Thinking Out Of The Box – by Ken ‘Skip’ Hill

I was going over old log books this month and noticed that some of my biggest poundages were all the way back in 2001. Umm… I have grown quite a bit since 2001 and yet some of my weights aren’t anywhere near what they were that year. A few are but the large majority haven’t ever been what they were that year.

I was curling 135 for some cheat reps in 1996 at a fat 200 pounds. I now compete at 198 and it is all I can do to get to that weight to compete and I can’t curl anywhere near that right now. My arms are likely over 2 inches bigger now than they were then. What gives? Kinda blows the progression idea out of the water, at least for me.

I use myself as an example but ask yourself about your weights and how long you have been training? Does my situation apply to you, as well? I know MANY seasoned competitors that this is their story, as well. Just sayin’.

What if time under tension played a huge roll or a bigger roll than progression? What if none of it mattered but as long as you trained and used those muscles consistently and let them recover you would keep growing? Does a barbell really make you bigger than a machine? I could tell you of one pro that did pretty much 95% of his contest prep training on nothing but machines. Yeah, yeah, he’s a pro. That just backs up my point, though, so thank you.



I ask you to ask these questions because I am not sure that the little things matter as much as we may think they do. We tend to over-complicate things that don’t need to be over-complicated. This game may be incredibly simple: use your muscles, let them rest, grow and repeat.

Instead, we are doing muscle biopsies to see if leg extensions work the fibers harder than a squat. Really? Why not just do them both? My point isn’t even to think out of the box, really. It is just to think for YOURSELF. Come to your own conclusions as you try to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.

Don’t hold onto something because someone said “that is the way to do it”. I tell my clients all the time to question me and never to feel as if they can’t ask me why.

Paying someone doesn’t mean you do what they say without asking why or questioning them. Quite the opposite, really: You are paying them so they damned sure better explain things to you and because they are getting paid they should listen to your questions and answer them. Again, I am not using this blog to throw my opinions out there on what I just blogged about. I’m …… just sayin.

Ken “Skip” Hill



Leave a Reply