Sunday, May 19, 2013


"You don't need to load creatine."

"You need to lift 3 days a week."

"You don't need to deload."

"You need to eat 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight."

We all know these statements.  The internet and the gym are rife with them.  Everyone is looking out for your best interest and letting you know what you need and what you don't.  It's all bunk.

Unless you are talking to your coach, no one knows what you need, nor do they care about you.  They are expressing to you what "you" need so that they in turn can justify their own decisions.  Coincidentally enough, what you "need" happens to be exactly the same things that they do.  If some guru never loaded creatine, then clearly no one needs to do it.  If someone never squats, then no one needs to.  Etc, etc.

Seriously, avoid gurus whenever possible (Sorry Mike)

I grew up on Pavel Tsastouline.  From him I learned Pavel's 3-5 and deloading.  Whenever I deloaded, I would grow sustainably stronger.  But then, I learned that I didn't need to deload, and that the time I spent deloading was a waste.  I took this new found knowledge and rushed headlong into 3 years of stalling.  Once I started deloading again with Jim Wendler's 5/3/1, I started to progress again.  Funny isn't it?

Know what I've never needed to do?  Mobility.  No matter how much the world tells me that I need to do mobility drills or else my knees will explode, I seem to continue to get stronger and stronger.  Meanwhile, many will continue to train mobility while forgetting the entire reason why they are doing it: to get stronger.

Just need a little more mobility and THEN I'll be ready to squat

The reality is, needs are going to be entirely user dependent.  Dan John probably gave us the best basic idea of what movements one needs to do

1. Push
2. Pull
3. Hinge
4. Squat
5. Loaded Carry

And from here it's a whole world of possibilities and quirks that are altered due to the circumstances of the user.

This means you will sadly be required to enter the terrifying realm that is self discovery via trial and error, but those who are brave enough to undergo that journey are those who in turn are able to prosper.  If all you ever do is listen to the talking heads of the world, you will remain average and unaccomplished, because the reality is, the people who talk the most are the ones who train the least.  Those that are out there busting their asses are too busy breaking records to be able to engage in a 4000 post long flamewar on the net or a debate at the gym.  And honestly  who would have the balls to argue with someone like Derek Poundstone or Matt Kroczaleski on what it takes to get bigger and stronger?  Only those that are protected from their own inadequacies via the anonymity of the internet.

*Artist's depiction of event

Once you've taken the bold step of finding out what works, it becomes vital to shut out those little voices that are going to tell you that what you're doing isn't actually working.  If you are getting bigger and stronger from Xbox, don't change a damn thing, because it's working.  If something just plain does not work for you, quit trying to put the square peg in the round hole and just move on to what works.  If it was all so easy and obvious, we'd all be doing the same routine.  Find out what YOU need and do it.

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