One of the best tips I took away from the Jim Wendler / Mark Rippetoe interview (which you can view HERE) was something along the lines of ”don’t listen to anybody. Just train for 10 years and make up your own mind.” This is a great saying, and something that I feel should be taken more literally.
If anyone were to actually train for 10 years without taking the advice of idiot ramblers on internet bodybuilding forums we’d probably all end up at the same spot. In the end, we all get to the same point. Some of us faster than others, no doubt, but the same. Those points would be this – lift heavy, eat plenty, build your program around 3 movements – squat, bench, deadlift. That’s 99% of what anyone will learn after 10 years of training (or maybe 5 years of training with honest self evaluation).
It’s the 1% that everyone argues about, and it’s the most ridiculous thing. One person says that you should look up when you squat, another guy says you should look straight ahead. Still another says you should look slightly downward. So what?! Just squat. You’ll figure out what works best for you. You may squat one way at first and later switch to something else. Training programs change with time, but they change in small ways. The basics (the 99%) stay the same, the minor details (1%) changes.
When using a program that wasn’t written for you it’s not always necessary to adhere to it 100%. It’s important to follow some basic guidelines, but every detail doesn’t matter. It’s those details that can change, and should change for each individual. A beginner isn’t going to use the exact same set/rep/rest period intervals that an elite powerlifter does, BUT he’ll still be doing the same exercises – squat, bench, deadlift.
And those exercises – squat, bench, deadlift – are not options. They are part of the 99%, and should not change. No matter your goal, whether it be endurance, strength, or muscle hypertrophy, you should be basing your workouts around these main exercises. Learn your 99%, and leave the arguing over the 1% to the goofballs on the message boards.
On a completely unrelated topic – check out this band – The Mechanical Kids. I had the opportunity to sit in the studio with one of the guys from this band a year ago or so. Only recently have I actually taken time to listen to some of their music. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a cool change-up for me. Hope you like it!