I spoke about “puff’n’buff” workouts a few posts ago, and today I came across a laddie in the local park doing just THAT.
I was out there to complete a set of dips – 50 dips, to be precise – and that was but one part of my workout.
His puffin and buffin routine though included not one – not two – but THREE exercises, all great ones if done correctly – and his routine (or least the bulk of it) ended BEFORE my one set of 50.
What was he up to, you ask?
Pull-ups – except these were done by “kicking” up to the pull-up position in the most awful manner imaginable – going down in a jerky sort of motion, and then “swinging” himself back. Can only marvel at the fact he’s still got a pair of working shoulders left …
Pushups – done in a bouncy fashion – going about two inches down and about one inch up – and I think about 25 or so “reps” were completed in this manner before the guy took off his black T-shirt and started to flex his (non existent) teeny weeny pecks (and yes, I misspelt that on purpose, hehe).
And the very last exercise on this list was dips – and the way in which he did ’em almost made lost control towards the end of my own set of 50 – done in proper manner, ALL the way up, and most of the way down as I teach in Shoulders like Boulders.
Not to mention the imaginary grunts, “puff’s”, and forced howls he was emitting through the workout. You’d think the guy was lifting Everest by the way he was bawling in between “reps” …
Now at this point you’re probably wondering as to why exactly I’m so against puffin’ and buffin’.
Nothing fundamentally wrong with being buff, is there? And given what I say about deep breathing and it’s merits, well, nothing wrong with puffing up a storm either is there?
Well – NO – but here’s the point, my friend.
Puff’n’buff routines, despite their moniker, do NEITHER of what they imply they do.
They’re so easy that you don’t even break a sweat in hot humid weather when you do ’em – and therefore there is no puffing other than artificial “forced” gasps for show.
And consequently, there is no “buff”. To get buff, you gotta PUFF – pant and PESPIRE – and work HARD!
Oh well. At least dude was on the right track in that he was at least doing bodyweight stuff as opposed to something even worse which is the “chrome plated” routines going on most of the chrome’n’fern palaces these days.
Not only are these routines utterly useless in terms of building lasting/functional strength – they’re also DANGEROUS, my friend.
Chrome plated routines are exactly what they say – plated with chrome, but with a hollow core inside. They focus on muscle size to the exclusion of just about everything else – hence all the injuries that occur when doing bench presses, heavy squats, deadlifts, and so forth.
But back to the functional part of it.
Striated shoulders, for instance might look good in the mirror when you’re all “pumped” at the end of the set # XXXXX (and probably oiled up as well), but they’ll do next to nothing for you if you’ve gotta carry Grandma up a flight of steep stairs, for instance.
I’ve seen bodybuilders with massive bloated pectoral muscles that struggled to carry a couch – DOWN a flight of stairs – ONE flight. In fact, even picking up the darn thing was too much for those muscles – and believe me, I’ve seen this on MORE than one occasion.
Or take for instance, the pumping and puffing going on at the lat pulldown machine – another utterly useless machine that focuses on the exact opposite you should be focusing upon which is pulling UP instead of “pushing down” with your fanny parked on a soft seat.
And as far as bodyweight exercises go?
Well, while you’d think those massive shoulders would breeze through bodyweight stuff, the opposite is true. Those shoulders often collapse within a matter of SECONDS when put through the MOST basic of bodyweight routines – – let alone advanced routines.
The reverse though is not true. Take a guy that can bang out 50 plus pull-ups in the gym – and put him on the lat pulldown – and after a bit of “getting used to the thing” – he’ll be pumping out reps effortlessly – before kicking the thing in disgust and moving back to the REAL deal.
Still don’t believe me? Still think I’m wrong?
Well, take the biggest, strongest dude at your gym – that guy that cranks out lateral raises or bench presses regularly and for enormous poundages.
Ask him to do a set of 10 STRICT pull-ups in proper form and see if he can do ’em.
I’ll bet you my bottom dollar he can’t.
Last, but not least, if you’re part of the gang that (even after reading all this) still believes that puffin, buffin, pumping and toning – with the bros no less – is the way to go, well, no arguments from me, amigo.
I can but take that horse to the water – but I can NOT make it drink.
Other hand – if you’re ready to make the quantum leap into REAL fitness – and REAL strength – – well – then – I’m right HERE for you!
P.S. – Some of you reading this have already invested in my initial course on pull-ups, and have written back to tell me how your pull-ups have increased. That’s GREAT, GREAT news, fellas – but the even better news is that you can improve WAY more. My advanced course on pull-ups “Pull-ups from STUD to SUPER STUD within a matter of weeks” has workouts that’ll make the average puffer and buffer RUN for the hills – and FAST – on a motorized scooter, of course, hehe. Grab it right here – – http://0excusesfitness.com/pull-ups-stud-to-super-stud-within-weeks/