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Corps Strength – Excuses Are Like Ass****s, Everyone Has One And They All Stink


I’m sure you’ve heard that old line before as it’s well used, especially in the military. IMO it’s accurate too and pretty universal, as it applies to just about any subject. However, I will contend that more excuses are used around the subject of weight loss and fitness than any other area. Over the years I’ve heard an untold number of excuses from friends, family, students and my fellow Marines (who came up with some of the best ones), for being overweight and out of shape. “I’m big boned, I don’t have time. I have a slow metabolism, I can’t afford good food, etc, etc.” The excuse list is way too long to post here. Addressing those is a whole other article.

The other odd thing about this category of excuses, (set aside the fact they are all at least 95% bullshit), is how many people will follow a workout routine and/or diet that yields very little positive results, yet will stick to it, defend it and make excuses for it, to the bitter end. Over the years I’ve heard many people enthusiastically defend their favorite diet and workout program, even through it’s obvious it hasn’t worked for them, at least not very well. It’s a very weird, but very real thing.

I experienced this again just the other day. Several years ago, outside the main gym here on base they constructed a nice elevated workout platform with several pull-up bars attached, and there are some sand filled ammo cans and tires out there to throw around. A few times a week I do an early morning PT session there that usually takes me about an hour (if I kick it). Now, this platform is located right outside the gym’s “cardio room” I can see in there through several big floor-to-ceiling windows and when I get going around 0600, they seem to always have an exercise class going. From my casual observation it seems to be made up of active military, retirees and dependent civilians. The class itself appears to be a mix of calisthenics, those rubber band things, light dumbbells and stretching. Of course everyone has their mat, water bottle and I hear loud workout music playing and the female instructor yelling out what to do.


The class also has a wide range of fitness levels, with many that are overweight. Now, this is nothing new except for what happened the other morning. I was outside, doing my thing when a man, (who I don’t know, but I had seen a few times in the exercise class) came walking up to me and spoke:

“Hey man, that looks like a tough workout you’re doing”

“Well, it can be.”

“I see you out here all the time.” Is that all you do?

“Well, I run a bit also.”

“No weightlifting?”

“No weights like you’re thinking, but I do throw around these some ammo cans and tires a little.”

“Huh, I figured you lifted weights?” (Apparently I’m lying?)

“No, No weights, no inside gym at all unless it’s really bad weather.”

Then we got down to cases. (I knew what was coming).

“I don’t think that your routine would work for me.” (Keep in mind I didn’t suggest it).

“Why is that?”

“Well, I’m too old, that stuff is more for you younger guys”

“How old are you?”

“53, how old are you 40-45?”

“I’m 57,”

‘Really? Huh, well, I’ve had issues with my back and knees, I can’t do a lot of what I see you doing out here.”

“I see”.

“Plus, I really like the PT class they have here in the morning.

“Yeah, I think I’ve seen you in there.”

“Yes, I go almost every morning.”

“How’s that working out for you?”

“Great, I really like it.”

“Are you tiring to lose some weight?”

“Yeah, I want to lose about 25 lbs, I started this class to help me.” (IMO 30-40 lbs would be better)

“Has it helped?”

“Well, not really.”

Why is that?”

“I don’t know exactly, I think my metabolism has slowed down? but it’s a great class. A real workout!”

“How long have you been in the class?”

“Since, I retired from the Navy, hell, almost five years now. Great class. It’s the best PT class I’ve ever taken.”

“Sounds like it.”

The point is here is not to make fun of someone, (well, maybe a little) but to point out something that is critical to the success of any PT program; That you have to decide if you really want results out of a exercise routine and/or diet plan. Or, that you just want to do something that makes you feel like you’re trying, but in the end not really have to worry about achieving any real results. I get that it’s great to go to a class, get some sweat on and feel good about it. However, for me and the people I train, results are what counts, feeling good is important, but secondary. As in the end I contend that people will feel the best about achieving their fitness goals, not just trying.

When I work with someone on weight loss and improving their fitness it starts with a (realistic) goal, a comprehensive plan to get there and then constant observation of progress to ensure the plan is working toward that end. If not, adjustments are made to get on track. What I don’t spend a second on is making excuses for things that don’t work and worse, continue on that path. Everyone is different, but things either work or they don’t and there are no shit reasons for both. This isn’t rocket science, but sometimes people make it much harder than it is and excuses don’t make it any better, or easier, (Other than just in their mind). The fitness/diet advice I layout in my book and in person has always been based on results, not bullshit to make you feel good, but real honest results. Results gained through consistent, long term effort. Results that will last and you can be proud of, and BTW when that happens, excuses aren’t needed. My old boxing trainer told me something many years ago about excuses; “You never need an excuse for winning, only losing.” Something to think about.

Taking some leave to climb a few rocks up north, We’ll talk next month. Till then:

“Ba Safe always, Good when you can.”

Semper Fi



8 Responses to “Corps Strength – Excuses Are Like Ass****s, Everyone Has One And They All Stink”

  1. Joe says:

    If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always got.

  2. Unimog says:

    Your title is incorrect, imperforate anus is a documented medical condition in which the the anus is missing due to a birth defect, therefore resulting in not everyone having a ass***e. Now you know and knowing is half the battle….

  3. Iggy says:

    The very nature of stupidity is it doesnt recognize intelligence when presented with it.

    • miclo18d says:

      The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein persons of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is.

      Translation: “You’re so stupid you don’t realize you’re stupid”

  4. idaho says:

    Not sure about the rules here, but, if it is legal, can someone provide the title of his book? or some way to research it? Thanks.

    • miclo18d says:

      Google: Corps Strength

    • Whiskey Bravo says:

      That’s a negative Mr. Idaho, your request has been denied. Your question is indeed highly illegal and you will be asked to appear in court to answer for your crime…

  5. idaho says:

    Thank you.