December 26, 2019

Eric Helms, PhD – Gym motivation, social media comparison and steroid (ab)use within gyms

In episode 41 of The Muscle Engineer Podcast I finally sit down with one of my earliest role models in the industry – Eric Helms.

Eric has PhD in strength and conditioning, and is a research fellow for AUT at the Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand. Along with Greg Nuckols and Dr. Mike Zourdos, he created the monthly research review MASS (Monthly Applications in Strength Sports), which is my go-to resource for keeping up-to-date with the scentific literature. He is also the author of the Muscle & Strength Pyramid books, which are one of my top recommendations for people interested in dieting and training for bodybuilding.

Topics discussed, with time stamps:

5:30 What got Eric into bodybuilding / lifting weights and does he think the reason why people start lifting nowadays has changed?

12:55 Why do most people quit the gym after a couple of months?

19:20 How long should people train initially before deciding the gym is not for them?

24:54 How can you manage social media and following others, while not feeling demotivated by your own progress in comparison

38:14 Eric’s take on the notion that within 3-5 years you can be as big as you’re ever going to get vs the other view that natural bodybuilders need decades to build their best physique

49:45 Once we’ve fallen in love with lifting, how can we prevent falling into the other extreme, where our whole identity is defined by our looks?

1:02:35 Using steroids and other anabolic substances, to compensate for a lack of patience or willingness to work hard, or in an attempt to build a certain physique, to impress others


My biggest lessons from the episode

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