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8/1/2012 11:09:25 AM -
Informational Integrity

I’m not going to be specific and name any names here, but I had a disturbing conversation with Jesse Burdick the other night – and no, Selkow, it wasn’t disturbing for any other reason than what I’m about to address. If you’re not familiar with Burdick, he’s a big time powerlifter and strength coach who, along with Mark Bell, does the CrossFit powerlifting certification seminars all over the country. He’s also Harry Selkow’s partner at their gym outside San Francisco.

We were talking about a certain genre and a couple of coaches who work within that genre (is that vague enough for you?). And again, without getting into specifics, the problem I’m going to point out is something that, unfortunately, is pretty common throughout the entire industry.

I criticized a specific coach and complained about why he used the methods he used (I’m not referring to anyone who’s ever been connected to EliteFTS here). This coach used to be one of the best in the world at the thing he’s coaching, and he decidedly did NOT use the methods he’s advocating to get there. I pointed out that disparity and criticized it all, based on my perception that the guy is giving out second-rate information simple because he wants to make money – and, as we know, the “truth” is pretty unglamorous, and more importantly, it doesn’t sell (see: Thinker, The).

Burdick stopped me and said that the guy really did know what he was doing, that he understood everything, and that he was actually really knowledgeable.

This, to me, is very strange. It’s one thing if you’re going to come out with the “TOP 10 STRONGMAN MOVES FOR FOOTBALL!!!” claiming that flipping tires will get kids a scholarship, and you believe it. You can be (at least in my opinion and the opinion of people I trust) wrong, which is fine, but if you actually believe in what you’re doing and you’ve gotten results, that’s okay. I’m not going to ever fault someone for trying something, getting results out of it (regardless of the fact that the effect may have nothing whatsoever to do with the cause), and telling others about it. That’s totally cool.

I think what I don’t like, is when people actually know better, but give out information or advocate systems of training and nutrition simply because it’s attractive to potential clients. I.e., you know special exercises work, and you know kids have to squat, jump, throw, and sprint, but you still come out and tell all the parents in your town that flipping tires and puking and getting tattoos with skulls on them is the way to become a great athlete.

The thing I think we don’t realize, once we’ve been doing this for a while and we know what works and what doesn’t, is that we forget what it was like when we were 15 years old, lifting weights in the basement, doing bodybuilding programs and thinking we had to bench five days a week. The shit we think it obvious now isn’t obvious to that kid. They’re like sponges. If a high school kid reads about something in a place that’s considered reputable, he’s going to do it religiously. If you tell him he needs to stand on a Bosu ball and whistle Dixie while rubbing his head and patting his stomach in order to be a good football player, he’s going to beg his parents for a Bosu ball and he’ll be doing it immediately.

That’s why I believe in integrity of information, because whatever “we” tell people to do, they’re going to do it. And if you’re an expert, and you tell people to do something that’s not optimal...well, there’s way too much of that going on in this industry, and that’s what I objected to.

Angry Coach

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