Disclaimer: If you are a newbie to weightlifting and/or T-Nation do not read the following. It is intended for the more devout and knowledged T-man/vixen and is actually intended to elicit some discussion about some "sacred cows" around here. Also, I've been known to say what I mean and mean what I say, so some-to-most of this is tongue-in-cheek/devil's advocate material.
I?ve been labeled as argumentative in the past and I?m tired of arguing about ID, so, I?m starting this thread out of frustration. Joe Weider and the newsstand BB Mags are correct in their training protocols, that's right, I said it. 3-4X10-12 on 20-30 different exercises for 2-3hrs. a day is not only a very viable way to lift, it's got history, and is good for weeding.
The ?hardcore? or ?underground? media will make assertions about hormonal milieu and overtraining and spout slogans like ?All show and no go!? and ?training to failure teaches you to fail?, but, it?s a bunch of hooey.
First of all, they?ll tell you that your workouts should be ~1hr. in length. They claim that much longer than this and your testosterone levels start to drop off. So? Testosterone levels are generally lower in leaner, athletic individuals.
As well; testosterone isn?t required for muscular growth. Testosterone has merely a loose association with muscle growth, muscle atrophy can and does occur in ?high testosterone? environments and muscle growth can occur in decidedly ?low testosterone? environments or environment where testosterone remains unchanged. In addition, some ?high volume? Olympic lifting based workouts have shown to boost testosterone levels.
So, what exact kind of exercise for that 1hr. causes a problem? Does my stretching count? Does two hours walking on a treadmill lower my T levels? For how long? Why do I care?
After they?ve espoused about workout length, they?ll begin to talk about overtraining. Overtraining and recovery capacity are two of the most misunderstood concepts of athletic training right above ?intensity?. It?s funny because usually these people will usually tell you that recovery is the most important aspect of training and then map out rep tempos and rest periods to the 1/10th of a second and want you to use 82.5% of your 1 RM for that day in order to achieve optimal TUT and appropriately stimulate growth.
What exactly are the units of overtraining or recovery? How much can the average person recover in 24 hrs.? It?s funny too because they act like it?s a limited commodity. Think of Casey Viator and ?The Colorado Experiment?, the guy gained 63# in 28 days. Even with ?muscle memory?, PEDs, and forced negatives, the fact remains that he gained 63# in 28 days. Arthur Jones himself gained 22# 13 days.
Are we capable of destroying 22# of muscle in workouts every 2 wks.? Are we rebuilding 22#? I don?t think so. If someone plateaus and/or overtrains, changes nothing except adding a little Vitamin T in the stack of arbitrary choosing, will he make gains? Why? Because of the additional stimulus? If the ?recovery machinery? is fried, why would the additional stimulus work?
With all of the amazing growth and recovery that the average human body goes through on a regular basis, why do we assume that our workouts are the biggest problem(s)? To put it another way, how does a generous growth spurt of 20#/yr. from the damage/recovery of your workouts compare to the ?recovery machinery? that builds 22# in two weeks?
Next, they?ll spout from one side of their mouths about functionality, and that the sets, reps, and exercises aren?t ?usable?. They just build ?showy muscles?. This is funny because if you were standing on the other side of their face, talking about ?purely functional? training, they?d tell you that there?s no such thing and that even bread and butter lifting exercises have little carryover to sport.
Which is it? In an even more ironic twist, if you ask a group of them about a sport like football, strongman/highland games, or UFC-style fighting and whether it?s more important to be big and strong or skilled and functional, you?ll get a 50/50 answer with each person saying the same thing slightly differently.
Last, ?Training to failure teaches you to fail!? Oh yeah? Well, ?You play like you practice!? so, ?practice at 90%, play at 90%.?, ?No pain, no gain!?, ?Go hard or go home!? etc. Too bad that these slogans and thought lines are as efficacious as the Winstrol and Bench shirt sitting alone in the back of Louie Simmons gym. Whew!
As I said, I?ve been reading lots of the ID thread, where we all seem to be experts, and I just got finished reading a thread where one member, registered for 1 mo., responded to another, registered 2 days, with advice on two options without having tried either of them. It got me thinking about the things we ?know?. Just so it is known, thinking and writing this rant made me uncomfortable. Interestingly:
?I've always thought that getting too comfortable was a bad thing. I don't like getting too complacent or too satisfied. I think that's how a man becomes stagnant ? stagnant mentally, physically, creatively, or financially. It can also get you killed.? Chris Shugart
T-Nation devout, light your torches and flame away. Rant over.