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View Full Version : Vinny, what sacrifices did you make when working toward your 600lb raw press?



Barbaccio
01-17-2012, 07:35 AM
I was going to do this privately but figured it'd offer more value as topic here. I'm planning on making a run at 600 this year. I'm interested in how your training changed when you decided to make the 600lb raw press a priority.

Did you continue to squat/dead? What type of recovery you did. How many bench sessions did you have per week. What worked and what didn't. Really just an open ended question to pick your brain about how/what worked and was important and what needs to be put aside. What'd you add/subtract etc.

vdizenzo
01-17-2012, 08:04 AM
This is a really good topic. One of the biggest switches I made over the years to improve my bench was switching to a safety squat bar for squatting. That and a giant cambered bar or spider bar will save your shoulders tremendously.

One of the sacrifices I made was in my bodyweight. I got myself up to 328.5 to hit my first 600. I had a couple of runs at it at a lower bodyweight and I missed it. I say sacrifice because that weight kept me from doing almost anything other than lifting. However, my goal was to hit 600 and I did what was necessary to do it. I have since gotten it in the 308's and am going for it in the 275's now. But for that initial barrier I went with mass moves mass.

Put my ego in check. I kind of like lifting heavy things. I was not opposed to doing different lifts coming up, but I learned they were not going to help me in my quest for a 600 raw. No more 400 lb overhead presses, 800 trap bar deadlifts, 600+ raw ssb squats, log presses, stone lifts, etc. If it was not going to directly help my bench, I cut it out. I did keep squatting and deadlifting, but just to maintain that core strength, not necessarilly increase it.

Lastly, I worked on the psychological aspect of lifting. I started reading sports psychology and eastern philosophy. Rhodes tells a great story about how everything that could have gone wrong on the day of my first 600 did go wrong. He is great about knowing what to say. However, this time he saw me talking to myself in the warmup room and let me be. I was giving myself positive self affirmations. Without practicing that I don't think I would have ever gotten that lift.

Thanks for asking this Tone. It was a very good self reflection. It is going to assist me in my new quest. The biggest thing I am going to do is revisit the psychology side of my lifting. It is definitely lacking. I guess I kind of feel like it's a crutch and I should not have to rely on it. I should just be able to man up and muscle up weight. The goal is to get the weight up in whatever means necessary. Sports psychology is missing from my current program.

chris mason
01-17-2012, 10:07 AM
Good stuff guys!

Niko_El_Piko
01-17-2012, 01:24 PM
Excellent reading. Great question.
Thanks Vince for the response.

Rgds.

RhodeHouse
01-17-2012, 06:00 PM
You guys have no idea how much he gave up. I don't have the time to go into the whole ordeal - and that's what it was for him. An ordeal. I know Vincent will always look back andbe glad he did it, but I know there were times when the mind and body had some disconnects.

Watching him go from 290lbs to 328.5lbs was crazy. Anyone crying about not being able to gain weight - SHUT UP! You're just a coward. To gain that kind of weight at starting at that bodyweight is crazy!

And like Vincent said, all he was good at was lifting. Yard work - no! Walking - no! I bet his sleeping took a hit, also. Even with the CPAP, that machine was working overtime! That all important word that begins with "s" and ends with "x" takes a hit. When I was 330lbs, the sheer size of my frame made in near impossible for any normal sized girl to get on board for the Rhodestown express. And it was express because I just couldn't breath. 45 seconds in and I was dripping sweat and was hyperventilating. I can only imagine Little Big Man, at 5'8" 328.

That journey is a great example of just doing what you have to do to achieve a goal. The cool part is watching him hit the same goal at lighter bodyweights. three classes pretty soon. Amazing.

ScottYard
01-17-2012, 06:21 PM
I was at ipa worlds in 2007. I was in th hole or 4th out and vinny was up. A guy came up to him to chat and vinny didnt even know he was there. Then rhodes shewed the guy off. Lots of focus!

ScottYard
01-17-2012, 06:22 PM
I just noticed your picture. Nice tone! Solid effort in the bike section.

Barbaccio
01-17-2012, 09:17 PM
I just noticed your picture. Nice tone! Solid effort in the bike section.

Thanks buddy! Tryin to keep my cardio up. LOL.

Tom Mutaffis
01-18-2012, 06:02 AM
Vincent - are there any particular books on the topic of sports psychology that you would recommend?

vdizenzo
01-18-2012, 06:28 AM
Vincent - are there any particular books on the topic of sports psychology that you would recommend?

Total Mind Body Training by Jacob Jordan. I have read a few and I keep going back to this one. There's tons of sports psych stuff on the net and plenty of other books out there. You just have to find what makes the most sense and works for you.

Barbaccio
01-18-2012, 06:59 AM
Was that the book based on golfers Vin? Tim and I read a book based on your recommendation but I can't remember the name of it. I wound up washing it. (Yes, I left it in my work bag and washed it.) It was a great read and although based on golfers it had applications for any athlete. It helped me tremendously with some of the self-doubt issues I have before I lift sometimes.

vdizenzo
01-18-2012, 08:41 AM
Was that the book based on golfers Vin? Tim and I read a book based on your recommendation but I can't remember the name of it. I wound up washing it. (Yes, I left it in my work bag and washed it.) It was a great read and although based on golfers it had applications for any athlete. It helped me tremendously with some of the self-doubt issues I have before I lift sometimes.

That was a good book. Can't remember the name of it offhand, I'll have to go through my library at home. Yeah, that book worked a lot on self doubt. I remember "Imagine bad thoughts or images floating down a river on a leaf until you can no longer see them" or something like that. The $hit works for real.

The Total Mind Body Training is a different book and it is by far my favorite. It definitely comes from an eastern approach. I dig that as I dig a zen like focus when I'm lifting.

xolix
01-19-2012, 07:21 AM
hey vince , you think for a stronger benchpress is militarypressing to much stress ? or just going heavy on these ? i lift raw and use MP as a important assistenceexercise after speedbench . should i do laterals etc. instead ?

RhodeHouse
01-19-2012, 02:23 PM
I think the Military Press will help tremendously. It needs to be used and cycled so you can build or show bench strength.

For instance, when I Military Press heavy, my bench doesn't really move at all. When I back off on heavy Military work, my bench number start to come up pretty nicely.

I don't think laterals help much, but I still do them. Next cycle I'll be using DB Military work in the 10-20 range and see how that works for me. In the past it's been good to me.

Hogbody_308
01-19-2012, 05:40 PM
Vinny did cut out using a regular squat bar totally? That's what Gene did when he was on the journey to bench a grend, I think. If say you didn't cut out the regular bar squat, stone lifting and the big ass OH pressing do you think you would of made that 600# bench? On the way to the 600 mark how much were you using on the lower body lifts?

vdizenzo
01-19-2012, 06:52 PM
hey vince , you think for a stronger benchpress is militarypressing to much stress ? or just going heavy on these ? i lift raw and use MP as a important assistenceexercise after speedbench . should i do laterals etc. instead ?

I agree with Rhodes, heavy ohp will bring up your bench in the long run. However, you have to back off regularly heavy ohp when dialing in your heavy bench.

shocker4221
01-19-2012, 08:42 PM
I've read similar posts concerning switching to a cambered squat bar in order to save the shoulders. Since getting serious about PLing i've noticed it is becoming more and more stressful on my shoulders and wrists when I squat. Most times it feels like my shoulders are in more pain than my legs. Is this normal? My original focus was mainly on my bench but I want to bring up the other lifts as well. Can sufficient training be done with a cambered bar to allow the same results with a regulation squat bar in weight?

vdizenzo
01-20-2012, 05:49 AM
Vinny did cut out using a regular squat bar totally? That's what Gene did when he was on the journey to bench a grend, I think. If say you didn't cut out the regular bar squat, stone lifting and the big ass OH pressing do you think you would of made that 600# bench? On the way to the 600 mark how much were you using on the lower body lifts?

Yes, I cut the regular bar out totally. You must remember I have very little upper body flexibility. I have to fight just to get my hands in on the squat bar itself. That will wreak havoc on the shoulders. However, even those who can get their hands out easily will notice a reduction in shoulder stress by switching bars.

To answer your question about doing whether I would have hit the 600 while doing the other heavy lifts, the answer is no, because I didn't. It's not like I didn't want a 600 bench while doing them. I was only able to achieve it after I stopped. You must prioritize sometimes. You must train the other lifts, but you really can't push them in my estimation. It took me three years to go from a 585 raw bench to 600.

larsen540
01-20-2012, 01:03 PM
good stuff guys

RhodeHouse
01-20-2012, 09:19 PM
I've read similar posts concerning switching to a cambered squat bar in order to save the shoulders. Since getting serious about PLing i've noticed it is becoming more and more stressful on my shoulders and wrists when I squat. Most times it feels like my shoulders are in more pain than my legs. Is this normal? My original focus was mainly on my bench but I want to bring up the other lifts as well. Can sufficient training be done with a cambered bar to allow the same results with a regulation squat bar in weight?

If you're a bench only guy you should be off the Squat Bar. If you're a full meet man, then try carrying the bar higher on your back. This has greatly reduced my shoulder strain.

If it jacks up your wrists, wear wrist wraps. If you're a full meet guy you need to figure out how to maximize your health while still performing the competition movements.

Cary Pond
01-21-2012, 07:20 AM
Very good read. Learned alot about my training and what to do to boost my stalled bench here. What rep and set range do you use on the OHP ? Right now I'm doing 5 X 5 at 65% and possibly going to 3 X 3 for 80%.

Thanks again for you input Vinny !!

Hogbody_308
01-23-2012, 05:58 PM
Well Viinny if you have no upper body flexability you sure as hell aren't gonna try a reverse grip max are ya' LOL!!

Seriously now before you did the 1st 600, did you have a long in depth talk with someone that already walked the same path you were walking on and was there a change of pace in the bench work or did it stay the same?

vdizenzo
01-23-2012, 06:47 PM
Well Viinny if you have no upper body flexability you sure as hell aren't gonna try a reverse grip max are ya' LOL!!

Seriously now before you did the 1st 600, did you have a long in depth talk with someone that already walked the same path you were walking on and was there a change of pace in the bench work or did it stay the same?

I'd have to be able to supinate to do a rev grip. I can barely supinate enough to grab a bent curl bar.

Regarding my trip to 600, Rhodes and I drew up the map together. The big changes were refining some programming details, and focusing on not missing any lifts in training. It was not uncommon to push so hard I'd miss lifts in my Westside training. It took me a few meets to hit the first 600. I learned through trial and error.