Big Mouth
The Future of Our Industry (Lies In Our Past)
by Arik Orosz

I have been in this business for quite a few years now, and I have seen the industry trends go through more changes than Michael Jackson’s nose. I have always been a believer of understanding our past in an effort to develop our future in a bigger and better way. It is pretty hard to be innovative if you don’t even have a grasp of the concepts that the training veterans have had their hands on for years.The old cliché is so very true, “To be a great teacher, one must first learn to be a great student”. As you may have gathered from some of my articles, I am a bit annoyed with with this new breed of trainers that are under the notion that anything new is automatically better. If this was true, than why was Joe Montana such a great quarterback 20 years ago before the “new school” training protocols even existed? Why did Arnold Schwarzenegger have a better physique than any of the current pro bodybuilders (at least symmetrically speaking)? The past in essence, is the future. If you lack understanding of your roots you will not excel into what lies ahead.

I think one of the main problems with many training systems nowdays is that they take one applicable segment of training and contruct it to be the whole ball of wax. RNT or Reactive Neuromuscular Training is one protocol I have found to fall into this category. It has some very useful applications but it would appear that its practitioners would very seldom do anything in the gym that doesn’t involve a balance board or an oversize rubberband. This is great stuff for rehabbing a client or improving balance in someone who has the stability of a 2 month old baby. Other than that, as far as I’m concerned, you can keep it. I’ve seen the clients who have been solely following these protocols for extended periods of time and guess what? They look the same as they did last year! In fact, I don’t even know that I’ve seen any RNT trainers who are in shape. I’m sure there is one out there somewhere, but take my point for what it is worth.

The truth is this…there is no one perfect, all-encompassing training system. Take the time to learn different approaches and educate yourself in every aspect of training. Only then can we make an informed decision on what protocol is most applicable to a particular situation. An elite athlete will likely benefit from learning how to do cleans, snatches, overhead squats, push presses and other such “old school” lifts much more so than playing with oversized rubberbands. Nor will a bodybuilder likely build a champion (or even a beach-worthy) physique pressing the pink, rubber 7.5lb dumbells while standing on a balance board.

The supplement industry is the same deal. There are so many innovative, cutting-edge products on the market now and the industry has truly moved light years ahead of where it was even ten years ago. However, there are still some less-than-reputable, dishonest companies out there who have and will capitalize on what you don’t know about the industry’s history. They’ll come out with some bunk product containing ingredients that have been on the market (and proven themselves not to work) for years and market it as the lastest, greatest greek-physique-in-a-bottle. Beware of the hucksters and learn your roots.

Another example would be soy protein. The stuff has been poo-poo’d by the industry for years (and rightfully so). All of the sudden, it is great for stimulating the thyroid, improving fat loss, improving arterial health, blah, blah, blah. The truth is, it is okay for women (in moderation) because the phytoestrogens in the soy can competitively inhibit some of the body’s more potent estrogens that may stimulate breast tumor growth. It is also great for men who like having boobs. Guys stop with this soy-kick or you will deserve what you have coming! Generally when something has proven itself to be crap for years and years and out of the blue it makes a giant comeback, you better believe that comeback is financially fueled by the industry that is making the product. Soy is a perfect example of this. Not to mention, supplement companies can buy the stuff dirt cheap and boost profit margins substantially.

If you want to fully understand the new school, take the time to understand the old school. Henry Ford may have not built the Porshe 911 turbo, but without his creativity and innovative, mechanical brilliance there would be no Porshe 911 turbo. If Joe Weider had not invented the Weider Principles then we would all be a bunch of uneducated, nerdy pencil-necks. Okay, bad example (tisk, tisk). Nonetheless, understanding the evolution of things will give you a greater discernment about training protocols that make sense and training protocols that aren’t worth a cent.

In faith,
Arik Orosz