The Deep End
I read a lot of posts, receive a lot of emails, and train a lot of people. In doing so one theme that is pretty consistent is the willingness and desire of people to knowingly, and unknowingly want to “dive into the deep end” before they really know how to swim. This has people doing “routines of the champs” when they are rank beginners. People doing gear cycles after training less than two years. People doing mega-cycles after their first cycle or two. And people just taking drastic, or unrealistic approaches with much of their diet/supp/training programs. If you are relatively new to the game, STUDY! Learn everything you can before deciding what to do. It’s a lot easier if you want to be a powerlifter because powerlifters tend to train for slightly more tangible results. Either the bar keeps getting loaded heavier or something is wrong. In doing so they tend to train much more conservatively than bodybuilders.
Bodybuilders are ABSOLUTELY BOMBARDED with a slew of BULL**** training and diet methodologies. MOST OF THE **** YOU READ IN THE GLOSSY MAGAIZINES DOES NOT WORK FOR GENETICALLY TYPICAL TRAINEES TRAINING CLEAN. Gear can help this, but only goes so far in leveling the playing field. Get a clean trainee focusing on the big lifts, at a rate they can recover from, and magic happens. Get the average guy doing gear and doing 20 sets a bodypart, training 6 days a week, and they will usually end up insisting the gear was fake.
If you are a relatively new trainer (or even a long time one that hasn’t “put it togther yet”) I can make no higher recommendation that Stuart McRobert’s book “Brawn”. It will probably open your eyes to possibilities you never dreamed existed. It is a great starting point for everyone. The book is not complete, and will not get everyone where they need to be, and there are problems with it, especially when it comes to the diet side. But it will point most people down the path they need to start the journey from.
I’d like to think I’m picking up where Stuart has left off because unlike Stuart I have a lot of experience training people that are clean, do gear, and have genetics ranging from “genetic trash bag” (Stuarts term) to genetic freaks (in the best sense). Unlike Stuart, I know volume, and some more advanced techniques can work for SOME genetically typical people. And I know how to apply most training methodologies to those that can profit from them. And please, please, don’t think I am taking anything away from Stuart, because he was my mentor, and truly was the person that was almost singularly responsible for my ultimate success as a lifter. Before reading his material I gained almost nothing after over 10 years wasting my time doing “routines of the stars”.
Everything works for some people some of the time. People that are dogmatic in their approach tend to miss a lot of things that could really make things happen. But people that are too eclectic, or too open to trying new ideas tend to bounce from one approach to another usually do extremely poorly with the iron.
Find a balanced approach and THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND IF IT MAKES SENSE. Does it really make sense to you that if the best of the best bodybuilders in the world can make progress doing a certain routine, and knowing they have the very best genetics in the world, and are using more gear a week in many cases than some of you do in a whole cycle. Does it really make sense that their routine will work for you? Really?
Get Stuarts book, read everything I, DC,
and other people out there espousing “real world” training techniques have written, and think about where you REALLY are in the scheme of things relative to your training career before “diving into the deep end”.