When I was 18 years old, the Internet was already here, but it had not penetrated every aspect of life. The online realm was empty compared to the obese data centers we have today. Unsurprisingly, most sites were politically correct and suited the mainstream agenda.
Due to the lack of alternative information, we had no choice but to ride the wave of infatuation and learn the hard way – through experience. There was nobody to tell us who is natty or not. The leaders and their followers were too busy discussing the best time to take your daily dose of glutamine.
Nevertheless, there is no need to get sad and experience regret. I had an opportunity – to feel the coldness of the universe and lose my innocence. This was my path, and I am grateful. It could have been much worse. I was lucky and learned a lot at a decent price.
Today, I will share some of that knowledge and wisdom with you. This article goes to the young souls, but men with experience can also benefit from a return to the basics.
Below are 18 things that every 18-year-old should know before entering the muscle factory.
1. They will try to recruit you. They will lie. A lot.
The muscle industry wants your fresh blood. The magicians, the gurus, the gym owners, the supplement companies, the media…they are all after your resources.
The money in the muscle sector comes from the new recruits, for they have coins to spend and enough motivation to make a world tour by foot if this is what it takes to build large muscles and lift bending barbells.
All the experts are fighting for an opportunity to fill the noob’s cranium with “revolutionary ideas”. They want you in their camp. They want you to subscribe and stay under their wing for as long as possible. They want to recruit you in their army.
They will promise you the sky and the mountains. They will tell you that you can have it all if you follow their path. Some will rely on science; others will hit the right part of your brain – the emotional zone.
They will keep pushing and guiding you during your journey to ascension. Once they have your trust, they will make you work for them. You are their soldier.
Do you want that? To be a soldier? To follow orders? To do as they tell you? Yes, there are times when kids should shut up and obey, for they lack wisdom, but never forget that this world is not designed to render the flight easy for you. Quite the opposite. You are here to be tested. To get provoked. To get hit. And when it’s all said and done, you may find yourself on the losing side of the battlefield, for you have embraced a false doctrine.
Don’t sign the contract. Don’t let them get to you. Learn from them but don’t become their property. Be friends with those who deserve your friendship but never base someone’s worth on his or hers verbal production. In this life, the strongest words are silence and action. The only friends that you have are those next to you when the bank is closed, and the music is not playing.
Remember that every guru wants you to believe that his way is the best way. To achieve this goal, he will undermine all other methods while paraphrasing the flaws of his own strategy.
2. There are no special routines or tactics.
Going to bed at two in the morning with red eyes is common when you are a beginner looking for the perfect routine – the one that is going to produce the amazing gains you have always wanted.
Let me tell you the truth loud and clear – that routine does not exist. Don’t spend time overthinking. Select a handful of exercises and get good at them over time. Change things that have to change along the way but don’t think that there is a routine designed just for you.
Don’t you understand? This is how they get you hooked.
“This program didn’t work…but the next one…”
This is the so-called routine infatuation – the belief that by playing with the training variable you can create miracles. Yes, the way you train is very important, but as long as a blueprint has a progression mechanism, it will take you where you need to go eventually.
The routine infatuation has been infesting the mind of the beginner for far too long. It is time to shred it in a turbine engine.
Just get the basics right and move on. Invest the saved time in something that will actually make a difference in your life.
Forget about special soviet tactics or other voodoo. Just follow a simple basic routine and tailor it to your body’s feedback and results.
3. You probably need direct arm work like a fat girl needs a diet.
The 5×5 zealots love to shame direct arm work. After all, the leaders of their crews often say that squats “make your whole system grow” and therefore should be the backbone of every routine.
Someone with a working brain and some experience shouldn’t have a hard time realizing that this is not the case.
Ultimately, it’s really simple.
Squats build your legs, hips and to some extent your back.
Deadlifts build your hamstrings, hips and back.
Neither squats nor deadlifts are an arm exercise.
If you want to maximize the size of your arms, direct work is in order.
If there was a gun to your head, what would you do to make your arms grow? Rack pulls? Squats? Deadlifts? Obviously none of that.
Direct arm work has a bad reputation thanks to the imbeciles who do nothing else, but in themselves, arm exercises are very useful and functional.
If you aren’t blessed with good arm genetics, biceps and triceps isolation is part of the menu. This is the case for torso dominant individuals with gorilla arms. Chin-ups and regular benches won’t cut it. You need to attack your weaknesses DIRECTLY. Don’t listen to the wannabe saints. Become the motherfucker who does 20 sets for biceps and triceps to the point where you can’t touch your nose due to the boiling blood in your arms.
Having said that, don’t make arms your focus right away if you are a total beginner. Learn the fundamental exercises first and then add the ornaments.
4. You don’t need any supplements.
Let me save you some trouble – ignore all supplements. All of them. Forget about protein powder, creatine, glutamine…everything. You don’t need amino dust to reach your maximum potential.
Supplements are processed food in powder form. Therefore, they are as effective as food at best. The sole reason for their existence is to monetize muscle building. The industry has to sell you something to make money. Since steroids are expensive, come with harsh side effects and are not politically correct, powders in various forms were synthesized save the day.
Supplements are extremely overrated. Most studies supporting the anabolic effects of powders favor the magic powders sold to you for lucrative reasons. Regular food is better, and you are buying it anyway. Contrary to popular belief, you are not at a disadvantage if you go without supplements because they aren’t essential.
By the way, the producer is irrelevant. Even if I launch a supplement company and call it NattyNutrition, my supplements would still be…supplements.
Nobody cares about you, boy. It’s all about the money. Your favorite YouTubers who are seemingly against the industry know how ineffective supplements are and yet many of them are still selling nonsense like pre-workouts. The fans are supposed to believe that the alternative goods are more potent just because they don’t come from the mainstream pit, but there is absolutely no logic behind this belief because the production force and the incentive behind the product are the same in both cases.
5. Bulking is a scam.
Once the organism’s energy needs are satisfied, the extra calories are stored as fat regardless of the source. It does not matter whether the excess comes from grass-fed Argentinian beef or Doritos. All surplus goes to the adipose tissue department.
Even if you eat all the protein in the universe, the pre-determined muscle protein synthesis of your body will not change. Food does not have the capacity to alter this process whereas steroids do.
Yet the experts advise the noobs to bulk up to extraterrestrial levels. Consequently, many young warriors acquire big bellies while deluding themselves that they are just a few pounds away from visible abs. Most of the time those few pounds are closer to 20 or 30.
Do yourself a favor and do not overeat unless you are training for a sumo championship.
6. You have to get stronger through consistency.
Exercises alone do not result in strength and growth. Getting good at them is what makes the difference. Anyone can perform a movement. It’s not the exercise itself, but the improvement that produces results.
To benefit from this law, you need two things – consistency and patience. Don’t change your main focus too often. Stick to the basics and expect progress only when you have paid for it.
Don’t think that you are missing out by not doing the sexy stuff. You are not.
How do you get stronger?
By forcing the body to adapt to specific stress – in this case lifting weights.
How does the body respond to that stimulus?
1. By building bigger muscles.
2. By forging thicker muscles.
3. By increasing the strength of the connective tissues.
4. By developing a strong nervous system capable of triggering high-intensity effort.
Hence, strength training always results in growth or at least muscle thickening – the diameter of the muscle may not change, but the density of the tissue increases and gives you the tough string look.
7. Don’t do low bar squats.
Low bar squats are a powerlifting invention that does not offer benefits to a noob. This modification of the original exercise allows you to lift more weight by increasing the stress on the hips at the expense of the quadriceps, but the shift isn’t beneficial to the average novice.
The high bar back squat is a better leg builder, arguably easier to learn and far more shoulder friendly.
Mark Rippetoe and his army have been doing their best to justify the implementation of the low bar squat through all kinds of maneuvers. One of them would be the assessment that the low bar squat is better than the high bar because it hits the almighty posterior chain harder. This is indeed true – one of the fastest ways to grow a big booty is to do low bar squats a.k.a. cheated good mornings. But as I already told you, this comes at the expense of leg development.
The fans of low bar squats will tell you that the movement gets you stronger faster by allowing you to lift more weight, but that isn’t true. You are not getting stronger faster, you are simply doing a squat version that gives you an opportunity to lift more. More weight on the bar does not always equal more strength. If this was the case, doing rack pulls would make deadlifts obsolete.
8. The best exercises are:
Chest: bench press, dips, push-ups
Back: deadlifts, pull-ups, rows, strict shrugs
Biceps & brachialis: dumbbell curls, barbell curls, incline DB curls, hammer curls
Triceps: lying triceps extensions, dips, close grip bench, close grip push-ups
Shoulders: bench press, dips, rows, overhead press, side laterals, pull-ups
Hamstrings: deadlifts, leg curls
Quads: high bar squats, front squats, leg presses
Calves: Standing calf raises, seated calf raises
Forearms: wrist curls, wrist rolling
Performing an exercise at the expense of joint pain is not worth it. If something is not working for you, find the reasons and eliminate the problem. If you can’t, you have no choice but to replace the movement.
9. You don’t need a weightlifting belt unless you’re injured.
The belt is a crutch that helps you lift heavier weights by making your core more rigid. The wizards will try to justify the implementation of a belt by saying that it makes your abs stronger faster by giving them something to push against, but that’s only partially true. A belt may do that, but it also takes stress off the ligaments just like wrist wraps do.
You need a belt only if you are injured. Otherwise, it makes more sense to train without one. As long as you progress methodically and preserve a reasonable form, your core will adapt.
10. Nobody cares about your efforts in the gym unless there is money on the table or insane results.
A long time ago, I had a chance to communicate extensively with a woman working at the reception of a commercial gym. She told me that most of the visitors look like they don’t even lift. Yet I knew that some people were training hard (2-hour long sessions full of pain). I was one of them, of course.
She was dismissive of our effort because our physiques didn’t live up to the illusion in her mind created by steroid users and the media. The same destiny awaits many of you, young warriors. You can lift weights to death, but all your struggles will remain invisible until the materialistic expectations manifest.
Your family will be no different. It wouldn’t care about your PRs when the activity does not result in money on the table or a body that drags everyone into a stupor. If neither of those conditions is met, your fight will remain misunderstood.
That is the nature of the game. The sooner you understand it, the less it will hurt in the future.
11. Don’t develop OCDs
The industry wants you to feel guilty. They want you to behave like a cult follower – only in contact with other members of the sect; only listening to the leader; doing as they tell you; feeling guilty and inadequate when you fail to satisfy the requirements of the doctrine.
Many beginners develop OCDs because of this brainwashing.
“I didn’t get my protein at the right time! What am I going to do? I will lose all my gains. It’s over.”
Sounds familiar? There is no need to obsess. You are not going to deconstruct upon missing a meal or a workout. We are not that fragile. Don’t overthink and move on. Besides, doing everything by the book is not nearly as effective as you may think. The difference between good enough and perfect is slim to none when it comes to the final outcome. Ironically, they don’t want you to know that because they control you through your self-criticism.
12. Don’t spend too much time reading and watching YouTube.
In big enough quantities, everything becomes poison. Information is not any different. You can find trucks of info about any subject online, but do you actually need all of it? Do you have to know? Do you really benefit from hearing everyone’s opinion? From seeing everyone’s photos on social media? From listening to all the wisdom? Do you? I know I don’t. Past a certain threshold, the data loses its value. It becomes spam flooding your head with info that results in self-hatred (social media induced depression), overthinking (looking for the perfect solution), dopamine receptor burnout (you don’t feel pleasure from previously joyful activities), confusion, envy, unrealistic expectations…etc.
The human mind has a hard time consuming so much information. In order for that to happen, a major brain rewiring is in order. That process is not healthy in the long term. Sooner or later, you will have to log off or the digital ocean will eat your soul.
You will get further when you stop looking for the cutting edge and just do by feel. To hell with being perfect and Internet approved.
13. You will never be happy and that’s ok.
“When I deadlift 2 plates I will be happy…”
“When I deadlift 3 plates I will be happy…”
“When I deadlift 4..5..6…plates I will be happy…”
No, you won’t.
This is not how things work, my friend. We are never satisfied. You can’t have what you want without a sacrifice, but even if you pay the price and acquire the dream, something else will start torturing your soul soon enough. We are never at rest. Never in true peace. Tormented by desires until the end.
Some people have everything you have ever wanted and yet they still suffer from extreme depression. Why? What is their problem? Are they spoiled? Are they ungrateful?
Maybe they are…up to a point. But before all, they are alive and therefore slaves to the mechanisms. As long as you live and breathe, you are subject to life’s laws, which say that pain is the major theme of our existence.
When you hit a PR, you will be happy for a day or two. The next week things will return to normal. That’s the way it is supposed to be according to the big books. Don’t worry. You will get used to it…maybe.
14. When you are sad, go get a pump, son.
It is that night again. The night when you are alone with the demons. The video games are not exciting anymore. The TV series and songs are empty. You see through them as the mind sees through life before dying. You are alone with your loneliness. Bathing in envy and “what-could-have-beens” if you’d done the right thing. What do you do? Look for motivational quotes on Facebook? Go ahead. More fuel for suffering is what you will find there. The perfect people living the perfect lives. Traveling. Smiling in the hug of their loved ones. Happy dogs with open mouths on a spring day.
The sun is shining for everyone else, but what about you? Has the sun forgotten your soul? Will your turn to be in the shadows ever end?
For what is worth, all people have those moments. Remember? The main motif is pain.
Are we born to learn how to suffer with a smile? Maybe. We’ll learn soon enough.
How do you kill the demons? You don’t. You let them be. You can’t beat them any more than you can beat the harsh sun. The only thing you can do is coexist and protect yourself. Get that Vitamin D without letting them burn you.
To accomplish that, you have to clear your mind for a second. You have to exhaust your being. You have to infect yourself on purpose to push the fog away. Lifting is a good method to achieve this goal.
When depression starts climbing and climbing, exhaustion is one of the ways to re-acquire a more balanced mindset. Thinking clearly and more positively after a workout is one of lifting’s hidden benefits. Use it to your advantage.
15. If you have to ask, they are probably not natural.
When you first go to the gym, you are inclined to believe that Olympia men like Ronnie Coleman are not natural.
When you spend a year in the gym, you are inclined to believe that even the fitness models are not natural.
When you spend one more year in the gym, you are inclined to assume that most of the bigger guys in your gym and on YouTube are not natural.
If somebody’s musculature is truly standing out and looks otherworldly, chances are he isn’t natural.
16. Record your PRs, but don’t become a form fanatic.
Form is important because it allows you to lift heavy weights safely, but people obsess unnecessarily over it. How many times do you have to hear the same cues over and over again?
You can go to as many seminars as you want, but you will quickly reach the point of diminishing returns.
Talking about form is easy and fancy when the weight is light, but once the barbell gets heavy, the sexy voodoo becomes impossible.
The most important part is to get the basics down and never break them. All else is overthinking.
Record your PRs. If there’s a significant form breakdown, fix the issue, but don’t spend your nights looking at videos of experts repeating the same speeches.
17. Don’t do odd lifting. Stick to the basics.
1-inch rack pulls and deadlifts between the balls may be fashionable these days thanks to YouTubers like Eric Bugenhagen and Alpha Destiny, but that type of training is not that beneficial for the average person. The awkwardness does not offer a worthy return on your investment as far as gains are concerned. Odd training may be entertaining, but it sure as hell isn’t neat or rational.
Do yourself a favor and stick to the very basic exercises. Those men are big not because they are training in this fashion but despite of it.
18. Understand the limitations in front of you.
You can’t avoid the crash. You can only postpone it. One day you will learn that what you want is not possible naturally. You will realize that the dream has been a lie all along. And nobody would apologize. It’s all on you. As I told you already, the world wants to break you and extract whatever you have to offer. It’s as simple as that.
You can lie to yourself for as long as you want. You can seek support online or offline, but eventually, the results will wake you up.
Ignorance is a bliss, but also a source of never-ending frustration and lack of progress. Not knowing forces you to try harder, but what happens when you hit the wall for real? You suffer even more because you have spent extra time fantasizing.
If you want to know how big you can get naturally, I recommend Potential. End the illusions.
Great article! I would also like to add another tip for the list,
DONT quit training once you realize the lies that you have been told. Weightlifting has a lot of benefits (and most of them are very hidden inside your body) and prioritize health and functionality over looks. Strength is strength and if you focus on strength training you are still going to be a lot stronger than the vast majority of the population. Even if you can “only” lift 100kg deadlifts it still way above the 90% of what an actually human can lift. If you ever go around and tell normal people you lift 100kg off the floor their jaws are gonna drop .
I agree !
Always a good read
Good post lifter.
Every time I read about the scams of the supplement and muscle media industry, the same mental image pops into my head: Joe Weider. And even though he was hardly the only one taking advantage of the consumer public in this industry, he set the bar and raised it into an art form.
While many of you on here are probably to young to remember the “Weider Training Principles” and “Weider Research Clinic” nonsense he used to publish in his mags, he was essentially the only show in town before he slowly sold off and checked out of the media side of the business (and shortly thereafter checked out of life altogether), and his empire was essentially built on all of the lies and nonsense TruthSeeker harps about in this installment – a true exploitative corporate baron who built his business enterprise on the unfortunate souls of his victims (including both employees and customers, respectively).
And it’s amazing looking back the truth was so self evident that it missed so many of us:
He was never a true committed member of the bodybuilding fraternity as a serious participant, and had no mentionable physique to speak of at any point in his life, yet he was the self-proclaimed “Trainer of Champions”? Remarkable.
His media mags (before online media took over) were essential 50-75% blatant ads for products and cleverly disguised articles for Weider supplements. Or maybe I’m being a bit generous with those percentages.
While others toiled and suffered (and died) to win his contests and get sponsorship, essentially sacrificing their lives to become a Weider disciple, he spent his days traveling Napa Valley wife his wife Betty, cutting shrewd & shady business deals with similar ilk individuals, going to cocktail parties with the same exploitative wealthy crowd, and laughing his way to the bank. Where was his “commitment” to what he preached, and why wasn’t he sacrificing everything and following the “lifestyle”?
This and many other shenanigans that largely were ignored or went unnoticed altogether. Oh to have the hindsight of age and wisdom.
Or as one drop out of this universal scam once quipped, “But what can you expect from an industry that is founded on dishonesty?”
Fantastic observations . hats off
Agreed, DONNE, but with this caveat: Bob Hoffman of York Barbell Co., which controlled the weight training industry before Weider arrive to usurp him, was not any better. I’m old enough at age 62 to recall when Hoffman was still a major player in the supplement-and-muscle marketeering industry — my first supplements and mail-ordered courses and equipment were from Hoffman’s York Barbell. Like Weider’s, his supplements were over-hyped scams, he profusely exaggerated if not lied, he misled, and he failed to live the lifestyle he promoted yet earned a fortune from selling it.
Read “Muscletown, USA” by John D. Fair to get that tale.
Weider may be the marketeer more commonly remembered among under-60’s (and he did have the opportunity of targeting the Baby Boomers, which Hoffman’s reign was too early to capitalize upon) but he was not at all the first.
Very true Joe, but your caveat about Bob Hoffman comes with one significant differentiation Weider: Hoffman was at least someone who looked the part,was a serious fan of strength training fundamentals. His Hi-Proteen supplement was the best quality powder on the market at least, though it tasted horrible and was over rated just like the rest. But well put, it’s still a scam by any other name.
As for the training courses, don’t forget that Bob was never a fan of what he viewed as prima-donna bodybuilding, which was Joe Weider’s forte – all “show and no go” raining, that is. He believed strength mattered, and that physique shows should (rightfully) be accompanied by feats of strength and some type of display of athleticism. His training courses preached a more sensible attitude of train for power and strength improvement, where the bologna Joe preached not only was ludicrous and ineffective (even counter productive),but also made followers mostly functionally weak and burned out in no time. “Bomb Sets”, “Blitz Training”, “Super Duper Drop Sets” preached by his champions burned a lot of youngsters out, while his chosen protégées like Arnold took advantage of this type of false advertising to promote themselves and make killer bank, right alongside Joe.
It’s for this reason alone that I give Bob Hoffman a partial pass at least, though not totally, along with the fact that at least he was a more trustworthy business partner that Joe Weider (read about what Dan Lurie, amongst many others, has to say about his business dealings with Joe Weider, and you’ll get some more insight about the kind of guy Joe was when it came to profit margin over ethics).
Thanks for the book recommendation though, I’ll have to check it out!
“Hoffman was at least someone who looked the part,was a serious fan of strength training fundamentals”
Bot Hoffman and Weider retouched their physique photos to make it look like they lifted. Hoffman was often photographed bent-pressing barbells loaded with wooden discs. Hoffman was the first to popularize steroids, display steroid-inflated physiques as an ad for his programs and lie about it (not that Weider wouldn’t have done the same, he was simply later to the dance). Weider’s bodybuilding stars were no weaker or less well built (by steroids) than Hoffman’s.
Trying to figure out which one of these men was a bigger fraud and liar is like asking which type of cancer is worse. Both were money-hungry and utterly amoral assholes who went out of their way to destroy the competition – Weider was simply better at the game, and won.
I can concede that there was photo manipulation performed for Hoffman as well as others before, during and after his time. However there are significant degrees of separation here, I don’t want to gloss over this difference by oversimplification.
Namely, whatever Hoffman is being accused of here (and perhaps rightfully so), it’s worth remembering that there was an actual legal lawsuit filed against Joe Weider, by Robbie Robinson, for using Robinson’s physique – with Joe’s face on the statue – to advertise the self-proclaimed “Trainer of Champions”, which Weider used in all the time in his mags. Kinda a little out there by comparison, don’t you think?
Not to mention the fact that Joe Weider was actually under investigation by the FDA for false advertising and fraud concerning his products (though no prosecution was made, it is widely speculated that Weider paid a substantial fine and settled out of court to avoid the legal ramifications of a trial).
As for Hoffman, every photo that I’ve seen of him shows someone tall with a broad stature (bone structure) and a wide frame who looks like he lifts…aka, someone who looks quite strong. Nothing that would remotely be confused for a bodybuilder, but not the first person you’d mess with in the back alley of a bar either.
Yes, they both resided in the world of lies and false advertising, but again we have to take degrees of violation into consideration. Even though Weider came after Hoffman, and was able to capitalize better on putting the scam on, he essentially orchestrated the biggest fraud in bodybuilding to this day, namely the bodybuilding contests that ranged anywhere from controversial to being outright fixed, in order to market his preferred “champions” and profit from their endorsement of his products and services. Again, not to nitpick but the gap with Hoffman is quite significant here.
But alas, they’re both gone, though their legacy (both good and bad) will endure and live on for much more time to come.
DONNE…yeah, reserve further conclusions about Hoffman until after you’ve read Fair’s book (and, to be somewhat fair to Weider, who was himself involved in doing bodybuilding when he was young, also read Weider’s autobiographical “Brothers In Iron” with Rick Wayne’s 1985’s “Muscle Wars” and Randy Roach’s “Muscle, Smoke N Mirrors” Volumes 1 and 2; and, Dan Lurie himself isn’t any more credible than Weider nor Hoffman, though Lurie, like Weider and Hoffman, had his commendable contributions and useful perspectives on the their three-way rivalry as well as bodybuilding history.)
For examples of Hoffman’s questionables: he earlier claimed supplements were unnecessary but then conveniently changed his mind when he realized the profits to be generated by selling them; he too was under investigation and in trouble with the FDA for misleading and erroneous claims about his supplements/products; he disliked bodybuilding since he preferred Olympic lifting, but he was very much willing to promote it in order to make money from it; while he was probably less discriminatory than contemporaries, he balked at the idea of any black bodybuilder winning the then-most-prestigious AAU Mr America, which he essentially controlled from behind the scenes; he made exaggerated if not fabricated claims about his own athletic and weightlifting prowess in order to market himself; and he took out far more than he contributed to Olympic weightlifting. But, again, read the book by Fair.
By the way, I owned probably a dozen of those early York courses and booklets by Hoffman.
And, s far as I’m aware, the best protein powder available during that era was not Hoffman’s soy-based “Hi Proteen” (which I did buy in my earliest year of bodybuilding)– it was Rheo H. Blair’s Milk and Egg Protein Powder (which I also bought after I observed early-70s competitors using it; compared to Hoffman’s Blairs was quite expensive, but was very dissolvable, palatable, and digestible). In fact, Blair used to advertise in Hoffman’s magazines, and may have been the motive Hoffman began marketing his own inferior product.
Joe you are very well versed in this topic, I am seriously impressed! While I’ve read a couple of the books you mentioned, I obviously do need to read further in Hoffman, as I stand correct on the protein powder; I did mean Rheo Blair’s version, as I listened to Ric Drasin promote that as the best powder in his day. My mistake though, we are learning all the time. 🙂
And yeah, I did read that Hoffman was more than just a little bigoted towards black builders and general audience. Leroy Colbert even called him out on that in one of his tirades.
I obviously had no idea that you actually order his training manuals and tried his supplements…it makes sense now because of your age. While I am no spring chicken myself, I grew up during the Weider dominated era, learning and training wise, so my heavier bias goes towards him since he hits home harder. This was around the 80’s – 90’s mostly (remember Cybergenics, lol?), all through up until now.
So now I can concede, both scam artists of the highest order, who inflicted a great deal of damage and corruption in their respective endeavors.
While I view both Weider and Hoffman as equally opportunistic scammers, I totally agree with you that Weider had the larger and more devastating impact on bodybuilding.
Hoffman ruled the industry when the market was substantially smaller, when weight training was an even-tinier fringe culture (heck, during his era, many coaches, doctors, and athletes still viewed resistance training as detrimental if not harmful, and, bodybuilders were typically assumed to be homosexuals). Hoffman’s overall damage was small.
Weider came along to take advantage of the huge Baby Boomer market and at a time by which bodybuilding was at least tolerated by the general public and resistance training was beginning to be promoted among athletics.
So, Weider had the much larger impact (as, when a globally-devastating asteroid impacts!) on bodybuilding.
“So, Weider had the much larger impact (as, when a globally-devastating asteroid impacts!) on bodybuilding.”
I’d argue that both Hoffman and Weider had an overall beneficial impact on strength training and bodybuilding, despite their scams and character flaws. The “damage and corruption” they may have inflicted was limited to the extreme fringe of the sport.
Hoffman single-handedly sponsored a successful US weightlifting team and promoted weight training in sports. Weider raised the profile of bodybuilding to where it was no longer a fringe activity for weirdos, but something the average Joe and Jane could do to improve their health. The Hoffman courses and the original Weider courses promoted the use of heavy compound barbell exercises, the importance of proper nutrition, sleep and overall well-being. I started lifting weights thanks to Weider’s advertising, and I imagine the same can be stated for 90% of the posters here. Recreational strength training has been very beneficial for me, a hugely positive part of my life.
Unethical and profit-obsessed hustlers – yes. But that’s not the complete story.
Agreed — while the focus here has been that both Weider and Hoffman were equally in-it-for-the-money and that both damaged bodybuilding, thanks for addressing the other side of the coin. It’s unfair to the facts and ignoring history to overlook that they both (along with Lurie) did make positive contributions to, and have beneficial effects upon, the field of resistance training and bodybuilding.
My issue with Joe Weider is he took it beyond (useless) training programs and supplements. He made you believe that when – yes, not if, when – you had this muscular physique, you would gave this amazing life. Men would both admire and fear you, women would just offer themselves to you, money would just magical appear. All done so subtly.
As Arnold S. wrote: Joe was a master at making you think you were important
But when you’re 15, you don’t think someone would lie. Lying was something evil people did.
As an aside, I’ve recently been wondering how Joe Weider actually spent his days. So thanks for that small insight.
I actually wrote somewhere on this site, whoever coined the term ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ must surely have had Joe Weider in mind.
But I think I might be him way too much credit. The man was just an old fashioned scam artist. Just promise people the world and they’ll do whatever you tell them.
You know OZ, here is some more insight on the man that you might enjoy, which I only accidentally stumbled across just recently: the true source of the Weider Research Clinic myth.
It appears that it was his long time confidant, friend and former business associate Leroy Colbert (may he rest in peace) that spilled the beans. And to answer the question, what was he referring to as this “Weider Research Clinic”? According to Leroy, it was none other than the Westside Barbell Club, which Leroy & friends frequented regularly lol.
I guess that a New York dungeon style gym didn’t sound too scientific, or have much rapport! You have to give it to Joe, he know no bounds. 🙂
FYI: Leroy was a HUGE fan and supporter of Joe Weider, up until his dying day, as Joe helped him tremendously and financed him with his stores and supplement business. If you go to YouTube and type the key words “Leroy Colbert goes off” you’ll get a rant that has to be seen to be believed (Leroy was legendary for his online rants), where he defends Joe Weider (and himself) against his biggest online critics. Very amusing in many ways to hear Leroy go on such a verbal rampage!
I remember that ad in Muscle & Fitness where Joe explains the origins of the Weider Research Clinic. My favourite part was where Weider said he initially had no plans to enter the supplement field. He only did so when he realised they were necessary to help young people achieve their dreams.
I looked up that Leroy Colbert rant. Wow! Someone loved Joe more than he loved himself.
Dear truthseeker , your writing is phenomenal man.. .. U are v gifted guy. I’m lucky I found you.. Hugs ..
You can do incline curls, hammer curls, dumbbell curls, and barbell curls.
Or you could just do one of the above. You will still get the same results provided all other variables the same.
What’s the point of getting “stronger” if it doesn’t necessarily equal noticeable muscle size increase. I get it, I really do. You want some purpose after the initial gains dry out. But honestly who the fuck cares if you can deadlift 90kg or 190 kg. Of course I mean people with actual lives won’t care.
I try get stronger. I’m no saint. I understand that this is the only way naturals grow. We don’t grow from pumping light pink dumbbells, however at the same time I don’t kid myself that maxing out my strength will turn me into a different muscle human (after initial gains of course).
I lift to look good, not so I can pick up a car if it falls on a friend. Although interestingly enough, we don’t even need to train to be strong as fuck, there is footage of untrained parents (mothers too) in a state of adrenaline and panic lifting extremely heavy objects off their kids that were pinned down. YouTube it. So it seems we might have this strength inside us this whole time. No need to obsess over strength when in the given moment when you would actually need it, your mind and adrenaline will defy science and logic anyway.
Imagine a heavy fridge falling on your small child’s lower limbs and pinning them down. You think your body won’t hit you with so much adrenaline that you can’t lift it off. Doesn’t matter if you can deadlift 80kg or 180kg. That fridge is lifting off the floor.
Lift to fell good. Try to improve. Don’t obsess over being super strong according to someone else’s idea of what strength is. Just work on being happy and content that you will never be the best. Only your own best, and that’s not measured in PR’s believe me.
No argument, that after a person’s genetic limits for maximum muscle mass are attained, increased strength won’t build further mass.
However — increased strength will contribute to overall health. A set of 8 deadlifts with 190 kg. will definitely tax your cardiovascular system much more intensely than a set of 8 with 90 kg. At age 62, after forty-five years of PED-free bodybuilding, I’ve personally experienced this health benefit from getting strong beyond what contributes to reaching the genetic limit of muscle mass; the very heavy poundages I’ve gradually worked up to using for 20-rep squat, barbell row, straight-legged deadlift, and dip sets definitely benefit my health and fitness.
Obviously, not everyone needs be concerned with optimizing health. And, obviously, health can be cultivated by means other than by increasing strength. But, health benefits can be be the point of getting stronger after mass growth ceases.
Hey Joe. I like your two comments. What’s your current program if you don’t mind sharing?
Just curious as people (natties) that have been in the game as long as yourself have no doubt tested the ground so to speak (programs and exercises).
BRETT…as far as muscle mass, it’s all a matter of maintenance training after reaching genetic limits (I reached mine by my fifth consecutive year of training, with probably 80% reached in my third year). Intensity is still essential , since muscle will decrease unless it’s needed, but volume and frequency can be (and, with aging, need be) reduced from what was done to attain genetic mass maximums.
I’ve used both split and full-body routines through the decades. For the past four years, I’ve been training split, doing each bodypart (I divide into quads, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, upper back, lower back, arms, forearms, abs) once every four to as many as ten days, depending on variables (including chronic job-incurred joint injuries); my usual is once in five days.
I train quads, hams, and upper back together: barbell squats ( increasing poundages through 1×10, 1×20, 1×20-30, 1×12, hack squats (1×30); leg curls (6 drop sets of 1×8-10), straight-legged deadlifts (1×20); weighted pull-ups (1×6, 1×8-10), single-arm dumbbell rows (1×16-25), barbell rows (1×8-10), shrugs (1×8-10), bodyweight pull-ups (1×25-30) with static barbell holds for grip strength (2 sets til failure); I train calves and abs together on a separate day (4 or 5×20-50 calf raises, 1×25-40 weighted crunches); I train shoulders, chest, arms, lower-back, forearms together: standing DB presses (2×6-12), weighted dips (2×10-25) bodyweight dips (1×75-85, 1×40-45); standing tricep extensions (2×8-12); standing DB lateral raises (2×20-25), bent-over lateral raises (1×15-20); incline curls (2×6-10), weighted back extensions (1×12-20); deadlifts (1×5-10), bodyweight back extensions (1×50-80), reverse curls (1×12-20). Those are all worksets.
I don’t lock myself into this current routine — if I have to vary or omit something, I do.
My rep schemes are much higher than what I used my first five to ten years of training — back then, I stayed pretty much at 5-9 reps on everything except calves and abs (and never went over 20 reps on calves).
Thanks Joe. Your insight is much appreciated.
For me, mass growth is a collateral. I work out to develop and maintain strength in the long run. There is also the benefit of keeping a good bone density as you age. But yeah, optimizing health is not just about lifting heavy stuff. One has to stop stressing about things all the time, and adopt a lifestyle that allows one to enjoy good company, plenty of laughter and good food, be outdoor more so than indoor, and include plenty of slow movement (walking, playing, etc). If you live a lonely life where all you do for yourself is to hit the gym 3-4 times a week and otherwise depress about your social and professional situation, it’s not good enough …
I would switch bench press with incline bench press.
Hits the top of the chest better to give that “shelf” look.
Plus you will use less weight with better form.
In theory, you are right but better form? Not so much. Some people turn the incline into flat to lift more weight.
Ultimately, it does not matter. What matters is being consistent. Besides, you can do both anyway.
“Plus you will use less weight with better form.”
It is possible to cheat on the incline bench, but you won’t be able to hugely inflate your numbers by cheating. You can’t hit the “top of the chest” – the muscle is either contracting, or it isn’t. Full incline benches are harder on the shoulders. People with long arms should not do them.
Outstanding my brother! Lifting weights and nutrition are not hard, deciphering all of the BS is the hard part. Effort and consistency are the keys, not overeating, supplements, and steroids.
Dr. Brad Schoenfeld has dedicated his studies to determining how muscle hypertrophy works, he knows more about it than anyone and he trains. But google his picture, look at his physique. Not a very huge guy by any means…genetics.
Here’s what I got from reading:
Approx. 30 reps per bodypart each session is pretty much the sweet spot for muscle growth.
You can do it all in one 30 rep set (must be to failure, less strength gain but saves time, no disadvantage for hypertrophy), 3×10, 5×5, 10×3 all work, etc. Doesn’t matter how you get there, lower reps are a little better for strength but require more sets/time.
Less than 30 reps is not a big deal, you will still gain 50-60% of the muscle with only 1 set of 5-8, for example. There is a diminishing return with each additional set.
Optimum sets per week is around 10-15, more volume is better, depending on recovery ability. So those 5×5 programs that have you training 3 times a week are spot on for hypertrophy. 3×5 is still fine for strength, not quite as good for hypertrophy but better for someone who has recovery issues. 3×10, full body is also great for hypertrophy, a little less so for strength. 10×3 is great for hypertrophy and strength but requires a long time in the gym since you’ll be resting at least 3 minutes in between sets.
1 set of 10 a week will also work, maybe it takes 5 years instead of 3 to reach your potential. Much of the growth and strength improvement happens in that first set. I’ve personally made progress on one set per week.
Upper body compounds do count toward weekly volume for arms. So if you bench 3 sets then do 3 sets of tricep extensions, that counts as 6 sets for triceps that workout. Done 3x a week, that would give you 18 sets of triceps, more than enough stimulation for max growth.
Compound exercises are more efficient than isolation exercises. Lat pull downs and chin ups were shown to have the same effect on bicep growth as curls. They also work the long head of the tricep.
A combination of compound and select isolation exercises is probably best for arms (personal opinion). I’ll typically do one compound and one isolation each full body session.
Rest between sets should be at least 3 minutes. There is no advantage to hitting the muscle before it is fully recovered. Volume and intensity is the main driver of muscle growth. Resting longer allows you to lift more weight for more reps. Cardio should be done in a separate session.
Pump does not matter at all, I would personally say there is a possibility that fascia stretching is a thing.
Peter your comments seem to be in conflict with point #3 above: “….Chin-ups and regular benches won’t cut it. You need to attack your weaknesses DIRECTLY. Don’t listen to the wannabe saints. Become the motherfucker who does 20 sets for biceps and triceps to the point where you can’t touch your nose due to the boiling blood in your arms”…. Truth Seeker – who’s right?
Yeah, nobody escapes their genetic limitations. And most gurus had probably already capped out their potential by the time they achieved guru status, so at best they could use all that knowledge to boost the progress of their trainees.
Even then, expert training, nutrition and all other natty endeavors don’t count for very much. First, they only provide a small boost of about 20 – 30% over a well put together cookie cutter routine and second, they front load the gains instead of keeping them more linear. The more you gain this year, the less you gain the next, since your potential doesn’t budge one bit. Hence, at best you hit your potential a bit faster, so instead of 6 years it’s going to take you 5. Big deal, right?
“Hence, at best you hit your potential a bit faster, so instead of 6 years it’s going to take you 5.”
Most trainees don’t put in the discipline and hard work to hit their real potential in 20 years, though (or ever), so it may be a good idea to go after all the gainz you can. 20-30% boost is not “small” even by drug user standards.
Well lack of discipline will get you nowhere anyway so there’s that.
30% might sound like a lot but it really isn’t. It’
It’s not going to make a small guy big. Do you believe the difference between 16 and 20 pounds of muscle is noticable? That’s a fraction of an inch of extra muscle on your arms. Thing is, this – until you pass a certain threshold, you’re gonna look average regardless of how much you’ve gained.
I think people underestimate how strong a natty has to be to have lean 16 inch arms.
You’d be repping 275×5 and overhead pressing 155 for 5 at least. Probably max out at 315 on the bench, maybe even 315×5 before you’d see that number on the tape, depending on genetics.
So if you are puttering around with a 185 bench, that’s probably not going to cut it.
I think that’s one reason people say compounds don’t make your arms bigger, they underestimate how much weight you’d need to press to get your triceps to grow that much.
But going the isolation route, you’d probably need to be doing skull crushers with at least 115-135 lbs, something you probably couldn’t do unless you benched 315.
“Truth seeker –who’s right?”
Neither and both are right.
During my forty-five years of PED-free bodybuilding (I’m age 62), I’ve observed guys reach their pec, tricep, and bicep mass potential doing either. Some get optimal growth doing flat-bench presses and chin-ups (pronated, “palms facing you” grip, in contrast to pull-ups “palms away from you” grip); while others get little pec, tricep, or bicep stimulation from those, and get optimal growth doing flat, incline, or decline dumbbell flies, dips, tricep extensions, and curls.
I experienced both: my pecs easily responded to flat and incline bench barbell presses; however my triceps and biceps needed isolation movements to optimize growth (I used lying tricep extensions and incline curls primarily).
So, it’s another matter of genetics. It depends especially on the leverages each person is born with.
“I experienced both: my pecs easily responded to flat and incline bench barbell presses; however my triceps and biceps needed isolation movements to optimize growth”
Exactly- leverages determine how much mass you’re going to get out of compound movements.
E.g. I am very torso dominant. My pecs and lats grow with minimal work. But I need a lot of isolation work for my arms and legs. Chin-ups do absolutely nothing for my biceps, and my legs were nothing to write home about even after I built up to heavy weights on the squat.
Perhaps, personally I do 3 sets of incline curls after my 3 sets of chin ups. I count them both as bicep exercises but chin ups also hammer the lats, triceps and upper chest.
Studies do not corroborate that curls even work better than lat pulldowns for arm growth.
You’ll miss out on the upper chest and long head triceps stimulation if you go the curls only route.
It’s also about efficiency, which is important to a natural. You can only do so many sets in a workout…
“Studies do not corroborate that curls even work better than lat pulldowns for arm growth.”
Forget studies. Lifting weights and bodybuilding are very individual. Studies can give you a good idea of what USUALLY works for MOST people, but the only way you can figure out what works for YOU is through trial and error.
” Become the motherfucker who does 20 sets for biceps and triceps to the point where you can’t touch your nose due to the boiling blood in your arms”
Be careful with volume, remember, you only have a 24-48 hour window to grow as a natty.
So if your muscles are still recovering at the 24 hour mark, you’re out of luck. Muscles have to fully recover before they can grow…
Personally, I have a great pump after 3 sets of chin ups and 3 sets of incline curls…or 3 sets of supinated pendlay rows and 3 sets of barbell curls…
If I did any more than that, I probably wouldn’t recover my strength 48 hours later for the next workout.
If you train 3x a week, 6 sets each time (compound + isolation) for biceps and triceps each, you will exceed the 20+ set weekly volume of the bros.
But you have the additional advantage of stimulating the muscle 3x a week instead of 1.
Spreading the volume out is better for a natural. For one thing you are fresh each time and can therefore do more work.
You also take advantage of that short growth window. Steroid users don’t care because they’ll continue to grow all week.
Peter. Please can you inform me where you got the notion that muscles only recover for 24 hours after training. Is there an article or something backing this up with science or is it just bro talk.
Not at all trying to bash you. I have just never heard this before. I never new of a time limit to recovery. If a muscle was damaged it would take as long as it needed to recover (although I was aware that most recovery takes place in the first 24 hours).
Also don’t confuse stimulation with massive growth. Stimulating a muscle three times a week (Mon, Wed, Friday) doesn’t necessarily mean faster gains. You would have to train quite moderately or else risk re-tearing the muscle before its fully recovered from the last workout (tear). Why not just train each muscle less frequently (once or twice a week) but more intensely and then have a larger time frame for recovery. For example what I currently have going is rows on Thursday. Pull-ups, chin-ups and curls on Friday. Then my arms and lats have 5 days to recover before being torn again.
We know that if you take off 5 days from training you will not loose any strength or muscle mass provided your protein requirements are at maintenance level. So why risk tearing a muscle more frequently to the point of perhaps stagnation when training with less frequency will ensure that you have definitely recovered completely before any new muscle tearing takes place with peace of mind that you can’t losses any gains in just 5 days off. Best of both worlds.
Oh and you can train a muscle two days in a row. But you must still respect the recovery process by taking atleast 4-5 days off after that onslaught of muscle tearing. In conjunction with that, obviously I don’t mean that you do concentration curls Thursday and heavy incline curls Friday. Its more for back to back compounds like rows Thursday and pull-ups Friday. Not back to back isolations.
This is not recommended for beginners. But for advanced or intermediate trainees who no longer feel lactic acid build-up after workouts and who stick to certain exercises without changing them every week.
Even after a hard workout my muscles hardly ever feel sore the next day unless I’m back from a layoff or doing an exercise I haven’t done in a few months that tears the muscle in a totally new way.
Just my opinion. Conclusion is that I don’t recommend training a muscle there times a week. I don’t believe this is a good method for advanced trainees that like to leave it all in the gym so to speak. Nor is it practical timeswise. If you are advanced you more than likely have say at least 12 exercise you perform. Performing a fullbody workout (12 exercises) three times a week would be too time consuming even if only three sets are done per exercise, or even two.
Please argue if you don’t agree and feel free to disagree with me. This platform is for real natties to vent and discuss topics in an environment where Pinners can’t brainwash the newbs and muddy the water so to speak.
Most of these studies are compete bullshit. They are making studies with few dozens of athletes, which is not enough. And what kind of athletes? How advanced they are? How much calories they take? These questions and many more are never raised and answered.
Again, Dr. Brad Schoenfeld. You could have just googled it, instead, you got me to google it for you. Shrewd. I copied and pasted the relevant text below because otherwise you’d pretend it wasn’t there.
“These results would seem to be consistent with the time-course of protein synthesis, which lasts approximately 48 hours (there is even some evidence that the time course is truncated as one gains lifting experience).”
So much for “bro science”. Funny, everything you posted was the epitome of bro science. Self awareness is a difficult concept for many.
I post info that I explicitly stated was by a PHD in the field and you proceed to call it bro science. Guess you figured I wouldn’t call your bluff. Bluff called.
Soreness doesn’t mean anything in the context of training, it’s just the fascia that surrounds the muscle being damaged. It usually just means you haven’t trained in a while or you did more than you usually do.
You can grow plenty without ever getting sore and you can be fully recovered while being sore.
Sorry, I snapped at you earlier but these are basic biological facts.
You won’t lose gains by taking 5 days or a week off, but your muscles can only grow for those 48 hours so it doesn’t make much sense to train so hard that you can’t train again for 5-7 days.
If you train too hard and miss the window, you may not grow at all.
Not that it matters much because none of us are going to grow much anyway. lol
Hey Peter. It is an interesting study and article. Thank you for sharing it.
Yeah we aren’t going to grow much anyway no matter which routine we use. However some routines can probably get you to your genetic potential faster than others.
At the end of the day there are no quick fixes. Whether you train a muscle three times or once a week, you are going to have to put the effort in and apply progressive overload to see results.
BRETT…and, that summarizes what my forty-five years experiences and observations conclude: almost any training program that targets all muscle groups will eventually get a person to his genetic muscle mass/proportions limits; “optimal” programs (which can vary among people according to their genetics) can only get him to those limits sooner. For the average-gened guy, three to five consecutive years of consistent progressive training and proper eating is typically needed (with rapidly diminishing gains after the second year) if training is at least near-optimal; sub-optimal or inconsistent training/eating will slow the process, so it will require more than five.
However, even if it takes ten years to attain limits, there’s this: for someone who is committed to bodybuilding as an integral part (emphasis on “part”, not all of their of his life — I agree with THORGAL that, for most people anyway, a contented life involves more than only gym sessions — I’m married 38 years, have six kids, have grandkids, worked as a self-employed roofer/builder, have an active social life, and see bodybuilding as a primary aspect but not at all as the only primary aspect of my life), most of a lifetime will be maintenance training anyway. In my own experience, for example — I began at age sixteen, hit my mass limits about age 21, then have spent forty years maintaining what I built in those first five years. If I hadn’t reached my limits til age 26, I’d nevertheless have spent thirty five years by now maintenance training.
So, sure, the process can be optimized to get to limits as soon as possible…but, once limits are reached, it’s gonna be far more years and decades of maintenance training anyway.
As someone who started bodybuilding in 1972 because I detested my skinny-fat self at age sixteen, I completely understand when many beginners are desperate to make gains; they don’t want to have to wait two or three years for significant results. I wanted results overnight too, at age sixteen. However, from my 62-year-old perspective now, with knowing that once limits are reached, lifetime bodybuilding is not just two or three years but two or three and more DECADES of maintenance, I advise this: “Don’t stress over the speed of your progress so much”. Find a program that develops all the major muscle groups which you can mentally stick with, train consistently, be patient and perseverant,and eventually you WILL arrive at your limits, give or take a year or so.
I can confirm “5. Bulking is a scam.” after living in the shithole of believers for at least 2 years. My conclusion:
* You over-eat like a goat, waste money, increased pop-waste and increase money-waste.
* You get bloated (supposedly the target measurements/weight) then you deprive yourself from many tasty edibles and starve yourself and call it cutting.
Didn’t made sense to me hence I no longer cut or bulk — just simple and plain workout with consistency and persistence. I am no way closer to YouTube nattys but I am happy and healthy.
I’m not reading your shitty article nor do I recommend anyone buying any of your shit books..especially if that’s you on the cover. you’re a noob and don’t know shit. how fucking stupid do you have to be to think alphadestiny, omarisuf, Alan thrall etc are on gear? what makes you think they are??? thrall is benching ~350 after like 10 years of training, not only that’s not that impressive, I’d even say it’s pretty shit since it’s what he’s been focusing on. you’re a fucking moron. kys.
Haha watch out boys, you are hurting the feelings of one of the bitches of this roid junkies named “yourfather”, what a lame ass name to be honest, no wonder why, with that limited brain cells. F*** off pinners.
One standard first cycle 500mg/wk for 12 wk will give you enough mass to be noticed, but not too much for everyone calling you roided. Even if someone calls you out you will say “I just fixed my died, training and sleep, I wasn’t too serious about lifting before”. Yea, sure.
TWP…agreed, with one qualifier: “a first cycle 500mg/wk for twelve weeks will give MOST guys (especially those who haven’t even gained all of what what their genetics allow PED-free) enough mass, etcetera.”
Because, a few own genetics which respond so poorly or sometimes so negligibly to steroids that they’d have no visible changes after that cycle.
But, for all practical purposes…yeah, exactly what you said.
Dude, what’s with the butthurt ??
Hey, nattyornot, Omar Isuf made a video about you lately – have you seen it ??? You triggered them with your facebook post.
Which one? Share the link, would like to check it out as well.
Check Omar Isuf’s channel on youtube, his last video is titled “Alan Thrall is on steroids?”
I can’t post links here. But it’s easy to find anyway.
Saw that, OmarIsuf sounds butthurt in the video.
Love the content but couldn’t help but notice that you have lateral raises as a best exercise for shoulders even though you’ve said in the past that they are overrated.
Just wondering if your views have changed as I currently don’t do them but always consider fitting them in somewhere.
Cheers for all the content btw.
They are overrated but still a good way to hit the lateral head of the shoulder directly. You can fit them pretty much at the end of every workout.
Truthseeker, do you know the origin of the claim that you need to consume protein every three hours or else your body will eat it’s own muscle tissue?
And do you think it was not just about selling protein supplements, but to try and make people continually obsessed?
Disclaimer: When I was a teenager I really believed the reason I didn’t look the guys in the (Weider) magazines was because I wasn’t consuming (Weider’s) protein every three hours so my body was eating all the muscle tissue my (Weider) training was building.
I’m not sure of the origin of THAT variation of the myth about protein every three hours, but I do know that when I began bodybuilding in 1972 (yes, nineteen seventy-two), the myth that, “your body can utilize only about 25 grams of protein per meal, so to get enough protein per day, eat 25 grams every 2-3 waking hours each day” had already existed for many years before 1972. I have a vague recollection of where it may have started — it was some twisting of a bit of scientific fact into a claim science never actually stated — but the details elude me at the moment.
[And, NO, it’s not true about the human body being only capable of metabolizing 25 grams of protein per meal. It may be a convenient or comfortable schedule for some people to eat several smaller protein feeds per day, for other individualized reasons, but the body very definitely can utilize protein feeds three or four times that amount — WHEN protein is eaten doesn’t significantly matter, as long as adequate protein is consumed daily, and his total protein intake over several days averages out to “adequate”. …and the average-gened, PED-free guy doesn’t need more than 1 gram or protein per pound of his bodyweight daily anyway.]
A quick word about this eating every 2-3 bunk, and this comes from someone who works in the medical field (specializing in glucometers): It’s not only completely unnecessary, but it may not be the smartest approach with regards to maintaining low resting glucose levels…which this method will make next to impossible.
Recently, it has been recommended that these levels, fasted and 3 hours after a meal, be under 100 mg /dL (with even newer recommendation even under 90 mg/dL). Note: It used to be recommended at under 130 mg/dL at one time, but point being it should be as low as you can get it – shy of going too low and becoming hypoglycemic (under 70 mg/dL, respectively). This is recommended primarily for long term health, as well as a long term preventative measure against type 2 diabetes, which has grown exponentially over the past several decades.
If you are consuming meals every couple of hours, you are essentially in an elevated glucose state throughout the day, and this is especially true if you are eating larger meals and/or higher protein & fat meals that take even longer to digest and become absorbed by the body. Not a great long term approach, from a blood sugar standpoint, in diabetes prevention. Just something to think about.
Personally, I feel 2-3 full meals a day fully suffice anyway, for improved body recomposition, with a snack thrown in here and there (yogurt, handful of nuts, etc) if you feel hungry and get the munchies. As an older lifter who can’t eat like I used to, this works best for me, and I have glucose readings that are closer to optimal following this approach.
By the way, and this is just analytics on my part, but that myth of eating every 2-3 hours, with about 25 gram of protein at each meal, was most likely started by the shylocks in the supplement biz, as from a timeline standpoint it seemed to originate around the time protein powders came in to vogue and started becoming more popular.
Obviously, since most used (and use to this day) these powders as a meal replacement food, eating them more frequently meant using more product, which meant buying more product, which translates into more $$$$ for the suppliers and manufacturers.
So forget this “eat every 2-3 hours, feed your muscles much needed aminos more max gainz, and stoke you metabolic furnace!” BS. It was a scam then and it’s still a con job today.
In short, trust no one in the biz.
I agree. But looking at it specifically from the Weider angle, I suspect this. He knew people following the routines in his magazines were not going to end up looking like the people in his magazines, so this gave him an out.
Also, it meant that to be successful at weight training, it wasn’t just something you could do a few hours a week and then forget about it the rest of the time. You had to be continually obsessed.
I think these might have been the mindsets behind the claim that if you go more than three hours without consuming protein, your body will catobolise the muscle tissue your (Weider) training is building.
I think that was the reason for the Weider claim that this should be made up of 3 solid meals and three protein shakes. I.e.
Mid -morning protein shake
Mid afternoon protein shake
Pre-bedtime protein shake.
Off topic. I noticed that you refer to StarCraft quite a few times in your articles. What is your favorite/go to race?
Off topic. I noticed that you refer to StarCraft quite a few times in your articles. What is your favorite/go to race? I assume you played the first and maybe the second game in series.
I’ve pretty much played all Starcraft versions since the beginning. My favorite race is terran, but I no longer play the game.
How would you suggest to improve in StarCraft Broodwar? I cant seem to even do well against AI in custom battles…
Do at least 30k ladder games and you will become good.
I know programs are multiples and every where. They all say more or less the same things. Do Back Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, and Overhead Press and your base for strength training. Train 3-4 times a week with progressing with putting more weight on the bar over time. Do sets of 5, either 1-5 sets. Do pull ups or rows for you back but you don’t have to go as heavy and just focus on working the muscle doing 2-4 sets in in the 8-12rep range . Do a bit more if you feel like on the last set. That more or less sums up all entering the weight lifting world programs out their. Its also the way its been done for a long time too. People are just trying to change it up a bit and make more money out of it.
Can you elaborate more on “bulking” is a scam. Is there a specific way you define “bulk” or are you saying eating over your maintenance calories is completely worthless? I think you need to be more specific because you have to have SOMEWHAT of a caloric surplus to build muscle. Like a 6’2 person who weighs 140 versus a 6’2 person who weighs 200.. ok, I get that 200 pounder can probably “recomp” to a point, but the 140 pound guy , even if he has a lanky frame there is some muscle building potential that would require a caloric surplus at some point… not talkin GOMAD here …
You can “bulk” first year, but after that, the hill of diminishing returns is behind you and youll just get fatter. At 6’2 140 he can gain 10-20 lbs of muscle, sure, but unless he is gifted, he will only get fatter after. The extra muscle can give the fat a shape and trick that you are still lean, the waist will state otherwise. If you are getting strong over time, you are getting some sort of adaptation as shown in this article :
“How does the body respond to that stimulus?
1. By building bigger muscles.
2. By forging thicker muscles.
3. By increasing the strength of the connective tissues.
4. By developing a strong nervous system capable of triggering high-intensity effort.”
“you have to have SOMEWHAT of a caloric surplus to build muscle”
Yes, but the caloric surplus required to build muscle is fairly low. Even for skinny guys.
The best way is to start with a moderate increase (300-400 extra cals per day, mostly protein and carbs from whole food sources). Weigh yourself at the end of every week to check how you’re doing. If you’re not growing, increase daily calories gradually.
The wrong way to “bulk” is to start chowing down 4,000 calories a day over a period of years, obliterate any semblance of insulin sensitivity and become skinny-fat-4-life.
Just watch your waist if you attempt any surplus, if it’s getting thicker, you’re overeating even if it’s 300 surplus. There is no magical surplus number you can follow, start little and focus more on strength rather than the fact that you hit the surplus everyday. Add more calls if strength stagnate for few weeks on major lifts.
Question for the author, is it possible for people to have “visible” abs at higher body fat than lower body fat due to the fat distribution of the body?
For example, the classic case advice to some people when trying to obtain “visual abs” is to lower body fat percentage, however, this person may store body fat differently and burn off the muscle he’s actually trying to showcase, therefore looks worse at a lower body fat percentage then higher?
You can have abs at a higher body fat, but I don’t see a reason why they would look worse at a low body fat.
Hello Truth Seeker. Great article.
Can you make an article specific about women in bodybuilding and fitness?
There isn’t that much information about female bodybuilding, while it’s a big part of the fitness industry too.