T Nation

Things I've Learned The Past 12 Months

I have learned many of these lessons thanks to T-Nation. My thanks to all of you.

In no particular order:

  1. Keep my program simple. Complicated programs with complicated exercises distract me. The basic compound movements work for me.
  2. Stay tight, breath right, and the heavy weight shall move.
  3. My time is limited, make every rep count.
  4. Full body workouts with compound movements not only allow me to hit each muscle group with more frequency, but also improve my form through consistency.
  5. I can play outside with my five year old son and get in a workout at the same time. Little boys love wheelbarrow rides and watching dad throw heavy objects around in the backyard.
  6. Proper nutrition is essential for not only making gains in the gym, but also to give me the energy throughout the day that my family and co-workers expect and deserve.
  7. Vanilla Grow! blended with cottage cheese helps hide the taste and consistency of the cottage cheese. This is my last meal of the day.
  8. I need to brush my teeth after drinking this combination, and before I kiss my wife, if I want to avoid being told “you smell like cows ass”.
  9. I cannot lift for vanity because I will never be satisfied with the way I look. Instead I am motivated by power since I feel a high the rest of the day every time I break a personal record.
  10. I am an inspiration to my son. If I take a shortcut I cheat both of us.
  11. I do not have to increase my reps or weight every session. Completing the same reps with the same weight is progress if I do it faster, with more confidence, or with less muscle stress (thank you on this one to Disc Hoss)
  12. At 33 I need more testosterone. Thank you Alpha Male and Biotest.
  13. I spend more time watching the second hand on the clock in my gym, and less time checking out the women. Consistent, measured rest periods.
  14. My mind and my body want to grow each day. It is up to me to feed them.
  15. I still have much to learn.

Oh yeah, that kicks ass.

Great job!

bookmarked for easy access when I need inspiration.

thanks

All great principals, if I had to add one it would be: Consistancy is the key!

Your list rocks!

Later, Thad

Nice summation of things to keep in mind before every workout, especially #11.

What a great list, reddman. Keep up the great work!

Good deal. simple and powerful.

I agree with everything EXCEPT #11.

That should even be in the archives. You need either more weight or one more rep every workout, otherwise you are not progressing.

The weight doesn’t have to be much, at my gym we have olympic plates that are 1.25 lbs and magnetic platemates that are 1 lb. These drastically reduces the normal jump from 5 lbs. in most gyms. I strongly suggest you invest in these.

If you do not increase weight/or # of reps at the next workout, you are staying the same and not progressing. Period.

[quote]greekdawg wrote:
I agree with everything EXCEPT #11.

That should even be in the archives. You need either more weight or one more rep every workout, otherwise you are not progressing.

The weight doesn’t have to be much, at my gym we have olympic plates that are 1.25 lbs and magnetic platemates that are 1 lb. These drastically reduces the normal jump from 5 lbs. in most gyms. I strongly suggest you invest in these.

If you do not increase weight/or # of reps at the next workout, you are staying the same and not progressing. Period.[/quote]

Greekdawg,

If you get a chance check out this thread. I picked up #11 based on this and some recent experience as I progress. It has been effective.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=602416

Great work and AWESOME list.

Keep it going. Make that list into a book. LOL

Once again much props. to you.

Phill

[quote]reddman wrote:
Greekdawg,

If you get a chance check out this thread. I picked up #11 based on this and some recent experience as I progress. It has been effective.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=602416

[/quote]

I checked it out and from what I gather, I saw where you said you were specifically adding 5 lbs each week. Obviously, you didnt read my post thoroughly. You could move up 2.5 lbs ore even 2 lbs. or hell even 1 l lb. Of course, you will need to get some 1.25 lbs olympic plates, and some plate mates. The rules of progressive overload still apply.

Your problem, and most people’s problem is sometimes a 5 lbs. jump may be way too much. Have you ever used these smaller plates?

Although I respect greekdawg’s piss and vinegar approach to this, I’m with reddman on this one.

First, In addition to increasing weight and/or reps, doing the same work in less time is an increase in intensity and therefore progress.

Aside from that, we are talking about a human endeavor here, and as such there is a psychological component to it; this is where the confidence issue comes in. Doing the same reps, weight, and duration, for an extra workout to make yourself really feel like you own it is progress if it helps you move on. We have all heard stories of the coach that had an athlete that hit a sticking point, try as he could he could not get past it, and then one day the coach loads the bar beyond that point without the athlete’s knowledge, who proceeds to lift it… it was in the athlete’s head. He lifted the bar with confindence in ignorance. The difference was confidence.

Finally, the idea of lifting with less muscular stress just makes sense to me. It takes into account bodily adaptation beyond just muscular, particularly neurological. I cannot put it in scientific terms, but doing a routine over again can make it doing it easier. If it is easier that second time, it is progress. In the referenced thread, Disc Hoss refers to this as “milking.” Failing to milk will result in failing to maximize adaption and lead to burn out much quicker. Why move on if you don’t “own” it? As with most of the truths in life I have learned, this just makes sense when you hear it. At least it makes sense to me, not only on an intuitive level, but from my own experience… for whatever that is worth.

Good post reddman.

Personally, I see #5 as the biggest jump in lifestyle and workout. Your workout should have a positive impact on your entire lifestyle. Not to say that the others didnt, but here is a man who now gets in a solid workout or active recovery, gets more time in with the son, sets a good role model for exercise (to his son), and increases his life expecatancy (more time for the former 3).

[quote]greekdawg wrote:
reddman wrote:
Greekdawg,

If you get a chance check out this thread. I picked up #11 based on this and some recent experience as I progress. It has been effective.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=602416

I checked it out and from what I gather, I saw where you said you were specifically adding 5 lbs each week. Obviously, you didnt read my post thoroughly. You could move up 2.5 lbs ore even 2 lbs. or hell even 1 l lb. Of course, you will need to get some 1.25 lbs olympic plates, and some plate mates. The rules of progressive overload still apply.

Your problem, and most people’s problem is sometimes a 5 lbs. jump may be way too much. Have you ever used these smaller plates?[/quote]

Greekdawg,

Yes, I did read your post and I understand it. I do not want to come across as argumentative as I like your idea to add weight in smaller increments. This is not something I have done before, my gym has the typical 2.5’s. I am going to look around for those smaller weights.

However I do stand by my experience that on my 10x3 day I like to stay at the same weight for an extra workout or two and dominate the weight before moving up. Having a workout where I know the minute I walk in that I have done this weight and reps count before has been a very positive experience. It’s almost a relief to my CNS and I focus exclusively on “owning it” (hope that makes some sense).

I think the smaller plates may add some value in making my way through the entire set and rep count, especially on my 10x3 day, at the new weight w/o failing at the end as I have in the past.

Thank you for the suggestion and constructive feedback (see #15).

Excellent post reddman! I believe all trainees would benefit from writing out a list, such as yours.

[quote]reddman wrote:
However I do stand by my experience that on my 10x3 day I like to stay at the same weight for an extra workout or two and dominate the weight before moving up. Having a workout where I know the minute I walk in that I have done this weight and reps count before has been a very positive experience. It’s almost a relief to my CNS and I focus exclusively on “owning it” (hope that makes some sense). [/quote]

Well said. Oddly enough, the exact opposite holds true for me. If I do not attempt some kind of intensification, I just seem to lack motivation and my performance deteriorates. I guess this just bears testimony to the fact that individual differences have be taken into account too.