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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:09 am 
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Is it total myth that bigger lats=more profit for bench?

Lets make example where 2 140lbs guys compete in bench press.

If other one is stronger in some pulling movement would he bench more at same weight class? I think not.

Actually its opposite. Person who has after 5 years training more muscle mass in back means its extra useless weight for your weightclass.

You need it certain amount for deadlift to stabilize but you wont go failure because of your upper back. Never. Its always your hips or legs even at top.

Basically powerlifting in my opinion should have pullup with weights. You count bodyweight+extra.

Same goes for calves and hamstrings too which is not trained to failure. I respect bodybuilders and especially more strongmen lifters who at least have more functions for different muscles. In powerlifting you need them only 20% of their potential.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:16 pm 
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Powerlifters in general don't do a lot of pull-ups, but most include heavy rows, both as assistance for the deadlift and to improve their benching (better stability = more efficient pressing).

The hamstrings get plenty of work from squats, deadlifts and various assistance exercised like Romanian Deadlifts and Good Mornings.

Meanwhile, I don't think most bodybuilders are especially functional. In general bodybuilders rely on a combination of volume training, machines and often chemical assistance to build muscle without lifting super-heavy.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:26 pm 
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powerlifters do all sorts of stuff to get their hamstrings stronger. They dedicate a massive amount of their training to it


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:08 am 
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I was talking more as theory than reality wise. In reality all powerlifters to auxiliry work. They trains abs,calves,hamstrings,back etc.. Most don't also seem to care much about their weight/diet which is reason you see them with big belly most of time. I don't care about old methods/rituals, I care about being optimal/scientific.

My point is that where you prefer to have 20 pounds muscle in? In muscles that are needed mostly in movement like Glutes,lower back, thights,chest,triceps,front delts or 20 pounds in stabilization muscles like calfs,abs,hamstrings and upper back?

Which do you consider will give more advantage in those 3 lifts strenght wise? Right. Obviously you should focus on muscles that are mostly needed in that movement instead focus on any extra muscles that don't move object.

In this case you should only focus and getting stronger on those 3 lifts and forget about auxility work. You will develope certain amount of muscle what is needed for those 3 lifts automatically but ONLY certain amount that is needed for it. This is most optimal way if you want to squeeze everything for your weightclass. Again this is everything about being optimal in your weightclass, if it wasn't for that this text wouldn't matter.

Having bigger back for bench press to stabilize? That's so minimal that doesn't effect anything, just ridiculous. Only major stabilizers you need are rotator cuffs but it's not like you fail because you can't balance bar. You fail because chest/triceps/anterior delts didn't have enough power. If you have shoulder pains then that's totally irrelevant and different story and eather way has nothing to do with back itself. As for rotation cuffs you might want to train supra/infraspinatus seperately. Though I'm not sure if it really takes pain away training them seperately as for some people it just gets more easily hurt.

Only good point about having bigger back is that it will shorter distance of bar but again in this case I'd rather want that mass in chest instead. On deadlift again it's not needed.

So this fact in mind I don't see in theory why powerlifters should train back. So I don't see reason why they shouldn't have somekind rowing/pullup contest added for training and I don't mean as 10 reps of this. I mean as pure strenght 1x like pullup with weights.

Strongmen events you see all kind of movements but here you see only 3 lifts. In bodybuilding you have reason to train everything instead just those 3 big lifts for musclesize.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:51 pm 
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"I was talking more as theory than reality wise. In reality all powerlifters to auxiliry work. They trains abs,calves,hamstrings,back etc.. Most don't also seem to care much about their weight/diet which is reason you see them with big belly most of time. I don't care about old methods/rituals, I care about being optimal/scientific." - excore

Powerlifters in the heaviest weight classes are often overweight. However, those in the lighter weight classes are generally pretty lean. They have to be to be competitive.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:24 pm 
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"Having bigger back for bench press to stabilize? That's so minimal that doesn't effect anything, just ridiculous. Only major stabilizers you need are rotator cuffs but it's not like you fail because you can't balance bar. You fail because chest/triceps/anterior delts didn't have enough power. If you have shoulder pains then that's totally irrelevant and different story and eather way has nothing to do with back itself. As for rotation cuffs you might want to train supra/infraspinatus seperately. Though I'm not sure if it really takes pain away training them seperately as for some people it just gets more easily hurt." - excore

Your dead wrong. You can't lift what you can't control. ... For example, weak erectors will limit your squat, no matter how strong your legs are.

A weak upper-back will limit your pressing power and greatly increase your risk of shoulder injury. Likewise, if your upper-back is proportionally weak, you'll round your back on deadlifts and have difficulty locking out. ... If you want to get stronger, you'll need to work on improving weak links, not just target muscle groups.

Also, bigger doesn't always mean stronger. Bodybuilders are often surprisingly weak compared to strength athletes (Franco Columbu and Ronnie Coleman are notable exceptions).


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:33 pm 
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I didn't mention erectors because they play huge part in squatting/deadlifting.

Erectors are target muscles that moves weight. Notice that when you're in squat position your back is not completely in vertical position. You need erector muscles to put you back into vertical. This site actually has it wrong on barbell squat. It should be on synergist instead stabilizers. Deadlift they got right.

Important stabilizers in this case like multifidus, transverse abdominis, hip flexors, obliques are all small muscles and they WILL develope by just doing squats. Again none of these muscles are mentioned in exrx squat section.

Shoulder injury for lack of upper back? Way too bro for me. Also pressing power doesn't come from back because it's not main muscle that handles the weight.

Main problem here is that most powerlifters are on 8 different doping while wearing their silly clown costume for bigger lifts. Now they're dealing weight that their shoulder rotators can't handle = bigger chance of injury. It has nothing to do with their back.

Locking out is 100% hip. Posture problems are releated to pelvic positioning and it's again releated to muscles in hip area. It has nothing to do with trapezius/lats. If not that then you have bad posture you born with and in this case balancing/stretching certain tight muscles won't do anything.

Fortunally most posture problems in deadlift/squat can be fixed by training with proper weight and use correct form. I actually had crap form until I went to powerlifting gym where experience trainers fixed it and gym only costs 15 dollars / month.

You will develope your upper back in just deadlift trough just stabilizing bar. My point is that any extra muscles in there won't give you any advantage as they're not main muscles lifting the bar. It doesn't hurt to have them eather except if you're really serious in competing at your weightclass. If you have problems with hips at lockout you might want to practise rackpull.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:58 pm 
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excore a huge amount of what you are saying is simply not correct. I'm not sure how you came to your conclusions.

Shoulder problems absolutely do come from a lack of upper back strength. Any good powerlifter will spend a lot of time training upper back. Most powerlifters I know do at least a couple of different upper back exercises every session. Google conditions like "protracted shoulder girdle" and any of the million potential rotator cuff problems and you'll see that the prescription is always to strengthen upper back/external rotators. You're right the pressing power doesn't come from the back but the stability absolutely does.

The steroids argument is complete fallacy too. Juiced lifters and non-juiced lifters train the same. I have no idea why that myth is so pervasive.

Bad posture can be corrected, it's not simply a case of what you were born with. Ask any physiotherapist and they will tell you. Some good reading on this area is Gray Cook, Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson or Stuart McGill.

I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that hamstrings simply stabilise during lifts. Hamstrings function as a hip extensor and work hard as hell during squats and deadlifts.

Your 20lbs of muscle example doesn't make any sense either. You'd struggle to add 20lbs to any targeted muscle groups without just adding muscle all over. Not really relevant.

And you go on to say that there's no point in auxiliary work. Well, good luck with that. There's a reason why all the best powerlifters in the world do it - it works! I suppose all the Westside guys and Ed Coan are doing it wrong?

Good for you for thinking critically about all this stuff and forming your own opinion, however there's some pretty massive flaws in your reasoning. I suggest watching a few Louie Simmons tutorials. He's given loads of lectures on youtube and is one of the best powerlifting coaches in the world. I think you'd enjoy them.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:58 pm 
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All powerlifters train back heavy and they do have injuries but it's allmost always due to rotators. I don't consider protracted shoulder girdle that common, but it can be apply to them sure. It could be different in other movement but in bench press I doubt it really effects anything. Once your scapula is locked, it's pritty much only your rotators in use. I couldn't find any releated info of this concerning bench press.

As for juiced lifters, yes they can train same and info they do can be applied. I don't have anything against them and it's their choise. Reason why I mentioned about juiced trainers is because they can handle much bigger weight and in my opinion in that unnatural state you're more in danger for injury.

You might be right about that fixing posture. I was thinking of posture as with chronic back problems but if you have them then I doubt you can progressively train eather.

You're right about hamstring in deadlift. They have to be movers. I'm doing sumo so it's very minimal there. I actually do heavy hamstring workout 2 days before deadlift/squat and it doesn't effect me. Maybe conventional could be different story but I haven't done it in long time because sumo fits me better result wise. For squats I don't feel them eather in normal stance. exrx counts it in squat as Dynamic Stabilizer but it can also be target muscle. I actually don't know.

20lbs is indeed strong exaggeration especially for naturals. but even if it was less like 5lbs over perio of training it still adds lot to that weight. By being 5-10lbs lighter with muscles you won't need as much you will have huge advantage in your weightclass on those 3 lifts compared someone who trains everything. Even little % matters here if you want to be truly optimal.

I watched all simmons interviews/seminars. I also have two books explaining those 3 movements. He is fun to watch and his excitement gets me excited. I don't want to think of his results as excuse to do something because they on heavy gear and use equipment. He keeps constantly bragging what someone had done in his gym. With motivation and hard training lot of things can work/progress. Is it thanks to methods? Added tools in training? Maybe, maybe not. Lot of powerlifters are not using his methods and still best in their weightclass.

I don't want to be religious about methods/scientific tests especially from 70s russia but I do appreciate trial and error and trying things out. I do respect him but not everyone agrees with him. Google brandon Lilly+simmons and watch his video.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:13 pm 
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excore wrote:
All powerlifters train back heavy and they do have injuries but it's allmost always due to rotators. I don't consider protracted shoulder girdle that common, but it can be apply to them sure. It could be different in other movement but in bench press I doubt it really effects anything. Once your scapula is locked, it's pritty much only your rotators in use. I couldn't find any releated info of this concerning bench press.


I think your view of back training in powerlifting is too reductionist. I'll agree that the rotator cuff bears the brunt of it but in practical terms it's not like the rotators work in isolation, they are working as part of the entire upper back musculature.

excore wrote:
You're right about hamstring in deadlift. They have to be movers. I'm doing sumo so it's very minimal there. I actually do heavy hamstring workout 2 days before deadlift/squat and it doesn't effect me. Maybe conventional could be different story but I haven't done it in long time because sumo fits me better result wise. For squats I don't feel them eather in normal stance. exrx counts it in squat as Dynamic Stabilizer but it can also be target muscle. I actually don't know.


I agree that you don't really "feel" the hamstrings during squats, but they are contracting very hard indeed. If I remember rightly, the co-contraction of the hamstrings and quads in hip extension is known as Lombard's Paradox. I'm too lazy to google it and check but I think that's right.

Yeah Louie Simmons's stuff is all about geared lifters, but he makes some very cool points about assistance exercises which is why I mentioned him. I just find it very strange that, as a powerlifter yourself, you don't see the value in assistance exercises.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:07 am 
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But you need strong lats to bench more. Usually strong lats = bigger lats. So don't neglect it!

In the bottom of the bench press, your shoulders are so flexed, the lats are one big factor to get the starting strength you need to get to get out of the hole and get the bar off from your chest. The lats attach to the inner humerus, and when you flex your lats, the lats will try to bring your shoulders in line with your body (aka directly on the sides). It doesn't matter if the shoulder is flexed and the elbows are behind the body or in front of the body, the lats will try to bring the arms to neutral (so to speak). It does this with the assistance of pecs.

This is why powerlifters are almost always advocates of heavy pulling work. Also you need your lats in squat and deadlifts as well. For deadlifts, lats keep the bar near the body, for squats lats are needed to create upper back tightness (This goes for benching as well) and keeping the bar on it's place.

Also, as others have said, forgetting the back muscles would destroy your powerlifting career by most likely causing imbalances, mobility issues and shoulder/elbow pain.

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