T Nation

A Quote That Says It All

So I was reading The 4-Hour Workweek last night and I came across a quote that I thought really sets off nicely what it takes to make progress:

“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s amazing, even Emerson knew how to be a successful bodybuilder, even if he didn’t know it. :slight_smile:

Anyways, just thought I’d share, since when I read it I laughed and thought of T-NATION right away.

LOL.

I seriously doubt the people who need to hear that will even pay attention.

This site is FILLED with people who only grasp methods. There is a formerly morbidly obese guy in the supplement forum right now who thinks he should go from eating 2,000cals a day to 7,000cals a day simply because he read it from Berardi and Shugart and that is what the calculator told him.

Mind you, these same people think WE are the ones who don’t get it.

Said thread:

the problem is that too many people are looking for quick fixes these days, something for nothing without the hard work. People automatically go for the newest routine, or the newest supplement - all you have to do is drop a few buzz words and 90% of the people will lap it up. It seems like lifting has lost its integrity, very few people are willing to take the time to learn the craft anymore.

They love prancing about their fancy gyms with their tanks tops and their calvin kleins showing, too busy trying to look good instead of actually breaking a sweat and all too quick to talk about the latest designer supplements they are on, really bugs me… It’s winter over here now, and I don’t have gym membership when I head home at weekends. I do however have an old weights set outside in an unheated garage which I’ve had for about 6/7 years.

It was 3degrees celcius last week, I wonder how many of the up and coming guys would stick working out in an old loft with no music, no girls and no mirrors to look at themselves. Not many is my guess.

[quote]NIguy wrote:
the problem is that too many people are looking for quick fixes these days, something for nothing without the hard work. People automatically go for the newest routine, or the newest supplement - all you have to do is drop a few buzz words and 90% of the people will lap it up. It seems like lifting has lost its integrity, very few people are willing to take the time to learn the craft anymore. They love prancing about their fancy gyms with their tanks tops and their calvin kleins showing, too busy trying to look good instead of actually breaking a sweat and all too quick to talk about the latest designer supplements they are on, really bugs me… It’s winter over here now, and I don’t have gym membership when I head home at weekends. I do however have an old weights set outside in an unheated garage which I’ve had for about 6/7 years. It was 3degrees celcius last week, I wonder how many of the up and coming guys would stick working out in an old loft with no music, no girls and no mirrors to look at themselves. Not many is my guess.[/quote]

I’ve spent a lot of the last few months training outside in the cold and rain, no gym membership but a barbell and a stack of plates. The housemates usually complain when I deadlift in the corridor :slight_smile: I think this is slightly off track, but I agree a lot of lifters lack the dedication to get anywhere. I imagine most of the posters here ‘get it’, but I know plenty of people who when push came to shove, wouldn’t bother.

As far as the quote goes I’m learning more and more how simple building strength and muscle is. Once you grasp a few simple concepts and they become ingrained things start to fall into place. I only really got this recently when I started to look at how other people I knew where training and understanding I don’t have to squat everyday to get bigger arms and it really could be as simple as training what I wanted to grow and lifting hard. And eating.

Unfortunately when your introduction to weight training is through the crossfit website you have the “isolation is bad” mantra drilled into you, when you think you’re actually learning something useful. I could have saved at least 6 months had I just asked someone big in the gym where I first started training how they did it. Of course they were all either “genetic freaks” or on steroids, according to the internet.

It really just comes down to why you’re doing it and what’s motivating you to wake up and lift. I’ve never been comfortable following plans written by others. I usually try to understand why it works and every time its the basic principles over and over. It ticks me off when my friends tell me to try this or that and how it’ll get me shredded or hyooge. The truth is, most people know what to do, they know they’re fat cause they’re stuffing their faces with twinkies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They know they’re still deadlifting 225 because they’re afraid of stepping up and try to push themselves. There’s no secret, we all know it already, we’re either too stupid or scared to act on it.

I remember watching this youtube video about some chinese weightlifters. One of them had a lot of injuries and said that for him, he thinks it takes years for someone to get true determination. I didn’t understand at the moment cause I thought ‘but I love doing this! I already have it’. But now I understand what he was talking about was injuries. You are going to get them, the more serious they are the more of a bummer they will be and the more afraid you’ll be to lift again, the more painful it will be too. So I think, if you keep loving whatever you do even after injuries, then you are pretty determined.

But most people aren’t even determined enough to try even squatting…

The sad thing is to learn 95% of it would only take a day with someone who knows about it explaining it all to you.

[quote]Deadsion wrote:
It really just comes down to why you’re doing it and what’s motivating you to wake up and lift. I’ve never been comfortable following plans written by others. I usually try to understand why it works and every time its the basic principles over and over. It ticks me off when my friends tell me to try this or that and how it’ll get me shredded or hyooge. The truth is, most people know what to do, they know they’re fat cause they’re stuffing their faces with twinkies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They know they’re still deadlifting 225 because they’re afraid of stepping up and try to push themselves. There’s no secret, we all know it already, we’re either too stupid or scared to act on it.[/quote]

Very good point.

Alot of it is so simple, and I’ve learned that from reading these forums, and stuff from people like Professor X and a few others.

I was definitely that guy alot of you talk about here, the guy who trained for years and years, reached a certain mediocre level of benching 245, with my 15.5 inch arms, looking decently built in a medium t-shirt, and basically spinning my wheels always thinking about a new routine.

It’s easy to get bogged down in that crap. Frequency this, splits vs full body, trying to cycle between 20 damn exercises that everyone swears by. Truth is, it is very easy to go from that level of never lifting to being a weekend warrior, barely look like you lift kind of guy. And if you I were to even maintain being that guy for the rest of my life, I mean, there’s certainly worse things I could do. It still is maintaining a reasonable level of fitness.

But at some point, you get very bored of that and do have to ask yourself if this shit is really for you, and if you really wanna take it up a notch…because getting to that next level, and the level after that… that’s no accident.

And if I thought the training info was convoluted, the damn nutrition info is even worse. People worried about meal timings, and whether eating one twinkie at 11pm instead of 10pm will fuck up their gains…its maddening.

So I’m really glad I’ve decided to finally listen and man up thanks to posts from Prof X (and there are others, he’s just the one that sticks out), because that’s the kind of stuff alot of people like myself need to hear. I realized at 6 feet tall and 177 lbs, there was just a ceiling to how strong and “big” I was ever going to look so I needed to get my shit together and realize that half the workout is in the kitchen. After 2 months, I’ve been consistently eating a good solid calorie surplus of reasonable foods and lo and behold, I’ve gotten some great progress. Nothing was ever wrong with my routine. It’s beautifully simple as long as you fucking eat and aim to make progress each time you are in the gym.

But alas, I dunno how many ppl will never figure that out. It certainly took me long enough.

Good points.

I think the issue is that these people just get bogged down in information, and, like someone else mentioned, spend all their time trying to find what works fastest. Ironically, they’re sitting around and getting nowhere fast.

That being said, a lot of these methods (especially ones on this site) ARE effective, it just all comes down to whether you’re experienced enough to apply them or not. People really should learn to be consistent, but make their body their laboratory, and learn to be your own experimentalist. Once you understand you’re body, then you can look at how best to maximize what you’re doing.

[quote]BlakedaMan wrote:
Good points.

I think the issue is that these people just get bogged down in information, and, like someone else mentioned, spend all their time trying to find what works fastest. Ironically, they’re sitting around and getting nowhere fast.

That being said, a lot of these methods (especially ones on this site) ARE effective, it just all comes down to whether you’re experienced enough to apply them or not. People really should learn to be consistent, but make their body their laboratory, and learn to be your own experimentalist. Once you understand you’re body, then you can look at how best to maximize what you’re doing. [/quote]

I fully agree 100%

When i came here all the info just blew me away, need a few weeks to get through it all so i PM’ed MODOK & PX and asked Ceph same message. “Help me im a beginner don’t know what to do”

From that MODOK responded, gave me a program, gave me a basic set up told me go away and do that for a few months and not to get bogged down. So pic left is me after 8-9 months of the gym… 6 days a week, every week for 9 months i was in the gym.

Ate alot of food, and ate some more… then ate some more. Along the way i have read maybe 6 articles lol just follow the K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid protocall :slight_smile:

While this site is great for some, for others it leads to information over load, ie. constantly worrying is this the newest and greatest way, can it be improved on, can i make it better, maybe that program is better etc etc. Those people i feel bad for and why i just PM’d some people so i wouldn’t join those ranks. Basically your 1st point.

If everyone picked ONE program that wasn’t completely silly, stayed with it for 6 months and DIDN’T tinker with it they’d say alot more results than some new program every week. 9 months i’m on BBB and i forsee another 9 months more !

Merry Christmas Prof. X by the way :slight_smile:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
LOL.

I seriously doubt the people who need to hear that will even pay attention.

This site is FILLED with people who only grasp methods.

Mind you, these same people think WE are the ones who don’t get it.[/quote]

You’ve just described Dankid.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Said thread:

[/quote]

I hadn’t been reading that thread, but it’s just another example of an uniformed individual, who for some reason adamantly refuses to see that some people are actually trying to help him. (I guess if I write anything in an article there are some nutjobs out there who will blindly follow it… hmnnnnnn -lol)

S

[quote]Professor X wrote:
LOL.

I seriously doubt the people who need to hear that will even pay attention.

This site is FILLED with people who only grasp methods. There is a formerly morbidly obese guy in the supplement forum right now who thinks he should go from eating 2,000cals a day to 7,000cals a day simply because he read it from Berardi and Shugart and that is what the calculator told him.

Mind you, these same people think WE are the ones who don’t get it.[/quote]

couldn’t have said it better myself

come on, it is not that bad… the majority of people here are making good progress
People here like lifting so much that when it is done they go on a forum to talk about it. It is not the case with at least 50% of the people in the gym

That would be a nice addition indeed!

[quote]MODOK wrote:
Can’t think of another quote that is more unbelievably appropriate for this site. It needs to be emblazened on the header, right below “T-Nation”[/quote]

You definitely did one hell of a job, that’s for sure. You look better than most people on this site with several years under their belt.

[quote]SmallToBig wrote:

[quote]BlakedaMan wrote:
Good points.

I think the issue is that these people just get bogged down in information, and, like someone else mentioned, spend all their time trying to find what works fastest. Ironically, they’re sitting around and getting nowhere fast.

That being said, a lot of these methods (especially ones on this site) ARE effective, it just all comes down to whether you’re experienced enough to apply them or not. People really should learn to be consistent, but make their body their laboratory, and learn to be your own experimentalist. Once you understand you’re body, then you can look at how best to maximize what you’re doing. [/quote]

I fully agree 100%

When i came here all the info just blew me away, need a few weeks to get through it all so i PM’ed MODOK & PX and asked Ceph same message. “Help me im a beginner don’t know what to do”

From that MODOK responded, gave me a program, gave me a basic set up told me go away and do that for a few months and not to get bogged down. So pic left is me after 8-9 months of the gym… 6 days a week, every week for 9 months i was in the gym.

Ate alot of food, and ate some more… then ate some more. Along the way i have read maybe 6 articles lol just follow the K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid protocall :slight_smile:

While this site is great for some, for others it leads to information over load, ie. constantly worrying is this the newest and greatest way, can it be improved on, can i make it better, maybe that program is better etc etc. Those people i feel bad for and why i just PM’d some people so i wouldn’t join those ranks. Basically your 1st point.

If everyone picked ONE program that wasn’t completely silly, stayed with it for 6 months and DIDN’T tinker with it they’d say alot more results than some new program every week. 9 months i’m on BBB and i forsee another 9 months more !

Merry Christmas Prof. X by the way :slight_smile:

[/quote]