Lessons from Louie
Louie Simmons was an avid reader and consumer of education, so his book collection was vast and varied. You could find titles ranging from zen and samurai stories to detailed theories of elasticity and advanced anatomy.
One of his most inspiring traits was staying objective on the end goal no matter what it took. He used to say when all would look left, he would look right and then walk immediately in that direction.
Louie always made sure he gave the reading material the respect it deserved by developing a high comprehension level of the topics he was researching. Trial and error would help him develop a systematic approach to dissecting content. If he needed clarification, he would reach out to peers or the author of the book to ensure he understood the content correctly.
Time after time Louie observed when a new book was released, or a new method was in vogue, that the vast majority of coaches/athletes would jump ship from what training they were implementing without giving a single thought. He knew this was not optimal, so he developed methods to keep rash judgments in check.
One such method was that Louie never judged or implemented a book's content immediately after reading. He knew to avoid this mistake as he witnessed well-respected coaches and established athletes completely change their philosophy or training based on an immediate emotional reaction.
The system he utilized was simple but effective. After reading one book, he would read two more books or countless articles/journals and then revisit the information to ensure it was still relevant. Then he, along with a select few, would experiment with their training with the written proposed theory.
He wasn't afraid of failure, nor was he afraid to try what others would not. Due to this, some evolutions became highly effective, and others didn't. So he only wrote about what worked and eliminated what didn't. This dissemination of pertinent training information was one of the many reasons he was a master of turning theory into practical application.
No matter the athlete or type of strength that needed development, he always found a way. Given Louie's quote at the start of this blog, it usually involved going against the status quo of the "mainstream" type of training at the time. Some found this crazy, but the athletes who stayed with it gained the rewards.
When Louie implemented a system/exercise/machine, it didn't stop there. Louie would never rest. He would also make sure to keep evolving/refining where possible. A simple overview of this:
- Identify the problem or Outline the goal
- Assess all variables
- Undergo Broad Research
- Refine and plan
- Evaluate plan for weakness
- Repeat continual assessment
Thanks to Louie, he gave confidence to many that it's okay to go a different path than mainstream philosophy and still come out on top, if not better.