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Old 07-13-2011, 01:02 PM   #11
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:31 PM   #12
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Default Unpredictable Weekly Performance

No. 2 - The weight room is an unpredictable place. Sometimes it's crowded, sometimes gloriously empty. Some days you're strong, some days not.

I got frustrated today when I failed on my last set of Bench Presses. I had every intention of smashing out at least one more rep than last week, but on the second rep, last set, as I pulled the weight to my chest, I felt it like air being let out of a balloon, my strength was gone. I got it up but I was done. Frustrating.

I realized that Bench Press is the only exercise in which I can never predict how strong I'll be from week to week. Squats, Deads - if it calls for six reps, I'm doing six reps! 99% of the time I can push through it. Bench is a different story. The form correction I made works great as evidenced by last weeks strong showing. This week, I am disappointed in my strength.

I know bad weeks happen and I'm not letting this bum me out to much, I was strong everywhere else. It could be partly due to the distracting crowd in the gym. Last week, gym was dead, I did great. This week, gym was crowded I did worse. Unpredictability.

/end self-therapeutic diatribe.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:53 PM   #13
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I'm sort of the same way with many pressing lifts. On the other hand deadlifts rarely are inconsistent for me.

I have a love/hate relationship with benching.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:54 AM   #14
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I'm sort of the same way with many pressing lifts. On the other hand deadlifts rarely are inconsistent for me.

I have a love/hate relationship with benching.
I know what you mean. My other lifts progress at a much faster rate than the snail's pace of Bench. But it is what it is and every week I strive to get those extra reps regardless.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:15 PM   #15
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Default The Internet

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.

Jim
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:09 PM   #16
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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.
A good portion of this nonsense comes from folks who believe the muscle gains will keep coming if you only try hard enough or use some secret. Man, did steroids mess up this industry.

Anyway, don't mean to derail.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:41 AM   #17
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A good portion of this nonsense comes from folks who believe the muscle gains will keep coming if you only try hard enough or use some secret. Man, did steroids mess up this industry.

Anyway, don't mean to derail.
No worries, comment, derail, refute...

What you said was exactly what I was talking about. I bet for every bit of good advice out there, there are twenty bits of garbage (at least). When I was younger I figured there had to be some one thing I wasn't doing that would make all the difference. I found out, years later, that much of what I was doing was counter-productive.

Maybe the most important thing I've learned is to relax; weight lifting is not complicated. Keep it simple and keep at it. Bingo!
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:10 AM   #18
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The lifting forums are like the old "telephone game" we would play as kids. You know the game where somebody on one end of the line would say something to the person next to the, then pass it on to the person next to them, and so on until it reaches the last person in line. Remember how the message always got messed up despite how simple the original message was.

Some smart guy will write an article that strikes a chord and everybody starts talking about it. Now all the parrots are giving the same advice on the forums but have no personal experience with it. So now you have guys acting like it was their own idea and have become experts. And finally the message becomes bastardized to fit every situation that migh arise.
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:35 AM   #19
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No worries, comment, derail, refute...

What you said was exactly what I was talking about. I bet for every bit of good advice out there, there are twenty bits of garbage (at least). When I was younger I figured there had to be some one thing I wasn't doing that would make all the difference. I found out, years later, that much of what I was doing was counter-productive.

Maybe the most important thing I've learned is to relax; weight lifting is not complicated. Keep it simple and keep at it. Bingo!
Most of the bad advice comes from a lack of understanding that:

A) Naturals can only get so big.
B) Beginner gains exist, and when they do occur, it doesn't reveal that a trainee has unearthed some major "secret."
C) The more gains you get, the less future gains you get.

After beginner gains, lifters are continually trying to "re-ignite" or "shock", and from this we get all sorts of bizarre beliefs. Like the idea that you must change workouts every 8 weeks.

Few understand expectations for naturals, and few experienced naturals want to admit they aren't gaining much any more. Yet they continually to kill themselves.

Hard work is good, but at some point you have to admit gains have slowed and you aren't going to gain 10 pounds this year.
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:39 AM   #20
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And finally the message becomes bastardized to fit every situation that migh arise.
Speaking along these lines, the older I get the more hesitant I am to allow novices to deviate from a standard workout template.

This is the template, do it.

Sounds harsh, but the second you open the door and make changes, people assume that all exercises are replaceable, and your program becomes unrecognizable.

Again, this is speaking for novices and not intermediates.
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