Steve Justa Hacking Darts


Level 5 Valued Member
I thought this was so unique that I had to resurrect my account that has laid dormant due to technical issues I lacked the patience to remedy. I discovered Steve Justa published a new book called Iron Isometrics in 2014. The book itself is useful, but largely underwhelming if you've already read Rock, Iron, Steel, but it is worth every penny I paid for one fact and one fact alone. The man is smoking what appears to be a cigarette (though one can't be too sure...) in several demonstration photos. I just had to stare at the sheer novelty and just lack of give-a-damn-ness that these photos suggested. Then I had to pause and think. One does not normally smoke cigarettes while demonstrating lifts for commercial publications. There are two conclusions which could be drawn. First, is that Steve Justa is such a hopeless chainsmoker that he can't even stop smoking long enough to take a picture for his book. I consider this unlikely. The second possibility is that Steve's trying to make a point. In seeing Steve smoke while demonstrating various isometrics, I see a deliberate iconoclasm against the modern shibboleths of strength training - that wheatgrass-imbibing, body-fat obsessed, BCAA-popping, fitbit wearing neurotic "fitness" culture. The greenhouse athlete. I'm all for healthy living but I think those of us who haven't lost our minds can agree that a lot of this nonsense has gone too far and we've gotten away from the ground under our feet. I just had to write this little reflection because I think the man's a damned unrecognized genius. I've adopted this culture myself and am not shy about having a beer to sip on while lifting once in a while, or sipping on a whiskey in between rounds of rolling with a friend. At a certain point one needs to psychologically ditch the tyranny of the "optimal" to let the bloody organism breathe and grow! Sure, is having a beer going to improve my lifting? Hell no! Is it going to sap my energy ever so slightly and reduce my performance a bit, absolutely! Who cares! The point is I'm training, and the body can adapt as it wants and given that these are things I enjoy, being able to perform with them in my system just makes sense. Without going too much down the rabbit hole of taking in toxins while training, I gotta applaud this man for making such a concise statement that speaks such volumes. Damned fine job Steve. Now if only I could find his e-mail address so I could get more specifics on the barrel lifting program. Helluva program by the way has literally transformed my body in about 7 weeks. Exhausting but exhilarating.

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
Reminds me of Pavels article about the barracuda poem... "The blank serenity of the invulnerable".... where the Hero was smoking a cigarette while training... "decidedly anaerobic"...


Level 4 Valued Member
I just got home from a 12km ruck, in which I stopped at two bar patios overlooking the ocean and my beautiful city to grab a couple (or four) beers and some wings on a hot, beautiful day. Perfect workout.


Level 9 Valued Member
Life is about living. I know some double-hard people that smoke and drink. (not condoning smoking, just sayin...)


Level 9 Valued Member
I doubt that will ever happen, because I might join you...
But the poison is in the dose...

(and could those hard ba$tard$ I mentioned be even tougher if they didn’t smoke and imbibe... no doubt... but then again they don’t need to be :) )


Level 6 Valued Member
Can’t get behind the smoking, that’s just gross, though I appreciate the punk rock attitude. Unless it was puffing away on a nice old briar pipe between sets, because that would be just plain cool in so many ways. I recall a Dan John piece where he quipped about the mentality described by the OP at conferences. So much noise from the crinkling of protein bar wrappers, thinking they spent so much money on protein bars, they would have none left to spend at the real bars later that night.

As for beer or whiskey, well kinda like a day on the ski hill. Ski some runs, hit the patio bar, ski some more, tailgate in the parking lot. I’ve seen beer handups in cyclocross races and whiskey and bacon aid stations at MTB races. I’m waiting for a craft brewer to come up with a PED beer . .

On a serious note, the issue with mixing alcohol and training is increased injury risk. Best to wait till after.


Level 7 Valued Member
I use Justa and Kubic methods. Rock, Iron, Steel and Dinosaur Training has heavily influenced my thoughts on strengh training.

Training for a hobby and training for a specific purpose are very different though.

The mental health benefits or training far outweigh the physical benifits. I have learned in recent years how essential weight training is for me.

My lifting is unpretentious. The lifting is not a means to an end. It’s just lifting for lifting’s sake.


Level 6 Valued Member
The mental health benefits or training far outweigh the physical benifits.
My lifting is unpretentious.
These are a couple of really good thoughts. I certainly sometimes fall into the trap of thing "if I'm going to go train, I'm gonna get after it." Which can lead to multiple of outcomes on that days were you might not be ready to get after it, for one reason or another:
1. Getting hurt
2. Mental burnout
3. Not training at all

None of those is good. There can be real value in the days where just go in and go through the motions with toy weights if you have to.
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