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
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Hardgainer Rules 6-10

    The first five [McRoberts'] rules I posted got some good discussion going. So, I couldn't wait to post these next five. These should get some of you a little riled up


    #6
    Don't perform these exercises.

    Don't perform the following exercises: press behind neck, bench press to the neck, cambered bar bench press, stiff-legged deadlifts off high blocks, Smith machine anything, hack squat, 45-degree plate-loading leg press, or super-wide chins. For the majority of people, these exercises are "body wreckers."


    #7
    Perform the lying L-fly.

    I sure wish I'd performed this exercise years ago. I started performing the lying L-fly just over a year ago, and my shoulders have never felt better.


    #8
    Don't train like you're lifting in a competition when you aren't a competitive lifter.

    Too many trainees train like competitive lifters and use low reps and heavy weights too frequently. This type of lifting takes a toll on the body. The ramifications of this practice may not show up for years. Even competitive lifters should limit the use of heavy weights and low reps until just prior to a competition.


    #9
    Do only one work set per exercise.

    If you can get the job done in one set, why bother with another?


    #10
    Perform at most 6-7 exercises at one time.

    Focus your effort on a few basic exercises. Master the technique in performing these exercises. A program doesn't have to be complicated to be effective. In fact, some of the most productive programs are the simplest.
    Last edited by Off Road; 10-09-2010 at 05:00 PM.
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  3. #2
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    6: Agree with most of these. I don't think a well designed leg press is really an injury risk, but I don't think that leg presses are all that useful most of the time anyway.

    7: Good to start some rotator cuff exercises right from the start.

    8: Agree with the general premise of not trying to go too heavy all the time. Some may misinterpret this as never going heavy with low reps, which would be a mistake. Many young trainees try to max out every session, so if this tempers that a bit then it served it's purpose.

    9: Depends on what you define as a "work set". For instance it could be argued that 5/3/1 only has one work set, but I believe it really has three work sets even if their is only one top set. If the work set warm-up includes a progression similar to 5/3/1, then I'm OK with this one. The only problem you might run into is that some beginners aren't efficient enough to get enough stimulus with one set.

    10: I'm not sure if he means in your total program or one workout. Again, I agree with the idea of focusing on a few compound movements that will hit all areas of the body. If it prevents teenagers from doing 12 different variations of bicep curls or pec movements, then it has served it's purpose.

  4. #3
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    What is considered a hard gainer in relation to a "normal" person? I always thought I was a hard gainer, but it turned out I just was not training/eating correctly. With that being said, I still do agree with point #8, which makes the 5/3/1 program that much more appealing.

    One point I really do disagree with is point #9. It would be really hard to put on size with just one work set. That is another reason why 5/3/1 is such a great program....you can save your joints and still get good hypertrophy work in with the BBB template.

  5. #4
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    I'm not sure if he means in your total program or one workout.
    He's talking about the total program. If you are unfamiliar with Hardgainer style routines, they focus on just a few of the biggest movements. This does not count light accessory movements, a few of those are thrown in after the 6 or 7 big movements. So you end up with a list of less than a dozen total movements to work on. These can be done as two full body workouts, or can be split over the two days depending on your recovery abilities.
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  6. #5
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where I stand on the "1 set only" rule. I see it's value; as in HIT, HCT-12, and 5/3/1. I also think it's important for a lifters to increase their volume over time. Increasing volume slowly over time will help with conditioning and work capacity, I feel that's the "REAL" reason for "Hardgainers." So, I guess it's a good rule, but not an absolute.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    I'm not sure where I stand on the "1 set only" rule. I see it's value; as in HIT, HCT-12, and 5/3/1. I also think it's important for a lifters to increase their volume over time. Increasing volume slowly over time will help with conditioning and work capacity, I feel that's the "REAL" reason for "Hardgainers." So, I guess it's a good rule, but not an absolute.
    The reason I like 5/3/1 is that it does give you the flexibility to add volume slowly over time. You can work up to your one main set then do a couple moderate "back-off" sets to get more work in. I think the problem with alot of people, myself included, is that they don't add volume slowly. They jump right into too much volume and stall out and then say that only minimal volumes work for them. Lately I've been doing a 5/3/1 variation that I think could work for the "hardgainer" types.
    Mon- kettlebell assistance work (snatches, presses, light SQ and lunges, heavy swings)
    Thurs- BP, close-grip BP, and pull-ups one week, then OHP, DB inclines, and pull-ups the next week
    Fri- SQ, moderate rack pulls, 1-2 sets of back raises, abs alternated each week with DL, moderate SQ, back raises, abs
    Sat- light kettlebell and bodyweight conditioning circuits

    I use the 5/3/1 scheme for the main lift and do 3-5 sets of 5-10 for assistance work. My body feels good and I'm recovering well between workouts, yet I'm building or maintaining a decent level of conditioning. I'll have to keep at it a while longer to see about the long-term strength gain with this set-up.

  8. #7
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    Mon- kettlebell assistance work (snatches, presses, light SQ and lunges, heavy swings)
    Thurs- BP, close-grip BP, and pull-ups one week, then OHP, DB inclines, and pull-ups the next week
    Fri- SQ, moderate rack pulls, 1-2 sets of back raises, abs alternated each week with DL, moderate SQ, back raises, abs
    Sat- light kettlebell and bodyweight conditioning circuits.
    I'm doing something similar...

    Sun.
    OH Press (5/3/1)
    Complexes (dips n chins)
    Conditioning (hill sprints)

    Tues.
    Squat or deadlift (alternating)
    Complexes (sldl n split squats)
    Conditioning (sled pulls)

    Fri.
    Bench (5/3/1)
    Complexes (push-ups n rows)
    Conditioning (heavy bag)
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    Again, my qualms with this stuff is that it is geared for the average, new gym trainee who isn't worried about performance...

    With the press behind the neck... Push presses behind the neck are actually better for athletes who sprint or use their arms extensively in their sport (e.g. pitchers.) This is due to the nature of front overhead presses being strong on internal rotation of the shoulders. Push presses behind the neck allow for more external rotation, which maintains shoulder flexibility for proper sprint mechanics. To be performed correctly, the trainee must have decent mobility to get there elbows vertically under the bar.

    However, a lot of trainees with out good coaching can royally F up their shoulders if they use bad technique.

    With #8, if you keep the intensity properly programmed, low rep sets can be tremendously effective at building strength. This is critical for athletes in weight class sports that want to build their strength while maintaining body weight.

    With #9, it's been found in research that 2-3 work sets are more effective than 1. This also goes back to #8.... if you want to do low rep training for limit strength, increasing work sets is important.
    Last edited by Raleighwood; 10-10-2010 at 01:45 PM.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    The first five [McRoberts'] rules I posted got some good discussion going. So, I couldn't wait to post these next five. These should get some of you a little riled up


    #6
    Don't perform these exercises.

    Don't perform the following exercises: press behind neck, bench press to the neck, cambered bar bench press, stiff-legged deadlifts off high blocks, Smith machine anything, hack squat, 45-degree plate-loading leg press, or super-wide chins. For the majority of people, these exercises are "body wreckers."


    #7
    Perform the lying L-fly.

    I sure wish I'd performed this exercise years ago. I started performing the lying L-fly just over a year ago, and my shoulders have never felt better.


    #8
    Don't train like you're lifting in a competition when you aren't a competitive lifter.

    Too many trainees train like competitive lifters and use low reps and heavy weights too frequently. This type of lifting takes a toll on the body. The ramifications of this practice may not show up for years. Even competitive lifters should limit the use of heavy weights and low reps until just prior to a competition.


    #9
    Do only one work set per exercise.

    If you can get the job done in one set, why bother with another?


    #10
    Perform at most 6-7 exercises at one time.

    Focus your effort on a few basic exercises. Master the technique in performing these exercises. A program doesn't have to be complicated to be effective. In fact, some of the most productive programs are the simplest.
    I agree with all but #9....but that's because I love my volume!

    Also, I never heard of #7, so I'm neutral on that.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighwood View Post
    With the press behind the neck... Push presses behind the neck are actually better for athletes who sprint or use their arms extensively in their sport (e.g. pitchers.) This is due to the nature of front overhead presses being strong on internal rotation of the shoulders. Push presses behind the neck allow for more external rotation, which maintains shoulder flexibility for proper sprint mechanics. To be performed correctly, the trainee must have decent mobility to get there elbows vertically under the bar.
    This is very interesting, I'd like to read more, do you have any sources?
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xMeat_Headx View Post
    This is very interesting, I'd like to read more, do you have any sources?
    No, this is what I learned while I was interning on a pretty big D-1 school's strength and conditioning staff...

    The head coach knew his **** pretty well and had coached many athletes from college freshman to pro-level status.

    He was really big on building/training flexibility to maximize sprinting mechanics. He forbid his athletes from doing front barbell overhead presses and dips because it would cause the pecs and biceps to tighten up, causing internal shoulder rotation and subsequently reducing shoulder flexibility...

    Shoulder flexibility is important in getting a full split with the arms and building total body power to maximize sprint mechanics.

    Instead of front overhead presses he used behind the neck push presses, behind the neck push jerks, dumb bell shoulder circuits and then had all the athletes do range of motion and mobility strengthening doing high/low external shoulder rotation and scapular extension work.
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  13. #12
    Senior Member K-R-M's Avatar
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    My gains really took off when I did the following:

    1. Stopped training to failure all the time.
    2. Started eating and sleeping more without worrying too much about food quality, but just enough.
    3. Switched from olympic squats to powerlifting squats. This made a huge difference.
    Last edited by K-R-M; 10-12-2010 at 02:10 PM.

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