The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Four Laws of Training and Growing: The Perfect Hypertrophy Plan - New Article!

    There’s a lot of talk online these days about all the different ways to promote hypertrophy (gain muscle) and it's starting to get... well... a bit overwhelming.

    We seem to be getting sucked in by the latest fancy training program to hit the internet and we're missing the simple fundamentals of gaining intense amounts of muscle mass.

    We introduce the Four Laws of Training and Growing and also give you three solid hypertrophy routines guaranteed to thicken you up!

    READ HERE

    I am REALLY excited about this article. Mike pulled this one out the bag and it's gonna be a great read whether you are a newbie or have years under your belt!

    Let us know what you think and if you have any questions - post them here!
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Nice Read.

    "nce a week won’t cut it, even it you hit it like Hiroshima. You’ll be recovered before your six days are up and your muscles will already have started to atrophy. "

    Atrophy? Isn't that a bit overexaggerating? I have a 3-day split, because of my limited time, for example i only work chest once a week..never noticed any atrophy though?
    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

  4. #3
    Mr. Skinny Wrists Nicky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemz View Post

    "Once a week won’t cut it, even it you hit it like Hiroshima. You’ll be recovered before your six days are up and your muscles will already have started to atrophy. "

    Atrophy? Isn't that a bit overexaggerating? I have a 3-day split, because of my limited time, for example i only work chest once a week..never noticed any atrophy though?
    I am on a 3 day too. Atrophy that fast?!?!?
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  5. #4
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    I have never considered a lawn "badass".

  6. #5
    Softball hoe cant hit bombz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    I have never considered a lawn "badass".
    +1
    I always figured that was for guys with sandals and black socks

    This article should be added to the weight training for dummies manual...very good stuff and easy to " grasp"
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    I have never considered a lawn "badass".

    Seconded...a lawn would only be considered "badass" if instead of you yelling at kids to stay off of it, it opened up and swallowed them whole.


    On a serious note I disagree strongly with this quote

    "You'll be recovered before your six days are up and your muscle will have already started to atrophy..."

    On top of all the other variables plus the varying definitions/degrees of "recovery" and "atrophy" it varies from person to person. Not to mention I've had squat sessions where I'm having trouble walking downstairs 4 days afterwards. (first time starting the classic 20 rep squat program after an extended 'off' period can do this)..I certainly need at least a couple more days to be fully recovered.

    For the majority of natural trainers I will concede that it probably makes sense to train the muscle group more than once a week. But if you are doing the big three plus direct shoulder/arm work most body parts are being worked more than once a week anyway.

    Squat for legs and deadlift for back. Your legs and lower back have been hit twice. Shrugs on shoulder/arm day and your upper back/traps have been hit twice with deadlift and shrugs.
    Shoulders have been worked twice on back and chest day. And arms get hit with chest/back/direct arm work....

    Now chest admittedly is only hit once. Then again how much direct chest work do Olympic lifters do? I haven't noticed their chests lacking. But if you are doing dips for say triceps then your chest is going to be hit at least to some degree.

    In other words think movements not muscle groups or bodyparts.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 03-16-2010 at 10:29 PM.

  8. #7
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Songsangnim View Post
    Seconded...a lawn would only be considered "badass" if instead of you yelling at kids to stay off of it, it opened up and swallowed them whole.


    On a serious note I disagree strongly with this quote

    "You'll be recovered before your six days are up and your muscle will have already started to atrophy..."

    On top of all the other variables plus the varying definitions/degrees of "recovery" and "atrophy" it varies from person to person. Not to mention I've had squat sessions where I'm having trouble walking downstairs 4 days afterwards. (first time starting the classic 20 rep squat program after an extended 'off' period can do this)..I certainly need at least a couple more days to be fully recovered.

    For the majority of natural trainers I will concede that it probably makes sense to train the muscle group more than once a week. But if you are doing the big three plus direct shoulder/arm work most body parts are being worked more than once a week anyway.

    Squat for legs and deadlift for back. Your legs and lower back have been hit twice. Shrugs on shoulder/arm day and your upper back/traps have been hit twice with deadlift and shrugs.
    Shoulders have been worked twice on back and chest day. And arms get hit with chest/back/direct arm work....

    Now chest admittedly is only hit once. Then again how much direct chest work do Olympic lifters do? I haven't noticed their chests lacking. But if you are doing dips for say triceps then your chest is going to be hit at least to some degree.

    In other words think movements not muscle groups or bodyparts.
    I think it all comes down to volume at the end of the day.

    Typically once a week body part splits have a lot of volume for each bodypart and tend to go the blitz it, rest 7 days and blitz again approach.

    I think what Mike was trying to say is that training the muscle group more often with less volume is preferable and you'll notice that he also mentions that you have to be careful about exercise selection and volume when training more frequently.

    I doubt I will ever go back to a bodypart split. I prefer full body and upper/lower body splits.
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  9. #8
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    Seriously though, I'm going to change routines in a couple of weeks and I might do your 3 day routine. However I don't have the rack or the spotter to do floor press. Could I just do bench press that day and should I use the same rep scheme as on day 3? So I'd be doing 6x4 bench press on day 1 and day 3.

  10. #9
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    i liked the article! I loved the 'cutting the grass, mow the lawn analogy'.

  11. #10
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    "Atrophy".. not in the sense that you're probably picturing.. but if you think of what atrophy is in one way - decrease in size - then picture yourself lifting, then resting. While resting, you're growing. When you're done growing, however no longer stimulating, the muscle sits idle. Without stimulation, the muscle group will eventually "atrophy" (decrease in size), back to it's original size, or slightly above. You won't atrophy as if you never used the tissue, but your gains will diminish. After a series of time, you'll have grown 100% and shrunk 50%, leaving you with a total increase in size of only 50%. If you had stimulated the tissue again, prior to your "recovery growth", diminishing in size or atrophying, you'd have had anywhere from 80% to 100% in actual increase in size.

    That make sense?

  12. #11
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    Also, I should mention again, that there are many variables that come into consideration when dealing with your recovery time in relationship to your stimulus volume. The key is to get the two to hold hands. Compliment each other, not cancel each other out. However, I've never seen a single muscle group stimulated once a week and yield full "potential" for growth.
    Last edited by Mike Scialabba; 03-17-2010 at 12:45 PM.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Doesn't it also depend how you work a muscle group? Let's say you do "upper" back on monday and on friday you squat, deadlift and some other "lower" back exercises. But then again that's kinda working the muscle group "twice" not as elaborate as on monday for example, but.. I'm confusing myself here :x
    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

  14. #13
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Start consuming about 50 grams of high-glycemic carbohydrates and 30-50 grams of easily digestible protein 15-20 minutes before you begin training...Consume another 40-50 grams of high-glycemic carbohydrates and an additional 30-40 grams of easily digestible proteins immediately following your workout..."
    I'm only taking in 2k calories per day at the moment, and having a total of 100 grams of carbs at workout time seems rather excessive to me. I just have been trying to figure out how many carbs I should actually take in around workout time. On one hand, I know carbs are an important part of success in and out of the gym, but on the other hand it feels kind of counter-productive to try to take in tons of sugar/carbs at my workout time. I don't want to spike my insulin level more than necessary, but I suppose I don't want to lift with no glycogen in my muscles either. I am specifically concerned when it comes to doing HIIT Sprints. With my total duration of that workout only lasting 3.5 minutes right now, I can't see why 100g carbs would be necessary. For example today my pre/post-HIIT carbs totaled to 38g dextrose. Is that too low?

    I'd really appreciate some insight here; thanks. Nice article by the way.
    Last edited by fixationdarknes; 03-17-2010 at 02:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  15. #14
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    Songsangnim - I'm concerned perhaps you got hung up on the one line? When you said you disagree, you seem to actually go on agreeing with the major points of the article??

    On a serious note I disagree strongly with this quote

    "You'll be recovered before your six days are up and your muscle will have already started to atrophy..."

    Squat for legs and deadlift for back. Your legs and lower back have been hit twice. Shrugs on shoulder/arm day and your upper back/traps have been hit twice with deadlift and shrugs.
    Shoulders have been worked twice on back and chest day. And arms get hit with chest/back/direct arm work....

    Now chest admittedly is only hit once. Then again how much direct chest work do Olympic lifters do? I haven't noticed their chests lacking. But if you are doing dips for say triceps then your chest is going to be hit at least to some degree.

    In other words think movements not muscle groups or bodyparts.
    It does come down to movements. Perhaps I should have been more clear here:

    "You need to stimulate your muscles frequently and adequately. Once a week won’t cut it, even it you hit it like Hiroshima. You’ll be recovered before your six days are up and your muscles will already have started to atrophy. In order to prevent this, you’ll need to hit those muscles again as soon as recovery has taken place.
    The movements you’d perform during a five-day split would certainly need to be less intense movements than what you’d perform during a three-day split.
    For example, exercises on a five-day split may look something like this:

    • Plyometric Pushup 4 x 5
    • Barbell Floor Press 4 x 4
    • Incline DB Press 4 x 8
    • Neutral Grip DB Flat bench Press 4 x 8
    • Blast Strap Pushup or Rings Pushup 4 x 12

    Exercises on a three-day split may look something more like this:

    • Box Squat 5 x 4
    • Floor Press 8 x 3
    • Chest-supported Row 6 x 4
    • Standing Barbell Press 4 x 6
    • Russian Barbell Twist 4 x 8
    • Face Pull 4 x 8

    The more recovery time available, the more intense the movements and the loads need to be.
    "
    Last edited by Mike Scialabba; 03-17-2010 at 01:55 PM.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scialabba View Post
    Songsangnim - I'm concerned perhaps you got hung up on the one line? When you said you disagree, you seem to actually go on agreeing with the major points of the article??



    It does come down to movements. Perhaps I should have been more clear here:

    "You need to stimulate your muscles frequently and adequately. Once a week won’t cut it, even it you hit it like Hiroshima. You’ll be recovered before your six days are up and your muscles will already have started to atrophy. In order to prevent this, you’ll need to hit those muscles again as soon as recovery has taken place.
    The movements you’d perform during a five-day split would certainly need to be less intense movements than what you’d perform during a three-day split.
    For example, exercises on a five-day split may look something like this:

    • Plyometric Pushup 4 x 5
    • Barbell Floor Press 4 x 4
    • Incline DB Press 4 x 8
    • Neutral Grip DB Flat bench Press 4 x 8
    • Blast Strap Pushup or Rings Pushup 4 x 12

    Exercises on a three-day split may look something more like this:

    • Box Squat 5 x 4
    • Floor Press 8 x 3
    • Chest-supported Row 6 x 4
    • Standing Barbell Press 4 x 6
    • Russian Barbell Twist 4 x 8
    • Face Pull 4 x 8

    The more recovery time available, the more intense the movements and the loads need to be.
    "

    Oh I do agree with the major points of the article...I was just making a distinction about direct and indirect work here. Even if you do a once a week bodypart routine, that bodypart can be stimulated adequately (indirectly) more than once depending on the exercises you choose. That's all I was pointing out.

  17. #16
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    Fixationdarknes - What are your goals? If they revolve around HYPERTROPHY/MASS, the best insight I can give you right off the bat would be to increase your calories well beyond 2000kcal/day. But it does depend on your current LBM.

    If your HIIT workouts are only 3.5 minutes, then I suppose 38g carbs are enough. Consider maybe increasing the duration and intensity of your workout.

  18. #17
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Yeah I probably will increase past 2k. At the moment I've just been testing what my maint. cals are by eating strict 2k each day, but my goals definitely are to be rather lean so I'm not sure how much I will increase the cals.

    And I do increase duration of HIIT sessions each time I do them (3x a week), so next will be 3.75 minutes. And I probably spend an hour to an hour and a half in the gym (lots of resting time though doing heavy 5-rep sets usually) on my lifting days. On those days should I be increasing carbs past something like 38g?

    Thanks for the response by the way, very appreciated.
    Last edited by fixationdarknes; 03-17-2010 at 05:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  19. #18
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    interesting article. i just went from WBB original to WBB 2 this week, but i think im just gonna switch it to the 3 day full body from this article. good idea? ive wanted to switch up to full body, but never saw one i liked, but this one looks pretty cool

  20. #19
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    fixationdarknes, bear in mind that the article is written with the aim of someone who is looking to gain some serious muscle/weight and to do that you have to eat for it too.

    If your goal is to reduce weight/fat then some of the recommendations have to be taken within the context of your goals.

    For example, it is not possible for me to take 100g post workout as I am on a serious mission to get to 10% and some times I have to weight train on a medium carb day which means 40g at a push. But, I can take on board the fundamentals of what Mike is saying by making sure that I squeeze as much of my carb allowances as I can afford into my post workout nutrition.
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    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

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  21. #20
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Alright thanks that makes sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  22. #21
    Wannabebig Member vanfreak's Avatar
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    Tried Day one today and I liked it- never really done the push press before loved it and the explosive energy of it!
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  23. #22
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    i like my warehouse analogy. Youre brain is the owner of a manufacturing plant your body is the plant. The workers are your muscle and your cash reserves are your fat. And the workload the workers are doing are your lifts. The owner doesnt want to add workers (muscle) if its not needed..those workers just sit there burning through cash (fat) and the shop owners LOVES to have cash in reserves...the more the better. So to add workers you need to bring in orders (orders- weightlifting), get your body to require those workers otherwise the owner wont get the cash which he wants most of all. Now during a time of low cash income a plant might still keep or increase its workforce if it thinks its required to make it through the tough times to the good times.


    eh... this is kinda just a half baked analogy... anyone else like it or think its dumb?

  24. #23
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Has anyone else started one of the routines in this article? Be great to hear how you are getting on!
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    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

    Can I have some lean muscle & strength please? – My Training Journal

  25. #24
    Wannabebig Member vanfreak's Avatar
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    Doing Day two of the full body program today.I am still a bit sore from Saturdays day one.It was more intense than I thought...will report later
    "There's no sinner without a future and no Saint without a Past"
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  26. #25
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Clough View Post
    Has anyone else started one of the routines in this article? Be great to hear how you are getting on!
    I actually just started WBB 2 last week, but the routines in here look so interesting that Im gonna switch over and start the 3 day today (actually heading to the gym right after Im done typing this). I've been looking for a 3day fullbody for a while but no other ones really caught my interest. I'll let you know how it is after the first week. I also typed up a spreadsheet log of the 3day routine, so anyone who wants a copy let me know.
    Last edited by soclydeza; 03-22-2010 at 11:54 AM.

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