A few years ago I got extremely frustrated with my lack of muscular size. I was still looking for a way to hack the system and acquire a respectable physical development that would earn me the right to flex in public.
During one of my desperate quests for muscle glory, I found online posts which were supposedly written by the great French bodybuilder Serge Nubret. In brief, he advocated super high volume training with light weights supplemented with horse meat. Of course, he also claimed that he is natural. I decided to put my faith in the method and adopted his style of training without the horse meat.
On the first day, I did chest and quads as suggested by Nubret. Honestly, I’d never thought of splitting quads and hamstrings but what did I know? I was not a muscle guru with 22-inch natural arms.
I remember that day. It felt like going off your diet and eating all the garbage you have ever wanted to eat, except that I accomplished this satisfaction by doing previously forbidden exercises (e.g., machine dips and chest flies).
I did the workout in the evening – a mistake. Why? Because the morning is always wiser than the evening. The late hours are naturally associated with the spiritual realm. They represent the end of a cycle and make people dreamy and delusional.
I liked everything – the people, the gym, the girl at the bar. It was awesome. After the workout, I went for a walk. Everything was perfect. It was mid-Autumn, my favorite part of the year, and I felt as if I were in the air. My intuition told me that progress was coming.
A year later, I was still pumping muscles Serge Nubret style, but the magic was wearing off. The gym was no longer a wonderful place. The girl at the bar was no longer pretty. She’d transformed into a wicked witch with fake hair. I guess that when I first saw her for the first time I was under the influence of the “she is a female and not fat, thus she must be hot” factor.
The people around me were no longer kind and helping strangers. They were just annoying sweaty dudes with little brains. Some were on steroids while others were suffering from typical natural bodybuilding delusions. (e.g., confusing fat with muscle).
Ironically, the only one changed was me. They were still the same people from 12 months ago, but I was different. I was sad and disappointed by the lack of gains.
I had some sort of epiphany during a back workout. I remember doing a seated pull on the rowing machine. At the end of a set, I returned the handle a little too fast. It hit the main corpus of the rowing machine, a metal part broke and made a “ding” sound. Luckily, I was the only one there. Nobody saw anything.
I felt happy. I wanted to break the whole gym and take a piss straight in the middle of the locker room. Apparently, it was the trend at that place. The stupid cave was always stinking. I also felt an extreme urge to reverse slap all professional bodybuilders and muscle gurus with my skinny ecto hand.
I had done my part of the deal. Where were my muscles? Sure, I didn’t eat the magical horse meat, but I was consuming close to 200 grams of protein anyway. I ate so many cans of tuna that the mercury in them felt bad for me and decided to slow down its negative impact. Nevertheless, there was no growth for me.
I ended my workout. Took my bag from the locker room and never returned, although I had just prepaid for a month.
I broke a machine. That was my only reward after a year of pumping.
This experience and lot more stories prior and after formed my opinion of the gym culture.
In short, they lie.