In the film ‘Pumping Iron,’ Arnold slyly intimates that he would intentionally give his closest rivals ‘the wrong advices’ to throw them offtrack and maintain his advantage. You’ve probably found out by now that there are a lot of people in the gym who will also offer you incorrect information. Unlike Arnold, however, they usually have the best of intentions. They actually want to help you. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who will try to educate you on proper training, nutrition and supplementation are usually quite ignorant. They don’t read the magazines, and they aren’t interested in learning anything new. What they know was passed on to them from old magazines, anecdotes or gym buddies perhaps decades ago.
Not all of the would-be gurus are older men, but a lot of them are. Some might even brag about how they used to be bigger and stronger than any of the guys around today. Though they’re usually harmless, there’s one area in which they can cause significant damage, and that’s if they get a hold of a teenager or novice in the gym and decide to make the unlucky lad their prot’g’. Beginners should seek out mentors; however, you must be very careful about who you select. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
Dismisses all new knowledge as hogwash. Science has helped bodybuilding make enormous leaps in the past 10 years, particularly in the fields of nutrition and supplementation. That’s enabled drug-free lifters to narrow the gap somewhat between themselves and those who use anabolic steroids. Supplements like creatine, ephedrine and whey protein, among others, are vast improvements on what passed for supplements years ago. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge products that have been proven to be effective in hundreds or thousands of studies has serious issues with progress. If you want to make progress with your physique, that will be a genuine problem.
Brands all machines as garbage. Free weights are definitely the core of any serious gym’s equipment, but there are also many machine lines now that provide excellent training stimulus as well. Using a mix of free weights and machines and finding the exercises that feel the most natural for you are the best ways to foster long-term gains. Anyone who tries to tell you that all machines are worthless for building muscle is talking out of his or her ass.
Says nutrition doesn’t matter. Nutrition is critical for changing your body’s composition. If someone tries to assure you that all you really need are three squares a day, he or she doesn’t have the first clue about sports nutrition. Run away as fast as you can before that person poisons your mind further.
These are just a few red flags to look for when people try to take you under their wing. Keep looking’there are trainees out there who know a lot about bodybuilding and are willing to help. Just don’t get stuck with someone who tries to fill your impressionable head with the wrong advices! IM