Thursday, March 22, 2018

Risk drives the results

Lately I've been geeking out (even more) about dynamic hedging. I love this stuff, but you'd never guess by looking at my portfolio. I've never been able to turn my nerdy thoughts into money (which, by the way, is one of Taleb big arguments about thinkers vs doers). But I digress...

I remember a Halloween episode of The Simpsons a very long time ago. Lisa gets a wish and she wishes for world peace. So everyone quits fighting - the risk of war is gone. Since no one is preparing for war, aliens come and take over the world because we're unable to fight back.

The S&L bailout of the 1980s set the precedent that the government would step in to help failing banks. Banks were able to consolidate and do more traditionally risky things because they got "too big to fail" and the government would underwrite any downside...cue 2008 housing crisis.

Without risk to temper the enthusiasm, things go until they crash, rather than having constant feedback to adjust the outcome. What does this have to do with fitness? I presume that's why you read this.

If you walk into any big box gym, you'll find tons of machines and treadmills all lined up. Machines make resistance training "safer". They remove the risk. They remove the feedback that tempers your enthusiasm.

I was thinking about the most nerve wracking movement for me to teach: the TGU.  You are holding a heavy kettlebell over your face while you try to stand up. That's risky. But you know what movement everyone does perfectly? What movement everyone focuses on? The one that fixes all of the shoulder problems? The movement that will make you live longer (as Michael always reminds me when I make him do them)? The risk involved in the TGU gives you the feedback you need to actually become better.

Mark Rippetoe always says that barbells train your balance because the fact that you don't fall down while using them means you've learned how to balance.  You're learning strength and balance all at the same time in a progressive way getting constant feedback. The alternative is to use machines and Bosu balls until you injure yourself from a Black Swan event.

Don't get me wrong, we're all about safety! I don't want anyone to do anything incorrectly and get hurt. But the fact that you have to think about being safe is one thing that actually makes you better. You can't get results without risk.

Today's Workout

deadlift 8-5-3x5
5 heavy swings between sets


AGT day:
1 arm swing, bell size +1, 5x(10R+10L)/1:00
TGU, bell size +1 5x(1R+1L)/2:00