T Nation

What Would You Do Differently?

A question for the veterans

If you could go back to when you began lifting what would would you change? What were your biggest mistakes when you started out in your first years?

Cheers

Over-thinking, over-complicating, under-eating.

Also Radiohead is not so great for lifting to.

Great answer Iain -lol.

  • I would train less frequently (days off are a good thing)
  • Train harder (get more done in each session)
  • Try to lift heavier (everything doesn’t need to be sets of 10 -lol)
  • Eat More frequently
  • Eat More
  • Sleep More
  • Not worry that eating at night will make me fat
  • Insure proper peri/post nutrition (something I didn’t ‘get’ until about 8 years ago)

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Great answer Iain -lol.

  • I would train less frequently (days off are a good thing)
  • Train harder (get more done in each session)
  • Try to lift heavier (everything doesn’t need to be sets of 10 -lol)
  • Eat More frequently
  • Eat More
  • Sleep More
  • Not worry that eating at night will make me fat
  • Insure proper peri/post nutrition (something I didn’t ‘get’ until about 8 years ago)

S[/quote]

I think mighty Stu pretty much covered everything.

The only thing is the TRAIN HARDER, I would add TRAIN SMARTER. I know its cliche, but sometimes quality vs. quantity rules in the gym. I wish I would have just focused on increasing a few lifts from the beginning (bench, deadlift and pullups).

AND… Stay away from the MMA / conditioning workouts that are supposed to help you stay lean while adding .024674 lbs of “lean muscle” per week while doing a “clean bulk”.

Read less.

I’m not a vet, but I have been around for a while.

I would’ve listened to NateOrade when I first started out at 5’11" 117 lbs, and I quote:

“Bulk until you’re 20. Seriously. Stick to this plan and when it’s time for college you’ll be one of the most jacked guys on campus. And at your age, if you keep things relatively clean, you shouldn’t gain much fat.”

But I didn’t. I was too much of a pussy!

I would have saved all the money I spent on 15 boxes of CYBERGENICS after I realized the first box didn’t do a damn thing. Gotta love those supplements of the 80’s!

Listen more, talk less.

I’m only 20. First time I started lifted I got CDN Tire weights, just plastic weights with the concrete in them. I only wanted to train curls! THAT’S IT. I thought that’s what working out was…curling lol.

Anyways asides from that I was rael young when that happened lol

For me it’s following the above posters what they said and in 10-15 years from now the young guys will ask me the same question lol.

For real man…I got this shit written down and read it everyday.

Once I read less, ate more, more frequencly, train harder…and fuck MOST DEFIANATELY TAKE DAYS OFF!

Go by how my body feels, deload every 3rd week or so…or train hard 4x per week, then for a few weeks back it to 3x per week but use a rotation. Magic of manipulating training frequency.

I see a good future.

Stick to a routine long enough to see results, and not follow the newest bestest routines in the mags each week/month.

I am approaching 40 and have been training over over 20 years.

Here’s my list:

-I wouldn’t stress from missing a workout.
-I would have stopped earlier in drinking regular, sugar soda
-I would have been smarter about dealing with injuries sooner, versus trying to train through them
-I would have done less long cardio, and more high intensity, short cardio/sprinting
-I would have focused more on my harder bodyparts, to try to improve them

Finally, I’d look at training as a life-time endeavor. Stressing less, and thinking long-term

I wish I would have stuck with the first structured plan I followed in high school for all four years(Westside Barbell), never posted or read on a single forum, and found a good training group of experienced guys and lifted with them 3-4 days a week.

I REALLY feel malicious in saying this because, as a grown adult, and after maturing a great deal in the past few years, I’m against defaming, or even criticizing specific professionals, ESPECIALLY ONLINE. Such defamation can really ruin a professional’s reputation.

But being that I’ve ripped on Koresh… umm, I mean Charles Poliquin… in the past, I’m guilty of it already. I’ve spoken about how my gains came to a screeching halt in my early 20s after I came across his and other fitness professionals’ material. Up until then, I was making pretty decent gains with the most basic of routines.

The trouble started when I picked up Muscle Media magazine and The Poliquin Principles, and, I’m ashamed to say it, when I started reading Poliquin here, on T-mag. :frowning: Then I started reading some other STRENGTH COACHES’ work, and everything went just fucking downhill for like 3 or 4 years. I went from doing normal bodybuilding routines to thinking what I was doing was wrong because the routines I was doing weren’t applicable to natural bodybuilders and that I didn’t have some “secrets”. Training turned into a disaster! I tried implementing all the shit: tempo counting, agonist-antagonist supersets, timing rest periods, doing hairball exercises, etc.

I don’t discredit the work some of these men have done. And it’s not their fault that my training went downhill for some time, but I really wish I never encountered their work and their writings in which they said that traditional bodybuilding training is flawed.

I wish I would have only been exposed to the writings of the following people on size, strength, and nutrition:

Dorian Yates
CT
Dave Tate
Lonnie Lowery
John Berardi
Joe DeFranco
Jim Wendler
Eric Cressey
Michael Francois
Dante Trudel
Joe DeFranco
Ron Harris
Skip Lacour
Mike Robertson

Right now I realize that I don’t have time to complain what I could’ve done better, my past weaknesses just show me the way to become stronger physically and mentally.

I was training with a guy I hadn’t seen in a long time. Good times when we go together; hardcore sessions, you know. A little bit of “fun” once in a while you see a friend isn’t that bad in my opinion. About a week ago I told him “I see myself doing this 'till I die”, he replied "Eventually I’m gonna have to quit. You know the work, studying (he is from Belgium so he wanna go to study to Holland), there are almost no gyms there… I mean come on I know there are people right with a shitload of work and responsibilities who are doing better than me for sure, do you think that is loving this discipline? He is sick right now, I’m too, but I went to the gym today thinking that I don’t need people who think like that to step in my way.

So basically, the most important thing I would’ve done before, is not to let anyone who doesn’t have what I got influence me.

Not that I been doing this for ever or anything, but so far:

I wouldn’t have tried to grind out that last rep on the front squat that totally fucked up my leg.

And I would have dropped that pull as I heard my trap grind and make funny noises, rather than lock it out.

I’m kinda retarted sometimes.

I would have done more volume and frequency (as well as focused on ramping as opposed to just warming up). I would have lifted more explosively as well. I drank the Mentzer Kool Aid for too long! :frowning:

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
I REALLY feel malicious in saying this because, as a grown adult, and after maturing a great deal in the past few years, I’m against defaming, or even criticizing specific professionals, ESPECIALLY ONLINE. Such defamation can really ruin a professional’s reputation.

But being that I’ve ripped on Koresh… umm, I mean Charles Poliquin… in the past, I’m guilty of it already. I’ve spoken about how my gains came to a screeching halt in my early 20s after I came across his and other fitness professionals’ material. Up until then, I was making pretty decent gains with the most basic of routines.

The trouble started when I picked up Muscle Media magazine and The Poliquin Principles, and, I’m ashamed to say it, when I started reading Poliquin here, on T-mag. :frowning: Then I started reading some other STRENGTH COACHES’ work, and everything went just fucking downhill for like 3 or 4 years. I went from doing normal bodybuilding routines to thinking what I was doing was wrong because the routines I was doing weren’t applicable to natural bodybuilders and that I didn’t have some “secrets”. Training turned into a disaster! I tried implementing all the shit: tempo counting, agonist-antagonist supersets, timing rest periods, doing hairball exercises, etc.

I don’t discredit the work some of these men have done. And it’s not their fault that my training went downhill for some time, but I really wish I never encountered their work and their writings in which they said that traditional bodybuilding training is flawed.

I wish I would have only been exposed to the writings of the following people on size, strength, and nutrition:

Dorian Yates
CT
Dave Tate
Lonnie Lowery
John Berardi
Joe DeFranco
Jim Wendler
Eric Cressey
Michael Francois
Dante Trudel
Joe DeFranco
Ron Harris
Skip Lacour
Mike Robertson

[/quote]
Good points here. I think rep counts are a complete waste of time.

Cheers guys sme great points on here. The thread was more started out of interest than anything else. i had looked back on when i started 3-4 years ago and how little has changed.

Since coming on here i have read alot of the articles and started myself on a program which isn’t from some magazine promissing that it’ll add two inches to my arms in a month as per the routines i followed at age 17. I have learnt now that there is no quick fix and that gains are done long term, i can’t expect to put on 14lb a month with one program and quit after the first month seemingly did nothing.

The supplement companies who’s kids i put through collage by buying every single “miricla drug that gets you shredded FAST” that i could find are now only receiving my orders for protein and occasionally oat powder.

And the thing i am happiest to have learnt is that i know jack shit. i used to be a little full of the “bro-science” and give out advice to my mates who lifted with me (i still do it but i only say shit thats critical like watch your form)

Not exactly that old and experienced but I know enough now to realise how wrong I was in the beginning:

realise that getting bigger and stronger is not “rocket science”
realise that lifting is not some magical movement (and you can “confuse the muscle”)…it’s the load that ultimately determines progress…so no, getting strong isn’t just for PLr’s.
make sure the basic lifts were going up before looking for a “more cool routine”
stop thinking that there are “secrets” that the big guys are using and not you…stop looking for the “holy grail”
realise that more is not better, and take rest when needed
eat…eat…eat, also, solid food isn’t better than liquid for anabolism; realise the benefits of liquid nutrition
loosing fat is not just something to worry about later when I’m obese - there is such a thing as cycling phases
stop thinking that I’d only look decent if I took drugs…and realise that the good gains take patience and time…not some “revolution” (sorry CW…didn’t mean to take the piss there)
don’t dismiss a big guy’s advice just because he’s using “assistance”

To sum it up:

Join T-Nation 9 years ago, pro-actively read and ask questions (don’t cry when Prof x gives it to you straight), listen to the big guys with humility and an open mind…

[quote]its_just_me wrote:

Join T-Nation 9 years ago, pro-actively read and ask questions (don’t cry when Prof x gives it to you straight), listen to the big guys with humility and an open mind…[/quote]

And for the love of god, don’t mention your ‘huge traps’ unless you have no neck and weight a significant amount.