Posted by mikaylamore on July 29th, 2022

If you think you're hardcore, you're probably wrong. And maybe a little stupid.

Fitness and nutrition culture has missed the mark when it comes to the sensationalized ideas of body image, diet and even seeing results.  In an article I wrote a while ago, I brought attention to extremism that exists within this community. If you’re not a strength guy, you’re a bodybuilder. If not that, you’re a powerlifter. Or a CrossFitter.  Unfortunately there’s very little common ground to be found among the personalities of members of each of these camps, when there definitely should be.

What’s worse: you’ll find do-or-die zealots of each camp who actually market this stuff as more than just a healthy pursuit of fitness or a recreation-based hobby. It’s a way of lifea culturea lifeline.  Such a fractious coexistence negatively affects the masses.  Not only can it be intimidating for a newbie who’s yet to make any forward strides with his health and fitness, but it’s also dangerous to a person who actually has the right mentality towards it all (as it could taint their thinking).  The truth may be miserable, but it’s still the truth – most people who claim to be hardcore, have no business trying to be.  And if you think you should be, you’re probably wrong.

Once that sinks in, consider a few questions that may be worth asking where your training is concerned:

  • Do you regularly compete in meets or events that rely on your fitness and training?
  • Are you paid to train, or to play a sport? Does your income directly depend on your physique or fitness?
  • Is your health in such a rock-bottom state that drastic, urgent and immediate measures must be taken?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the motivational posters, heavy-handed commercials, quotations made by the OCD, and influences from trainers with severe identity crises can actually serve you well.  For the rest of us, it’s time to redefine what “being hardcore” should be all about.


Too much of life is about the “here and now” factor, and neglects looking at the bigger picture.  Training is no different.  If you’re really serious about your training, it shouldn’t be about going balls-to-the-wall every time you step into the gym.  Lasting the test of time means knowing when to push yourself, and knowing when to scale things back.  Not meeting your strength PR by Tuesday won’t matter at all 10 years from now. But the amount of times you got into the gym each year will matter a whole lot.  I’ll use the trite “bank account” analogy here, because it still fits.  A smart person who’s concerned about his finances and conscious about sustaining them will save money for his retirement early.  From a training perspective, investing in the longevity of your training means setting the right goals, and going after them in the right way.


If you think squatting, deadlifting and pressing are the only keys to your health and wellness, you’ve been unintentionally misled by the extremists I mentioned at the outset of this article. As a strength coach, I’ve found that there’s a very narrow lens used to coin “good training”, and it’s almost always geared towards getting stronger. At its core, that’s a great thought, but it overlooks the idea that someone may have reached the point where they no longer need to prioritize the improvement of strength in a given exercise or skill.  Accompanied with this is the irrational fear of losing all strength gains upon trying something different for a phase.

Being serious about your training and health shouldn’t mean constantly looking for new ways to bust PR’s – it should mean being conscious of your need for multi-planar strength, bodyweight strength, muscular endurance, mobility, and other areas of fitness that make a body athletic. Some things do deserve more attention than others, but even great exercises like low rep barbell squatting and deadlifting become less beneficial to your health on a relative scale, if they’re done ad nauseam, year round as the hub of your training. And if you claim to be “hardcore”, you probably knew that already, and it’s an even combination of fear and addiction that keeps you from doing anything about it.


Anyone reading this can probably conjure up a vivid memory of someone at their gym who lifts for their ego – likely stacking on way too much weight and using a technique and range of motion that’s just plain laughable.  These people may seem like misinformed troopers, but the truth is they don’t care about their fitness or strength.  If they really did (let alone to a ‘hardcore’ level), they’d be focused on putting in the time to research or be taught the proper ways to lift well, safely and injury free.  Pride and fear get in the way of checking your ego at the door. They also get in the way of taking your gains seriously.  Invest the money into some good coaching, appropriate for your level of knowledge.

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Joined: July 5th, 2022
Articles Posted: 22

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