T Nation

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.