Nate Green recently interviewed Dave for T-nation. Some of what Tate had to say struck home for me. I'm not going to copy/paste his stuff (article is linked below) but I will go over some topics.
Free Weights vs. Machines
Tate writes that it doesn't have to always be free weight OR machines. He believes "they can have sex and you can do both"!!!
I think this is very important. People restrict themselves to doing just ONE type of anything. You can certainly do machine work and free weights. One can use the best of both worlds if one approaches all these options as mere tools to help you get to your goals.
KISS = Good?
Dave writes that there is this pendulum motion regarding training. People either complain about training being too complicated or too simple. Well, the right question to ask is: "Simple for who?" because it tends to slight the guys "who are a little bit stronger and bigger" - not the usual beginner and intermediate crowd.
At the same time, Dave writes, there are guys who shouldn't be doing "simple shit" - the intermediate and advanced folk and all they end up doing is making no progress.
Dave's take home message here is:
The trick is to know where you fit best.
You gotta have a reason for everything you do
Tate recounts a story of him when he initially started lifting and wasn't able to lockout a certain Deadlift. He tried to lock out out with repeated attempts - all of which ended in utter failure. At some point when he was lying on the floor gasping for air, one of his mentors picked up Tate's shoes and threw them outside the gym. Just like that. Tate's conclusion:
I'll never forget that. You gotta have a reason for everything you do in training. If he would have just said that it wouldn't have stuck with me. I needed to see my boots get run over by a truck.
Exercises are tools.
Progression schemes are tools.
Set-rep schemes are tools.
Rest intervals are tools.
Everything is a tool.
Make the tool work for the goal.
These were some of the good points from Dave Tate's interview.
Link: Dave Tate Talking Trash
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."