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Learning from my mistakes...

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by BCR, Dec 8, 2007.


  1. BCR

    BCR
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    BIGASS!!!!

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    Haven't posted in a while, sadly because I am making ZERO progress. LOL

    My idea of doing a Westide routine was quite exciting, but didn't get much in the results department.

    One big road block that I mentioned before; for some strange reason when I started lifting at home, I lost an honest 10lbs off all my lifts. Not sure if my weights are heavier, or just the atmoshpere change or what. But it took me a few months just to regain the 10 lbs I lost off my PR's. Kinda bizzare.

    Another reason is I followed Westside to a "T", which just didn't jive with my raw lifting.

    It was neat to do new bench styles like floor presses and 2, 3, 4, and 5 board presses, setting all kinds of new records. But I totally failed to train for power right off the chest. Geared benching is more about lockout, complete opposite for raw.

    So I was able to lockout decent weight, but my actual flat bench never went up, since I had no added power off my chest.

    Squats took a nose dive as well. I was only doing box squats, which went very well, and worked up to a PR of 325 off a 12" box. Which was good for me.

    But when I went to do regular squats my form went all to hell and they felt horrible. Turns out I was using the box as a crutch almost. I had to start squatting again with just 135 to get my form down, and not plop on to my butt!

    And my beloved deads just stagnated. I was alternating squats and deads every workout, so only doing each twice a month. Just didn't work for me.

    And I now realize working up to and trying to break a 1RM every workout might work for some, but not me.

    I still think the Standard Template that is based on Westside will work for a raw lifter, but they need to do 3RM-5RM and stick with things like paused reps for benching (for example) to build strength off the chest.

    So I've been picking up the pieces in the last couple of months, and learning from my mistakes.

    I now do 5 week cycles for the 3 lifts, and do sets of 5 reps. I add 10 lbs each week, and on the 5th week, that should be a new 5 rep PR by 5lbs, if all goes as planned. For example, if my 5RM was 225 on bench, it would look like this:

    Week 1: 190x5, 3 sets
    week 2: 200x5, 2 sets
    week 3: 210x5, 2 sets
    week 4: 220x5, 2 sets
    week 5: 230x5, 2 sets

    week 1: 195x5 (same # of sets)
    week 2: 205x5
    week 3: 215x5
    week 4: 225x5
    week 5: 235x5

    This seems to be working, but I've only completed one cycle for each of the lifts. In a couple of weeks, the 2nd cycles will be complete and I can see how it is working.

    All assistance work is the same as I was doing previously.

    I've also had annoying shoulder pains that were bothered by benching, any shoulder work and squats (holding the bar). Still dealing with this.

    And I adopted a wider benching grip that took some time getting used to.

    I also now do "low bar" squats, as opposed to "high bar" squats that were more bodybuilding oriented. This was a HUGE hurdle for me. At first I could barely keep an empty bar in the low bar position, and it felt like the bar was going to drop off my back. But now I have the low bar position wired, and they feel good.

    WOW that was a long post. Hope I didn't bore anyone. If I think of anything else I'll post it up.

    Feel free to ask me any questions about my ......er, failures, or specifics about new routine exercises, reps sets or whatever.

    Seem to be making forward progress again finally!
     

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. TurboRocket

    TurboRocket
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    Sorry to hear about your stall, but good that you seem to be back on track. I'd think some of this stall may be attributable to difference in weights of your plates and barbell. My 45s vary slightly from one to another. Heck, some of the plates are even slightly bigger in diameter than another of the same weight. I've also weighed my 3 barbells, and they all vary by about a pound or so.

    I never paid much attention to high vs. low bar squats. Will have to look that up, and which I actually use.
     

  3. DBradD

    DBradD
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    Hang in there dude. I can identify with no progress, LOL!

    It's good that you seem to be ready to crank it back up again.

    Could going wider be hurting your shoulder? I think my shoulders feel best when I keep my arms about 45 deg. to my torso at the bottom. Just a thought.

    Low bar squats definitely will allow you to lift heavier. As for holding it there, I always tried to roll the bar up my back, which seemed to stabilize it.
     
  4. BCR

    BCR
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    BIGASS!!!!

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    Yeah, it was just amazing how heavy everything felt all of the sudden.

    I was also working out at a totally different time of day, which might have added to it.

    I've never weighed my 3 barbells, but my GF bought me a Texas Power Bar, which is a beatiful machined, competition legal bar. So I know it weighs 45lbs. LOL
     
  5. BCR

    BCR
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    BIGASS!!!!

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    I actually just this month started gripping wider for benching, so that didn't cause my shoulder injury.

    I started doing Bradford presses and hurt it that way. I know the exact time that I hurt it, and just didn't give it time to heal. After that just about everything bothered it.

    I've found that a wide grip can actually be easier on the shoulders. It shortens the ROM a little, which in turn creates less shoulder rotation/stress when the bar touches your chest.

    Plop yourself on a bench with an empty bar. Use a narrow grip and lower the bar to your chest and see/feel where your upper arms are in relation to your shoulder.

    Now do the same thing with a wide grip (index finger on the rings for me), and see how it feels. It might be minimal, but for me the wide grip feels better, and I can feel there is less shoulder rotation.

    We're all different though. So it could feel worse for you. But my "bench press specialist" buddy recommended this and as usual, he was correct.

    I can also get a better arch with a wide grip for some reason.

    As for squat bar placement, I have pitiful rear delts and largish traps (I was addicted to shrugs for a long time). So the bar had no where to sit properly for low bar placement. Or so I thought.

    Low bar feels more stable now, as the bar sits on a wider platfrom (shoulders), as opposed to teetering on my traps.

    Thanks for the kind words guys!
     
  6. California Jack

    California Jack
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    I'm sorry. I'd like to say something productive, however I've had a few beers tonight and can't really follow what is going on. I'll read it tomorrow and at least be able to sympathize.

    Good to hear from you Brad.

    Jack
     
  7. California Jack

    California Jack
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    That seems wide to me. Is that your grip when you competed?
     
  8. DBradD

    DBradD
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    About that. I think that's pretty much CF-standard for pushups. Not sure why it seems wide? Lots of gym rats have their arms 90 deg. to their torso.
     
  9. BCR

    BCR
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    BIGASS!!!!

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    Looking forward to it!

    Have a good night.
     
  10. BCR

    BCR
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    BIGASS!!!!

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    90 degrees to my torso is what I used for a long time. I don't like it anymore.

    I take the widest legal grip possible (not that I compete), which is index finger touching the rings on the bar, 32" apart.
     
  11. California Jack

    California Jack
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    Hold on there partner, I take umbrage at that remark! You, you. you bodybuilder. Take that.

    Check This out........... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y8yKSJbpFI&feature=related
     
  12. BCR

    BCR
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    BIGASS!!!!

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    LOL! Good stuff.

    I don't think I've ever seen a true bodybuilder do low bar, or a true powerlifter do high bar.

    Luckliy, I am neither. LOL
     
  13. DBradD

    DBradD
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  14. California Jack

    California Jack
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    That is amazing.
     
  15. DBradD

    DBradD
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    Yeah, I'm not sure if I can even do a single OHS with my bodyweight. Probably can, but it'd be a max and I'd have a fair chance at damaging something.

    If CF has taught me anything, it's that there doesn't need to be any special treatment for female athletes. There are lots of them who can do muscle-ups, 30-40 pullups straight, HSPUs, DL 2.5-3.5x bodyweight, overhead press BW+, etc.
     
  16. BCR

    BCR
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    BIGASS!!!!

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    Pfffffft! I could do that if I didn't have, my, errrrrr.......low ceiling in my basement.

    Yeah......that's it! LOL

    That was awesome stuff. Very impressive.
     
  17. ateamer

    ateamer
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    NRA4EVR

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    Westside works just fine for raw lifters. The best bench press special exercises for an unequipped lifter would be bench press, one and two board presses, military press, incline bench and floor press. You are still working toward increasing your 1RM, so it is essential to do 1RM work. You can do those triples, but stick with mostly singles. Frequently changing the main exercise also has the benefit of keeping the central nervous system fresh. The more advanced the lifter, the quicker the CNS will stagnate on a particular lift. I believe at Westside, a lot of lifters change the main lift every workout. When I was doing conjugate training, I would rotate exercises every two or three weeks. Any more than three weeks and the next week would almost every time see a decrease in the lift. By frequently changing exercises, and maybe every three mini-cycles doing some higher-rep work, I had few problems with constantly training heavy - much heavier on a consistent basis than I could do with more traditional training.

    As far as adding weight each week for the dynamic work, it shouldn't necessarily be based on a defined progression. Base your weight on bar speed. If the bar is going faster, then you can add weight. If it is slowing down, then lower the weight - and figure out why you are losing speed.
     
  18. California Jack

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    I'm not that edumacated in WSB theory, but I would think flat and inclined dumbell bench with both parallel and normal grip would be good for RAW lifters too.