T Nation

5 Elements

This post was deleted by the mods from the original article forum. I hope this is a more exceptable forum for my thoughts. Although I love this site and everything its stands for, I don’t to think that we readers are not allowed to disagree with writers. The mods say they want to protect their authors who give us articles for free. Kinda of free, expect for all the Biotest products that we buy to keep their business running. No disrespect to this site, which again I deeply appreciate, but please remember your customer base, we pay your bills, not your authors.

The problem with the article is not really that it is too abstract, Eastern, or touchy-feely, its that its logic is not valid. Charles started at the end and work backwards. He started with a conclusion and then wrote his hypothesis. He basically started with 5 major training theories/methods i.e. Louie Simmmons (WSB), Mentzer (HIT), Arnold (standard high volume bodybuilding), then give justification for each. He basically says everything works, but not for everyone, well no shit!! It seems to me that he is using this article to excuse bad programs and ineffective systems because everybody is different and might respond to something that is wrong for somebody else. I wonder if Pavel’s system becomes more popular we will develop a sixth element. Or a seventh for Body-For-Lifers. Do you see my point: body types first, then systems; not systems and then body types to explain them.

Where does heart, desire, blood, sweat, and tears factor in.

[quote]Crow wrote:
This post was deleted by the mods from the original article forum. I hope this is a more exceptable forum for my thoughts. Although I love this site and everything its stands for, I don’t to think that we readers are not allowed to disagree with writers. The mods say they want to protect their authors who give us articles for free. Kinda of free, expect for all the Biotest products that we buy to keep their business running. No disrespect to this site, which again I deeply appreciate, but please remember your customer base, we pay your bills, not your authors.

The problem with the article is not really that it is too abstract, Eastern, or touchy-feely, its that its logic is not valid. Charles started at the end and work backwards. He started with a conclusion and then wrote his hypothesis. He basically started with 5 major training theories/methods i.e. Louie Simmmons (WSB), Mentzer (HIT), Arnold (standard high volume bodybuilding), then give justification for each. He basically says everything works, but not for everyone, well no shit!! It seems to me that he is using this article to excuse bad programs and ineffective systems because everybody is different and might respond to something that is wrong for somebody else. I wonder if Pavel’s system becomes more popular we will develop a sixth element. Or a seventh for Body-For-Lifers. Do you see my point: body types first, then systems; not systems and then body types to explain them.

Where does heart, desire, blood, sweat, and tears factor in. [/quote]

  1. You can disagree with the writers, but you don’t have to be a poop.
    If the articles stopped coming, people would stop visiting, then sales would go down, then the site would shut down, and then you’d have that to bitch about.
    And the site is free even to people who don’t buy/use Biotest. So that argument doesn’t wash.

  2. In this theory you can’t separate body type and system, because like so much else in Eastern though, they’re entertwined.

I don’t really understand what your problem is with it.
I don’t know how I feel about it, because I remember Arnold when he was young training as more of a powerlifter, and he still got huge.

In fact, I wonder how much bigger he might have been had he backed off some of those endless sets during the 2 a days. He says his biceps were always sore. I’m sure that means they were overtrained, wouldn’t you say?
I don’t know why you have to attack CP because you don’t know what to make of the article. As I said, I don’t know what to make of it either, yet I managed to not be a poop about it.

J W
A poop What’s up with that. He gave a genuine reason for disagreeing with the article, and therefore, the conclusion. He didn’t suggest that he “didn’t know what to think of it.” He knew exactly what he thought of it. If the writers believe all of their work are homeruns then maybe they need to hear some feedback. Guys who post their pics on here do so at the cost of some humbling insights. Writers should be able to understand that not all readers will agree with all information, and they should be prepared to accept said critique. Unless, of course, it is simply a personal tirade then it crosses a line.

I think your ‘logic’ is flawed. I don’t think CP’s thought process started with the arbitrary training protocols and built a theory to accomodate why they work for different people despite being so varied.

Furthermore, you want to conjure this idea that your argument is one of logic and reason and then appeal to sentiment in your closing line.

On the article thread I defended the rough scientific premise of subtle energies, to which traditional chinese medicine applies in my mind, by referencing The Macrocosm Within and the works of A.P. Dubrov. I suggest you read them both. Also, Tao of Chaos would be good, but I can’t remember the author. As you stated however, your problem with his article is not the esoteric subject matter, but the line of reasoning. I believe CP merely used the training protocol’s of Simmons, Arnold and Mentzer to typify his examples. Generalization is a comon literary tool to illustrate a point. The fact that he recognized, as most of us have, that different training parameters work or do not for various people and then brough forth a hypothesis does not make his argument less valid.

The argument that the differences in these types should be observed and then correlated to response to training systems and not the other way around is not valid either, because the expression of the type, for our purposes, is the response to training stimulus. These types, and I say ‘types’ and not ‘body types’ because the issue is much more than physical body characteristics, are not directly observable because they are so complex and subtle.

Heres another 2 cents.

Do you think the Bulgurias give a shit about your body type or “element.” Hell no!! Nor, the Russians, the Chinese, hell any one outside North America (notice I didn’t say the U.S., isn’t CP Canadian). The system is most important to these foreign POWERS. If your “element” isn’t “right” for the program you make up for it with f*&king hard ass work. This is what happens when bodybuilding “science” enters the real competitive world of PL and OL, you get artisy shit like “elements.”

Appealing to sentiment is also a literary tool. How many times did CP do it?

The most intellegent question asked about this article was: if CP hadn’t wrote it, would you even waste the time to read, let alone defend it?

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
J W
A poop What’s up with that. He gave a genuine reason for disagreeing with the article, and therefore, the conclusion. He didn’t suggest that he “didn’t know what to think of it.” He knew exactly what he thought of it. If the writers believe all of their work are homeruns then maybe they need to hear some feedback. Guys who post their pics on here do so at the cost of some humbling insights. Writers should be able to understand that not all readers will agree with all information, and they should be prepared to accept said critique. Unless, of course, it is simply a personal tirade then it crosses a line.[/quote]

It just sounded like he was attacking CP for writing the article and calling all Eastern stuff crap, which I didn’t like.
I understand that he didn’t like the article. So why can’t he just say “I didn’t like it” and leave it at that. Or “I didn’t like it and don’t believe in because”…but what I read didn’t come across that way.
I have no problem with him having his opinion, because I like to see other people’s opinions.
And like I said…I’m not sure I got it either.
But I wouldn’t dismiss something that someone of the stature of CP wrote just because I didn’t get it, ya know?

Heres another 2 cents.

"Do you think the Bulgurias give a shit about your body type or “element.” Hell no!! Nor, the Russians, the Chinese, hell any one outside North America (notice I didn’t say the U.S., isn’t CP Canadian). The system is most important to these foreign POWERS. If your “element” isn’t “right” for the program you make up for it with f*&king hard ass work. This is what happens when bodybuilding “science” enters the real competitive world of PL and OL, you get artisy shit like “elements.”

Well the Bulgarians, etc., can pretty much tell what type someone is because only a select few get to the national level. Those who can’t take it, fall by the way side. Don’t get ur lil clam all wet because CP made you mad by saying you should lick a prune hahaha.

The bulgarian training methods acted as much like a sorting mechanism as anything. If you have a big enough pool to draw from, you can afford to destroy some bodies in order to create a few champions. Genetics isn’t everything, but if you want to compete at the elite level you have to be built for the sport.

Luckily looking good nekid doesn’t have such a high bar, I just wish Poliquin had included some more information for the metal-water types out there.

[quote]IL Cazzo wrote:
Heres another 2 cents.

"Do you think the Bulgurias give a shit about your body type or “element.” Hell no!! Nor, the Russians, the Chinese, hell any one outside North America (notice I didn’t say the U.S., isn’t CP Canadian). The system is most important to these foreign POWERS. If your “element” isn’t “right” for the program you make up for it with f*&king hard ass work. This is what happens when bodybuilding “science” enters the real competitive world of PL and OL, you get artisy shit like “elements.”

Well the Bulgarians, etc., can pretty much tell what type someone is because only a select few get to the national level. Those who can’t take it, fall by the way side. Don’t get ur lil clam all wet because CP made you mad by saying you should lick a prune hahaha.[/quote]

Yup. Agreed. And this applies to almost any other field. In the end, you wind up with a very visible* bunch of a select few who have what it takes, those who can AND have proof of it.

  • I say visible because excellent is necessarily different, and never will be average. And if some types of ‘bodification’ are necessary (being bigger, stronger, more cut, etc.) to top levels, you are thus guaranteed to see them, because the bar being so high automatically weeds out the averages.

These highly visible select few make good archetypes, of which people can relate to, intellectually, but in real life probably 90%+ will never fit the profile, either because they are mixed types or don’t have the ‘purebred gene pack’. I wonder if bell curve distribution applies to the 5 elements?

[quote]Soco wrote:
The bulgarian training methods acted as much like a sorting mechanism as anything. If you have a big enough pool to draw from, you can afford to destroy some bodies in order to create a few champions.
[/quote]

I don’t think this is entirely true. Sure, for olympic level you must have some great genetics… but Bulgaria has only about 8 milion people and you can hardly call that a big enough pool. And economic situation isn’t that great in Eastern European countries as well.

A while ago CT has posted a Bulgarian-like program. The training split and loading parameters are quite similar to other CT’s stuff, so chances are you could be more Bulgarian than you think :slight_smile:

8 million people is plenty if everyone in the country is exposed to the sport. If everyone in the US dreamed of being an olympic lifter, I am sure we would dominate internationally. Imagine how much better our team might be if the best natural athletes went from football into weightlifting.

I think CP’s article could be useful. I just wish it were a little bit more in depth.

On my first read of the article, i thought, “What is this crap?”.

I also remember a lot of T-nation members asking CP in the first interview about his chinese elements view. People asked and a article was provided. While i seriously dislike the article, i do appreciate that requests for clarification are answered. We can’t really blame them for that.

The only thing I have to say now is ‘it’s not eastern. It’s just some stuff that Charles made up’

Some ppl here seem to think it’s mystical wisdom from the land of the east. Nah it’s just charles having fun with programs.

Yes I said it’s useless at the time, and it’s still not for me but we need differing opinions to give us food for thought.