What Are You "Diesel Weaseling"?

Here's a question for you: When you go into the gym today, what are you going to Diesel Weasel? 

Who Or What Is Diesel Weasel?

Diesel Weasel is the handle of a semi-famous YouTube lifter with a hardcore attitude and some of the worst exercise form you'll see. I first came across his videos 5 or 6 years ago.

I don't bring Diesel Weasel up to make fun. Yes, some of his videos are both funny and cringe worthy. That's 100% true.

But, look, this guy is a warrior. Everyone could use his level of motivation and work ethic. It's admirable. It's just arguably a tad misguided.  

I bring up Diesel Weasel as an extreme example of what all of us have done in the gym from time to time. I'm talking, of course, about stupid training. We all Diesel Weasel certain exercises sometimes.

Most Of Us Are Guilty Of Doing Some Stupid Training

Sometimes we don't know better. In that case we need a coach who we trust to teach us what we're doing wrong, why it's important, and how to fix it. Then we need to accept that advice and put the work in.

Sometimes you've got to take a step back to take two steps forward in order to truly fix a problem.

Other times though, we already know better. We know that our shoulders lose position in the bench press beyond a certain weight but we keep going anyway; or that we lack the flexibility to deadlift from the ground with perfect back posture so our back consistently rounds/flexes a bit, but it usually doesn't hurt our back too much so we push through; or that even though our last squat wasn't going to win a beauty contest, we still made the lift dammit! Count it in the PR book!

Highlighting the difference between a task completion mindset and a movement quality mindset

A Task Completion Mindset is used in competition. The focus is on completing a movement based on an objective standard that can be judged:

  • I crossed the finish line
  • I squatted below parallel and then stood back up
  • I stood up with the bar in a deadlift
  • I got my chin over the bar in a pull-up.

There are no style points. You either did it, or you didn't.

A Quality-Based Mindset says "that was the heaviest I can do without making a positioning or technique error.

Often we refer to the difference as your absolute max vs. your technical max in an exercise.

For example, I can probably deadlift an extra 30lbs if I allow my back to round/flex slightly over what I can do with perfect form.

When and why I decide to "go there" is a personal decision.

To State The Obvious... Diesel Weaseling Heightens Your Risk Profile For Injury

After almost of decade of coaching, I can say this: if you're allowing technique mistakes to enter into your training regime day in and day out, chances are you're setting yourself up for a visit by the injury fairy. Or at the very least, your risk profile for lifting goes up. And unlike the tooth fairy, this one doesn't give you money. It takes it, in the form of bills for physio, chiro and medical appointments. 

Not to mention, it's pretty hard to get stronger/fitter when you're injured for 4-6 weeks and can't really train. That's not great for long-term progress. 

If longevity in fitness is your goal, learn the right way to lift, and stop Diesel Weaseling your exercises. Take responsibility and own this concept.

If you're in a competition framework, then the waters a big muddier. In competition, sometimes we decide to push ourselves past the limits of perfect form to achieve something that's meaningful to us. There's nothing wrong with that, but understand the "why" behind that and what your motivation is so you can decide what's best for you.

So, be honest, what are you Diesel Weaseling?


In the meantime, if you want some excellent technique tips, download this FREE ebook (along with tons of photos and videos) on perfecting each aspect of your bench press. 


PerformancePeter Roberts