Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Old School vs. New School

This too is a re-posting of an piece I wrote a few years ago, as I help My good friend and training partner Justine Dohring prep for the 2014 NPC Masters Nationals I find new meaning in these words!

June 17th,2014 

Being the “Evil Genius”, I find my self in numerous discussions and often tirades on the subject of sports performance. Rarely does one remark spur as much of a response from me, but something about the following event stuck in my crawl and festered. In order to exorcize myself of this particular demon, I’ll share the discussion here.

I have a very good friend, who is an unusually knowledgeable individual. He recently prepared for and competed in a few NPC events. Because he had been out of action for a few years, we talked at length about various schemes and strategies for his pending plunge back into the competitive scene. The subject matter jumped about from AAS arrays to Peptide therapy to my personal pet subject -sugar/water management.

Upon landing on what was ultimately to be the target subject of the discussion, some advice that was offered up by a mutual friend was relayed in detail. I listened intently to the litany of common nutritional dogma, thinking it was “workable” yet decidedly unexciting.  At the completion of the outline my friend said, and I do quote , ” you know  - old school 1980’s thinking”. The preparatory scheme chosen by my friend was in the end a bit of a hybrid and worked quite well.

Please don’t misunderstand me. The mysterious third party here is a friend and also very knowledgeable competitor. His advice was not the thing I took issue with. It was and is this pervasive harking back to the idea of “old school”! I am not saying that the past doesn’t hold kernels of knowledge and understanding that apply today! Quite the opposite! The present is built on the foundation of the thoughts and ideas of the past. Having said that, let’s be clear. The march of science is for the most part linearly forward! By definition, the “school” of today should be more advanced and workable than any “old school” of the past. Were that not so, the old one would still be current! 

My thinking is easily illustrated in terms any muscle head should be able to follow along with.  Collect pictures of all past Mr. Olympia’s and place them in chronological order. What you will see is a steady and undeniable march forward in terms of size and leanness. With each changing of the guard came a new and likely more advanced “school” of thought. Such thinking is not at all disrespectful of past champions or coaches; it simply defines each within the frame work of history.

Why did such a silly and seemingly insignificant remark cause me so much distress? I can’t say for sure. Perhaps it’s my egotistical desire to elevate myself above my contemporaries. Perhaps it’s a desire to witness first hand the fruits of the “the newest school” of thought. I just can’t say for certain.
What I can say is that I have no irrational love affair with the “old school”, and neither should anyone else! We as a sport need to reflect on the past and strive to improve what we can and preserve only what we must.

I can’t wait to see the champions of tomorrow and what heights they will achieve!

Evil Genius Sports Performance

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