T Nation

MacGyver And How I Failed

I was about to name this thread ‘I Hate MacGyver’. But that would be wrong, because I don’t really HATE him, rather, I think a lot of his concepts are unnecessary and actually counterproductive for newbies.

I will say this now: This thread is not a stab at MacGyver, or his engineering principles, or his workouts. This is just some observations and conclusions that I, in my limited experience, have come to.

When I first started getting ‘serious’ (lets face it, for a newbie, being ‘serious’ isn’t really that serious) about being a sercet agent, I read a shitload. I thought I knew everything. I made sure I picked a manual written by a top agent, and thought my diet was perfect (but it was FAR from it).

I first did a MacGyverism, I remember it was with a blowtorch and monkey wrench. Now there are several reasons why I ended up looking worse a year later than when I started. I put on a bunch of fat, and I didn’t really get much stronger. I over-analyzed and I applied principles that I read were important, but I think now a newbie should NOT apply these:

  1. You have to switch up your tools every 4 weeks
  2. You need to train different MacGyver qualities in a muscle if you want to train it several times a week
  3. Don’t ‘MacGyver’ to failure.

These were topics that I read from McGyver a lot, and while they are important for the more advanced special agent, I think they are absolute codswallop for a new MacGyverer, and will only CONFUSE a newbie. Here’s why I think so:

  1. A newbie should NOT switch up tools every 4 weeks. It is simply not enough time to properly progress and set up momentum for a MacGyverism. ‘He acts fast and thinks faster’, one of the best MacGyver seasons IMO, has you going full bore until you can’t gain anymore. A newb can and should be staying on the same MacGyver season for as long as possible so he can milk everything from it and get his CNS to develop proper efficiency on the duct tape and swiss army knife, and not change everything up all the time.

  2. You dont need to do 1 day toothpaste, 2nd day duct tape and a 3rd day paper clips if you want to train your MacGyverisms 3x week. I personally think it confuses the shit out of a newbies CNS, and takes away from the main focus at this point which should be MORE EXPERIENCE MACGYVERING.

  3. I think it can be safely said that a newbie doesn’t know how to completely trash his CNS and really ‘overtrain’ himself by training to ‘failure’ 3x a week. I think telling newbies (who don’t have proper experience of what it’s like to actually train very hard) not to strain or ‘MacGyver’ to ‘failure’ is a great way of telling them to be lazy, and hold back.

Now after writing this I am NOT saying that I am disagreeing with MacGyver’s principles, not for more advanced or intermediate agents anyway. I do however believe that programs like ‘MacGyver’ are wrong for newbies, and don’t provide a chance for a new lifter to really get a feeling for how exercises work his muscles and how his body handles them.

I also think that newbies can be cursed with an enormous desire to be like MaGyver. I know I was. I wanted to build MacGyver skills so bad that I read and read and read, and it all backfired. I switched seasons too soon, I was paying too much attention to TUT, rotating loading parameters, “should I stop this set now, because MacGyver said I shouldn’t train to failure”, are rolling pins better than tweezers?, etc.
And a year later I felt crushed. Because I had utterly failed at what I poured so much time, emotion and resources into. I got ‘analysis paralysis’ and now I am paying for it.

If I could go back and tell myself, the newbie whose brain was overflowing with all of this useless MacGyver nonsense that was unapplicable to me, if I could go back and tell myself just 3 things, they would be this:

  1. Pick a handful of tools
  2. Get as imaginative as you can on them
  3. Watch lots of MacGyver.

Thats it. Nothing about workout frequency, failure training, or any other bullshit that I didn’t NEED. I just needed to get my ass under MacGyver tools and get stronger while watching enough MacGyver episodes. I don’t understand why I couldn’t get this. I wish I would have picked the first season to watch.

I am not an advance agent. I am still trying to get past the ‘shit’ stage. Which is why I made this thread. I didn’t post this in the ‘Beginners’ section, because I want to know what other more experienced ‘MacGyverers’ think. What do you think about seasons like ‘Always prepared for adventure’ for newbies? Did you make great gains as a beginner on stuff like this? OR do you, like me, think it is just over-complicated bullshit for a beginner?

You need to let this go.


This is getting really old, really fast. I should’ve looked to see who started the topic before clicking on it…


You are single handedly contributing to the destruction of T-Nation.

Not funny, please stop starting lame threads

I thought we were gonna talk about the TV show and mullets…but this is just gay.

Please, for your sake and everyone else, stop being a whiney bitch.

Let it die and don’t disgrace Mac again.

go back to bb.com

I like turtles!!!


Do we need a “der candy tries to hard” thread?

I don’t get it.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Do we need a “der candy tries to hard” thread?[/quote]

maybe we need to start a “zephead doesn’t know how to spell too” thread

Bravo OP ur threads are comic gold, the replacement of a single name for another … pure genius

[quote]HotCarl28 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
Do we need a “der candy tries to hard” thread?

maybe we need to start a “zephead doesn’t know how to spell too” thread


He does two.

It’s like elitballa32, only worse somehow…

jump rope, chisel, ice block