1. I thought Mike Stone (Linear Periodization), Charles Poliquin (Undulating Periodization), and Louie Simmons (Conjugate Periodization), knew more than Mike Mentzer. I'm no longer sure.
Charles "Popeye" Poliquin
For those that may be confused by this, Mike Mentzer was one of the original HIT guys. One set, heavy and hard. When I read Jason Ferrugia's stuff I realize that this may in fact be the way to go. We never do more than three sets of an exercise anymore. Even three sets for beginners.
2. I thought Functional Training was a good idea. Now the functional people mostly aggravate me. Functional training is now about waving 5-20 lb dumbbells and is generally practiced by those who know little about training.
Functional training is a great concept to hide behind when you don't know anything about real training. A good idea gone bad in the wrong hands. I think the half-baked execution of functional training might just save the machine people from extinction. Hurt enough people doing stupid stuff, they will all go back to the safety of machines.
By the way does anyone know if you can change a book title? I know Charlie Francis did it. Not sure if my reasons are as good as his but, I would love for my first book to now be known as Training for Sports instead of Functional Training for Sports. Either that or some of the functional training people should read the book so they might realize what functional training really is.
3. I thought physiologists knew at least something about conditioning. Boy was I wrong. First they tell me anaerobic threshold, then they tell me lactate threshold, then they say ventilatory threshold.
I could have figured out ventilatory threshold on my own. How's this for physiology: If people work really hard they'll pass the ventilatory threshold. In other words they will get out of breath. Wow, people who exercise get out of breath. Unfit people get winded faster than fit people. Thank god I took all those classes.
I'm back to work capacity. Vern Gambetta was and still is right. Forget physiology and energy systems, just figure out the game and train for it.
As for fitness, if you listen to the "accumulate 200 minutes a week" folks, prepare to quit your job. Who has that kind of time? Once you're healthy enough to exercise, exercise hard. Walking is a waste of time, so is jogging. Run intervals if you have no joint issues and reasonable body composition. If you're overweight or have any lower extremity problems, buy a Schwinn Airdyne and ride intervals. Long steady state work is for recovery days only.
If you're an endurance athlete please try to ignore me. I'm not talking to you. When you get hurt, just remember I told you so.
4. I thought I knew something about speed development. Loren Seagrave had a great line the other day. You know what the best exercise for sprinting is? You guessed it, sprinting. Let's do more sprints and less silly track drills to make ourselves better at sprints.
5. I thought Paul Hodges and the Australians were right about the draw-in (sucking in the gut when you lift). Now I think Stuart McGill is closer to right with the brace. I think Shirley Sahrmann has always been pretty right.
I also realize none of this matters much if you find a way to keep your core stable. My advice? More front and side planks. When they get easy, progress them. Elevate the feet, etc. Forget the BS about squats and deadlifts being enough core work. McBride's research invalidates the thought.
6. I thought Convertaball Twists were stupid. Then I saw Stuart McGill use them as a stability exercise. Now I think they're a good exercise and realize Stuart is smarter than me.
7. I used to think the Landmine (Alwyn Cosgrove says Testosterone readers know it as the grappler) was stupid. See above. Core training may just be more about the preventionof motion than about the creation of motion.
8. I thought more people got it. Then I wrote Is Rotation a Good Idea and A Joint by Joint Approach to Training. Now I'm not sure if people can read. I didn't say don't rotate, I said don't increase ROM at joints that need stability. Then I said increase ROM at joints that need mobility. Lets look at the simple analogy. Increased ROM at the knee is called an ACL tear. Why are people struggling with the lumbar spine idea?
One thing I know, a person with an agenda will focus on only what he or she wants to read and then will argue the minutia. People should focus on the point of an article not read it to find a flyspeck of disagreement.
9. I thought Ab Wheels were dumb. Now I think I'm dumb and out about $100 bucks. I threw all my Ab Wheels away. Now I have to buy them again. The functional guys have sold me on a few things; one is that the function of the anterior core is the prevention of extension. Now I love Stability Ball Rollouts and progress to the Ab Wheel. Luckily they only cost ten bucks.
10. Dan John was so right about One-Arm Dumbell Bench Presses. Check out his last article. Side Note: Dan John is usually right about most stuff. Pay attention when he writes.
11. I used to think hang cleans were a great exercise. Now I think close grip hang snatches are a better exercise. No flexibility issue to contend with. Less load. More Speed. All positives in my book.
12. I used to think everyone needed to learn to squat right away. I still do. However, we've moved squat technique into our warm-up and are using back split squats to be able to load heavier, sooner.
I have lots of athletes who can back split squat with more weight and with better form than they can squat. We do overhead squats and Gray Cook's Squat progression in our warm-up to learn to squat. I can't wait 4-6 weeks to begin loading.
13. I used to think that chin-ups were more important than rows. As with all of the above, I'm no longer so sure. I love TRX and Jungle Gym Inverted Rows. Lats, rhomboids, low trap and rotator cuff! Now that's a bang for your buck exercise.
The TRX System
14. I used to think I knew something about nutrition. Now I just think most people eat way too much. In particular, they eat way too many carbs. Even more particular, they eat way too much bread. How's the following for my nutrition book?
Working title: Eat Less – Mike Boyle's Nutrition Bible.
Page 1- Don't eat so much and you won't get so fat.
Page 2- Avoid carbs. Particularly avoid excess carbs like bread, muffins, donuts, and bagels.
Page 3- Eat more protein.
15. I think we should all switch to free range beef. Did you know that grass fed beef has as much good fat as salmon? Whoda' thunk we'd screw up something as simple as meat?
Bottom line. It's like the X Files. Trust no one. Maybe Moulder was right.