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View Full Version : The Five Elements by Charles Poliquin


Allen Yeh
08-06-2007, 09:46 AM
I was reading some archived Poliquin articles and this one caught my eye. Anyone else read this? Thoughts?

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-041-training

I can see the different types echoed in the people that I've trained with over there years and going along what he says the types are I'd say I'd be a 70/30 mix between a wood and earth type.

Mike ODonnell
08-06-2007, 11:05 AM
the average person in the gym is metal...

Neal Winkler
08-06-2007, 12:50 PM
I'm always skeptical of anything that comes from eastern philosophies. I'm just not down with the whole "reality is an illusion" type of stuff. In general, it's just to mystical and magical.

But with that said, it's certainly possible that sometimes ancient philosophies might just call a particular phenomena by a different name than in western science, and therefore might be of some merit/truth but just taken the concept a little to far. For example, I don't believe in magical chi powers, but if sticking a needle in your foot eliviates your migrane, then maybe the'yve just confused "chi energy lines" or whatever with the nervous system. Just don't say that you can do a chi energy blast and then try and make an excuse as to why it didn't work when you get your ass kicked.

On to Poliquin, I have no idea what science has to say about such demarcations, so I couldn't tell if the two things are just naming the same phenomena. I suppose it's possible that you can make some general stereotypes, like Poliquin has done, but my guess is that in the real world you'll find plenty of variation in the individual.

Furthermore, we of course know that there is no such thing as "five elements." There are many elements as we call them, and more than five fundamental particles (or maybe just one if superstring theory is right). So, if there really are five types of people that respond to different stimulus', it would just be a huge coincidence that it corresponds to some archaic notion of chinese "five elements."

Of course I'm now thinking that I've just taken this way too far, and he was just trying to give what he believes are five types of people some snazzy names. Not that there is some sort of causal mechanism at work.

Eh, just ignore my ramblings please.

Daniel Myers
08-06-2007, 08:06 PM
Coming from Poliquin and T-Nation, I thought three of the elements would be fish oil, branch-chain amino acids, and Surge.

Mike ODonnell
08-07-2007, 06:34 AM
Coming from Poliquin and T-Nation, I thought three of the elements would be fish oil, branch-chain amino acids, and Surge.

You meant to say "Flamout, Biotest BCAA and Surge". $10 their stuff comes from the same raw materials factory in China that Weider and EAS get their ingredients from....it's all marketing nowadays....same product, different label. I've really cut down on reading anything over at T-nation....nothing new or insightful anymore, just a mall for people to peddle stuff....(not that running a business is a bad idea, I just don't want to go shopping...)

Robb Wolf
08-07-2007, 07:27 AM
Chinese medicine has five elements, western medicine was founded on the 4 humors, Jungian psychology has developed into the meyers briggs personality types that are comprised of 4 main types and dozens of subtypes that are derivatives of each other. Some epidemiology is now being applied to the types with interesting results.

Patterns in nature? Whoda-thunkt-it!

Chris Forbis
08-07-2007, 08:25 AM
Jungian psychology has developed into the meyers briggs personality types that are comprised of 4 main types and dozens of subtypes that are derivatives of each other.

Heh. This weekend I was just reading over my Myers-Briggs results from 3 years ago. It is slightly eerie how accurately those things can describe you.

Robert Allison
08-07-2007, 12:21 PM
Heh. This weekend I was just reading over my Myers-Briggs results from 3 years ago. It is slightly eerie how accurately those things can describe you.

Meyers-Briggs is good, but, in my experience, the Enneagram (http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/) is even more insightful. Of all the personality systems, I believe it to be the most nuanced, and therefore accurate. But there is certainly no conflict between M-B and the Enneagram; in fact, I think that some thinkers have worked on integrated the two.

Robb's point is a good one. I used to be very quick to dismiss concepts like 5 Element theory as Eastern mysticism. But I came to realize that they are pointing to some of the same truths as Western science, using different methodologies and terminology.

Mike ODonnell
08-07-2007, 01:07 PM
Meyers-Briggs is good, but, in my experience, the Enneagram (http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/) is even more insightful. Of all the personality systems, I believe it to be the most nuanced, and therefore accurate. But there is certainly no conflict between M-B and the Enneagram; in fact, I think that some thinkers have worked on integrated the two.

Robb's point is a good one. I used to be very quick to dismiss concepts like 5 Element theory as Eastern mysticism. But I came to realize that they are pointing to some of the same truths as Western science, using different methodologies and terminology.

all this deep stuff and all I can think about when reading this thread is "Uhhhhh....hey Beavis....he said 'wood'.......ehheh.....ehheh....."

Yep....this is Pmenu...welcome

Ron Nelson
08-08-2007, 01:52 PM
I'm rubber, you're glue. . .

Garrett Smith
08-08-2007, 05:25 PM
TCM five elements--good.

Poliquin's five element theory (is that with or without steroids and hGH???)--meh.

I'll say that I'm definitely a major Earth type by his statements. I'll see how I can work that into my current scheme and observe the results.

Allen Yeh
08-09-2007, 07:17 AM
Maxed out my front squat at a paltry 250 yesterday, rested 10 minutes and managed 4 reps at 85% so that would place me in the wood category. Today I'll see what happens with some other exercises.