Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Be Realistic - links

I've been reading a few posts recently in different places that all build around the same theme - you need to be realistic about what your training can achieve in terms of muscle growth.

Biggest mistake we make with regards to building muscle is false expectations of what is actually possible - from Brad Pillon

Accepting your genetic limits - from Richard Winnett

I'm not writing this article so that all of us will become remarkably depressed about our genetic limitations to respond to exercise. I'm writing this article so that we all do some realistic assessments of our strengths and weaknesses and how we personally respond to exercise in order to fine-tune our exercise programs and create some reachable goals.

Indeed, if we acknowledge our genetic limitations and factor them into our training, they offer a clear ray of hope...Rather then following the 'conventional wisdom,' if we study alternatives and look for training methods that support how we -- with our known limitations -- can improve, we can uncover 'natural gifts' that might otherwise gone unnoticed.

There are genetic limits to how far you can get - from Doug McGuff

The Geeks shall inherit the earth - again from Doug

The bodybuilding/strength training field is the only field that judges the validity of an argument by the appearance of the person making the argument. This tendency is perpetuated by a field which has a vested interest in perpetuating the lie that “anyone can do it”. The people who possess the natural talent (consciously or not) perpetuate the myth that others can achieve massive muscles too (provided they keep up with the latest info in the muscle magazines and take the correct supplements), because if they did not perpetuate the myth then they would have to get a real job. This problem does not exist in sports that have spectator appeal because these athletes can make their money off this aspect of the sport. The less spectator appeal a sport has the more the “anyone can do it” myth is perpetuated by those that stand to make money in the field. Of all sports the strength and bodybuilding field has the least spectator appeal; after all, who wants to watch a bloated, bald, shaven gorilla prance around in it’s underwear?


Joseph said...

In the bodybuilding field it makes as much sense to judge the validity of an argument by the appearance of the arguer as to do the same in any other field based on the performance of the person putting forward the argument, and that happens all the time. In bodybuilding appearance is performance just as much as 100m times are performance for sprinters. And bodybuilders often judge arguments based on the appearance of the people that have been trained by the arguer - in the industry today "gurus" are listened to almost as much as, or more than, the athletes themselves. This makes just as much sense as trusting the coaches of high level athletes in any sport to have insight into training for their field.
I agree that bodybuilding has limited spectator appeal, but it isn't negligible and you shouldn't deride it just because you don't share it. There's a beauty in a well formed physique (which to me means Frank Zane, but I'm old) which is just as legitimate as the beauty in a figure skater or any other "artistic" sport that is judged by people (as opposed to a scale or a stopwatch).

Chris said...

Joseph I think you missed the point. I am not deriding bodybuilding at all. I was obsessed with it for years and have sat through lots of local shows and watched people I know compete.

The point of the post is that just because someone has a good physique doesn't mean they know what they are talking about. Great and even good physiques are generally built in spite of the way that they are trained, not because of it. It is genetics.

and that is without getting into steroids.