Once upon a time T Nation didn't exist. Those were dark times where nutritionally vacuous "weight gainers" were considered cutting edge supplementation, the Weider Principles were the only accepted training ideology, and people actually thought professional bodybuilders got that big by using that mysterious crea-tine stuff.
Okay, maybe things weren't that dark in 1998, but they weren't that bright either. We have — as the old cigarette ads used to say — come a long way, baby.
Our archives are now over a decade deep, which is pretty flippin' amazing. But it's also daunting for newbies. Heck, even we editors sometimes come across articles and programs that we'd totally forgotten about!
That's why we put together this Brain Blast series: to highlight some cool stuff you vets may have missed, and to get the newbs up to date so they'll stop embarrassing themselves on the forums.
From the revolutionary stuff to the weird and wild stuff, here's another look back into our vault.
'Roids, Toilet Paper, and Suicide
Aside from costing me a lot of hair, that cycle also cost me a lot of money: about $150 a week. It almost cost me my marriage. My wife was constantly nagging me. I almost got divorced because of that damn cycle.
She was saying that I was spending more money on toilet paper (because of the high calorie diet) than on dates with her, but the sad thing was that she was right!
I weighed more, but the quality wasn't good. I was sluggish. I needed ephedrine to get out of bed in the morning. Basically it was total heresy: committing suicide with a syringe and a spoon.
Going Down Kicking and Screaming
Some people think that we're fooling with nature, but I feel that growing old is a disease process and should be fought.
Nature has no need for you after you pass the age of procreation. We are here to proliferate the species — no other reason. So when you can no longer reproduce, you have to be killed off to make room for the next generation. That's why it starts to decline so rapidly after 40.
But I want to go down kicking and screaming. It's a philosophy.
— Dr. Bruce Nadler, The End of Genetic Limitations
Note: In a tragedy we still don't comprehend, in 2008 Dr. Nadler committed suicide after killing his wife. This interview took place in 1999 and Nadler's final interview with us was in 2006. You can read it HERE.
Are You a Cottage-Cheese Assed Chick?
Forget the pussy back raise, otherwise known as the hyperextension. Are you conditioning your low back, recovering from an injury, or trying to build some fuckin' muscle?
I mean, c'mon. Cottage cheese-ass chicks wearing far too little clothing in public do this movement. Fuck 'em and the horses they rode in on. As a matter of fact, fuck you!
— Robert "Fortress" Fortney, 4 Directions to a Kick-Ass Back
Why We Oughta...
I think you [T NATION] provide a lot of great information, but you should save your Testosterone for the bite and not waste it on the bark. Some of your editorials sound like the ramblings of an old man who can do nothing but ogle women in a strip bar. Some reader mail could have been written by fifteen year olds bragging about their imaginary conquests. Save your Testosterone for the gym where it counts.
— Pavel Tsatsouline, The Evil Russian Speaks
Everyone Knows Him
I heard a noise in the bathroom. A big guy was screaming, "Give it to me hard, I like it hard!" I recognized his voice. It was someone that I knew. Everyone knows him from the magazines. I never even suspected that he was gay, or bisexual, or whatever he is. But there he was, getting fucked in the ass. A bunch of people were watching.
When those guys finished, another big guy came in, pushed the "pitcher" up against the wall, and started kissing him. Then he went down on him. Now I was really ready to get out of there.
— Secret Source, The Sex Cult of Venice Beach
Are You Getting Tired, or Getting Better ?
Any coach can make you tired, but it takes a true pro to make you stronger, faster, and more flexible. Athletes need to be aware of this. Unfortunately, they don't always distinguish between getting tired and getting better.
Here's an example: Let's say that two performance coaches were preparing two different athletes to improve their 40-yard dash times. Coach A spends an hour teaching his athlete the proper track stance and first-step technique. Coach B makes his athlete perform jumping jacks for an hour straight. The athlete who did jumping jacks for an hour would be more tired than the other athlete. But the other athlete got better during his workout.
The lesson to be learned is that athletes must be very careful when hiring a performance coach. There are a lot of uneducated coaches out there who make up for their lack of knowledge by just beating the crap out of their athletes. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for hard work. I just like to make sure the hard work has a reason and a purpose.
— Joe DeFranco, The Pro-Maker
Know Which Rules to Break
Remember that living strictly by the rules doesn't make you a man. It makes you a robot. True, children don't always live by the rules, either, but there's a difference. An actualized man knows which rules to break, which broken rules will take him by the hand and lead him out of a passive, tame, domesticated existence.
Nom Nom Nom
Heard about those proposed government taxes on junk food? That might sound good since you're probably thinking, "Good, I don't eat that stuff anyway, and fatties are a burden on the healthcare system" but think about this: Who decides what's junk?
Well, "junk" is often based solely on how much saturated fat a food contains. So you may end up paying more for your "evil" meat and eggs while some flour-laden, sugary, chemical-filled food is deemed "healthy" just because it's low fat. Scary, huh?
Dear government, if you want to help me:
1. Butt the fuck out of my life.
2. Get the fuck out of my way.
3. And if you really want to help me... stop trying to help me! "Help" is government-speak for "control."
4. Stay away from my dinner plate. I will fucking bite your chubby fingers and suck the saturated fat right out.
— Chris Shugart, I Will Bite You: A Rant
How to Bench More
What are four things a guy could do to instantly increase his bench press? That's easy. I can do this in three!
1. Get fat as hell
2. Take a ton of drugs
3. Buy a bench shirt
Sorry, I couldn't resist! All right. Here's how:
1. Perfect your technique
2. Use the Max Effort Method
3. Use the Dynamic Effort Method
4. Train the shit out of your triceps
5. Shut up and do it.
And by the way, that last one applies to everything, not just benching.
— Dave Tate, Catch Up With Dave Tate
Ask Your Doctor... Not That He'll Know Shit
The average person would be shocked at the sad state of affairs that is nutritional training in our medical schools. It does upset me because people with chronic illnesses look to physicians for guidance on nutritional matters, assuming that they are well versed.
In truth, only 30% of medical schools require an actual nutrition course, and even this is almost exclusively related to intravenous nutrition and biochemistry of the cells. It's not the clinical stuff.
According to a study last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78% of graduating medical students didn't feel that they were extensively educated enough to provide appropriate nutritional counseling. In their patient contact hours, only 17% had frequently counseled patients in nutrition. Only 3% of medical board exam questions are even remotely connected to nutrition.
For students in the world of pharmaceutical drugs and surgical techniques, nutrition becomes the stuff of home economics class.
— Dr. Alan Logan, Skin Deep: Nutrition and Good Skin
Squat, as my dad told me. If you could do only one thing it should be the squat. But then I met the snatch and its variations, deadlifts and variations, and always some presses for chest and shoulders. I like rows, too. I've gone through periods with no direct arm or any isolation movements. I see many guys that get to the gym for the first time and start doing one-arm isolation curls. I think that good solid core muscles, the foundation, are one of the main things that bodybuilders lack these days.
You're only as strong as your weakest link. That's so important and so misunderstood. Force and power are generated in your legs and back. Your body isn't going to grow a 55-inch chest if your legs won't be able to handle it.
— "Caveman", Caveman Speaks