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Old March 19th, 2014, 11:10 AM   #81
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Rufus, I wouldn't worry about increasing resistance, in fact, I would discourage it completely. Don't use the machine either. Step away so your form is natural, don't bother with any weight and squat, top of thigh parallel, not lower. Get ATG out of your head... Use a machine for a leg press. Pre-exhaust with weightless squats, enough reps to fatigue you then ONE LEG press a weight you are comfortable doing 10 times. Use dumbells to weight your squats eventually and steer clear of the restricted path for a while... Do 2 sets. Keep reps to 12 or less. Do this until you get equalized in both legs. Unless you are confident that your legs are equalized everything else is a formula for an injury, especially using an unnatural path in a squat. Just my .02...
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Old March 19th, 2014, 02:39 PM   #82
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....Resistance is via a nitrogen filled cartridge. You CANNOT jerk the weight as you can with free weights. You are FORCED to use muscle contraction to get every mm of movement. Free weight "cheating" is impossible. Better feel than actual weight.......These are good quality movements, with resistance that is actually better than free weights. (no inertia).......
Unless you are a body builder, whose main focus is developing muscles for aesthetic reasons (size/symmetry/definition/etc…) I see no reason why Inertia is not a good thing. Constant resistance is good if you are trying to isolate say your biceps for instance, especially since at the top of most curling exercise you are simply supporting the weight with your structure and engaging your biceps very little, but unless you are body builder I don’t see the use.

In all real world activities, especially skating, there is a ton of inertia. I like to focus on training for general strength and explosiveness that crosses over to the real world. When I squat, press, oly lift, my focus is normally trying to move the weight as fast as I can by accelerating it (not using jerky sloppy form,) and create as much force as possible. When I squat for instance, (once I am past the light warm ups) I focus on lowering myself under control, head up, back straight (no rounding), and drop my but straight down between my legs like I am about to sit on the commode. Once I reach the bottom, I accelerate weight driving through my heels, and exploding through the lift, but still in control.

In my mind this is how real world works, and how most resistance is overcome, so I figure why not train the same way if your goals is to be the fastest/most powerful/explosive you that you can be. The body does not operate in most cases in an “isolated” state so I try not to spend too much time training “isolated things” I prefer compound movements as much as possible.
If body building is your thing (nothing wrong with that) then the goal is to do what it takes to develop the physique you desire, and once you have built a general amount of mass, you can fine tune it utilizing constant resistance/isolation amongst other many other techniques.

Also, I like box squats, chains, and various other techniques to help you get past sticking point in certain lifts, and help you to reach new PR’s, but I think for those starting off in a serious squat routine this is putting the cart in front of the horse. Kind of like a guy with 12” biceps trying to focus on getting both heads of the bicep to show using some specialized curling tactic, the focus there too should be generally building the biceps first.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 08:40 PM   #83
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Unless you are a body builder, whose main focus is developing muscles for aesthetic reasons (size/symmetry/definition/etc…) I see no reason why Inertia is not a good thing…..
For X amount of energy expended in a workout, if you move a weight too fast, or throw the weight, you will be robbing your muscle of some of the contractile benefit it could have had. This was proven years ago with a force plate. With a free weight, you can jerk it into movement. Then the weight becomes lighter from momentum. Your muscles work hard at the beginning, little in the middle and a bit at lockout. Use that same weight, and move it more slowly, no momentum, and you will get a better muscle building effect. More strength. Not explosive strength, but lifting strength. So in a sense, a weightlifting/strength building session IS a bit different than real life, if you want to get the most out of your time and effort. This of course would not apply to a power move like a clean. In a clean, you WANT to throw it.

This was all stuff I learned 30 years ago. But I haven't been real active in any serious lifting for some time. I am asking a lot of questions though to up my knowledge and discover new good techniques, or learn stuff that I never learned back in the day. I did re-confirm what I just stated in a training video I saw recently. A Mr. Olympia was coaching a student through a set, making various comments along the way, and on one rep he did comment, too fast. You threw that one. Slow and controlled. Slow and controlled builds muscle and strength. Whether for looks or for just being strong.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 10:15 PM   #84
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Also, I like box squats, chains, and various other techniques to help you get past sticking point in certain lifts, and help you to reach new PR’s, but I think for those starting off in a serious squat routine this is putting the cart in front of the horse. Kind of like a guy with 12” biceps trying to focus on getting both heads of the bicep to show using some specialized curling tactic, the focus there too should be generally building the biceps first.
2 totally different things above. In the first scenario you are talking about developing strength. In the second scenario you are talking about developing a look.

There is no better way of accommodating resistance for strength development than bands and chains and basing your workout routine off percentages of your 1 rep max.

Although I do agree if you have NEVER lifted before a base needs to be established. That is exactly what we did with Monique for the first 6 months or so. When she got to a point where straight bar weight and "traditional" exercises were getting "maxed out" we started incorporating chains and bands, based her training off what her current max was, and started doing more special exercises to develop her traditional lifts (box squats, floor presses, rack lockouts, etc) and she constantly hits PR's in those lifts which translate to PR's in the traditional lifts.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 10:23 PM   #85
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For X amount of energy expended in a workout, if you move a weight too fast, or throw the weight, you will be robbing your muscle of some of the contractile benefit it could have had. This was proven years ago with a force plate. With a free weight, you can jerk it into movement. Then the weight becomes lighter from momentum. Your muscles work hard at the beginning, little in the middle and a bit at lockout. Use that same weight, and move it more slowly, no momentum, and you will get a better muscle building effect. More strength. Not explosive strength, but lifting strength. So in a sense, a weightlifting/strength building session IS a bit different than real life, if you want to get the most out of your time and effort. This of course would not apply to a power move like a clean. In a clean, you WANT to throw it.

This was all stuff I learned 30 years ago. But I haven't been real active in any serious lifting for some time. I am asking a lot of questions though to up my knowledge and discover new good techniques, or learn stuff that I never learned back in the day. I did re-confirm what I just stated in a training video I saw recently. A Mr. Olympia was coaching a student through a set, making various comments along the way, and on one rep he did comment, too fast. You threw that one. Slow and controlled. Slow and controlled builds muscle and strength. Whether for looks or for just being strong.
Training for strength has changed a lot.

In short everything PJ said with regards to speed is how people in the strength world train today. You can be the strongest person in the world, but one thing that doesn't change is how much time you have to complete the lift. You can only push, pull, squat with a maximum effort for so long. It is in your best interest to get it done as fast as possible.

But this also applies to non max lifts. If you are "in shape" you can just do pushups to demonstrate this. Get a stopwatch and do pushups nice and slow. You will get X number in X amount of time. Say 1 minute. A day later do the same thing, but this time do them as fast as you can. You will see that your body should give out at about the same time...a minute. In addition, you will have done much more work in that minute doing them fast. Obviously 30 pushups slow in a minute, is not as much work as doing 60 fast in a minute.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 11:05 PM   #86
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And Rufus...

Couple other things I forgot to mention....

Most of the time the mini bands are used for benching but you can start with them but you should progress fairly fast to the "light" bands. Typically I tie them off that the bottom using dumbbells.

Also it's easy to figure how much resistance there is at the top. Just get a scale and stand on it with just you and the bar weight. Then add the bands and repeat. To figure it out on the bench you will need a floor jack.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 11:14 PM   #87
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Body builders are not strength athletes. Sounds kind of silly, but they are a different breed. Weight lifting as a sport has two lifts, both explosive. Strength as a sport has many more, albeit not an Olympic sport... Lifting to support other sports is specific to the activity you are training for and body building is completely different. Super hard, for sure, just a different thing... No one exploits the science more. They will often do exaggerated slow movements with lower weights to exhaust and grow muscle specific to their sport. Their calorie consumption, walking "cardio," taper and posing are all unique and don't necessarily translate to sport specific training or even strength or lifting sports. Strength athletes spend A LOT more time working on acceleration than on max weight lifts. They also use supporting lifts to raise their 1RM. PJ said it... Great stuff here, Malcolm, Donny!! I kept looking for the "like" button!
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Old March 20th, 2014, 01:42 AM   #88
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And Rufus...

Couple other things I forgot to mention....

Most of the time the mini bands are used for benching but you can start with them but you should progress fairly fast to the "light" bands. Typically I tie them off that the bottom using dumbbells.

Also it's easy to figure how much resistance there is at the top. Just get a scale and stand on it with just you and the bar weight. Then add the bands and repeat. To figure it out on the bench you will need a floor jack.
My plan for the moment is to continue ATG on the machine. It is not nearly as bad as some of you think it is. (not smith machine bad) There is room for the bar to move 2-3 inches fore and aft without consequences. This is a low PULLEY system. Not some rigid straight line up and down system. But you DO have to find the best place to set ones' foot relative to the bottom of the pulley at the beginning of the lift. No big deal.

Why ATG? Well, it is the ultimate in knee flexibility/strength. I did 40/60/60 in my first outing. Probably could have done 80lbs, but I want to start cautiously. I will also be doing just a few deep knee bends and stretches to keep the knees limber on my off days.

Phase 1 will be to see how high in weight I can go with ATG before I get the sense that I should not go higher. I am wondering about reps though. I was doing Milk and Squat 3x20 and got to 160. (I don't tolerate milk well, so I substituted yogurt and Wheat Germ) Should I continue to shoot for 3x20, or should I do a 15-20 warm up and a more traditional 8-12? I mean, I am putting that joint through a lot of flexion. 170 degrees? Thoughts?

Phase 2 will be once I reach a limit in pure ATG, to go to a 2 stage squat incorporating the light bands. I can adjust the band to engage at any point I want using a chain and snap ring and attach the band to the bar. I will drop to 1/2 my max ATG and engage the bands at around a upper leg parallel to the ground level. I will then try and work back up to my old max ATG machine weight only weight, only with the bands added.

Phase 3 will be to dump the bands, drop to a moderate machine weight for the ATG, and make a new assault on a higher pure ATG squat.

So let's say I get to 100lbs Machine Weight ATG in Phase 1. In Phase 2, I'll drop to 50lbs Machine Weight, with the straps kicking at the full squat level. Then when I work up to 100lbs MW with the straps, I go to Phase 3. I remove the straps and try for a higher than 100lbs MW ATG. I'll start with 100lbs MW and increase. I reach 150lbs in MW ATG, then I drop down to 130 MW and add the bands again.

Malcom. Here is that short band, 12" calibration chart.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 03:04 AM   #89
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2 totally different things above. In the first scenario you are talking about developing strength. In the second scenario you are talking about developing a look.

There is no better way of accommodating resistance for strength development than bands and chains and basing your workout routine off percentages of your 1 rep max.

Although I do agree if you have NEVER lifted before a base needs to be established. That is exactly what we did with Monique for the first 6 months or so. When she got to a point where straight bar weight and "traditional" exercises were getting "maxed out" we started incorporating chains and bands, based her training off what her current max was, and started doing more special exercises to develop her traditional lifts (box squats, floor presses, rack lockouts, etc) and she constantly hits PR's in those lifts which translate to PR's in the traditional lifts.
Sorry about that, I agree with you totally, my point was really trying to say whether you are lifting for strength, or lifting for bodybuilding, in either scenario you need to master basics first and develop foundation before moving to advanced tactics.

Based on what rufus stated his squat is in the begining stages. I am sure Monique is ready based on who she trains with as well as the video I saw, again my point was more for rufus, sorry again for confusion.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 07:35 PM   #90
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Sorry about that, I agree with you totally, my point was really trying to say whether you are lifting for strength, or lifting for bodybuilding, in either scenario you need to master basics first and develop foundation before moving to advanced tactics.

Based on what rufus stated his squat is in the begining stages. I am sure Monique is ready based on who she trains with as well as the video I saw, again my point was more for rufus, sorry again for confusion.
For sure....you just shouldn't stay stuck building basics for too long. Once you get it down move on and progress. You and I both know this is why most in the gym aren't that strong. Stuck in the stone age....been doing 3 sets of 10 their whole life and can't figure out why they aren't making any progress.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 08:44 PM   #91
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For sure....you just shouldn't stay stuck building basics for too long. Once you get it down move on and progress. You and I both know this is why most in the gym aren't that strong. Stuck in the stone age....been doing 3 sets of 10 their whole life and can't figure out why they aren't making any progress.
Back when I was powerlifting I would always get guys asking me how to bench more. These would be the kids I see maxing out pretty much every week, bouncing bar off there chest, and getting nowhere.

Every guy who asked I would ask if he has tried periodization yet? 9 out 10 say no. Okay I say, well you give me 12 weeks and I guarentee minimally 10lbs on your bench max, and most likely more if you stick with. Sure they say, there are in 100%. I take time write out schedule for them, and when they see the weights they are working with early in the program they are like what???? I am like you are sooooo over trained on bench, you can't be strongest guy in the gym, or even your strongest self every time you come here, you need to have active rest, cycles, and work up to a max. Hmmmmm okay they say. Probaly 75% are back to lifting max everyweek, bouncing it off there chest and getting nowhere within 2 weeks of when they talked to me..... Can lead a horse to water.....

But a few stuck with it, and I could tell cause I would see them in the gym a couple months later and get a big smile, they get it... it realy works. Add in progressive resistance with bands and chains. some board presses for lockouts and getting used to dealing with heavier weights, ahhhh good stuff.

My new thing I am starting since I am bored out of my mind in the gym is grip training. Always had an intrest, figured might as well give it a real go since the only thing that doesn't hurt is my forearms

Got myself some C.O.C. grippers, Pretty much with no training I can close the 1 for about 8 reps, can almost close the 2, and I have a 3 and goal is to try and certify on it in next couple years?? I have no clue how I will progress, but a C.O.C. 3 feels light years away right now.

Anyway, something new to try that doesn't hurt back or sholders
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Old March 20th, 2014, 10:14 PM   #92
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Lol I get that too a lot....

I ask them what they did today? Normally it's something like flat bench, incline, decline, cable crossovers, etc...

Then I ask "so what did you do for triceps"....
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Old March 25th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #93
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For those looking for an alternative to power cleans for building a power base, consider jump squats. They aren't nearly as technical. Just don't use as much weight as your regular squat, say between 45%-60% of your normal lift weight. If I am not progressing well with power cleans, I may start throwing these in the mix.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKywH2Wurb8
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Old March 26th, 2014, 01:27 AM   #94
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The acceleration is great, but leaving your feet and creating that strain on your back is crazy. Simply accelerate in a traditional squat or use chains or bands to get this effect. I realize he is using safety bars to brake the weight, and that reduces the risk, but this isn't a sound idea. It will do as advertised though. It's just very dangerous. Especially since I suspect many/most people don't use the bars or don't have them adjusted properly. A far safer alternative would also be jumping with resistance bands and no free weight at all. Anchor the bands and jump using them for resistance.
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Old April 1st, 2014, 04:23 PM   #95
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Nothing too big as it was dynamic (speed night)...

335 + 100lbs of chains for 8 sets of 2....

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Old April 5th, 2014, 10:20 PM   #96
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After 7 workouts doing a half squat, I did my 6th workout with the ATG. I had no problem from 60 to 90. Did 100 today and tweaked my right knee a little. I was up to 160 in the half squat. I sure do feel more work and muscle fatigue doing the ATG. Despite the tweak at 100, I'll do 110 the next workout. I will just do a warm up set with 60. The trainer on YouTube whose general guidelines I am following said that his students typically got up to or near their half squat numbers after a while. One thing: it sure is a LONG movement. I still have to be conscious of my knees. Be as careful as possible to not injure again.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 03:26 PM   #97
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After 7 workouts doing a half squat, I did my 6th workout with the ATG. I had no problem from 60 to 90. Did 100 today and tweaked my right knee a little. I was up to 160 in the half squat. I sure do feel more work and muscle fatigue doing the ATG. Despite the tweak at 100, I'll do 110 the next workout. I will just do a warm up set with 60. The trainer on YouTube whose general guidelines I am following said that his students typically got up to or near their half squat numbers after a while. One thing: it sure is a LONG movement. I still have to be conscious of my knees. Be as careful as possible to not injure again.
Knees can be tough with deep squats, especially if you have week hip and inner thigh muscles. I am always thinking about pushing my knees out while squatting. It seems to help keep things in alignment for me and will hopefully help prevent some injury.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 07:59 PM   #98
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.....I will just do a warm up set with 60. The trainer on YouTube whose general guidelines I am following said that his students typically got up to or near their half squat numbers after a while. One thing: it sure is a LONG movement. I still have to be conscious of my knees. Be as careful as possible to not injure again.
One thing to be real careful when going deeper is maintaing form. I mention this because you mentioned how LONG the movement feels. If your hips/core are not flexible/strong enough yet, when weight goes up what tends to happen is instead of your butt going straight down, it start to go out and down, and your back consequently start to lean forward as your butt goes out. When these things happen, the weight is lowering, but your thighs are not, so you are lowering the weight more than necessary. What is happening is you cannont reach the bottom untill the weight compresses you and your tight hips.

If your form was perfect (nobody is technically perfect) you should not need to lower weight any more than the distance from where you bend at the waist to the top of your knees to get to a legal squat depth, something like 18-20 inches. If you are shooting your butt out and in turn pitching forward, the bar may need to lower some 30"inches or more to get you to true parallel depth. Practice with a mirror if you have one, sometimes the side view is best, just using a broom stick, try to get your squat groove, keeping torso upright, and bar (or broom stick) should travel stright up and down, if you see bar moving forward or back try and recognize how that feels and correct it.

Good to see you sticking with it, good stuff
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Old April 8th, 2014, 04:27 PM   #99
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PJ....

IMHO I disagree with a lot of your last post. Putting your ass out first instantly shifts the load to the ass and hams. When you bend your knees first it instantly puts the load on the quads and knees which would spell trouble for Rufus. I feel pretty confident how you described is how he squats because he tweaked his knee with 100lbs but mostly because he uses a machine to squat with.

I do understand and see it a lot what you are describing. But if you wear a belt and fill your stomach with air you won't bend over. But yes no doubt bending over raises your hips....

Also the pitching forward has a lot to do with how people push at the bottom. Some, a lot, push with their feet first. This is primarily what pitches you forward. You should push with your upper body first, then your lower body.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 09:44 PM   #100
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I should have clarified I was more refering to the bottom half of movement, when trying to get to full depth, not the start. When people try and get to full depth and are not flexible enough/strong enough in core, they compress. Meaning ass way out, chest forward, and then once they are stacked up on top of themselves the weight drives them down to parallel or lower.

I doubt Rufus is wearing a belt, and if he is I bet it is not a squat belt, so I think there is a different techinque with gear vs witout. Definetly takes work/practice to get most out of something as simple as a good belt, never mind wraps, briefs, or my favorite, the Velcro strapped canvas forklift suit

To your point, you do naturaly put ass out a when movement starts, and also stance dicates alot of how much your ass will need to go out, a little more sumo style allows for a more drop with less butt projecting, butt either way, once your have started your decent, you should basically maintain that postion till you get to the bottom, and at the bottom everones butt goes out a bit to get weight going in other direction, but the motion should not feel terribly LONG as rufus mentioned which is what concerned me.

Rufus was mentiong Half squats versus ATG squats (which I myself don't do, I got to just below true parallel), andI personally always thought half squats were more painful/harder to execute than full squats, to me half squats feel like taking a pee and trying to stop halfway through.... just does not feel right

Agree with the bottom of the movement. What worked for me was to push through heels. It is nearly impossible to push through heels and pitch forward/raise hips, as soon as you pitch forward or raise hips weight shifts forward to balls of your feet, and if your really out of wack it shifts out to your toes.

I never thought of consicously pushing with upperbody first, I will try that, sounds good.


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PJ....

IMHO I disagree with a lot of your last post. Putting your ass out first instantly shifts the load to the ass and hams. When you bend your knees first it instantly puts the load on the quads and knees which would spell trouble for Rufus. I feel pretty confident how you described is how he squats because he tweaked his knee with 100lbs but mostly because he uses a machine to squat with.

I do understand and see it a lot what you are describing. But if you wear a belt and fill your stomach with air you won't bend over. But yes no doubt bending over raises your hips....

Also the pitching forward has a lot to do with how people push at the bottom. Some, a lot, push with their feet first. This is primarily what pitches you forward. You should push with your upper body first, then your lower body.
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