Do or DO NOT. There Is No Try! (Part 2)

3 comments written by Gus Diamantopoulos


Your post make some great points and offers much food for thought. We all wax scientific about strength training exercise and how critical it is to determine the objective truths of all of this. And such is necessary to establish norms, to devise systems, and to develop theories. But with exercise, we are also dealing with the fact that one of the most important variables in the mix is the human spirit and sheer WILL.

Our personal fortitude to choose to exercise in the first place and our willingness to PUSH ourselves to the threshold of failure (and beyond) is a necessary and yet mysterious component of proper exercise. By virtue of our varying and differing personalities, each person’s force of will can ebb and flow and thus dramatically alter the extent to which someone will decide how much effort to apply in any given workout.

I would submit that at the root of each person’s ability to decide on ANYTHING is his or her BELIEF. Sam Harris says that “beliefs are an outgrowth to our capacity for action…they are principles of action…they are processes by which our understanding (and misunderstanding) of the world is represented and made available to guide our behavior”.

When we believe something to be true epistemically, we do so because something in our experience speaks to that truth. Renaissance Exercise is an attempt to establish a deeper context in which we can apply the theoretical principles that have been developed over the years. It’s an effort to magnify the level of resolution with which we can observe and experience the effects of exercise at micro and macrocosmic levels to better guide our beliefs, our thoughts, and our actions.

This is why we are repeatedly suggesting that seeming past failures of “so called” slow training are not necessarily an exhaustion of the protocol and philosophy. As we have been trying to show, there is so much more to all of this than may have been instantly assumed at its inception.

As you said in your post, we have spent the past 15 or 20 years “just getting started” in terms of our true understanding of all of this.

I for one am looking forward to many more years of discovery to come.

Thanks again for your great post.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Manny Metauten February 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Over the years, a couple of the people I’ve trained have had a somewhat timid demeanor when they were about to lift a massive amount of weight. I’ve always attributed that to “fight or flight” kicking in, and if they executed any exercise with any bit of fear in themselves, their set wound up being mediocre. It definitely takes a conscious decision to FIGHT, to execute this kind of work well. You can have the best, most refined protocol for rep execution (and in general most refined version of HIT, which it appears you guys have) – if you’re not psychologically ready to “tear it a new one,” you might as well stay home and read that day.

Calm, cold, purposeful aggression.


avatar Paul Marsland February 11, 2011 at 9:16 am

I also believe the reason that slow training takes a lot of flak, especially when video evidence is shown, it looks to the outsider that the trainee isn’t really training that hard, no grimacing, grunting and the general theatricts that one sees everyday in the gym, no clanging, banging and throwing weights around, and heaven forbid the trainee is training on some “weird” machine and not free weights, which again detracts from the visual effect of seeing huge amounts of plates on a bar….

So based on this evidence, to the lay person it doen’t look that appealing, compared to the huge monsters lifting massive barbells and dumbells in gyms all around the world and now especially on the net..

BUT, think of all the best elite groups, the SAS, Speznatz, Delta Force, SWAT, they are small bunch of individuals who train at being the BEST of the best…


avatar mike March 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

I agree. There is nothing flashy about HIT. Moving slow and forcing yourself to feel every bit of the movement is also very uncomfortable, which additionally makes it unattractive to many. This “unexciting” training had produced the longest lasting after effects (soreness) of any training I have ever done on my own. Detractors would have a hard time arguing if they did the workout well and were honest with hoe they feel afterwards. It certainly is much easier to type on a keyboard than to try the protocols.


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