T Nation

Thank GOD for Joel Marion

It’s about damn time an article like this came up. 12 weeks to ultimate massdom is exactly how IMHO a person looking to gain size should train. Like Joel, I think that bodybuilding isn’t really all that complicated and do in fact, think that you don’t need to be changing the exercises all the time, only the weight/reps. I have gained 20 lbs of muscle over 2 years training this way and im still growing. the MOST complicated routines I have done are by Ian King but 80% of the time its just some bullshit program that I make up with simple excersizes (ahem, Mr. Swiss Ball Squater guy please read the above again…). While we’re on the subject of simplicity, I don’t understand why people would ever take surge while bulking. I mean… its a great product but when I used to take my measly 2 scoops or something and then waited half an hour for it to digest and then eat, I just felt like I was cheating my body of nutrients. I know I’m probably wrong in so many ways, but I just went back to drinking half a gallon of milk with 2 scoops grow mixed in it post workout, boom, 920 calories 85 or so grams of protien within 30 minutes of excersize. That is also why when a guy desparetly asks “I have 70 bucks a month to spend on supplements and I’m bulking” I cringe when people reccommend surge over 4-ad-ec or tribex. Anyways, Maybe I’m just old fashioned and or don’t know enough about bodybuilding or physiology, but when I look in the mirror I can’t help but think I’m right about a few things here (190lbs 13% 5’10")… You have other opinions, I’d LOVE to hear them, simplicity versus complicated, whats the verdict for YOU?

Ok, here’s my opinion. Other than the absolute basics (i.e. protein powders, vitamins, fish oil) I’d sooner give up any other supplements other than my Surge. I use it dieting, maintaining, and bulking and notice a difference from when I’m not using it.

The science is there, the real world results are there, so I fail to see why you’d go back to a primitive post-workout drink that’s inferior to Surge in so many ways. I understand the natural impulse to “cram in the calories and protein” but that just isn’t optimal post-workout. Go back and reread Berardi’s articles about the design of Surge and WHY it’s designed the way it is. EVERYTHING is well supported by research.

All that and it just plain works for almost everybody who’s tried it.

And, yes, Joel rules, but don’t tell him that.

When you look in the mirror you can’t help but thinking your doing right?

My opinion is that if you quit using so much milk maybe you wouldn’t be stuck at 13% there guy, I’m 5’11/190/8% and when I look in the mirror at my abs and cuts I think about guys like you…

As far as simplicity I beleive that’s great if you’re a beginner, but when the gains slow down it’s time to get into a little more detail. For instance: As a beginner just make sure you’re getting lots and lots of protein and don’t stress yourself out any further but later on down the road you need to start asking yourself about the differences between whey, casein and animal proteins/how much protein can be absorbed at once/proper post workout nutrition (Dawg on the Porch!)/etc.

Simplicity=Beginner OR

Again you can make good gains with the basics/simplicity but to really fine tune (and look really good naked) you have to delve into deeper levels of detail (macronutrients/nutritional requirements/etc.)

1st of all, you have got to be kidding if you are going to come on this site and bash guys like ian king. while your at it (in all of your infinite wisdom) you may as well start trash talking poliquin and ct for their complicated schemes such as ovt, and for using rep protocols such as a 402 tut.

secondly, surge or a surge like drink is probabaly the single most important supplement in a bodybuilders arsenal. if you are not getting proper pw nutrition you are almost wasting your time in the gym.

thirdly, although you seem to think your stats make you some kind of a guru, they really arent very impressive. 190 @ 5’10 with 13% bf. when you add 10-20 lbs of lean mass and drop about 5% fat mass maybe you can start bragging.

and finally, i do think simplicity is important but i also think that more complicated schemes like ovt or ian king’s protocols are important also. no one said you need to change your reps sets and exercises each day. poliquin recommends mixing it up about every 6 workouts. is that too complicated?

sorry if i flamed a bit but this thread just struck a nerve with me.

btw, good program joel.

Props P-Dog! Props! Now take your bow. I hated to bring up the stats as my “stats” aren’t all that respectable on paper either so I’m glad someone who could did say it.

If you read his post again you will see he didn’t insult Ian King. He insulted jpfitness. Confusion on the forum is a disease. :slight_smile:

For a while, post workout nutrition was the big thing because science finally proved what many thought. The only problem the whole post-nutrition crazr is that everyone down played the importance of pre-workout and workout nutrition. That is of course, until science proved how important that is.

My only problem with science is that it’s sometimes lags to prove what everyone already knew. So if you’re just basing every decision you make on science, you could find yourself ingoring excellent advice.

Thanks to those who had some kind words about the article; I’m glad you enjoyed it.

In response to the topic here, simplicity at the expense of optimal results is never a good thing. You have to ask yourself “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” If there isn’t A GREAT DEAL of solid reasoning and science to support it, you need to reconsider your approach. Philosophies such as “it aint that complicated, just train hard and heavy and eat a bunch of food” will never allow you to achieve your full potential or progress at an optimal rate. The TMS program, while simplistic in nature, is grounded in TONS of reasoning, all provided in the article.

Do well,


“the MOST complicated routines I have done are by Ian King but 80% of the time its just some bullshit program that I make up with simple excersizes”

in other words ian king’s programs are too complicated and his (dawg on the porch) “bullshit” routines are much more simple and more effective.

Dawg, your mentallity sounds like something from an 80’s issue of Muscle&Fitness. Half-gallon of milk post-workout,c’mon! Don’t forget to take your boron, yam extract and of course dessicated bovine testes. I’m sure these are all on the top of your list. Oh by the way, I hope you are presently in the middle of a bulking period if you are going to boast about 13%bf!

“the MOST complicated routines I have done are by Ian King but 80% of the time its just some bullshit program that I make up with simple excersizes”

I took this to mean that he thought Ian King’s workouts were good, but they were as complicated as he was willing to go, but for the majority of the time he preferred to train simpler.

I still think he ment that the Ian King programs were effective. But also that he achieved results close to Ian Kings programs with programs he made himself. But who knows. I guess I should let him speak for himself. Ciao. :slight_smile:

Joel Marion says to use 12 sets for the low rep range but i always thought thought that if I was working with lower reps that I use less sets. But I went to failure and here you dont. Is this why you do so many sets with lower reps.


From my Training Mythology article:

[quote]Myth Number 4: You can’t gain substantial muscle mass with low rep training.

The Real Deal: In response to the statement “I’ve used low reps in the past and I got stronger but not bigger,” Canadian strength coach Christian Thibaudeau states “Maybe, but that’s because you forgot that gains in muscle mass are stimulated via 3 factors (tension, total time under tension, and density). So, if you kept doing the same number of sets when using low reps as you did when you were using high reps you greatly diminished the total time under tension factor which probably negated the benefits of using very heavy weights.” For instance, say you conduct 4 sets of 12 reps with a 100 lb load at a 312 tempo; later you decide to try a lower rep program and perform 4 sets of 4 reps with a 125 lb load at the same tempo. Yes, you increased the load, but you dramatically decreased the total time under tension, a fundamental variable in the mass building equation. With the 4x12 program, you conducted 48 repetitions at 6 seconds apiece; that totals 288 seconds under tension. Then, when you switched over to the 4x4 program, you performed only 16 repetitions at 6 seconds apiece, leaving you with only 96 seconds under tension. No wonder you didn’t gain an appreciable amount of muscle mass; you decreased the TUT by 66% and only increased the load by 25%! But, should you have compensated for the drop in repetitions by adding more sets, such as 12 sets of 4, the TUT would have remained the same and you would have gained the additional benefit of increasing the load. Christian goes on to note, “When all other things are equal, the workout with the heaviest average weight will always stimulate more growth.” If keeping the total volume high by means of increasing the number of sets performed, it is possible to put on even more muscle mass when training with low reps and heavier loads than when training with higher reps and lighter loads.[/quote]

I agree. Mostly.

Yes, bodybuilding in too complicated and it need not be. Specialization is an often overlooked facet of packing on size. Joel’s article exploits this very method.

However, I don’t agree with you about the Surge. It’s a fine product and a heck of a lot better for recovery than a half gallon of milk. I’ll take 100g simple carbs and 50 grams of hydro over anything!

I just feel compelled to jump in and second what Agathos had to say about Surge. I?ve been training for about 9 years and for the first 3 made fantastic progress. After that the gains were hard to come by. They were there, but happened very slowly.

About 1 1/2 years ago I started actually using what I was reading on t-mag. I did Ian King?s Limpin? Series and Super Strength programs. Then Chad Waterbury?s Antibodybuilding workout. Then Christian Tibaudeau?s OVT and now am currently doing Joel Marion?s 5x5 workout. These types of workouts have been great and I?m making progress like I haven?t made in years.

Along with those great new workouts, I started drinking Surge during and post workout. I?ve added visible muscle mass to my upper body in this past year! I think the workouts made a difference, but I think Surge was probably the biggest reason for my size gains. I?ve gotten stronger too, lots stronger! I?m so psyched up about all this progress when nothing really exciting has happened with my physique in quite a while. For a girl, adding muscle you can SEE on my pecs, delts and lats has been so rewarding. Finally I?m achieving the look I?ve wanted.

I am not more dedicated or more consistent. I?ve had that going for a long time. I am lifting differently and I have changed my post workout drink choice. There has truly been a difference for me and I don?t think I?m alone in that opinion.

Let me be as straight forward as possible. Your pre/post workout beverage is without a doubt the most important meal of the day and the most important supplement in your arsenal- SURGE is a great one.

Let’s also get something straight: the pre/postworkout beverage need-NOT be Surge, but a Surge-like beverage. Surge is a great product, but any product with easily digestable carbs and protein will do just fine. I buy my own hydrolized protein and dextrose/malto and just combine them myself. It takes a little more work and doesn’t taste as good, but being on a budget, it does make it easier for me.

Thanks to everyone that responded, first off, to the guys that were obviously grumpy or something when they responded, I’m not a guru while at the same time im certainly not a newbie with 4 years of t-mag style training… I just know what my body responds too and what it doesn’t. I took sure for about 2 months and noticed zilch difference while bulking. However, while dieting I use surge and it helps ALOT. I forgot to include that in my post. I LOVE Ian King’s programs and get great results from them and if anyone here (mostly new guys) knew anything about me they would no I like them and praise Ian as somewhat of a demi-god or something haha. anyways, just chiming in, no negitivity intended, lift hard guys.

Grrrr, pre workout ephedrine induced typos… sure = surge and no = know. It seems like just because I’m not a huge fan of Surge I’m automatically an idiot to some people. Am I wrong in thinking that? I tried it, it didn’t work for me… but maybe I’ll give it another shot since I have a big budget for supps right now. At the very least I’ll be accepted into “club Surge” with the rest of the “Surge fans” and won’t be discriminated against anymore haha.