Last Update On October 7, 2012
Screaming at the gym, 5x5's flows, Ectomorph, life...and more......
As some you know over the last few months I lost a lot of weight. During that period of time I also did not have the opportunity to train in a gym. I had to save money but that's another story. Since yesterday I am back in the iron room although I still train exclusively at home.
The first day I got back in the gym I was hit - I saw myself back in the day. One guy was doing deadlifts. Bad form and screaming. He was screaming like a pig being prepared for holidays or something. I asked myself this:
Why do we scream at the gym?
My conclusion was that we scream at the gym because we are idiots. Think about it for a second is there a sport where people scream extremely loud while they train - maybe martial arts and stuff but those guys don't scream like they are being cut in half. Then why we scream? It's simple we want others to see how “badass” we are, how heavy we lift, how strong we are...EGO. I've noticed that I never feel like screaming when I train at home. Maybe because I only train upper body at home but still you hear quite a lot of guys screaming while bench pressing.
If I saw the very same guy deadliftng and screaming some time ago I would've thought - “So cool!” but today I am more inclined to answer with this: “Get a life, reduce the weight, do more reps and save the screaming for the jungle!”
There's no need to scream. People are trying to make working out like some sort of religious life/death experience but it couldn't be further from the truth. The point of working out is to basically improve your health, gain muscle mass, lose bodyfat and have fun. It's not a war. I know people look at guys like Branch Warren screaming and trowing weight around and they think this is the way to go. In my opinion - No!. I treat my training like training not survival. Hell, guys don't even scream during boxing matches. What gives us the right to scream like a bitch when we are lifting some weight? Don't get me wrong occasional grunt and scream is ok and maybe even useful but some long and scary scream is moronic.
5x5s...well after so much time of being exposed to 5x5 I can say this: It sucks in many cases. First I don't think there is a golden rep range for ALL people. Some time ago I believed that everything over 5 reps is a waste of time because that's what they tech you, right? Wrong!
High reps can be extremely valuable and in many cases much more productive. Yes, high reps FTW! I am an ectomoprh - true ectomorph and just as a sideline I will tell you the “truth” about ectomorphs.
Ecotomorphs are usually tall or at least average height guys. Short ectomorphs do exist, of course, but my observation is that majority is at least of average height. Our signature physical trait is that we have small bones and joints. Also we tend to have long tendons and shorter muscles. I hate when people say that ectomorphs cannot gain weight. WE CAN! Everybody can gain weight if she/he has the possibility to eat enough. Our problem as ectomorphs is not that we can't gain weight...it's more that we can't gain muscle that easy. Big difference. Everybody can gain bodyfat.
I believe that for ectomorphs it is best to do high reps for hypertrophy. First, because we tend to have more red muscle fiber (slow twitch) and we respond better to high rep (10-25) than low rep. Second, since we have small joints we take more beating during max attempts and stuff. High reps fix that. Of course low reps have their place but honestly unless you are a powerlifter....why bother?
We tend to over think. I did. Unfortunately I still do. We tend to think of training so much sometimes that we forget why started in the first place and that there is life during those 20 hours after your workout. I'm sick of wannabes in the gym who are just looking to sound tough and what not with their bench press numbers and stuff...who cares? This is just one aspect of life. Who cares what you bench when you are extremely boring, self centered and annoying bitch in general. I can go on and on and you may disagree and that's fine...
Fitness gurus are marketing salesmen. Before you say it - No, I am not any kind of guru! I don't sell anything. Yes, I do have adsense on my web-site and I make exactly 8 dollars a month from it. If I ever write a book I will make sure it does not contain Pavel Tsatouline/Rippetoe like marketing. Those guys make me sick. Yes. I read “their” stuff and I guess when you write a 250 pages book some info will be useful but in general it's the same 5x5/squat centric crap all over gain. Who cares if you squat? Who cares that you squat 400 when you weight 240 and 27% BF. Who cares ?
Mark Rippetoe and his infamous quote:” If you don't squat I am not training you.” Well, guess what I don't care you are not training me. Hell, I guess it's for my good. Starting Strength has produced so many skinny fat bloated brainwashed morons..it's unreal.
Go on the starting strength forum and ask anything - the answer is always eat more:
“My squat stalled.” Eat more.
“My squat has not stalled.” Eat more.
“I am skinny.” Eat everything.
“I am fat.” Eat everything but cut carbs.
The main reason why SS has failed in my eyes is the one size fits all attitude and the poor nutrition advices. Mark Rippetoe and Gallagher talking about how people should weight 275lbs at 5'10 without ever thinking for a second that at that weight you either need a crap ton of roids or you are a whale. Kinda lame.
Pavel Tsatsouline is the first training guru I met on the internet. His advice has hurt me just as much as it helped. His ideas, which are mostly not his ideas, are ok but the information in many of his books is all over the place (because most of them are collection of articles and duplicate each other) and confuses so many people. He does not follow his own principle: KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid.
To be honest I haven't bought any of his books. Yes, you heard me correctly. I downloaded the books because I couldn't afford to pay something like USD 100 for a book that I couldn't even open in my hands. At least when I go to the local library they don't charge me for going through the book and actually seeing what it is all about. I am not ashamed to say this. However what comes around goes around, right? He owns a multimillionaire company anyway and one time I found a leak on HIS web-site which allowed people to read the DragonDoor books only 100% legally and for free. I reported the leak and they fixed. lol
I payed the price for “stealing” his work by becoming brainwashed and believing that he and his “secret Russian” knowledge are so deep. Nothing was further from the truth. All of his books contain at least 10 pages of advertisements, 50 pages saying the same thing over and over and 50 pages repeating the previous pages.
Don't get me wrong I know many of my articles contain links to his books but honestly all of them can be cut to 50 pages if all the marketing crap and LIES, faked biographies and Russian special forces bullshit was cut out.
Don't even get me started on kettlebells. Why would you pay for this thing anyway? Just fill a bag with heavy stuff and do heavy swings. Use dumbbells for snatches....or buy adjustable kettlebells. I haven't checked what's the price of the kettlebells on Dragondoor.com but I bet they are just about 100% overpriced because they come from mother Russia. The funny thing is that kettlebells were not even invented in Russia in the first place.
Another advice from Pavel which I hate is the wiry strength bullshit. To me wiry strength is an excuse to remain underweight and look skinny while improving the state of your ego with some feats of strength “the bigger people cannot do.” Why not be big and do those things? Am I asking too much? No!
Also Pavel popularize sets of 5 which in my mind are so damn annoying that I feel mad at me for including sets of 5 in the sample programs I present on this site. Sets of 5 are nothing spectacular. Nothing. I would even say that high reps are better in the long term and for most people. Why? More hypertrophy, stricter form and less joint pain. Sacroplamic hypertophy? Don't get me started on this one...don't. Ok... you did...deal with it now?
There is not such thing as PURE myofibrillar or sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. They can only exist together. There is only one hypertophy. Believe it or not there is not some miraculous way to build muscle without effort and weights 30% of your max. Never gonna happen. It's a just thing Pavel made popular to make us, skinny bitches, feel good about being skinny bitches. Do sets of 15, hell even do sets of 25+ only good things can happen and I promise that the muscle you build will not be fake.
Bro....you sound like a stupid little butt hurt bitch...!!
My point is that nobody has the right answers. There are only directions. Yes, reading books help us improves but its also responsible for a great deal of confusion which quite often comes from the fact that the guy writing a book what's you to believe that his way is the only way. It's not. The best advice I ever had is - learn what works for you and what doesn't. Learn from experience and listen to your body's response.
Our bodies know better than some gurus. They should be our guides. There isn't one size fits all solution when it comes to training the same way there isn't only one “right” way to live your life.
To be honest there are some things I've written in the 100s of pages on Rookiejournal I don't currently agree with but in the end of the day I was writing from my heart and I don't regret it all.
I am going back to basics - as always. And by basics I don't mean squats, deadlifts....blah, blah....I mean training for the original idea why I started training - to gain muscle mass and have good posture. Numbers were never important to me but because of Starting Strength and all that jazz I forgot it.
Thank you for reading my blog.
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