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Old 10-19-2012, 05:42 PM   #51
Kyle Aaron
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I reached my near natty potential in 1997 and haven't gained more than 0.5 pound of muscle in the last 15 years. In this time though my strength has dramatically improved.
I like how you speak of strength improvement as "dramatic" when it happens over... 15 years.

This shows a very healthy long-term perspective on things. This long-term perspective is not shared by people who claim those natural limits don't exist, and by those who use steroids.

Mindset is key here. Imagine the results people could get if they looked ahead a decade or two.

A guy came into the gym yesterday, in his 40s, about 10kg of extra fat on him, mostly his belly. He was only half-joking when he said, "I'd like sixpack abs by Christmas."
"14 months? Sure, you can do that."
"No, this Christmas."
"It won't happen."
He looked genuinely surprised.
"It took you longer than ten weeks to get the belly, why would it be quicker to get rid of it? But you can have a significant change in your physique in ten weeks, if you eat and work very hard."

I suggested personal training - not with me, I'm full up, but another trainer could take him on. If someone has ambitious goals or big obstacles to their goals - run a marathon in six months, shoulder reconstruction operation, etc - then PT will be useful.

He said he couldn't do PT because of his business, he couldn't commit to a regular time. But he also said he was going to come to the gym and work out six days a week. I was a bit confused by this.

Generally the ones who say they'll come 5-6 days a week won't come at all. They usually don't even show up for their programme introduction. Those who say they'll come 2-3 times, they're much more likely to actually do it.

If people have the mindset of doing big things in a short time, they usually do nothing at all. If they have a longer view, they usually do big things. This longer view is taken for granted by BendtheBar, but I think it's worth emphasising.

Lyle McDonald's work caters to the short-term thinkers; by manipulating minor nutritional details you're supposed to get awesome results quickly. This mindset is what I see when he talks about his own experiences with powerlifting, ice skating and so on. If he didn't win a gold medal in a year or two, he gave up and did something else.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:58 PM   #52
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I like how you speak of strength improvement as "dramatic" when it happens over... 15 years.
.
Right, good point.

In a relative sense they are dramatic, but sometimes I forget it's been 15 years so your point is well taken.

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Mindset is key here. Imagine the results people could get if they looked ahead a decade or two.
Absolutely. I wish more people would consider fitness/lifting a lifestyle instead of a 90 day "plan" like P90X. The only reason I am strong is because I have decades on most guys and stuck with lifting for the most part.

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Generally the ones who say they'll come 5-6 days a week won't come at all. They usually don't even show up for their programme introduction. Those who say they'll come 2-3 times, they're much more likely to actually do it.
Sounds about right. I've seen it plenty of times myself. The guys that "can't stay away from the gym" and "need to workout 6 days a week" often miss a huge number of workouts, or can't stick to anything longer than 3 weeks.

I would prefer they workout to the point where a rest day is needed.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:31 PM   #53
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I just tell people to schedule it in their diary, like a business lunch or date. And if you can't make it, you don't just cancel, you make a new appointment - same as that lunch or date.

It couldn't be any more convenient for me, nor could I have much more motivation. I can wear a t-shirt under my work shirt, and at the end of a shift walk 2-10 yards to the rack and do my thing. I can get another trainer, my colleagues will be happy to leave me lying in a puddle of my own sweat after half an hour. I have a toddler, when he's 12 and wants to kick a football around I'll be 52, if I'm like the typical Aussie bloke of 52, no chance. And I have back and knee issues which if I train regularly are no problem, if I miss a week there's pain.

But still sometimes I won't do it. So each week when I'm planning the next week with gym shifts and PT and my son and friends and the rest, I sit down with my diary and plan the times I'll work out. I'm realistic about it. If on Tuesday I have someone at 0600 and 0630, then next at 0730, well physically I have time to do something 0700-0730, but let's be honest, it's not happening. I'll spend an extra 5-10' with the 0630 person, then go get a coffee, and relax for ten minutes until the 0730 client. But if I have 90 minutes free, okay, that's doable. And obviously if I'm working 0600-1800 one day, a workout at 1800 is not likely.

Something about writing things down makes them more likely to happen. There was a study of some university students. "For extra credit, write an essay about what you did on Christmas Day, essay due January 7th." Half of them they sent off like that, the other half they added, "... but before you go, write down for us when you're going to write the essay, for example "in my bedroom at 6pm on Boxing Day."" Obviously the researchers had no way of knowing if the person actually did it at that time and place, they only knew if the essay was handed in or not.

The half they just asked to do it, 30% did it. The half who were asked to write down when and where they'd do it, 70% did it.

Consistent effort over time is so rare that when people do it, the results they get are declared unbelievable, impossible, must be poor measurements or steroids or lies or something. Thus Rip and McDonalds' argument about Rip's trainee.

As I said, I do think there were some poor measurements of the kid's body composition, there was no "before" measurement and the "after" measurement was done with calipers, which require a lot of practice to be accurate, practice a typical strength coach who scorns worrying about bodyfat simply won't have. But doubting the strength gains is just stupid. That's just McDonald telling us that nobody he's trained has ever got that strong.
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