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This post is a little different. I don’t really have a question. It is a little long winded, but please hear me out. I have noticed that often times young lifters (approx. 16-19 yrs) will post questions and get seemingly ‘harsh’ advice, and may feel that they are being ‘picked on’ by vets because of young age. I don’t think that is the intention. Let me explain.

You see, when I started training over 15 years ago, there was no internet. The only ‘advice’ you could get was from muscle rags who pushed 20 sets to failure, 6 days a week and to eat as much fatty food as possible. After all, that is what all the ‘champs’ did, right ? There were no effective supplements. Back then the only protein supplements you could get were old, denatured, worthless powder. I wasted my first several training years making virtually no progress. I eventually got my ‘program’ together and made some actually pretty good progress between ages 17-20 training each bodypart 3 times weekly and basically eating everything in sight. You may laugh, but back then that was the best you could do and the best of the current knowledge at the time. It was the twilight zone after anabolics became scheduled drugs and before any effective natural supps were discovered. Anyway, as Ian’s article in this week’s T-mag issue has elucidated, the favorable hormone profile of the late teen years declines rapidly. By the time I was 22, I could already notice a largely diminished recovery ability and metabolic slowdown.

What is the point of all this? I believe that the guys with more experience (10 years+, like Bodz for example) are simply trying to make sure that you don’t waste those ‘golden’ training years. It is always mentioned that T levels are at its pinnacle at this time. Maybe not high per se, but the highest they will ever be in YOUR body, at least without exogenous help. But what I’ve noticed that is rarely if ever discussed is the fact that growth hormone, IGF, insulin sensitivity, thyroid activity, and relatively low estrogen and cortisol are also at their best levels at this age. The synergism found with this anabolic hormone profile is far more effective than raising any single hormone value alone. In addition, with the advent of T-mag, we all now have literally world class training programs, expert pharmaceutical advice by venerable ‘real world’ chemists, and cutting edge diet and supplementation strategies for free at our fingertips. This, plus all the supplements we now take for granted and consider ‘old hat’ like MRPs, creatine, glutamine, Methoxy, etc. we ‘old timers’ would have died for years ago.
On top of all this, via the Forum you can get virtually any question on any topic answered usually within less than 24 hours by intelligent, experienced lifters from literally around the world. Hey, its never been easy building muscle, I’m not saying that. But you younger guys have to understand that we were once you age, in your position, and have been through all the plateaus, impasses in progress, and frustrations that you have now and will probably face in the future. We are only trying to help. Make the best of these tremendous resources currently available, get huge, and have fun too!

Peace, Prodigal Son out.

Right on!

Prodigal, I don’t know how old you are now/when you started, but I was 17 in '91 when I started. Paradoxically, my body was in it’s “prime” when the bodybuilding supplement industry was in it’s “twilight zone”, as you put it. Ironically, at 26, I feel like I’m a better athlete now than in my hormonally-charged youth due to the availability of quality training info and effective supps. To all you teenage readers out there - listen to guys like Prodigal and Bodz. This truly is a golden age of lifting information. Combine that with your teenage recovery abilities and you’ll blow up like crazy. And don’t neglect recovery techniques - even at your age, they’re as crucial to progress as training and diet are. Sometimes you have to take one step back via a reduction in volume, time off, active recovery, etc…to get two steps forward. Best of luck.

I respect you for everything you just said.

And there’s also another side to it: there are even some of us youthful adults (I’m in my late 20’s) who aren’t backed by years of our own experience, either. I’ve only been actively fit for a year, in fact–and I’m scouring the internet for everything I can find for information. So I’ve spent a year simply undoing the damage of my biological drawbacks–losing weight, improvig stamina, changing diet. At this point I’ve simply improved myself from “bad” to “average”, which is fantastic–gone from 33% fat to 15%, and still dropping!–but it’s only just now that I cross that thershold and beging building improvements beyond the average to start becoming superior. In about a month I’ll be changing from a fat-loss approach to a muscle-gaining approach and I can sympathize with your post, including the perspective of the “young guys” who are eager for advice from the experts here.

Man, I’m getting weepy! I didn’t know there were guys out there like this. I don’t know what to say, except thanks for clearing the air. I don’t mind giving free advice, I love what I do for a living and feel I am pretty good at it. I just get irritated by guys who criticize what I say before even knowing what they are talking about. I make my living by learning from the experts, attending seminars, reading, research and trial and error. I don’t “just” do it for fun. Though it is for me. Try some suggestion I might make, and if it works, I helped you, if it doesn’t work for you, I respect that you at least tried. I personally, am a very hard gainer. My brothers all have superior genetics and all drink, some smoke and all are fat. That is a waste. But, it is their choice. I have tried everything to get my body to give a pound of muscle here or there. It has been a battle. Just like Charlie Francis, the best coaches, are the ones who “don’t” have superior genetics.

Hey, im 20 years old and i just had to reply to this one. Ive posted a few things on this and ive gotten some shit back from you older guys and i just wanna say thanx to all of you. I mean, i know you guys can come off kinda harsh but i also know that you know so much more crap about this industry than i do at this age, tho by readin T-Mag and listening to you guys, i know im not far behind :wink: So yeah, i just wanted to say thanx to all you who have taken YOUR time to help us out. No matter how bad you all come off, i know you only have our best interests at heart. So thanx guys, and keep it up, sooner or later we’ll all realize what you guys did for us. Take it easy.

Thanks for the positive words guys. You sound like your making some excellent progress in our exceedingly difficult sport, keep it up!

Beautifully said, and truly inspirational!