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View Full Version : How to determine your weakness?



Anthony
12-17-2003, 10:15 AM
When performing one of the big 3, how do you determine where you are weak? Please post examples such as:

bench - fail at bottom - lats
bench - fail at top - triceps
(these may be wrong, I'm just guessing)

Saint Patrick
12-17-2003, 09:05 PM
I would think failing @ bottom would be shoulders (or possibly chest)

Saturday Fever
12-17-2003, 11:03 PM
On bench if you fail on or near the chest it's your lats. That is assuming, of course, that your form is tight and you're getting a good arch and such. Your shoulders play a somewhat minimal role compared to lats and triceps in my opinion.

MixmasterNash
12-18-2003, 12:23 AM
I don't see how the lats can be involved with a flat bench press unless you are using a powerlifter's arch, in which case they are obviously involved. To make it clear, say you're weakest at the bottom in the incline press, where the lats really can't be involved in the pressing motion, what should you work on to improve your lift?

Anthony
12-18-2003, 05:26 AM
What about squats and deads? The reason I'm asking is because I want to structure my routine around weak points - but I need to figure out what those are first. :)

benchmonster
12-18-2003, 07:31 AM
Well, Anthony, you are correct in your guesses about the bench. And anyone here benching without doing a proper setup and powerlifting arch, needs to start doing so.

Where are you missing on your deadlift and squat? We need to know that before we can diagnose, but I can answer your question in general terms that will apply to 90%+ of the population.

The weak link for almost everyone in the squat is the following, in this order. . . 1) low back, 2) Hamstrings, 3) Abs, 4) Hips, 5) Feet

Weak links in the dead are as follows: 1) low back, 2) Hamstrings, 3) grip, 4) Hips (for sumo pullers)

Now that is not all inclusive, some people may not fit the mold, but for the vast majority of lifters those are the problem areas, more or less in the order in which they cause problems.

Some may have exceptionally strong hands, or feet tho and it not be a problem, others may have great low back strength, but a weak grip, so the order may not be the same for all lifters. But this list should give you plenty to work on.

B.

ryan1117
12-18-2003, 07:32 AM
A lot of times for me, I have trouble locking out a deadlift for a 1 rep max despite having great speed off the floor. I'm pretty sure that means my traps are my weak point of the lift. I've seen a lot of westside people do rack pulls to fix that.

Anthony
12-18-2003, 07:44 AM
Thanks BM, that's exactly what I was looking for. As for my squat/bench, I always fail at the very bottom or close to it. I'm guessing my hips are the major factor, but I'm hoping box squats will help that.

Saturday Fever
12-18-2003, 05:49 PM
A lot of times for me, I have trouble locking out a deadlift for a 1 rep max despite having great speed off the floor. I'm pretty sure that means my traps are my weak point of the lift. I've seen a lot of westside people do rack pulls to fix that.

You get it off the floor and freeze near lockout? I'd say glutes in that scenario.

Hercule
12-19-2003, 09:26 AM
Psh, i would love to have your problem Ryan. I am just the opposite. I have the hardest time getting it off the floor, but once it gets to mid shin level, it is nothing but speed then on. Thats probably why I can only deadlift abot 405 off the floor, but have done 540+ on a rack deadlift. From what I have learned, weak lower back and hamstrings are the cause of this particular problem. Is that right?

Paul Stagg
12-19-2003, 09:54 AM
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/determining_and_strengthening.htm

Anthony
12-19-2003, 10:25 AM
Awesome, thanks Paul.

PizDoff
12-22-2003, 02:24 PM
oooooo nice link.....

The_Brick
12-23-2003, 12:14 AM
Anthony. You failed the moment you decided to run with that avatar.

phreak
12-23-2003, 04:10 AM
I have to disagree with the bench form issue regarding lats. I myself and several (most) of my former workout buddies are all very strong off of the chest, but only one has semi-decent back development. I struggled to do 6-8 full-range pullups, while benching 405 raw @ 242.

Not that I'm saying it can't be a lack of back development; just that such blanket statements are impossible to make. This assessment requires personal contact and ad hoc supervision by a knowledgable coach.



ps.
The link has some good info, but also some highly debatable points. E.g., bench 4: not pressing into a straight line. Yes, a straight line is the shortest distance. But the main issue is the vertical component. Any horizontal displacement will increase the total bar travel, but not the vertical component. This in turn increases the time the bar travels, and consequently decreases the maximum amount of force needed during said time.

ItalianGalleon
12-23-2003, 06:04 PM
So for bench, if you fail at bottom, its lats, and if you fail at the top its triceps. Where does the chest come in to play? I know it would be at the bottom, but do you really think that the lats are more important than the chest?

benchmonster
12-24-2003, 07:37 AM
Italian, if you are benching like a powerlifter then lats are more important than pecs. If you are benching like a bodybuilder, then why do you care how much you bench anyways?

Powerlifters compete in the bench and therefore try to lift as much weight in the movement as possible. Bodybuilders, if you can find one who actually still benches, merely use the bench press as a movement to help build up bigger muscles in the pecs, triceps and front delts.

All the powerlifters and bench specialists that I know have much more impressive backs than they do pecs. Draw from that whatever you wish.

B.

phreak
12-24-2003, 10:15 AM
All the powerlifters and bench specialists that I know have much more impressive backs than they do pecs. Draw from that whatever you wish.
I will draw the -- possibly overly optimistic -- notion that I could have done a few hundred pounds more if I would have had any sort of back development. Yay! 700 wasn't as far off as I thought. Or back development isn't as important. Wonder which one it is.



NB: I'm not saying it isn't important, just that it isn't THAT important.

ItalianGalleon
12-24-2003, 01:33 PM
bench, do you have a video or picture of your technique? I saw a picture on the old leg drive thread, but it didn't help much, since I can't bend my torso in half.

phreak
12-24-2003, 02:21 PM
... I can't bend my torso in half.
You don't really have to. Just make your upper back more flexible. This will happen just by simply trying to arch as much as possible on every set you do. Remember to anchor your shoulderblades into the bench and pinch them together. Then push with your legs. Not up, but towards your head.