No. 3 - The Internet
As a boon or bane, the internet has effected our lives in numerous ways. One positive effect for me has been forums like this one and the dissemination of information regarding weight lifting techniques and methods.
In the decade before the internet found its way into every home (specifically 1988), I began working out, first with cable and Nautilus machines, later with free weights. I bought a book - Bodybuilding Basics by Robert Kennedy 1991, which I read cover to cover many times, to refine my form, but a lot of questions still remained unanswered.
I made some newbie gains and thought I knew what I was doing. Once those gains stopped I was flummoxed. Why can't I lift heavier? Why don't I get bigger? Why can't I look like that guy over there? So I stopped.
Jump ahead 5 years, the internet is flourishing and there are weight lifting routines all over the place. I tried many of them with little success. I only understood the mechanics of the movements, but I didn't understand how everything - diet, reps, form, intensity and splits all worked together.
My major in college was History, and one of the integral parts of being an historian is sifting through reams of information and finding the essential facts. The same method must be applied to the internet as well. I am very thankful that I found this forum and others like it. Over the last year I have read and read through thousands of threads, discarding the bonehead parroting (of which, I admit, I may have partaken on occasion) and making note of where advice was respected and supported by others. I have learned so much and come to many realizations.
Bottom line: This internet thing is a wellspring of information, but you have to know how to get to the essential ideas and themes while disregarding the nonsense. Being made available now is a lot of info that otherwise would be locked away unless you knew someone in the sport.
Had the internet not come along when it did, I might have stumbled across Rippetoe's Starting Strength on my own, just to name one book off the top of my head. More likely than not, I would still be banging my head against the wall wondering why I can't get rid of this headache.
"There's nothing wrong with being a large mammal." - Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison - The Doors (1991)
Sergey Krastio Trelawny