How about a discussion on who's your weight lifting mentor, what type of system they endorse, and the pros/cons/similarities of each.
I'll start...If I had to pick just one person, it would be Stuart McRoberts. McRoberts wrote several books, the more popular ones would be Brawn and Beyond Brawn, which deal with his prefered system of weight training. He believes in the old system of building strength and size; compound movements (squats, deads, bench, etc.), working the full body twice a week, abreviated routines, minimal sets, and getting stronger to get bigger. He was one of the first guys to popularize the cycles; working up to a new max, dropping the weight and working back up to a new max. He was also a big proponent of big eating as long as the body fat didn't get too out of hand (>15%). Do you see a lot of similarities to Starting strength?
In his later writings (starting with Beyond Brawn) he really started to get too conservative with safety. He started to recomend not doing things like barbell rows, limiting the range of motion, and using machines in place of standard barbell exercises. That's where he kind of lost me.
He also had a great magazine by the name of Hardgainer. It was full of great writers like Christy, Whelan, Kubik, Connor, and Dr.Ken. He also had a website with a great forum. Many of the writers from Hardgainer would drop by the forum and answer questions. I haven't been there in a long time, so I'm not sure if it's still running.
A typical McRoberts routine:
Stifflegged deadlift 1x12
Bench press 2x6
Shoulder press 2x6
<edit> I think this is a FANTASIC way for a beginner to train!!! Once you reach a point that you've built a solid foundation, move on to something different and suited more for an intermediate lifter. I think a nice way to do it is to move on to specialization routines, and then revisit this type of training again to build a wider base.
I had two. One, Tommy Kono. The other Rick Flemming.
Ive spent far more time with Rick. Rick used to coach with Rippetoe adn went to college with him in WF and they have the same tastes as far as strength training goes. I dont think I need to go much further than that. Rick became a USAWL coach and Ive been working with him for strength for about 5 years and then WL about 3 years after that.
Ive only worked with Tommy in person about 5 times. We spend a good deal of time trading form videos over the interwebz and talking over email alot. He is a purist when it comes to WL which I think I nod to in my disposition.
Both coaches have very similar ideas on how to train a WL. Squat, clean, jerk, snatch. Thats about it. They believe that one must practice the O lifts with diligence and have form down. They are both purists in that they favor perfect form over brute strength. This, I think has made me into somewhat of a lift technician. I have learned to deconstruct a clean, jerk, snatch, front squat and O squat with much detail from these guys. Many f the fellow WLs I train with follow their methodology like gospel, but I have tried to find a middle road of brute strength and form perfection but I do practice the O lifts 2-3x a week.
Here is a typical split they suggest for a WL
Snatch + OH Squat 5x2 across - 95%
Clean 2x Jerk 1x 5x2 across - 95%
Highbar Squat 5x3 across
Snatch + OH Squat 5x2 acoss - 85%
Clean 2x Jerk 1x 5x2 across - 85%
Front Squat 5x3 across
Snatch to heavy double
Clean and Jerk to heavy double
High Bar Squat to heavy triple
Isn't it great to have those connections with such knowledgable people? I had a lot of conversations with David Maurice, one of the most frequent Hardgainer writers. Invaluable.
Definitely. They're out there willing to help, you just gotta have the gumption to find them.
Originally Posted by Off Road
Ive also had the opportunity to work with Elliot Hulse of Strength Camp a few times and Vic Valoria (NCAA football star and NCAA champion WL). I actually helped Vic coach his athletes .. he is now a strength and conditioning coach for SMU. I wanted to learn more about training so I simply called him up, scheduled a meeting, and he invited me to come out and watch. That turned into one of the most fun and interesting jobs I had in college. I worked with him for about 2 years learning from his ideas on training athletes.
I think it is ever important to seek knowledge from those who know more than you. Just as we train our strength based weakness to get stronger we should do the same with our minds. There is always something to be learned.
I never had a mentor when it came to weight training, but if I were to give something credit it would be this website. Not only do we have people here who are as dedicated as the pros, we have the pros. Its fun to lurk around and read everything, get different perspectives, ideas, combine and create. The information and ideas that are available here are unlimited.
For those of you who are bored read some of the debates that date back to when WBB first started in 2001.
That being said the people that motivate me are the people working harder than me in the gym doing the same basic exercises. I don't respect people who are 30lbs heavier than me and do 10 different sets of curls. I respect the person who is 20 lbs heavier than me, squatting 50lbs more than me.
Ya as Cards said, no one in particular. It's the forums that help me out the most. I believe that I can figure anything out by myself.
Besides, most "gurus" are extremists - either bodybuilders, powerlifters, strongman, etc....
I want to be strong in several rep ranges, fast, explosive, lean and muscular, have endurance and stamina.....so I guess boxers and other fighters would be who I look up to.
Regardless of the proponent's name, I've found the most effective lifting principles to centre around the idea that muscle hypertrophy by and large tends to be merely a by-product of strength gains. If you work on getting strong, you will inevitably have some muscle growth. Focus on muscle growth only and you start getting into the troubled waters of analysis paralysis. Lift heavy. Be a meat head and don't complicate things.
It's great people have mentors. For me, I just read a lot and a bit different perspectives trying to find the best way for myself to train. Mostly respect and listen to Rippetoes, L. McDonald, McRoberts. Tsatsouline, Kubik have interesting stuff too.
WBB forum has been great. Lots of people who know WL well.
How's everyone's opinion on Will Brink and Vince Gironda?
Since most of you don't have gurus...how about people that fire you with their writings? I'm always on the lookout for writers that get you fired up to train hard.
Personally, I like Dr.Ken and Brooks Kubik for getting fired up.
Originally Posted by Gymjunkie
Haven't read that much by Will Brink...but can't remember a lot that I disagree with him on.
Vince Gironda was a bit of a crank. He strongly believed that squats and bench presses were worthless exercises...to the point where he would throw people out of his gym if he saw them doing said exercises. That said, he definitely knew some stuff...but could have profited (character wise) from being a bit more open-minded.
As for myself, I don't have anyone I consider a mentor as such...but McRobert definitely had a strong influence on my lifting philosophy.
Louie Simmons, Mel Siff, Jim Wendler, Dave Tate.
There are a plethora of people who have helped me at any given point.
The reasons he recommended not doing barbell rows are enumerated here (see 5th paragraph in the link). Doesn't mean you shouldn't do them if you like them (and can do them safely), but his points are still valid.
Originally Posted by Off Road
As for limiting the range of motion...several exercises do have an excessive range of motion (like the overhead DB press, upright row or dip.) Again nothing controversial there. This can be a great joint saver.
As for using machines in the place of a standard barbell exercise...as far as I know he only recommended using a machine in place of the barbell or T-bar row. Machines have their place.
Gotta agree with McRobers about Rows... they do place a lot of stress on my back and I stopped doing them when I started lifting 20+ kg over my weight on the bar. Concentrating on pull ups now and maybe DB Rows later.
Originally Posted by Songsangnim
The guy (Will Brink) has written probably THE BIGGEST (page wise) book on bodybuilding I've seen. His Bodybuilding Revealed is 630+ pages!!! Haven't had the courage to read it yet...
Originally Posted by Songsangnim
Gironda was damn wrong.. but I will read his book to maybe get some useful insight.
I'm very familiar with his stance on these issues. This is the reason there was an imediate split between McRoberts and Brooks. I tend to lean more twards Brooks' side of the issue. Most lifts can be dangerous if performed in the wrong way. It's the lifters duty to practice form and only progress at a rate that allows you to keep that form. But don't give up on a productive exercise just because it's been labeled as dangerous (like Rows and Oly lifts) if that's what you want to do.
Originally Posted by Songsangnim
I pull advice from a list of sources. My faves are Chad Waterbury, Eric Cressy, Dave Tate, Louie Simmons, Pavel Tsatsouline, Mark Rippetoe, Christian Thibedeaux, Dr. Lonnie Lowery, Scott Abel and Alywn Cosgrove the list goes on but those are my tops
They all basically teach, movements, heavy weight, volume, and working the body as a whole, slightly disagree on a few things, waterbuy, cosgrove and tsatsouline believe in total body workouts, Cressey and Tate like upper lower splits. Lowery and Waterbury give lots of scientific info which I love.
But all believe in hard work, good programming and effort
when I started (way back in the day) Arnold was my motivation. I never read any of his books. I just lifted. Then I found WBB and I started using WBB v1 and that worked then I found out from people about the whole 5x5 thing, so I adapted lifting from WBB v1 to fit 5x5 then I read some more and found out about west side and I added more to fit. So really its just been the people on this board that got me to where I am now. I've come a long way, and still have a long way to go. Worked on form with squats from sensei and worked on bench from dave tate and worked on deadlifts from louie if I remember correctly.
John MacCallum, love his book which has plenty of good routines to try. He was also packing muscle on guys before AS really hit the scene
I've only read excerpts from his book, but the little I've read was AWSOME!
Originally Posted by ChrisIsDaBoy
Originally Posted by Off Road
This is exactly what I said above "Doesn't mean you shouldn't do them if you like them and can do them safely.""
Just saying that for certain people his advice has merit.
Bill Starr would be another main influence. He's always been an advocate of strength exercises as opposed to building size at the expense of everything else.
Sure his training advice at times veers slightly towards football players...but most beginners and intermediates could prosper equally well from it...once they've understood the basic principles.
Thought I'd revive this thread. I've never had a training mentor in the sense that I've almost always lifted alone but some of the writers whose works have influenced and/or motivated me the most are:
- Brooks Kubik - great books, entertaining reading and some good ideas on how to set up a program
- Dr Ken - incredibly motivating guy and a great writer
- Stuart McRobert - huge advocate of common-sense training
- John McCallum - one of the best writers in strength training, routines he wrote would have been better if you dropped the volume in half :)
- Sean Toohey - wrote some of the best online articles I've ever read but he's disappeared (was on WBB for about 2 days last year)
- Jim Wendler - 5/3/1 taught me a lot about programming
- John Schaeffer - propopent of one of the best linear progression programs
- Mark Rippetoe - keeps it simple and straightforward
Originally Posted by StLRPh
I'd have to say the most influential person I have in my life lifting wise is Josh Bryant, since he's my trainer, and has become a good friend of mine. Brian Dobson is also on my list, he's always there for advice and help when needed, but is a little limited when it comes to powerlifting implements.
1. Josh Bryant
2. Brian Dobson
3. Dave Tate
4. Jim Wendler
5. Any of the Elite FTS writers
6. Numerous guys here at WBB, Vin, Travis, Tom, big Wilk, Brian, Nick, and several others who frequently post help/assistance in my journal and threads. I think having a wide base of LIKE MINDED guys to help from really helps in progress. If you get too wide of a group with too many different opinions/standpoints, there's a chance you're gonna end up spinning your wheels taking in contradictory information.
A 110 pound woman named Stephanie, with quads bigger than mine are now, who 11 years ago saw me squatting in the gym and said "what on EARTH are you doing?". She proceeded to demonstrate correct form, encourage me to stop eating like a little bitch, and otherwise slapped some sense into me.
That lady taught me more about weightlifting than any other individual. Ever.