Gyms and Capital

“The primary reason for this was that Nautilus equipment allowed the health club (at the time known as the “health spa”) industry to offer to the general public a thing which had been previously unavailable. Prior to the invention of Nautilus, if a member wanted to train hard, in a more elaborate way than Universal equipment permitted, he had to learn how to use barbells. Someone had to teach him this. Moreover, someone had to teach the health spa staff how to teach him this. Such professional education was, and still is, time-consuming and not widely available. But with Nautilus equipment, a minimum-wage employee could be taught very quickly how to use the whole circuit, ostensibly providing a total-body workout with little invested in employee education. Furthermore, the entire circuit could be performed in about 30 minutes, thus decreasing member time on the exercise floor, increasing traffic capacity in the club, and maximizing sales exposure to more traffic. Nautilus equipment quite literally made the existence of the modern health club possible.

The problem, of course, is that machine-based training did not work as it was advertised. It was almost

impossible to gain muscular bodyweight doing a circuit. People who were trying to do so would train faithfully for months without gaining any significant muscular weight at all. When they switched to barbell training, a miraculous thing would happen: they would immediately gain – within a week – more weight than they had gained in the entire time they had fought with the 12-station circuit.

The reason that isolated body part training on machines doesn’t work is the same reason that barbells work so well, better than any other tools we can use to gain strength. The human body functions as a complete system – it works that way, and it likes to be trained that way. It doesn’t like to be separated into its constituent components and then have those components exercised separately, since the strength obtained from training will not be utilized in this way. The general pattern of strength acquisition must be the same as that in which the strength will be used. The nervous system controls the muscles, and the relationship between them is referred to as “neuromuscular.” When strength is acquired in ways that do not correspond to the patterns in which it is intended to actually be used, the neuromuscular aspects of training have not been considered. Neuromuscular specificity is an unfortunate reality, and exercise programs must respect this principle the same way they respect the Law of Gravity.

Barbells, and the primary exercises we use them to do, are far superior to any other training tools that have ever been devised.Properly performed, full-range-of-motion barbell exercises are essentially the functional expression of human skeletal and muscular anatomy under a load.

From Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe


Lines of Flight

It has been a while since I have posted.

Changes are coming. Once again.

Lines of flight were taken. Lives were broken. Lives were made.

The transmission was interrupted, but will start soon once again.

The journey will continue with 1000 Plateaus, experimentation, new readings such as here, and Nihilist Communism, and here.



From Nytimes

When N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban of the disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and said he would urge the league’s Board of Governors to vote for a forced sale of the team, Silver was widely hailed for his decisive leadership in defusing a burgeoning crisis.

But in tracing the timeline of events that led to the announcement Tuesday, it is apparent that the league’s response was shaped as much by the influence of a player turned politician who has no official affiliation with the N.B.A. as it was by Silver’s conviction.

Kevin Johnson, a former N.B.A. star who is now the mayor of Sacramento, was able to channel the growing anger among the league’s players and made clear to Silver the types of steps that needed to be taken to keep the situation from veering out of control.

With a long history as a fractious group plagued by infighting among empowered player agents and their famous clients, with its last three executive directors departing involuntarily, the players union has not been normally viewed as having a powerful voice in N.B.A. affairs. And it certainly did not seem to be cohesive enough to forcefully deal with the fast-moving, emotionally charged reactions to Sterling’s comments.


Revolutionary Lives and Friendship Part 1

Some questions:

What is friendship?
From the vantage point of a revolutionary what is friendship?
What are the qualities of a friend?
What does friendship say about people?
What can a friend take and give?
Why do we make friends?
What are the limits of friendship?
How do you know when someone is a friend?
What is the relationship of friendship to politics? Organization? Comrade?
How does one know they have been a good friend to their friends?
Why is friendship important?
Are there different kinds of friendships? What are they? Why are they different?