T Nation

Anything But What Works


I don't know whether it's just me or what, but has anyone else noticed the trend these days? Has it not gotten worse?

i.e. The trend for people to do anything but the basics (e.g. getting stronger, following standard routines etc). There seems to be a really bad lack of attention span in newer trainees. People no longer want to get a thrill from beating PR's in the gym, and want to change everything all the time (as if somehow that will give them better results). Most would rather follow something that sounds complicated or has you changing things all the time.

It's like people these days need to be spoon fed sometimes, and don't learn by their own experience/those of others. Just looking around at all the critique my routine threads makes you realise how bad the problem is getting lol

Am I just imagining this or what?


Most people nowadays like the quick fix. What will allow me to get from point A to point B while doing as little work as possible seems to be the prevailing attitude among people my age. I see very few that still hit the big exercises hard or really put in the work necessary to get the results they desire.

The most annoying thing to me is when people will literally say that they want their body to look a certain way or want to lift a certain amount of weight but don't want to do the work to get there, or don't want to work as hard as is necessary.

What ever happened to hard work?


Those of us doing it correctly tend not to post extraneous threads about it!


We're out here, just quiet!


What I've noticed among a few friends is that 'everyone should do starting strength'. 3 months down the line imbalances start causing injury. Either that or people having skewed ideas of how heavy weight is -a 100kg squat will apparently get you legs like treetrunks!


That takes effort, dedication, consistency, sweat, tears and sometimes some blood. Progress is hard work.

Plus, that eliminates the ability to have instant gratification.

Complicated bullshit they read on the internet can allow them to feel superior without actually achieving anything.


I'll probably get flamed for this, but I think it's a legitimate point so I'll make it anyway.

A lot of our judgments about others has to do not only with their recognized level of expertise, but also our "sizing up" of how intelligent that person is in the first place. I've had doctors who were clearly not up to intellectual standards, and this was usually bore out in their advice (e.g. Your shoulder hurts? You should just never bench press again, and it'll clear up.).

I think that, at least among the (formally) educated population, there might be a bias against trainers and such as either "meatheads" or being folks who weren't intelligent enough to do something else with their lives. As such, the thinking might be that while they may have a basic template that's useful for making progress (as evidenced by their own), perhaps they haven't thought about all the possibilities that their basic template might offer.

So, for example, I see CT post a routine and think to myself, "Yeah, that routine looks pretty reasonable given its underlying principles. Perhaps if I [insert tweaks], which also align with those principles, then I might get better results." I justify this to myself by reasoning that CT definitely knows more than I about training principles and such, but I fancy myself to be much more clever thinker than CT.

One of the big problems is that a large part of the population isn't more clever than CT, but I'd imagine that only a small percentage of the population realize themselves to lack that level of cleverness. As such, their additions are usually somewhere between superfluous and stupid. Moreover, the initial justification about cleverness isn't warranted, as it assumes that there is an increasing marginal gain from cleverness being injected into a program when, as you say, a lot of success is based upon very simple principles.

So, I would say that most of it isn't a lack of hard work so much as actual stupidity masked by perceived intelligence. Sorta like how so many folks think they have "perfect form" when squatting, benching, etc.


ebomb looking beastly.


I think you're out to an early lead for best post of 2011.

For further reading, see Dunning-Kruger Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect


I honestly think it's just lack of a true desire to want to be better/friggin' awesome.

If someone wants to be big and ripped, so that they can impress other people, most of the time they have no real passion or desire to do it for THEMSELVES.

If someone TRULY is interested in getting bigger/stronger, they are going to do it. With or without the "perfect program", with or without all of the rest of the endless scientific studies, and information on the internet.



Don't out think the room

You either want it...or you don't

You either got a chip on your shoulder...or you don't

You either have that extra gear...or you don't


Pretty simple


For the completely average person there are many reasons why they don't do what's needed. I'll start a list - everything begins with "It's too hard to"

1.) push through the pain.
2.) make the time to get to the gym consistently.
3.) do one more squat when I already feel like I'm going to puke.
4.) lift when I have a cold.
5.) eat clean.
6.) go to bed early.
7.) get up early.
8.) stop making excuses.
9.) prioritize my training over other bullshit.
10.) stop being a pussy.

Who's got the next 10?


I know that this thread is supposed to be about "other people," but I'll point to one of my own weaknesses. I'll say that for me, I think that the only part of training that I've honestly had real difficulty with is not becoming discouraged when injured. I f***ing hate being injured, and manning up every morning to hit the gym and work around/slightly through the injury can suck at times.

Whether it's when I was running or now that I'm lifting, I love the lifestyle of eating clean, getting up early, etc. In fact, I could really say that the lifestyle is one of the huge draws of the sport to me. But when I get derailed by injury (regarding which I've had a string of bad luck), it definitely hits me hard psychologically.

This is especially difficult during programs (e.g. I'm working around an injury right now during Supergrowth 1 of BBB--very discouraging). Then you have the psychological feeling of "I'm getting out of shape" etc while you can't work to your maximal capacity. I just tell myself that it's a marathon, not a sprint, and then I just work with the maximal intensity I can while feeling like I'm not hindering recovery for the injured area.


This, who cares. I understand help with nutrition and dieting, but growing bigger muscles? C'mon it's not that hard.


Theres the same if not FAR more people out there making progress and getting big as there was in this magical yesteryear people keep dreaming of.

It only seems like theres not because of the internet and idiots posting shit, and a lot of people who are making progress don't necessarily give a fuck about posting pics or even posting in general.

Far more people are trying and failing i guess than in previous years so maybe the ratio has gone down in any one given gym, but the sheer number of people big lean and strong now vs previous generations is astronomically larger.


Cant I just take a pill?


Changing programs all the time is nothing new... it's partly because 'new programs' was a good way to sell bodybuilding magazines every month.

Very closely related to this: the most popular machine at my gym is the cable station. The least popular is the power rack.

I don't hate on those people, though. At least they showed up at the gym, and are doing something.


I think there are too many people who want to be a "bodybuilder" but dont understand what really goes into achieving this look. If i had to guess, id say theres a lot of people that see that "big guy" in their gym and think "well hes here everyday working out and he got like that, if i do the same so will i" but they dont realize how much research and experimentation, along with proper nutrition and lifestyle choices that guy also took into account to achieve a bodybuilder physique.

And unfortunately, if most people did know this going into bodybuilding, theyd probably be turned off when they found out it actually required more than being in the gym an hour a day 4 days a week. "Hard work" and "dedication" seem to alien to many people's vocabulary nowadays.


I agree.

On the flip side, i've seen people bust their ass doing supersets or other "complicated" routines, expending a whole lot of energy, without really accomplishing anything.

Once I got to eating correctly, focusing on the basics and working hard on them... things fell into place pretty damn quickly.

Worry about that crap AFTER you've built a soild foundation and know what works for YOU.


I have had a few ankle injuries (two during one wrestling season), and it really does suck. One injury completely slowed down my junior football season and I got slower and more out of shape. Still, I think the whole attitude of coming back and beating life when it tried to stop you is worth working through those injuries. THat is how I see it.


It's simple. However, it is difficult.