View Full Version : My 8 "ah-ha!" moments

Allen Yeh
12-17-2008, 08:22 AM
A new article over at T-nation by Chris Shugart:


Overall nothing new but I liked number 2 as I think everyone at one time or another gets too caught up in the details (paralysis by analysis).

Ah-Ha Moment #2: Effort Trumps Training Programs

There are men in just about every gym in the world who don't squat, use too many machines, lift with poor form, and curl in the squat rack.

They don't keep training logs, either. They ignore post-workout nutrition, they use partial movements, they do too much steady-state cardio, and they use a lot of isolation exercises. In short, they break all the supposed "rules."

And they look bigger and more muscular than you, Mr. 10,000 Forum Posts the guy who does everything "right."

What the hell is going on? Well, some of them may have great genetics and use steroids, but a lot of them don't. So what's their secret? One word:


They strain, they push themselves, they hit it with everything they have in every workout. And that effort, that crap-a-kidney, hold-your-breath, can't-help-but-grunt effort, trumps any magical training program from the latest Internet guru.

Effort is key. Train brutally hard. Make that vein in your forehead stick out. When you come close to blacking out when you rack the weight, you're doing it right.

You can go to the gym seven days a week, hold dumbbells, and lay on benches all you want. But you can't reach your physique goals through osmosis. Your gym attendance doesn't mean shit if you're not sucking wind, fighting nausea, and soaking wet after a workout.

All that said, programs are good. They force you to train in new ways you may not have tried on your own. But a poor program performed with intense effort will be more effective than the "best" program performed lackadaisically.

Hint: If you're lifting with one arm and talking on your cell phone with the other, your effort level is lacking.

Yes, choose a good program from one of the many experts here at Testosterone Muscle, but worry less about the minutia of the program and more about the effort you put into it.

I also think amongst some groups this needs to be stressed more:

Ah-Ha Moment #5: Listen to Everyone, Idolize No One
Are you getting the idea here? Don't close your mind to any type of training, but don't swallow the Kool-Aid either unless you plan on competing in that specific sport. Most of us are just average guys who want to train hard and, well, not look average. We're not elite athletes or competitive bodybuilders with our hearts set on the Sandow.

But we can take a little from every discipline and use that knowledge to make us better: bigger, leaner, stronger, healthier, whatever your goal.

Garrett Smith
12-17-2008, 09:11 AM
Don't close your mind to any type of training, but don't swallow the Kool-Aid either unless you plan on competing in that specific sport.
Sounds like he's talking about the "sport of fitness" to me...

Derek Simonds
12-17-2008, 09:13 AM
I have read two articles from him lately and found both to be good. Nice one. I liked Dan John's latest as well.

Kevin Perry
12-17-2008, 09:48 AM
Yea pretty good, #1 and #2. I like some of his stuff.

I also like Jennifer Stano... but that's besides the point.

Emily Mattes
12-17-2008, 11:00 AM
And sorry Olympic lifting dudes, I just don't give a rip about your sport or the lifts it involves


Garrett Smith
12-17-2008, 11:13 AM
I'd only consider it blasphemy if he didn't make it so plainly obvious that his main reasons for training were all so superficial.

That being said, my traps never seemed to respond to anything BUT OL training. I don't mind that effect.

Mike ODonnell
12-17-2008, 03:01 PM
I started seriously lifting weights when I weighed 159 pounds. At my heaviest trained weight I was around 230. And you know what? I looked like crap.

It was psychologically painful to accept the fact that I looked my best under 200 pounds. After all, that 200 mark had been a goal when I weighed 159. But what's the point of getting "big" if a whole lot of that bigness is just excess body fat? I didn't look good, I didn't feel good, and women didn't turn their heads. But hey, I was "big" and the other chubby guys in the gym would slap me on the back.

And yeah, I'm now (gasp!) under 200. Sure enough, a few of my "big" friends at the gym like to give me a hard time about it. That's okay. My last three girlfriends were a Playboy model, a figure competitor, and a former NFL cheerleader. So I don't mind so much that my "full blown" buddies at the gym don't like my scale weight.

Nice.....I hate scales anyways.