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Old 06-18-2010, 06:40 AM
Charles Izzo Charles Izzo is offline
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Default An important topic seldom talked about!

I never knew about this section of the forum. Nobody ever goes to it. It seems everyone mostly goes to nutrition and exercise. But I honestly have to state that the psychology of exercise science is an extremely important topic that is usually overlooked or not given enough attention to. I say exercise science and sports training because I don't think the topics discussed on the forum are limited only to bodybuilding. But weights and strength training are used for most sports. A lot of knowledge that comes from certain sports training can be helpful for bodybuilding and knowledge from bodybuilding can very well be useful for training or dieting for other sports.

When we think of psychology of sports training we often think of what kinds of things motivate you to become successful, but I think there is a lot more to it than just that. For one thing, what factors determine what type of program you will use? And why do you think it is the most suitable for you? Differently, why do some people spend all their time pondering on different training styles and trying to figure out which program is the best, instead of just staying focused on one program and working hard on it for a while to get the best results? After all, its action that makes things happen.

Although I don't agree with Mike Mentzer's belief that there should be one single best way to train for everyone, I think he hit it right on the button when he talked about the importance of being rational about designing our training programs. The problem is that humans aren't rational creatures; instead we are emotional. As much as you won't want to believe it, human beings typically make their decisions and perform actions based on emotions. Thats just how the human mind happens to work. So just as an example, it has been proven over and over again that you can make excellent gains off less workouts per week. Many people have reported to have done it over the last 100 years and more. Yet there are many people out there who still continue to believe in high volume training. Take Arnold Swarzenegger for example. His idol, Reg Park, used to only train three times per week. Yet for some reason Arnold still felt a need to train 2-3 hours at a time twice per day and six times per week. Thats emotions. He wanted it so badly so he did the extra work that he thought was required to get there. But there is no rationale for it. I have yet to see a study out there that proves one strategy to be better than the other. The only things we do have is studies that support one strategy or the other where people then go on to extrapolate that data in order to try to use it as proof of their own beliefs. And there is a saying that what the thinker thinks the prover proves. Give someone enough money as a scientist and ask them to find out more about a certain strategy and they will find things to support what you are looking for.

And here is where it gets even more crazy. You take a guy and let him for what ever reason put years and years into a certain belief system, training in a certain way, maybe even doing research to support it, and the more time he has spent working on it the harder it will be for him to break out of that belief system because the stronger his beliefs will be. That will even hold true regardless of evidenced or any sort of rational thought. And that explains why there was people who had a lot of arguments over previous decades over which was better, volume or HIT. Because they were belief systems.

Another important factor to consider is that I think people often focus on the wrong things when it comes to their exercise or when trying to find out more about exercise science or even do some research. I don't know why we do that, but we just do. Its like when we get stuck doing one thing for a while, especially as a society, we tend to stick to it and things don't change much. Its so easy for people to ask questions such as what exercise is better or how many reps or sets should be done instead of how hard should they be working. I think if people focused more on how hard they were working and gave hard work the attention it deserves, they would be making much better gains.

These were just some general thoughts that I thought of for my first post in this section, not to make it about any singular one of these specifically. But I just wanted to give examples of what kind of phenomenon goes on that often affects people in their training positively or negatively. And that if one knew how to focus their attention in the right areas they will get much better results from their training. These factors are nothing that should be ignored. It can make a difference as to wether you will be successful or not. And it can make a difference as to if you will be training optimally or not. Additionally, our thinking about exercise science and sports training in general (including what studies are done) can make a difference as to what kind of information is available for those who want to learn about it and take a path to athletic excellence without confusion.

So thats just one post out of more to come. Lets see if anyone else comes up with some good topics for this section. And perhaps I'll try to follow up with a thread on a specific topic that will be of use to fellow forum members.
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