T Nation

How Can I Improve My Physique?

Where’s Derek542?

A lesson in proper form for dismissive douchebaggery is needed in the beginner forum. Hopefully he’ll pull through for us.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Generally dismissive douchebaggery? Not sure what you’re reading, but in this thread I’ve seen the majority of replies being pretty useful input with minimal ball-busting. And that’s even with red flags like “tone”, “vegan”, and “bodyweight exercise”. This kid has gotten some great advice from a few different people.

I saw your post as overlooking multiple already-stated facts about this dude. He’s a rank beginner who looks like he’s barely ever trained (no offense, AF), but you’re suggesting fine-tuning certain bodyparts.

He doesn’t have a barbell, but you’re suggesting a focus on barbell exercises. He’s a vegan, but you’re suggesting the importance of non-vegan food sources and you’re asserting some inaccurate points about a vegan diet (such as protein and fat sources).

[quote]herofit wrote:
But then, welcome to the TNation forums, right?[/quote]
Pretty much. Although the Beginners forum is where we wear the kid gloves. If you thought this was harsh, you’re in for a bumpy ride in BSL and GAL.[/quote]

I was referring to your response to me, not the tone of the thread towards OP. I think the tone of the thread has been very supportive, considering as you say - the OP is a Vegan in a place called ‘testosterone nation.’ In context of someone saying ‘here’s what I eat and what I do, how can I improve?’ simply pointing at the new guy and going ‘He doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about’ may elicit a few laughs from your ‘in’ crowd, but it isn’t terribly useful to the OP.

OP asked how to improve his physique. I gave my piece. If he categorically said, “I patently refuse to pick up a barbell or use barbells,” then I missed that. I think it’s a little funny you’re lampooning me for giving him exercise selection suggestions on the basis that he’s a newbie while at the same time telling him to eat at least 40 grams of protein per meal… But then, you’re the Contributor, not me. I just think it’s funny to suggest barbell training is too advanced but not meal-specific macro counting.

I told him he’ll need to up his calories - do you disagree? I told him he’ll struggle to get enough protein - do you disagree? I told him he’ll struggle to get enough dietary fats - do you disagree? Since I see the very same points raised in your own posts, in findig it difficult to determine just where this massive disagreement lies. But then some people just love their own way of putting it, don’t they?

I have never considered barbell rows, deadlift and bench press ‘fine tuning’ exercises. Again I don’t actually work in fitness, so I’m on the outside looking in. I’m an engineer, not a personal trainer. I will defer to the Contributor.

This is only my second post. I realize it is fairly safe to assume I am a clueless BroFag newbie.

[quote]herofit wrote:
This is only my second post. I realize it is fairly safe to assume I am a clueless BroFag newbie. [/quote]

Don’t sell yourself short. You also don’t read very well.

[quote]herofit wrote:
This is only my second post. I realize it is fairly safe to assume I am a clueless BroFag newbie. [/quote]

Actually, it’s your third. Ugh. Tough day for you.

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

[quote]herofit wrote:
This is only my second post. I realize it is fairly safe to assume I am a clueless BroFag newbie. [/quote]

Actually, it’s your third. Ugh. Tough day for you.
[/quote]

Not really. None of this (re: you) actually matters.

[quote]herofit wrote:
In context of someone saying ‘here’s what I eat and what I do, how can I improve?’ simply pointing at the new guy and going ‘He doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about’ may elicit a few laughs from your ‘in’ crowd, but it isn’t terribly useful to the OP.[/quote]
Here in the Beginners forum, we have a recurring issue with misinformation being spread to people to new to know the difference.


So, yes, I do feel a smidge of responsibility to call out the occasional non-sense when I see it. As was mentioned, it didn’t help that this was our first impression of you.

He doesn’t yet own a barbell, but he has a bunch of other equipment. He did say he’d think about getting one when he can. So telling him to barbell bench, deadlift, and barbell row is pre-mature and redundant at best.

I never said it was “too advanced”. It simply isn’t an immediate option, so telling him how useful it is is kinda pointless. And it’s quite a stretch to call “shoot for at least 40ish grams per meal” a recommendation for meal-specific macro counting.

No, I don’t.

Yes, I do and yes, I do.

I cannot LOL loud enough. Okay, boss.

Me neither, but you’re changing the argument. “Training for size in the back, chest, and shoulders are going to (in my opinion) have the most obvious effects on your body visually.” … is not useful or constructive for a beginner. When everything needs work, you tell him that everything needs work.

FWIW, I don’t think that at all. I think you probably popped in well-intentioned and got your panties in a bunch when it was pointed out that your fairly long post was open to dispute. No serious harm done. Maybe an iffy-first impression, but if that’s you in your avatar pic, you have a decent build and can probably contribute info down the line.

EDIT:

Okay, I take back what I just said. This really was a dickhead comment.

To be fair, the thread title is “how can I improve my physique”, and the “do stuff to improve the V taper” pretty much answered the question he asked.

But I think the bigger problem is that by asking that question, he’s putting the cart before the horse. And that he’ll focus on improving the V before focusing on building a good base. That was exactly my problem when I started… but eventually I self corrected. That stuff IS important and WILL improve his physique from where it is, but it’s pretty easy to get stuck in the trap of improving measurements when the mirror still shows you as being very skinny.

Anyway, welcome to these boards.

[quote]jbpick86 wrote:

[quote]herofit wrote:
This is only my second post. I realize it is fairly safe to assume I am a clueless BroFag newbie. [/quote]

Don’t sell yourself short. You also don’t read very well. [/quote]

Yup. Chris took the time to quote and answer the OP’s question IN CONTEXT. What you posted isn’t wrong, its just irrelevant.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
To be fair, the thread title is “how can I improve my physique”, and the “do stuff to improve the V taper” pretty much answered the question he asked.

But I think the bigger problem is that by asking that question, he’s putting the cart before the horse. And that he’ll focus on improving the V before focusing on building a good base. That was exactly my problem when I started… but eventually I self corrected. That stuff IS important and WILL improve his physique from where it is, but it’s pretty easy to get stuck in the trap of improving measurements when the mirror still shows you as being very skinny.

Anyway, welcome to these boards.[/quote]

This is the only guy who gets it. The kid asked a question, I gave him an answer. The rest of you gave him a sermon on how to change his life from the ground up. “Do Starting Strength for the next 4 years”, “Do 5/3/1 until you dead 405”. My response was intended to be a little more brass tacks. Would I walk this kid into a gym for the first time and tell him to do lat pulldowns? Of course not. But I’m a guy on a forum, not Jesus fucking Christ the savior of vegan bodybuilders.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

FWIW, I don’t think that at all. I think you probably popped in well-intentioned and got your panties in a bunch when it was pointed out that your fairly long post was open to dispute. No serious harm done. Maybe an iffy-first impression, but if that’s you in your avatar pic, you have a decent build and can probably contribute info down the line.
[/quote]

I will say that I’m sure you know what you’re doing and you’re very helpful to the new guys who come looking for advice, but what I think this guy’s done is come in looking for simple advice and with the greatest will in the world, the reaction was: “Here’s how to transform your life, in 27 thousand very simple steps!” I completely realize you all thought my response was irresponsibly superficial.

If he had asked “How do I go about completely transforming my physique and my life to pursue fitness/bodybuilding/strength training injury free for the foreseeable future?”, I would completely go along with the assessment that what I said was been woefully insufficient. I could go along with “here’s how many meals to eat, and here’s how many grams of protein to get with each meal and here’s how to choose low glycemic carbs and here’s your BMR oh and do Starting Strength for the next 4 years, oh and don’t forget soft tissue work and foam rolling and mobility drills and bodyweight work and athletics and flexibility and joint angles and and and”.

What he got was a reading from the Book of TNation. And it’s all completely legitimate, accurate material, but it’s like - how much of that do you REALLY expect to be digestible in a forum post by a guy with zero fundamentals? You talk like I would have him walk into a gym and start doing upright rows and lat pulldowns until he impinged his shoulder, but in reality this guy’s here about 30 seconds and the typical response was like: “Do you have a moment to hear about our Lord and Savior, Mark Rippetoe?”

Which is fine. I can worship at the altar of Cressey and Rippetoe, Dan John and Jim Wendler as much as the next guy. But when you decided to dissect it because - well, why help anyone who isn’t prepared to completely transform their lives around this? - I just found all of your reactions incredibly adolescent. It isn’t surprising for the fanboys, but it is for a contributor.

I’ll tell you one thing - you won’t find someone like Bret Contreras or Eric Cressey on here lowering themselves with that kind of bullshit.

It’s unfortunate you were offended by me telling him I didn’t care what he thought. FWIW, your crossfit article was decent. (See how little you care what I think? Now you understand.)

[quote]herofit wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

FWIW, I don’t think that at all. I think you probably popped in well-intentioned and got your panties in a bunch when it was pointed out that your fairly long post was open to dispute. No serious harm done. Maybe an iffy-first impression, but if that’s you in your avatar pic, you have a decent build and can probably contribute info down the line.
[/quote]

I will say that I’m sure you know what you’re doing and you’re very helpful to the new guys who come looking for advice, but what I think this guy’s done is come in looking for simple advice and with the greatest will in the world, the reaction was: “Here’s how to transform your life, in 27 thousand very simple steps!” I completely realize you all thought my response was irresponsibly superficial.

If he had asked “How do I go about completely transforming my physique and my life to pursue fitness/bodybuilding/strength training injury free for the foreseeable future?”, I would completely go along with the assessment that what I said was been woefully insufficient. I could go along with “here’s how many meals to eat, and here’s how many grams of protein to get with each meal and here’s how to choose low glycemic carbs and here’s your BMR oh and do Starting Strength for the next 4 years, oh and don’t forget soft tissue work and foam rolling and mobility drills and bodyweight work and athletics and flexibility and joint angles and and and”.

What he got was a reading from the Book of TNation. And it’s all completely legitimate, accurate material, but it’s like - how much of that do you REALLY expect to be digestible in a forum post by a guy with zero fundamentals? You talk like I would have him walk into a gym and start doing upright rows and lat pulldowns until he impinged his shoulder, but in reality this guy’s here about 30 seconds and the typical response was like: “Do you have a moment to hear about our Lord and Savior, Mark Rippetoe?”

Which is fine. I can worship at the altar of Cressey and Rippetoe, Dan John and Jim Wendler as much as the next guy. But when you decided to dissect it because - well, why help anyone who isn’t prepared to completely transform their lives around this? - I just found all of your reactions incredibly adolescent. It isn’t surprising for the fanboys, but it is for a contributor.

I’ll tell you one thing - you won’t find someone like Bret Contreras or Eric Cressey on here lowering themselves with that kind of bullshit.

It’s unfortunate you were offended by me telling him I didn’t care what he thought. FWIW, your crossfit article was decent. (See how little you care what I think? Now you understand.)[/quote]

Now you’re just pulling nonsense out of thin air. Stop making stuff up and let it go. Or do you really type just to hear yourself hit the keys?

[quote]dt79 wrote:

Now you’re just pulling nonsense out of thin air. Stop making stuff up and let it go. Or do you really type just to hear yourself hit the keys?[/quote]

I don’t know, I think he actually made his point pretty well. He’s not disagreeing with anyone, he was answering a question. Now, the legitimacy of the original question is certainly…questionable…but to be fair, he did address the OP’s actual query. OP isn’t looking for a lifestyle change, just wants to tweak what he has.

Now, is that wise? Given the pictures, probably not (no offense, OP). He would be better served to build up a solid base before even thinking about tweaking weak spots, since it’s pretty much ALL a weak spot. And that’s what EVERYONE has said. However, the OP was just asking how to tweak now, regardless of how counterproductive that may be in the grand scheme.

It’s understandable to want to guide everyone (especially the misguided but well intentioned) on the iron path, but not everyone wants to hear that or is ready to. Kid just wanted an answer to his question.

We’re really all on the same side here, and Hero clearly has the understanding that we all do about the “right” way to do it. Just went against the grain of tradition of preaching SS and 5/3/1 to beginners.

Also, spit my coffee out at the Ripp-hova’s witness comment. Well played.

[quote]Apothecary wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

Now you’re just pulling nonsense out of thin air. Stop making stuff up and let it go. Or do you really type just to hear yourself hit the keys?[/quote]

I don’t know, I think he actually made his point pretty well. He’s not disagreeing with anyone, he was answering a question. Now, the legitimacy of the original question is certainly…questionable…but to be fair, he did address the OP’s actual query. OP isn’t looking for a lifestyle change, just wants to tweak what he has.

Now, is that wise? Given the pictures, probably not (no offense, OP). He would be better served to build up a solid base before even thinking about tweaking weak spots, since it’s pretty much ALL a weak spot. And that’s what EVERYONE has said. However, the OP was just asking how to tweak now, regardless of how counterproductive that may be in the grand scheme.

It’s understandable to want to guide everyone (especially the misguided but well intentioned) on the iron path, but not everyone wants to hear that or is ready to. Kid just wanted an answer to his question.

We’re really all on the same side here, and Hero clearly has the understanding that we all do about the “right” way to do it. Just went against the grain of tradition of preaching SS and 5/3/1 to beginners.

Also, spit my coffee out at the Ripp-hova’s witness comment. Well played.[/quote]

Yeah but what he’s pissed off about is his exchange with Chris. Bringing up some rippetoe cult is, again, irrelevant to the issue. This guy loves his strawmen.

[quote]dt79 wrote:

Yeah but what he’s pissed off about is his exchange with Chris. Bringing up some rippetoe cult is, again, irrelevant to the issue. This guy loves his strawmen.

[/quote]

Right, there are definitely rustled jimmies on all sides. Just saying that at the end of the day, most everyone is in agreement on how to correctly train for an ideal physique. However, that’s kinda not what the OP wants, so it devolved into a convoluted name calling fest once some of those obvious and basic tenets of training weren’t adhered to in the answer.

[quote]Apothecary wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

Now you’re just pulling nonsense out of thin air. Stop making stuff up and let it go. Or do you really type just to hear yourself hit the keys?[/quote]

I don’t know, I think he actually made his point pretty well. He’s not disagreeing with anyone, he was answering a question. Now, the legitimacy of the original question is certainly…questionable…but to be fair, he did address the OP’s actual query. OP isn’t looking for a lifestyle change, just wants to tweak what he has.

Now, is that wise? Given the pictures, probably not (no offense, OP). He would be better served to build up a solid base before even thinking about tweaking weak spots, since it’s pretty much ALL a weak spot. And that’s what EVERYONE has said. However, the OP was just asking how to tweak now, regardless of how counterproductive that may be in the grand scheme.

It’s understandable to want to guide everyone (especially the misguided but well intentioned) on the iron path, but not everyone wants to hear that or is ready to. Kid just wanted an answer to his question.

We’re really all on the same side here, and Hero clearly has the understanding that we all do about the “right” way to do it. Just went against the grain of tradition of preaching SS and 5/3/1 to beginners.

Also, spit my coffee out at the Ripp-hova’s witness comment. Well played.[/quote]

He horrendously missed when addressing the OP’s situation, then got mad when called out on it.

[quote]
I do having access to dumb bells, kettle bells, rings, pull up bar, dipping station, skipping rope, boxing bag & even a climbing rope. My problem is consistency I think, I’ve noticed a big change in endurance over all since that last thread a year ago. [/quote]

[quote]
The basics here, barbell bench, barbell deadlift, barbell rows and dumbell rows. But I would also throw in and say lat pulls and laterals would be beneficial to your shape, it’ll draw out your shoulders and make you look wider which naturally makes a person’s waist look smaller. [/quote]

[quote]
Okay, so, other than missing a barbell, you have everything you need to follow a good program. For a twice a week plan, consider something like this:
http://www.T-Nation.com/...e.do?id=5329089
It’s a framework that you should be able to fill in with intelligent exercise choices. [/quote]

Which one of the last two responses is appropriate given the info given on the trainee??

[quote]Apothecary wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

Yeah but what he’s pissed off about is his exchange with Chris. Bringing up some rippetoe cult is, again, irrelevant to the issue. This guy loves his strawmen.

[/quote]

Right, there are definitely rustled jimmies on all sides. Just saying that at the end of the day, most everyone is in agreement on how to correctly train for an ideal physique. However, that’s kinda not what the OP wants, so it devolved into a convoluted name calling fest once some of those obvious and basic tenets of training weren’t adhered to in the answer.[/quote]

Agreed. Which makes one appreciate even more how Chris painstakingly quoted and provided solutions for each of the OP’s issues according to his specific situation.

[quote]dt79 wrote:

Agreed. Which makes one appreciate even more how Chris painstakingly quoted and provided solutions for each of the OP’s issues according to his specific situation.
[/quote]

Right? I don’t know how Chris has that much patience, especially when so many people come and post under the guise of looking for advice, when they really only want validation that their crazy diet/split/whatever “is totally legit, bro”.

I do love when he takes the gloves off and digs up 2 or 3 previous posts by those jackwagons that all contradict each other.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Generally dismissive douchebaggery? Not sure what you’re reading, but in this thread I’ve seen the majority of replies being pretty useful input with minimal ball-busting. And that’s even with red flags like “tone”, “vegan”, and “bodyweight exercise”. This kid has gotten some great advice from a few different people.

I saw your post as overlooking multiple already-stated facts about this dude. He’s a rank beginner who looks like he’s barely ever trained (no offense, AF), but you’re suggesting fine-tuning certain bodyparts.

He doesn’t have a barbell, but you’re suggesting a focus on barbell exercises. He’s a vegan, but you’re suggesting the importance of non-vegan food sources and you’re asserting some inaccurate points about a vegan diet (such as protein and fat sources).

[quote]herofit wrote:
But then, welcome to the TNation forums, right?[/quote]
Pretty much. Although the Beginners forum is where we wear the kid gloves. If you thought this was harsh, you’re in for a bumpy ride in BSL and GAL.[/quote]

Lol or make your way over to the Steroids section some time

Get a barbell and some plates.
Eat in a caloric surplus.
Train heavy weight low reps (1-5).
Get plenty of recovery.
Train compound lifts.
Learn proper execution of the lifts.
Stay away from isolation exercises (ex: curls, tricep extensions, etc.)

Mass and strength comes from heavy compound movements under a caloric surplus and getting plenty of sleep. Do that for about 5 years and you will get noticed for sure. If you think you need anything more than what I’ve listed, you have no business training for size and strength until you master these fundamentals.

You SHOULD also read this:

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_big_5_of_getting_big&cr=

OP, you have some seriously strong guys in here giving you solid advice.

Don’t waste this opportunity.