that later) since the Reagan administration, competed in a little powerlifting, collected a bunch of injuries, had some surgeries, and learned to deadlift from some old hands (before Youtube) who have once rubbed shoulders with Ed Coan and John Kuc.

Ok, you’re on the platform now. I get it. I need to wait. And I know you don’t want to hear that I have paid my dues.

Nothing like venting into space. Such a truth stated here and so many views. Yet not one reply but mine. LOL

Even further back in the day, before the invention of squat stands, wooden benches etc, most lifts would have been “off the floor” deadlifts, such as Zerchers, Hacks / behind the back deadlifts, Jefferson deadlifts etc.
Imo its good to see woman now focus on strength and the big lifts, years ago they where being told now too lift heavy. In the rare cases am in a commercial gym, i would argue that woman now train more correctly than most guys. They stick with the programs and build strength before they demonstrate it etc.

I love to have minimal equipment. It would be cool to make a new set of barbells like the old timers had like Sandow. Seldom people train like strongmen of yore. Dinosaur training indeed.

Absolutely, sometimes less is more. During a 4 month lockdown here where I am, all I did was zercher squats and bench one workout and deadlifts or block pulls, OHP and rows the next. Now and then I’d salt in a curl or and farmers walk, but that was it.
Unfortunately though, once back in the gyms am like a kid in a sweet shop. Too much choice can be a curse.

Yes I agree the gym can be overwhelming with choices. Nothing like a 62lb kettlebell while on the road working. But I love being able to do anything in a gym. I never follow a program but developed my own on the fly.

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