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Stick to the basics for best results

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  • Stick to the basics for best results

    The questions and myths about bodybuilding are as rampant as the ones about 9mm vs .40 vs.45 debates. There is no magic formula, pill, or workout "routine" that will turn you into a muscle freak. It takes hard work (training) done in a SMART manner, proper diet, plenty of rest, and forget all the miracle claims about supplements, growth pills, etc. Ever look at the supplements you or someone you know take? Ever see that part where it says something to the effect of:"This product has not been evaluated by the FDA"? That should throw up a big red flag.

    Also, those "before and after" photos are nothing more than promotional propaganda. Someone else said it on these forums and I'll repeat it here. The models are already in shape, put on fat, take "before pics," burn the fat off and look great then take "after" pics, and the companies claim you "may" see results like these if you use product X...with that nifty little caption of "individual results may vary." Another red flag.

    A good friend of mine and co-worker is a NGA Heavyweight (200lb+) Pro in the Natural (drug free) division (David Gallahan, Jr.). You can see him from 3 years ago here: http://bodybuildingsenior.com/bbs/index.php?p=friends

    He has since gotten a little bigger and just this year actually won his pro card. He is also a fulltime police officer, and my former partner on the graveyard shift.

    There are 4 main exercises everyone should use in their workouts. These are the "staples" for any type of bodybuilding (ie strength training) program.

    Bench Press
    Squat
    Dead Lift
    Military Press

    Aside from these 4, you'll also want to target other muscles in whatever variety of exercises you choose to use. But here is the SMART part of working out...DON'T OVER DO IT. Far too often I see guys in the gym who are trying to copycat what the models on the cover of Muscle & Fitness are supposedly doing. Big mistake. For starters, roid freaks are cheaters and completely unnnatural, so not even going to go there.

    Most people dive into the gym with a mindset of 3-4 sets x 10 reps a set, and 4-6 exercises per muscle group. Way overtraining for diminishing returns. Back it down for better gains.

    I never use sets of 10. The most I do are 3-5 reps for 5 sets on that particular exercise. I also only do 2-3 exercises per muscle group, and work out 4 days a week: Mon-Tue and Thur-Fri. I try and limit my workouts to 1 hour a day. Now to some, this seems like it woudn't do anything. This is where lack of knowledge, hype, etc come into play.

    For starters, proper form and technique are the single greatest factors you need to concentrate on. I don't know how many guys I see in the gym doing the Bench Press and this is what they do:

    1. Feet on the edge of the bench.
    2. Lower back arched up off the bench 8+ inches.
    3. Hands too close together on the bar.
    4. Bounce the weight off their chest.
    5. Let the weight drop too rapidly, and after the chest bounce, their feet are digging into the bench, their backs are arched to the point of lower lumbar injury, and they are NOT breathing out.

    If you fall into this category, you're an idiot that doesn't know what in the hell you're doing.

    A proper bench press would be as follows:

    1. Feet on the floor for a solid base and stability.
    2. Lower back barely off the bench (see next step).
    3. Shoulders pressed tight and into the bench, which will force your chest out more (less bar travel distance), and will naturally arch your lower back slightly.
    4. Hands just beyond shoulder width apart to put emphasis on your pectorals (chest) and not your triceps (close grip hits triceps).
    5. Lower the weight with a 1-2 count and push up with the 1-2-3 count, in a SMOOTH and FLUID motion. Do not, for any reason, bounce the weight off your chest.
    6. Don't let your elbows drop below the bench.

    Follow these guidelines and you'll NATURALLY increase your strength, size and efficientcy with less risk of injury.


    More to come, as this will probably be a long and on-going post by me. Feel free to ask any specific workout questions.
    Shot placement > caliber. Using a .45ACP means nothing if you can't hit your target. Practice, train, and do it all over again...and again...and again.

  • #2
    i was with you until you're benching tips.

    you need to stay tight throughout the movement. exhaling will cause you to lose tension. it also gives you more power....think of when your car breaks down and you need to push it, you take a deep breath and do what?? you HOLD it. you do that w/o thinking about it.

    a good arch is also not a bad thing as long as your *** stays on the bench.

    you say not to let your elbows drop below the bench....while this IS true, it could be misleading. your grip should be wide enough so that when the bar comes to your chest your elbows are in the right place....
    that might have been what you meant, but someone could misconstrue that to mean only come half way down to your chest to avoid elbows dipping too far.

    good post for the most part though, a lot of people here follow the same philosophy (myself included) its good that someone put it all out there though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ran out of time earlier...

      On the bench press tips, let me clarify. I use a 1-2 count on the way down, do NOT bounce the bar off my chest, and during the 1-2 on the way up I am indeed holding my breath. Once I get past the sticking point, on 3 I breathe out and start over again.

      Also, if you are going to use supplements, just find some good protein supplements and be done with it. Some people are going to disagree, but things like creatine are just hype. Your body can only absorb 5g of creatine a day (which you can get from meat) and anything beyond that is urinated away. Why then do companies that sell creatine want you to "load" with high doses and then "maintain"? Because they are treating it like a steroid, and they want you to use your supply up faster and go buy some more so they can make more money.

      What does excess creatine do for you? It makes you retain water (the bigger muscle appearance). That isn't muscle fiber you're seeing...just bloating.

      Eat right, use protein supplements, use proper form and technique, get plenty of rest, and let nature handle the rest.

      Oh and don't try stupid "fads" that seem extreme in the gym...you know the guys. Hanging upside down with weights tied to your nuts while doing squats or some such. If it doesn't look right (natural) it probably isn't.

      One last thing...

      There is absolutely no need to do additional warmup sets after you've warmed up the muscle group you are working. I have seen far too many people who will being doing "chest day," will do their warmups (low weight) on bench press, finish out their entire bench press exercise, and then go do something like dumbbell presses, only to start with a low weight again. You've already warmed up! Pick a comfortable, HEAVIER weight to work with, and knock it out.

      Oh, and put some clothes on. If you keep your muscles warm, you'll have a more productive workout. That thin strap of cloth you have running down your back may look good in the mirror, but really, who cares other than you?
      Last edited by CSIBPD; 10-24-2009, 06:25 PM.
      Shot placement > caliber. Using a .45ACP means nothing if you can't hit your target. Practice, train, and do it all over again...and again...and again.

      Comment


      • #4
        What...no pullups????!?!??!!?!?!?

        www.ShankAZombie.com

        Comment


        • #5
          For anyone who like me is an intermediate level lifter, check out Mark Rippetoe's book, Practical Programming. I bought it a couple of years ago after using his starting strength program.

          Rippetoe emphasizes just what the OP does in his post. Using compound lifts to make the most progress in the shortest amount of time. Here is the routine I developed using his program

          Week 1-

          Monday -
          Back Squats
          Bench Press
          Power Cleans

          Wednesday-
          Front Squats
          Military Press
          Deadlifts

          Friday-
          Back Squats (+5 pounds over Monday's weight)
          Bench Press (+2.5 pounds over Monday's weight)
          Power Cleans (+2.5 pounds over Monday's weight)

          Week 2-

          Monday -
          Back Squats (same weight as prior Friday)
          Military Press (same weight as prior Wednesday)
          Deadlifts (same weight as prior Wednesday)

          Wednesday-
          Front Squats (+5 pounds over prior Wednesday)
          Bench Press (same weight as prior Friday)
          Power Cleans (same weight as prior Friday)

          Friday-
          Back Squats (+5 pounds over Monday's weight)
          Military Press (+2.5 pounds over Monday's weight)
          Deadlifts (+5 pounds over Monday's weight)

          Then I repeat the cycle back at week 1. I have seen steady progress with this routine. Also I do cardio on off days from lifting.
          What is Perseverance?
          -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
          -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
          -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


          BOP - BPA - ICE

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
            For anyone who like me is an intermediate level lifter, check out Mark Rippetoe's book......
            whats your diet like? how long can you usually go on weekly progression before needing to reset? what is your rep/set scheme?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dr. Peebody View Post
              whats your diet like? how long can you usually go on weekly progression before needing to reset? what is your rep/set scheme?
              Notice the point where I said I was an intermediate level lifter. I have a lot of potential left to get stronger. I went 3 months before resetting last time. When I reset, I go back 3 weeks in the amount I am lifting.

              I follow Rippetoe's recommended rep and set scheme which is 3 sets of 5 reps. I also do 3 warm up sets of each exercise.

              I actually started lifting more than a year ago using Rippetoe's starting strength program. With that program you progress every single workout. Now that was a killer, but it got my bench press up over 50 pounds, and my squats/deads up over 100 pounds.
              What is Perseverance?
              -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
              -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
              -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


              BOP - BPA - ICE

              Comment


              • #8
                My body looked the best when I quit doing curls and crunches, read starting strength, and developed some muscled. After I pack on some more pounds I'll start working on those isolation exercises.

                Good post.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
                  Notice the point where I said I was an intermediate level lifter. I have a lot of potential left to get stronger. I went 3 months before resetting last time. When I reset, I go back 3 weeks in the amount I am lifting.

                  I follow Rippetoe's recommended rep and set scheme which is 3 sets of 5 reps. I also do 3 warm up sets of each exercise.

                  I actually started lifting more than a year ago using Rippetoe's starting strength program. With that program you progress every single workout. Now that was a killer, but it got my bench press up over 50 pounds, and my squats/deads up over 100 pounds.
                  i did SS last year too....had to stop at 10wks because i jacked up my shoulder powercleaning.....
                  how long did you run it for?
                  i never read PP, so i was just wondering how your program was set up.
                  i'm doing 5/3/1 now

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dr. Peebody View Post
                    i did SS last year too....had to stop at 10wks because i jacked up my shoulder powercleaning.....
                    how long did you run it for?
                    i never read PP, so i was just wondering how your program was set up.
                    i'm doing 5/3/1 now
                    I ran it for 20 weeks with two resets. It's simplicity was the thing I enjoyed the most about it. When I finished, I decided to switch over to other routines, where I made mediocre progress, and even lost ground.

                    I took a break from lifting that lasted about 3 months, however I decided to get back fully into lifting and use Rippetoe's program to do it.
                    What is Perseverance?
                    -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                    -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                    -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                    BOP - BPA - ICE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great post!!!! While I do not agree with all of it, but that is what this game is about, take in everything and weed out what does not work for you. I would add two exercises to your core basic, pull-ups, and barbell bent-rows, my back is one of my best body parts and I fully believe it is because every back workout I do pull-ups, deads, and bent rows.

                      The only thing I disagree with is the FDA opinion. The FDA only evaluates drugs, because natural food supplements cannot be patented, and the FDA must protect who lines their pockets, drug companies. It is like saying because the FDA does not evaluate multi's or fishoil, they are not good for you. Shoot!!! More people die in a year on asprin, about 3,000, than anyone ever did on Ma-Haung, aka ephedra.

                      Now agreed most supplements are hyped up model bull, but certain basics like multi, fishoil, glucosamine, are great. Personnally I would rather spend my money on meat, than a supplement. For years I spent about 200 to 300 bucks a month on supplements. It was not unitl I took that money invested it in meat, got my meals up to five a day, with about 3.5lbs meat spread between them, that my body took off.

                      Yes I eat approximately 24.50lbs meat a week, or 98lbs and month. Mostly lean chicken breast with no injected sodium, and steak. Got to have me a big fat ribeye at least once a week, or I will start clucking like a chicken.
                      Last edited by _GLOCK_; 10-27-2009, 11:47 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CSIBPD View Post
                        Ran out of time earlier...


                        Oh, and put some clothes on. If you keep your muscles warm, you'll have a more productive workout. That thin strap of cloth you have running down your back may look good in the mirror, but really, who cares other than you?
                        Lol, I totally agree, if you have any significant amount of muscle people know just by wearing regualr clothes. I mean in my gym these young pups wear these cut offs, and their nipps are showing. I mean come on, I do not want to see man nipp.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lol, I totally agree, if you have any significant amount of muscle people know just by wearing regualr clothes. I mean in my gym these young pups wear these cut offs, and their nipps are showing. I mean come on, I do not want to see man nipp.
                          __________________
                          Classic My Friend. That cracks me up every morning. My wife goes why don't you wear that (busting balls)

                          I love even more when they lift 10-20lbs to heavy-do one rep correct and 4 more "loud" without proper form" I love that guy.

                          Dude I have a new name-Nip awesome lol
                          MDRDEP:

                          There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
                            I ran it for 20 weeks with two resets. It's simplicity was the thing I enjoyed the most about it. When I finished, I decided to switch over to other routines, where I made mediocre progress, and even lost ground.

                            I took a break from lifting that lasted about 3 months, however I decided to get back fully into lifting and use Rippetoe's program to do it.
                            yeah same here, lost a lot of my gains by getting hurt and trying to lose some of the fat i gained during the program....

                            i was just going to do SS again, but it was a big sacrifice for me to cut out all cardio so 5/3/1 suited me better. the gains are good, but not as immediately noticable as in SS.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jcioccke View Post
                              Classic My Friend. That cracks me up every morning. My wife goes why don't you wear that (busting balls)

                              I love even more when they lift 10-20lbs to heavy-do one rep correct and 4 more "loud" without proper form" I love that guy.

                              Dude I have a new name-Nip awesome lol


                              We will call them Nippe Boys lol.

                              Comment

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