Last Update On January 3, 2012
Are we all wasting our time and effort lifting weights?
The last two weeks I haven't trained that much. Why? Well, I've been to a funeral and after that there was Christmas and New Year. I had many days off and decided to skip on gym time too. I know many of you may be thinking - “He is a lazy pussy and will lose size.”. The reality cannot be further from the truth.
Why are we so afraid to skip training?
I think the reason people are so afraid to miss training are quite often false understanding about gym training and/or reading too much bullshit on T-Nation. The truth is that there are much more important factors to muscle mass than training - age (hormone profile) and food. Why?
Let's say that you train but you don't eat enough. What is going to happen? Well, nothing. You won't grow. Never. It's physically impossible and please don't believe the steroid guys who tell you that they eat 1000 calories a day and they are still 220lbs.
Let's say that you eat like a pig and you don't train - you will get fat but you will carry more muscle than the guy who trains and doesn't eat. Recently, I had access to very old pictures of my grandfather. He was fat in the pictures but he carried much more muscle than me. I doubt he was able to do one pull-up at that time. You get where I am going with it?
This summer I decided to make a cut. How? I just cut my food intake in half. I lost 20 pounds in 2 months...not all fat of course. During that period of time I did not train my legs with anything other than sprints. Nothing else. After the cut I measured my legs - exactly 25 inches. My gut was 33 inches. Before the cut my legs were 26 and my gut 37 inches. After the cut I started my regular training in the gym - leg press..blah blah blah. Here we are 4-5 months later and guess what my legs are a little over 25 inches but my gut is also bigger. What I am training to say is that I did not gain any muscle...not even 100 grams I just gained fat and my food intake had much more impact on my gains and losses.
All of this lead me to this very question? What the fuck is the point? I will never get any bigger. Never. This is it. This is my maximum. I've been training for six years and all of my gains were pretty much over after the first year. So what the hell was I doing for the last 4 years? The answer from muscle gaining perspective is - nothing, just wasting time trying that routine and this routine.
What I want to say is this - after you reach a certain point it's physically impossible to go beyond it naturally. It doesn't matter how much pump you feel or what anybody says. It's over. The body does not have the hormones to support any more growth and it's game over. You are maintaining what you have and it's almost irrelevant what kind of routine your are following as long as there is some stimulation. Hate it or love it this is the truth.
I will give you one more interesting example. Like you probably already now from other articles I really wanted to have big legs to stand out from the other guys (gay I know) so I always use to focus on lower body. Recently I saw the legs of my father who just turned 55 y. o. Let me tell you this - his legs are probably 2-4 inches bigger than mine and his calves are probably 4-5 inches bigger than my sticks. He never trained...etc. So at 55 this guy has more muscle than me. I think this example supports my belief that eating good and genetics is about 85% of the game and responsible for your muscle gains. Looking back in high school I was 150 pounds. Why? I was eating one good meal a day at home, if that, and the rest was waffles and crap. My daily calorie intake? Maybe 1000-1500 I don't know.
Once I start eating like an adult I have put on some mass. Yes, I was training during that time but I truly believe that eating better was reason number 1 why I gained the weight.
My question to me and to you is this: are we all wasting training in the gym if there is no visible improvement?
The answer is semi No.
The main benefit from training is overall health - not muscle mass. People who move are healthier that people who work in an office and watch TV after that....well not always but most of the time. However exercising does not guarantee a longer life. It's a beneficial factor but not really a deal breaking thing. Also working out is pretty safe injury wise and gives you opportunity to feel young again.
So, no we are not wasting our time in the gym we are wasting it outside of the gym reading and analyzing things that are irrelevant at some point - like should I take whey or casein...amino acids...blah blah....Do you even lift bro?
As the old saying says - don't do it for the money do it for the love of it.
Lift To Live Not Live To Lift
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