T Nation

Can It Really Be So Simple?

so lately ive been really picking up on the amount of criticism there is on here that theres too many people on this site who are tiny and weak giving out tons of advice. i also read a Shugart article about intensity and how it seems to be the x-factor so to speak.

im starting to lean towards the intensity side vs the scientific side. im starting to think that theres a correlation between the amount of “intellectuals” on here and the amount of articles being published.

so what im getting at is can be so simple that all you need to get big is to lift, and lift hard. if you want to be stronger, lift heavier -size will follow. if you want hypertrophy, lift lighter, strength will follow. from what ive seen with my own eyes at the gym is that every single one of the big guys doesnt use a logbook, may have terrible form, and may use terrible exercise choices, but theyre fucking big. then everyone i see with a logbook, trying to emulate perfect form is just some 145 pound twat.

could it be that this is all just bullshit? no program is better than another (unless its plain rediculous), it doesnt matter if you squeeze at the peak, or if you slow concentrics, or squat ATG.

im starting to think…or rather realize that all you need to get big is to lift weights as much as hard as you can. its definately a mental thing, but its not about crunching numbers and physiology its about mental strength to push yourself and bear the pain. oh, and getting in enough caloreis too.

Tiny and weak ? Who are these people you speak of. And Bruce Lee was tiny. Would you also call him weak ?

It IS simple. What is the difference between the current you and your long term goal? In my mind it’s the amount of weight you can handle on your exercises and the amount of food you eat, and that’s it.

It’s so simple, but it’s not easy and that’s where we lose 98% of people. They want it now, and don’t want to put in 6 meals a day for 5 years straight, they don’t want to kill themselves in the gym 3-5 times a week for 5 years straight.

What would you look like if you never missed a meal and always killed it(and got stronger and stronger) every time you went to the gym for five years?

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
so lately ive been really picking up on the amount of criticism there is on here that theres too many people on this site who are tiny and weak giving out tons of advice. i also read a Shugart article about intensity and how it seems to be the x-factor so to speak.

im starting to lean towards the intensity side vs the scientific side. im starting to think that theres a correlation between the amount of “intellectuals” on here and the amount of articles being published.

so what im getting at is can be so simple that all you need to get big is to lift, and lift hard. if you want to be stronger, lift heavier -size will follow. if you want hypertrophy, lift lighter, strength will follow. from what ive seen with my own eyes at the gym is that every single one of the big guys doesnt use a logbook, may have terrible form, and may use terrible exercise choices, but theyre fucking big. then everyone i see with a logbook, trying to emulate perfect form is just some 145 pound twat.

could it be that this is all just bullshit? no program is better than another (unless its plain rediculous), it doesnt matter if you squeeze at the peak, or if you slow concentrics, or squat ATG.

im starting to think…or rather realize that all you need to get big is to lift weights as much as hard as you can. its definately a mental thing, but its not about crunching numbers and physiology its about mental strength to push yourself and bear the pain. oh, and getting in enough caloreis too. [/quote]

Yes and no.

IMO it really is as simple as:

  1. use progressively heavier weights

  2. eat enough

  3. rest enough

What ever program allows you to progress fastest with your weights over the long term, that you will continue to follow (enjoy doing) and makes sense to you (you must believe in a programs ability to produce results) is going to be the best program for you. Combine that with enough food and enough rest and it’ll produce results.

As far as form, and log books. I’ve seen big guys who are sticklers for form (Jason Wojo and Justin Harris come to mind), and those who prefer to use more body english (Coleman likes to use body english, but he’s also moving insane amounts of weight).

I also know of big guys who like to use log books (Yates kept a detailed log book), and big guys who prefer more “instinctive” training sessions (I think I recall hearing that Arnold never did the same workout twice). Once again, it comes down to the individual’s personal preferences, personality type, and what they’ve found works for them.

You just gotta do what works for you. Listen to your body.

As long as you know that your weights and size are building at an adequate pace, then you’re set.

The fact that only your closing sentence addressed diet shows you still have a handle on the basics, but at least you’re going in the right direction. :slight_smile:

As for the rest of your post, if to you being “scientific” means weighing all your food on a digital scale and using calculus to determine the perfect load you should be using at the gym - then yes, I’d say you’re overdoing it.

My training is “scientific” in an old school “observationalist” sort of way. I’m aware of what I do inside and outside of the gym and make adjustments according to MY results. Others should do the same according to their results.

To perform this you don’t need a subscription to pubmed or any fancy tools; you just need a basic understanding of nutrition and training, work ethic and the ability to observe.

It’s that simple; and no article or study you read will trump that.

Anyways, that’s my “bit” on scientific training.

On a side note: I think this site would benefit from having a few articles on observation and giving kids the tools to troubleshoot. There’s too much emphasis on this site to follow programs to a “T” rather than teaching kids how to make adjustments to make “any” program work (including diet).

[quote]Scott M wrote:
It IS simple. What is the difference between the current you and your long term goal? In my mind it’s the amount of weight you can handle on your exercises and the amount of food you eat, and that’s it.

It’s so simple, but it’s not easy and that’s where we lose 98% of people. They want it now, and don’t want to put in 6 meals a day for 5 years straight, they don’t want to kill themselves in the gym 3-5 times a week for 5 years straight.

What would you look like if you never missed a meal and always killed it(and got stronger and stronger) every time you went to the gym for five years? [/quote]

I made a point to be that guy, the one who could say that he didn’t take any time off for years on end. The result is that I completely changed the way I looked.

It is that simple, but that simple part takes more dedication and discipline than most people will ever be able to find in themselves. That is why this was never meant to be some mass pursuit of all human beings. All human beings don’t have it in them to hit the gym several days a week for years and years without fail. Most quit or become those who train “off and on”.

That is why so many of these guys get so caught up in theory…it is easier to try to look smart on the internet than it is to actually make progress in the weight room.

What is even sadder is that most of the guys acting that way aren’t scientists or doctors. They are laymen who think they are now super skilled because they read a freaking article by a personal trainer.

It seems no one has the guts anymore to make it clear that some just don’t have it in them.

“The heavier I lift and the more I eat, the better my genetics get.”

I am no-where near my goal yet(big and strong), but I can say I will see amazing results in years to come, certainly without question. (barring injury). The reason is because I know my mind. I know my up-bringing, I know for whatever reason I have a humongous size chip on my shoulder , that will never go away.

And I deal with that in the weight-room. I have done so since I was old enough to really be picking up weights (14). My problem has been not realizing at that age, that weight-training was the answer all along, I kept looking for other things to keep me happy(drugs, alcohol). But now I know I dont have to look any further then the gym.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Scott M wrote:
It IS simple. What is the difference between the current you and your long term goal? In my mind it’s the amount of weight you can handle on your exercises and the amount of food you eat, and that’s it.

It’s so simple, but it’s not easy and that’s where we lose 98% of people. They want it now, and don’t want to put in 6 meals a day for 5 years straight, they don’t want to kill themselves in the gym 3-5 times a week for 5 years straight.

What would you look like if you never missed a meal and always killed it(and got stronger and stronger) every time you went to the gym for five years?

I made a point to be that guy, the one who could say that he didn’t take any time off for years on end. The result is that I completely changed the way I looked.

It is that simple, but that simple part takes more dedication and discipline than most people will ever be able to find in themselves. That is why this was never meant to be some mass pursuit of all human beings. All human beings don’t have it in them to hit the gym several days a week for years and years without fail. Most quit or become those who train “off and on”.

That is why so many of these guys get so caught up in theory…it is easier to try to look smart on the internet than it is to actually make progress in the weight room.

What is even sadder is that most of the guys acting that way aren’t scientists or doctors. They are laymen who think they are now super skilled because they read a freaking article by a personal trainer.

It seems no one has the guts anymore to make it clear that some just don’t have it in them.[/quote]

In other words…talk is cheap…let your actions speak.

Well said…

[quote]triple-10sets wrote:
I am no-where near my goal yet(big and strong), but I can say I will see amazing results in years to come, certainly without question. (barring injury). The reason is because I know my mind. I know my up-bringing, I know for whatever reason I have a humongous size chip on my shoulder , that will never go away.

And I deal with that in the weight-room. I have done so since I was old enough to really be picking up weights (14). My problem has been not realizing at that age, that weight-training was the answer all along, I kept looking for other things to keep me happy(drugs, alcohol). But now I know I dont have to look any further then the gym. [/quote]

did you forget to log off your alias when you wrote this?

[quote]Protoculture wrote:
The fact that only your closing sentence addressed diet shows you still have a handle on the basics, but at least you’re going in the right direction. :slight_smile:

As for the rest of your post, if to you being “scientific” means weighing all your food on a digital scale and using calculus to determine the perfect load you should be using at the gym - then yes, I’d say you’re overdoing it.

My training is “scientific” in an old school “observationalist” sort of way. I’m aware of what I do inside and outside of the gym and make adjustments according to MY results. Others should do the same according to their results.

To perform this you don’t need a subscription to pubmed or any fancy tools; you just need a basic understanding of nutrition and training, work ethic and the ability to observe.

It’s that simple; and no article or study you read will trump that.

Anyways, that’s my “bit” on scientific training.

On a side note: I think this site would benefit from having a few articles on observation and giving kids the tools to troubleshoot. There’s too much emphasis on this site to follow programs to a “T” rather than teaching kids how to make adjustments to make “any” program work (including diet).

[/quote]

eh, i only addressed the diet so little because im talking more about what actually goes on inside the gym. if you want to talk about getting big in terms of what to eat id say just eat, eat more. so many supplements and types of diets are hyped up to where you think theyre going to change everything. no, just eat.

i dont take any supplements, after my workout i go nextdoor to the Foodmaster and buy a 1/4th gallon of milk and a powerbar, thats my PWO nutrition. pretty simple, and with all the carbs, whey, cassein, and fat its pretty effective for getting in much needed calories.

id also like to mention that when i first started posting here i thought everyone on this site was a beast. i thought the BB forum was for actual BBers (or atleast people who trained and looked like them) now it seems those people are the rarest to find. i also was suprised when there was a “who really trains” thread…like wtf i thought everyone on here atleast lifted.

to what someone else said: i totally agree on listening to the body. my “gut” knows so much more than my brain does and honestly it seems my “gut” is always right and things only go wrong when i try to think something out. this is especially true in training. this is especially true for training. your gut telling you to do 5 more reps? do it, your gut telling you to add 20lbs? do it. eat that cheeseburger? do it. it does make sense that if youre in something thats main focus is dealing with the body then it should be the body you listen to.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
triple-10sets wrote:
I am no-where near my goal yet(big and strong), but I can say I will see amazing results in years to come, certainly without question. (barring injury). The reason is because I know my mind. I know my up-bringing, I know for whatever reason I have a humongous size chip on my shoulder , that will never go away.

And I deal with that in the weight-room. I have done so since I was old enough to really be picking up weights (14). My problem has been not realizing at that age, that weight-training was the answer all along, I kept looking for other things to keep me happy(drugs, alcohol). But now I know I dont have to look any further then the gym.

did you forget to log off your alias when you wrote this?[/quote]

I consider myself a smart person but I can only grasp at straws when trying to figure out what you mean

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:

id also like to mention that when i first started posting here i thought everyone on this site was a beast. i thought the BB forum was for actual BBers (or atleast people who trained and looked like them) now it seems those people are the rarest to find. i also was suprised when there was a “who really trains” thread…like wtf i thought everyone on here atleast lifted.
[/quote]

This site used to be truly hardcore. There used to be quite a few guys who were very developed and understood what it took to get there. That has changed a lot over the past 5-6 years. Now, I would bet more than half of the posters here don’t lift at all. That won’t stop them from giving advice and confusing the shit out of new lifters.

There is no reason for most beginners to need even a small percentage of the articles on this site. Many of these articles are written like they are attempting to get Olympic hopefuls into shape. The average newbie these days doesn’t even understand hard work in the gym, so going on about carb cycling and v-diets when they are that clueless is hopeless.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
It is that simple, but that simple part takes more dedication and discipline than most people will ever be able to find in themselves. That is why this was never meant to be some mass pursuit of all human beings. All human beings don’t have it in them to hit the gym several days a week for years and years without fail.
[/quote]

I had a feeling you’d put your thoughts in here, glad you did as well. This part that I quoted is especially important in my mind about what it takes. People love to say they want something very badly but when the facts are put in front of them about what it’ll actually take to get there it seems the vast majority aren’t up to the task. And guess what? That’s what makes it so rewarding to those that are up for it.

My peers in my Exercise Psychology class crack me up. They talk about how hard it is to be on a good diet in college, how they are so busy and can’t get to the gym or whatever their excuses are. I don’t speak up unless asked to but when I do everyone hates it. Why? Because I make them feel like crap because I’m willing to do the things they aren’t to get to my goals. I pack a cooler and carry it around with me on days that I have a lot of classes. I got a treadmill for my apartment so I can do that 7AM cardio while they are still trying to sleep off that hangover.

I was in the gym when it was 7 degrees outside in December and most people were waiting for New Years to start their new program(this one will stick for sure right?). Healthy food is so expensive, but there’s plenty of room in the budget for cigarettes and Jager bombs right? I’m not special in the least bit, I know there are others out there doing the same damn thing and even more who have already done it.

People need to think long and hard about what they are actually willing to do to reach their goals. Professor did it, I’m doing it, 1000s of others have as well. You simply have to be honest with yourself and maybe get to the point where you say you know what I don’t want it as bad as that guy, I’m willing to accept 75% results if I put in 75% effort.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Yes and no.

IMO it really is as simple as:

  1. use progressively heavier weights

  2. eat enough

  3. rest enough
    [/quote]

Agreed.

The only thing I would add is “do it well” to points one and two. Yes, you can lift with poor form and build muscle, but you will probably injure yourself. Yes, you can eat enough crap and grow, but you will also get fat.

We are all aware that variety helps, in all matters of training, but you would definitely see results even with absolute simplicity.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
<<< There is no reason for most beginners to need even a small percentage of the articles on this site. >>>[/quote]

Aside from teaching how to actually perform the exercises effectively and safely, the rank beginner could be told everything they need for their first year in about 15 minutes of intelligent conversation. In fact I would go so far as to say that any more than that, with maybe very rare exceptions, is too much and will begin to work against them in short order.

I was actually thinking about this today. Somehow, we’ve equated “scientific” with “complicated”. The best science is elegant and simple. (A perfect example is the polymerase chain reaction in molecular biology.)

All you need to do to train “scientifically” is:

  1. define your goal
  2. have something to track your progress
  3. try something
  4. see what happens
  5. continue doing it or try something else depending on what you saw

That’s it.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
LiveFromThe781 wrote:

id also like to mention that when i first started posting here i thought everyone on this site was a beast. i thought the BB forum was for actual BBers (or atleast people who trained and looked like them) now it seems those people are the rarest to find. i also was suprised when there was a “who really trains” thread…like wtf i thought everyone on here atleast lifted.

This site used to be truly hardcore. There used to be quite a few guys who were very developed and understood what it took to get there. That has changed a lot over the past 5-6 years. Now, I would bet more than half of the posters here don’t lift at all. That won’t stop them from giving advice and confusing the shit out of new lifters.

There is no reason for most beginners to need even a small percentage of the articles on this site. Many of these articles are written like they are attempting to get Olympic hopefuls into shape. The average newbie these days doesn’t even understand hard work in the gym, so going on about carb cycling and v-diets when they are that clueless is hopeless.[/quote]

Half don’t lift? Wow. Even if 25%, shit 10% didn’t lift that would surprise me. I mean, wtf, this is a BBing site, right!?! Why the hell would you come to this site and read articles and post if you didn’t lift weights. That’s too funny.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
What is even sadder is that most of the guys acting that way aren’t scientists or doctors. They are laymen who think they are now super skilled because they read a freaking article by a personal trainer.[/quote]

I also think it’s funny that those who really have the skills in scientific fields don’t try to talk it up. Yourself, Scott M, etc don’t try to prove your intelligence with terminology.