T Nation

Questions of the Misguided

Disclaimer: I am only an RD and a currently recreational bodybuilder. I am NOT the world’s foremost expert in either field.

However …

I am seeing some people as of late on this board post inquiries regarding their training routines. Like the following …

Professor X, Scott, Sento, and all the other advanced guys here,

Can you critique this routine?

What do you guys do for … ?

How much will I gain if I do … ?

Get this thread back in order … I am waiting on my tippy toes for (T-mag poster of choice) to comment on my routine or what he does for … ?

What is a work set? (I find this one interesting; one not knowing what a work set is. I knew this the first day I started lifting.)

I see the same posters posting these inquiries over and over. Believe me, I knew what it was like to be a beginner at one time! And then I knew what it was like as a low level intermediate who made no gains for quite some time secondary to following shitty recommendations posted in articles!

I think most of the people with such inquiries are intelligent guys. But for some reason, when one states something like “get the thread back in order, I want (so-and-so) to answer my question on what he does for …”, I get a visual in my head of some guy waiting by his computer for a response, and only then when he gets this response, will he resume going to the gym!

I can’t fault anyone for this as I used to wait until a new follow-up article by some trainer came out since his first in the series did not give me enough information to piece together a routine with his incomplete guidelines.

I believe these guys are simply afraid to write a routine for themselves, go to a gym consistently for a month, and see if the routine that he wrote for himself worked or not. I can guarantee that by going to a gym and doing some wrong things will get someone far more progress than sitting around waiting for answers to training inquiries.

Why not go to the gym, talk to people, train, observe, and make adjustments along the way? It is far more fun to do this anyway.

You aren’t the only one. There is a guy on here who was paying to be part of a bodybuilding forum… but WASN’T LIFTING for months on end(maybe even longer), that’s flat out missing the boat by a mile.

Having said that… Brick can you tell me how much muscle I’m going to gain from the chicken and broccoli meal I’m about to eat? .0002 lbs?

That is what I find interesting too.

For a natural trainee, a gain of 1/4 to 1/2 lb of muscle per week is great! And this is if all things done are perfect! And to get things perfect is VERY hard, considering all the other stressors in life.

And even if you did things perfectly, you are not even guaranteed the muscle gain you desire! That’s just now how the body or LIFE works: do everything perfect and you will get great results. You can try things in the gym or LIFE that seem perfect or good, and - get this - still be disappointed with your results. Sucky but true!

So what are people supposed to say when someone posts a routine on here and then asks “how much will I get out of this?” There’s actually no way to respond to this.

It’s a similar thing when I’m asked how many pounds of muscle gain will result from adding a given new supplement product! :slight_smile:

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:

Why not go to the gym, talk to people, train, observe, and make adjustments along the way? It is far more fun to do this anyway. [/quote]

Gawd, then they’d have to speak to people…and lift weights on a regular basis without worrying about when their next two week break is going to be…and make sure they eat enough even if it is uncomfortable.

It is way easier to just keep asking questions while not training hoping someone does all of the leg work for you.

I mean, then you have more time to tell newbies to never train biceps directly.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
then you have more time to tell newbies to never train biceps directly.[/quote]

thats serious business right there

Those kinda threads seem to be surfacing in waves… For a week or two, you get tons of them, then there’s a break for a few weeks, then the whole thing resumes…

I don’t think those people actually read the forum or try to find things out via search function. They just think of a question, deem it terribly important and start a thread about it (usually the 50th thread on the subject)… Expecting everyone to spoon-feed them the information.

And most of them get pissed of when people don’t tell them exactly what they want to hear.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
Why not go to the gym, talk to people, train, observe, and make adjustments along the way? It is far more fun to do this anyway. [/quote]

Because most people don’t have brains enough to do this.

Seriously, I know several friends who lift, and they do quite a lot of things wrong, don’t make progress, and then whine instead of using their fucking heads and figuring out what they need to do to gain. I know one guy who consistently asks me how to increase his bench press, says it’s been stuck for months… and yet he still maxes it 3x a week. This is the same guy who I tell him needs to “eat more”… an dthen he proceeds to stuff his face with snickers (while I am eating beef), and then when he puts on fat instead of muscle, he continues whining.

There are others, who seem to want it bad, and maybe they do, but for some reason they do not get that you need to think hard and actually analiyse in order to get far. Like the guy who told me he injured his shoulder benching… and then proceeded to show me his benching technique which equated flaring out his elbows like a chicken and bringing the bar to his neck (with a close grip, for added joint aggravation).

Ok, so I guess you could say that they “are beginners, and always make mustakes, and I am an asshole for this post”. That’s true (the asshole part), but just because they are beginners (or used to be; that “im a beginner” excuses doesn’t quite cut it if you keep injuring yourself with horrible form but do nothing to fix it) doesn’t mean they need to be devoid of common sense.

When I first started I knew and had NO ONE to help me with weightlifting. I stepped into the gym and literally had no idea how to use a pulldown machine. But instead of whining or injuring myself I researched proper form and other things on the interwebs, and took things slowly in the gym while figuring out what felt the best and what didn’t cause me unnecessary pain.

I think some people go into bodybuilding because they think it is easy or they just do it for some image. I am the only one of my friends who has made any decent progress in the past year and yet they al just call me fat for not having visible abs, even though my arms are several inches bigger than theirs… And I am also the only one who doesn’t talk about my bench press numbers with chicks or wear a tank top to school.

[quote]Mega Newb wrote:
Professor X wrote:
then you have more time to tell newbies to never train biceps directly.

thats serious business right there[/quote]

I hate those people. I ahve yet to see someone with truly big biceps say “don’t train your arms, they will get bigger with compounds”. It’s always the little dipshits trying to sound ‘educated’ that give this kind of ‘advice’.

Well, Chad Waterbury is known to say don’t train biceps much but he is not exactly small. He is, however, one of the guys on this board who popularized such advice.

I could’ve sworn I commented on this exact topic in the other thread (which was actually addressed to Prof X).

The beginners need to learn to READ their bodies. Everyone responds differently. Everyone has a different work capacity and stimulus that will make them grow.

This is like when Ansel Adams said he’d lie his ass off to students who’d look at a great photo of Yosemite. They’d ask, “Mr. Adams, what settings did you use for that shot?”

“Oh, 1/200th and F64. Not sure on the film speed.”

It is like driving. You need to feel it.

I have started taking rest intervals that are more inline with how I FEEL between two sets, and it’s working great. I don’t wet myself if it’s 90s instead of 75s. Frankly, if you’re body is SUCH the ‘adaptive machine,’ that difference in intervals will not matter much. And if you don’t believe me, look up some videos/photos of those folks in African countries (I think they are actually Precision Nutrition members) that are doing some serious lifting.

Do they have stop watches? Protein powders? Hell, do they have charts to follow? Nope.

All this talk of new routines, new names of exercises…sugar pill effect if you ask me. Your body does not recognize the second cousin, twice-removed of a DB lateral raise. It just knows when you are working hard and when you are resting.

i lurked here a ton, read the archives, searched, and absorbed…yet the one question i did post got my head taken off :slight_smile:

so yeah, back to reading.

[quote]urbanski wrote:
i lurked here a ton, read the archives, searched, and absorbed…yet the one question i did post got my head taken off :slight_smile:

so yeah, back to reading. [/quote]

Good choice.

You may want to throw “train hard” in there as well.

Urbanski,

I did not see the thread in which you had your “head ripped off”.

However, I think this is where the problem lies. The more advanced guys on here had to go through so much drudgery (and joy obviously; this is a labor of love as Derek calls it), so many gym sessions, so much preparing and eating of meals, so muchgiving up of late nights out, so much LIFESTYLE DESIGN, and maybe even given up some dates and sex to get a good physique and maybe even compete.

So, when someone comes here and asks questions that can’t be answered or questions that would require perhaps an hour to answer, I guess some other posters get jaded and irritated.

Usually the poster with inquiries simply ignores the answers given to him, only to come back with a newly designed routine in order to ask “how is this program?” ALL OVER AGAIN! What does this say to the other posters? It says “I asked for your advice, chose not to recognize it and now I am back with yet another routine or diet to ask for your advice all over again”.

This same thing happens off of the internet as well. I used to love speaking of lifting to people. Now I only reserve this talk for other serious lifters. I am not going to give advice to someone who does not wish to or cannot follow this lifestyle. Why waste my breath on something that I value VERY HIGHLY!

The same thing goes for nutrition. I work in a hospital as an RD. I have had dozens of nurses, foodservice workers, and sometimes other personnel ask “can you write me a diet?” My response is “yes, if you pay for my services”. Then they say “what do you mean?” My response is “you are a nurse, right? Well, my grandfather needs some visiting nurse services at his home. Care to put some hours in for free?” That one usually makes them stop and THINK about what they are asking.

I have another friend who chronically asks things such as:

  • “Can you look up glutamine for me?”
  • “Can you look up glycerol for me?”
  • “Can you look up GH for me? How much should I use if I were to use?”

Apparently, he thinks he will convince me that he is a serious bodybuilder when he can’t take the time to type key words into Pub Med or Google. I never do look up things for him.

But here is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE inquiry of all time from him:

“If I were to juice, do you think I will look like Kevin Levrone?”

Keep in mind that this is coming from someone with decent genetics and a decent body but who is extremely inconsistent and undisciplined with his training and diet. He once was but not anymore. He is also 27 and never been in a show yet.

And here we have someone asking me if they will look like the upper echelon of bodybuilding, a fraction of a percent of the population! And keep in mind that the competitors in this echelon were already setting the bodybuilding world on fire in their late 20s and early 30s! This guy is 27 and asking me this.

My response was “are you fucking kidding me?!”

This is not tearing someone’s heads off. Its just that it is human nature to react in a rather volatile way when people ask questions that are nervy, ridiculous, or cannot be answered.

i was being tongue in cheek, hence the :slight_smile: face. haha. its all good. i love it here.
back to reading/busting my ass.

ps. RD eh? I saw one at my work, helped square my diet away.

I used to go to the gym with my nephew, he stopped going and made excuses like “I need a program for MMA fighters that would have high and low reps”.

I made him a high-low rep program on a spreadsheet and emailed it to him -he never did it.

I sent him an article from this site that detailed a program for MMA fighters wrote by someone that actually trained them- he never did it.

So I just kept hitting the weights and after about a year he noticed I was stronger than he was.

Hmmm, amazing how that happens…

Just lift heavy shit! Quit making excuses!

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
Well, Chad Waterbury is known to say don’t train biceps much but he is not exactly small. He is, however, one of the guys on this board who popularized such advice. [/quote]

I was going to comment based on the pics I’ve seen of Mr. Waterbury, but I it’s better to refrain from doing so… It would only create another 70 page thread of Waterburites vs. the rest of the world…

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Bricknyce wrote:
Well, Chad Waterbury is known to say don’t train biceps much but he is not exactly small. He is, however, one of the guys on this board who popularized such advice.

I was going to comment based on the pics I’ve seen of Mr. Waterbury, but I it’s better to refrain from doing so… It would only create another 70 page thread of Waterburites vs. the rest of the world…
[/quote]

C’mon Carnage, you know you want to. :wink:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Bricknyce wrote:
Well, Chad Waterbury is known to say don’t train biceps much but he is not exactly small. He is, however, one of the guys on this board who popularized such advice.

I was going to comment based on the pics I’ve seen of Mr. Waterbury, but I it’s better to refrain from doing so… It would only create another 70 page thread of Waterburites vs. the rest of the world…

C’mon Carnage, you know you want to. ;)[/quote]

There’s no point. I was going to do the same but it would come across like I am bashing him because he isn’t very developed. I just know I personally wouldn’t exactly run up to him to discuss building big muscles.

I think many are confused about their own goals because some personal trainers keep acting like they are speaking to Olympic hopefuls and not hoards of less than dedicated people who are looking for ways to spend less time in the gym while over-analyzing everything to the point of stagnation.

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:

This is like when Ansel Adams said he’d lie his ass off to students who’d look at a great photo of Yosemite. They’d ask, “Mr. Adams, what settings did you use for that shot?”

“Oh, 1/200th and F64. Not sure on the film speed.”
[/quote]

To take this analogy one step further, Ansel meticulously scoped out his shots and planned them to capture the perfect composition.

In other words, he had an idea of the end product, a goal, and planned and took steps to achieve his results.

Somebody mentioned the guy who maxes 3x a week-- I know him, he goes to my gym, too!