I gained plenty of knowledge in the classroom during my undergraduate years at Slippery Rock University. The lesson I remember the most took place on and around campus.
|Image of SRU Barbell Club circa 1998|
You would think that with all that heavy training and eating, these guys would transform into mighty monster of impressiveness. No, actually you wouldn't. They were dead wrong in their approach. Now, don't get me wrong. They were bigger than the average college student. But they were definitely...mmmhhh...unremarkable. In appearance, strength, and power. Unremarkable.
I've reported plenty of my own wheel-spinning mistakes and blunders on this blog. But these guys lived in the gym and dining hall and devoted so much to achieving so little.
While their story is uncertain, I highly suspect that the key consideration they missed was a holistic appreciation of human physiology, especially in regards to RECOVERY.
In their minds the equation to life success and happiness was:
More training + more intensity + more eating = more size, strength, and awesomeness.
In reality, progress looks something like this nonlinear equation:
.5XTraining(recovery) +.25Intensity(recovery) + 1.2 moderate eating(recovery) = Xawesomeness Where X=your particular version of awesomeness because you really can't have it due to genetic limitation, unless you take steroids.
At some point, more training only serves to tear the body down. The perfect nutritional balance cannot make up for grossly over training. Likewise, a perfect training program cannot atone for missing the mark with the diet.
You don't have to train six days per week and stack bowls and plates in order to look and perform good. For the novice strength athlete, nearly anything works for a while. But very soon, you will need to work hard and smart in order to save much wasted time and effort.
How many days per week should you train in order to realize your desired results?
What exercises and how many sets and reps should take place during each session?
How do you move toward optimal recovery, between too much and too little?
These are all easily answered, but they vary between individuals and the seasons of their life.
Some will figure training out long way, on their own. Others will turn to Youtube or the most convenient personal trainers and bros. Still others will seek the help of the most experienced and qualified professionals who have walked the road before them.