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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Trying to plan ahead here.

I have been on a 3-day split for some time now and thanks to this site tweaked it rather well. A new job starting in 5 weeks will no longer allow ABCxABC weeks. AxBxAxB fits the new schedule as I'm overworked only every other day.

A: Squat, Bench, BB Row
B: Deadlift, Press, Chin

1. It's a rip-off as I said. Vertical/Horizontal pull on each day--is that a stupid mod? I like doing back and pretty sure that Power Cleans are just a step too far for me.
2. Can someone explain volume and progression? (SL5x5 suggests 2-5 warm-up sets before 5 working sets--that's like 2 hours)


EDIT:
I intend to start light in order to learn the moves per Starting Strength 3rd Ed. (Nov 2011). A quick glance at his descriptions of a bench showed me that my technique needs clean-up.

I think Jungledoc is following his bench pointers based on a thread from 2009--I'd like to exchange notes regarding some bench cues. Let me know if you guys bench exactly the way Rippetoe prescribes. In the book he suggests to "sacrifice efficiency" for the sake of she shoulder. At lockout, the bar is over the shoulder joint. Then it travels in a slight diagonal to touch the chest in mid position. What confuses the heck out of me is the movement up. Say I'm at bottom position and focusing on a ceiling cue (as he suggests). When I push up, the bar is locking out in front of that initial lockout. It feels like it moves vertically straight from bottom position. I tried with low weight and movement resembled going up the steps--won't fly with heavy weight. I also find myself pushing up and then moving it a bit backwards at the top--obviously wrong.

EDIT2: Illustration
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Last edited by emil3m on Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:51 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:58 am 
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I think it's a solid full-body program. The exercises are all good and essential. Now the only thing to mess around with are the reps and sets.

1) I wouldn't suggest 5x5. Atleast if you go heavy on all the lifts. Like you said it would take huge amount of time, let alone the stress it causes to your whole body. 5 reps isn't a must. Especially on deadlifts. You can do different things. If you want mainly weight progression, there are several different combinations. Anything that has 2-5 sets of 3-5 reps. (Like 4x4, 5x3 or 5x3). But they are not even necessary. You can build up to heavy triplets or a heavy 4 or 5. Doing overall 3-5 sets and adding weight till you get to the heaviest one. Many things work, it's up to you. Not every exercise have to have the same rep/set scheme. If you are always aiming for weight progression, you work on the same weight until you get the desired amount of reps and sets, then add 2.5kg or similar next workout. Simple. If you build to heavy xRM, you always try to beat the former rep amount.

2) Recovery. If you are deadlifting and squatting heavy twice a week, be sure your recovery is good enough between days. These are very taxing exercises. Going heavy for 3 lifts every workout can be very heavy. Make sure to eat lots, sleep lots, and keep some deload weeks every 4-6 weeks. You can also consider mixing repetition method work into the mix and thus going heavy only once a week on each movement.

3) Warm-ups. Everybodys different. On the very beginning of the workout I like to do mobility work and dynamic stretches. But before each exercise I have 3 or 4 warm up sets. These are light, starting from the bar and adding a little weight for each rep, building for the work sets. My warm up sets usually have 1-5 reps and only little rest between. Here's how it would look:
Squat:
5 x 20kg (bar)
5 x 50kg
3 x 60kg
1 x 65kg

Worksets starting from 75kg.
It's always something like that. If I feel I need more warm-up, I do more reps. Like 5/5/3 or something like that. I like to always start with the bar, no matter how light I feels. Jim Wendler suggests that the warm-ups should be around 40-60% of your max weights, and quite the same rep system as mine. Not too much over 5 reps. Especially if your work sets are low rep as well. They are meant to prepare you muscles and get used to the movement pattern and form as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:20 am 
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Dub, I made an edit after reading your reply. I think that I will starts relatively light in order to learn the moves. I have lifted on an off for a while and some habits need to be killed. I can only assume your advice re: volume will change now. Sorry--I should have mentioned that in the original post.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:43 am 
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It's good to start lighter when your technique is off. But don't be too scared to move towards heavier as well. Take your time , but don't get stuck on the small details that aren't really putting you under a risk of injury. Nobodys technique is ever perfect, if you are doing things right, you are honing your technique in every rep of every set, no matter the intensity. You do the movement light because it's easier to fix, there are no intenisty-induced faulty movement patterns. Using video recording is a great way to see the truth in your own movement. If possible, film your bench and analyze it.

Whenever someone is aking about Bench pressing, I like to refer to Dave Tate. And more precisely, "You think you can bench" -video seires in youtube. It's putting together so much information on form of the bench, and the same tips are seen everywhere on bench articles and seminars.

On bar path, especially when it comes to heavy benching, I think it's best to make the Range of motion as small as possible. Which means that the bar should go the shortest distance. No suprise there. It's pure logic. How do you achieve it? By making the bar go straight. Not in any angle or with curves, but straight down, straight up. Only on set-up and rack should the bar move to other directions than up or down. That's the way I've learned and that's how I bench every time.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 am 
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Dub wrote:
It's good to start lighter when your technique is off. But don't be too scared to move towards heavier as well. Take your time , but don't get stuck on the small details that aren't really putting you under a risk of injury. Nobodys technique is ever perfect, if you are doing things right, you are honing your technique in every rep of every set, no matter the intensity. You do the movement light because it's easier to fix, there are no intenisty-induced faulty movement patterns. Using video recording is a great way to see the truth in your own movement. If possible, film your bench and analyze it.

Whenever someone is aking about Bench pressing, I like to refer to Dave Tate. And more precisely, "You think you can bench" -video seires in youtube. It's putting together so much information on form of the bench, and the same tips are seen everywhere on bench articles and seminars.

On bar path, especially when it comes to heavy benching, I think it's best to make the Range of motion as small as possible. Which means that the bar should go the shortest distance. No suprise there. It's pure logic. How do you achieve it? By making the bar go straight. Not in any angle or with curves, but straight down, straight up. Only on set-up and rack should the bar move to other directions than up or down. That's the way I've learned and that's how I bench every time.


I will absolutely progress in intensity.

Regarding the bench "groove." I posted above his argument for not a perfect vertical movement. He writes quite a bit regarding how it's bad for the shoulder. You are not buying into this? He does say that "Moment Arm" is a lifting inefficiency, but that it is a necessary evil for health.

I will look for the videos, thanks.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:46 am 
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The illustration is quite weird in my sense. Sure, the proper bar path may not be totally vertical, but very close to it. Here's why it looks a bit off.

*)The bar positioning after set up. In the upper photo and most likely in the idea that you ask, the bar is over you upper chest and neck. Where I usually move it when setting up, is around the mid-chest/nipple -area. Now, when you pull down your shoulders, adduct and depress your scapulae, and tuck your elbows, this is where the range of motion is the shortest, and where the movement is in my honest opinion, safest. Try it out yourself too. It's quite natural:
- Go lying on the ground, lift your arms to a bench press position.
- Pull your shoulders to the ground
- Adduct and depress the scapulae, aka activate traps and rhomboids.
- Tuck the elbows a bit. Where are your arms now? Most likely over the mid-chest.

I hardly see how getting tight and stable would make you injury prone. I think most shoulder issues while benching are caused by a lack of mobility, false movement patterns or a poor set-up. I'm no expert on benching, more like referring to my own experiences and a couple of solid expert views.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:10 am 
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Dub, how about your elbow position? If you look at the last illustration, the elbow is at 90 degrees where the dreaded shoulder impingement happens (as he claims). He says that elbow angle will determine where the bar hits your chest at lower position. As you can see on the left the elbow is between 45-90 (prob 60?) degrees.

Would you have any idea how far your elbows flare out? I can't imagine that 90 degrees would be comfortable..

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:34 am 
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if you keep your elbows tucked then you'll naturally follow the line Rip recommends.

Watch these videos, then watch them again

http://train.elitefts.com/instructional ... -parts1-7/


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:40 am 
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Rippetoe is right, flaring elbows and having them at 90 degrees or so will most likely be unhealthy to shoulders.

I'd go on the same methods as I do push-ups. My torso and my arms form an arrow. Not a T. It's important to tuck the elbows. One side is that you get more triceps and pecs together involved. Then there is health benefits. I would say my elbow angles are around 35-65 degrees, pretty close to 45 would be optimal and where I aim at.

I still don't see how tucking your elbows raises the bar on down position. Maybe a little, yes. But if you still set-up correctly, you should end up with the bar in it's place over the mid-chest Just like in picture 2 on the left. The right one has the elbows flared and the bar is higher on the chest. It's a bit contradictory on what you are saying.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Dub wrote:
But if you still set-up correctly, you should end up with the bar in it's place over the mid-chest Just like in picture 2 on the left. The right one has the elbows flared and the bar is higher on the chest. It's a bit contradictory on what you are saying.

I think we are talking about the same thing, then. At the top of the movement, the bar is directly over the shoulder. At the bottom of the movement--with tucked elbows--it is over mid chest. I guess this is what Rip calls "sacrificing efficiency" for shoulder health as maximal leverage would be moving along a vertical "groove."

What I can't figure out is the movement up. It's easy to touch your chest at the same position and keep elbows at same angle. But the bar simply doesn't go up (top position) to being over the shoulder joint; instead, it is in front of it. I'm using a ceiling cue and can definitely see that it does not hit that starting top position. Instead of a slightly diagonal movement backwards, the movement is straight over mid chest, in front of the shoulder joint.

Watched the videos and they don't really address this. Just add some different opinions to Rip. Foot positioning being one.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:48 pm 
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robertscott wrote:
if you keep your elbows tucked then you'll naturally follow the line Rip recommends.


Not happening.. I see where the bar is at initial lockout after un-racking. It keeps hitting a point in front of that position at subsequent rep lockouts. It almost feels as though I lockout and then have to move laterally back to get to that position. Do you use a ceiling cue as he recommends or do you just stick with whatever feels natural?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:03 pm 
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when I'm set up as good and tight as I can be, there really isn't much option for the bar. That being said, for me, I push straight up as far as I know with very slight drift towards the head.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:19 pm 
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hmm, it's a shame that KPj is so busy these days, he'd be able to sort you out.

Maybe send him a PM, I'm sure he wouldn't mind. He hardly ever checks in anymore though so I dunno when he'd get back to you.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:56 pm 
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I edited the OP hopefully it is clearer and more concise now. Sent a PM to KPj. I can definitely see why Rip writes "finding the groove pathway is the most frustrating for a lifter" and Tate also speak about the difficulty of fixing an incorrect motor pathway.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:08 pm 
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The illustrations are very much what I believe to be good technique. I actually touch lower than that on my chest. From my point of view when I'm benching, it looks like it's going straight up, but ends up over my shoulders.

The elbows should be at about 45 degrees at the bottom. They will naturally flare as you approach lock-out, and that's OK. What's bad is when they are flared at the bottom.

Get a broomstick or very light bar. Get into benching position (which is a whole other set of arguments) and lay the bar on your chest about where you think your touch point should be. Have a friend eye-ball your arms. Adjust you grip width and the touch point until your forearms are vertically, both when viewed from the side, and from the foot of the bench, and the upper arms are at a bout a 45 degree angle from the trunk. There, you have a good approximation of your ideal grip width and touch point. From there press the bar up and put it where it feels balanced over your shoulders. Move it back and forth between the newly-established touch point (your friend can help you be consistent) and this lock-out position. Repeat 3,000 times or so. Then start adding weight.

If you've been benching with a radically different technique than this, go slowly in progressing weight, although you will be able to do it pretty quickly back to your previous strength level. Just practice a lot with weights that still feel fairly light to you.

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