T Nation

Have we gone too far?

I was reading something in The Lair of the Ice Dog about how a kid wanted to increase the size of his back, and then Christian boldy replied, “Just find a routine and stick with it for crying out loud” - not his exact words, but you get what I mean (CT, I’m not busting on you, just using it as my example).

I started thinking about how frustrated the poor kid must be and then I began to think of how I feel the same way. I bounce from routine to routine quite frequently myself. I don’t know if it’s because I get bored easily or if it’s because I read a new article online tonight promising better results with this program for this reason etc. And then I continue reading all of these great threads, but once again get frustrated because “I took 1/2 teaspoon more glutamine than I should have and now I can kiss any hopes of losing that .23458 of an inch of flab I have off my belly”. God forbid you do any cardio for the sake of just keeping healthy. Or should I break up my sleep to get in some protein? What if I take this multivitamin as opposed to this one… will I lose the 10lbs of muscle I claimed to have gained in the last 2 weeks? To be honest, it’s all quite overwhelming.

What happened to just lifting for the simple reason that you enjoy it? Yesterday, I went to the track to enjoy the first day of great weather in God knows how many months. I didn’t go thinking I was going to do anything in particular, just that I wanted to run a few miles and do some sprints. And that’s exactly what I did. And you know what? I had a great time! I went because I wanted to and I enjoyed it.

Basically what I’m trying to say is this: I think we get way too caught up in the details of it all and for many of us, it’s downright frustrating. I wake up in the morning thinking if I forget to take a teaspoon of Flax Oil, my day is ruined. I should get up being pysched that I’m going to lift today and that I’m going to have fun! Some things are certain; consistency is important, progress is crucial and diet is key. But if you feel like doing cardio after a workout just for the sake of doing it, then by all means go for it. If you’re reading this website, you’re probably in this sport for life, so you might as well enjoy it!

Ok, now that’s off my chest…


You made me feel sorry about myself lol.

I’m the poor kid you were referring to. Not too poor my friend, im in high spirits.

The problem is we see too many routines, and think should I do this one? Or that one? And we feel like were missing out on something if we don’t try them all. We just gotta find the right ones.

The best thing i ever did was when i finally said im gonna train westside and thats that. its called paralysis analysis. just get in there and do something and then change and eat a lot.

I understand where you are coming from because I’ve been there, as has anyone else who’s ever taken this game seriously. For me, experience is the only thing that has saved me from becoming a nervous wreck. The more I learn, the more I relax and better decisions I make. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you can’t give up trying to absorb as much as you can. Learn to assimilate the information you’re presented with and if and when you feel the time is right, you’ll start applying some of the things you’ve learned. Notice that I said some of the thigns you’ve learned.

I began training oh, about 19-20 years ago. I didn’t have the internet. Hell, I didn’t have a T-Mag to look up new programs and such.

It amazes me when I see so many people post the following: “I’m thinking of doing {insert name of program here}. Would it be the best routine for me…blah blah blah”

It’s like I so want to say: Try it out for six weeks and see for yourself.

Let’s face it: 6-weeks out of a lifetime is nothing. Might as well find out what works for you to learn about your body. This sort of experimentation has added volumes for me in terms of knowledge. And I’m still experimenting. Still learning. And it’ll never stop. Never.

But Hogan, you’re right. Too many are being caught up with the details that really don’t matter. What matters is just to go in that gym and do it.

“I wake up in the morning thinking if I forget to take a teaspoon of Flax Oil, my day is ruined.”

Actually, you should take your flax oil at night so your body can use the EFA’s for cellular repair rather than fuel.

Just kidding.

I think we’ve all been there…the point when it seems like you get too bogged-down in the details and lose sight of why you’re doing it in the first place. Can’t see the forest for the trees. You can see it in most Ian King articles, when after explaining the details of a program, he writes “shut up and lift”.

Maybe the trick is finding a balance between your goals and the level of knowledge you’d like to gain to achieve those goals. While I can relate to your story of going out for a run just for the joy of it, I also get some added pleasure from the fact that I know the benefits of HIIT on my VO2-max while I’m running the sprints.

This is a damn good post, and some of the replies (notably CGB’s and Patricia’s) are damn good as well.

Here’s my contribution:

Personally, I think that the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DEVELOP in bodybuilding is your love for the gym and the lifestyle. All else is secondary. If you love it, you’ll stick with it year after year, in the face of hardship and poverty, against the social pressure that we’ve all experienced - no matter what the obstacle, you will find a way to overcome.

If you don’t love it, cleave deeply to it, make it one of the most important parts of your life and your identity, then at some point, probably sooner than later, you will quit. And once that happens, it’s all over for you. All you will have to look forward to is aging and that gradual inevitable decline that is basically nothing more than preparing to die.

So yes, the original point is right fucking ON! Make it fun. Know what you’re doing, keep good records, but don’t carry it to the point of obsession. Once it ceases to be fun, you’re on very dangerous ground. So take that occasional day and just go out and do something different. Take a tire and drag it around for a while. Throw it a few times. Use it as a trampoline. Make children stop and stare at you. (Better yet, get them to join in and then you can use them as little squirmy dumbells!) If you find yourself grinning during the exercise, you’re on the right track.

Don’t believe me? Go take a look at Dave Draper’s website. Now there’s a man who’s found himself. And boy does it show.


I am feeling you bro, I think many dont do this for the pure love of doing it. I guess it comes down to the fact that everyone has there motivation behind trainig, and that will eventually determine how long they last in this sport. If I talk to someone who is telling me that they dread going to the gym, I know that that person is not going to be there long, the same applies to thos individuals on diets, they just cant stick to them, I guess I am just trying to say that eache person has to find there own reason to work out, and it is only those who make it a lifelong goal and think ahead will be there twenty years from now. I am proud to say that I know I will be there, any one else want to commit?

We all have been there… Experimenting on our bodies seeing what works right and what doesn’t… I just wish there was a site like this when I start lifting weights… So I didn’t have to go in circles…

But, use this site for all its worth… Good sound information for the most part… To help you along your ways… Also,please if you ask for advise in here please listen to it…

We are only trying to help you out…

Just like Goldberg, the best decision I ever made was telling myself “I"m going to train like an athlete and that’s that. None of that bodybuilding, tricep pushdown exercise crap. I need to be athletic”.

Ever since that I’ve been in better condition, look better, and feel better and stronger.

Best advice: Stick with something, keep a training log, conjugated periodization, and listen to your body. Everyone is different.

I think I’m gonna cry… {tear}

haha, seriously - thanks for replying everyone. Didn’t really expect anything of the post except to clear my head, but I’m glad a lot of people are on the same page as me.

Keep it real


thank you all

Great post, Hogan! You’ve managed to put into words exactly how I’ve been feeling for over a year now.

I just started training consistently again (I’m on week three). I’ve been hitting the gym on my lunch break and it seems to be the best time for me: too many excuses not to go to the gym after work, and as for getting up early in the morning… forget about it. I now have a very rigid time frame with which to get my workout in and I find that I’m sticking to it.

I just needed something to get me back in there and keep me there. To find the joy in it again. So I’ve reverted back to the old classic: 3 x 10 (maybe T-mag will ask me to write an article on this revelation :-). I just needed to get the fire back in my belly and this seems to be doing the trick right now. Of course, I’ll alter things down the road a bit, but I’m just going for consistency right now. All else can wait.


U guys and gals are the best!

I love working out, it’s an addiction which I can’t drop.

No matter what Im facing when I wake up in the morning, job, skool, so many hardships…working out is the only thing I look forward too, and makes me happy, exited, nervous all at the same time.

I usually change my routine after about a month anyway. Also, if I for some reason forget this or that, I think to myself, “Good, I’ve been doing that for x amount of days anyway. I’m sure my body will respond favorably to the change/break.” I agree, have fun. Make it a fun thing. It is the only way you are going to stick with it. If tommorrow you don’t get enough calories think that, “Hey maybe my body will adapt favorably to the loss.” And guess what? It will. It’s all about the change. It’s all about adapting. We’re in this because we love it… and sometimes we get a little anal about it but even that is ok. That control is sometimes the only control over our own lives that we have at that moment. Get lost in it. Be dangerously hardcore. Be an animal. Kick some ass. Break some knee caps.

Gone too far?? Been there done that…ehhh Did I forget to take my ZMA the night before? Did I remember to bring my canister of Dextose?? Did I bring a spoon for creatine?? More importantly, “ARGHH FORGOT MY LUNCH!!”… as for a routine… I change my exercises every 3 weeks…just makes it more interesting and something to look forward to…And actually been getting much much better results…


It’s really all about living an authentic life. You wait for the latest article hoping this will be “the one”,that will change your physique and your life,only to be eventually dissapointed. Was that 2 tablespoons or 3. My God I’ve only had .8 grams of protein today,and on and on. Haven’t we all been there.
Start living an authentic life,where YOU decide whats right for you not some article or some dude ,that knows nothing about you. You decide based on your goals and your needs. Whether its hypertrophy or sports-specific training.
There is no perfect routine or diet ,it doesn’t exist. Find what you feel meets your needs,try it out without being loyal to it or it’s author and change it when it no longer works.
Truth be told, only one style of training is all about leading authentic
life, where the size of your arm is less important than training your balance and athleticism in order to catch the perfect wave easier. It is about being an urban guerilla in the gym and in life, and about being the architect of your own handiwork and that is Renegade Training.

I posted a very similar diatribe on a couple triathlon forums (or is that fora) a while back. Amazingly, most of the responses I got were NEGATIVE! As in they all felt they NEEDED to plan and document everything down to a gnat’s ass-hair.

I agree with you completely.

I think all of this has to do with the individuals goals and once they find this out they should try one of the thousands of programs avalible from various sorces. I’ll use my self for an example, when i was in High school i played basketball, so i used the strength shoes, and lifted a little, then as i got older and better educated about lifting and training for sport I started to use oly lifts and better conditioning, then in college I got a real program for basketball, and continued my journey … it never really ends …the persuite of perfection

Hogan, good post.

When I first started bodybuilding/strength training in the summer of 2001, I was given a basic hypertrophy program from a ungraduate student in Exercise Science, and went with it. I didn’t know any different, but it worked. Yes, I had a lot of room to improve as I was only 165lbs roughly,5’7" and was in desperate need of a physique makeover in my mind. So any program that I took on, I would of made indefinite improvements.

Then I got addicted to this lifestyle, and unfortunately I turned to Flex, MuscleMag, and other magazines that provided TONS of workouts claiming that they would give you awesome gains. Well of course these magainzes come out monthly, and a few chest workout would come out, and the one I was already on, I voided, and tried this new one.

As I step back, how would I know what really works for me? I couldn’t. The same thing goes with supplements too. I’ve tried a lot of shit (no androgens though), and thought maybe this 1 bottle or jug of whatever would revolutionize my physique.

Then I found BioTest’s website while still trying to find the magic supplement and I ended up clicking on t-mag link to see what that was all about. I began to read a lot of the forum articles and seeing what others were saying. I was shocked by what some people were saying, and I replied back with much critisism, and usually I got slammed back(in a mature manner). So I left t-mag and didn’t come back to the forum for awhile just because I didn’t see eye-to-eye with most people because my knowledge was simply based on articles from the magazines I mentioned.

Then about 5 months ago(maybe later), I realized that what I was doing really wasn’t helping, so I thought I’d give a shot with t-mag again. After reading some t-mag articles, comparing them with what others were saying, and trying to find journal abstracts that backed up what I was reading made me realize that the people at t-mag are actually making sense, and putting experience and experiment into use, and making progress with it. So I put down my magazines, and began following the t-mag way of sticking with a program, eating right, staying hardcore in the gym or in running shoes, and simply enjoy life and have fun with it.

This might of been the wrong place to post this, and maybe more appropriate in a “How did T-Mag change you” thread, but with the vast amounts of people who read this online magazine, I hope that will turn the ones that were like myself sooner than I did.

Anyways, sorry for the long and possibly boring reply, but I strongly feel as long as you stay motivated, dedicated, and simply follow some simple basic protocols, your body can change, and if it’s stuck, just ask the t-population as everyone in here has a plethora of knowledge. And finally, stay critical. Thats whats great about this place. People will set you in place if your thoughts are bogus. So as long as you stay critical, and keep your knowledge of the topic up-to-par, you’ll be able to make the right decisions.