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BendtheBar 08-20-2012 10:41 AM

Lift Big, Eat Big, Grow Big
Posting this for discussion, as I found it an interesting quote. It's from an upcoming article by bodybuilding writer Jim Brewster.


When Iím online and I see various training ideas, Iím naturally most intrigued by any training concept that has a lot of science behind it. Trust me, Iím not a ďlift big, eat big, grow big Ė itís simpleĒ kind of guy. The truth is, itís anything but simple and even that simple piece of advice leaves a million questions unanswered.

Off Road 08-20-2012 10:54 AM

He's a writer, so "simple" doesn't get his articles into print.
He may also be more advanced and needs complexity. Probably forgot how simple it is to just get started. In the begining; lift big, eat big, grow big works pretty darned well for most.

MC 08-20-2012 10:57 AM

I think it's simple and then, it isn't. The big problem, to me, appears to be people thinking they are eating big and lifting big when, in fact, they aren't.

Once you get that concept down and can pack on, say 15-20 pounds, then you are likely at a point where you might want to being a deeper understanding of how your body responds to training frequency/volume and how you might need to tweak meal timing and/or composition.

All very simple AND very complicated.

Fazc 08-20-2012 10:58 AM

A few questions which I think are worth considering when looking at this:

1) Do you need to know why a routine works, or just that has worked?

2) Imagine two identical routines which are very basic and produce results. Routine A is simply the basic routine, Routine B is the same basic routine plus a scientific explanation breaking it down. Which is more or less valid to you, which is more or less what you'd go to?

3) Is it better to have no explanation, or a false one?

4) Is it complex, or is it just new to you?

bamazav 08-20-2012 11:06 AM

Even the definition of complex needs some work. For someone just starting, learning the deadlift or squat properly is a complex issue. Much of what we term as complex is not the exercise itself, but the routine, timing or weight percentages we apply to said exercise. Most routines I see are, on the surface, relatively simple. When you start to get into the whys behind them and the descriptions of how to set them up, then they become complex.

As to the "lift big, eat big, grow big," concept... What new complex innovation has come out to supplant this view point? Have I really missed something?

kitarpyar 08-20-2012 11:07 AM


Originally Posted by Fazc (Post 269733)
3) Is it better to have no explanation, or a false one?

I would rather have no explanation than a false one. Falsehood is like bad form. Once it gets deep rooted, it takes a while (and effort) to get rid of.

_J_ 08-20-2012 11:15 AM

<sigh> That seems like the beginning of an article that ends up with the everyday guy being in a state of paralysis by analysis. Science is great, but what is so wrong with a "lift big, eat big, grow big Ė itís simpleĒ approach?

The hardest thing I had to learn when I started lifting again was...keep it simple, heavy compound lifts, eat big, rest. Getting over the mental humps of "i have to do a 5-day bodypart split" and "i'll get fat if I eat that much" was the hardest part for me. Sure, there are tons of other questions, but if you can follow that simple plan, you've answered the most important questions.

Off Road 08-20-2012 11:22 AM

We could certainly make lift big, eat big, and grow big more complicated.

Lift big could have explanations of progression, intensity, muscle types, muscle functions, etc.

Eat big could have explanations of calories, micro and macro nutrients, energy systems, etc.

Grow big could have explanations of protein synthesis, cellular breakdown, super-compensation, etc.

I guess it depends on how deep you want to get into it. But good routines will work with or without the science behind it.

BendtheBar 08-20-2012 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by bamazav (Post 269734)
For someone just starting, learning the deadlift or squat properly is a complex issue.

I will add to that progression. How to progress is not something conventionally taught in the magazine routines, so it is still completely foreign to most young lifters who post there workouts on forums, looking for a critique.

Usually they list sets and exercises. The first question I ask is, what does your progression scheme look like?

Magazines also rarely feature quality squat and deadlift form advice, etc.

I guess my point here is that most times the basics are glossed over, leaving a younger lifter without a solid foundation, which only makes things harder. Things can feel overly-complicated because they are missing vital information.

TitanWIP 08-20-2012 11:49 AM

Most people don't know how to process studies on their own and are likely to fall prey to someone's misinterpretation or mis-application of information because of the author's excitement and conviction. Which expert do we choose? I've seen a lot of opinions based on studies and then turn around and see 99% of people doing the opposite and being successful.

Most everything works, but why?

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