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Are You a Monster Truck or Lambo?

posted on February 21, 2022

I have a theory in life that we are all just boats sharing the same river. Within this river are barges, speed boats, kayaks, and everything in between. Each of us is doing our thing yet we are all creating wake for one another. When I make decisions I try to consider not just my fun, I also try to consider the wake that I am creating. This theory stands the test of time, yet one area it never quite worked out is when it comets my training. My training has moved more into the Henry Rollins approach, it is about me pushing to be a better me. This got me thinking, how we train becomes how we look, feel, and perform.


Monster Truck vs. Lambo


Tenzing and I went to watch Monster Jam last weekend and it was a blast (he watched the trucks, I people watched). Tenzing’s favorite truck (Megladon) was not there, yet his second favorite GraveDigger was there, my truck is El Toro Loco. While watching these impressive machines I let my mind wander about training. How do torque and horsepower work together to make these machines do some amazing tricks. For the uninitiated, give me a minute of your time to revisit some science. Zatsiorsky wrote about three methods to increase muscular tension.


  1. Maximal Effort (ME)- Moving a heavy load slowly.
  2. Dynamic Effort (DE)- Moving a light load quickly.
  3. Repetition Effort (RE)- Moving a moderate load for multiple reps.


Everything we do in training still falls into one of these methods. Too often I see people fall in love with one of these methods. Some love to be explosive, and train too often in an explosive manner. While others are always “grinding,” and training too often in a heavy manner. The last group love the pump, and always  use using RE to feel “bumpy” when they  leave the gym.


No one method of training is perfect and every program has holes in it. The key is to not being just a machine made for torque, (using ME all the time) or one made for horsepower (DE). Training should be a compliment to your life and at times your body will need to run, jump, or shovel snow. Train your body to do all of the above. Movement is medicine and if we wish to be healthy we shouldn’t train solely to be a monster truck or a lambo. We should train to be humans who can move.


Another way to think about this is as my good friend Brett Bartholomew said, “lift different weights, at different angles, at different times of the year, at different speeds.” I may have messed up that quote, yet you get the idea. The goal in training is to be prepared for life and to be strong means being strong at all things. The exception is when are preparing for a specific event (powerlifting or marathon will be very different training). Once the event is over return to training for your life.


Now let’s all go be a chevy volt.







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