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comment by veen
veen  ·  1699 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fitness Crazed

I've been going to the gym biweekly now for a couple of months, mostly for fun and to chat and sport with friends. I want to get a bit more serious so I asked someone to help me bench press. I think I'm gonna look into this book, it seems like a simple enough schedule.

Small excerpt from the book:

    The reason that isolated body part training on machines doesn’t work is the same reason that barbells work so well, better than any other tools we can use to gain strength. The human body functions as a complete system –it works that way, and it likes to be trained that way. It doesn’t like to be separated into its constituent components and then have those components exercised separately, since the strength obtained from training will not be utilized in this way. The general pattern of strength acquisition must be the same as that in which the strength will be used.

combined with this:

    Most gym owners, for example, want you to walk in the door on Jan. 2 and think, Hey, this looks easy. I can do this. So they buy stationary cardio and strength machines that anybody can use without hurting themselves

Well shit, I know what I won't be doing anymore. Had a hunch that weights were better for me, but those machines are just so easy (even though I'm often too tall for them).

cliffelam  ·  1699 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not a huge fan of barbells for a lot of exercises - you can easily pull small muscles if you have bad form and get off line. I use them for biceps because I have a bad left wrist (old break, badly healed) but otherwise I stick with bars and weights.

I do 6-10 sets of 10 reps on the flat bench, three sets of ten each incline and decline, working to failure on each set. Then I do three sets of back workouts - high row, low row, back extension. That is my chest/back routine.

I do 6-10 sets of 10 reps of alternating seated dumb-bell curls and super-set them with shoulder raises. Then I do 3 sets of ten isolation curls with dumb-bells super-setted with Arnold raises. Then I do three sets of preacher curls with dumb-bells and use a weighted bar to do shoulder pull-ups. That is my arm/shoulder routine.

I usually use a rope on a universal machine to do tricep pull downs/extensions, either three heavy sets of one or two sets of both.

I also run regularly, alternating longish (10K) and hard runs.

My goal is to scare the 16 year old boys that are around my daughter. The smart ones take me seriously. :-)


nowaypablo  ·  1699 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'm not a huge fan of barbells for a lot of exercises - you can easily pull small muscles if you have bad form and get off line.

I just want to add on the topic of form: I've been working out pretty seriously (at least relative to anyone I know) along with varsity wrestling and training for frequent Spartan Races. Having perfect form is truly not that difficult imo, because lifting with perfect form is simply your body's most natural way of lifting something. Try doing the motions without any weights at all, look at yourself in the mirror and then close your eyes and picture your muscle movement. Unless you're doing an "untraditional" or otherwise awkward isolation exercise, you will witness your perfect form. In Kai Greene's Train With Kai videos, you often see him applying pinpoint pressure with his fingers on the muscle that his student is working (2:37). This doesn't help him lift more, it makes him aware of the muscle and allows him to feel the contraction. I've done it a thousand times with all my workout buddies and it perfects your form. It's all awareness.

And as a 16-year-old boy, for the love of god I don't need to be scared of you any more than I already am, please put your gun (and guns!) away.

cliffelam  ·  1699 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Don't be scared of the dads with guns, be scared of the dad who doesn't need guns....

I do actually always warm up with an empty bar to regularize my form and breathing. After 30+ years of lifting, I have a lot of muscle memory.


PS - If you meet a dad with a daughter and think: "that guy probably pulled when he was young," then you've met a dad who can see through you.

nowaypablo  ·  1698 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Would you prefer that I went level with you, like man-to-man (with obvious respect, 'sir' etc.) or should I just cower in fear and avoid conversation?