Are You A Freak?

The guys in your gym calling you the “Squat guy” behind your back because you’ve chained yourself to the Power Rack. Guys who routinely feel compelled to remind you that parallel Squats will blow your knees and Deadlifts will ruin your back, who spot you on the Bench Press without asking, and who then wonder why the heck you stopped at 5 reps even though you had more in the tank.

The anti-Squat, pro high-rep friends still doing the stupid isolation bodypart split routines that you used to do, but convinced that you’re doing it all wrong, even though you’ve surpassed them on everything after starting StrongLifts 5×5.

The parents, claiming that eating so many eggs is bad for your cholesterol, and that all that water and protein will kill your kidneys. Mom who knows everything about diets, but who specialized in yo-yo dieting. Dad, inspired by your strength and body, but who never takes your advice on how to accomplish the same.

The girlfriend pretending to be interested whenever you’re talking that foreign language of PRs and 5×5 but who is in fact scared that you’ll hurt yourself, and annoyed whenever you slip out of the bed in the weekend to go to the gym for 1 hour… even though you do it first thing while she’s asleep.

The coworkers, always commenting on the home made meals you eat behind your desk. Meanwhile, they go to Toxic Hell every noon because they’re too lazy to cook and bring food to work, to then feel depressed after seeing themselves in the bathroom mirror after lunch. They wished they had more time and more motivation to train 3x/week like you do, while trying to lure you to happy hour.

Sounds familiar?

Good news – it’s normal to feel a bit out of place, even lonely. But after reading the stories of StrongLifts Members and Gene Landrum’s book “Empowerment,” you might feel better. Successful lifters are almost always “mis-fits” inside their families, friends and gym. Everybody knows “it’s lonely at the top,” it’s as if NOT fitting is required to success. After all, if you fit with them, you can’t fit with us. Around them, you’re a stranger in a strange land – a huge freak. Around us, what you do is perfectly normal, even mandatory for success.

So take heart if you feel disconnected, it only means you’re on the right track, getting closer and closer to where you want to be with your body and life. Let the captain upper-bodies curl inside the Squat Rack. Heck, offer to spot them even. But be quiet. Smile, nod and try to keep our training secrets to yourself.

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