The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    What am I doing wrong?

    I'm trying to figure out why my Max bench won't improve.

    5 months ago, I did 247. I was doing 205 4 times, and 225 twice.

    Now I can do 205 10 times, and 225 5 times, and my max is 250.

    Why isn't my max going up? How do you warm up before a max on bench?

    What weight do you think I should be able to do taking into consideration my reps at 205 and 225???

    Thanks for any help.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    You didn't give much information at all, but my first guess would be that you do waaaay too much warming up to your max attempt.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  4. #3
    Back in Business T FLEX's Avatar
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    I'm no expert but it seems to me that you're focusing on the wrong thing (use to do 205x4, 225x2 and now you do 205x10, 225x5). You might want to work on increasing your weight per set instead of reps per set. 205x10 may be exhausting your muscles too much not allowing yourself to lift heavier weight after that. I'll bet if you lowered your reps scheme on your working sets your max would go up. Try doing 205x5, 225x5, Max. You may be surprised at what you can do. Just a thought.
    If your shins ain't bleeding then it's not a Dead Lift

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    Current Wt - 160
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  5. #4
    Back in Business T FLEX's Avatar
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    Doh! Sensei got in before me. I think we are on the same page with our explanation.
    If your shins ain't bleeding then it's not a Dead Lift

    Stats:
    Start Wt - 138
    Current Wt - 160
    Height - 6'-1"
    My Journal (Pics: Post# 11,17,88,165)
    Hard Gainers Meal Menu
    Progress Pics

  6. #5
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    You didn't give much information at all, but my first guess would be that you do waaaay too much warming up to your max attempt.
    SO what would you recommend for a warm up?

    I actually had another thread that I apparently put too much information into... no one answered. That's why I kept this one shorter.

    I posted my whole workout in the other one... don't have enough posts to put the link in this thread...

  7. #6
    All Natural Power Lunar Effect's Avatar
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    Take your max weight and then calculate 10% of that number and use that as the jump interval between sets. So if you're maxing out at 250, then 10% of that would be 25 pounds, so I would do my sets like this:

    Warm-up: Bar x 12
    Set 1: 150 x 10
    Set 2: 175 x 8
    Set 3: 200 x 5
    Set 4: 225 x 3
    Set 5: 250 x 1
    Set 6: New 1RM

    That's just a rough plan of many you could try. What does your current scheme look like?

  8. #7
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    Here are some of the ones I've tried...

    Bench 5x5 at 80% ORM
    Incline DB 3 x 10 increasing weight each set
    French Press 3 x 12
    Decline (machine) 3 x 10 increasing weight each time (lately I have been doing 230, 260, 320)
    Dips 2 sets til burnout


    I also tried this:

    Bench: 1 set 10 reps at 175, 1 set 6 reps at 205, 1 set 4 reps at 225, 1 set 1-2 reps at 245 (with spot).
    Incline DB 3 x 10 increasing weight each set
    Close grip bench: 3 x 10
    Incline flys: 3 x 10
    Dips til burnout

    ANd am currently doing this:

    Bench 3 x 12 at 70% max (175) for 2 weeks, then 3 x 8 @ 80% max (200)
    Incline DB 3 x 8 increasing weight each set (last set I usually get 6 w/ 80 lb DB)
    Cable crossovers: 3 x 10 increasing weight each set
    one arm reverse curls: 3 x 10
    kick backs: 3 x 10
    Dips til burnout

  9. #8
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    Keep in mind, that's just my chest and tri day...

    Here is my other thread with my goals and such... but I really think my max is off...

    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=117082

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by T FLEX View Post
    I'm no expert but it seems to me that you're focusing on the wrong thing (use to do 205x4, 225x2 and now you do 205x10, 225x5). You might want to work on increasing your weight per set instead of reps per set. 205x10 may be exhausting your muscles too much not allowing yourself to lift heavier weight after that. I'll bet if you lowered your reps scheme on your working sets your max would go up. Try doing 205x5, 225x5, Max. You may be surprised at what you can do. Just a thought.
    is it ok to do something like that? Like even if u know more just stop at 5? cause everyone has good days and bad days... and some days i just get like the how u say ****** strength n wreck out ... so my usual starting point i can go way over... but i usually stop at ten also first set.. but would it be better to stop at 5?

  11. #10
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunar Effect View Post
    Take your max weight and then calculate 10% of that number and use that as the jump interval between sets. So if you're maxing out at 250, then 10% of that would be 25 pounds, so I would do my sets like this:

    Warm-up: Bar x 12
    Set 1: 150 x 10
    Set 2: 175 x 8
    Set 3: 200 x 5
    Set 4: 225 x 3
    Set 5: 250 x 1
    Set 6: New 1RM

    That's just a rough plan of many you could try. What does your current scheme look like?
    That's still too many reps IMO. On a day you're working towards heavy, low rep work, stick w. low reps. If I were maxing at something like 250 on bench, I'd do something like:
    bar x 10 x 2 sets
    135 x 3 x 2 sets
    185 x 1-3 x 1-2 sets
    225 x 1-2
    250 x 1
    Max attempt
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  12. #11
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    I've also been told, by a bodybuilder here in CO to try a warmup like this:

    95 lbs 10 times
    135 lbs 5 times
    205 2 times
    Max

  13. #12
    All Natural Power Lunar Effect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    That's still too many reps IMO. On a day you're working towards heavy, low rep work, stick w. low reps. If I were maxing at something like 250 on bench, I'd do something like:
    bar x 10 x 2 sets
    135 x 3 x 2 sets
    185 x 1-3 x 1-2 sets
    225 x 1-2
    250 x 1
    Max attempt
    That probably varies a good bit from person to person. For example, I need a good 10-12 reps on my first 2 light sets and then let the muscle acclimate with lower reps on the next few sets as I ramp up to my max. I personally wouldn't feel that I got nearly enough work if I stayed at 3 reps or fewer for the entire duration of my pre-max sets. The bottom line is that those first several sets are for warm-up. If 3 reps is optimal for someone else, then great.
    Last edited by Lunar Effect; 10-25-2008 at 04:25 PM.

  14. #13
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    Painzer,

    How often are you trying to max? Work hard for a 3 month cycle,low reps with heavy weight and I'm sure your bench will improve.Some guys think they have to try to max more than they need to.If you can add 10-15 pounds on your bench every 3 months,and you do 3 cycles in a year,your going to put 30-45 #'s on your bench.Be carefull not to overtrain,plenty of rest,eat well,all that stuff.
    Best of luck.

    Ryan Hale

  15. #14
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    I usually max every 2 months or so. Depends on how I feel too... I really wouldn't say I over train.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunar Effect View Post
    That probably varies a good bit from person to person. For example, I need a good 10-12 reps on my first 2 light sets and then let the muscle acclimate with lower reps on the next few sets as I ramp up to my max. I personally wouldn't feel that I got nearly enough work if I stayed at 3 reps or fewer for the entire duration of my pre-max sets. The bottom line is that those first several sets are for warm-up. If 3 reps is optimal for someone else, then great.
    Is your goal to get in work or to hit a new PR? If you need more warm-up, then do more sets, not high rep sets. You need to practice and groove the first rep if you want a heavy single attempt to go well. JMO, but I think most PLers would agree.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  17. #16
    Getting un-streamlined Progress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painzer View Post
    I usually max every 2 months or so. Depends on how I feel too... I really wouldn't say I over train.
    Do you test your 1RM bench max on a day when you train your chest?

  18. #17
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progress View Post
    Do you test your 1RM bench max on a day when you train your chest?
    I usually do. But I max first, then I'll do a few small sets after it.

  19. #18
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Is your goal to get in work or to hit a new PR? If you need more warm-up, then do more sets, not high rep sets. You need to practice and groove the first rep if you want a heavy single attempt to go well. JMO, but I think most PLers would agree.
    This might be part of the issue. My first rep is almost always crappy. When I max, I think I go so slow on the negative, that by the time I get to the push, I'm somewhat fatigued... I think it's that I'm scared to bring all that weight down any faster.

    Maybe I should practice my first rep but at lower weights?

  20. #19
    ANVIL POWER Detard's Avatar
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    I would probably warmup something like this:

    barx10
    barx10
    135x5
    185x3
    205x1
    240x1
    255x1 PR
    w:225lbs. h:5'10.
    630/385/545/1560
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  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painzer View Post
    When I max, I think I go so slow on the negative, that by the time I get to the push, I'm somewhat fatigued...
    I've been there. I've posted about this on this forum before. But I'm overcoming this, and I'm convinced it because of my dynamic effort workouts.

  22. #21
    riprogrammazione
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  23. #22
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigTallOx View Post
    I've been there. I've posted about this on this forum before. But I'm overcoming this, and I'm convinced it because of my dynamic effort workouts.
    What did you do to help it?

  24. #23
    Wannabebig Member
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    Painzer, I had a similar problem. I pretty much got stuck at a max of 210 on bench. I would do low reps with high weight and just could not seem to improve my bench. Best thing I ever did was quit doing barbell bench completely. I took a month off and did only heavy dumbbell bench press (2 times per week, usually 4-5 sets of 4-5 reps) When I came back after a little over a month of this I maxed out on barbell bench press at 245. Don't know if this would work for everyone but my body really responded to the change. Something to consider if nothing else seems to work.

  25. #24
    Squat junkie Painzer's Avatar
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    I might give that a try. I've got a lot of different options right now, so I've gotta decide what I want to try first.

    I looked at a ORM calculator, but I don't think they are really accurate. It said for 225 x 5 ORM is 253, which is about me. But then It said 205 x 10 (which I also do) was 273.... so... hmmm

  26. #25
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    I've noticed that the one rep max calculators are pretty accurate for me when I do bench. However, the calculator is much more accurate at lower reps up to about 5. After that it is not nearly as accurate which it looks like you discovered when you entered 205x10. If you wish to use it I would stick with entering low rep ranges at no more than 5 for it to be somewhat accurate. Personally, I don't rely on it to tell me my one rep max since I will max out anyway but it is kind of fun to mess with since i normally go a few months before I try to max out again anyway.

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