T Nation

What are Some of Your Game-Changing Realizations?

What are some of your game-changing realizations? In training, of course. The kind of stuff that took you to a whole new level after learning about them. Here’s one of mine…

The idea that there’s more than one way to do things. Common-sensical, I know. But back then, I’ve always thought there was a best method and that I have to give it all my energy to discover what it was through conscious research. And then I conceded my futile efforts when I finally realized that lots of training methods will work. What’s important is hard work and consistency.

The straight bar is overrated


More isn’t always better.

I first seriously trained my senior year of high school. The internet wasn’t publicly available, so my training info came from library books, muscle magazines, and fellow gym bros - nearly everything was about bodybuilding. A typical arms and shoulders session for me had 12 different lifts and easily 42 sets, and I’d still worry I wasn’t exercising each head of my triceps from all the necessary angles :roll_eyes:

If one wants to be a competitive bodybuilder, such considerations are merited. I am not such a person. It took me an embarrassingly long time to shake free from the tyranny of volume and excessive exercises.

Off the top of my head:

What works for some people isn’t guaranteed to work for you.

The “big three” don’t guarantee a great physique.

Isolation exercises and volume training get a bad rap in some places but most of the best bodybuilders have relied on both for their physiques.

Strength =/= Size

Getting into contest winning condition isn’t the same as losing a few lbs, or getting down to (legitimate) 10% bf. It’s hard, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not something you can maintain for long lengths of time, and it requires a fairly decent understanding to do it properly while maintaining muscle in the process.

Reading something online doesn’t mean it’s accurate or even written by someone with actual credentials.



Hard work is hard work. The ‘perfect’ split, or ‘optimal’ periodisation will make little or any difference and if it lets you be complacent because you think its ‘optimal’ and don’t put in the work in you’ll get worse results.

I wasted far too much mental energy over far too many years trying to come up with better and more optimised splits and programs. I got much better results following pretty basic templates and working hard.


It is normally just called a bar. I agree though as a straight man, attention is attention. I felt like Brad Pitt after going to the gay bar with my gay friend. Lots of compliments. The drinks were strong as fuck, and they were 3 for 1s. For like $4, I got 3 tall glasses full of rum with a splash of coke in each. I couldn’t have made those drinks at home for that price. Go to the normal bar and its $6 for a rum and coke and there is only like a half shot in it.


The 7 day a week training week is overstated.


I put this is another thread earlier, but applies here.

“Time passes anyway”

90 days from now will eventually be here…so do what you need to do today, to make sure you feel good about where you are in 90 days.



There’s no magical movement, but there’s likely magical movement patterns.

Being lean is the biggest factor for my physique. A lot of muscle at 25% body fat just doesn’t look nearly as good a slightly less muscle at 15-18%, and I am sure making my way towards 12% would result in even a better physique.


So, like, Bruce Lee lean?


Most pictures I see of him he does appear to be around 12% (I am no expert though). I would love to be that lean. I have a much bigger frame than Bruce, and more development, so I recon I should look pretty good at that leanness.

Bruce Lee, the actual legend was by my estimation leaner than that. The person @dagill2 is subposting about has zero of Bruce’s achievements to his name so not someone I’m interested in discussing.

I think Jason Scott Lee presented a slightly more muscular physique than Bruce in the biopic. I’d say it was better :eyes:

It was mostly a reference to a car crash thread from earlier in the year. The halfway serious point being that for some people, being lean isn’t the answer. For myself: if I was to just get lean, I’d get mistake for a meth addict.

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and @dagill2 I am confused. Must be some inside stuff.

This the guy who claimed 8%, but kept changing his weight and such?

Could be. I don’t see much that looks lower than 10% though. At the same time 10% is shredded. I have had people tell me I am like 10%, and I am like LOL, no. More like 15-18%.

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The very same.

Living proof that not everyone looks better lean, some people should probably focus on putting some meat on their frame first.

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If your goal is to gain strength, training lifts you want to get strong at as much as 4-5 times per week (providing you don’t overdo the volume is immense!).

Intensity trumps sheer volume and variety if your goals are strength and fitness related.

Looking forwards and holding your head just slightly upwards tends to hold your body/posture in the right position to perform pretty much any lift (especially squats and deads).

If you have really long arms and want truly big guns, strength is important, but volume and really working on squeezing your bis and tris is sometimes better than endlessly chasing weight on arm exercises beyond a certain point.

Glute bridges are awesome, they help reduce the odds of knee issues + bigger squats and dead numbers usually + chicks dig a powerful looking arse!

Flexibility does not in itself make you stronger, but being supple enables strength gains and really reduces the odds of injury, even if you don’t aim to lift super heavy.


Are you referring to intensity in the classic Dorian Yates HIT thing? Or intensity as in the percentage of 1RM?

Honestly, if you meant the former, I don’t think I can agree because I’ve done high volume and the size gains with high-volume-low-intensity was pretty damn good for me. My arms and forearms got huge even though my arms and forearms have always been my weakness.

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When I say intensity, I’m thinking mostly about the relative difficulty of a set/effort needed to complete a set/series of sets etc, not necessarily the number of reps.