Everything You Need To Know About Failure

Bryce · March 5, 2024

Fitness doesn’t shy away from divisiveness and controversy. 

If there is even 0.01% chance that a certain stance could prove to be incorrect, you can bet that there is a disproportional army of contrarians taking the other side.

This space is dominated by tribalism and us-against-them mentalities. And what better way to form this bond of solidarity than to dig your collective feet in, label everyone who doesn’t agree with your group as the “enemy”, and argue in perpetuity? 

Now, I love to argue as much as the next guy. And I think I’m right more often than my intellect probably warrants. But I also like to believe that my opinions are put forth in good faith—using a combination of evidence from research, anecdote, and pragmatism that allows for a stable, yet evolving, ideology. 

The same can’t be said for everyone who throws their argument in this ring…

Some are purely bad actors; instigating controversy for the sake of being a troll. Many have no desire to find the truth and will defend their incorrect stances until the very end. And most just don’t want to admit that they could be wrong—it’s hard to put ego aside when every disagreement is given a public platform these days. 

And the failure debate has attracted all sorts of nefarious characters because of the extremism inherent to the topic. 

On one side, you have the Cult of Intensity

Here, everything should be done maximally or not at all. This line of thinking bleeds from training into philosophies on nutrition, PEDs, and general social conduct. Recklessness is a badge of honor. The future is sacrificed for the present. Nuance and context are shunned in favor of blood and guts. The Cult of Intensity places their faith in physical manifestations rather than intellectual conceptualizations. 

And then on the other side, you have the PubMed Collective

Here, nothing gets done without the backing of meta-analyses. Data is the Holy Word. Prayers are said to Saints Schoenfeld, Isreatel, and Helms. Conservatism is too risky for this group. They’re allergic to the unknown, and the antithesis of ‘move fast and break things”. The PubMed Collective would rather be scientifically validated while spinning their wheels, than risk being wrong while making progress. 

These groups have a polarity that tends to draw the moderates towards one side or the other—It’s hard to be gray in a black-and-white world. 

But someone has to bring some sense to this argument. And that’s what I hope to do here.

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