Sockpuppet Posse April 11, 2011 6:08 PM   Subscribe

Is it okay to post a comment in your own thread with one of your sockpuppets to support your side of a discussion/argument?

Are you stronger than a 5th grader?
April 11, 2011 8:42 AM Subscribe

9-year-old Naomi Kutin squats 187 at a bodyweight of 88 lbs. This breaks the 100% Raw record for the 97 lb class, held for a number of years by a woman in her late 20's.

Interview with Naomi and her parents: "I kept practicing and practicing, and I got better and better, and then I won a national title." More squatting and deadlifting from Naomi.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko (40 comments total) [add to favorites] 7 users marked this as a favorite [!]

Wow! This is really amazing. I'ts a shame that people are getting bogged down in this old myth that weightlifting is not good for kids and are not just looking at how incredible this girl is. But I suppose it's typical for metafilter.
posted by useyourmachinegunarm at 10:55 AM on April 11 [3 favorites +] [!]
posted by fieldtrip to Etiquette/Policy at 6:08 PM (119 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I guess it depends on which one of those is your sock puppet.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 6:11 PM on April 11, 2011


This isn't fair. He's winning the internet under false pretenses.
posted by found missing at 6:12 PM on April 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


Both disabled or banned now...
posted by Burhanistan at 6:12 PM on April 11, 2011


It looks like both accounts are now disabled.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:12 PM on April 11, 2011


I enjoy weightlifting and fitness posts now and then, but if that's all someone's posting about then maybe they're not doing much other than pushing their own agenda.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:13 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh. Out of curiosity, how did you know they were the same person?
posted by lalex at 6:14 PM on April 11, 2011


No. No it is not.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:14 PM on April 11, 2011


No, it's not okay to use a sockpuppet to high-five yourself in an argument.

To the best of my knowledge, that is not really what happened in the thread you're linking; useyourmachinegunarm and Anatoly are two different people who know each other. I've met them both in person, in fact.

And yes, they have both closed their accounts, so I'm not sure what more there is to say here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:15 PM on April 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


Disabled by the mods and banned, or disabled by the user? If banned, then the post should be deleted.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:15 PM on April 11, 2011


OK, nevermind.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:15 PM on April 11, 2011


Pushed the big red button, not banned.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:16 PM on April 11, 2011


I was just curious, really. It seems so confusing to try to manage multiple accounts.

lalex - I follow the weightlifting threads and one user here who has gone by multiple names always posts the same sort of threads "starting strength!, Mark Rippetoe!"

my apologies if I'm totally wrong
posted by fieldtrip at 6:16 PM on April 11, 2011


As far as I know, using multiple accounts is not allowed unless all but one are used solely for jokey comments or anonymity.
posted by ODiV at 6:18 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


cortex, please close this up then. And, I sincerely apologize - there must be more than one weightlifting Ukulele player in the MeFi universe.
posted by fieldtrip at 6:19 PM on April 11, 2011


If I had a sockpuppet I would probably accidentally do this all the time and end up high-fiving myself when I mean to just support my argument on my main account because I would forget to log in and log out.
posted by NoraReed at 6:19 PM on April 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


There are actually...a lot of people who frequently mention Rippetoe. I don't know anything about weightlifting; I assume he is a particularly respected trainer?
posted by lalex at 6:23 PM on April 11, 2011


Huh. I mean, if cortex has met them both in person there's not anything more to be said. Seems really weird they both turned off their accounts at the same time based on what appears to be a completely innocuous thread. Strange.
posted by Justinian at 6:26 PM on April 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Perhaps cortex is Mark Rippetoe!
posted by lalex at 6:27 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


lalex - yes, he is a particularly respected trainer who wrote what many consider to be the bible of weightlifting "Starting Strength". And, many folks do mention Rippetoe frequently - but, there are some one here who defend him particularly vehemently. It really starts to stand out and become irritating if you read all of the weightlifting/fitness threads on here.
posted by fieldtrip at 6:29 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


there must be more than one weightlifting Ukulele player in the MeFi universe

The confusion here may be that while these two people are different people, this wasn't Anatoly's first account on the site. So you're probably remembering mostly correctly but that one detail was off, but that one detail was also key to the premise of this metatalk post. Whee! So, no big deal, but yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:30 PM on April 11, 2011


I bet they both disabled the accounts so they can merge, like Station in Bill and Ted 2, and then he'll come back as a really EXTRA-knowledgeable weightlifter to and post comments with even more studies about the benefits of deadlifts.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:32 PM on April 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


Station!
That is all. Bring me the red-framed glasses of Jim Martin, stat!
posted by joe lisboa at 6:33 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pro Tip: Arm Eek
posted by BeerFilter at 6:33 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


(it's an anagram)
posted by BeerFilter at 6:34 PM on April 11, 2011


I bet they both disabled the accounts so they can merge, like Station in Bill and Ted 2, and then he'll come back as a really EXTRA-knowledgeable weightlifter to and post comments with even more studies about the benefits of deadlifts.

They totally melvinned fieldtrip.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:41 PM on April 11, 2011


How much you squat, bro?
posted by loquacious at 6:44 PM on April 11, 2011


This is a shame. Anatoly was really helpful in weightlifting and fitness threads on Ask. I hope he comes back.
posted by auto-correct at 6:44 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I enjoy weightlifting and fitness posts now and then, but if that's all someone's posting about then maybe they're not doing much other than pushing their own agenda."

Or...that's what they like and care about and want to share with the rest of us? People with niche interests add a lot to the site.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:46 PM on April 11, 2011 [20 favorites]


Is it okay to post a comment in your own thread with one of your sockpuppets to support your side of a discussion/argument?

I don't recommend it.
posted by GiveWell at 6:54 PM on April 11, 2011 [32 favorites]


snap
posted by found missing at 6:55 PM on April 11, 2011


People with niche interests add a lot to the site.

I agree 100%. However, weightlifting is one of those things metafilter Does Not Do Well, unfortunately (at least on the blue). Compare and contrast the recent thread on barefoot running, in which everyone managed to discuss the matter without falling all over themselves to mention how harmful and stupid running is.

Can't blame Anatoly for leaving when this is the reception he gets.
posted by vorfeed at 6:59 PM on April 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Metafilter does well means that everyone agrees?
posted by found missing at 7:01 PM on April 11, 2011


For me it isn't that someone posts a lot about a topic that is irritating - it is when they then start arguing with other posters. I totally agree that Anatoly and ludwig_van posted a lot of helpful information on the green.
posted by fieldtrip at 7:06 PM on April 11, 2011


If we only discussed things that "MetaFilter does well" then high-fiving would become downright atmospheric.

I don't mean that in a good way.
posted by hermitosis at 7:06 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The confusion here may be that while these two people are different people, this wasn't Anatoly's first account on the site. So you're probably remembering mostly correctly but that one detail was off, but that one detail was also key to the premise of this metatalk post.

A gasp came from the assembled throng.

"Yes, one detail," said Cortex, "which the murderer did not take into account."

"But what is it?" asked the Duchess von Tralala.

"Yes, do tell us!" cried Doctor Fuck.

"Of course," said the lanky mod, "But first, a pause while I finish this enormous donut."

From her plush chair, Jessamyn smiled; the endgame was now in full swing. This was one of Cortex's old habits, first observed during his days in the RAF: he would somehow acquire an enormous goddamned donut at the case's outset and not eat it until he knew for a fact who the murderer was. While she mused on this, Cortex finished the donut and then laid out a bunch of exposition which would explain why the thing he was about to say was important. Admittedly it was a long time for Jessamyn to muse on how a guy would eat a donut but after that unfortunate business in Cairo* her doctor had recommended she try musing very slowly for a while, for the sake of her health.

"...you see, the murderer failed to take into account that Morningblush lilies only grow on the north side of Salisbury (not to be confused with Solsbury but I have in fact also written a song about it which is available on my website for those of you who are interested, and if you ask me it's loads better than that Peter Gabriel one) Hill!" With that, the room's gaze fell upon Edwin Frogcock, the dairy heir.

"Crumbs, I've been rumbled!" spat Frogcock, who ran very far and there was an exciting chase but they caught him.

"Looks like you've done it again, old boy!" said Jessamyn as they observed Edwin Frogcock being marched into a police wagon. "Looks like one more ripping yarn for the casebooks!"

"Yes," said Cortex.

There was a long pause.

"Anything else?" asked Cortex.

"Did I already say the bit about it being a ripping yarn for the casebooks?"

"Yes."

"Then no."

"All right, I'll just close this up then."

END

*See issue # 177 - "The Cross-Town Caper!" - Fantabulous FM
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:16 PM on April 11, 2011 [143 favorites]


I enjoy weightlifting and fitness posts now and then, but if that's all someone's posting about then maybe they're not doing much other than pushing their own agenda.

"The Weightlifting Agenda"! Heavens! I suppose this is like that Agenda those Gays are attempting to push on us, only instead of that Civil Rights nonsense it's Fitness and Prevention Of Osteoporosis and other similar horrors. God forbid. We need more posts on the wonders of Cheetos and World of Warcraft in order to balance this out.


There are actually...a lot of people who frequently mention Rippetoe. I don't know anything about weightlifting; I assume he is a particularly respected trainer?

Rippetoe is a guy who wrote a very good introductory book on weightlifting called "Starting Strength." This book gained some popularity among a new wave of people who are re-discovering traditional lifting methods. Due to lack of awareness of the old guard of lifters and coaches who existed before Rippetoe, he's gained kind of a cultlike following from people who erroneously think he basically invented teaching people the squat, deadlift, and bench. He's a good coach, just with a bit of an overblown reputation.

That shouldn't stop anyone from getting and reading his book though.
posted by schroedinger at 7:17 PM on April 11, 2011


I am a sockpuppet of my inner most self, yes.
Though, the sock puppet can relieve moments of tension, like a laugh track.
This though.
posted by clavdivs at 7:18 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I too find the weight-lifting circle-jerks completely irritating and I'm now inclined to avoid those threads because the hegemony are so rabidly devout about it; interesting discussion - which is already difficult to generate based on the typical links - is rendered all but impossible by the constant weigh-ins (ha!) from converts.

Also, I do think that endless videos of "look! some dude lifting an amazing weight!" are really pushing the best of the web angle; they are often not new or thought-provoking, or cute like a puppy lifting the weight of an adorable kitten. But each to their own, I guess.
posted by smoke at 7:28 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sounds like an excellent solution smoke!
posted by Blasdelb at 7:39 PM on April 11, 2011


You know, maybe I'm nuts, but I actually think that fitness and exercise and such are topics that Metafilter does fairly well.
posted by box at 7:41 PM on April 11, 2011


smoke, when you say "circle-jerk" do you mean the number of people who disagree with statements like "squats hurt your knees!"? Because to have a discussion on whether or not squats hurt your knees would be a bit like having a discussion on whether or not the Earth is flat.

Regarding "best of the web," I guess it depends on whether or not you're willing to appreciate people pushing the limits of the human body. I think the immediate dismissal of anything lifting-related as not worthy or thought-provoking has less to do with the quality of the content and more to do with stereotypes of weightlifters as big, dumb brutes.

We are taught that our body and mind are separate, and investment in the body must mean a lack of investment in the mind. Yet they're irrevocably linked, one affecting the performance of the other. It's a concept appreciated by the Greeks and many other ancient cultures, and it's a tragedy it's been totally lost in modern society.
posted by schroedinger at 7:42 PM on April 11, 2011


However, weightlifting is one of those things metafilter Does Not Do Well

Have you noticed that in this context "Does Not Do Well" tends to correlate strongly with "expresses disagreement about something I care a lot about"? That's funny, huh?
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I totally agree that Anatoly and ludwig_van posted a lot of helpful information on the green.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the two are the same person.
posted by alligatorman at 7:45 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter does well means that everyone agrees?

It's not disagreement between posters that's the problem as much as it is widespread and vocal disdain for the topic itself (see above). Combine that with a relatively small core of people who are very interested in it, and you get... well, smoke's comment.
posted by vorfeed at 7:46 PM on April 11, 2011


> "The Weightlifting Agenda"! Heavens! I suppose this is like that Agenda those Gays are attempting to push on us, only instead of that Civil Rights nonsense it's Fitness and Prevention Of Osteoporosis and other similar horrors. God forbid.

Oh, come off it. It's fine if people post things they like, but if they're being combative in their threads when people disagree, then it's not so great.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:47 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


> and it's a tragedy it's been totally lost in modern society.

Really? Millions of people in America alone are into physical fitness and activities, and would abide in a "healthy body, healthy mind" philosophy.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:49 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Have you noticed that in this context "Does Not Do Well" tends to correlate strongly with "expresses disagreement about something I care a lot about"? That's funny, huh?

It also tends to correlate strongly with "the thread generated two disabled accounts, a MetaTalk, and deleted comments within the first hour". Funny, huh?
posted by vorfeed at 7:49 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you for illustrating my point, Schroedinger. The reason you keep having these conversations is because essentially the same content is posted over and over.
posted by smoke at 7:55 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The MetaTalk was a case of mistaken identity, disabling your account over what appears to be an innocuous thread likely means people need a break for unrelated to metafilter reasons (which is fine but says nothing about the topic at hand), and I suspect virtually every thread over a minimum length has comments deleted. That doesn't mean Metafilter does every topic badly!

I'm just saying that if we compiled a list of all the topics people claim Metafilter doesn't do well we'd end up with an encyclopedia and that people do not tend to handle disagreement with strongly held positions well.
posted by Justinian at 7:57 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was amazing.
posted by grobstein at 8:01 PM on April 11, 2011


What do I favorite?
posted by grobstein at 8:01 PM on April 11, 2011


How much you squat, bro?

Never, you philistine. Feet on the floor, cheeks on the seat. Just like they say you must in the New Testament.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:06 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


smoke, if it was the same content then the discussions sparked in other forums about the same videos would not be as wide and diverse. There can be a lack of imagination on Metafilter about lifting/athletics beyond "look at those dumb guys crippling themselves hurr." As such different people end up posting the same responses no matter the content--it's all "muscles steroids broken knees!"
posted by schroedinger at 8:06 PM on April 11, 2011


it's all "muscles steroids broken knees!"

and posing oil, don't forget posing oil
posted by found missing at 8:15 PM on April 11, 2011


I used to edit a journal that Rippetoe would write articles for. I'm so glad I see his name on metafilter, because then I can say Mark Rippetoe in a Macho Man Randy Savage voice again.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:15 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

smoke, when you say "circle-jerk" do you mean the number of people who disagree with statements like "squats hurt your knees!"?
I'm actually really interested in getting started weightlifting, but I find the metafilter weightlifting brigade really off-putting. It's a combination of the weird cult-like insistence that their way of doing things is the only way that's acceptable and the assumption that anyone who isn't willing to devote his or her entire life to weightlifting is lazy or otherwise inferior. And frankly, I don't really want to make weightlifting into a lifestyle, and I'm not really looking for hobbies that are populated by sanctimonious assholes. So yeah. I know they're just passionate about the thing they love, but they've pretty much convinced me to take a kettlebell class instead.
posted by craichead at 8:16 PM on April 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


I had...no idea there was controversy in weightlifting threads akin to the Mac vs. PC or Israel vs. Palestine brigades. I find this strangely comforting.
posted by lalex at 8:19 PM on April 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


I had...no idea there was controversy in weightlifting threads akin to the Mac vs. PC or Israel vs. Palestine brigades. I find this strangely comforti

Dude weightlifters are nerds. MASSIVE nerds. It's all nit-picking number crunching micro arguments.


No, it's not okay to use a sockpuppet to high-five yourself in an argument.


If I don't do this then The Owls take away my food bowl.

I miss the food bowl.
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


but they've pretty much convinced me to take a kettlebell class instead.

That's, um, dude, that's lifting.
posted by schroedinger at 8:25 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

That's, um, dude, that's lifting.
Right. That's the appeal. At a beginner kettlebell class, I think I'll probably be able to try lifting without being lectured about what a moron I am if I'm not willing to eat Paleo (and I'm really not, for a variety of reasons, which you're just going to have to trust me are good reasons) or being scrutinized by people who inspect their fellow gym-goers to decide whether they have a right to be there or belong in a "glitter gym." I don't have a problem with lifting. Lifting sounds cool. I have a problem with assholes.
posted by craichead at 8:44 PM on April 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


I have a problem with assholes.
posted by craichead


In other words, you don't want to be exposed to anus.
posted by GiveWell at 8:47 PM on April 11, 2011


Oh, and also, a message from The Beyond: The button isn't really red.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:53 PM on April 11, 2011


It's a combination of the weird cult-like insistence that their way of doing things is the only way that's acceptable and the assumption that anyone who isn't willing to devote his or her entire life to [X] is lazy or otherwise inferior.

To be fair, people use this tone about a ton of things on MeFi, not just weightlifting. I think there is just a special nerd/jock sensitivity that comes out in the lifting threads because most of us are big nerds (myself included! god knows I don't lift weights, don't get me wrong).
posted by dialetheia at 8:57 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and also, a message from The Beyond: The button isn't really red.


KILL THE UNBELIEVER.
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just get a newborn calf and lift it over your head every day.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:59 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I use a cat.
posted by rtha at 9:02 PM on April 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Calf, cat, whatever works.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:03 PM on April 11, 2011


It's not a very big cat, but it wiggles a lot, which makes things challenging.
posted by rtha at 9:05 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good for the stabilizer muscles.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:05 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not a very big cat, but it wiggles a lot, which makes things challenging.

This is actually how they came up with the ShakeWeight (As Seen On TV!)
posted by vorfeed at 9:10 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


people do not tend to handle disagreement with strongly held positions well.

We do so!
posted by adamrice at 9:12 PM on April 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


My favorite double sockpuppets are Tomax and Xamot on the AV Club. Xamot always posts a second after Tomax and completes his sentences.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:31 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rock Steady writes "They totally melvinned fieldtrip."

melvinned?
posted by Mitheral at 9:49 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reading this thread, I can't help to think of the poor soul having done a late night search for "weight-lifting muscle circle jerk" and being vastly disappointed when the results lead him here.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:56 PM on April 11, 2011 [18 favorites]


At a beginner kettlebell class, I think I'll probably be able to try lifting without being lectured about what a moron I am if I'm not willing to eat Paleo (and I'm really not, for a variety of reasons, which you're just going to have to trust me are good reasons) or being scrutinized by people who inspect their fellow gym-goers to decide whether they have a right to be there or belong in a "glitter gym." I don't have a problem with lifting. Lifting sounds cool. I have a problem with assholes.

For what it's worth, you are talking about a very specific subset of people who use weights called "Crossfitters," other sports involving weights don't carry that attitude.
posted by schroedinger at 10:20 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


craichead, you'll definitely want to stay out of 4chan's /fit/, then, because their idea of motivation looks like this.
posted by adipocere at 10:51 PM on April 11, 2011


So do squats hurt your knees or not then?
posted by joannemullen at 12:12 AM on April 12, 2011


When done properly, no. Emphasis on the when done properly.
posted by dersins at 12:13 AM on April 12, 2011


Squats hurt the knees of no true Scotsman.
posted by flabdablet at 2:09 AM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


High five, bro!
posted by flabdablet's sock puppet at 2:11 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


my gal is red hot
your gal ain't doodley squat
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:27 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:58 AM on April 12, 2011


I agree with hal_c_on.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:58 AM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I agree with hal_c_on.

I never thought I'd see that statement on this site.
posted by gman at 4:01 AM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


vorfeed: "It's not a very big cat, but it wiggles a lot, which makes things challenging.

This is actually how they came up with the ShakeWeight (As Seen On TV!)
"

I used a cat as a Shakeweight once. Only once. The bandages come off next Tuesday.
posted by Splunge at 4:14 AM on April 12, 2011


Edwin Frogcock being marched into a police wagon

frogcockmarched
posted by DU at 4:31 AM on April 12, 2011


No true Squatsman.
posted by box at 4:40 AM on April 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


How many squats would a Scotsman spot if a Scotsman could spot squats?
posted by Wolfdog at 4:50 AM on April 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is actually how they came up with the ShakeWeight (As Seen On TV!)

Really? I had always envisioned a very different origin.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:54 AM on April 12, 2011


I'm not willing to eat Paleo

F that noise. The best part about lifting is that you're hungry 24 hours a day. Why hamstring yourself by not eating everything in sight? within reason
posted by uncleozzy at 4:56 AM on April 12, 2011


How are people coming to the conclusion that Anatoly Pisarenko has all these sockpuppets?
posted by pollex at 5:42 AM on April 12, 2011


Wait--was cortex's in-thread comment directed at the OP, or at someone else?
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:19 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the two are the same person.

I was guessing Anatoly and ludwig_van were the same person as well. They both had a tendency to deluge you with papers by doctors of dubious credentials that weren't published in any medical journal if you dared to question St. Rippetoe.
posted by electroboy at 6:31 AM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am not a starting strength participant. I am very interested in what the clan has to say and I hope Mr. Pisarenko will return soon with some slight modifications in his approach to agreeable metafilter participation. I would not have seen the 9 year old 88 pound squatting two X her body weight if he had not posted it here and I am glad that I saw it.

It takes a very thick skin to post on a public forum on a topic where you possess special expertise. The history of the site contains a number of people who have shown how this can be a formula for flaming out. Permanent flame-outs in this vein are a loss.

Why wasn't I consulted!?
posted by bukvich at 6:41 AM on April 12, 2011


That said, I generally agreed with Anatoly/ludwig 99% of the time. But some of the medical claims that weightlifting advocates make aren't supported by good science. That's not to say they're incorrect, just that the proof is lacking.
posted by electroboy at 6:54 AM on April 12, 2011


Huh. The weightlifting threads on Askme are directly responsible for my current state of strength and fitness - the best of my life.

Sweaty hugs all round, hope to see folks come back.
posted by Ness at 6:56 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sweaty hugs all round, hope to see folks come back.

/pulls out a jumbo-size box of disinfectant wipes and passes it around
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:30 AM on April 12, 2011


Yeah, count me in as another person who found Anatoly knowledgeable and helpful, and I'd never heard of Starting Strength until reading a post of his on the green. In fact, I still haven't looked at it? Why? Because I already agree with the basic premise that squats and deadlifts are Good For You, and, perhaps more important, fun. In my case, I figured this out from trial and error over years of lifting. However, I don't see how consistently and politely directing beginners to what lots of people find to be a useful resource, as Anatoly has done, could be construed as anything but helpful.

You can mock Crossfit and Starting Strength as cults if you like (I've done some Crossfit, and it definitely qualifies) but just because a fitness movement is cult-like doesn't mean that their workouts aren't fun and effective (as I found Crossfit's to be).
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 8:11 AM on April 12, 2011


However, I don't see how consistently and politely directing beginners to what lots of people find to be a useful resource, as Anatoly has done, could be construed as anything but helpful.

From the mod side of things, we saw and dealt with a fair amount of not-so-politely butting heads with other people and related stuff that made it more of an ongoing frustration, hence the note in that thread the other day.

That said, it's one of those things that's hardly unique to this particular case: someone can be a pretty good contributing member most of the time and also have some specific thing that they've got a significant site-interaction issue with, and at a certain point "you keep having this serious behavior problem on the site" ends up trumping any amount of good contributing in other contexts if something doesn't change.

We'd generally rather see that issue not be an ongoing thing and have the situation improve than have someone leave the site, but it's pretty much up to them to figure out how to resolve that tension. Sometimes they turn it around; sometimes they choose to leave; on much rarer occasions things keep coming to a head and they get the boot because neither happens.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:18 AM on April 12, 2011


As a fitness professional, I've found Anatoly to be incredibly helpful (same with Ludwig and schroedinger). His information is accurate (though not always good-science, neh) and of the same ilk that I offer my clients. It seems a shame that other mefi-ers won't get to benefit from his sharing.

Not all weight culture lives and dies by Crossfit. Nor does it by Olympic lifting. Nor should the conversation get derailed because of different cultures approaching similar interests.

Anywho, that's just one crossfitting yoga teacher's perspective. Perhaps I'll send him some Me-mail to let him know how much he's appreciated.

(Iyengar and Ashtanga, since you asked).
posted by MichaelJoelHall at 8:20 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm, I hadn't noticed any problems with Anatoly's attitude - I really appreciate his contributions on the green and don't bother reading threads on the blue about weightlifting and bodybuilding since those topics don't really interest me. (General fitness and exercise yes, extreme competition versions no.) Anyway, I hope he comes back, at least to AskMe, since he offered a lot of useful advice there.
posted by Quietgal at 9:28 AM on April 12, 2011


At a beginner kettlebell class, I think I'll probably be able to try lifting without being lectured about what a moron I am if I'm not willing to eat Paleo (and I'm really not, for a variety of reasons, which you're just going to have to trust me are good reasons) or being scrutinized by people who inspect their fellow gym-goers to decide whether they have a right to be there or belong in a "glitter gym."

FYI, I'm a lifter and I find these sorts of people obnoxious, too. Fortunately, they tend to confine themselves to CrossFit "boxes" and internet forums.

Someone else already mentioned this, but I, too, find it very odd how these weight lifting posts tend to predictably bring out a wave of posts claiming that whatever they're doing is going to destroy their knees/shoulders/spine/what-have-you, something I've never seen brought up in posts about other physical pursuits. It's really striking how hostile most of MeFi is to the idea of lifting weights.
posted by indubitable at 3:31 PM on April 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can mock Crossfit and Starting Strength as cults if you like (I've done some Crossfit, and it definitely qualifies) but just because a fitness movement is cult-like doesn't mean that their workouts aren't fun and effective (as I found Crossfit's to be).

The problem I've ever had having this conversation is trying to convey the mutual exclusivity between "I think Crossfit/SS/etc. is stupid" and "I don't think Crossfit/SS/etc. is the best thing in the world and there are other things just as good". To which cult members tends to rear their heads in a negative way.

It's obvious Anatoly is an intelligent dude. Which always made me headscratch a little bit on his thoughts that there was only one way to approach weight lifting, but he it's obvious he did tend toward idolistic and culty ideas surrounding Rippetoe and SS. I always thought veered towards a bit much on thread-modding side though, and although informative I don't think he necessarily gave "good" or even correct information all the time in light of telling people they should be doing SS.

ludwig_van will probably be back, and I think Anatoly is probably his third or even his fourth account. I only notice that because I frequent the same threads and he definitely tends to repeat himself. I think there was a year straight where his only piece of advice was to buy the book Starting Strength. Thus it's not to far out of left field to say the only reason SS is on MeFi's most suggested list is soley because of him. Which I think the real problem with that is that SS is a great "how-to" intro book, but unfortunatley not anywhere near as informative as a lot of other books are. And, tbh, the "bible of weightlifting" thing always makes me wince a little.

So all in all if you really like Crossfit or Starting Strength or kettlebells or whatevs then more power to you, but I don't think you should necessarilly use them as platforms to *cough* "prove" that doing it another way is wrong.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:42 PM on April 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Someone else already mentioned this, but I, too, find it very odd how these weight lifting posts tend to predictably bring out a wave of posts claiming that whatever they're doing is going to destroy their knees/shoulders/spine/what-have-you, something I've never seen brought up in posts about other physical pursuits. It's really striking how hostile most of MeFi is to the idea of lifting weights.

You can add "will make little girls lose their periods" to the list of supposed lifting horrors too, now.

If we can only get someone to claim that picking up dumbbells that aren't hot-pink instantly transforms your formerly-curvy female body into that of a steroid-heavy bodybuilder from the former USSR, I think we can cash these in for a toaster!
posted by vorfeed at 3:44 PM on April 12, 2011


It's really striking how hostile most of MeFi is to the idea of lifting weights.

It's not necessarily "most of MeFi" or anything close to it. Topics tend to be self-selecting; people who, for example, have an interest in or an issue with weightlifting are all else aside going to be more likely to speak up in a thread that mentions it than people with no strong feelings either way. So: some folks who like lifting get annoyed by some vocal subconstituency of people who express strong negative opinions about lifting, and some folks with negative opinions about lifting get annoyed by some vocal subconstituency of people who advocate strongly for lifting, and out of that you get some sniping back and forth on the subject.

In the mean time, there's people in the thread who aren't staking out ground in either camp who are just like, "wow, look at that kid lift" or voicing more mild or moderate opinions in any particular direction. And those people are what "most of metafilter" is, but they may not hang around for the arguments that flare up between the small section of folks with stronger opinions and a willingness to fight about it, and so the self-selecting takes us farther down the rabbit hole.

And each of us has our own specific things we feel strongly about, whether positively or negatively, and we all tend to notice negative interactions regarding stuff we care strongly about more than we notice negative interactions about stuff we don't, so it's easy to end up feeling like there this "people are awful/biased/jerks/etc about topic X" even if it's not really so much an issue with people in general or with topic X specifically as it is that of all the stuff positive and negative happening on the site each day, that's what hits home for us, that's what jumps out.

People being jerks about stuff sucks, this is not an attempt to handwave away the fact that it happens. But there's a really important difference between "someone was hostile about X" and "mefites are hostile about X".
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:48 PM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's really striking how hostile most of MeFi is to the idea of lifting weights.

See, in my opinion, it's really not. It just seems striking compared to the groupthink people often get on, for example, the Starting Strength forums.

My problem, similar to POB's, is that saying something along the lines of "weightlifting isn't necessary for everyone's fitness/strength isn't the only criteria for fitness/people exercise different ways for different reasons" is regularly construed as saying "starting strength and squats are retarded and for the retarded bastards of bastards" - which can be disconcerting and extremely frustrating when other users start telling you why you exercise, what you want from exercise, and why everyone should be doing starting strength.

I say all this as someone who has gotten a lot from Starting Strength! I can only imagine what it would be like for someone not already sold on the benefits. The fact that the same three users would make up 80% of the comments in any given weightlifting thread only compounds this issue.
posted by smoke at 3:51 PM on April 12, 2011


I use a cat.
posted by rtha at 9:02 PM on April 11 [6 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


I do too! He loves it. It's really weird.

He also weighs just about as much as my dumb bells.

Anyway, I feel a little bad for kind of agreeing with craichead, especially since some of the people in question just quit the site. But I started lifting a little at home with a free weight set a couple of months ago, in part thanks to the encouragement of another lady here on metafilter. But I've been terrified to be, like, hey, I love squats and deadlifts! in part because there's this heavy attitude in all of those threads that Everyone is Doing It Wrong. However, I'm also hypersensitive about these things because of a bad gym teacher from elementary school, who made me stay after in gym class when everyone else went on to math to illustrate to her that I could catch a football because I'd zoned out and then ducked when it came my way, so maybe it's all silly, and kind of in my head.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:30 PM on April 12, 2011


My problem, similar to POB's, is that saying something along the lines of "weightlifting isn't necessary for everyone's fitness/strength isn't the only criteria for fitness/people exercise different ways for different reasons" is regularly construed as saying "starting strength and squats are retarded and for the retarded bastards of bastards"

Saying "weightlifting isn't necessary for everyone's fitness/strength isn't the only criteria for fitness/people exercise different ways for different reasons" is one thing. Saying that and then going on to imply that people should therefore stop recommending strength training, weightlifting, or Starting Strength is another. I did see some threads where ludwig_van was recommending the book when he probably shouldn't have -- e.g. when the OP said she really, really didn't want to do squats -- but for a while some people were also treating any mention of this particular book as an affront, and that also contributes to the "culty" nature of the discussion.

In short: if you don't think Starting Strength is appropriate, why not recommend something else in a positive way (i.e. not ugh SS again, it's not the only answer etc)? If you think there are too many posts about lifting, maybe you could post one about bodyweight work or resistance bands or running or rowing or step aerobics. That way the picture gets bigger and everybody wins.

To sum up: I don't think it's at all fair to expect people not to be excited about what excites them, based solely on what they're excited about. And it's a damned shame that Anatoly and machinegunarm left.
posted by vorfeed at 5:17 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Saying "weightlifting isn't necessary for everyone's fitness/strength isn't the only criteria for fitness/people exercise different ways for different reasons" is one thing. Saying that and then going on to imply that people should therefore stop recommending strength training, weightlifting, or Starting Strength is another.

Well, there was that one (nifty) post on the woman's sixty-something year old dad who did old-fashioned, calisthenic-type exercises and was really lean and muscular and Anatoly Pisarenko came in and said that the guy wasn't really strong, he could probably not lift anything, et cetera et cetera. I don't go in fitness threads that much, but even I remember that one, and it was kind of icky and contributed to things feeling kind of less than awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:24 PM on April 12, 2011


I think the real lesson here is: do not use a cat as a Shake Weight!
posted by P.o.B. at 5:58 PM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am sad to see Anatoly go, he gave me some friendly, helpful, and personalized advice when I approached him out of nowhere via MeMail to ask some weightlifting questions. I really appreciated it! He seemed knowledgeable, pretty cool-headed, and contributed things I found interesting to the site.
posted by hepta at 6:29 PM on April 12, 2011


if you don't think Starting Strength is appropriate, why not recommend something else in a positive way (i.e. not ugh SS again, it's not the only answer etc)?

I think one of the problems that cropped up quite a bit around, and often interweaved into, Anatoly's advice was the disagreements that would arise out of what's right/good and what's wrong/bad. I'm not trying to slag the guy while he's away but that was my impression.
To be fair here though, it looked like Anatoly had laid off a lot on suggesting Starting Strength for everything and everyone. I don't know if he was nudged in this direction externally or internally, but at least it seemed he had a broader viewpoint.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:31 PM on April 12, 2011


'Starting Strength' is totally as much of a Mefi-beloved book as Danielewski and David Foster Wallace and shit.
posted by box at 7:09 PM on April 12, 2011


Don't forget The Gift of Fear. People here love that shit.
posted by electroboy at 7:23 PM on April 12, 2011


Nah. What's needed here is some kind of mashup with Starting Strength and Blindsight.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:28 PM on April 12, 2011


I was always kind of curious if I could produce an echo chamber of "MeFi-beloved book" by linking to the one same book over and over by myself. Something like Pavel Tsatsouline's Enter the Kettlebell that basically fits all the same criteria as SS does.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:28 PM on April 12, 2011


There are a ton of great lifting resources and options out there for people--New Rules of Lifting for Women is a surprisingly good mass-market lifting book, Stumptuous is a fantastic website, kettlebells are a great option (already mentioned), Ross Enamait has amazing bodyweight workout stuff . . . Once you get an idea of what kind of person someone is, their likes, dislikes about physical activity and programs you can start branching out into all kinds of workout programs.

But that kind of knowledge of a person isn't necessarily conveyed over AskMefi questions, which is where I think something really simply like Starting Strength ends up being the default response.
posted by schroedinger at 10:41 PM on April 12, 2011


I was always kind of curious if I could produce an echo chamber of "MeFi-beloved book" by linking to the one same book over and over by myself.

Without meaning to break my arm patting myself on the back, I hazard a guess that I'm responsible for Cheri Huber's books — in particular The Depression Book and There is Nothing Wrong with You — making it onto the recommended list. I'm the most frequent recommender of her work, as far as I know.

And I think that Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey and I are probably the only ones talking up Convict Conditioning.

You don't have to set out to "produce an echo chamber" in order to have an effect on MeFi. Recommend the things that work for you and explain why. People will respond or they won't.
posted by Lexica at 10:59 AM on April 13, 2011


Well, I guess my point is that there seems to be an inherent "response" associated with "according to this bell curve, this book has the most links therefore is the best book". The (non)problem as I see it is not that other books should be linked, because as schroedinger pointed out there are plenty of good books that fit in the same class as SS, but because there really isn't one book to rule them all for health and fitness.
The idea that I should just suggest a book that I like doesn't jibe for the simple reason it's not what I like but what are the goals of the person and how can they best reach them. So my thought earlier is at best idle because it doesn't even make sense in the spirit of answering the questions, and as I understand it AskMe doesn't exist as a platform to answer questions in our best interests but for others. Generally, I don't think there's any conspiratorial or collusionary tactics at play here but I do think people conflate those two interests and that is how SS ends up as a suggestion when it sometimes is nowhere near the a good answer for that person.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:20 PM on April 17, 2011


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