With the recent physical demise of Art Devany Rant has been reminiscing a lot about his stretch in the fitness game. I was active from the moment I was born and my youth filled with sports and lots and lots of outdoor play. I think climbing trees was just about my favorite activity and Rant could shimmy up trees like a fucking monkey. Being active always felt right to me and to be honest I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. I just loved to move.
Sometime in the late 70’s my parents bought me a YMCA membership for Christmas. I started lifting weights and playing around with other sorts of training concepts. I must have been 13 or 14 lifting weights in the YMCA’s dungeon of a gym. Seriously it looked like a medieval torture chamber. The only thing that remotely resembled a machine was some sort of homemade calf raise machine made out pipe. You had to put these thick foam cushions on your traps so the pipes didn’t crush you. I think there was also some sort of homemade grip machine and the squat rack was also homemade. Most of the guys were pipe fitters, iron workers, plumbers and welders so they could make all this shit. There was plenty of free weight.
Anyway my buddy Jack R and myself were doing curls or whatever and a beast of guy came over and started chatting us up about training and playing football and shit. We knew the dude, Artie Bortnick, because he was a pulling guard for Pitt back in the mid 70’s when they were national champs. Artie blocked for the Heisman trophy winner Tony Dorset. We had a lot of respect for him even though he didn’t know us. We were just some punk kids but he saw that we had the desire so he taught us what he knew. We lifted with him 2 days a week though the summer. Another 2 days we lifted without him and of course played lots of pick up sports like basketball and football. Never really saw the guy again after that summer because he was busy with his life as a teacher and a coach but the foundation was laid. That’s how shit was passed on in those days. To charge for it would have made both parties out to be assholes. I mean this wasn’t applied physics. It was just lifting fucking weights. All the guys at that gym were helpful. It was a brotherhood of sorts. Not many people in the general population were into lifting then let alone devoted to time to simply exercise. Jogging was getting kind of big but the weight game had yet to really take off. Pumping Iron had just come out and it took some time for it to really take hold. There were only a handful of gyms and they were pretty rustic joints for guys interested in getting strong. All I remember commercial gym wise was Vic Tanny. Talk about dating yourself.
Anyway the habit stuck and Rant has never looked back. Almost all of the guys I knew from my early training/sports days are fat fucks now or simply so banged up they can’t seem to get off the couch. Rant just keeps going strong. Rant is never sick and rarely if ever injured. If Rant is injured it’s minor at most. Over the last 10 years or so Rant has noticed that many of his VL fitness contemporaries have dropped off the map. Where did they go? Most of them simply fell apart due to following false diets like Paleo and doing false workouts like Crossfit. Many were just loud mouth douchebags that were impervious to rational advice. They fucked themselves up and now they are just bloated fat fucks. Adam Glass comes to mind for some reason. He distinguished himself as a dolt’s dolt which is not easy to do in the fitness world that is so chock full of douchebags. Anyway he’s gone along with many others.
The funny thing about all these people that have bitten the dust is that they all scoffed at Rant as some sort of contrarian quack. What was their biggest criticism of me? That I had training ADD. Never once did it occur to these dumb cunts that what they saw as a lack of commitments was actually my commitment. Rant has always been clear that constant change was the way to go for long term health and wellness. All I had to do was look at the guys ahead of me that had ruined shoulders, knees, hips and backs due to the repetitive trauma of doing the same thing over and over. These people confused fitness with sport. They were far too caught up in linear progressions, charts, graphs and the dreaded training journal. I suppose that’s great if you are an Olympic hopeful but you aren’t. And the whole fitness as sport thing is just some Crossfit gimmick to get you to shell out $499 a month to do calisthenics in a warehouse. How fucking pathetic.
Of course Rant has never been in the business of selling some health and wellness concept. The second you do that is when you start to compromise your own fitness or your integrity. For example Jimmy Moore is so neck deep in this low carb nonsense that he can’t turn away from it. He has to keep eating low carb in spite of the fact that it is compromising his health by doing so. Art Devany is also deep in the bullshit of his Paleo fantasies. He might still keep up with his starvation diet but gone are the days of Art leaping from boulder to boulder or other really Paleo activities like lat pull downs. Or what about Pavel? When was the last time he did a cycle of ETK ? At least Glassman doesn’t try to rationalize the fact that he’s a fat, drunken slob. He’s in it for that easy cert money and brother is he rolling in it. He doesn’t give a fuck about health and doesn’t claim to be healthy.
Being unencumbered by these little fitness and diet scams Rant is free to pursue what’s best for Rant. Seeing that Rant is just your average guy what Rant does would probably work for others although fitness like spirituality is a path to be taken alone most of the time. You have to figure out what makes sense to you and what’s best for you. It’s not a contest but sadly fitness types all start whipping out their dicks when discussions arise about the best protocol. The best protocol is no protocol. Themes and outlines make sense as long as you leave yourself a lot of wiggle room for improvising. I might go on a kettlebell sport training run but if my shoulder starts to tweak I’m done and off to something else. You would keep working right through this which I personally find flabbergasting. Why would someone destroy their body under the guise of fitness? It never made any sense but “sticking to it” or whatever it is seems to carry a lot of weight among the whipping out the dick crowd. Perfect example is Adam Glass. I remember telling him over at IGX that his methods of couching were a disservice to his “clients” and that his own training would end in tendonitis and arthritis best case scenario. He was into all this nail bending, overcompensating, macho bullshit. Where’s he at now? Who knows. He hasn’t posted on his blog in a year.
My guess is that the next trend in fitness will be the mea culpa trend. Well it’s already started especially among all the drug addled power lifters like Tate and Wendler and those sorts of puffy boys. “Boy was I deluded taking too many drugs (even though I denied it), getting fat , doing stupid spine crushing workouts and calling everyone a pussy who wasn’t doing the same. Well now I have learned my lesson. I have a new line of shit to sell you. This time you can trust me. I promise.” For some reason we seem to have more trust in frauds and fucking shysters that have “mended their ways” then people who have been doing the right thing all along. When you think about it you can’t help but snicker. It’s kind of like all the fatties over at IGX waddling over to Shaf for dietary advice. Shaf used to be real fat. Now he’s just fat so he must know what he’s doing. Right? I mean why would you want to take advice from a guy that has always been successful with his diet? He obviously must have had a “genetic advantage” or something.
The problem with health and wellness is that people keep looking for the Holy Grail. No carbs, kettlebells, Crossfit, YRG, TRX, 5,4,3,2,1, blast off! It’s a never ending litany of bullshit or at best rehashed bullshit. The fact is that not much has changed in terms of the science of diet and exercise. The principles are still basically what they were in the old days. You need to stay active and you need to eat right. The best way to lose weight is through creating a calorie deficit and the best way to achieve that is through a diet of fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains . Meat and dairy are fine but only in moderation. There is nothing magically about any of this. You get fat by consuming more calories than your expended. It’s not a sluggish pituitary gland, carbs or any other bullshit that is making you fat. As far as I know no one has refuted the law of thermodynamics. If you have you are destined for greatness. The simple fact is that the only difference between 1,000 calories of rice and 1,000 calories of meat is that one will clog up your arteries and the other one won’t. Can you guess which is which? Despite what you want to believe no one has been able to refute the heart damaging effects of a meat based diet. And meat of course is a calorie dense food that is very easy to over consume. It’s not just an unlucky coincidence that cultures that consume a lot of meat and dairy are the fattest and unhealthiest people on earth and that those that eat a diet that is plant and grain based are the healthiest. Despite this being so crystal clear what is the rallying cry among the current fad diets? That’s right. More fucking meat. Fucking idiots.