This could also be titled: "What the strong do every day."

Iron Tamer

Strongman, Speaker and Seeker of Truth
Forumla for guaranteed succes in strength:

Progressively, systematically & intelligently refine technique and add resistance over time.

Formula for guaranteed wealth building:

Progressively, systematically & intelligently live on less $$ than you make and save.

You can progress toward either goal in less desirable ways, steroids, cheating & stealing, etc. but in the long term, the two simple strategies work every time, all the time.  you may never become a world class athlete or multi-millionaire, but you can improve your current level and better yourself, which is completely up to the individual.

I have heard it said...."The more consistent I am, the luckier I seem to get..."



Bill Been

Level 6 Valued Member
Dave Ramsey's program is like abstinance as a birth control measure - it works every time it's tried.  (In the U.S. I should specify). But like strength training, body composition changes, education, and many other long range goals it's simple but difficult. Those who want to do stupid stuff like buy gold, trade single stocks on margin, play Lotto, rent their cars, etc., tend to not like Ramsey and think him "condescending". In fact Ramsey is simply a guy who cares enough about you to hurt your feelings instead of allowing you to live in Money Stupidville. The parallels to fat loss are particularly striking: broke people and fat people often have very specific, very passionately held, very wrong beliefs about why they are fat or why they are broke. When someone who has already walked the road they're on cares about them enough to tell them they're not fat because of a glandular problem or they're not broke because their boss is rich......well, there's no guarantee that news will be happily received no matter how true or well-intentioned. Looking in the mirror and saying "I'm the problem" is something that has to happen, but that doesn't mean it's easy.  And as we've seen there'll always be plenty of people saying it's hopeless, the game is rigged, don't bother.


Level 3 Valued Member
Wonder the meaning of " wealthy " and "poor " just a matter of $ I guess ...And " habits " are not the same all around the world. Are " wealthy " stronger ? Is " Strenght " a matter of bank account ? My opinion is that " poor " in $ must be very strong, to survive and to try to give a good education to their kids. In matter of voluntary job, it is clear that " poor kids " had to work very young to have their pocket money, if they want to study and be wealthy one day. It is also a very good school of Strenght.






Level 3 Valued Member
Also forgot to precise that so many worldwide competitive athletes are from " poor countries " or " poor backgrounds ". As wealthy, you can have the best trainer that doesn't mean that you are going to be the winner. The winner is the strongest, not the wealthier.


Level 3 Valued Member
 The parallels to fat loss are particularly striking: broke people and fat people often have very specific, very passionately held, very wrong beliefs about why they are fat or why they are broke.
That is true. I have a co-worker/friend who is overweight and wants to lose weight. I gave her all she needs (including two kettlebells, the knowledge how to use them for her goals, some strands, and a very simple dietary guideline list). If she did what I said, she would reach her goals.

But, she makes excuses, and any time she does what I say, she'll compensate it by indulging in what she should not be doing.

I hear the excuses about why it is harder for her to lose weight, the diabetes (which is aggravated by her weight), her medications, etc. Yet, she consistently violates everything on my list habitually and without care. I say, yes, you won't be lean like me. My body is a male, healthy body and I can control the level of adipose tissue in my body merely by restricting sugary drinks (I drink them with some regularity, and if I stop, I'll become very lean in a few weeks). My body produces testosterone, and my body regulates my blood sugar very well.

But none of that means anything if one's condition is a direct result of one's acts. She's not gaining weight...she is just maintaining it, and it is hurting her and she knows it.

The few things on my list were:

* Do not smoke marijuana

* Do not drink or eat anything with added sugar/syrup

* Do not consume anything with artificial sweeteners

And a few other things, but those are the three things she violates every day.

With wealth, it is largely a matter of available opportunities (no amount of audio books are going to help reduce poverty in the world), but for the body, the opportunity is usually there in this regard and it is simple a matter of habit and choice.

I understand the psychology behind this, but it is very confusing. It is not a matter of compulsions or lack of control, but simply a lack of will to take control for long term results. At first, she was very gung-ho and I had to stress restraint (especially in exercise, as I did not want DOMS to dissuade her, but she did not stick to the program and went far beyond what I scheduled), and I knew it was not going to last. The first two weeks and then it dropped off. I had tried to stress in the beginning that the first 6 weeks are just the beginning and are insignificant and what mattered were the long term changes.

But she cannot think to take control over long term effects on her life. She spends the money she gets "now" without concern for the future, she eats what she wants. In fact, every aspect of her life is one of indulgence in the appetites of the flesh.

To her, I am a mystery, because I show so much restraint, having no attempt to satisfy lusts of the flesh, a very restricted diet (which, honestly, is not that restrictive in my eyes, as I find it to be very suitable), and a lifestyle which is minimalist. It all started with examining my life and making choices for a reason, and then maintaining those habits.

Not everyone is going to be a vegan, a voluntary celibate, and physical active for the sake of it to the extent that I am, but showing some control is well within the control of most people who have any faculty of reason.

Note, all this is about strength and lifestyle choices, not about money. I do not think the purpose of this thread was ever about money in the first place...that was just what the article was about.


Level 3 Valued Member
----Those who want to do stupid stuff like buy gold, trade single stocks on margin, play Lotto, rent their cars, etc., tend to not like Ramsey and think him “condescending”.----

Cool so you cant think Ramsey doesn't know what he's talking about, or that he's condescending, unless you're an idiot.  Thanks for clearing that up.

Above I posted a link with a clear example of Ramsey being both arrogant and ignorant.  Just so we can talk about facts here instead of spewing random nonesense, I'll repeat what happened.  Someone calls in and says she is interested in investing in gold and overseas and Ramsey says "I'll try to be nice, that is ludicros."  Yes, Bill and Ramsey, so ludicros that is why gold has returned over 500% the last decade and S&P 500 has returned 20%

Then Ramsey goes onto say that Peter Schiff is probably a crazy idiot, because Ramsey knows that Peter Schiff's dad is a crazy idiot.  Yes, Peter Schiff is so crazy he appears to have amassed a net worth of $70,000,000 by investing in the markets based on his beliefs and:

----In an August 2006 interview Schiff said: "The United States is like the <a title="RMS Titanic" href="">Titanic</a> and I am here with the lifeboat trying to get people to leave the ship... I see a real financial crisis coming for the United States."[18] On December 31, 2006 in a telecast debate on Fox News, Schiff forecast that "what's going to happen in 2007 is that real estate prices", which had peaked in late 2005,[19] "are going to come crashing back down to Earth".[20]

Man I am getting so mad just reading about this.  Ramsey is obviously some a#@ clown who got famous and has no idea what he's talking about.

Derrick Blanton

Level 1 Valued Member
@Douglas:  Sure, upward mobility is possible with hard work and integrity.  And you can create an environment, both physical and psychological, that will be conducive to success in the particular aim you choose.  I'm with you so far.

Seems to me this discussion blew up because we are discussing many different variables, and world views.  Individual problem solving qualities, and how well they translate to different problems, and the limits of such when confronting macro social policies.

There is an enormous difference between improving your circumstances, and making it to the top third of the pie chart.  This reflects the middle class societal agreement that keeps a country from imploding.  Work hard and have a decent lifestyle.  Too much economic stratification and you develop an underclass that has no emotional investment in the dominant society at large.  This is a dangerous, dysfunctional situation.

Let's look at the individual. Does creating this psychological, laser focused, problem solving mindset, overlap into ALL areas of life?  Sounds good in theory, but if you really think it through, it quickly becomes implausible.  If this were true, it would suggest that highly successful people are highly successful in every aspect of their lives.  In reality, they are often consumed with being great in one area, and this negatively affects balanced development in other areas.

In fact, don't many of the obsessive, borderline sociopathic traits that make someone "great" cause  enormous dysfunction in other areas of life?

Do NFL players and many elite athletes work hard to get to the league?  Absolutely!  Does this necessarily translate into correcting anger issues, marriage issues, violence issues, substance abuse issues, legal issues?  Is it possible the discipline necessary to nurture a skill set of violence and aggression doesn't translate to peaceful conflict resolution in the real world?

Take boxers.  Boxers often have a tough time of it when their careers are over.  Their violence, intensity, and anger when coordinated with a highly disciplined training protocol translates to success in the ring.  Not so much when confronted with a disrespectful punk at a crowded nightclub.  Not so much when managing their money.

Somehow the discipline developed by getting up at 5-am to do roadwork doesn't necessarily trade off to selecting mutual funds for retirement!

Consider that some skills are helpful to achieve success in one area, and dysfunctional in another area.  A heart surgeon must become callous to blood and pain to do his job, he can't be crying and falling apart when he cuts into a chest.  This type of cold dissociation to suffering is not constructive for effective grief counseling.

It just doesn't make sense to equate talent or virtue in one area with other areas.  This is a variation on the  psychological bias called "the halo effect".  I realize this is the brush your teeth, drink milk, tell the truth philosophy that sounds good in Sunday School, but upon discernment, does it really wash?

How can it really wash?  This would suggest that everybody that works hard and achieves success in ANY endeavor is also good at all other aspects of everything.  This is absurd.  Say y0u work hard and are a tremendous guitar player.  Does this mean that you are suddenly also a wiz at gardening, or auto repair?  No!

This logic doesn't even hold up within the scope of physical culture.  Because you can pull 600 doesn't mean that you will have a good marathon time, or even be able to run a mile.

Back to the societal macro view. Did I paint a bleak view?  Yes.  I think the first step to solving a problem is understanding the scope and depth of the problem.  Not to use it as an excuse to roll over, and say, "It's too hard."  But to reconcile what compromises, tradeoffs, may be necessary to solve it.

There are plenty of  hardworking schoolteachers, cops, firefighters, etc., who mathematically have no chance of achieving wealth by working 40-50-60 hours a week.  It's just not going to happen.  These are folk that work hard, and if they are lucky will be able to take the kids on a little short vacation during the off season, and maybe get them braces, and such.

I have family members that lost the bulk of their hard earned retirement benefits due to the housing crash in '08.  These are hardworking folk doing it the right way.  My pops, God rest his soul, spent 26-years in Special Forces Army.  The type of real deal, genuine warrior that Pavel used to train for combat, (and not the ridiculous American "sporting warrior" that myopic coaches speak of).  Before he died, he lamented the fact that the government had once promised full medical benefits to soldiers for life, and reneged on the deal.  Been to Walter Reed hospital lately?  Seen how the fallen soldiers maybe don't get the same medical care that the Hilton's do.

Btw, what clues to success does Paris Hilton's wealth leave?  Kim Kardashian?

Essentially when discussing matters such as this, you are discussing primal world views, and these are not likely going to be changed with long internet posts.  These are often firmly entrenched in early childhood.  I presented a point of view.  Of course, in humility, maybe I don't fully grasp the totality of the issues.  My map of the world remains open for editing, and will be for life, I hope.



Level 4 Valued Member
"No victor believes in chance."


Wow, what a thread, and good posts all around.  It all centers around individual initiative versus external circumstances, and the reality is somewhere in the middle.  This thread is also very relevant to strength training.  I posted a rant a while back;  I think Pavel's reverse engineering approach is the best way to study strength, but the flipside is the hazard of selection bias.  Like Rippetoe's monotheistic program:  the strongest men have all lifted barbells, therefore lift barbells to get strong, simple as that, no nuance.  Strength also correlates with mustaches, but gentlemen (and ladies) would waste time and effort growing mustaches in order to get strong.  Ramsey suggests that speaking your mind makes you rich.  In reality, being rich allows you to be obnoxious.  It's the deer-crossing sign fallacy.

There are some Taleb readers on this forum, and he is the antidote to these wealth gurus.  His first book was Fooled by Randomness, back in 2001, and it's all about Wall Street egomaniacs with no clue.  He also singles out The Millionaire Next Door as having laughable selection bias.  The authors' only sample is millionaires, and so they draw absurd conclusions:  That financial risk-taking leads to wealth -- as if it never leads to poverty!  That's like saying taking steroids makes you a movie star rather than a corpse.

Here's the Wikipedia entry on Taleb:


Level 4 Valued Member
Oops, I just re-read the article...  the wealthy DON'T blurt out whatever is on their mind.  Nice lesson for me... there, I just learned something.

Sample bias, case in point:  Almost everyone reading this is already on an upward spiral or positive feedback loop, physically and mentally.  I'm smart enough to eat healthy, and eating healthy keeps my brain functioning, and so on...  That whole huge segment of the population that's on the downward spiral of stubestiy is 99% too far gone to rescue.

The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.  It holds true for natural selection, money, fame, careers, health, fitness, intelligence.  It's called the "Matthew Effect", from the New Testament.  Nice name.


Level 3 Valued Member
Regardless of one's potential (whether it is even possible to become wealthy or very strong), I think it is essential for people to be able to recognize the effects of their choices on their lives.

That is a major issue humans have, where for our own selves, we attribute what we do to the circumstances, but for others, we attribute internal characteristics. We trip because the carpet was loose, another person trips because he is clumsy.

While I think in the big picture, we can attribute most things to being outside of our control, the choices we make within our own lives do make a difference.

So many times, people give up and abandon themselves to the circumstances.

I have noticed in human life, things get better or worse and rarely stay the same. If we do not use it, we lose it. If we do not exercise our faculties, they become weaker.

Many times, we do clearly observe:

* Weak people actively making themselves weaker through their choices

* Ignorant people actively increasing their ignorance by avoiding learning

* Immoral people actively pursuing more immoral activity, seeing that perfection is not possible, so why try?

* Poor people making themselves poorer through almost deliberate inefficient use of the resources they do have.

Interestingly, the original meaning of the "What the Hell Effect" was referring to this sort of thinking, especially in habit formation. When a person is trying to break a bad habit, and they slip, they give up and go all in thinking "What the Hell...I might as well go all the way now".

Obviously, this reveals the human tendency to think in very short terms. If we make irreparable mistake in Tetris (Тетрис, in the original was a Soviet creation and not many people seem to know that), letting the pieces fall where they will, and deliberately losing makes sense. Each round is very short and self contained.

However, if we have long term goals, which most ultimately are in life, we cannot treat it the same as a single round of Tetris. For health, for finances, for morals, for intellectual goals, the goal is ultimately long term, yet, we are inclined to treat it as short term. Even Tetris, if the goal is to accumulate as much lines cleared as possible, then giving up does not make sense as long as one can get one more.

I think this psychological flaw, to think in the very short term, is what causes many to hurt themselves. As the article I linked to earlier showed, the momentary use of money is usually the extent of the thinking people are led to have, paying $1 for 1 item, instead of 1.50 for 2 items, because $1 is cheaper, even though it is known that 2 will be needed this month. Or spending money as soon as it is acquired.

I could go on, but in short, recognizing the effects of our actions is essential. The poor cannot be expected to lift themselves out of poverty, and the weak cannot be expected to be breaking world records, but they can, in their own lives, alleviate the conditions they despise to some degree, and they surely can make them worse.
So maybe that is truly what the strong do every day...whether they are training or not, they recognize the effects of what they do on themselves.

Derrick Blanton

Level 1 Valued Member

Life is not fair.  Shall we just throw up our hands, shrug, and leave it that?  If your objective is to accumulate wealth at any cost, then sure this is the necessary mindset.  Accept that life is not fair, and go to work exploiting that unfairness.

The evolution of the human condition is a flawed, stumbling proposition.  But evolve it does in spite of itself.

Humanity's efforts to make life more fair are one of many elements that make human beings transcendent. Without this urge, we would never have had a Civil Rights movement, a women's rights movement, we wouldn't have helped free the Jews in WW2.  We wouldn't admire MLK, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, etc.  We wouldn't have laws, and a criminal justice system, which is an imperfect way of trying to achieve a measure of fairness.

I have this disturbing feeling that many wish some of these human developments had never happened, as they interfere with their crocodile brain desire to eat the whole deer, and then take a dump and lay in the sun.


Level 1 Valued Member
@ Derrick,
Shall we just throw up our hands, shrug, and leave it that?
Nope. But we should recognize the point when our attempts at fairness become a tyranny in and of themselves.

Vonnegut hits it perfectly in his story, "Harris Bergeron".
It is the year 2081. Because of Amendments to the Constitution, every American is fully equal, meaning that no one is smarter, better-looking, stronger, or faster than anyone else. The Handicapper General and a team of agents ensure that the laws of equality are enforced. The government forces citizens to wear "handicaps" (a mask if they are too handsome or beautiful, earphones with deafening radio signals to make intelligent people unable to concentrate and form thoughts, and heavy weights to slow down those who are too strong or fast).

In any case, envy is as deadly a sin as greed.


Level 2 Valued Member

Yet another recent sidelight on the present topic. No doubt there are faults on all sides and every society has its irredeemable losers, but when there's an "extractive elite" (to use a seminal term from Acemoglu & Robinson's brilliant Why Nations Fail) in place and it's not challenged and displaced, it can all easily degenerate into a vicious circle for anyone not in the cosy club.


Level 3 Valued Member
Nope. But we should recognize the point when our attempts at fairness become a tyranny in and of themselves.

Vonnegut hits it perfectly in his story, “Harris Bergeron”.

In any case, envy is as deadly a sin as greed.
And remember, that tyranny goes in the other direction as well, when people make profit off the labours of others. If those others are abuses, disrespected, and not valued as human beings, it will lead to conflict. Anything from murmurings in the break room, to union formation, to revolutions.

Many jobs are "easy" in that anybody "can" do it, but, the people with the most money are unwilling to do them. At my job, in a factory, I was told that the difference between me and another was that he could do my job, and I couldn't do his. Well, the fact is also he wouldn't do my job. Just because a monkey can do it, that doesn't mean a monkey will do it. The fact he has more experience and specific skills in a particular area means nothing if he is unwilling to perform a task. The pay my position gets is enough for me (obviously), but it is far less than what he is willing to work for. So, shouldn't he respect me more for working a job he is unwilling to do even though he is able? Should I hear his complaints about his job, which he is able and willing to do, and for which he gets a lot more money than me?

Another thing is that people who make more money often have delusions they are superiors to those who make less. That is not so. We are co-workers, and management is clearly defined. When I train people for my position, I try to make it clear who is a co-worker and who is a boss. Those who make more money have more responsibility, and we should be careful they do not try to push down their responsibility to us.

Just last week, I was on a line doing something simple, but I couldn't walk away from it. I asked the operator to get the supervisor for me for a serious reason (safety related) and he said he was busy and couldn't do it. All I wanted as him to bring the supervisor to me, so I could talk to him while I was working. But he was "too busy" for that. So, I walked away and went to the supervisor. Suddenly, he was not too busy to stop everything he was doing, and fill in for me. He was doing the simple but necessary task and he immediately started complaining about it. But the thing was, I was right and the supervisor prioritized me over him. I get less money. I have few responsibilities. I also have much less control over my job and my workflow, but I am the same human being with the same rights and dignity as him. I work for the same company and the profit made because of our performance is the same. The fact there is a difference in our pay means nothing.

And that is just on the production floor, management becomes far worse, when they prioritize their profits and company mandates over the safety and respect of others who do the actual work. To them, we are not human beings, we are expenses, liabilities, and the only reason they care about safety and ethics is because they will get fined if it can be shown in a court of law they were in violation.

Now, as human beings, they are not devoid of humanity. This just occurs when the circumstances allow it. So, they are sociable, friendly, and human otherwise, but when it comes down to it, they worship money.



kyle aaron

Level 1 Valued Member
There is a key difference between wealth and strength: not everyone can be wealthy, but everyone can be strong.

Setting aside questions of opportunity vs hard work:- If everyone earned $1 million, prices would naturally rise, and inflation would make $1 million effectively into $1,000 or $100. Not everyone can be wealthy.

No such restriction exists for strength. If I press 100kg overhead this does not make anyone else's lifts weaker. Strength is egalitarian. In work and relationships, hard work is not always rewarded, some people are honest and dedicated and get nowhere, others are dishonest and lazy and succeed. But the iron rewards honest hard work. Keep showing up and lifting, and you'll get stronger.

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
<blockquote>There is a key difference between wealth and strength: not everyone can be wealthy, but everyone can be strong.

Setting aside questions of opportunity vs hard work:- If everyone earned $1 million, prices would naturally rise, and inflation would make $1 million effectively into $1,000 or $100. Not everyone can be wealthy.

No such restriction exists for strength. If I press 100kg overhead this does not make anyone else’s lifts weaker. Strength is egalitarian. In work and relationships, hard work is not always rewarded, some people are honest and dedicated and get nowhere, others are dishonest and lazy and succeed. But the iron rewards honest hard work. Keep showing up and lifting, and you’ll get stronger.

I like this.

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