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The Poliquin Principles

By Charles Poliquin

I see a lot of people stumbling around the gym with little idea what they are doing. Of course most of them like to think that they know everything. I can say this because I was once one of them. The problem with the way most people train is that it is very unproductive. Most people follow routines taken from bodybuilding magazines, while others copy the routines of friends (who themselves usually follow routines from magazines), others have no idea what they are doing and sort of wander around the gym doing whatever exercises they feel like doing. The latter I can't really address so lets deal with the former - those who follow routines from bodybuilding magazines.

Most people follow the routines published in the bodybuilding magazines. Why? Because the magazines are the most popular source of published information that people turn to. Unfortunately the information from these magazines is questionable. What's that? How could published information by magazines which obviously stake their reputation on their information be questionable? Lots of reasons.

First lets talk about these steroid freaks they put on the covers. If you don't know by now that all the professional IFBB pro's are on steroids then let me enlighten you. These guys all spend about 100k a year on steroids and growth hormone, which is why you never see a rich bodybuilder. They spend all their money on drugs. Ever wonder why Ronnie Coleman (Mr Olympia) who made over 100k in endorsements last year still works a fulltime job besides? Many people don't believe that these guys are actually on the juice because most people just can't believe that someone in the public eye would be able to get away with it. Well they can, and besides that, most of the major bodybuilding contests don't even test for steroids! Thats right in the one sport where steroids are most likely to be abused they don't even test for it! So why don't they test? Its all about money. The bigger these freaks get, the more people will come to see them which means more endorsements and more money. The contest promoters make big bucks off these guys so obviously they aren't going to test them for steroid use because they want them big to draw crowds. The magazines which stick these freaks on the cover want these guys big too so that they can sell more magazines, so obviously they aren't going to test either. These guys are not good role models for natural trainers, yet their advice fills columns in many bodybuilding magazines and average people are taking their advice. Someone who juices up has nothing to offer a natural trainer, yet people take their advice anyway and are mislead because of it.

Another reason that bodybuilding magazines mislead their readers comes straight from the so called experts and gurus who are writing for these magazines. Did you know that most of these authors are out of shape, and few of them even work out! What, so I'm taking advice from someone who doesn't even train? Beyond that, most of the authors today just rewrite old information. Pick up a copy of a magazine from the 60-70's and they have pretty much the same info in them now as they did then, all that is different is the guy on the cover. Much of this old information that these guys are rewriting comes from the hey-day of steroid use, and much of it is based on observations of steroid using athletes. So you're taking advice from someone who doesn't train and is rewriting 30 year old info which itself was based on observations of steroid users. Did you know that the popular weider principles - the supposed staple of a professional bodybuilders training, was itself based on observations of an elite group of steroid pumped athletes in the late 60's?

So the advise you're getting from these magazines is often crap.

Another source of misinformation comes from all these supplement advertisements. All this so called scientific research which these companies put behind these supplements is often bullshit. Because of FDA loop holes the supplement companies can say pretty much anything they want in these adds short of making direct promises. Also the FDA does not closely monitor the safety of these products. When the prohormones were initially released many of the products had only undergone preliminary testing on humans before being released. Why? Because new supplement companies were looking for a quick buck and hoping to ride the creatine craze of the mid and late 90's. They figured with the incredible sales of creatine that of course people would buy their product too. And they were right. Anyone would love to think that some pill or some powder can give them that edge, or aid their development. Everyone would like to think that they can buy effort and dedication in a bottle and the truth is you can't. Despite all the so-called scientific research which claims this or that supplements effect, the truth is that very few of these supplements have been proven to have any measurable effect on performance or development. And you know what else, these supplement companies know that their products are bullshit but they'll try to sell them as long as they can. Just look at the Inosine craze of the 80's. Supplement companies portrayed this product as a muscle preserver, much the same way that Cort Bloc and similar products are pushed today. Guess what happened with Inosine? A few scientists took a look at the stuff which these snake oil salesmen were peddling and they found out that this stuff actually had the opposite effect - it could actually destroy muscle tissue. Boy great job these supplement companies did putting out safe and reliable products huh?

By the way, most of the supplement companies either own, or are owned by the bodybuilding magazines. So often these magazines will write a whole article singing the praises of some supplement that they are associated with.

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