Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fact or Fiction 2

From the same article

You read about some exotic exercise or exercise system; some 'wonder' vitamin, mineral or protein supplement; secret attitude etc...etc...Though all of these factors may play a role in successful bodybuilding, they are so secondary that they become almost trivial compared with the essence of bodybuilding.

Bodybuilding fact is that if you would ensure that your training is progressive then you will gain muscle without hardly giving a thought to diet, attitude,  specialist equipment etc.  People are continually looking for new easy ways in bodybuilding by considering those factors outside hard heavy training.  The cause of this misdirected attention probably lies with those individuals who have commercial interests in bodybuilding   The essence of successul bodybuilding is so plain and simple that it cannot allow many people to make gain from it. What these profit mongers do is to try to make bodybuilding much more complicated and involved than it really is so that they can find something 'new' to write about, some secret to make training finally work, miracle supplements etc etc.  They have developed a bodybuilding fiction so as to be able to exploit the bodybuilding public.

Stop being confused, misled and exploited.   

From Bodybuilding Fact and Fiction by Stuart McRobert, in Iron Man May 1982 issue.

I think we are still being confused, misled and exploited.  It is even worse now than it was 31 years ago.  There are now even more supplements, exercises and pieces of exercise equipment and the internet feeds our desire for novelty and facilitates our distraction from the basics.  It is the great distraction.


Unknown said...

Stuart McRobert is as prone to this as anyone else. I find his books too much oriented on dedication in areas where it is not worth it or where it is counterproductive. Stretching, Some obscure pseudo-medical therapies, avoiding protein powders because they are unnatrual, name it:-) Overall his books have a great spirit and are spot on regarding training advice, but these "details" annoy me.

Chris said...


This is from an article he wrote before any of his books and even before Hardgainer magazine (which I still miss).

Anonymous said...

I began strength training a little over 2 years ago. Got 'serious' probably 6 months ago and actually consulted with a state-level pro, who helped me work up a plan. About the only gimmick I swear by is protein. If I fast from dinner till workout time (late morning) I find a simple protein shake works wonders to get me through. I follow up my workout with another protein shake and a good, hearty, healthy real meal made up of carbs, fats and proteins. On occasion I will drink some sort of 'pump' beverage that claims to get me to more reps, but mostly those are for flavor, hydration and for my psyche.

Lighthouse keeper said...

They have to sell you the problem first and once you have bought into into it they sell you the solution, create a need through instilling self doubt, confusion or an appeal to vanity or the feeling that your missing out or are not part of the in crowd, then you are ready to believe the hype. This is the usual modus operandi of the internet health guru.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the new theme of keeping it simple Chris, nice evolution of the blog. That said, without knowing the bodybuilder who wrote the article, its likely he was using steroids. In that light his comments could be somewhat disingenuous.


Dan said...

True wisdom come to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life ,ourselves and the world around us.

Chris said...

@Matt / Anon

Thanks for the comment. Just to be clear I have no doubt that McRobert who wrote the article was totally natural. The photo with the article was of Bill Pearl who I think it is safe to say might have been using gear.

Simon Whyatt said...

I am no fan of the supplement or "fitness industry", but it is questionable whether "they" (big fitness?) are responsible for "engineering the need/desire" for a quick fix or secret solution.

I've been working in the fitness trenches for many years now, and I can tell you that the solution of healthy eating/regular exercise/lifestyle change are not an easy sell.

Many, if not most people, really want a quick fix - it is this demand that probably drives the supply, rather than the other way around.

I also think that in most cases, the manufacturers are probably as deluded by their own biases as the customers buying their products, rather than any kind of machivalian masterminds.

Chris said...

Good points Simon

Chris said...

In a similar vein:

Stuart Gilbert said...

Chris......I largely agree with you to an extent. The more things change, the more the REAL solutions stay the same. However not AlL change is bad. I too followed Stuart McRoberts writings through books, Hardgainer ( still have most editions ) and other magazines. However even Stuart's stuff wasn't completely relevant, or suitable for me. His reliance on squats and deadlifts, rest pause reps etc, despite being prescribed with the best of intentions, probably did me more damage than good in the long term. I would hazard a guess that you might feel the same to some extent. Not everything new is bad.....thank goodness for Bill DeSimone for example,
Yes Stuart McRobert, did adapt his approach over the years, bu I think he was ultimately too attached to the old school methods to adapt fully. The squat and deadlift were always the first port of call in his programs, other ideas weren't considered, unless the trainee had physical problems and / or equipment issues. That's why I like the writings of people such as yourself, Richard Winnett and ( in his fitness segments ) Critical MAS. People who have a solid anchor of simplicity, but who aren't scared to peek out of the box to snatch and use anything new that could be seen as working in your common sense view points.
This is NOT an attack on Stuart McRobert by the way. I owe the guy SO much. If I hadn't discovered that first copy of Hardgainer at the gym I was at, all those years ago, who knows where I would have been now. I doubt I'd have still been training. Due to Stuart I set off on an exciting journey, which, despite some dead ends and set backs, I'm still on today.
Keep on with the critical thinking Chris. People like you are the future for people like me....