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
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Question for Westsiders

    Is there a circa max for bench?


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  3. #2
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    negatory there good buddy.

    At least in the traditional sense of using a lot of band tension for a couple weeks leading up to a meet in shirts.

    We just throw our shirts on a couple weeks out, usually take an opener and sometimes a second and then shut it down.


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  4. #3
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Travis, I've always wondered about this. Is the reasoning behind this because Circa Max involves around 40% band tension with around 45% bar weight (at least from what I've seen Louie define as Circa Max for squatting) and due to less supporting musculature and recovery time for the bench? Or maybe due to amount of overspeed you'd see with that type of tension?

    Seems WS has always favored straight bar weight whereas a Circa Max in squatting always involved band tension, although god knows this probably changes so much. I've always wondered if perhaps Louie ever assigned a circa-max phase with using chain weight instead of band tension, assuming a proper amount of volume above 90%.
    Last edited by BloodandThunder; 01-11-2011 at 09:26 AM.
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  5. #4
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    To be honest I've never asked him. However I believe it has more to do with the amount of gear you can wear in the squat. Circa Max isn't done in full gear. You don't really have the option of doing partial gear in the bench.

    Plus the amount of abuse your body would take from benching like that would be too much, especially for full power lifters.


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  6. #5
    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    Good to know, I was wondering also!
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  7. #6
    Senior Member martin's Avatar
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    I have contemplated trying something along the lines of 80-90% bar weight and 10-20% chains for the bench. May give it a go and see what happens.
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  8. #7
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Thanks for the response Travis. I forgot there was minimal gear on the circa max, I assumed suits were down with briefs during it, so yea that makes sense. I know Tate claims there is a circa-max in a few articles, but said noone ever really did it with tension, just straight weight. I think some type of chain-circa max phase would be interesting martin, especially assuming if your bar speed is an issue on heavy attempts.
    Trample the weak, hurdle the dead
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  9. #8
    Bad Attitude Gym AdamBAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin View Post
    I have contemplated trying something along the lines of 80-90% bar weight and 10-20% chains for the bench. May give it a go and see what happens.
    Quote Originally Posted by BloodandThunder View Post
    Thanks for the response Travis. I forgot there was minimal gear on the circa max, I assumed suits were down with briefs during it, so yea that makes sense. I know Tate claims there is a circa-max in a few articles, but said noone ever really did it with tension, just straight weight. I think some type of chain-circa max phase would be interesting martin, especially assuming if your bar speed is an issue on heavy attempts.
    It wasn't a circa-max cycle, but recently we benched in our shirts with about 60-80lbs of chain on the bar. I ended up getting about 10-15lbs less than what I did in my most recent meet, but with the added chains. I thoguht it was a good exercise. You guys might give it a try and see what you think.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamBAG View Post
    It wasn't a circa-max cycle, but recently we benched in our shirts with about 60-80lbs of chain on the bar. I ended up getting about 10-15lbs less than what I did in my most recent meet, but with the added chains. I thoguht it was a good exercise. You guys might give it a try and see what you think.
    Yeah, normally 3 weeks out I've been doing a week of heavy doubles and maybe a single to a 2-board, then a week of heavy 1-boards. Then a deload. week out of the shirt. I usually get what I hit on a 1-board in a meet or close enough.

    The chain weight need to be relatively light (for most I guess) because I cant touch with alot less than I can press very well in my comp shirt.

    Something like working upto 80% with 10% chains for doubles then the following week hitting the same barweight and adding chain for singles may be my choice.

    M
    Best lifts @ 226 lbs

    Squat - 903
    Bench - 573 / 617 @ 246
    Dead - 727

    Best Total - 2204 lbs @ 226 18/07/2010

  11. #10
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Chains would be interesting.

    Bands we tend to stay away from the closer we get to a meet. One thing I've noticed is that bands just don't tend to transfer over quite as much in the shirt Raw they have some great benefits to training, but in a shirt it just doesn't seem to help as much for whatever reason.

    It just abuses me far too much. I've gone over 900 a couple of times with band tension included and it's way above my max. All it really did was beat me to crap for a week or two


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  12. #11
    Bad Attitude Gym AdamBAG's Avatar
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    Something else that I liked about the chains is that it makes you work harder too touch lighter weights. I think it might be a solution for people that want to go heavier in their shirt, but also have problems touching b/c they spend too much time doing board work. Louie wrote in an article a while back that you need to build the lockout with a full range of motion. This made a lot of sense to me. Hopefully the chain/shirt work will lead to some PRs.
    750/500/690 APF Elite @ 242

    Bench Only - Multi Ply SPF - 600 @ 275 (251)

    Bench Only - Single Ply USAPL - 501 @ 275 (255)

    Bench Only - Single Ply SPF - 550 @ 259 (257)

  13. #12
    Senior Member Butcher's Avatar
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    I seem to remember Dave Tate saying in the Westside seminar DVD that they tried it and it didn't work and didn't really expand beyond that.

  14. #13
    Dr. Subtotal
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    yea the chains are a different animal as there would be a need for a higher bar weight since more of the chain would be deloaded at the bottom than with bands. Even with say 40-50% bar tension of a 1000 lb squat, that's still a lot of tension in the hole.

    Unless someone was a freak of nature off their chest in a shirt but hit a wall mid-range, I imagine having that low end work with maximal bar weight is better for bench. The only person I imagine works with so much bar tension is the Joe Average guy and well yea.

    thats the beauty of this sport, noone knows until someone tries lol.
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  15. #14
    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    I always thought of a loose shirt (really loose) as minimal gear but i could be wrong about it being an option.
    Squat briefs only 625 @ 210
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  16. #15
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    I've done the chain thing for an ME shirted movement and I really like it. We use chains that add ~140 at the top and ~60 at the bottom. Once I get up to about about the equivalent of where I can touch with straight weight (500-525) I can touch with the chains on (~455 in plates plus the 60 of chain). The hardest part for me is that when I fire off the chest it feels like the chains are pulling the bar back towards my head so I have to work a little harder to control the weight. Anyhow I thought it was a great exercise, but then again, in my current shirt I can touch ~100 lbs less than I can press and I was the only one in my group to actually touch that day.

  17. #16
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    I benched for three weeks with doubled greens-I was dead the following week.

  18. #17
    The Project KarstenDD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ermantroudt View Post
    I benched for three weeks with doubled greens-I was dead the following week.
    Jesus Marimba.
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  19. #18
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Wow, Karsten and Rhodes both posted in the same day. It's like Christmas all over again.


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