T Nation

Is It Me?


#1

Is it me or are kids becoming more and more smartassed and whiny.

I've been in the bodybuilding game for over 25 years and have seen and talked to all kinds of people, good and bad. I didn't think it would come to pass that 20 year old college kids who haven't held a weight in their hands for more than a total of 20 hours think they know everything there is to know about getting big. I guess this is what the age of internet brought us. Free information without having to put in your dues.

Remember when you where in the gym and there was that "big guy" who would sometimes come up to you and give you advice when he saw you bouncing the bar off your chest or some other stupid thing. You would ask him a question and he always had time to answer you even though you had pipecleaner arms and no chest. He saw you were working hard so deserved a good word.

Those were the days of the unpainted rusty weights with dingy rooms and the only machine was a low cable pulley or a leg press.

I enjoy reading the good info here on T-Nation. It's just that I get somewhat pissed by the know-it-all attitudes of many of the "theoretical or virtual bodybuilders" on this forum.
The world has moved on and so we must accept it...it doesn't mean we must like it.

Is it just me or has anyone else my age noticed it also?


#2

Good topic.

Just remember that it's not only the young kids who are know-it-alls. They are out there EVERYWHERE and at ALL ages. There's a couple older guys in my gym who have guts and terrible forms/routines however still feel the need to let everyone know their opinion on everything.

Don't get me wrong though...we also have our fair share of kids in my gym who also have terrible form, horrible routines, and non existant work ethic. I work with troubled adolescents and there does seem to be a lack of respect, huge egos, running rampant among them. Not only in the gym but in all aspects of life...which is very scary.


#3

I don't know how old you are, but it has gotten irritating. I was just informed in one other forum that a poster is 240lbs...as if this was supposed to shock me. I was 240lbs the first time about 4 or 5 years ago. I am also under 6 feet tall. I actually think it is a just an evolution from how ridiculous it used to be.

I remember before you could easily post personal pictures on the internet, how everyone logging in claimed to be over 260lbs with 6% body fat on every bodybuilding forum. It's the same kids, they just seem to talk even more now as if copy and pasting shit from the internet is the same as experience and knowledge.

I do know I looked up to nearly anyone in the gym who had some size on them and was older than me when I first started. Even if they weren't in the best shape, obviously they had more experience than me. I don't even understand walking into a gym as a newbie and acting as if no one can teach you anything. That's just stupid.


#4

I'm 45 and work hard at staying on top. Ive made mistakes and have had my good and bad times. I just can't remember ever being as cocky as the kids are these days. I guess it's a combination of mass media and the internet chipping away at family values and general respect for one another.

Back in the days of my youth I couldnt even imagine this anonymous name-calling and posturing that goes on over the net.

We were responsible for our words...every one of them. They made or broke you in society.


#5

Excellent topic.

I train alone. I have trained alone in my own gym for the last - geez - 6 years now. Before that we had a membership at a gym, but I never talked to anyone or put myself in a situation where I would have to interact with anyone but the towel girl.

I suffered for that isolation because I never asked anyone WTF I was doing wrong. Then I found this place. It changed my life.

I am 41 - and it seems that in the last year or so T-Nation has been overrun with know-it-all twinks that have no more business posting on here than I do posting on a teen dating site.

There seems to be a complete lack of respect on here anymore. Back in the day you could be honest and tell someone they their program sucked without getting into a heated fight. I think folks used to take criticism for what it was. Now they act as if their entire existence is questioned because someone told them that they need to build muscle to get a V-taper, and not just do more ab work.


#6

grey:

I couldn't agree more with you. That's one reason that I built my own Gym in my home over the years. I invite people to come train with me to avoid the sort of thing you are talking about.

On another thread I responded to a poster who was complaining about not being able to complete even one "wide grip chin-up." I told him that wide grip pull-ups can adversely effect your shoulders if done regularly over a period of time.

Another guy claims that he has seen no scientific studies about this and would like to see them bla bla bla.

Hey, I was only trying to give someone the benefit of my experience. He can do wide grip pull-ups all day long if it makes him happy.

It's a generational thing I think. You don't see many people in their 30's and 40's being smart alec know it all punks.

Then again there are many good teens and 20 somethings who are not afraid to learn a few things.


#7

Man, I know what you're talking about.

There are a lot of books and such out there on 'Millenials', but the bottom line is that our society is over-automated and alot of these kids have been raised on Playstation, Instant Messenger, and their parents either over-reacting or not reacting.

I work as a Director of Housing at a small university - I work with these kids on a daily basis. I refer to them as kids, because a lot of the 18 year olds who show up for college are not yet what I would define as young adults. Each year, as I look to field a staff of RAs, I see less and less individuals who arrive at college with developed leadership skills, helping skills, or even coping skills.

In the weightroom, some of these kids can be snots, but I think it's just their way of reaching out - a lot of these kids have not had the life lesson of 'earning'. They either didn't have to work for it, or worked for it and got nothing.

Next time some 18 year old ribcage tries to give you some advice, do what I do - ask them where they read it.


#8

Bros. Thats where i train. At home.
Alone, and that suits me just fine.
I have a decent set up and hate it when I travel and have to use a regular gym.
Everybody is watching each other and shooting the shit. I crank up my player and pretend they don't exist.

If someones fucking around with a peice of equipment I just change my excersize so that i don't have to deal with them.
I sometimes really want to get thru to these college brats that life for them hasn't even begun yet and that the biggest gains and achievements are a long way off. Life might deal them a bitter hand and just a little less ego would go a long way.
Alas there really is no reason for me to waste my time because...
A)they wouldnt listen and
B)they wouldnt listen...

Reading some of the posts on this forum can be pretty exasperating.
Oh well.

P.S. Why do you think that pullups are bad? Do you mean when using the 45% handles at the very end of the bar?


#9

I train in a public gym and I do know the atmosphere has changed drastically. There used be more of a "family" feel to it between the guys who were really serious. It was even like that in the early 90's when I first got serious. It died out soon afterwards, however. Now, between the massive number of skinny guys jumping on the treadmill or doing nothing but ab work and the others always on the benchpress even though they haven't made progress in two years, it is just filled with people with some weird negative perception of bodybuilding even though they are taking part in it.

I also don't speak to too many people in the gym aside from maybe 3 that I know really take it more seriously than wearing designer tank tops while raising their shirt to look at their abs 30 times a minute.

The gym has become a hang out for Abercrombie & Fitch/Hollister teen wannabes. Someone forgot to tell them what heavy weights are for.


#10

I am not sure if they are more whiney than we were but I do know they have a bigger voice and fewer negative repercussions when they talk shit.


#11

That's only because you can't strangle the fuckers through a computer screen.


#12

grey you said it best: "..just a little less ego would go a long way."


#13

I was talking about the extreme wide grip recommended by some.


#14

It's not just in the gym.
I go to the grocery store and have trouble not ripping half of the kids in there a new one when I hear how they talk to their parents. Yet the parents not only ALLOW it, but usually cave to whatever the brat's request is. There would have been SERIOUS repercussions if I had addressed an adult, much less my parents, in that manner. There seems to be no consequence for attitude.
Being able to hide behind a keyboard and computer screen only magnifies the problem.


#15

I'm only 21, so I have little to compare it to, of course. But I think the whole obesity trip/ fad diets/ "health conciousness" thing in the 90s probably contributed to the influx of assholes in the gyms. Anytime more people get involved in something, you are garaunteed to get more people yapping about things they don't know too much about.

Although, you have to admit that the industry itself has contributed to this, with the massive amounts of false information that is put out for people to read in the magazines about bodybuilding. So many people are misinformed about the subject that anytime people talk, you know exactly what bullshit mag they got it from.

It takes alot to counteract that kind of media blitz of false information. For me, it was coming on here. I made alot of progress my first four years of lifting, being as it was for football- 3 total body workouts a week. However, the bodybuilding mags really ended fucking me up, as they misled me into thinking that a one body part a day program with 5 exercises at 4 sets a piece for 10 reps would be ideal for me (which it isn't). They feed the mass lies that places like this debunk and shoot to shit.

Unfortunately, sometimes these have to be debunked the hard way. I said it before- the mass flamings that happen are what keeps this site pure, and for those who really want to learn and understand things. I have seen sites where 14 yr. old tubs of shit go on and get complimented for their "size", or 125 pound kids for their "definition".

That's kind of the reason I hang out around here nowadays. Its also dissapointing to figure out that some buddies of mine (whom I used to think knew what they were talking about) really know far littler than I thought- and this site showed me the way.

If for nothing else, keep talking for those of us who don't have as much knowledge, and those of us that are still young- some of us really want to learn this stuff.


#16

Great topic.

As a 20 year old, I'm speaking from the minority here (along FightinIrish26 and a few others).

I do believe my generation has been raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue.

Image is everything now. Everything at face value. It seems we are more interested in finding ways to fake confidence, intelligence, compassion and honesty than we are to actually seek those qualities out through trial and error, experience, and open-mindedness.

We (as a generation, of course) sit inside all day. Our interaction stems from chat rooms, text messages, and vicariously living through whoever is on TV.

When we leave that comfortable, climate controlled, automatic safety zone, we carry those flimsy views of reality with us and suffer accordingly.

I believe that finding T-Nation was a tool that has helped me immensely in all levels, especially fitness-related...

...however, I wasn't quite the asshole to begin with. I didn't shelter myself or allowed myself to be sheltered by anyone else. I've said this on many posts before, but I think it deems repeating:

I learn. I apply. I discard whatever isn't necessary. I grow. I live.

And that's just the bottom line that I don't think my generation is getting.

Then again, that's just my one, know-it-all, can't-teach-me-anthing,-you-bastard!, philosophy.

-Nate


#17

No grey it's not you,

it's the "the next generation is much worse than we were" game that has been played for at least 2000 years now...

Must people are idiots, period...


#18

Thanks for all the good input bros.
It was also good to hear from some of the younger bros who sound like they have it straight.
Ive been wondering about another thing as I was reading these posts and others,
How is the net affecting live communication skills in our youth.
Internet gives people a buffer. Live people skills is another thing.
I would suggest it can give us both.
The really shy and introverted
a chance to develop.
It stops the developement of interpersonal skills in children who would otherwise probably be excellent
in that department.
Which one is it?

When we were kids we had to make an effort to see our friends...whether they lived "around the block" or even a few doors down.
Most kids find their friends on a screen these days.
Pretty pathetic or is this what they call progress?


#19

AMEN BROS!

I totally agree. I got so sick of the gym scene, I built my own home gym. Crank up the Pantera, grunt and scream, gag myself with my own farts...life is good. When I see kids/teens messing up and having attitudes I always mostly blame the parents. When I go to my kids events at school I always find the little girls that are the glamour queens then find their moms, dressed the same way, the little guys with the mohawks and concert t-shirts, dad's dressed the same way. I know it's just the sign of the times also, there's a general 'I just don't care attitude'. I saw 2 people yesterday just throw their napkins out the window of their cars, just makes me sick!


#20

It really goes beyond the Gym. I think the Gym simply reflects what is happening in our society.

For example, I have a child who just started High School this year. It's amazing the stories that she comes home with. If even half of them are true we have some serious problems brewing.

Complete and total disrespect for teachers is the order of the day it seems. Not by everyone of course but by many. It used to be that there was always one or two wise guys in many classes. According to my daughter that number has grown considerably. And they go beyond harmless comments or pranks-

I wouldn't last one week as a teacher because some of these punks who deserve something that they never got as kids- A GOOD BEATING!

(okay that was harsh)