Doing it Wrong

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nygmen
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Doing it Wrong

Post by nygmen » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:10 am

I want to ramble for a second and then hear what you all have to say on the subject. I was pontificating on a different site and wanted your perspective too:

Today the idea popped into my head that maybe doing it wrong, really doesn't matter. That maybe, just maybe, those frat boy, Bench N' Curl workouts are the best way for some people to start. And that no, squats don't matter a damn bit.

Hear me out.

90% of people that start lifting today, are going to have quit by this time next year, and 99% of people will have quit by this time in 3 years. It also seems like for everyone who "did it right" from the start with a SS or SL, or whatever, there are 2 people who "did it wrong" for X period of time and eventually figured out what they needed to and took themselves to the next level.

It doesn't matter how many books and articles someone reads. Time under the bar trumps time reading about being under the bar. For every person who's never posted on a message board, there is someone who has read everything out there that has made as much progress. For every lifting "scholar" there is a dude who's followed nothing but "bro-science" and made as much progress. (If we are talking things like gear, the people reading the science behind it typically out perform the bro-science people, but that is more specific than I'm trying to be here, lol)

I feel like those few people out there that are going to make above average progress, are going to make above average progress irrelevant of what program they start on, what authors they do or don't read, or what method they take towards lifting. Those people are going to make it, because that is who they are, and what they do. The achieve, they excel, they push further and harder than others, and they do it consistently over time.

So I feel like the best thing you can do for a newb is explain the technique and purpose of each lift, explain how to prioritize focus depending on their goals, explain how diet trumps everything, and then just let them go down their own path of self discovery and development.

Who cares if they squat 16 times a week or never? Because what is better, someone that runs SS and quits in 6 months, or someone that hits the gym 4 days a week for the next 4 years before he realizes he needs to work his legs too?

I say the guy doing what keeps him coming back for years on end is better. Because the people that are going to make it, will figure out they need to work everything, the people that aren't going to make it, aren't going to make it irrelevant of what program or lack of program they run.

This is probably just a bunch of :blah5: to you guys, lol. But I swear it makes sense in my head...

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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by CorlessJohnJ » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:31 am

I agree completely. Time in is whats important and its a lifestyle choice. Whether you know as much as a personal trainer or less then half of what a trainer would know its about effort. If you know all the information in the world and don't apply it it doesn't matter anyways. Effort makes up for a lot of messups. I see people all the time doing things wrong in the gym bad form or just horrible everything that being said I believe them being there is better than them not.

Preach effort dedication determination and desire. Question their work ethic I know i don't like wasting my breath for a lost cause.

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KenDowns
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by KenDowns » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:35 am

I agree completely.

When I started one year ago I had no idea what I was doing, and everything I thought I knew was wrong. I was doing the "mirror workout", everything you can see in the mirror: curls, bench, sit-ups.

Sooner or later I realized not only was I not making progress, I did not even know where progress was!

It was only by doing what I call "ear wiggling and eye blinking" exercises that I finally began to inquire here about what was going on. The answers I got were exactly what you recommend - specific answers to my questions but nobody told me I was doing anything wrong.

Nobody told me to stop curling, but soon enough I noticed everybody here was in a different world than I was, a world of cycles, compounds, deloading, intensity, volume, accessories, pr's, soft-tissue work, and on and on.

So finally I started to ask basically, "what exactly are you guys doing?"

Time under the bar is the best teacher. If somebody is motivated they will evaluate if the time is bringing results, and if it is not, they will find a teacher.

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Ironman
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by Ironman » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:54 pm

Genetics is a very big factor. So that tends to be how it is. Doing everything right only seems to make a difference if your genetics aren't so good.

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Jungledoc
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by Jungledoc » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:38 pm

nygmen wrote:So I feel like the best thing you can do for a newb is explain the technique and purpose of each lift, explain how to prioritize focus depending on their goals, explain how diet trumps everything, and then just let them go down their own path of self discovery and development.
That, and encourage them. A "community", whether it is some guys at the gym, or some people on a forum can be a help in staying with it. I have a tendency to jump on technical details of a newbie's program, rather than letting them know how awesome I think it is that they are lifting.
nygmen wrote:Who cares if they squat 16 times a week or never? Because what is better, someone that runs SS and quits in 6 months, or someone that hits the gym 4 days a week for the next 4 years before he realizes he needs to work his legs too?
Yeah, but for some people, at least, they have never heard any other idea, and just a suggestion may get them doing something better for themselves sooner than they would have otherwise. By the time people log on here and post a question, they are probably seeking a better way than what they know so far. So I don't think it hurts to suggest SL, or SS or suggest changes in their program. I do think we should still encourage that self-discovery. Not, "this is the right way", but "this is a way that has worked well for a lot of people--try it and see how it works for you." Not, "do this", but "I like this for these reasons."
nygmen wrote:I say the guy doing what keeps him coming back for years on end is better. Because the people that are going to make it, will figure out they need to work everything, the people that aren't going to make it, aren't going to make it irrelevant of what program or lack of program they run.
I agree, for the most part. I think there are a few who get discouraged and give up, who might have made it had they been steered down a better path early on. I think that some guidance into more effective approaches is good for those who are ready to hear it.

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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:53 pm

great thread

In the forum we can't do much to impact will power but we can educate. So that is why it turns into a "well, you should be doing this..." To the extent someone lets that educate discourage them ("gee, if I prefer curls over squatting, then I'm a loser"), that person probably is part of the 90%.

On another aspect, weight training is a separate category, imo, when judging a persons resolve. For example, I have all sorts of quit in me when it comes to reading a book, studying for Exams, dieting properly, calling my Dad; but Weight Training, has awoken some sort of self power and potential I hadn't tapped into since high school. I'm not sure without Heavy Deads and Squats, I'd have that. If I could do something to help a person continue, I would. It's just I dont know how, it's such a personal feedback loop.

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mark74
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by mark74 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:08 am

Ironman wrote:Genetics is a very big factor. So that tends to be how it is. Doing everything right only seems to make a difference if your genetics aren't so good.
Whoa.

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stuward
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by stuward » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:21 am

mark74 wrote:
Ironman wrote:Genetics is a very big factor. So that tends to be how it is. Doing everything right only seems to make a difference if your genetics aren't so good.
Whoa.
Another way of stating that is, "if your genetics are great, it doesn't matter what you do, you'll get results anyway". Of course the guys with the great genetics are the ones that everyone listens to.

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mark74
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by mark74 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:25 am

True that, although I'm thinking there's more to it, it's for IM to elaborate (if he wants)

nygmen
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by nygmen » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:59 am

Ironman wrote:Genetics is a very big factor.
This is true too. Gifted people will see results very quickly. This will help keep them coming back again and again.
Jungledoc wrote: I think there are a few who get discouraged and give up, who might have made it had they been steered down a better path early on.

You make some good points.

But on this particularly, I think most people that are going to stick with it, will seek out better info (much like most coming here do) in order to make progress.

I feel like those that quit would have eventually no? Am I just being a cynical jerk?

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stuward
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by stuward » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:16 am

nygmen wrote:...I feel like those that quit would have eventually no? Am I just being a cynical jerk?
Most people that join a gym, quit soon after. Many join several times before they either quit for good or make it a habit that they continue with. The number that actually stick with regular exercise is quite small and I would argue that the ones that adopt and stick with effective exercise is quite smaller again.

I think that number would increase with better education at earlier ages. I'd like to see proper instruction at the Junior High level, but that woun't happen.

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Jungledoc
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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by Jungledoc » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:12 pm

nygmen wrote:I feel like those that quit would have eventually no?
Maybe so. It's always hard to know what would have happened.
nygmen wrote:Am I just being a cynical jerk?
{sarcasticvoice]You?[/sarcasticvioce]
Seriously, you're sometimes cynical, but never a jerk.

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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by hoosegow » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:07 pm

Dang it beans, you made me think. I actually see no flaw in your rant. It is actually the same as my argument in favor of xfit (don't make this into another xfit debate). I think the most important thing is to get people under the bar (as you say it). Success is the biggest motivation and a newb will have success no matter what. So if you are successful doing easy stuff, why do the hard stuff (squats, deads, etc.)? I think most people quit when they reach their tolerance of doing hard stuff.

Take your average new years resolutioner. They are in the gym, maybe 3 months tops? Most don't make it to February. Why do they quit? The answer is training is hard. They realize they aren't going to get the results they want in 6 weeks in only 20 minutes 4 times a week. This realization eliminates most of the people.

The second biggest attrition of new lifters is when they transition from being a newb to an intermediate lifter. They got through the hard part. When their progress slows down, they get frustrated. They don't get the huge jumps and the reward doesn't outweigh the effort. Eventually, they quit.

The very few people that are left, come to the realization that they don't know crap. So they study, they talk to people, they experiment, eventually they learn and realize that there is a lot left to learn. You also realize there are so many avenues you can pursue in training. I think people then gravitate to what they are successful at.

I actually think lifting is a lot like golf. I imagine very few people go out and get lessons and learn how to play golf before they hit a course. Just the opposite, you go out and play, usually with a buddy. He gives you pointers (a bro-science analogy) and your game improves. Eventually it stagnates or even gets worse. You start reading about golf, going for lessons, practicing on a range, etc. You realize that if you had done all that stuff in the beginning, your game would be much further along and you wouldn't have to unlearn bad habits. The most important thing about lifting and golf is to develop a passion for it and want to improve. As you put it, ya gotta get under the bar.

On a side note, here is what I find frustrating about lifting. I love to lift. I love moving heavy things. Egotistically, I like being scary big. I think, when you are passionate about something, you want to give back. There are very few avenues to give back to the sport. No one wants to listen. Men's egos are that they don't want to ask questions. Women are scared that they are going to get bulky. You put time and effort into people and they quit when things get hard. There is so much misinformation out there geared to sell magazines and supplements to the masses that it is hard to teach people. There are very few people out there that have put the time in that you can go learn from. All in all, it just gets frustrating.

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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by robertscott » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:28 pm

I think I just worked out what name Erick posts under on a certain site who's forums I occasionally read but very rarely post on...

...and I totally agree that the people who'll quit will quit regardless of what program they're on or whatever, but I think the reason for this is simpler than we're making it here. I think:

Most people just don't like lifting weights as much as we do.

It really is that simple. It's nothing to do with dedication as such, I think you just have to enjoy the process. I don't improve with every workout, and sometimes my workouts are damn near awful, but I ALWAYS enjoy them regardless. Sometimes I don't know why, but I do.

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Re: Doing it Wrong

Post by KenDowns » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:07 pm

robertscott wrote:Most people just don't like lifting weights as much as we do.

It really is that simple. It's nothing to do with dedication as such, I think you just have to enjoy the process. I don't improve with every workout, and sometimes my workouts are damn near awful, but I ALWAYS enjoy them regardless. Sometimes I don't know why, but I do.
I tend to agree. I am not really disciplined at things I don't like to do, it takes real effort. I like to lift weights, even when it is brutal and painful. That's why I do it. Go figure.

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