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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I'm curious, Jo. How wide is your bench grip?
I've never measured, but I go to ~1" inside the rings that are cut in the knurling, whatever width that is. When I do close grips I put my hands on the inside edge of the knurling, right up against the un-knurled portion of the bar. That's on a standard bar, I'm not sure if it's the same on a Texas Power Bar, I really like those bars, but they're to much for the average gym.
 

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On a day when you don't eat good I think there is a very high chance of getting a lot of "strength bleed off" from too much work prior to the target lift.

Seems like you did 140 reps total pressing, and 70 reps for pulling. If it were me, I'd cut back on some presses and add some more pulling... 50 reps of warmups, 60 reps of target lift, then another 30 reps after? Looks more of a size program to me.

Even when I had the tools to bench or incline, I very seldom did it aside from Db work. Training alone always had me favor Db's over barbells for the bench. *But point being I sure am not as strong as you, so take this all with a grain of salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
You know, you're right, I hadn't thought of the movements I'm doing, I don't need more size, but I do like the strength side.

From time to time I toy with the idea of getting more defined, higher reps, less weight that sort of thing, but never seem to follow thru with it.

The heavy weights are like a drug to me, and it's hard to break that habit, especially, and I know it's an excuse, but when you lift alone it's hard.

Excellent analysis Belnik, I DO appreciate the thoughts and will adjust accordingly. It's good to have another set of eyes sometimes, thanks. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Thanks for the message Jojo.........

Due to going to a night shift and having a tear in my right shoulder, I haven't been able to lift lately.

Keep up with the lifts. I'll get back into it before long and have my own stories to share. :)
I look forward to hearing from you, hopefully I'll have some good stuff by then!
 

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Good stuff brother! I was in the gym today (2 weeks back after 4 months off sucks!) and just thinking how many hours in 30 some yrs have I spent in the gym? Virtually countless. And though life doesn't always agree, in your heart you just know you belong here. The fountain of youth! Keep pushing guys!
 

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I DO appreciate the thoughts and will adjust accordingly. It's good to have another set of eyes sometimes, thanks. :thumb:
If you had a few sets of DB flys in there it would have looked a lot like what I was doing for years!
When I dropped all but one movement, thats when I started to jump up fast in the weights.

I was stuck at 250 in the bench for more than a year... (weak and small I know!) When I dropped all the extra work, my bench (a bottom position bench with thick bar) went up to 300 in just months.

Your PR is way more, but I'm guessing theory may work the same for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Yes your right, right now I'm going thru a hodge poge of workouts, having done something quite different for some time now.

I had attempted to give up heavy weights, unsuccessfully, and during that time I had read that older people :)confused:) responded well to One heavy set per exercise. I tried it and it worked well for a while, I felt better, more energy, better attitude, and stronger. Then work got in the way and I was intermittent at best for a while and that knocked me for a loop. So once again I try to get re-started, only to have work/rotating shift knock me back again.

So, here I am trying to emerge from the chaos and get together a good program. I will most likely get away from lots of heavy sets, but I WILL do at least one or two heavy sets, on the power lifts, per week. If I can put it together and get some results, then I have a BIG goal in mind, but thats yet to be done, I have seen it in my mind, so it will happen....sometime.
 

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You don't happen to have that info saved, or a link to it...about the one heavy lift? I'd like to read it if possible.

In the past, 2 top, heavy sets (after warmup) were what I'd do for my compound lifts...worked great. Unfortunately when you change a program to something quite different than you have been doing, and get great results, you never really know if its the new program being better, or just the fact that there's a change of stimulus. (as I've had great results at times with different methods)

I've come to conclude its most often the "change" that counts. But I have also come to believe that you (well, I) have to work any program for enough time to build some sort of foundation with it, before making a change to another. The hard part is knowing how long...and I honestly don't know how to actually be sure of that part. Probably different for everybody, to a degree? I guess that's the "art" of lifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
You don't happen to have that info saved, or a link to it...about the one heavy lift? I'd like to read it if possible.
Ni sir I'm sorry I didn't, it was one of those long quiet nights at work, I was searching for ideas for men over 50 and came across that one. If I get a chance I'll try to see if I can find it again. It did work for several months, and possibly could still be working, if the routine hadn't been disrupted.

I agree, knowing when to stop something and change routines is the key, sometimes I know, sometimes I'm to caught up in the success of the current program that I don't see it for some time. As a general rule, for me, 4-6 months is the time for a change, and when building, increasing weight at a set progression, 6-8 weeks is the maximum before at least a one week deviation, then I'm good again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Just got back from the gym about an hour ago, it started off not that good, a lot of pain in my right shoulder. Many years ago, I had a spotter, a guy I didn't really know that I asked to spot me (mistake) miss a spot on heavy (365lbs) inclines and it tweeked my right shoulder something terrible. I couldn't bench for almost a year, my doctor wanted to do surgery on my rotator cuff, but I said no and worked to strengthen my shoulder on my own. Anyway I think the pain I am getting is a remnant of that old injury. I started feeling pretty good then went to pot,.....and came back.

Chest & Back (supposed to be heavy)

Normal warm ups, dumbbell curls, shoulder work, twists and such.
Incline Bench
135X10X2
225X5X1
295X5 (one full, painful rep, and 4 half-three quarter reps)
225X7X1 ( I had resigned to a crap wo, and was trying to salvage something
at the end of this set my shoulder was starting to feel pretty good)
225X10X3 (with 3 sec pause, did the pause because I was leery about going heavier)
Incline dumbells
110X10X3 (felt like old times, light and smooth, thought about going up for a second or two, then felt the shoulder twinge and gave up that thought)

Back (which was wasted by this time)
pulldowns, wide grip
150X10X2
180X10X2
Wide parallel (still wish I had a narrower parallel bar)
180X10X2
Low pulls (I watch these since my back isn't the best, or even close)
150X10X2
180X10X1
210X10X1
225X10X1

Sauna!! :thumb:

I pounded inclines hard, once I came out of the slump. I didn't hit my goal, but I feel like I set myself up good for next week, I think I can blow past my short term goal.

I measured (?) my grip using my hand width, and came up with roughly 21" for flat competition bench, 12" for close grips, and 19" for Inclines, all those measurements are between index fingers.
Closer feels better on my shoulder on inclines. Strange, on flat bench my elbows feel good keeping them further out, on inclines they feel good back under.
 

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I wisht I had a pulldown machine Jo. My lifting partner and I were talking about buying one, yet again, just last week. The problem is, we need something affordable, say, under $700 or so, but still a good robust machine. He bought a couple for his weight lifting class (he teaches HS weight training) and they were nothing like he was promised. We're kind of 'once bit, twice shy'.

If I may make a suggestion on your benches? 12" is too close. It just is. A grip that narrow is hard on your wrists and forces your elbows to flair, rather than be able to keep them under the bar.

When I was younger (and smaller, more narrow), I was able to use a 15" grip. Then a little bigger a little stronger and my thicker triceps and lats forced me out a bit wider, about 16". The same thing has happened again and now I'm moving outward from 17" a little bit, otherwise my lats and tri's force my elbows out closer to 45 degrees, rather than stay under the bar.

My $.02 worth, do with it what you will! :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I appreciate the advice, it's ALWAYS welcome! I did notice the tension on my wrists when I do that, but I had always thought it was just part of the game, now, when I think about it, it makes sense that we want to keep the elbows under the wrist for maximum tricep involvement, good call! :thumb: I'm going to adjust.....you're really in trouble now! :D:

I made an initial measurement on my hand width for straight wrists, and I come up at 16-17" Today is Arms/Shoulders day so I'll give it a try. :thumb:

I initially made my own equipment using an old Lincoln arc welder and metal I got from any yard I could find. Now there's place here called Metal by the Foot that makes is easier and more economical.

My pulldown used 4" I beam for the uprights, that sat on top of 6" channel that was also used for the seat, knee stop brace. Maybe some heavy duty pulleys attached to carriages on ceiling joists in the garage would work, I've been that route before. I made up a box carriage that I set my weights on and a simple guide with 2X4's to keep it reasonably straight, crude but it worked until I got my machine built.
 

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I agree if you're going with a pulldown machine for your own home gym, go home made.

I've always favored a pullup bar and a chin/dipping belt over the machine, but I would make one if I were in a home not an apt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Okay Arms/Shoulders day, the Arms side was g-o-o-d I guess, the Shoulders side was a victim of time, not enough of it (per my Wife).

Warm-ups, per normal routine, felt good.
Dumbbell curls :
60X10X3
65X4-60X3-55X3 (dropping set, started good but real tough by the 55's)
Seated curls
50X10X2 (tried to turn the pinkie finger out real hard, great flex)

Close grips : 17" grip (grip width was really comfortable :thumb:)
135X10X1
225X10X2
275X8X2 (shoulders hurt a bit, causing the elbows to come out)
245X10X2 (felt better, still some problem keeping the elbows in)
Somewhere along the way I've allowed my form to move towards elbows further out and now when I moved the back in it's a bit painful (that's probably why..)
Skull crushers with curl bar:
150X10X3 (w/cg's off the chest at the end of the set, felt good)
Pushdowns:
100X10X3 (loosing pump)
Seated military press:
135X10X2 (warm-up)
wife shows up, workout over :(

I'll have to make up some shoulders next time. Overall felt pretty good, I'll have to work it pretty danged hard if I have a hope of catching Flattop :D:
 

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I used to use one but got away from squats, heavy ones anyway, since I didn't care for my knees aching all the time, I still squat but without a belt.

I can do heavy hip sleds, and not get the knee aches. If I go over 400lbs on squat, which is regularly, I get aches. I can go over 1000 lbs on the hip sled and not have any problems.

I do hope I'm calling it the right thing, what I call the hip sled is the leg press that moves upwards at a 45 deg angle. I do like the vertical leg press a LOT too. Unfortunately I sold mine 15 years or so ago, I did love that thing...
Yeah, my L4 and 5 ain't always happy with my lifting either. I often use a motorcycle kidney belt, much wider than a weight belt, with a lot more velcro and back support.

Is this a hip sled?

 

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Some of us may use different words or names to describe the same thing, so posting pics is good.

The top picture is what I have always know as a hack squat machine (one of the designs anyway.) the bottom pic. is set up like the standard leg sled/leg press, of the two I favor the hack sq. machine...although I am not much into the machines.

They should never have used that female model for that machine, as she is not really fitting into it right, it looks like shes doing a crunch of some sort. Her head/neck should not be pushed forward.

Both pictures give an example of what I don't really like, if you imagine removing the machines, and orienting the models so they were standing, with a bar on their shoulders their form would not allow much weight to be lifted. The black guy is more in a trapbar DL position, if his arms moved. And honestly that's was the main reason I ever used a leg sled, for working as an accessory to the DL.

Back when I did more direct leg work i came to favor the "Bulgarian split squat" done with both barbell or dumbbells (I started with the DBs). using less total weight really helped my back, yet the overload on one leg at a time really added strength and size. I highly recommend split squats, there will be a learning curve, but I found it well worth it.
 
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