Just thought I'd share with you all a few major changes I have implemented after reading this forum for a while.
Let me start by saying I began lifting at age 16 back in 1991. For about 12 of those interim years, my lifting was all bench-centric with a calorie-deficient diet. I learned terrible habits and didn't know they were wrong, much less how to break them. All I knew was that my progress was terrible and something needed to change. It wasn't for my lack of effort either!
Back in early 2005, I met a guy who did the Westside style of lifting and it began the transformation of my understanding of weightlifting. After that, I found this forum. Here's a list of things I have learned and implemented, and with it come my deepest thanks for those who take the time to share their knowledge.
1. From a calorie-deficient diet, I have changed to a calorie-rich diet with proper timing. The result is a gain of 20 pounds of lean body mass in 6 months time.
2. From a bench press-centric workout, I have changed to an olympic lift-centric workout. Deadlift and squats are the foundation for my oly lifts. I'm still very weak on them after having neglected them for 15 years, but at least I know where and how to work now. My pants size has increased by 4 inches solely because of the new size of my glutes. I have managed to grow a human-sized buttocks finally.
3. From static stretching, I have changed to mobility exercises that energize my body instead of weaken it before a hard lift. I don't injure myself during workouts like I used to.
4. From isolation exercises and split routines, I have changed to compound exercises and full-body routines. I don't do curls, extensions, or any exercise with a ROM less than bench press. Ironically, by giving up curls and extensions, my arms have grown stronger.
5. I have learned how to prioritize my workout time and not waste it on useless exercises.
6. From "tanking" (running out of energy) and yawning during my workouts, I have changed to being fully energized throughout. This has to do with mobility drill warmups, but also the proper timing of high-GI carbs during the workout.
7. From using nautilis machines, I have changed to using only the power rack, barbells, heavy dumbells, and sandbags for my workouts. I feel as if my strength is much more usable for everyday tasks now.
8. From being frustrated, I have become inspired.
I still have a long way to go to get my lower body up to speed. But thanks to the good citizens and managers of this board, I always have fresh ideas and inspiration. Rock on, T-Nation!