T Nation

Hard or Easy?


Assuming that our goals are to increase muscle mass and decrease body fat through weight training, do YOU consider it easy or hard? My line of thought:

Many say "lift heavy, eat, rest".

Others say "lift, rest, take 200mg of this supplement, 20mg of that, don't forget fish oil, creatine, such-and-such protein, don't eat before working out, then do sled pulls and squats, never do that, always do this, and so on...

Which is it? Seems like the guys a generation ago subscribed to the former, however if it were truly a simple formula, there would be a whole bunch of huge ripped guys all over the place. .


Damn good question.


If you're new, follow the former. Lift heavy, eat, sleep.

If you are a competitive bodybuilder who is getting paid on how you look, or if you have an interest in physiology, nutrition, and science, then eventually you'll incorporate the latter.

For most of us, lifting heavy and living the right way will get us where we want to go. For others, learning the science does it. That's my thoughts.


Heh, like Fightin' said, when the "lift heavy, eat and rest" stops producing results... you look for things to change.


it's easy to go through the motions. it is hard to keep making progress in any aspect of physique enhancement, whether it is size, strength, fat %. It is as simple as that. In my current condition i need to have my supplementation on point and i have to actually schedule time to go the gym. so be it. laters pk


To answer the question ... it is simple, but it is not easy. If one can get off of their arse and execute, it can seem easy.


Guess what, we all need to START SOMEWHERE. As a beginner, it is much easier to follow the idea of eating lots, resting lots, and lifting heavy. Once you can do that, you can start getting more advanced.

Basics: Food log, training log, 8hours+ sleep.

Advanced: Dedicated eating plan customized to your goals based on bodyweight, activity levels, etc. Customized training program suited or your goals and week points. Supplements as needed, lots of rest still.

You gotta build a foundation to work from, or else you are gonna fall flat on your face. I mean, if you are trying to bulk and you can't spend 3 months following something simple like ABBH and eating excess cals, why would you need to spend money on supplements?

Once you can do things right, start worrying about Carbolin 19, Alpha Male, how many Omega-3 and 6 fats you are getting, pre and post workout nutrition, etc.

Coming from someone who has read this site for a few years, and been up and down with my training focus, getting back into the swing of things by focusing on the basics was a big big help. I am at the point now where I know my body, how much food I need, my weak points, what supplements are best for my goals, etc.

Hope that helps.


The truth is, at the start (first few weeks), working out is pretty hard as you body adapts to the changes going on. After that, the workouts become refreshing.

In essence, it isn't as hard as it seems, but the results usually aren't as fast as most expect.


All of these are great comments. Seems like everyone has an opinion though. "All you need to do is (insert some off-the-wall comment here) to grow". When do you know you have crossed over from the beginner who has maxxed out the basics and now it's time to start the complicated stuff? Some people say all you need to do is bench, squat and deadlift and you'll get huge forever. Then other people get offended by your workout ("hey, dumbass...dont' you know leg extensions don't work? Just do squats"). I do barbell curls in the squat rack sometimes (what an idiot)...so what? It's a cramped gym and nobody ever uses the rack anyway.

It just seems like bodybuilding has complicated itself somehow. It struck me one day when I was in Italy. Looking at all the marble statues and paintings in museums of really muscular dudes. How did the sculptor know the human body could look like that if guys who looked like that did not exist. And since they must have existed, how did they get so big and lean without Weider principles or T-Nation, or creatine or treadmills, or Omega-3, or lat pulldown machines? It can't be that difficult.


Great thread. Awesome reminder to new people that you just gotta lift, eat clean and sleep. Well done.


You're overcomplicating it. It depends on how serious you want to be about it. There are people that will count every calorie, make sure the pre/post workout drink contains the correct amount of carbs and protein, etc. If it works for them, then great.

I'm not at that point yet. I eat everything I see, and stick to a pretty basic template. It's worked wonders. I overcomplicated it myself, and it got me nowhere.

When what you're doing stops working, then change it, and as you go, you'll learn more about all the little shit.

The basic premise remains "Lift heavy shit to get strong. The more heavy shit you lift, the stronger you'll be". The more you sit on a lifting board wondering if you're doing it wrong, the less strong you'll be.

Try it out. It took me eight years and a million programs to figure out that I needed higher intensity, less volume, and wasn't eating enough. You already know more than I ever did. So just do it and see what works. Adjust accordingly. No amount of reading can make up for time under the bar (i.e. experience).