The problem with this word we live in is that, with the influx of information at the tip of our fingers, we can learn about anything from what Kim Kardashian ate for breakfast to the ‘best’ diet for ‘optimal’ health.
It’s easy to become distracted from your noble quest of attaining lifelong health and the sex drive of a newly pubescent boy, minus the acne and social awkwardness, and instead end up looking at pictures of cats pretending they are humans.
Bruce Lee said, “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” The problem is, a lot of people don’t know what their ‘own’ is; instead, they get bogged down in the quagmire that is the World Wide Web.
A few truths
After pointlessly searching through countless articles, blog posts and online forums for information that I probably didn’t even need, I’ve come to a few simple truths.
We are not Fred Flintstone
Paleo advocates, henceforth referred to as paleo-tarts, proclaim that before the agricultural revolution man functioned just fine eating nothing but vegetables, proteins and some fruits.
However, our nutritional demands have changed since then. When you show me a picture of a caveman doing something as metabolically challenging as a strength training session, then I’ll concede that people who lift should live the same anthropic way.
On a side note- a common understanding of paleo eating implies that if you can grow it, or it has a face, you can eat it. Years ago this led to an interesting conversation with some friends regarding a paleo-tarts view on cannibalism.
If you are lifting heavy, you need carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the building blocks of muscle. They help with recovery, anabolism and to regulate thyroid levels.
Heavy, or hard, training minus carbs can lead to a ‘soft’ look, stalled muscle growth and the inability to get it up. And really, what’s the point of all that lifting if you aren’t *ahem* performing.
Skinny guys need to learn the basics
Last Friday night I stood in the gym, watching three guys take turns at doing barbell trap shrugs.
Great, no issues, a good exercise that serves a purpose. Good on them for getting after it on a Friday night when most people their age are out getting blind drunk.
However, they were using a 15kg barbell and weighed less than Kate Moss during her cocaine days.
And wearing stringer singlets- but that’s another issue all together.
For a guy, I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t even be bothering with isolation work until you can Bench Press your bodyweight, perform 5 full dead hang Pull Ups, Squat 150% your bodyweight and Deadlift 200% your bodyweight.
For a woman, well, I’ve never seen a woman walk into a gym and head straight for the preacher curl machine…
You are whom you hang out with.
If your friends all revel in booze-fuelled 3am parties, that leave you recounting your night using cryptic words scribbled on your body ala Guy Pearce in Memento, then you’re likely to be doing the same.
There’s no wiggle room here; it’s science.
On the other hand, if your friends are driving themselves to become Adonis’ and Aphrodite’s, then that will motivate you to do the same.
Personally, without the help of my gym posse, I never would have Deadlifted 250% bodyweight or broken the 500lbs marker.
So there are just a few things that have been burning a whole through my mind. If you liked it, please care and share.
I’ll post Part 2 up tomorrow…