T Nation

It's The Basics, Stupid!

By now, all T-Mag readers should know that diet plays a VERY important (if not THE most important role) in our success. Question: I just read an interview that Chris Shugart did with Miriam Powers, in which she alluded (and I agree)that if you don’t include basic movements in your program (Squats, Deads, Benches, Heavy Rows), you will not only limit your gains, but in many cases can LOSE hard earned muscle. What are you guys thoughts?

Absolutely. For the most part isolation exercises are useless. Yes, even for bodybuilders!

Mufasa, I just read that interview yesterday. I remembered back to my diet, when I was told by several bodybuilding friends of mine that I should lighten the weight and up the reps, and concurrently do more bullshit “shaping” exercises. I ignored them, knowng that I was going to lose strength ANYWAY because of the diet, and so I didn’t want to have my strength go down the tubes by switching to a higher rep scheme. I figured that it was the heavy lifts and basic movements that got me where I was in the first place, and that continued use of maximal loads and heavy basic movements would stimulate the muscles to keep them there. While my strength did drop some, I didn’t lose any lean mass despite losing 21 lbs of bodyfat, and after the arduous diet was over, I was happy that I had stuck with the heavy basic movements because I picked up just slightly less than where I had left off, in terms of poundages, and my physique looked just great despite not doing “isolation” and shaping horseshit. Keep the weight heavy and the focus high; that’s the hardest part about enduring a diet and continuing the hardcore lifting.