I've been thinking lately about how my perspective on training has changed over the years. I started as a high school athlete trying to just "pump some iron" to get big and strong, while trying to learn as much as I could about general health.
I then moved to bodybuilding once my athletic career had ended and I went on to college.This is when I started learning through course work, personal reading, and actual training, how the body responds and is stimulated by training. However, because I only trained with the usual moderate to high repetition, one day per week for each muscle group mentality, I didn't see the whole picture of training. And so the learning continued...
I moved to weightlifting, a.k.a. Olympic weightlifting, after completing a practicum for college credit with a local sports performance center which used this style of lifting as the main focus of their program. I figured that in order to properly coach the athletes how to perform the lifts, I would have to be able to perform them correctly myself. And, as they say, the rest is history. As many of you know, this is the style of training I use for myself as a means of competition (and breathing).
Now I am more focused on my career. As I continue to wade through informational overload on a daily basis, I continue to learn what to trust and what is just plain ignorant and misguided. There are those sources that should not be trusted and those that should be checked regularly because of the wealth of information that is provided. I have been very mindful within the past year of where I read my information. It would be a HUGE waste of time to read something and find it to be complete garbage. So, be wary of where you get your information. Don't believe everything you read just because the author has a few letters behind their name. Always ask "who", "what", and "why" when you are reading new information. If these answers check out, you have a good start for learning new, useful information.
It is interesting to look back on where I started and where I am now within my own training. As my thoughts on what it is to be big and strong have changed over the years, I have come to realize that these have meant very different things. I once thought that big and strong was a professional bodybuilder strutting around at 285lbs with 2% body fat. Through the years I've learned that some bodybuilders are strong, but they cannot compare to strength athletes. If we're talking relative or absolute strength, strength athletes will win out nearly 100% of the time. I won't get into the physiology behind it, but suffice it to say that there are two types of hypertrophy adaptations in training and strength athletes get the better end of the deal.
I will continue my relentless pursuit for every detail within the realm of strength training. I know this is something that cannot be accomplished realistically, but my dad had always said that I am stubborn (and a smart-ass). Therefore, I put my head down and keep pushing for more! I suggest you do the same. Train hard, train smart!