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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:21 pm 
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Need some help and advice...
My Presses are truly struggleing. I'm needing some advice on how to improve these lifts.

My Weak points are at about halfway up on both the Flat Bench and Overhead Press.

Also, I was given a recommendation to switch the order of my lifts from time to time. Givent eh routine I am currently doing, I don't think this is necessary or a good idea. Opinions????

Thanks,
Cliff


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:06 am 
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sounds like your triceps are behind the curve if youre not locking out. try incorporating close grip presses to work on your triceps.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:29 am 
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wilburburns wrote:
Need some help and advice...
My Presses are truly struggleing. I'm needing some advice on how to improve these lifts.

My Weak points are at about halfway up on both the Flat Bench and Overhead Press.

Also, I was given a recommendation to switch the order of my lifts from time to time. Givent eh routine I am currently doing, I don't think this is necessary or a good idea. Opinions????

Thanks,
Cliff

The only thought I have is that on the days when you dead lift, I'd do that first. Maybe that's just because I love the DL, so I think it's the most important. The other day looks fine to me. I don't think order is something that you need to change just to be changing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:11 am 
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Cliff - I feel you on the pressing. My presses have always been weak and go up very slowly.

Since you're doing Starting Strength, I'd stick with the program - squat, then press, then deadlift/powerclean. It's in that order to give you a break between squats (your most valuable exercise) and another leg-intensive exercise.

What I'd do if I were in your case would be to back down to the last weight you were able to do comfortable for 3 x 5 for both the bench press and the press. Go from there and build up again. Doing 3 sets of beyond your 5RM for ask many reps as you can eke out isn't the program, doing 3 sets of 5 reps is.

Last time you did 3 x 5 for the bench was 3 x 5 x 110; for the shoulder press was 3 x 5 x 80. Drop to those numbers, or if you want to really be sure, drop another 5# to give yourself room to go up.

Then I'd re-read Starting Strength for advice on those lifts, and watch the Rippetoe videos on Youtube just to be sure. Try to see if you are missing any cues. Use that workout or two working back up to your stalling weight as a chance to work on form. Even a little better leg drive or hand position can make a big difference.
Bench Press:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p ... BF4E6080D2

Press:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p ... 53340B27A5

Meanwhile, your squat, DL, and power cleans should be slowly going up, and your body will get some muscular growth from that.

Finally, when you do those lower weight reps, I'd think about getting the bar up fast. Push it hard. That'll help when you get to your sticking point - you'll already be pushing the bar up explosively. It won't be fast because it's heavy, but you'll at least come into your sticking point at the maximum speed you can muster and that'll help you get past it and lock out.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:50 pm 
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wilburburns wrote:
Need some help and advice...
My Presses are truly struggleing. I'm needing some advice on how to improve these lifts.

My Weak points are at about halfway up on both the Flat Bench and Overhead Press.

Also, I was given a recommendation to switch the order of my lifts from time to time. Givent eh routine I am currently doing, I don't think this is necessary or a good idea. Opinions????

Thanks,
Cliff


What about pulling back about 10% on your presses, and steadily increasing back up to your present weight, and then some. For instance: pullback 10%, then increase 2.5% a week (or whatever is good for you) until you get to 102.5% of your baseline. I'll use 100 lbs as an example since those are easy numbers to work with in my head.

Week 1: 90 lbs
Week 2: 90 lbs (or 92.5 if you have teeny-tiny plates)
Week 3: 95 lbs
Week 4: 95 lbs (or 97.5)
Week 5: 100 lbs
Week 6: 100 lbs (or 102.5)
Week 7: 105 lbs (or 5% over your original)

I know when my form gets bad, or I'm struggling at a certain point, a 5-10% pullback helps me out. Here's a link to an Excel spreadsheet I found that coincides with Starting Strength and calculates the %'s for you (I wish I could give credit to where I found it, but I've lost track of the original link. FYI, I also changed one of the original exercises from Cleans to Rows):

http://www.gymjournal.com/wlf/Ripptoe.xls


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:26 pm 
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Thanks Pete and Ellerbus...

You both basically said, or at least this is what I heard/read.
DO THE PROGRAM.. And Quit looking for the quick fix to a problem. Why Do I continually need someone else to help pound this into my head. :lol:

Ironically, I seem to have learned this lesson when doing my squats. If I squat and feel my form was weak or I miss reps. I will repeat that weight or drop back and reset.

I think the difference is that I squat each workout which is every 3 days at most, but my presses alternate each workout. This means that If I need 3 workouts at a given weight to feel comfortable with good form, It takes almost 2 weeks (assuming I don't miss a workout for some reason) to increase my weights. Once again I just need to check my (small) ego at the door and do what I already know needs to be done.

On another note, Now we have this pullup challenge which I should motivate me to go the extra mile and actually do my pullups on "B" Days.


Thanks Again Guys....
Cliff


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:45 pm 
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wilburburns wrote:
Thanks Again Guys....


You're welcome. That's why we post workouts here, right? So people can remind us when we're veering off the road to success. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:15 am 
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Walking down stairs puts a lot of eccentric/decelerative stress on the legs. So it hurts more. This is why you'll see hill sprints recommended as "run up, walk down" more than "run up, run down."

Good going on the power cleans. They sure do suck the life out of you, don't they?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:34 am 
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pdellorto wrote:
Walking down stairs puts a lot of eccentric/decelerative stress on the legs. So it hurts more. This is why you'll see hill sprints recommended as "run up, walk down" more than "run up, run down."

Good going on the power cleans. They sure do suck the life out of you, don't they?


Good info on the Walking Down vs Walking Up inclines/stairs. I did not know why, but I did know there was a difference....

Power Cleans...
Yes, they Kicked my BUTT Hard. I was truly amazed at how quickly I went from minor fatigue to drained in a single Set.

On the up side, I look forward to trying them again on Sunday... :wink:

Cliff


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:54 am 
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wilburburns wrote:
Power Cleans...
Yes, they Kicked my BUTT Hard. I was truly amazed at how quickly I went from minor fatigue to drained in a single Set.


Recently I've done a few circuits with sandbag hang cleans/push presses. They are about seven kinds of a suck in a one suck bag. The bar makes it easier to do more weight, but it's the same thing. That explosive triple extension and catch is just so hard. But you finish them and think "No one can say that wasn't a workout."

Once I started doing cleans, even from the hang, I understood why Mark Rippetoe gets so annoyed when people do rows instead of cleans in Starting Strength's beginner routine. It's like subbing jogging for sprints.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:57 pm 
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Quote:
Dumbbell Bench question:
ROM???? Should this mimic the ROM for a Barbell Bench?
IE: When Holding a Barbell, the Grip width is determined during Setup for the lift. That Grip Width will always be the same no matter if the Bar is at your chest, or if you are fully locked out.

However, When Dumbbell Pressing, Grip width is easily changed by moving the Dumbbells closer together or farther apart.
IE: At Full extension and lockout for my Dumbbell Presses, my Hands are pretty close together and the Dumbbells touch each other. But, When at Chest Level, the Dumbbells and hands are far apart at my sides. Is this correct?


I think it depends on how you dumbbell press. I personally bring the weights down to about the same depth, but not completely. Neutral grip DB presses won't allow the full ROM, because the DB touches me earlier than a bar would. If I grip the a little wider and let them turn as I press, I get a little more ROM.

I would get into a comfortable groove no matter which version you do, lower them as far as you can reasonably do, and not worry. It's not like you do DB presses to groove the movement of a BB press, you do them to get stronger at the BB press.

As for the weight, the guideline that worked for me was that your DB press will be at most 90% of your BB press, since you can't use some of the "tricks" like pulling the bar apart and keeping the same level of scapular stiffness with unstable DBs. It's about right. My 185# 1RM tells me I can 10-rep about 65# DBs, and that's as much as I've managed. You have to play with the numbers a bit to figure out reps and weights, but it's doable.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Quote:
Max Effort Flat Bench:
45x5
45x5
85x5
95x5
105x3


I think that's not so bad for a 3-rep max day. You could drop the reps to 3 sooner, but the extra volume can't hurt at this level!

(Sorry, that sounds terrible. I just mean that since you're stuck working in a pretty tight range - a lot like me - it's not bad to have a lot of reps in the work up sets to help give you the volume you need to grow.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:44 pm 
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I know what you meant Peter. I don't think the extra Volume could hurt either.

Now for another Programming Question?

Rest between Accessory Lifts:
How long should I be resting, or how long do they give you at the Defranco's? I've been resting roughly 1-1.5 min, Maybe less, I haven't been keeping track.

Weight for accessory lifts:
Should I be using more weight and possible hitting failure before completing the final set, or should I be able to complete all reps and sets on this program?

Cliff


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:16 pm 
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wilburburns wrote:
Rest between Accessory Lifts:
How long should I be resting, or how long do they give you at the Defranco's? I've been resting roughly 1-1.5 min, Maybe less, I haven't been keeping track.


They usually don't prescribe any specific rest periods, it's all basically as long as you need for max effort and as long as you need but not that long for accessory work. Often you're in a group of 3-4 guys so just rotating is enough rest. Every once in a while I'm told a specific rest time, but that's pretty rare.

I take 1 minute, longer if its especially heavy sets or leg/back work (reverse hypers, higher-rep glute-ham raises, any single leg exercises). But usually 1 minute is all I really have time for if I want to get out in an hour. I actually count seconds while moving around until I can see the clock. I need to do this because if I don't, I'll start back up too fast. This helps me because at least half the time I'm doing a custom workout, not a standard "ME day" or "Rep Day."

wilburburns wrote:
Weight for accessory lifts:
Should I be using more weight and possible hitting failure before completing the final set, or should I be able to complete all reps and sets on this program?


That's a really good question. I don't know.


I've occasionally shot too high and needed to back off weight in my sets, but I've equally seen guys aim for 4 x 10 and get 3 x 10 and then 7, and nobody blinks an eye. In my case my coach usually tells me "get the work in" and so I try to go a little light enough to ensure I will get all the reps. If I were you, I'd do that - go a little lower, get the reps in. Be in it for the long haul...if it's a little light this time, fine, you'll know next time it can be a little heavier. If it's too heavy, you don't get good work in.

A good way to do this is not to pick a single weight and do that, but start a little light for one set, go heavier each set after. Aim for a new PR (reps or weight) or matching a previous one on the final set. That's worked well for me because if the first set feels heavy, I know not to go up much higher. If it feels light, I can keep raising it.

Sometimes I'll set a PR like 8 x 20#, 8 x 25#, 8 x 30# - with 8 x 30# being the PR. If the next time I have the same exercise I get, say, 8 x 25#, 2 x 8 x 30#, I figure that's an improvement.
I'd say just try to get a little more work in each time you repeat a movement, even if only raising the total weight moved in all the sets combined. Going from the above to 3 x 8 x 30# is an improvement...and then next time I'd probably aim for a final set of 35#...


Sorry that's a) really long and b) not very definite. But that's how it goes there, too - there is a lot of variation and they don't rigidly define the process.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:48 pm 
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Single-leg stuff in WS4SB is always "per leg" rep counts, if that helps.

And it's hard to tell on grip work how much to do - I've had them make me do 3 sets of heavy wrist work or just 1 quick set of 1-2 exercises. It really depends on what the whole workout involves.


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