An Ax in Joe Weider's Chest
If it weren't a crime and he didn't have any friends or relatives that might get all weepy eyed, I'd stick an ax in Joe Weider's chest. I'd get a running start too — just to make sure I had enough oomph on the sucker to cut through all the gristle and breastbone.
If I got lucky, he'd stay alive for a few seconds, just long enough for me to explain why I'd axed him:
"Hey Master Blaster, I first started reading your stinkin' mags when I first started lifting. I read countless training routines supposedly written by the bodybuilding stars — none of which mentioned drugs, mind you — and my naive mind was led to believe that I too could look like the pro bodybuilders if I just worked out TWO or THREE hours a day for SEVEN days a week.
"Can you guess what I'm getting at, Joe ol' buddy? That's right, I spent whatever free time I had in the gym. Lost were potential romps with girls; lost were friendships and experiences; lost was a PhD in astrophysics or whatever subject I could have spent all that time studying!
"I wasted a good part of my youth in the gym! And what's worse is that I didn't grow bigger. If anything, I shrunk! If you had just let us know that these freaks were genetic anomalies that used boatloads of drugs, me and countless other gym rats might have used realistic weight training protocols and not wasted...so...much...precious...TIME!"
And then I'd whack him once more, just for emphasis.
Joe Weider, sans ax.
Okay, I wouldn't really off the old geezer. Instead of axing him, I'd probably buy him some Little Debbie Snack Cakes and a Diet Pepsi. After all, he played a huge part in nurturing the addled child known as bodybuilding. Without Joe, I'd probably be editing some trade journal: TC, editor-in-chief of Ball Bearing Monthly. So for that, Joe, I thank you.
Nevertheless, I'm still pissed at him.
If you're relatively new to the iron game, you probably don't know that steroids were rarely mentioned in conjunction with bodybuilding until the early nineties. Steroids were the deformed child that bodybuilding kept in the attic, out of sight of proper folk.
As such, many of us emulated the alleged Muscle and Fitness workouts of the stars — 2 hours a day or more, 7 days a week — without the benefit of chemical enhancement.
I suppose everybody has their own version of my story; how they wished they'd known this or that years before so they wouldn't have wasted so much time.
Trouble is, bodybuilding is a relatively new science and for years, most of the scientists in it were idiots. Epistemology is the science of how we know what we know, but bodybuilding's epistemology was a blend of marketing opportunism, colossal egos, stupidity, and plain old bullshit.
It's better now, much better, thanks in no small part to Testosterone and T-Nation. While much of our knowledge is as admittedly fragile as a house built of Trivial Pursuit cards, we've got a far, far better handle on it than almost anyone.
With that in mind, we're going to cautiously—with a light step, so as to not crash through the floorboards—present a series of T-Nation "truths." We're hyperaware that many will not agree with some of our truths, and that time in her infinite wisdom might well prove any of them wrong in the future, but we're reasonably confident in the integrity of our house of cards. Many long-time T-Nation readers will already know them, but there are probably a lot of new people logging on every day who'll sop up the info, sop it up like a Bounty towel on a sweaty fat kid's belly.
So, without repeating Joe's crime of wasting our time, here's a list of some of the things T-Nation currently believes about bodybuilding, weight training, nutrition, supplementation, and various miscellaneous topics:
1. It's not necessary, Joe — not by a freakin' long shot—to train 2 hours a day, 7 days a week to build a superlative physique.
2. How long you rest should be inversely related to the intensity of your last set.
3. You should use more free weights and compound (multi-joint) exercises than machine-based and isolation exercises. Free weights build more muscle, burn more calories, and allow more carryover into real world activities. That way, you'll be able to lift bags of fertilizer, open peanut butter jars, and hoist naked women over your shoulder.
4. Don't take your multivitamin/mineral capsule with your morning oatmeal.
5. If hypertrophy is your goal, eliminating the stretch-shortening cycle will do more to recruit additional muscle fibers than almost anything else you can do.
6. It's impossible for two straight men to look each other in the eyes while whistling the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show.
7. Before doing a set for biceps, triceps, chest, or back, stretch the antagonist muscle beforehand. It'll increase your performance on that next set.
8. Olympic lifts will, if added to a bodybuilder's routine, ultimately build muscle by recruiting high-threshold muscle fibers.
9. Paris Hilton has a boney ass, and I wouldn't have sex with her using your dick, let alone mine.
10. As your training age increases, you can get away with fewer reps per set.
11. Chin-ups and pull-ups on a fixed overhead bar are far superior to pulldowns or reps done on an assisted pull-up machine.
12. It's counterintuitive, but you don't need to do as many reps and sets while using steroids.
13. Sadly, the IPEX bra by Victoria's Secret, touted as the most advanced bra ever developed, "two years in the making," makes chicks look as flat as Leonardo DiCaprio. All men of conviction should stand up against this evil invention.
14. "Spinning" eats away muscle. Besides, they have this new thing where you can actually take the bike outside and ride it around in the fresh air and look at things other than the sweaty butt crack of the loser in front of you.
15. Don't neglect training major muscle groups like back and hamstrings or you'll experience muscle imbalances, a lopsided physique, injury, and weakness. And then we will point and laugh.
16. Your meals should consist of protein and carbs or protein and fat.
17. If you want to put on size, can the cardio, Cookie.
18. If you do most of your training on a balance board, a Swiss Ball, or a Bosu ball, you'll have a tremendous core and a small, weak body that we'll all laugh at.
19. Kettlebells are not the answer to every physique problem ever confronted by man. They are not the cornerstone of a religion or philosophy. They're simply a semi-useful tool, that's all.
20. Squats, overhead squats, and front squats work the core better than any exercises done on an unstable surface.
21. There's no one perfect training system or strength training philosophy. Everything works...for a while.
22. Do your heavy weight, low-rep, multi-joint movements first in your workout.
23. If you've only got a few minutes to train, try the Tabata Method.
24. Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons has lovely hair.
25. When doing subsequent sets and experiencing fatigue, it's better to reduce the weight and keep the rep range the same, rather than doing fewer reps per set.
26. If you've got a choice of doing a movement sitting or standing, choose standing every time. This doesn't necessarily apply to sex, though.
27. Most lifters adapt to a routine after 6 times. This doesn't necessarily apply to sex, either.
28. Juggle rep ranges, from 1-3 reps to 4-6 reps to 8-10 reps to 12-15 reps. Doing 8 sets of 3 has just as much merit as doing 3 sets of 8.
29. There is absolutely no proof that the human body can only absorb 30 grams of protein in one meal.
30. The real T-man does not put up with intolerance or sexism, especially from pansies and fat broads.
31. Steroids, used properly, can improve health and increase life span.
32. It's not something you can get most strength coaches to admit, but for tall lifters, the leg press can often lead to more hypertrophy than the squat.
33. Work your weak body part first before working any other body parts.
34. Creatine is a fine supplement, but get over it. It's like, yesteryear.
35. Generally speaking, the ideal time under tension for hypertrophy is 30 to 70 seconds.
36. When doing cable curls with the left arm, keep the right foot slightly in front of the left foot, and vice versa for the right arm. (It'll increase strength.)
37. When working abs, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
38. Men look ridiculous in Hawaiian shirts and short pants. Don't wear them.
39. Testosterone is the ultimate recreational drug (the man pictured above has none, however).
40. Ephedrine is dead, but more efficient compounds have replaced it. For increased metabolism, look to HOT-ROX. For increased energy and mental acuity, look to Spike.
41. Dead lifts are a far better barometer of total body strength than squats or bench press. Too bad only about two guys in the whole world — both named Ivan — do them.
42. You'll achieve better recuperation between sets if you bounce back and forth between antagonistic exercises.
43. Weight training won't make women "too big." It'll make them tight and hard, and our girlfriends.
44. Wave loading is a hugely effective method of increasing strength and muscle size.
45. You should avoid soy protein, especially if you're a male who wants to gain muscle and avoid lactating.
46. Your color of underwear should reflect your mood. I find that "Misty Morning Blue", "Autumnal Slumber Brown", and "Savage Temptress Red" do the job nicely.
47. Whey is good, but overrated and over-hyped as being the protein end-all and be-all by some supplement companies.
48. However, whey-protein hydrolysate is the best protein to consume right after strength training.
49. Don't use the power rack to do curls...unless you're using at least 135 pounds to do said curls. To do otherwise tells the world that you're nothing but neophyte loser with poopie-stained shorts.
50. The most anabolic form of protein is micellar casein, mainly because of its ability to amplify nitrogen retention, the condition essential for muscle growth. In case you don't know what I'm getting at, drink Low-Carb Grow! with micellar casein.
51. The perfect protein shake or MRP contains a blend of proteins (whey, casein, milk protein isolates), not just whey. In case you don't know what I'm getting at, drink Classic Grow!
52. The Smith machine stinks. Don't use it for squatting or benching or anything other than drying out your wet, mildewy shorts.
53. Include a back-off week in your training every 12 weeks or so. That pretty much means stay away from the gym.
54. Shana Hiatt is leaving the Travel Channel's World Poker Tour. All living things shall weep forevermore.
55. Don't take magnesium and calcium together.
56. Have some micellar casein at bedtime.
57. Carbohydrates are the trickiest of all the macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat). Carbs aren't evil; they just need to be timed properly and consumed wisely. In other words, eat protein and carbs together before midday, and protein and functional fats after midday.
58. Take it from me, there's nothing more ornery than a dwarf girlfriend hopped up on meth who caught you giving a bath to her best friend, Squeaky.
59. Inflammation lies at the root of many human ailments. To control this red demon, suck down large amounts of EPA and DHA.
60. Improving post-workout nutrition is probably the easiest and most efficient way to grow muscle.
61. Competitive bodybuilding is hokey. We want to — for lack of a better term — power build, i.e. build esthetically pleasing, yet powerfully functional bodies.
62. Glucosamine, while good for the joints, negatively affects insulin sensitivity.
63. The most exciting sexual position is "The Rodeo." Enter your partner from behind, place one arm firmly around her waist, and then whisper, "You've got the fattest ass I've ever seen" into her ear.
64. Avoid environmental or dietary estrogens to avoid developing prostate cancer and growing porky-man breasts.
65. It's easy to maximize Testosterone levels through the use of the herbs Tribulus Terrestris and Eurycoma longifolia and Vitex agnus castus.
66. Don't train really hard and neglect nutrition. That's dumb. As they say, you can't build a house without bricks. You also should throw in some wallpaper and drapes, too, just to make it, you know, homey.
67. Increasing the conversion of T4 to T3 is the secret of high metabolism.
68. Control insulin and you control the physique enhancement world.
69. Performance and productive longevity are great reasons to lift weights. But we do it mainly to look good naked.
70. Don't hit on hard-training women in the gym. That's our job.
The list could well be much, much, longer, but if even one "truth" saves you from wasting any time, we'll sleep easier, secure in the knowledge that the number of people who want to stick an ax in our chest has shrunk by at least a few.
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