Re Bodybuilding Lies Article On T Nation

Opening lines of “you may even have to “un-think” some of the things that seemed to work at first” reminds me not just a little about Arthur Jones thoughts about “unlearning what you’ve learned”.

Especially re lie 4 and 5: Did someone say HIT? Remarkably silent about this article. Nothing new to me, but still interesting to hear a “different” opinion where HIT doesn’t get much praise. @Ellington_Darden


I think this article was intended to be pointedly about lies within bodybuilding. True enough that HIT is the foundation of lower volume, but the article didn’t go credit the first person to recommend not squatting either. It comes off as a means to un-dogmafy the bodybuilding community IMO.

I knew about “un-learning” stuff that worked at first a literal decade before I ever heard the name Arthur Jones. Despite it being one of his foundational principles, it has been quite some time since his methods were mainstream.

Not flaming HIT here at all, just a different perspective =)


The author is Stuart McRobert. Once I saw that name, the content wasn’t surprising. He has been pushing abbreviated training programs for decades. Compared to other HIT guru’s, he was never that big on machines, and was not particularly dogmatic about things like single set to failure, super slow cadence, or negative emphasized training.


This article certainly rang true with me …

  • Squats , though I worked very hard at them , never panned out be that magic exercise for me as they did for many others. Mine was the Trap Bar Deadlift .

  • Bench Presses didn’t do it for me, either. Dips was the one for me. Still get that shocked look from people when they ask " How much do you bench ? " and I answer … " I never did bench presses … "

  • Learned high volume wasn’t for me early on which is how I found out about HIT / Jones / Darden and Leistner. But also found out that full body routines didn’t do it for me. Split routines ( a big HIT No-No ) was what was right for me as long as I still kept a low volume / high intensity approach.

Lessons I learned was to keep an open mind (which I regrettably didn’t do for the longest time) and take all suggestions as guidelines with nothing chiseled in stone. Not everyone is going to respond the same and that is one place I think that the original HIT went wrong , advocating one size fits all.


Squats worked well for my lower body development, but hard on my lower back. Leverage squat machine (Powertec) allows me to do these with very light weight once in a while after doing the leg press or lunge (or something like one legged db squats).

Bench press was very productive for me, but I rarely do it these days and if so, on Powertec again.

Moderate volume (4-8 sets a muscle twice a week) worked rather well for me as a beginner, but I do no more than 3-4 sets a body part today (30+ yrs later) - sometimes less.

For thigh development, nothing worked better for me than Sissy squats super setted with Leg Press. I learned of Sissy squats from one of Dardens books that devoted a chapter to it. Never heard of it before then.

This winter my gym got a Hammer V-squat machine and a Belt squat. I always wanted to try Belt squats and am enjoying them. I spent some time before these with the V-squat but finally gave up on them as they were just too easy. Definitely not a stand alone exercise , you need to do something like extensions first and the ‘good’ leg extension in my gym is upstairs instead of near this machine like it should be.

But I’m really liking this belt squat machine right now. It doubles as a dip station and love it as the bars are fat … about the diameter of the ends of an Olympic bar and real comfortable in your hands.

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That sounds awful, i love it.

LOL, when I first did that combo all those years ago I almost killed myself getting up from the LP and trying to walk.

I was training at home at the time and with the first step out of the LP I didn’t realize I had no legs and and fell face first into my T-bar. For a couple days I had an egg sized lump on my forehead like Joe Frazier used to get in his fights with with Ali. :dizzy_face:

Right then I knew I had a great pre-exhaust combination !


That was a sign.

Talk about intensity: The combination of pre-exhaust and post-exhaust results in hypertrophy of areas not even excercised! When inroading becomes outroading… :laughing: