T Nation

Conflicting Advice

Not to start another flame war here, but I’ve noticed a lot of conflicting advice here.

Specifically, I’m talking about:

Do full body workouts/Do splits.

Train almost every day/Allow plenty of recovery time between workouts.

Do few reps with lots of weight/Do lots of reps with less weight.

Train to failure/Don’t train to failure.

Eat as much as you can/Don’t eat too much or you’ll add too much fat.

Do deadlifts/don’t do deadlifts.

Do a loading phase with creatine/don’t do a loading phase.

How do you reconcile it all?

You don’t, you try it all and see what works for you. Realize that no one knows anything for sure! Bodybuilding is as much art as science.

Roland

What do you do when you are faced with buying a car, ordering a meal etc?

You learn as much as you can and make an informed choice.

If it doesn’t work out for you, you know to try to find something different next time.

The bottom line, quite simply, is this:

In the quest to educate yourself on a particular topic matter, there’s no way to bypass the learning curve…you have to start off knowing nothing, and then traverse the path of knowing a little, being confused, then gaining confidence, then realizing that what you thought you know was wrong, etc., etc.

I’ve been in this industry since about 1963, and I haven’t reconcilsed it all yet, so give yourself another 20 years or so before you get too frustrated!

It’s vital that you can be “OK” with not knowing…to be OK about being confused.

[quote]dancar wrote:
Not to start another flame war here, but I’ve noticed a lot of conflicting advice here.

Specifically, I’m talking about:

Do full body workouts/Do splits.

Train almost every day/Allow plenty of recovery time between workouts.

Do few reps with lots of weight/Do lots of reps with less weight.

Train to failure/Don’t train to failure.

Eat as much as you can/Don’t eat too much or you’ll add too much fat.

Do deadlifts/don’t do deadlifts.

Do a loading phase with creatine/don’t do a loading phase.

How do you reconcile it all?[/quote]

Yeah, the reason there is so much advice is because all of it works, for some group of people.

Your goals, your capabilities and the realities of your life will force you into certain choices in order to make the progress you want.

However, the underlying basics are always the same:

Train hard.
Eat nutritious food.
Rest and recover.

Genetics, which is such a catch all term for things like recovery ability, muscle fiber types, hormone levels, physical issues and so on will play a role.

Supplementation, whether legal or otherwise, can also play a role on these three areas.

I reconcile it by looking at the fundamental principal behing the training philosophy, then checking the philosophy against the principal for conceptual continuity.

If they match, then it is valid.

If it is valid, then I have to compare what it is designed to acomplish with my goals.

If they match, then I give it a shot.

It is important to acknowledge that there are different principals at work, different training philosophies developed around them, and different goals that require the combination of many principals.

All of the stuff that was listed are just different ways of reaching different goals. They are not necessarrily conflicting.
They are just convergent and divergent at different points.

Also, the advice may seem conflicting at first sight, but looking at it a bit closer, it isn’t.

For instance, Chad gives 4 tips, one of them: do full body workouts 3 times a week.

But Christian Thibaudeau tells us to use splits.

One of them must be wrong, right?

Wrong!

Christian also wrote: “before creating a nice sculpture you first need a big rock”

Do you have a big rock? You don’t? Then why are you wasting your time with these splits?

You do? And are you training for aesthetics. Then use body splits.

It’s all good advice, and it will work differently on different people. Pick one and give it 6 weeks. If you get to a plateau and can’t move forward, switch to one of the others.

Christian also wrote: “before creating a nice sculpture you first need a big rock”

Do you have a big rock?

That’s gold!

Yep. Just about everything works for someone. You may be surprised what works for you. Right now I am lifting 4 times / week on a modified split - chest and back twice, but some sets for legs every workout!

On top of that, I lift for 40-50 minutes for 22 - 26 sets with almost no rest, then hop on the Stairmaster for 20min. Death for muscle, right?
Wrong. Dropping fat like crazy, and strength is going up.

You just have to try different things to see what works -
for you -
at this particular point.

You may find yourself doing something equally productive yet totally different in a year.

Find what you like to do and do it. When you stop getting results, change it up. Look at the article death to conjugate training. Progress can not continue indefinately.

AND, why not start a pissing match. It keeps a thread on top and easy to find.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
Also, the advice may seem conflicting at first sight, but looking at it a bit closer, it isn’t.

For instance, Chad gives 4 tips, one of them: do full body workouts 3 times a week.

But Christian Thibaudeau tells us to use splits.

One of them must be wrong, right?

Wrong!

Christian also wrote: “before creating a nice sculpture you first need a big rock”

Do you have a big rock? You don’t? Then why are you wasting your time with these splits?

You do? And are you training for aesthetics. Then use body splits.[/quote]

I really hate it when you make a good post.