Restructuring approach to chest

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Wouter
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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by Wouter » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:49 am

I've just started playing around with doublés as CT calls them, for example:

Start the workout with 3x5 bench press and do 2x15 bench at a later time during your workout.
It's fun, and it's supposed to be a very good stimulus for the muscles.

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digger
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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by digger » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:17 am

Khronos8 wrote: Currently working out at a gym that has DBs up to 150 :grin: but I havent actually used them yet. My problem now is getting set up with 130+. Once I get them on my thighs I can finish getting in position, but picking both up from the floor is hell on my lower back.

Good grief 150 lbs dumbbell! I think I could roll one.

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by CorlessJohnJ » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:52 pm

Khronos8 wrote:Actually John, I've had the same issue. The way I solved it was to use cable handles to hang plates from the heaviest DBs they had. You thread the strap part of the handle through the center hole (or side grip) of the plate you want to use, wrap the flexible strap around the DB grip, then carabiner the strap to itself. The rubber grip of the handle should keep it from sliding out of the plate.

Alternatively, the place I was working out at also had some huge D rings it used for leg raise straps. I was able to use those to clip plates to the DB handle in roughly the same way (had to go through the side grip on the plate, the D ring wouldnt make it to the center hole). As an added bonus you get a bit of instability in the DB as a whole and you have to work harder to stabilize it.

On a related note, one of the things I've noted is that getting strong makes putting together a home gym set up very damn expensive. Almost all the affordable commercial benches out there have a weight limit around 300lbs. Me, plus what I put on the bar is almost always over 600. To say nothing of what I would have to spend on plates to do deadlift or squats.

Currently working out at a gym that has DBs up to 150 :grin: but I havent actually used them yet. My problem now is getting set up with 130+. Once I get them on my thighs I can finish getting in position, but picking both up from the floor is hell on my lower back.
Did you try picking them up off the floor and walking them over with you to the bench so you don't have to torque youre back?

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by Khronos8 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:05 pm

Heh, yeah. That works for the first set, but I'm not going to be getting up, carrying them over to the rack and re-racking them every set. I could just rest them on my thighs between sets too, but balancing that much weight on the top of my legs (essentially 260lbs) is not conducive to "rest" between sets (i.e. I've tried it). Also, after a set at that weight I'm more just trying to control the weight as I set it down, I dont have alot of "manipulation" strength at that point. I finish my set, deload to thighs, sit up, then place the DBs on the floor in a controlled manner. I dont just dump them at the end of the set like alot of the kids seem to (with much lighter weights!).

I may need to finally invest in a weight belt! Just to dead lift the damn DBs from the floor :con:

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by CorlessJohnJ » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:25 pm

Khronos8 wrote:Heh, yeah. That works for the first set, but I'm not going to be getting up, carrying them over to the rack and re-racking them every set. I could just rest them on my thighs between sets too, but balancing that much weight on the top of my legs (essentially 260lbs) is not conducive to "rest" between sets (i.e. I've tried it). Also, after a set at that weight I'm more just trying to control the weight as I set it down, I dont have alot of "manipulation" strength at that point. I finish my set, deload to thighs, sit up, then place the DBs on the floor in a controlled manner. I dont just dump them at the end of the set like alot of the kids seem to (with much lighter weights!).

I may need to finally invest in a weight belt! Just to dead lift the damn DBs from the floor :con:

Thats one thing I can not stand is a punch of kids lifting incorrectly and throwing weights around like they are strong. Dropping a weight doesn't show strength I believe it shows the exact opposite of it. There are a lot of kids that just go to the gym as a social hang out and its very irritating.

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by stuward » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:53 pm

Khronos8 wrote:Heh, yeah. That works for the first set, but I'm not going to be getting up, carrying them over to the rack and re-racking them every set. I could just rest them on my thighs between sets too, but balancing that much weight on the top of my legs (essentially 260lbs) is not conducive to "rest" between sets (i.e. I've tried it). Also, after a set at that weight I'm more just trying to control the weight as I set it down, I dont have alot of "manipulation" strength at that point. I finish my set, deload to thighs, sit up, then place the DBs on the floor in a controlled manner. I dont just dump them at the end of the set like alot of the kids seem to (with much lighter weights!).

I may need to finally invest in a weight belt! Just to dead lift the damn DBs from the floor :con:
Dumbbell Power Hooks

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:00 pm

why didn't I suggest those.
They work well for me. Not that I tested them under that load

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by Jungledoc » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:51 pm

Khronos8 wrote:Heh, yeah. That works for the first set, but I'm not going to be getting up, carrying them over to the rack and re-racking them every set. I could just rest them on my thighs between sets too, but balancing that much weight on the top of my legs (essentially 260lbs) is not conducive to "rest" between sets (i.e. I've tried it). Also, after a set at that weight I'm more just trying to control the weight as I set it down, I dont have alot of "manipulation" strength at that point. I finish my set, deload to thighs, sit up, then place the DBs on the floor in a controlled manner. I dont just dump them at the end of the set like alot of the kids seem to (with much lighter weights!).

I may need to finally invest in a weight belt! Just to dead lift the damn DBs from the floor :con:
Would it work better to stand up, then put the bells on the bench? Or on a second bench placed near the foot of the bench you're using? I know using 2 benches might cause trouble in a busy gym, but I'm just thinking.

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by Khronos8 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:32 am

I got to thinking the same thing Jungledoc, I'm going to give that a try next time.

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by robertscott » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:52 am

Khronos you're a damn strong mofo, I'm sure we'd all love to here about your training style, training history etc. if you'd care to tell us?

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by KPj » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:49 am

teafan wrote:Kpj (Spelt correctly this time :blackeye: ):

I managed to knock out a solid bench without any pain a couple of weeks ago... tried today and, again, fine.

Do you think it wise for me to utterly drop inclines, or chuck some in for a "pumper" towards the end? I want to push for size gains but my shoulders have felt so good I am afraid of pushing too far! (Many thanks for that advice by the way - I actually love training my back this much; my progress has been going up and up ever since! I even re-approached pull ups with renewed vigor.)

What sort of program would you have me do for my bench/chest? (I'm sounding like your #1 fan at the moment) No hurry, I only hit my chest once a week on a monday...

Also, I've been chucking in some tricep work recently (having never really "focused" on my arms) and I feel that has helped a bit... wondered what the best excercises I could do to forwards all three goals (size, strength, bench progress)?
Sorry had a crazy week. Anyway....

You're most important thing is technique. With beat up shoulders, you don't get away with messy reps like you'll see in most gyms. Plus, messy reps don't get you anywhere, anyway. People mostly learn that the hard way (I did and still do occasionally). Strength training really is a "skill".

If I were training you we would start with BB bench on an empty bar and I would just ramp the weight up until you struggled to maintain good technique. If you feel good/confident/comfortable, get some more sets in and around your max set i.e if 60KG is where you struggle, get a few sets in at 50-55KG. It doesn't really matter, we just want you to get comfortable with technique but also using a load that challenges you to stay in good technique (this will "cement" your form). However I wouldn't go over 5 good sets of 5. You don't want to run yourself to the ground - literally look at it as technique work. I largely play this by ear so it's hard to explain properly.

The load you end with would be governed by your technique. This is what I refer to as "fighting form" vs "fighting the weight" (which is why it's "up in the air" in terms of sets/reps i.e. "ramping"). At first, your max weight with good form will likely be much less than your max weight with messy form. Think of it as fighting form vs the weight on the bar. Improving technique will put more weight on the bar, and you should be able to put more on the bar every week for at least 4 weeks. When you think the next rep will be messy, stop, even if you don't hit 5. Just note it and aim to beat it.

I do this until it's like "driving to work" - this is an analogy I use a lot now. At first technique should be a little overwhelming and you'll need to consciously think about a lot of things at one time. After a few good sessions at it, it'll start to feel natural. Similar to when you first learn to drive, you need to think about everything you're doing but, eventually, you can hardly remember the journey to work because you're so used to doing it. This is what I call "cementing form" and what we would aim for with ramping sets of 5.

After that I would put on you onto something like 5-3-1 (which was definitely a good shout). You could go straight onto that btw. It's just, when I first teach someone to bench, or being them back to benching, in 4-6 weeks of ramping, you're (calculated) 1RM can be up by 20-30%, so I feel by doing this first, we can get more out of a pre-determined program like that.

Despite the long response it's actually really simple - just work on your form, and ramp up the weight, until you run out of gains that way, then move onto to something else.

For your volume, just go to DB inclines, pick a set/rep range and get better at it i.e. 5 x 10, 4 x 8 - I would go above the standard 25-30 reps anyway. 5 x 10 is extremely humbling. The important thing is to get better at what you do - this is what forces change. This will also "condition" you to add more.

Pick a good tricep exercise you're comfortable doing i.e. skull crushers if your elbows tolerate it well. Do it, and get better at it. This is all you really need. No point adding a barrage of exercises if you only need 1 or 2. I would keep the push downs just to burn out anything you have left.

In all instances here, you don't need to go "advanced PL" and you don't need to go "advanced BB". It's nice and basic, and basic is best.

So, in short that would be,
BB bench - Ramp, sets of 5
Incline DB Bench Press - 5 x 10 (or whatever)
Skull Crushers - 3 x 8-10
Push Downs - 3 x 8-10 (or whatever - a lot BB types like to use these for high reps just for maximal pump-age)

FYI - i would always add in something like elbow supported ext rotations, prone trap raises, or face pulls. I call it "apologising to your shoulders" - Just pick one for a couple of sets of 15 :smile:

Hope that reads well as I have typed it out rapidly....

KPj

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by teafan » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:25 am

Thanks Kpj, thats great

I'm gonna run a 531 routine on my bench and see how it goes - quick question though:

My gym's weights only go up in 2.5 kg units - obviously with 531's program stating you should increase by 5 pounds on upper body lifts which is roughly 2.5kg I have a balancing issue! Either I convince Brandon to buy some 1.25kg weights (which he probably wont - ego's are too high to use the 2.5kg weights) or come up with an alternative. Do you guys think it is utterly crazy to add a 2.5kg plate to one side only? Any ideas?

Cheers, did my first run on my new chest day and it felt good - can't wait to get stuck into it and progress further!

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by Proper Knob » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:32 am

teafan wrote:Do you guys think it is utterly crazy to add a 2.5kg plate to one side only?
Yep.
teafan wrote:Any ideas?
Buy your own and take them to the gym with you.

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:55 am

Buy ankle weights, or weighted gloves, or heavy collars, or anything that weighs about 2.5 lbs

I have weighted gloves (US < $20) that you stuff with 1/2lb weights, up to 2 lbs each glove.
Great for micro micro loading.
Slide right on end of bar.

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Re: Restructuring approach to chest

Post by stuward » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:33 pm

I have some chains that I made into weights. If you want something really cheap, fill baggies with sand and add a loop of string to hang them.

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