12 Feb 2014

Sign of Things to Come?

The great technology prognostication of Marshall McLuhan is the stuff of lore. When asked about his prowess to predict the otherwise unforeseeable he said: "All media has its unintended consequences." Sure, McLuhan was not talking about Game of Arms but his words certainly are predictable in this case. The "Game of Arms inspired workout" posted by Jimmy Smith on youtube is just the tip of the iceberg. At least that guy was not advising people to perform movements that were unsafe. With that said, I cannot help but think there will be people that will do that guy's workout hard, go to their local tournament thinking they can compete with the best and end up with a spiral fracture (the likely unintended consequence of armwrestling gaining a taste of popularity). Or start "underground armwrestling (LOL)" like in the show...also leading to spiral fractures.

For professional armwrestlers, the popularity of the show could lead to more opportunities to make money at bars as my friend Kenny Smith insinuated. Also, local promoters might get a bump from bars and clubs that want to hold tournaments as a way of capitalizing on the popularity of the show, providing the show becomes popular. Novice classes should be bolstered by the interest that is sparked from the show. The curious weekend warriors and local gym heroes might scratch that itch and leap into deeper waters.

As for Jimmy Smith's video: I expect many more videos from many (even less) informed people to surface. I commented to the guy actually and tried to be nice. Then he disabled comments on the video. I figure he must have a fairly good grasp of fitness and nutritional concepts but him designing an armwrestling workout would be like me developing a workout for tennis players pretending I have the experience and knowledge of a guy who won Wimbledon. I understand what the guy was trying to do: tag a new workout with "game of arms"  to try to attract more followers to his youtube channel. Not researching how an armwrestler trains and developing a workout based on what he thought was an armwrestler's workout is irresponsible. In my book I talk about how unfortunate it is that we cannot commission studies to research training methods for armwrestling and in order for the sport to truly advance and gain respect there needs to be empirical evidence supporting the methods we teach. A responsible trainer would acknowledge this fact rather than putting together a 2-minute video and passing himself off as an expert.

James Retarides

Strong Arm Tactics
Training and Technique in Competitive Armwrestling