T Nation

Things We've Learned article

“You’re going to get criticized no matter what you do,
especially if you’re trying to achieve something and rise
above the flock. Do it anyway. Negative criticism from others
is often a sign that you’re on your way up in the world.”

Thanks Chris! I needed that one! Anyone else have a favorite from that article. Any disagreements?

Not a disagreement or a favorite, but here’s my contribution to the list:

Your particular body is not magic. Assuming basic health, following a proper diet and exercise program WILL result in positive change.

People should mostly train opposite of their body type. Big guys should go for reps, while skinny guys with endurance should train as heavily as possible.

If you’re not willing to go out and buy yourself a calorie counter book (the absolute bare minimum first step towards physique recovery), don’t waste my time asking for advice about fitness.

Bodybuilding is a long-term proposition. Deal with it. But by making the necessary changes to your lifestyle, your life becomes much better.

The lessons you learn in the gym can be applied anywhere.

I disagree that diet is the most important factor. If that were true, a person who sits on his ass all day long, doesnt train and eats the best food and supplements money can buy would have a better physique than someone who trains hard but doesnt eat properly. Training is the MOST important factor for me.

I don’t know, Dino…this is one of those questions that is often asked in “lawyer-ese”, along these lines: "Which do you think is most important; Diet or Training? (Sort of a “loaded” question, huh?) Here’s my two cents:

  1. I think if you were asked “What factor, diet or exercise, contributes MOST to people not reaching their physique goals?” I think diet, without question.

    2)I don’t think there are many (if any!) lazy lardasses who sit around, don’t work out BUT eat a clean, macronutrient appropriate, adequate protein, small and frequent meal, “bodybuilder” type diet. I just don’t think that that happens.

Uh…forgive me here but I thought training was an assumed action. I mean, who reads Testosterone but doesn’t work out?!
If you aren’t training…then there aren’t any “factors” to consider.

Realize that stability and stagnation are often the same thing.

I think what Dino is saying is that obviously you aren’t going to gain a lot of muscle just by eating like a bodybuilder and not training. The training has to be there or you’ll just get fat. However, a person can lose fat without training and through diet alone (not a good idea, but it works.)

Diet was chosen as the number one factor by many people in the article because it’s often the missing ingredient. Not getting big, but you’re training hard? Diet. Training hard, doing a lot of cardio, but not losing fat? Diet. Progress stalled? More often than not: diet (although there are other factors here like poor training, genetic ceiling etc.)

Basically, when I’m helping a person reach their physique goals, we start with diet. Many worry about (and get anal about) the specific type of weight training they do when trying to get into shape, when in reality, that’s only a secondary concern over diet. It’s important, but not the #1 priority, or rather, the specifics of training aren’t the number one priority.

It’s like triage. When a person comes in bleeding to death from a gunshot, you don’t treat him for possible infection first. No, first you stop the gushing blood coming out of his chest (diet), then you take care of the other stuff (training.) I’m not saying that you don’t have to train obviously, but the tiny details of how you train with weights aren’t as important as what you’re eating in terms of reaching those goals.

In short, you can’t “out-train” a poor diet. Get on a treadmill, type in all your info, and let it estimate how many calories you burn in an hour. Now see how many calories are in that candy bar and soft drink “snack” you had that day (or in the beer you had the night before.) Scary.

Thanks for the logical responses guys…What I meant was that I see a lot of people who don’t train being very anal about eating. There are lots of people at my workplace who are so concerned about not eating fatty foods, sweets etc and are still lardasses because they don’t work out. They don’t eat a bodybuilder type diet but eat about 4-5 times a day and end up having a skinny fat physique.Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Yeah, my point was simply that when we discuss certain factors and things involved in weight training, body building, whatever, we are keeping in mind (or assuming) that the person is already working out, training, whatever term you want to use. In other words, not the general public (i.e., the fat asses you work with). If we did consider them (those that don’t train) then I think most of our articles would deal with things like “How to lose 10 pounds in a day!” and “Sculpt those abs while taking a shit” or whatever they say on those general fitness publications. I think the only time we do talk about the general public…it’s to make fun of them. :slight_smile:

I thought JB’s “…my weapon is my fork” comment was classic!