T Nation

My Position Statements


Hey guys, let me know what you think. If you have any additions or conflicting opinions let me know.

Does anyone else have any more convictions they'd like to share?

My Position Statements

  1. Do not drop or raise calories by more than 500 for any diet adjustment.

  2. Carbohydrates are activity dependent.

  3. Eat for what you?re going to do, not what you did.

  4. Success of your diet should be evaluated by improvements in performance, appearance, and health.

  5. If God said you can eat it, you can probably eat it.

  6. Take at least one complete rest day per week.

  7. Fish oil is the most essential ?supplement? to any diet.

  8. Ignore the RDA.

  9. All diets should control insulin levels.

  10. Compound multi-joint lifts should be the foundation of any program.

  11. You don?t need a commercial gym to get in shape.

  12. Cheat days are not physically needed until you reach low body fat levels

  13. Lifting light weights is useless 99% of the time.

  14. Lifting weights intentionally slow is useless.

  15. You should adjust macronutrient ratios every few weeks.

  16. If it works, you should do it, even if you don?t know why.

  17. Reducing rest periods is more effective than increasing reps for elevating intensity levels.

  18. Do not overlook stretching.

  19. Find the weakest link, correct it, and improve.

  20. Long slow cardio is the least efficient strategy to get in shape.

  21. Consistency is the most important quality in attaining physical goals.

  22. Give things time to work before abandoning it.

  23. Do not buy or do anything to create temptation, enough of it will come on its own.

  24. Progress ceases when you are no longer challenged. The value of hard work should be present in all your efforts.

  25. Eat frequently.


That is a damn good list. I think that needs to be a sticky in the beginners section!

Only things I have a little beef with are 14 and 20. Obviously you never want to go super-slow with the concentric, but slow eccentrics certainly have a place in anybody's training program. Not that they are essential, but super-slow eccentrics definitly have two good uses. First, in a higher-rep scheme they can increase hypertrophy by increasing TUT and secondly they can stimulate the CNS through supra-max lowerings or negatives. However, I'm pretty sure you were talking about concentrics anyway. As for slow cardio, I agree that it is a very inefficient way to "get in shape" in terms of increasing your VO2 max or your work capacity. However, slow cardio is a good way to burn extra fat without fatiguing your type II's (which you need to do high-intensity energy systems work to get in shape!) or to recover faster.

Other than two very minor quibbles, that is a great list. I even printed it out myself!


I like it. Why stop there? It seems to be largely diet/nutrionally weighted. How about adding some more fundamental weight training advice ...

Danny Johnesque stuff, such as pick the bar up off of the ground, put it overhead

balance pulling with pressing, describe the 6 movement planes, etc.

But I do like it,


I dont get number 13...


The entire list is smart and useful, but number 23 could be classified as "wise".


Some clarification:

1 I'm talking about each individual adjustment, not the grand total of all adjustments.

14 I said "lifting" here, so yes, I'm speaking of concentrics.

23 Yeah, 23 is a wise one.

Here's some more thoughts...

  • Never underestimate the value of pure, old fashioned, hard work.

-T oo much emphasis is placed on the fear of overtraining and the quick and easy ways to gain or make progress.

  • Most things worth doing don't come easy.

  • Pull pull pull, don't forget to pull.

  • Make many small changes often. Small... such as grip width or 1 click up on the incline bench.

  • Don't follow a program so strictly that it holds you back on a day where you feel like a compelte hulk. When you feel like going for it, then GO FOR IT, regardless of what you printed out 3 weeks ago.

  • Reserve a day every now and then for experimenting in the gym.

  • Do what you're not used to.

  • Your approach should be more simple than you think.

  • Whatever you can do standing, don't do sitting.

  • Make sure your mind stays healthy - think to win. Muscles are dumb, they only do what the mind tells them too.

  • Never design a program without considering hormonal and neural responses.

  • "Keep the muscles guessing" is the stupidest and most abused qoute I've ever heard.

  • There's no need to "Blast your muscle from every angle" in one workout.
    This kind of thought leads to the guy who starts out with flat bench press, then moves to incline, then decline, then cable cross overs at 3 different angles, then a burnout set of DB presses with 25lbs!!!

  • Growing happens after the workout not during

  • True "core/balance" training involves the trunk musculature in such a way that it contributes to the action or or execution of the lift, rather than detracting from it.

By this definition "true core/balance training" would be squatting, car pushing, snatching, military pressing etc... Bad core training would be curls while standing on the BOSU ball... Lateral raises standing one legged on a Dyna disk... You get the picture. The core is detracting from the lift rather than contributing to it.

That's it for now, I may think of some more later. Some of these don't fit as neat and compact onto a little list, but they're good anyway.