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It’s the time of year where we wrap up our articles, and  look back on the year - wins, losses, lessons learnt and changes made. I guess if I was to summarise the year of 2020; what the fuck?
Everyone who has ever attempted a training program based around the Squat, Bench and Deadlift will have an opinion regarding each of them. Some of the most accomplished powerlifters and powerlifting coaches in the world could spend hours explaining to the average lifter why their favourite lift is the best, the hardest, or the lift worthy of the most attention. Despite this, the deadlift seems to consistently rise to the top of training circles as the King of the Lifts. Why? 
In this article, I want to provide some insight into how someone struggling may be feeling - beyond just sad, angry, anxious, stressed, and so on. I will be drawing from my own personal experience, so take everything with the understanding that I’m a single person with experiences and perspectives limited to just that - one human being.
Every time I look back on the first time I set foot in a gym, I can’t help but cringe a little. Like any beginner, I had the best of intentions. As human beings, the squat is a natural movement. Babies do it all the time, and they do it exceptionally well. I had been doing a bodyweight variation of the squat my entire life, and somehow - just like every beginner who wants to lift more weight with little regard for technique, it didn’t take long for me to screw everything up. 

“What do you bench, bro?” - Some asshole, circa every time a powerlifter or bodybuilder enters a commercial gym.

I want to start by saying that the bench press is, and has always been, the lift I have struggled with the most. I have been bench pressing since I first stepped foot in a gym - which is a long time to build up bad habits, poor technique, and unhelpful motor patterns that all work together to slow my progress in a lift that is, at face value, fairly simple.

GAS breaks down these primal reactions into three phases - alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. These phases begin at initial exposure to a perceived threat, and span over an extended period of stress - detailing the bodies coping strategies for longer term exposure.
I’ve never been described as the most encouraging person. When I was an infantry soldier in the military, encouragement was actively discouraged - it was your own responsibility to push yourself hard enough to keep up, and a 10/10 commitment level was expected regardless of the activity performed. The team was the priority, with the individual being expected to push themselves harder and further for the sake of the team - motivation to do so came from not wanting to let the team down, or be seen as the one holding everyone back.
The command centre for the human body is the brain, and branching from the brain is the nervous system. The nervous system uses chemical and electrical signals to communicate information within the brain - where it is processed and acted upon as necessary. The process in which these electrical signals are created is quite interesting and involves the movement of chemicals within a plasma membrane.
Are all injuries preventable? Definitely not. No matter how strong you are, and no matter your bone density - there will always be weak points. The very nature of training your weaknesses means that as they get stronger, other parts will fall behind and creates an ongoing cycle of weaknesses that will continuously need reassessment or refocus. If one falls too far behind the others through laziness, negligence, or poor training priorities, then it is at risk of suffering serious injury. 
The pursuit of happiness is an extremely common and understandable path for many people - and, why wouldn't it be? What better ultimate goal could there be than happiness -  whatever that may mean for you. It is important to consider the factors that contribute to happiness differ from person to person - money, family, travel or health (just to name a few). However, in the pursuit of anything in life, the road is rarely smooth or linear.
Figuring out your nutrition can be a complex and overwhelming process. With so many fad diets, skinny teas and fat-burning drinks on the market, it's all too easy to fall into the consumer trap. With a lot of misinformation being readily accessible, it is easy to feel lost when trying to understand what is best for your nutrition. Understanding the role of nutritional factors and having set personal training goals can act as a foundation for building a healthy, tailored nutrition program. This article aims to clear up some nutrition myths, whilst providing insight into eating for particular training goals/body composition.
The difference between a high performance athlete and someone who is training for themselves is that an athlete needs to perform at a known point in time. For example, a football athlete has a season, with a set amount of games spaced out over a known period. A powerlifter has meet days of which they are aware weeks, months, and years in advance. Bodybuilders know when they will get up on stage, Olympic athletes know where and when they will be competing years in advance - the list is endless.
Many of us will know our weekly responsibilities off the top of our heads and use that memorization to fulfil these responsibilities. The issue with relying on this is the inherent fickleness of human memory - it’s quite easy to forget about a task on our to do list if another one is placing stress on us or consuming more time than originally anticipated. It is also rare to look back at your schedule once reaching the end of the week and thinking “I had so much extra time”.

Dr. Kevin Kraushaar's work with traumatised veterans, and time spent as a hobbyist beekeeper means that he sees unique similarities in the way that bees structure their hives and human hierarchy. While humans may be the dominant life form, these similarities suggest that there are animals who have evolved to exist and survive in a system that reflects modern militaries or production lines. Dr. Kraushaar intends to in future explore the therapeutic effects of beekeeping, similar to modern equine therapy, for the use of treating PTSD. 

On the surface, power and strength may seem very similar, as they both have a lot to do with maximal weights. This is one of the reasons why I mentioned similarities and carryovers in the introduction. Although these areas of training may seem similar at first, and they have great application in strength sports - the way I define power is not purely to do with maximal load. In this article, I will be defining power as your body’s ability to produce force.
Confidence exists within every person, ranging on a spectrum from meek to arrogant. Confidence is commonly attributed to an individual’s personality, especially when first meeting someone - but has a role in the many different facets that make up an individual’s identity. There are many aspects of confidence - confidence in the self, confidence in others and confidence in your own abilities.
Feeling like you should “look a certain way” in order to be happier or feel more like yourself is common. It could be argued that the existence of gyms, and the existence of the entire sport of bodybuilding, is based upon people wanting to look more like the heroic figures displayed in art and media for thousands of years.
If you were to ask a serving or ex-service person what joining the military is like, one of the likely responses you’ll receive is the “culture shock”. The culture within the military, like most others, sounds quite strange to those who haven’t experienced it. It is heavily soaked in tradition and order - walking next to someone means matching their stride, and wearing the wrong coloured socks can get you fined (if the guy with higher rank is a dick).