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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Black and White

In the 80's, high carb diets were all the rage. Now, it's low carb all the way baby!

For strength building, you have to use 5x5.

Unless you use Westside.

Or Sheiko, that might work too. The Russians are kind of strong, after all.

What am I getting at here? The longer I do this, the more I realize how assinine black and white statements are. They might garner headlines or attract attention to yourself, but very rarely are they correct over the long haul.

Instead, we all know that real truth lies somewhere in the middle - it's not just low carb diets, or low fat diets that work, but generally something in between.

More importantly, it's ALWAYS individual. If you want to get all Devil's Advocate on someone, take the opposite stance and figure out ways in which it might be applicable and argue like your life dependend on it.

This is really prevalent in all the fat loss materials out there nowadays. You can get products like Warp Speed where everything is done for you - diet, training, the works. Now some people bash the product because "You're not teaching the person to fish." But what if they don't give a damn about fishing? Maybe they'd rather spend time at work to make more money. Or spend more time with their familiy. After all, who are you to tell someone else what's better? If you want to learn more about the topic, buy Leigh Peele's Fat Loss Troubleshoot instead.

The same goes for strength training - a specific program might work great for you, but not work as well for someone else. Does the program no longer hold value? Is it suddenly a worse program for you? These are just some points I keep coming back to.

Most importantly, I think it's critical to find out about what works for you. Do you want to know the inner workings of a program or fat loss method? Then you better buy the appropriate product. Maybe 5x5 works best for you for getting big and strong - great! But don't assume it will work the same for your buddy.

In contrast, there's nothing wrong with being on the other side of the fence. I spend a ridiculous amount of time learning about training, nutrition, and a host of other topics because it's my job. I don't care how the stock markets work - I can pay someone manage my IRA's. As well, I'd much rather pay an accountant to deal with my mess than me take the time out of my life to deal with it. Don't be ashamed to have a professional do the work for you.

Figure out what works, for you, and then apply it consistently. If you're a trainer, do you best to educate yourself on all the various methodologies respective to your field. The second you become entrenched in dogma and one-way thinking, you're behind the curve. As the saying goes, "there's more than one way to skin a cat."

One final note: I really feel that the reason many programs work is because people believe in them. For myself, a modified 5x5 approach consistently produced gains in my squat, and I believed in the program. The same could be said for those successfully applying Sheiko or Westside methodologies. If you believe that a program will net you results, you're much more likely to train hard enough to elicit those changes.

Find something that is consistent with your beliefts, work your ass off, and the results will come. But don't be surprised if the answer isn't black and white.

Stay strong

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