The generally accepted fitness mantra for the past 50 years can be boiled down to these two points:
- Cardin, cardio, cardio, because heavy weights are scary.
- Eat carbs and vegetable juice, because fats are bad and proteins can be good but are mostly scary.
As far as getting people fit and healthy goes this doesn’t work, but the fitness industry is not based on getting people fit and helping them to improve their lives; it is based on selling memberships, lots of memberships. What they really want is to sell a membership and then the individual who purchased it never uses the gym. That’s a home run for the fitness industry. And of the people who do show up the vast majority get on some cardio contraption and turn the wheels whilst gazing at a television or reading a magazine.
They also run classes but the trend now is to do away with actual live instructors and instead replace them with a video of an instructor. This saves a lot of money but a video instructor isn’t going to correct your form. But that’s okay because correcting your technique isn’t part of the vision statement; it’s selling memberships.
But now people are slowly beginning to wake up. Maybe it has something to do with the enormous amount of fat slobs wobbling down the street.
From the New York Times no less, Lift weights, eat protein, especially if you’re over 40.
People who would like to become physically stronger should start with weight training and add protein to their diets, according to a comprehensive scientific review of research.
They’ve stuck the caveat of ‘people who want to become physically stronger’ but this is still a big step as compared to recent history. Eat protein if you’re over 40?? But surely that way lies cancer and heart disease and voting for Donald Trump???
But our trusty mainstream journos are still struggling with this complete inversion of everything they’ve been pushing as regards to health and fitness.
The impacts of this extra protein were not enormous. Almost everyone who started or continued weight training became stronger in these studies, whether they ate more protein or not.
But those who did ramp up their protein gained an extra 10 percent or so in strength and about 25 percent in muscle mass compared to the control groups.
How about that – a 25 percent muscle mass difference is apparently not enormous. Maybe this is because their definition of enormous is whatever fat freaks are waddling down the catwalk these days.
Lifting is king and eating lots of protein is king. My own gains have been proceeding rather nicely at the moment. I’d been having particular trouble with my low bar squat for the simple fact that I’d be doing it wrong. But a few videos helped me finally see the light.
This one from The Art of Manliness was my first introduction to Mark Rippetoe.
And then this one from Starting Strength coach Alan Thrall, (who seems to have some sort of shrubbery infection on his lower face), really sealed the deal as regards to me finally getting the right form:
In the past few weeks I’ve consumed a number of videos from these two guys and I’ve ordered the Starting Strength book.
There are also a series of “Ask Rip” videos where Mark answers questions from people who attend his seminars. Here’s a fine example:
In one of the videos, (I can’t find it right now), an older chap asks a question related to age. Mark inquires as to his age; the man says that he is 52; Mark declares that he is a baby.
This made me feel good in ways that you guys in your 20s just cannot understand.
Today in the gym I finally got my bench press weight increasing for the first time in a really long time. Technique matters. Strength matters. I’d rather be lifting.
How are your gainz going? Do you need a technique overhaul like I’ve just been through? Or are you seeing massive gainz of 25% muscle mass?
Just remember, that may be impressive but it’s not enormous.