So, I somehow managed to get my whole family doing Starting Strength-style powerlifting workouts. And three out of the four of us are doing them together. 17 is far too cool to be seen with any of us, but so far he is my best partner in the most important part of the newby-nerdy fitness journey — obsessing over it. We talk about our gains, about our PRs, about our macros. We have stopped being fun at parties. We just train in parallel — an hour or two apart. Him with his high-school bros and me with 13 and 54. We even make fun of the same dudes we see at the gym.
17 is a pretty intense athlete in his day job, which largely consists of picking sports he looks really, really good performing so that he can impress his friends, generate wicked snapchat videos, and pick up girls. So it isn’t surprising that the addictive early gains of starting strength appealed to him. “I wanna deadlift 400lbs by the end of the summer.” You and me both, cupcake.
But 13 and 54 are different and while they’re into it, I have to make sure to be sensitive to the fact that they’ve got unique goals and varying experiences from mine.
13 is a geeky, chubby kid who has always thrown in the towel pretty easily instead of trying to shine athletically in the presence of his big brother. But he’s crazy strong, probably from spending the last few years of doing judo. Proportional to his size, he’s probably got the most natural talent for lifting in our family. But he’s all about intensity and gonzo, then fades as soon as something is consistently hard. I’ve been trying to nudge him a bit, show him how impressive his gains are, get him to hang in there.
54. Well 54 is complicated. He’s not an intensity junkie, which makes him set apart from the three of us. And I’m struggling with being supportive-but-not-patronizing as I talk about climbing your own hill while I’m sliding on a few extra plates between his sets and mine. I haven’t quite finished finessing the art of negotiating the impact of the aging dude ego on our ability to share an activity that I am way more into than he is. But he is really supportive of me in general, and I’m really hoping that this is something that we can enjoy doing together. I think maybe I just need to put more metal songs on his playlist and we’ll be alright.