T Nation

The Flame-Free Confession Thread


Justice is their best work by a country mile. Harvester of Sorrow is my favourite on that all.


I used to kid myself that I didn’t care about my physique and I only cared about strength. Still don’t care about calves.

I hate twigs who sumo deadlift and bench with the shortest possible rom and claim they are stronger because of relative strength. I hate massive arches for bench pressing. I hate super wide sumo pulls. No problem with pulling sumo but the super wide stance stuff pisses me off.

I think Mark Rippetoe is full of shit.

My diet is mainly milk, protein powder, energy drinks and PB & J sandwiches right now.

I like working out at 3 am so I can sing to myself while I lift.

After a year of killing myself on Squats and Deadlifts I realized these are not the best way to gain size and is not the end all be all of strength training.


I think he’s done more damage and wasted more time of trainers wanting to look like bodybuilder than any other author/coach out there.

(I’m sure a few folks will have to restrain themselves from arguing with me on this one-lol)



The Rippetoe thing just shows how weirdly desperate people are to believe that bodybuilders do everything wrong. The misconceptions about how it’s all just pumping up without trying to get stronger absolutely mystify me. How can people believe that?

With clockwork regularity we have guys coming on here talking about how bodybuilding training doesn’t work for naturals despite the multitude of professional drug-free bodybuilders we have on this site alone. I saw a video the other day with Tate and Wendler talking about drug free vs assisted training and they made the point that there is no training system out there designed with only steroid users in mind, and it’s so true!

But no; natural lifters have to train more often because they need to activate muscle protein synthesis more frequently, and you have to lift heavy at the start of the workout to activate the muscle building machinery. There’s no point in natural lifters doing lateral raises (@dt79 - remember that conversation?) and don’t even think about training to failure because there’s no way your puny natural body could ever recover.

I just can’t get my head around why people are so unwilling to believe bodybuilders are doing things right, whether they’re natural or otherwise. Seems every time you question them the answer is always just “steroids.”


“Vaguely un-shit” is going straight into my vocabulary


If we accept that most people just parrot articles without using any common sense, then the answer is simple.

If you are a writer and don’t look like you train, you need an excuse for this so you say something like everyone far more accomplished than you in the physique department is on drugs. Or you say something like you’re a powerlifter if you are born with leverages favorable for more leverage dependent lifts like the deadlift and start calling it the ultimate test of strength and an indispensable movement for gaining mass even though you don’t have any despite your numbers.

It goes something like this:

  1. To gain credibility, you would first need to downplay your potential competition by giving them the image that they are either naturally privileged in this area or on drugs(in which you must vastly overstate their effects to the point where one can sit on the couch and eat nachos all day and end up looking like Ronnie Coleman, nevermind the fact that some noobs reading it will, in fact, be more compelled to try them because of this), thus establishing that they don’t know what they are talking about.

  2. Now that you’ve positioned your potential competitors as drooling neanderthals who do nothing but curls everyday and lift only little girly weights, you need to push your own methods while sufficiently differentiating your’s from theirs with minimal overlap. Then you justify them by using pseudoscience, liberal interpretations of studies and a lot of cult-like rhetoric because most of your audience will not read the actual studies you post and are willing to accept and cling on to dogma instead of using common sense.

  3. Once people have been indoctrinated into your cult of unprivileged natties who can supposedly out-low bar squat evey big guy in the gym after doing 6 months of Stronglifts though no one has actually seen this happen in real life, you keep playing the drug card so that when they still look like shit after years of following your advice, you have effectively covered your ass and retained your audience because they will be too distracted pointing out fake natties and parroting the same shit they bought to other noobs in forums.


Bravo, sir! Bravo!

Steroids are the best thing to ever happen to natural lifters. Gives them an out every time.

Don’t look like a bodybuilder? At least you’re not using steroids.

That guy’s physique is unattainable? Well at least you’re not using steroids to get there.

Numbers not impressive? Lifetime natty, bro. It’s cool.

Natural lifters with shit physiques always point out they’re natural. It’s like when someone claims their 250lb squat is “ass to grass”, like that somehow makes it ok.

Guys with awesome physiques never say whether they’re natural or not. Guys with awesome squats never feel the need to point out they squat ass to grass…


I can speak a bit to that, having gone through the frustration…

I think everyone starts out lifting (or at least did 10-15 years ago) wanting to looks like Arnold (or whoever the most popular BBer getting exposure is at the time)… And after many years of doing the standard split it just doesn’t happen (and it never will for a natural trainee, lets face it)

So what could it be? The steroid issue wasn’t quite as well known 10-15 years ago (meaning, it wasn’t well known that basically EVERYONE was using them). So it had to be the way we were training… Training more often seems to make sense.

I dont want to bog this thread down with this talk, but I think thats the mindset that leads to all of those “BBers dont know how to train” type articles.


The importance of drugs cannot be overstated in bodybuilding.


@Yogi1 I love you, no homo.


not even a slight homo? How disappointing.

Love you too, mate


Honestly I think he has hurt and wasted the time of many strength orientated people too, minimalism causes injuries, leads to stalling/plateauing, and generally makes training boring. Which gets people out of training.

@Yogi1 @dt79
Amazing posts/points. Hit the nail on the head


BOOM! Seriously, if anyone is doing better, it’s PEDs, or the old “they’ve got amazing genetics”, or anything other than the remote possibility that they’re dedicating more effort to each of the myriad of day to day things to support their goals than you are?

I always believed I had crummy genetics because I wasn’t huge and ripped after 5 years of “training”, however, after a few additional years of actually addressing every tiny little inconvenience to my regular life that I knew MIGHT make a difference in the long run, I’m sure people look at my “After” pics and dismiss me as the guy with crazy genetics who it all came easy to.



It annoys me when people try to downplay the effects of steroids. I literally witnessed a guy go from a grinder 100kgs log press (with leg drive) to a 120kgs 7 sets of 5 strict press with a swiss bar in a period of 3/4 months. On top of that, he also dropped his bodyweight in the last month from 116kgs to 102kgs.

Obviously I understand that there are different cycles and such but this is just absurd. Don’t go on telling me about how it’s all hard work and shit. Maybe I’m limiting myself and being small minded but no one improves like that in such a short amount of time through sheer hard work.


Flame-free thread, so, yeah. :zipper_mouth:

FWIW, the recent “body part splits are dead” article is being discussed in, like, three separate threads. If anyone wants to start one thread to discuss it, they can go for it.


Regarding the general thread topic, I still believe Ernie Taylor’s triceps were a natural freak bodypart, like Platz’s quads.


I think the spirit of this thread might have gone into the toilet at the moment.


I suppose the current epidemic of YouTube experts and fitness writers rallying behind the “bodybuilders are all doing it wrong” battle cry is to be expected, as the extreme opposite of when we all bought into the premise that top competitors really had secret workouts or magic diets (that were only revealed in Weider magazines.)



If you want to blame someone blame Stuart McRobert and his Brawn series of Books hes been talking about genetics and PED’s for over 20 plus years. Damn the man single handily coined the term Hard gainer.


And plenty of us believed it