T Nation

You Can't Change People's Minds

My training partner of the past few months has recently started to read men’s health, workout with his girlfriend and just recently he said to me “I don’t want to get too big, I want to tone, so I’m going to do more reps”.

This is after 9 months or so of training the T-Nation way with me. I had tried my best to inform him about certain myths regarding training, and all the strategies that worked best for me and others. I never told him “you must do X and Y” I didn’t try to be his trainer or anything, he would ask me about various things because he knew I was studying it.

What’s that about? He’s been a good friend for a decade or so, he used to be one of those “chest and arms” type of lifters, stopped training entirely, then he saw the great progress I was making and caught the bug again.

He started training with me, I taught him how to deadlift, and tried to debunk some of the old training myths, I tried to put training first, specifically information from here(as well as a couple books and some experienced lifters at the gym).

But, we stopped training together for like… 2 weeks, and already he is reading Men’s health(he even got a gorram subscription) and talking about doing crunches for toning.

I mean, what the hell?

I read Men’s Health. I have a subscription. It’s a good magazine. Many things that have been published on this site have been published there. Many of the workouts are very similar. Men’s Health actually does a better job of covering recent scientific research than T-Nation.

You are 6’4" and 200 pounds. Add some mass and maybe people will view you as the spokesman for “right” training that you currently view yourself. As of right now, why should anyone think you have a monopoly on truth? Gain 30-40 pounds of muscle and people will view you as the authority that you view yourself.

Sorry if it’s harsh. But there is a whole slew of people who have very little if anything to show for their efforts, who nonetheless shriek in horror whenever someone trains differently than they do. I honestly don’t get that mentality. When you’re big, sure, rant and rave that everyone should train like you. But as you’re small, don’t be so shocked that others might not want to train like you train.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
I read Men’s Health. I have a subscription. It’s a good magazine. Many things that have been published on this site have been published there. Many of the workouts are very similar. Men’s Health actually does a better job of covering recent scientific research than T-Nation.

You are 6’4" and 200 pounds. Add some mass and maybe people will view you as the spokesman for “right” training that you currently view yourself. As of right now, why should anyone think you have a monopoly on truth? Gain 30-40 pounds of muscle and people will view you as the authority that you view yourself.

Sorry if it’s harsh. But there is a whole slew of people who have very little if anything to show for their efforts, who nonetheless shriek in horror whenever someone trains differently than they do. I honestly don’t get that mentality. When you’re big, sure, rant and rave that everyone should train like you. But as you’re small, don’t be so shocked that others might not want to train like you train.[/quote]

No, you misunderstood. I wasn’t coaching him, nor did I ever claim to be an authority on anything, it was just that, for a long time, we were mutually trying to learn and get better, he only ever asked me questions about things because I was making significantly more progress than he was in certain areas, and I attribute that progress to stuff I learned here. We both took things seriously, and we trained hard, and intense, and made gains and things were solid.

I just think it is kind of strange that someone who seemed really interested and involved in training, learning about it and advancing, has suddenly started training, well, like every other guy that ‘just hit the gym to tone up my arms’.

Light weights, tons of reps, strange movements that don’t seem at all productive and are probably more dangerous than anything(wobble board stuff). He has also left the gym we used and got a membership to the new 24 fitness that just opened. In addition to the men’s health cues, he’s also started taking cues from his girlfriend who gets all her workouts from women’s health. It’s just bizarre.

Besides, The way I see it, training is about your progress, not your end results, when you are training with a friend, you feed off each others progress, exchange notes, figure out what is working and what isn’t, but always keeping the intensity and dedication solid.

Although, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have titled the thread what I did, just frustration I guess.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
I read Men’s Health. I have a subscription. It’s a good magazine. Many things that have been published on this site have been published there. Many of the workouts are very similar. Men’s Health actually does a better job of covering recent scientific research than T-Nation.

You are 6’4" and 200 pounds. Add some mass and maybe people will view you as the spokesman for “right” training that you currently view yourself. As of right now, why should anyone think you have a monopoly on truth? Gain 30-40 pounds of muscle and people will view you as the authority that you view yourself.

Sorry if it’s harsh. But there is a whole slew of people who have very little if anything to show for their efforts, who nonetheless shriek in horror whenever someone trains differently than they do. I honestly don’t get that mentality. When you’re big, sure, rant and rave that everyone should train like you. But as you’re small, don’t be so shocked that others might not want to train like you train.[/quote]

Haha, I knew a post like this was coming (either from CaliLaw or Prof X), and I completely agree.

Besides that point,
What progress did he make (if any) during that 9 month stretch when you had him training the “T-Nation way”? If he had made appreciable progress towards his goals (whatever they may be), then maybe I can see where you’re coming from. But if not? Well, he may have seen the “great progress” you’re making doing your shit, and thought he would give it a try, but if your shit doesn’t translate into “great progress” for HIM, then what the fuck did you expect? Of course he wouldn’t stick around (definition of insanity?).

He’s not lifting with you or going to you for advice just so you can feel smart spouting off information; he’s doing it so he can reach some goal. And if you aren’t helping him towards it, then don’t feel offended when he goes off and tries his own thing.

Keep that in mind, and read your own profile - your mouth is bigger than your arms. Put on some more muscle, lead by example, and he may come back to ya.

Some T-Nation writers also srite for Mens Health (or Fitness) I forget.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Sorry if it’s harsh. But there is a whole slew of people who have very little if anything to show for their efforts, who nonetheless shriek in horror whenever someone trains differently than they do. I honestly don’t get that mentality. When you’re big, sure, rant and rave that everyone should train like you. But as you’re small, don’t be so shocked that others might not want to train like you train.[/quote]

This does not excuse a bosu ball or wobble board, doing one legged crane snatches.

OP, your friend got caught up in what’s popular, by who’s popular right now. So the guy wants to be tone. All the better to differentiate yourself from him. Maybe he doesn’t want to be big. Fine for him.

People lose interest in many things, weight lifting among them. There’ll be more to fill in for them. Find another, new buddy.

[quote]Malevolence wrote:
I just think it is kind of strange that someone who seemed really interested and involved in training, learning about it and advancing, has suddenly started training, well, like every other guy that ‘just hit the gym to tone up my arms’. [/quote]

Well who’s to say that he ISN’T still really interested in training, learning about it and advancing? Seems to me that someone purchasing a subscription to a fitness mag still shows an interest in training and nutrition. I don’t know ANY beginner who didn’t fall for some gimmicky routine at least once or twice…if you give it time, I’m sure he will eventually gravitate back towards the time tested methods.

And there’s really nothing wrong with training like “every other guy that just wants to tone his arms”. Don’t assume that your personal goals are the correct ones for lifting. He lifts for his reasons, not yours.

[quote]Malevolence wrote:
Light weights, tons of reps, strange movements that don’t seem at all productive and are probably more dangerous than anything(wobble board stuff). He has also left the gym we used and got a membership to the new 24 fitness that just opened. In addition to the men’s health cues, he’s also started taking cues from his girlfriend who gets all her workouts from women’s health. It’s just bizarre.[/quote]

Like I said, as a beginner it is really easy to buy into hype and hysteria surrounding training and nutrition (don’t get me started on Power Factor Training…fucking Sisco…). Personal experience trying shit out will have a much, much greater influence on him during these stages than you telling him what’s “right” and “wrong” (in my experience).

[quote]Malevolence wrote:
Besides, The way I see it, training is about your progress, not your end results, when you are training with a friend, you feed off each others progress, exchange notes, figure out what is working and what isn’t, but always keeping the intensity and dedication solid.
[/quote]

Once again, he’s still training- so his dedication is solid. As for his intensity, he will figure out what he wants and what works for him in time.

Besides, I’ve found that MY progress in the gym makes a much better meal than that of my training buddies, and has a greater influence over what it is I choose to do with my time under the iron.

Yeah, but at what point is ‘trying new stuff out’ just wasting your time. I mean, there is a new article on this site almost everyday talking about some new method or some new idea or some new exercise, if I tried them all out, I might as well not even bother with any, because there is no way I’d really get into the benefits of each.

My thing is that, he was making progress when he trained with me, it is not like his gains suddenly stopped coming, it is more like, he moved in with his girlfriend and she wears the pants now.

There are some things that people do in the gym that just don’t make any sense at all, that are clearly wasting their time with and that serve only to make the person doing the exercise FEEL like they are doing something. Would you still endorse trying all that stuff out just because it is out there?

I mean, it is one thing to be trying 10x3 instead of 3x10, or some other rudimentary piece of information, but to make a switch from heavy iron to chrome 12s on a wobble board…

I think I am just bitter to have lost a training buddy. But, I am also curious as to how such a change could occur. It is like night and day, it’s not just trying a new method or so, it is like a complete paradigm shift in his thinking from lifting heavy shit off the floor to ‘this movement really works my core’.

I’ve done my best to not get caught up in the hype of things, by and large, I just try and lift heavy shit off the floor(and over my head), eat a lot and sleep. I have seen great results doing this, nearly everyone on these boards(that does this) has seen great results doing this, it is tried and true, my partner saw great results doing this, but now he is doing dumbbell squats on a baby blue wobbly board and talking about how it will firm up his core.

But, I guess that’s about equal huh.

[quote]conner wrote:
CaliforniaLaw wrote:
I read Men’s Health. I have a subscription. It’s a good magazine. Many things that have been published on this site have been published there. Many of the workouts are very similar. Men’s Health actually does a better job of covering recent scientific research than T-Nation.

You are 6’4" and 200 pounds. Add some mass and maybe people will view you as the spokesman for “right” training that you currently view yourself. As of right now, why should anyone think you have a monopoly on truth? Gain 30-40 pounds of muscle and people will view you as the authority that you view yourself.

Sorry if it’s harsh. But there is a whole slew of people who have very little if anything to show for their efforts, who nonetheless shriek in horror whenever someone trains differently than they do. I honestly don’t get that mentality. When you’re big, sure, rant and rave that everyone should train like you. But as you’re small, don’t be so shocked that others might not want to train like you train.

Haha, I knew a post like this was coming (either from CaliLaw or Prof X), and I completely agree.

Besides that point,
What progress did he make (if any) during that 9 month stretch when you had him training the “T-Nation way”? If he had made appreciable progress towards his goals (whatever they may be), then maybe I can see where you’re coming from. But if not? Well, he may have seen the “great progress” you’re making doing your shit, and thought he would give it a try, but if your shit doesn’t translate into “great progress” for HIM, then what the fuck did you expect? Of course he wouldn’t stick around (definition of insanity?).

He’s not lifting with you or going to you for advice just so you can feel smart spouting off information; he’s doing it so he can reach some goal. And if you aren’t helping him towards it, then don’t feel offended when he goes off and tries his own thing.

Keep that in mind, and read your own profile - your mouth is bigger than your arms. Put on some more muscle, lead by example, and he may come back to ya.[/quote]

In the OPs defense, its not as though the friend is simply trying a different routine or training method; he’s perpetuating and acting on myths I’m sure you and CLaw would agree are simply not true: higher reps will get you toned, doing crunches will cause you to lose the fat around your abs, that he might accidently get “too big” if he isn’t careful, etc.

It’s okay man your workout friend broke up with you and now you have to get over it. Just kidding man sorta. It does sound like you are really bummed he chose to do his own thing. Nothing you can do but keep doing your own thing.

Take care,

D

fuck him…concentrate on your own goals and progress. you can’t let that stuff side track you.

“Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.”
-Edmund Burke

[quote]CappedAndPlanIt wrote:
In the OPs defense, its not as though the friend is simply trying a different routine or training method; he’s perpetuating and acting on myths I’m sure you and CLaw would agree are simply not true: higher reps will get you toned, doing crunches will cause you to lose the fat around your abs, that he might accidently get “too big” if he isn’t careful, etc. [/quote]

A good friend trains with machines only, takes worthless supplements, and weighs 168 lbs. at 6’. He also claims that even though he’s never taken BJJ, he could totally dominate in MMA. So what? Friends do and believe all sorts of dumb shit. I believe in God. Thankfully my agnostic and atheist friends don’t hold that against me!

(Though maybe there is some thread on some message board: “Friend believes in God. I have proven to him God does not exist. WTF?!”)

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
CappedAndPlanIt wrote:
In the OPs defense, its not as though the friend is simply trying a different routine or training method; he’s perpetuating and acting on myths I’m sure you and CLaw would agree are simply not true: higher reps will get you toned, doing crunches will cause you to lose the fat around your abs, that he might accidently get “too big” if he isn’t careful, etc.

A good friend trains with machines only, takes worthless supplements, and weighs 168 lbs. at 6’. He also claims that even though he’s never taken BJJ, he could totally dominate in MMA. So what? Friends do and believe all sorts of dumb shit. I believe in God. Thankfully my agnostic and atheist friends don’t hold that against me!

(Though maybe there is some thread on some message board: “Friend believes in God. I have proven to him God does not exist. WTF?!”)[/quote]

So first you imply that the OP is wrong for “Thinking he’s the expert on the right way to train” when he complains about things his friend is doing/saying…

and then, now, you admit that the things the friend is saying are stupid… but now its “Its stupid, so what?”

…where the crap was that “People do stupid things, so what?” mentality when I posted a thread asking about Surge vs Metabolic Drive Complete? :slight_smile:

Well than if you can’t change his mind, leave his mind be.
Still keep the guy as a friend invite him to parties, go get piss ass drunk with him; don’t cut ties with the guy b/c he chooses to follow a different regiment, no matter how stupid or false it is.

:slight_smile:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1073864

Sounds like a good case of Proximity Bias to me.

If she’s a new gf, then it’s prob. your friend wanting to spend time with her as they’re still in the newness or honeymoon area of their relationship.

We all train for different goals and reasons. So he wants to use bosu balls and slant boards and doing 1 legged jump squats on a balance beam…it’s really not that big of a deal.

If your friend “knows better,” then maybe he doesn’t care and he’s having more fun training this way.

Lifting heavy, doing deadlifts, eating big, is hard. Some people want the easy way out, simple as that, some people can’t hang with it. Oh well he probaly would have slowed your progress down eventually anwyays.

Just wanted to jump in with everyone else - MH has gotten a lot better over the last couple of years. And my library has it, so yours might too.

OP - nice work on the Firefly reference.

[quote]Malevolence wrote:
(he even got a gorram subscription)[/quote]

Ten points for the Firefly reference.

– ElbowStrike