T Nation

The MMC Thread (Mind Muscle Connection)


I’ve told this story before, I think, but I’ve got a friend who’s a national level competitor. Guy’s enormous and uses all the shit you’d expect a pro to use and he’s not shy about telling what he’s been using if you know what you’re talking about, but he’d never tell a noob what to take or anything like that.

So anyway he eats an absolute TON of dolly mixture. I dunno if you guys have dolly mixture in the states but it’s fairly generic confectionary; little lumps of sugar. He eats it because he uses slin and obviously needs the fast acting carbs.

There’s this kid who uses his gym who’s always asking him what he’s using and what his secret is, like he thinks there’s this drug he can take which’ll instantly make him as big as my mate. My mate’s not telling this kid anything about drugs, but the kid keeps asking him and asking him, until eventually my mate says “you want to know my secret? Dolly mixture.”

The kid obviously doesn’t believe this at first, but my mate says “you see anyone else my size in here?” to which the kid is obviously like “no…” so my mate says “you see anyone else in here eating dolly mixture?”

So now every time he’s in the gym the kid’s there stuffing his face with dolly mixture, and when he walks past the kid looks over at him and gives him a subtle little nod like “that’s right - this guy gets it.”


That’s freaking hilarious!


hahahaha – I just tell people I eat a lot and lift occasionally…I think I’ll have to up my game and devise a better answer like your large friend!


HA! That’s freaking hysterical, thanks for sharing that story man. Love it. [quote=“IronAndMetal, post:62, topic:221825”]
What other secrets to gains are you hiding away?

Here’s a few gems I’ll give you guys, don’t tell anyone:

-Wild Tiger Piss
-Deer Antler Velvet
-The Anabolic Hat

A few years ago I was living in California for the summer teaching, and was staying with a very sweet old lady who often housed out-of-towners who were involved with the group I was in. I would go to the gym in the mornings and get my Surge (before the days of Plazma) ready, and she would say, “what’s in there, wild tiger piss?” Secret #1. This was a great answer when my co-workers would ask what the pale yellow liquid was in my gallon jug I carried around all day. It increases protein synthesis, duh!

The first time I ever met @The_Mighty_Stu he was doing a training/nutrition seminar with @BrickHead in NY and a supplement company donated some giveaways. I won a bottle of Deer Antler Velvet, I haven’t used it because I’m pretty sure it’s banned in WNBF (and it seems ridiculous) but I still have it, I think just looking at it gives me some solid gainz.

The anabolic hat, 'nough said.

On a slightly more serious note, I’ve had some significant progress in the past few months in dialing back volume and increasing intensity. I used to do so much volume all the time for everything, thinking I had to. I also started on the Indigo Programs which are some seriously long workouts, so I just got used to it. Now I do what’s considered normal volume, 9-15 working sets per muscle group (9 for smaller muscles like arms, up to 15 for back thickness workouts). The workouts are done in 45-60 minutes. At first it felt like I wasn’t doing enough, but now I’m used to it and really enjoy being able to hit it hard for an hour and leave. Also makes it feel like I have more time for real life, always a good thing.

One of clients I recently started training is going through a similar transition, he was doing just crazy volume, so we’re dialing it down. I kept most of his exercises the same, tweaked a couple of movements and some sequencing, but he’s all “are you sure this is enough?” I told him to try it and see what he thought. After two weeks he loves it and has adapted well, strength and recovery is already better. I’ve learned that volume is one thing naturals really have to be careful of, there’s only so much one can handle before we reach the point of diminishing returns. I’m sure we can all agree that if we wanted to we could train for hours, might not feel great but we’ll be able to keep moving weight. So, it’s important to learn the volume that works for you and not be afraid to experiment with new methods.

EDIT: I’ve also recently (past couple months) lost my fear of higher GI carbs like bagels and such, I’ve been eating a bagel almost every day. I’m not eating candy and fast food and stuff, but bagels are a staple and a delicious way to get carbs in. I’ll have a bagel with breakfast or post workout.


Hash tag secretsofthepros indeed!



I just chime in to see if anyone else uses this “trick” on incline movements.

Whenever I do incline DB presses, I’ll push my chin down and try to squeeze my pecs around my chest. I just realized how dumb that sounds :joy: but it’s worked great for me on finding MMC with my upper pecs and getting an insane pump

I’d also pre-exhaust, doing push-ups with my hands 1-2 Dumbbells apart on the top DB rack, focusing on stretching the pecs and once again pushing my chin down while contracting them. Or occasionally super set these after incline DB flys or presses. Works great.


If that’s not a station/stack made especially for the ladies, this video is just one more reason why I will never, ever work out with you, PP. Please don’t misunderstand–I would love to meet you someday. If I’m ever in your area, we can meet up for protein shakes after I get my workout in at a gym across town.


Will do, and thanks. In that regard, I wonder why TN did away with the PM function?

If my kids can get me to understand Facebook well enough for me to do it (Is that phrased properly? Does one ‘do’ Facebook?), I’ll be sure to, uh, hashbrown you, or whatever.


@anon71262119, damn, great video! Thanks for sharing! I didn’t see that variation, I will most definitely try that tomorrow. I agree that the straps are a game changer for back and lat work. I think that might be one of the reasons why using the straps for the lat exercises feels so good, takes the tension out of the arms and puts it completely in the back, and isolating the lats can be very challenging. Great video!


Thanks, Rob! I hope those work for you.


Here’s one for calves:

I’ve found that if I keep a slight bend in my knees while doing calf raises/extensions (not seated), I get a much stronger contraction and it’s easier to keep tension in my calf during the eccentric.


Bumping this, as I thought it had a lot of awesome info. Plus, I had a question:

Anyone tried timed sets instead counting reps. For example, doing Incline DB Bench for 1-2 min, with controlled tempo?


Great question. Personally I have not done timed sets for weight training. I’ve done timed sets for conditioning workouts though, seriously intense!

Just my thoughts, and I’m sure others will chime in, timed sets for weight training could be beneficial, depending on your goal. If you’re trying to gain LBM you certainly want a good amount of time under tension. If you’re able to DB Bench for 2 minutes with a controlled tempo though, that weight may be too light to get the job done. But, some studies also show that getting close to failure or going to failure can product results regardless of the weight.

Have you tried this?


Dave Tate and Josh Bryant both have Time Under Tension or timed sets routines out there. I think they both recommend closer to 30 or 40 seconds for the timed sets.

Bryant has a whole series of videos showing his TUT routine.


Yes, I have. I used about 40% of my 10RM on DB Bench. It gave me a pretty decent pump (along with tons of sweat and really high HR). But I also felt the lactic burning in my front delts, as they were fatiguing pretty good by the end of the set. I didn’t really feel it 100% in my pecs like I thought I would. I may try it again soon.


I may have tried them at some point in the past but I just don’t see the benefit over getting to a certain rep range. What I do see is the ability to cheat the clock and just get to the end, meaning you could be faking progress over the weeks

Let’s use an example. With a regular lifting style If you are able do 10 reps on week 1, then 12, then 13, then 15 it’s lretty clear you are progressing

But if you just use time it’s tougher to measure because you may not be doing the same rep tempo, you could pause at the top for 1-2 seconds for a few reps, etc…

Only reason I would use this is for a change of pace it I was mentally burnt out on the usual stuff


I guess you would just need to make sure you were beating the number of reps you did in the prescribed time. Even then I think it’d be easy to cheat it a bit and just vary tempo


Talk about MMC. Check out this workout, I did the entire thing two weeks ago, and last week mixed in some of these exercises with my usual routine. I don’t remember the last time my chest was this sore, and I felt such a great connection.

The first exercise of squeezing the plate in front of you is my first one in my training now, great feeler and establishing the connection. I also really like the twisting one arm cables, and the very last exercise that looks like a sideways shrug. Definitely had some “what are you doing?” questions, but WOW, I could feel it!


I think most people who train like BBers like using a certain smooth rep tempo, so just banging out reps to beat the number isn’t going to work for them. Fun for a few weeks I bet but I don’t think most BBers would stick with it long term

Plus if you do 1 rep every 3 to 4 seconds and go from 10 to 15 reps you will naturally increase your set time length.


There’s too much benefit to utilizing acceleration on the concentric portions. Look up Compensatory Acceleration Training (CAT), it has been a huge influence on my training for the last 10 years.