Who’s Not Hardcore Anymore???


My training partner had been busting my chops for months. “You’re not hardcore anymore!” This time it irked me.  I blasted right back: “What the hell are you talking about?” Just like what Churchill said, (“I like a man who grins when he fights”), I proceeded to load the bar up to 405 and deadlift it 7 times for a new personal record (at age 44), defiant smirk on my face the whole time. Normally a pull like that wouldn’t bring any kind of bragging rights for a 188-pounder – barely in the 2X bodyweight club – a mere minimum standard… except for one thing. A neurosurgeon once told me after seeing my MRI that I should never lift more than 40 pounds. Squatting or deadlifting would be suicide, he said.  I wish that doc had been there… oh man, I would have paid to see his face. But gloating to my training partner would have to do. “Take that! Who’s not Hardcore now?”

He was actually impressed – and this  guy doesn’t impress easily. I had never done anything close to that lift before -ever in my life – for fear of my 4th lumbar disc popping out of my lower back and shooting across the gym like a spud from a potato gun. Somehow I pulled the  PR weight for 7 when my best only 6 months prior to this was 355. He recanted. Well sort of…

“I didn’t mean you don’t TRAIN hardcore anymore, what I meant was you don’t WRITE hardcore anymore!”

“What ever happened to those bodybuilding articles you used to write on the bodybuilding secrets blog? That was the best thing on the Internet – EVER!  That shit was classic!  Now all you do is that mass market weight loss stuff. Dude! Your last article was about…. WALKING!  WTF?  Come on man!”

I went off on a long rant about how bodybuilding secrets was just a hobby site – it never even paid for the hosting fees, let alone the rent – and how weight loss, not bodybuilding, had become my “day job” – my “real business.”  He just kept shaking his head and busting my chops more. And that was just this particular Monday in the gym. This abuse had been going on all year long…

“Face it. You’ve gone soft man…  revive the bodybuilding blog again!”

“Gimme a break!” I defended, “More people need help with weight loss than with muscle gain…”

“And besides, what the hell am I supposed to write about? I’ve been doing this TWENTY FIVE FREAKING YEARS – there’s nothing else to say – it’s all been said! You know as well as I do it’s basically just lift the damn weight, eat like a horse, rest and repeat… with more weight.”

He wouldn’t let up…

“Dude,  all you have to do is write the same way you did back when you started bodybuilding secrets – I’m telling you, that stuff was classic. I never missed a post. That’s when I first became a fan. That was the real you.  Let the beast out again, man…  ”

He was on a roll at this point… (And I was knowing he was right).

“Worst case scenario, you don’t have to think of anything clever to write – all you have to to is write up these workouts we’ve been doing. You’ve been killing it lately – your training lately has almost been like the good old days.”

“How about that back workout you just did with the deadlift row supersets? That was brutal. Sick man. Start with that one. I swear a ton of people will start following the blog again.”

What could I say?

“Alright man, you got me. I’ll try. But you do realize I am the world’s worst bodybuilding blogger. I haven’t posted on that site with consistency since my last contest and that was more than 6 years ago.”

“Maybe you should compete again.”

How did I know that was coming?

“Yeah, we’ll see about that.  You know I’m retired.”

“Yeah, and we also know bodybuilders don’t retire. You guys are masters of the comeback… When’s the next show, Tom?”

“OK,  I tell you what. I’ll write a post on that back workout tomorrow. Watch for it. You’ll see.  Hardcore training. Hardcore writing. That’s double hard core!”


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Comments on Who’s Not Hardcore Anymore??? Leave a Comment

August 14, 2012

Norm @ 9:39 am #

Hi Tom,
WOW…congratulations with your new record on the conv. deadlift. Awesome!!!

A big hello from the Netherlands and again your trainingspartner is right, please feed us again with al your great articles, workoutplans, mealplans etc……and please include please any pictures. Here in Holland we also want to see the grandmaster Tom himself doing his brutal thing in thy gym 😉 It’s very inspiring.

Again a big hello & goodbye the Netherlands….and please take care of your precious back, please don’t do abdonimal workout (crunches, h. leg raises etc.) after hardcore deadlifting or squating.

Tot ziens!


Alan Fox @ 11:01 am #

Now this…..is good!!!

Iku @ 6:36 pm #

YAY!!!! I came to peek on just the right day!!! And will be waiting with bated breath for the news of your comeback!!

Was this Richie? Sometimes he sounded like Marc David…

August 16, 2012

Iku @ 3:48 pm #

Rumor going around that you’re leaving Jersey for NorCal… Just wanted to get it straight from the source.

Brian Nordberg @ 4:26 pm #

Who needs weight loss info? Just write about adding slabs of muscle!

Chris Madrigal @ 9:40 pm #

Tom I just finished my summer cut and I’m now going to clean bulk as well. I’m really excited you are doing the same and you are writing on the blog again, I will not miss a post!

August 19, 2012

Carlos @ 8:56 pm #

Been waiting for this, Tom. Putting on my seat belt for this ride!

August 23, 2012

Rando @ 1:40 pm #

It would also be great if you could make some hardcore videos of you working out. I don`t think I have seen a Tom Venuto workout video anywhere!! Show the way for us immortals!!!

Congrats Tom!
It’s great to have this site back!

Jan @ 9:53 pm #

Oh, you are so busted. Someone is so telling your mother about those deadlifts.

August 27, 2012

Dave @ 8:39 pm #

Damn man I’d love to see you compete again, I’ve been following your writings since getting started at 15 (currently 21).

September 15, 2012

Darren @ 8:24 pm #

Tom, thats a brutal lift!!! I loved your old posts too. I also love everything you write about, hence me having purchased everything you’ve ever written and a member of IC. But I do think its good to keep this bodybuilding hardcore things in, because the last back workout you posted had me sore for 5 days!!!!!
As for competing…..you know you want to…..

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