Many of us are so entrenched in our beliefs that we often ignore logic and waste loads of time strutting in the wrong direction…
The gym is no exception. I’ve heard people say things like, “That fat guy is so dumb doing leg extensions; he should be squatting heavy.”
Maybe, maybe not. My future son-in-law stopped squatting because if he jacks his back, his entire firefighter career could be down the tubes.
It shouldn’t matter what someone else is doing in the gym—unless they’re on the fast-track to injury.
I’ve been there—setting myself up for joint pain as well as criticizing others for not training like I was, using the big basics with heavy weight…
I thought I was doing things right because it’s what I’d been told for decades. I simply took it on faith. Why reinvent the wheel? Ah, but maybe adding rubber around the wheel and shock absorbers would make it better…
And therein lies a big problem: not thinking for ourselves and simply following the herd, refusing to try things that make sense.
I remember Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus machines, saying…
We learn from experience, and then we only learn from our mistakes. Our successes only serve to reinforce our superstitions.
So you may have gotten some quad growth from squats. Hooray, some success. But biomechanics suggests that using more ideal exercises like sissy squats, cable squats, and/or leg extensions may be better to optimize quad growth, not to mention safer.
Are you willing to try it? Many are not because, as I said, we’ve all been told forever that squats are king for quad mass. It’s hard to let go of something hammered into our heads for as long as we can remember, no matter how many times we get hurt…
My colleague and friend Doug “Drug-Free Mr. Universe” Brignole opened my eyes to try more ideal exercises instead of the so-called BIG moves. I had nothing to lose; I’m old. My guess is that if I were in my 20s or 30s, I would’ve argued without bothering to try it, despite the physics backing it up. Sad, but that’s human nature, I guess…
Here’s Doug’s take on it…
Why ‘debate’ anyone? Simply read both people’s views and then decide who makes more sense. Try both methods and see which produces a better result.
The problem is that many people don’t read and are not willing to experiment. They’re intellectually lazy and guilty of cognitive bias—open only to views that support their beliefs. And their attention spans are very short.
They look for ‘gotchas’ instead of nuanced information. Logically speaking, a muscle DOES NOT KNOW if it’s working by itself during an isolation exercise or as one of several participating muscles during a compound exercise. How can you deny that? Why would anyone ignore that reciprocal inhibition occurs during barbell squats (unless they don’t know about it because they don’t read)?
Scholars who study a particular subject seek nuanced information. It’s also important to know the difference between ‘thinking’ and ‘belonging to a group which follows a certain philosophy.’ The latter is simply following other followers, with the assumption that they have it right. ‘Thinking’ is allowing yourself to HEAR what an opposing view says, and then using your logic to process that information.
In my case, I read Doug’s book The Physics of Resistance Exercise, which made a lot of sense to me. Sure, I was a bit angry at first. Did I have it wrong all this time?
After I got over it, I decided to experiment. While I didn’t go all in, I began emphasizing his ideal exercises and merged them with my own researched training methods.
You know how it turned out. I’ve been yapping about it for months now. That’s because my results at age 62 are keeping me jacked and on track—and my workouts are still only 35-to-45 minutes each three times a week. Thanks again, Doug.
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Former Editor in Chief, Iron Man Magazine
Doug’s analysis and explanations on the science and logic behind muscular movement will show you why many of the so-called fundamental mass-building moves are inefficient time-wasters. Plus, he’ll show you the best alternatives.
Whether you’re a hobby bodybuilder, competitive athlete or personal trainer, this book is a must read, one you will refer to again and again throughout your training career.
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