Ever hear the expression, "Too many cooks spoil the broth?" Put simply it means, when trying to cook something - even something as simple as broth - too many conflicting ideas will ruin it. If you have too many people adding this and that, with no cohesive plan or recipe, your broth will taste more like dishwater than anything palatable when you're done.
Training and fitness are the same. I never really put it together until Andy commented on a crazy bench press pyramid routine I tried the other day that I posted on Fitocracy. It's not that he was against the routine, per se, but he did point out that I'm on a pretty strict cut and the volume was way too high and will likely affect recovery and progress at this point. He warned me not to fall prey to the "too many cooks" trap.
He's right, of course. But I was frustrated with my RPT bench routine which has stalled at 110 lbs. x 4 reps and was looking to do something different to break through my plateau. I'm looking to bench my body weight (119) for reps. A guy at my gym is a heavy-duty bench press competitor and he suggested I try the pyramid. In all honesty, the weight was pretty light until the middle couple of sets, but it was still overkill in my current state of dieting. My bench press 'kitchen' went from two cooks (me and Andy), who had agreed on a certain routine, to three cooks - and I started doubting myself.
This also applies to diet and nutrition. As more and more IF and Leangains-related Facebook groups pop-up, I'm finding myself straying from the very ideals that got me to where I am today. Like with the bench routine, I've started doubting my diet approach and foods I eat based on the posts of dozens of people I don't even know.
There's a lot about nutrition, training and life that I don't know. But I do know this: I know that what works for a 28-year old man will not likely be right for me. In a similar fashion, that which works for a woman who is 80 lbs. overweight will not be right for me. And I know that what works for me, may not be right for anyone else.
As for all of you other "cooks" out there:
I am not lactose, glucose, or gluten intolerant; I could care less about what sweetener is in my casein or BCAA powder; I will never give up chocolate - or settle for a substitute. I love Brussels Sprouts cooked in bacon fat; meat by the pound; eating like a barbarian - and training like one, too. I love the euphoria I feel in the gym before I KNOW I'm about to kill it. I love how my body is continually changing for the better.
And I love to train low volume and lift heavy shit. Why?
BECAUSE I CAN.
(Thanks, Andy, for stepping in and saving me from what could have turned into a full-on derailment of my program.)
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