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
    Senior Member hardgainer169's Avatar
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    Motivational Essay

    This is an essay for my humanities class. Feedback appreciated. Hope you enjoy!

    A Recipe for Success

    When I get off work, I am grateful for the peaceful warmth of my car after the biting wind and snow. I am happy to sit down on the soft seat after carrying concrete blocks or packing sheets of plywood. Usually, I feel hunger pangs and dream of a large, steaming dinner which might be waiting for me at home. I would like nothing better than to take a quick nap on my bed after stuffing myself with a mound of roast beef. But I know that my near future contains nothing of this sort. Rather, I swig down a protein shake, eat a granola bar and some peanuts, and begin to prime myself for the workout ahead. As I cruise down the interstate back to town, I go through it in my mind, from the warm-up down to the last, quivering burning rep.

    Most of my life, I was a small, weak kid. I thought big, but I knew that I small, therefore I wanted to be physically bigger as well. I never really knew what it took to get any bigger, however. As I got older, I began experimenting. Our basement contained, among other things, an ancient pressing bench, along with a barbell and a few plates of iron. I recall long hours of wasted time, completing rep after rep with terrible form, no real routine, and no knowledge of what I was really doing. I over trained my body terribly, lifting every day and biting past the aching, screaming muscle fibers. I never really progressed much with this method. In fact, after a time, the overtraining caught up with me and I dropped in strength and energy. Every time I stepped on a scale, a measly 110 lbs stared back at me.

    Determined as ever to succeed, I spent hours researching and delving into encyclopedias and web sites of all kinds, sifting through the garbage (“Build Muscle For Only 59.99 With My Program”) from the good information. I talked with older and more experienced folks, and little by little began to build up a database of truly useful facts. Meanwhile, my body continued to grow naturally and inch toward its maximum height. When I was ready mentally and physically to “hit it” once more, I analyzed what I had to work with: at five feet and eight inches, I weighed slightly over 120 lbs.

    So, armed with an iron determination and my hard-earned knowledge and experience, I once again commenced in my quest to make myself stronger. The first order of business was developing a solid nutrition and exercise program. I played personal trainer, and cranked out a simple, effective workout routine based around compound exercises. I determined the amount of calories I had to eat in order to gain, and acquired supplements to help me reach those caloric goals.

    When I was truly ready, I joined a public gym and began to lift with intensity and will power I had never before experienced; driving a heavy weight using my own strength, stars flashing before me as I strained with everything I had, ever striving toward a goal. I also began to eat 6 meals a day, gorging myself at every possible opportunity, and loading my system with extra protein. With every meal I ate and every barbell I battled, I felt victorious. I was finally achieving the dream. My diet and training dialed in to a T, I began to experience the rewards.

    Consistently meeting my daily goals, the needle on the scale began to move. The weight plates on the bar began to multiply, more than doubling their previous numbers. My efforts were paying off, and I felt better than ever. My confidence grew and my overall health improved. Ever more motivated, I continued to steadily improve my training. I didn’t always want to go to the gym; sometimes I really had to force myself to go. What matters is that I did, time and time again, and my persistence spawned success. 5 Months later, I weighed 145 lbs, and I was vastly stronger than before. Today, at five feet and nine inches, I weigh in at about 155 lbs and I yet continue striving to better myself in my exercise program. I am still nothing more than average, but I am quietly proud of what I was able to achieve.
    age---------22
    weight------140 145 150 155 160 165 170 and counting
    height------ 5'9"


    Bench 225x1 | Squat 325x1 | Deadlift 355x5
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    Remember - if it were easy then everyone would do it.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    No offence, but this essay gives me the impression that you are trying to sound smarter than you are... Many sentences just don't seem to flow because you've tried to use a complicated syntax or a bigger word. Teachers will appreciate readability more than they will complexity.
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  4. #3
    Senior Member hardgainer169's Avatar
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    hmm. any sentences in particular?
    age---------22
    weight------140 145 150 155 160 165 170 and counting
    height------ 5'9"


    Bench 225x1 | Squat 325x1 | Deadlift 355x5
    My Journal

    Remember - if it were easy then everyone would do it.

  5. #4
    Wannabebig Member
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    A more appropriate title.
    Lacking traditional essay structure.
    -Your beginning paragraph doesn't begin, it just drops you into your writing. It's not clear enough what you're trying to write with this essay.
    -Your closing paragraph doesn't wrap up the topic, it just ends.
    -Your middel paragraphs are broken up for no good reasons.

    Overall just seems to be a rambling about your life in weight training.

    Note: not an english major, just my opinions.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    Also, constant misuse of the, comma.
    Last edited by Canadian Crippler; 12-06-2005 at 11:13 AM.
    "I added some db curls with the pink weights for a bit of a burn." - Rookiebldr

    "im assuming the holy (big) 3 are: curls, bench, legs?" - Saggas

    "had a huge ass burn on my triceps while I was doing those kickbacks, so they'll likely be staying with my exercise program." - Zearoth

    "most of my burned calories coming from something called Basal. Wtf does a leaf have to do with any of it?" - Votorx

    "We have a lot of people like that on our campus, all hippies and things, that go around preaching against corporations, jocks, preps, accountants, and anyone else that feels the need to shower more than occasionally." - Shankerr

    "Damn man why are some women just so demonic and evil.. its like you wanna get a stake and mallet and an erection at the same time." - WBBIRL

  7. #6
    Banned ROMANMAN's Avatar
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    I suggest you take out your gr.9 notes and learn the proper structure of an essay.

  8. #7
    General of Froot Soldiers TwiloMike's Avatar
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    My issues with this at quick glance, not considering essay structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by hardgainer169
    A Recipe for Success

    When I get off work, I am grateful for the peaceful warmth of my car after the biting wind and snow. I am happy to sit in a soft seat after carrying concrete blocks or packing sheets of plywood. Usually (no comma) I feel hunger pangs and dream of a large, steaming dinner which might be waiting for me at home. I would like nothing better than to take a quick nap on my bed after stuffing myself with a mound of roast beef. I know, however, that my near future contains nothing of this sort: I swig down a protein shake, eat a granola bar and some peanuts, and begin to prime myself for the workout ahead. As I cruise down the interstate back to town, I go through it in my mind, from the warm-up down to the last, quivering burning rep.

    Most of my life, I was a small, weak kid. I thought big, but I knew that I was too small, therefore I wanted to be physically bigger as well. I didn't know what it took to get bigger, however. As I got older, I began experimenting. Our basement contained, among other things, an ancient pressing bench, along with a barbell and a few plates of iron. I recall long hours of wasted time, completing rep after rep with terrible form, no real routine, and no knowledge of what I was really doing. I overtrained my body terribly, lifting every day and biting past the aching, screaming muscle fibers. I never really progressed much with this method. In fact, after a time, the overtraining caught up with me and I dropped in strength and energy. Every time I stepped on a scale, a measly 110 lbs stared back at me.

    Determined as ever to succeed, I spent hours researching and delving into encyclopedias and web sites of all kinds, learning to separate the garbage (“Build Muscle For Only 59.99 With My Program”) from the good information. I spoke with older and more experienced folks, and little by little began to build up a database of truly useful facts. Meanwhile, my body continued to grow naturally and inch toward its maximum height. When I was ready mentally and physically to “hit it” once more, I analyzed what I had to work with: at five feet and eight inches, I weighed slightly over 120 lbs.

    Armed with an iron determination and my hard-earned knowledge and experience I once again commenced in my quest to make myself stronger. The first order of business was developing a solid nutrition and exercise program. I played personal trainer, and cranked out a simple, effective workout routine based around compound exercises. I determined the amount of calories I had to eat in order to gain, and acquired supplements to help me reach those caloric goals. When I was truly ready, I joined a public gym and began lifting with intensity and will power I had never before experienced; driving a heavy weight using my own strength, stars flashing before me as I strained with everything I had, ever striving toward a goal. I also began to eat 6 meals a day, gorging myself at every possible opportunity, and loading my system with extra protein. With every meal I ate and every barbell I battled, I felt victorious. I was finally achieving the dream. My diet and training dialed in to a T and I began to experience the rewards.

    Consistently meeting my daily goals, the needle on the scale began to move. The weight plates on the bar began to multiply, more than doubling their previous numbers. My efforts were paying off, and I felt better than ever. My confidence grew and my overall health improved. Ever more motivated, I continued to steadily improve my training. I didn’t always want to go to the gym; sometimes I really had to force myself to go. What mattered was that I did, time and time again, and my persistence spawned success. 5 Months later, I weighed 145 lbs, and I was vastly stronger than before. Today, at five feet and nine inches, I weigh in at about 155 lbs and I am continuing to strive to better myself and my exercise program. I am still nothing more than average, but I am quietly proud of what I have been able to achieve.
    Last edited by TwiloMike; 12-06-2005 at 11:39 AM.
    Homer Simpson - "The code of the schoolyard, Marge! The rules that teach a boy to be a man. Let's see. Don't tattle. Always make fun of those different from you. Never say anything, unless you're sure everyone feels exactly the same way you do."
    www.dictionary.com (for all your spell-checking needs)
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    Viking Warlord- "You can't motorboat a personality".
    Built- "See, truly artful copy-paste isn't random. You need to know WHAT to copy before you go pasting..."

  9. #8
    Senior Member hardgainer169's Avatar
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    I should mention that we were specifically told not to use traditional thesis essay style because this is a college essay. Its supposed to promote myself without actually saying that I am Exceptional in some way. (show, don't tell)

    Twilo Mike: Thanks a lot for your specific input. This is much more valuable than when people just tell me that its no good. I'll take you up on most if not all these suggestions.
    age---------22
    weight------140 145 150 155 160 165 170 and counting
    height------ 5'9"


    Bench 225x1 | Squat 325x1 | Deadlift 355x5
    My Journal

    Remember - if it were easy then everyone would do it.

  10. #9
    Senior Member hardgainer169's Avatar
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    ROMANMAN: I know the proper essay style, so don't jump to conclusions. Thanks anyway.
    age---------22
    weight------140 145 150 155 160 165 170 and counting
    height------ 5'9"


    Bench 225x1 | Squat 325x1 | Deadlift 355x5
    My Journal

    Remember - if it were easy then everyone would do it.

  11. #10
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardgainer169
    I should mention that we were specifically told not to use traditional thesis essay style because this is a college essay.
    It's a college essay so you don't have to follow the general structure of an essay? That makes no sense to me...
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  12. #11
    Wannabebig Member
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    Maybe you should specify what your exact assignment is. You're asking people to critque your essay without really stating that it wasn't supposed to be an essay...

  13. #12
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    I only read the first paragraph and was annoyed by the excessive adjectives.

    Try not to write the perfect essay your first try - it will sound fake. Let the words flow naturally and clean it up later.
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  14. #13
    Banned ROMANMAN's Avatar
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    I know it sounded like you used a thesaurus for almost all of it, it just doesnt sound good.

  15. #14
    General of Froot Soldiers TwiloMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardgainer169
    I should mention that we were specifically told not to use traditional thesis essay style because this is a college essay. Its supposed to promote myself without actually saying that I am Exceptional in some way. (show, don't tell)
    Ahhh I hated writing my college essay. Standing out in a crowd of college essays isn't easy. Try inventing something bigger than just a weight gain challenge, massage the facts a bit. Your writing certainly has flow and rhythm issues but those can be ironed out.

    Twilo Mike: Thanks a lot for your specific input. This is much more valuable than when people just tell me that its no good. I'll take you up on most if not all these suggestions.
    Comb through my quoted text carefully- the red is where word substitutions occurred but the changes I made aren't limited to those.

    It might make things more difficult for you, but try to use less adjectives. Cut out flowery language and work on a concise essay.
    Homer Simpson - "The code of the schoolyard, Marge! The rules that teach a boy to be a man. Let's see. Don't tattle. Always make fun of those different from you. Never say anything, unless you're sure everyone feels exactly the same way you do."
    www.dictionary.com (for all your spell-checking needs)
    My picture thread- http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=78235
    My journal- http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=77712
    Viking Warlord- "You can't motorboat a personality".
    Built- "See, truly artful copy-paste isn't random. You need to know WHAT to copy before you go pasting..."

  16. #15
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    No offence, but that is not college-level writing. I don't even know where to begin giving advice. If I were you, I would honestly just re-write a new essay. I would suggest something other than bodybuilding too. As proud as you may be about your achievements, I doubt your professor will get it. The most important thing when writing an essay is to write for your audience.
    quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

  17. #16
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    Yea, colleges are more lenient in terms of form that hs ive noticed. Try to explain whta you will be saying in your intro, and organize a little better. Such as the three stages of your life for the body. And that is not a conclusion, its like a body mixed with a conclusion. It could be real good if you put more organization into it and id use more info about weights, i.e. stating which exercises you do and something about deads would be cool, but you dont have too. Just my opinion. But really, take out a paper, and write down your organization from the paper, and youll see there is no clear cut one. Its only interesting to us and you bc it involves something we love and you wrote. Imagine a grandma reading this or something. LOL.

    Rick
    Bulking is living.

    Age:18
    Weight:187 LBS
    Height:5'11
    BF:Somewhere around 13-14%

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    Bench 165*4

    My Journal- "Bulking is Living [By:Rick]"

  18. #17
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    C-minus.

    Nice job with the first paragraph in using imagery to grab the reader's attention. However, your sentence structure is very awkward and staggered and you often use 2-3 short dull sentences to say something that, with a little tweaking and imagination, could be much more robust.

    When I get off work, I am grateful for the peaceful warmth of my car after the biting wind and snow. I am happy to sit down on the soft seat after carrying concrete blocks or packing sheets of plywood.

    compare to

    After 8 long hours of lugging concrete blocks and sheets of plywood around a construction site, battling ankle deep snow and biting wind the entire time, I am grateful for the chance to escape to the soft seat of my car and let its peaceful warmth ease my aching back muscles.

    You need to learn proper use of commas and semi-colons too.

    I get what you're trying to do in the final paragraph and I think you're on the right track, but the wording and feeling just isn't coming across for me.

    P.S. Lose the "stars flashing" reference in paragraph #5 and work in something about "fighting through the searing pain of lactic acid build up" or some other wording that conjures up an image of you against the weights in an epic struggle.

  19. #18
    General of Froot Soldiers TwiloMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge Sanchez
    I would suggest something other than bodybuilding too. As proud as you may be about your achievements, I doubt your professor will get it. The most important thing when writing an essay is to write for your audience.
    His audience will be the admissions department- the essay is a college entrace essay, if I'm not mistaken, a requirement to accompany every college application I've ever come accross.
    Homer Simpson - "The code of the schoolyard, Marge! The rules that teach a boy to be a man. Let's see. Don't tattle. Always make fun of those different from you. Never say anything, unless you're sure everyone feels exactly the same way you do."
    www.dictionary.com (for all your spell-checking needs)
    My picture thread- http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=78235
    My journal- http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=77712
    Viking Warlord- "You can't motorboat a personality".
    Built- "See, truly artful copy-paste isn't random. You need to know WHAT to copy before you go pasting..."

  20. #19
    General of Froot Soldiers TwiloMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Joshua
    ...snip...
    Great advice. I second everything he said.
    Homer Simpson - "The code of the schoolyard, Marge! The rules that teach a boy to be a man. Let's see. Don't tattle. Always make fun of those different from you. Never say anything, unless you're sure everyone feels exactly the same way you do."
    www.dictionary.com (for all your spell-checking needs)
    My picture thread- http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=78235
    My journal- http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=77712
    Viking Warlord- "You can't motorboat a personality".
    Built- "See, truly artful copy-paste isn't random. You need to know WHAT to copy before you go pasting..."

  21. #20
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    I think the biggest problem is that you don't really have a lot of meaningful content. All of paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, and a large part of 1, 2, and 6 just outline details about your training program that nobody really cares about. Couple all those irrelevant details with nonsense like "When I was truly ready, I joined a public gym and began to lift with intensity and will power I had never before experienced; driving a heavy weight using my own strength, stars flashing before me as I strained with everything I had, ever striving toward a goal." and you're left with a bunch of fluff. You need to talk more (specifics) about why you did it and how it changed your life (assuming it really did). Make sure there's enough content for an essay before you start (outlines are good for this and they'd help your organization). And for christ sake, watch the hyperbole.

  22. #21
    In China tigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiloMike
    His audience will be the admissions department- the essay is a college entrace essay, if I'm not mistaken, a requirement to accompany every college application I've ever come accross.
    mm no its a humanites class essay i believe

    the essay seems more like a narrative story.
    Last edited by tigo; 12-06-2005 at 05:17 PM.
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  23. #22
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    Wow im suprised at all the feedback hes gotten on his essay. We are so brutal. LOL.
    Bulking is living.

    Age:18
    Weight:187 LBS
    Height:5'11
    BF:Somewhere around 13-14%

    Parallel Squat: 220*8
    Deadlift(Sumo): 260*8
    Bench 165*4

    My Journal- "Bulking is Living [By:Rick]"

  24. #23
    Banned Tofer's Avatar
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    I don't mean to sound like a jerk, because it probably took a lot of courage to post a personal essay (although I really don't think this should be classified as an essay) but your professor is going to literally cover the page with the dreaded "awk." and make you feel about two inches tall if you hand that in. For example: "I know that my near future contains nothing of this sort" seem far too forced, and ultimately, unneccessary. You can make your point here without trying to be profound. Professors absolutely hate it when students over-complicate things and attempt to sound more intelligent than they actually are. I think the comment about how the essay has a "thesaurus-in-hand" feel was bang-on. Big words and complicated sentence structure won't impress anyone, so you shouldn't feel the need to "dress up" your writing.

  25. #24
    Senior Member DNL's Avatar
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    it's true that this doesn't hold the conventional essay structure. It sounds more like an autobiography to me though. I know sometimes college professors instruct their student to deviate from the conventional way and "think outside of the box".

  26. #25
    Formerly Nick Hatfield SW's Avatar
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    I have no opinion about the structure of the damn thing. I liked the content and what the words meant. Good job.
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