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Random health and exercise thoughts

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by Eason, Dec 20, 2009.

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  1. why

    why Distinguished Member

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    I am hung up on form. I don't want to get hurt in the rack and most text says that proper form is important to avoid injuries. I get what you are saying about no one solitary proper form, though, and for different purposes.

    Yes, but blaming injuries on improper form is like blaming car crashes on two cars hitting each other at speed. When people try too much weight, too any reps, whatever else is usually the actual cause of the injury. People squat/run/lift/whatever for years and still get injured. They know how to do it, but the body doesn't always respond the way they'd like it to.

    Why 8x3? I mean, I could see that working, but keep the reps the same just for mental practice if nothing else. Try Madcow's 5x5...I personally think it makes more sense and it works better for people who are accustomed to lifting.

    In my experience this doesn't matter much. I squatted with olympic shoes, without olympic shoes, high bar, low bar, good mornings only, etc. I tended to stick with high bar and good mornings mostly because it helped me run better on the track, but the high bar/low bar distinction is one that can't be applied to every lifter.

    If you're tipping forward during a squat, it's because the resistance is too high so your body tries to pull more with your glutes and hamstrings. There's nothing inherently wrong with this (it's what a good morning/low bar squat tends to focus on more), but if you can't keep your upper body stable it's because you don't have enough strength in your hips to lift the weight when the higher bar position requires additional torque.

    [​IMG]

    As a little diagram, look at the top lever's resistance compared to the fulcrum (in the case of squats, the hip is the fulcrum). Then look at the lower lever's. Which requires more force to overcome the resistance? This is the high bar/low bar distinction as it pertains to the hip extensors (i.e. glutes and hamstrings); a high bar squat is more like the top lever, while a low bar is more like the bottom lever.

    N.B. the arrows are indicating the direction the lever will move. In other words, the resistance is the box and its force is gravity. That's probably understood, so don't let the arrows make you think otherwise.
     


  2. A Y

    A Y Distinguished Member

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    My hope is to get a guy who is accustomed to training underweight high school kids and is familiar with the slower growth of a mid 30's individual.

    You should ask yourself the usual questions:

    1. Are you eating enough?
    2. Are you resting enough (in between sets as well as workouts)?
    3. Are you making reasonable load increases between workouts? 10 and even 5 lbs get to be really really hard after a while. Microloading may help you out.

    5x5 is a lot of lifting (why not 3x5?), and could be that much harder if you aren't resting and eating enough, or are too aggressive with your load increases. Don't let the high school kids get you down: I started SS in my late 30s, and gained 25-30 pounds in my first few months.

    --Andre
     


  3. db_ggmm

    db_ggmm Distinguished Member

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    I was doing 8 sets of 3 because I could OP 85 lbs with it and I could not OP 85 lbs at 5x5. Still can't, 4 weeks later. I'll get 5, 5, 4, 3, 3, 3, 2 reps. I hear what you are saying, though, and I can just say 'fuck it' and do my best 5x5 until it goes up naturally. Maybe throwing in an extra rep or two at the end if I can is all I need to do.

    I will look at the Madcow routine.

    I totally hear what you are saying about high vs low and the necessary torques, etc. I have deloaded and am doing low bars this week to get the feel of it again and I can tell that the torque is way lower. The same weight is easier and I feel it almost totally in my glutes. It's also easier for me to get to my max depth and to explosively finish.

    I'm not training to excel in any particular sport. I'm training for strength because I am weak. I am not body building because I have no muscle to make 'swole'. Is it fine if I rotate my squatting front, high back, low back every 4-8 weeks? Or is that inadvisable? Or just low back and front since high back and front are more similar to each other?

    A Y - I consider those things and do my best. I have some RL stuff that is not ideal. I work nights 3 days a week (12 hr shifts) which causes sleep disturbances, but I take my sleep seriously. I do what I can and reassess the things you have listed.

    In actuality, I have added a lot of muscle this first year of lifting. I went from a soft 118 after a flu to a pretty hard ~145 (and I try to eat enough to keep a little soft on me).

    Things work. I just plateau easily.
     


  4. why

    why Distinguished Member

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    I'm not training to excel in any particular sport. I'm training for strength because I am weak. I am not body building because I have no muscle to make 'swole'. Is it fine if I rotate my squatting front, high back, low back every 4-8 weeks? Or is that inadvisable? Or just low back and front since high back and front are more similar to each other?

    It really depends on the program and the trainee. People dealing with big poundages and big volumes might switch to other exercises (sometimes even quitting lifting) for one or two weeks, while others might just keep doing the same microcycle over and over. I can say with a good deal of certainty that subbing good mornings for a stalled deadlift is probably the best move people can make, but with squats it's really dependent on the person.

    I would say just look at the numbers. If your back squat has stagnated, deload a bit with front squats because the poundages will always be lower. Keep in mind though, that while the pundages may be lower is it entirely possible to continually fatigue your muscles since the front squat has reduced leverage from the hips. Don't overdo the volume during a deload -- that's the number one problem with most people; they should do a 3x3 set of whatever and get out but decide to add a few extra reps and sets in because otherwise they don't feel like they 'did it'. It's dumb, they usually know it's dumb, but they do it anyway.
     


  5. jaydc7

    jaydc7 Distinguished Member

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    It's dumb, they usually know it's dumb, but they do it anyway.

    I do this too often...
     


  6. why

    why Distinguished Member

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    I do this too often...

    Me too.
     


  7. db_ggmm

    db_ggmm Distinguished Member

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    I understand. Thanks for the help.

    I do the failed deload with too much volume, too.
     


  8. Mblova

    Mblova Senior Member

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    Me Too!
     


  9. Pennglock

    Pennglock Distinguished Member

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    I was doing 8 sets of 3 because I could OP 85 lbs with it and I could not OP 85 lbs at 5x5. Still can't, 4 weeks later. I'll get 5, 5, 4, 3, 3, 3, 2 reps. I hear what you are saying, though, and I can just say 'fuck it' and do my best 5x5 until it goes up naturally. Maybe throwing in an extra rep or two at the end if I can is all I need to do.

    I'd like to offer you a bit of unsolicited advice.

    Put 5x5 out of your mind until you're at a more advanced stage in your lifting career. Assuming you're still shooting for workout-to-workout progression, 5x5 is more volume than is optimal. I am convinced 3x5 is the sweet spot for a new lifter adding weight to the bar every workout. Ive heard many stories similar to yours, of people frequently stalling on 5x5 who are then able break through the wall after switching to a 3x5 scheme.

    You can break through that overhead press easily. Deload 5 lb, switch to a 3x5 scheme, and use 2.5 lb increases. If you hit that lift 6 times a month, that's a quick 15 lbs.


    IMO the best use of 5x5 is as a volume day in part of a weekly periodization that looks like:

    M: Volume Day 5x5
    W: Light Day 3x5
    F: Intensity Day w/ heavy triples, doubles, or dynamic-effort sets.
     


  10. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Distinguished Member

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    Here's some randomness...

    After a strong workout of some moderate weight training and usually about 90 minutes of cardio (generally spinning for an hour followed by the Stairmaster which I just recently began using and discovered kicks my a**), I usually like to relax in the sauna for 10 to 15 minutes before hitting the shower. Sometimes I have a hard time cooling down in a timely fashion after all of that and I can feel that the blood is not flowing to my extremities like it should be.

    I was listening to an interview with Olympic Kayaker Adam van Koeverden and he said that to help cool down and get the blood circulating everywhere, he will get into the shower and alternate the temperature between hot and ice cold at about 15 second intervals. Supposedly, the hot water will open up the blood vessels and bring the oxygen-rich blood back to the surface and quickly going to cold water pushes the oxygen depleted blood back into system faster where it can get recirculated and quickly filled with oxygen again.

    It sounded completely crazy to me (but I have no idea how the circulatory system works) but I decided to give it a try anyway and have done so each time I have been at the gym since about the start of last week. It honestly does seem to help me recover and cool down more efficiently and my muscles feel less sore and tired during the rest of the day.

    So there's my 2¢ for the day.
     


  11. jarude

    jarude Distinguished Member

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    To all people stalling on 5x5, give ironaddicts SPBR routine a shot. Still strength based, but a really great template if you get bored of the same lifts over and over. I switched over to it from SL 5x5 and have been posting PR's nearly everytime I hit the gym

    5x5 may not be for you - squatting 3x a week was raping me. Change things up a bit.
     


  12. db_ggmm

    db_ggmm Distinguished Member

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    Maybe it is time for me to consider alternatives to 5x5. I mean, it's always time to consider, consideration is free, and I'll have time to kill the next three nights at work. I guess I'll be looking at Bill Starr / Madcow's "intermediate" (don't see a "beginner" routine) and Iron Addict's SPBR (unfamiliar with this one, I have read his forums). There is also, what is that... West Side for the Skinny Guy? I'll take recommendations. I will likely pick the one that is the least different from what I am doing now, so I can quickly learn the couple new exercises and move ahead.

    The timing feels about appropriate. Some time between March and May is when I started SL last year (should have kept better track) and I might simply be due for a change in exercises.
     


  13. Invicta

    Invicta Senior Member

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    Old Man Strength

    Fred Peterson - 70 Years Old - 640# DL
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    Larrey Wallen - 60 Years Old - 705# DL
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    Damn, that two old dudes who are lifting more than 200# in excess of my 1 rep max DL. Must get back to gym.
     


  14. A Y

    A Y Distinguished Member

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    I guess I'll be looking at Bill Starr / Madcow's "intermediate" (don't see a "beginner" routine) and Iron Addict's SPBR (unfamiliar with this one, I have read his forums).

    Sorry to be pedantic, but technically speaking, an intermediate lifter is someone who can recruit enough muscle while lifting so that he/she cannot recover in time for the next workout in a beginner program (ie. lifting every 2 or 3 days with increasing load), so the programming has to be done on a weekly basis to allow recovery. Have you considered the possibility that 5x5 might be too much volume, and that you could still be getting beginner gains if you switched to 5x3? I'm only asking because from some of the numbers you mentioned before, it sounds like you can still milk the beginner phase for more, assuming that lifting is the only exercise you do.

    --Andre
     


  15. Noir.

    Noir. Senior Member

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    low carb diets are overrated. "functional" workouts are overrated. gaining 20 lbs in about a month and still being pretty lean is awesome and feels great. working 16 hour days does not.
     


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