T Nation

Questions That are Sending Me to the Madhouse!

Questions on nutrition and exercise that are going to send me to the madhouse!

I know I’ve made some rants on here before, but in between sets at the gym today, intrusive, irritating thoughts came to my mind. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because I’m currently on a restrictive diet to lean out for summer time and get better at running.

Now that I think about it, I now know why some questions concerning nutrition and exercise actually have me irritated with the person asking them. It’s because the questioners actually have ME confused in situations in which I’m the one who’s supposed to know the answer (according to them). Sometimes I know the answer, and sometimes I don’t. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable on nutrition and exercise because of my profession, academic background, and hobby. But I don’t know everything, and I’m not as knowledgeable as people like Dave Tate, CT, Lonnie Lowery, and John Berardi (They’re not gods either, despite what some people believe, nor do I think they want to be perceived as such. Actually, they want us to do what works for us, regardless of what they espouse.)

I post less now, and cut people off fairly quickly during nutrition counseling sessions AND in social context. This is NOT because I’m arrogant or a dick! It’s because I don’t want people making me confused because THEY are confused.

Here are some examples in which I have no answer for people, nor should anyone.

Example 1:

“I don’t want to do straight sets anymore. How do I do a flat pyramid/ramp up?”

“Here’s how…”

“I see. But I feel if I do it that way, I won’t have left in the tank for my last set. I also think if I do it my way, I won’t get enough volume in.”

“Great. So you’re left with neither. I don’t know what the fuck to tell you.”


Example 2 (word-for-word example from last night’s conversation with a friend who benches 315 for reps, squats 405 for reps, and is very jacked, and has actually been stronger and more jacked in the past)

“I heard water with meals slows down digestion.”

“I don’t know, and I never looked into it. I also don’t give a shit.”

“You’re an RD; you’re supposed to know.”

“I don’t know. All I’m concerned with is adequate water intake for the day.”

“I think it slows it down.”

“I think it makes it faster.”


Example 3 (with the same guy from above)

“So what’s better? Waxy maize or dextrose?”

“I don’t know, nor do I care. Use either. Sometimes I just use grape or pineapple juice.”

“I don’t think that’s good. Doesn’t fructose get stored in the liver.”

“Yeah. I also don’t care. You know, some guys–even some elite bodybuilders–just eat right after a workout and don’t have a shake.”

“I don’t think that’s good. I think you HAVE to drink a shake.”

“Alright, keep thinking. Have fun.”


Example 4 (by newbie who not only has no exercise experience, but also no adult-level logic)

“I wanna train for size, like just go get big like a bodybuilder. I THINK that TBT or an upper-lower split makes more sense, but all the big bodybuilders I see don’t use these approaches.”

“So clearly you a) don’t think clearly or b) are a nonsensical person. Why the fuck would someone THINK an approach is better than another when the latter is the one producing the results you want?!”


As I’ve said before, such questions make me wonder how some people hold down jobs and obtain degrees. And now I understand the curtness and brazenness of some healthcare professionals.

I know a guy who went to a urologist and before the first consultation even began, the doc said something to the effect of, “You’re gonna do things and take orders my way. Otherwise you can see the door.”

I shadowed a dietitian who was quite abrupt sometimes. (This guy’s practice is booming despite his sometimes abrupt approach. He has an average of 20 to 25 clients per day.) As soon as a patient steers the session off-track with shit like, “I thought…”, “I was told by my trainer…”, “I read that…”, and “The way I do it…”, he would stop them dead in their tracks and say, “You’re gonna do what I tell you…” or “That’s fine you were told or read that, but it’s not what you’re gonna hear from me.”

At first, I was put off by such callousness. Now I’ve realized it’s necessary. Otherwise you wind up dealing people who simply want to talk shop JUST TO TALK, waste THEIR paid time, and waste and disrespect the time of fitness and nutrition professionals.

What do you people think?

That’s why I’m not a personal trainer.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
That’s why I’m not a personal trainer.[/quote]

Please explain.

I find myself getting frustrated a lot, usually when someone asks your opinion, and then just dismisses it once you’ve given it. Although I still try to be as helpful as I can at the gym, especially to the younger crowd, I’ve stopped trying to ‘save’ everyone. It’s just too frustrating, and takes time away from my own training. People don’t want to hear that they’re doing anything incorrectly.

S

Yes its rude to waste the doctors time considering how many hours they work and how many patients they have to see, if one thinks they know more than the doctor and are not as qualified or more don’t waste their time about it when they are working, if your the friend of one its okay to discuss such issues in their free time if one wants to.

I had a relative ask me to design a program for him but he gave me requirements… he couldn’t train legs, didn’t want to get too big and only had access to 20 pounds in weights.

Your “I don’t know and I don’t care” responses made me laugh for some reason.

[quote]chimera182 wrote:
I had a relative ask me to design a program for him but he gave me requirements… he couldn’t train legs, didn’t want to get too big and only had access to 20 pounds in weights.[/quote]

Well with only 20 pound weights the not getting too big problem is solved.

[quote]Undertow wrote:

[quote]chimera182 wrote:
I had a relative ask me to design a program for him but he gave me requirements… he couldn’t train legs, didn’t want to get too big and only had access to 20 pounds in weights.[/quote]

Well with only 20 pound weights the not getting too big problem is solved.[/quote]

Haha, I hadn’t thought of that.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:

What do you people think?

[/quote]

Brick,

here are 2 things that might help:

i had this genius professor in undergrad who was head of the dept, and when people would ask retarded/nonsensical questions in class he would simply reply, “your question is incorrect” and just keep teaching like they hadn’t said anything.

also, my girlfriend practices internal medicine, and when her patients pull that “google MD” shit with stupid questions, she simply says “irrelevant” and keeps talking.

maybe these will help?

Yeah I’m done helping people when it comes to nutrition or exercise. As most are a waste of breath. They’ll ask me a question and than I give them my time and well thought opinion and than they’ll say “but so and so said this and I think it’s right” Well why the fuck did you ask me then?

Some people just have to fail for themselves over and over again before anything sinks in. The whole ‘‘I don’t wanna get too big’’ thing cracks me up. As if anyone just one day wakes up huge from lifting weights for a few weeks straight.

[quote]BurnMyEyes wrote:
Some people just have to fail for themselves over and over again before anything sinks in. The whole ‘‘I don’t wanna get too big’’ thing cracks me up. As if anyone just one day wakes up huge from lifting weights for a few weeks straight. [/quote]

One could only hope :wink:

[quote]BurnMyEyes wrote:
Some people just have to fail for themselves over and over again before anything sinks in. The whole ‘‘I don’t wanna get too big’’ thing cracks me up. As if anyone just one day wakes up huge from lifting weights for a few weeks straight. [/quote]

Exactly, and even if they did miraculously wake up like you say with huge muscles, they would be the first to be strutting a tanktop. Hypocrites as well as stupid.

[quote]ridethecliche wrote:

[quote]BurnMyEyes wrote:
Some people just have to fail for themselves over and over again before anything sinks in. The whole ‘‘I don’t wanna get too big’’ thing cracks me up. As if anyone just one day wakes up huge from lifting weights for a few weeks straight. [/quote]

One could only hope ;)[/quote]

Watch out, I substituted tricep kickbacks with close-grip bench press one day, the next I had 20 inch arms. Now I need new clothes :frowning:

But seriously I think part of the problem is that some of the people who ask you questions already think they know the answer, and only ask so that someone who they consider knowledgeable will agree with them, and thus make them more secure in their decision.

Disagreeing with them throws them for a loop, and forces them to move on to someone else to validate their decision.

It takes a certain type of person to do this type of thing (teaching nutrition/exercise). And a no nonsense/authoritative approach is often needed…plus much patience.

You have to be in the right frame of mind, no use trying to help someone if you’re not in a positive mood.

At the end of the day, someone’s got to do it. Someone’s got to be there when the person finally puts his hands up and realises that his outlook is wrong (e.g. his pointless reading/over-analysing, lack of experience etc). Some people will never have the humility to come to this conclusion and will carry on indefinitely in “ignorance”…it’s just something you have to accept and let it go over your head.

I don’t say all that as if I now know everything (lol), still learning myself…

Still though, it does frustrate me when some don’t have the common sense to know whether something will have a big impact on their physique or not (like the example of which “sugar” to use around workout). What makes me laugh is often a trainer will be like “do as I say and not what I do”. Always, I want to know what people do in the “real world”. It makes no sense agonising over things like this when all the big people do is really simple and depends more on circumstances/whatever’s available than anything else.

I think nutrition, and training studies and theory’s pertaining to bodybuilding and strength training in general are greatly over analyzed. Not trying to shit on bodybuilding or power lifiting here but they are in fact some of the lowest paying sports in general all mean while we spend the most time looking over shit that really makes no difference.

Outside a basic understanding of the conjugate method (max effort method, dynamic method, repetition method), and basic nutrition nothing else makes much difference in the way of results your gonna get. Baseball players make millions of dollars a year how ever I dont see talented high school or college baseball players cite studies on how shaving there ass hair is gonna improve their swing or how drinking gatorade instead of powerade is going to help them field a ground ball better.

Honestly alot of guys on other inferior website forums are making as much if not more progress doing things that we deem wrong but dont really make much of a difference.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
That’s why I’m not a personal trainer.[/quote]

Please explain. [/quote]

You really want to answer, “How do I get long, lean muscles?” and “I want to get big, but not like those people in the magazines” for a living?

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
I shadowed a dietitian who was quite abrupt sometimes. (This guy’s practice is booming despite his sometimes abrupt approach. He has an average of 20 to 25 clients per day.) As soon as a patient steers the session off-track with shit like, “I thought…”, “I was told by my trainer…”, “I read that…”, and “The way I do it…”, he would stop them dead in their tracks and say, “You’re gonna do what I tell you…” or “That’s fine you were told or read that, but it’s not what you’re gonna hear from me.”
[/quote]

After five minutes of google/wikipedia/ganfyd EVERYONE’S a doctor. The fact that they think that ten years of intense studying and 20 years of experience is worth less than their random suggestion is as amusing as it is sad.

People will defend their initial point of view for as long as possible, often by abandoning logic and dismissing the people who disagree with them as idiots.

This is kinda funny. I never really thought much about this topic until I saw this thread. I have been in similar situations many times. Most recently with my brothers fiance. She wanted me to design her a good diet and routine. Being the person I am I was glad to help, but once I outlined a pretty basic one for her she kept making excuses about too much exercise and the foods wouldn’t taste as good as big macs. Needless to say this shit makes me rage.

When I first started lifting I obsessed myself with finding out as much as I could to get big and continually progress. It seems that many people do not have the same motivation that I do and instead of discovering and trying things for themselves they would rather have someone tell them what to do. As if that is not bad enough most of those people do not even take the advice you give them.

I originally wanted to share my knowledge and help as many people as possible, but now I don’t because its just not what they want to hear.