An important topic seldom talked about! - ABCbodybuilding

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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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  #2  
Old 06-18-2010, 07:58 AM
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klosey klosey is offline
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HMM the Arnold thing.... he used to do powerlifting so maybe he figured on his own he responded best size wise by high volume, plus if correct and arnold only used AAS for pre contest like he says, maybe he felt it made more sense to train like an animal while testosterone is high and he can still recover from it.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:53 PM
Charles Izzo Charles Izzo is offline
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Well, that wasn't exactly the point of my thread. But it was just an example.

As I understand it from Arnold's autobiography, he always trained high volume. He always did 2 workouts per day when he lived back home. And when he was in the army they made him workout for 6 hours per day instead of his normal job that would be greasing the wheels on the tanks, because they said that was what he was meant to do.

There is no reason why high volume training wouldn't work. Any amount of volume of training will work as long as you work hard and try hard. And as I understand it, while on AAS your gains are going to be better no matter if you are training less or more, again so long as you work hard.

So if both work then a lot of it boils down to factors such as how you like to train and obviously your recovery levels. I have heard of old retired bodybuilders who still train 6 days out of the week. I can also remember Tom Platz for example who claimed when he was competing he simply didn't have as much time to train as often as he used to so he had to make every workout he did count. He used to train legs once every 10-14 days, but as I understand it his leg workouts were unbelievably brutal.

I think with athletes such as Arnold Swarzenegger and Tom Platz we are talking about two guys who truly trained passionately no matter what their style of training was. They each made an art out of their training, not so much a science. Because where is the science? Other than knowing the fact that if you work a muscle hard it will grow, I simply don't see the science behind what they were doing. Each was different in their own ways. But the fact that holds true about both of these guys is that they knew what they wanted to accomplish and they both found ways that worked in order to get what they wanted. They found their own unique ways to design their programs such that it would give them the results they were looking for. Thats art. Thats passion. And without the right mental strategy there would have been know way they could have made it to where they are. They were both highly imaginative individuals who could imagine themselves being champions and do what it takes to get there. It takes mental drive and passion. There isn't a lot of people like that.

This all reminds me of some writing I read by this old champion olympic lifter John Davis:
http://www.brookskubik.com/johndavis_speaks.html

I think its like that for most sports, but people always some how try to make it into more than it really is. People argue and ponder so much about different theories, but when you recognize the fact of how much differently some of the champions trained, you realize it doesn't really matter so much. Also, as I understand it, AAS makes such a big difference in the gains you make that even further it won't matter as much how you train. Train harder 3 times per week or train harder 6 times per week, you can still gain up to 30 lbs. And you can still cut and gain muscle at the same time. Clarence said he did it once. While on AAS he cut close to 10 lbs of fat off while gaining a few lbs of muscle.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:20 PM
Ratcat Ratcat is offline
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I wonder if we should/could consciously raise our adrenaline levels before our workouts. This came about from one day when out job went bad and when I jumped out of the machine to sort things out I was pumped and ready to go. No need for a warm up just lifting steel beams and get things sorted. It would be nice to be able to do that, without drugs, before every workout.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:02 AM
Charles Izzo Charles Izzo is offline
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Originally Posted by Ratcat View Post
I wonder if we should/could consciously raise our adrenaline levels before our workouts. This came about from one day when out job went bad and when I jumped out of the machine to sort things out I was pumped and ready to go. No need for a warm up just lifting steel beams and get things sorted. It would be nice to be able to do that, without drugs, before every workout.
I think this one calls for an entire thread all by itself. Its all about motivation. How bad do you want it? When I was younger and smaller it was much easier to motivate myself to want to bang out every last possible rep on a set of squats. Because I wanted to be big. Now days it takes something else to motivate me, because I already as big as I want to be. When I was training to compete in powerlifting it was a thrill to get stronger and lift more, because I know I was competing against others. When I trained for my first strongman competition, it was the fact of knowing how hard the events were and knowing that the other guy could be trying twice as hard as I was, that really made me want to give it my all and push do do every event as good and fast as I could. My powerlifting coach used to do things to make me mad so that I would try harder. It worked.

If there is a reason to work harder on your sets, you can and will. And those are the workouts that will give you the best results.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:17 PM
Ratcat Ratcat is offline
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Yes there's the coach trying to rev up the team bet I don't think you get that with a track runner or a shot putter. Not that I've had anything to do with those but there are times when I am able to think something as I'm going into the gym that raises my body (adrenaline?) ready for a workout. It would be nice to do it at will.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:37 PM
daniel0365 daniel0365 is offline
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Originally Posted by Charles Izzo View Post
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.
I can't relate much yet on the terminologies, but I do sense in the post the necessity of an awareness that general participation on physical training need not be focused on common goals but on individual needs. I for one have a different need, and need not be built as anyone else. Just enough to stay fit the rest of the lifetime.

Hope you guys post more on this topic.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:14 PM
Charles Izzo Charles Izzo is offline
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Originally Posted by daniel0365 View Post
I can't relate much yet on the terminologies, but I do sense in the post the necessity of an awareness that general participation on physical training need not be focused on common goals but on individual needs. I for one have a different need, and need not be built as anyone else. Just enough to stay fit the rest of the lifetime.

Hope you guys post more on this topic.
I agree 100%. And it is a good point. People often get all caught up on different ideas as to how one should train, just "because" thats how everyone does it. If your goals aren't the same as the guys in the magazines for example, then you shouldn't be training the same either.

For example, I can remember a few years ago when I was training to compete in powerlifting I was only training 2 times per week. That worked for me and my team mates and I actually had a lot of trouble keeping the extra weight off during that time period. When I told that to a friend he said he thought 2 workouts per week wasn't enough. And this was coming from the same guy who said I was too big. My simple argument was that if I was already big enough then what purpose would extra workouts serve me?

What's typical? Its generally thought that people should train at least 3 times per week. Thats just what people do and it works. So I can't argue with that. But just as another example, if ones goals don't consist of gaining muscle then there really is no point in training more than once or twice per week, at least with weights that is.

I can remember years ago I had a friend ask me about how to lose weight. He claimed he wasn't interested in getting big muscles either. I don't remember what I told him, but you can be sure weight training was one of my recommendations. I was a bit younger then and less knowledgeable on the subject.

The funny thing is that a lot of people who don't know much about weight training always assume that it has to be about getting huge. Perhaps to some it is. And perhaps someone with only a bodybuilding background might recommend weight training in such a way that makes you bigger.

But if someone asked me the same question right now, someone who wasn't interested in getting huge, I'd probably recommend weight training only once per week specifically for the purpose of preserving muscle, and then perhaps a few more other types of exercise such as running. I think that idea would definitely sound more attractive for such an individual and they would be more likely to give it a try. Because perhaps gaining muscle isn't wanted or needed for some people. But muscle perseverance is important for long term leanness and good health.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Izzo View Post
But if someone asked me the same question right now, someone who wasn't interested in getting huge, I'd probably recommend weight training only once per week specifically for the purpose of preserving muscle, and then perhaps a few more other types of exercise such as running. I think that idea would definitely sound more attractive for such an individual and they would be more likely to give it a try. Because perhaps gaining muscle isn't wanted or needed for some people. But muscle perseverance is important for long term leanness and good health.
Sensibility comes with age!
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:54 AM
Charles Izzo Charles Izzo is offline
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Sensibility comes with age!
I might be getting a bit off topic with this one, but maybe not.

The funny thing about this is I recall reading a recent fitness book that referred to an author who taught doing aerobics as the best form of exercise for fat loss. Although he did recognize that ones lean body mass will make a difference, earlier in his career he didn't give weights the attention they deserved as a means to maintain muscle mass as ones age.

The thing is that a lot of weight lifters and strength athletes are thinking on the other side of the spectrum. Some preach avoiding cardio like its the plague. And keep in mind that when guys use steroids, it makes it much easier to keep the fat off while building muscle, or even cutting while maintaining muscle.

Although I've never done much aerobics myself, all the guys I've known who have done it regularly out of pure enjoyment consistently for years, they've all been ripped to shreds. Studies even show that running for example actually helps preserve muscle as opposed to what most people think. For your average 150 lb joe it will, but probably not for a huge bodybuilder because that simply isn't what's required to have muscles that big. But it probably is enough to hold a little bit of small muscles in the legs.

I never would have guessed it myself. And perhaps it doesn't surprise me why all these so called sports scientists haven't figured it out either. Clarence Bass says that the best way to go in order to be ripped is to do both weights and cardio and give equal attention to both. I'm convinced. And I'm giving it a try. Maybe it will keep me from being as strong as I can, but I'd rather have it that way than be a fat slob.

But I actually doubt a certain amount of cardio will hinder strength gains, unless one overtrains. I had a friend who loved both weights and cardio and worked hard on both. He even used to mix them up in the same workouts. For example, he would do jump ropes in between sets of weights. He was about as strong as me and 25 lbs less. Yeah, cardio is bad for your muscles and for strength. Right. Maybe if you overdid it, and starved yourself; in that case it would. I'll try it for myself and find out the truth.
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