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

Its 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
    Wannabebig Member
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    Overarching possible?

    I have failed to make any strength gains in the bench press in the last year or so. I recently switched to 5/3/1 from WSB mainly because I have weak shoulders and I really need the military press day. I also switched from gear to raw at this time as well.

    I have always had a big arch (pretty much female gymnast flexibility), but I am beginning to think the largely reduced range of motion and reduced stability with the big weights is what's been holding me back. When I bench I am on more my traps, not really my upper back, is this reducing my ability to use my back as a strong platform?

    Has anyone else met someone who arched hard all the time and didn't get anywhere?

    Any input would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaco1159 View Post
    I also switched from gear to raw at this time as well.
    First big thing here..going from anabolic to raw can reck big changes in progression. Especially if your diet/training is lacking.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaco1159 View Post
    have always had a big arch (pretty much female gymnast flexibility),
    If anything, this should aid you.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaco1159 View Post
    I am on more my traps, not really my upper back, is this reducing my ability to use my back as a strong platform?
    This is me just using my current anatomy class to work..but your traps are your upper back..but I know what your getting at. I would try lowering your "upper back" down until your rotator cuffs are more stabilized on the bench, ass on the bench, and feet tight and driving back while the "middle/lower" back is arched. Just experiment.
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  4. #3
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    Thanks for the advice, also I'm 183 lbs at 5'10" and pressing 300 lbs so maybe I really just need to gain some weight.

  5. #4
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Excessive arching is not really something I would recommend primarily because it is too hard on your lower back.

    The reason you stated for moving from Westside to 531 shows you don't really understand Westside. With Westside if you truly think your shoulders are a weakness then you work them...

    Take away some of your arch and work on your upper back and triceps and you will likely see your bench start to go back up (after an acclimation period).


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  6. #5
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    thanks Chris. No, I know westside works amazingly well as I used it for 4 years. The main reason I switched was box squatting doesn't carry over well into a raw free squat for me, and I wanted to try something new. I will try these things.

  7. #6
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    *So I retract the military press day being the main reason I switched haha

  8. #7
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Again, you can incorporate a free squat into your ME rotation. In addition, you probably need to fix your box squat form.

    Anyway, it's cool, I'm just want to point out your really don't understand the program based upon the reasons you are stating. You can do everything you want and still train Westside.


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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whoopipally View Post
    First big thing here..going from anabolic to raw can reck big changes in progression. Especially if your diet/training is lacking.
    Powerlifting gear, not chemical gear...

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Again, you can incorporate a free squat into your ME rotation. In addition, you probably need to fix your box squat form.

    Anyway, it's cool, I'm just want to point out your really don't understand the program based upon the reasons you are stating. You can do everything you want and still train Westside.
    Lol didn't come here to argue about the program, and my box squat form is very good.

    I just wanted to try a new program and I mainly train alone which makes training in gear impractical often times.

  11. #10
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    And I've come to admire many strong raw lifters such as Stan Efferding, the Lilliebridges, and Ben Rice. NONE of them use west side, all of them lift with a very basic template that rarely incorporates bands or chains.

    Didn't mean to offend you by stopping west side.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I do not think arching is putting you onto your traps. You should still be able to basically "roll" your shoulders into your back during setup.
    Last edited by vdizenzo; 10-03-2012 at 05:50 AM.


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  13. #12
    Powerlifter Bruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whoopipally View Post
    First big thing here..going from anabolic to raw can reck big changes in progression. Especially if your diet/training is lacking.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rock1984 View Post
    Powerlifting gear, not chemical gear...
    This made me laugh! Why do people who obviously have no idea about powerlifting reply to threads like this? Lol.
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  14. #13
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    seems like theres no definitive answer here, id say arch to a point of wheres its advantageous in decreasing your ROM and keeping you extra tight but not so much you havent got a stable launch pad as it were to press from on the bench

    A video would help massively here and there are some world class benchers on this board who regularly chime in on the QnA's so your best bet is to get one in here quick before the thread fades or goes off topic
    Last edited by J L S; 10-03-2012 at 07:22 AM.
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  15. #14
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    Make your life easier and gain some weight. It's the easiest thing to do to raise your bench.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiser View Post
    This made me laugh! Why do people who obviously have no idea about powerlifting reply to threads like this? Lol.
    Please, explain. I see no reason why this remark is appropiate.
    Last edited by Jonathan E; 10-03-2012 at 11:08 AM.
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    "All people dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous ones, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."

  17. #16
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock1984 View Post
    Powerlifting gear, not chemical gear...
    He can be implying either.
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whoopipally View Post
    He can be implying either.
    Not really. He would have said something like "drug free" "clean" etc.

    When someone says gear and raw in powerlifting, it means equipment.

    Lifting "raw" has nothing to do with whether one does - or doesn't take drugs.
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  19. #18
    Powerlifter Bruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lones Green View Post
    Not really. He would have said something like "drug free" "clean" etc.

    When someone says gear and raw in powerlifting, it means equipment.

    Lifting "raw" has nothing to do with whether one does - or doesn't take drugs.
    EXACTLY! Which is why I said Whoop probably doesn't know enough about PL to be commenting on a thread pertaining to it. By doing so he could give poor advice that could cause someone injury. Which is why I only comment on topics that I have a lot of experience with.
    Last edited by Bruiser; 10-03-2012 at 12:20 PM.
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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottYard View Post
    Make your life easier and gain some weight. It's the easiest thing to do to raise your bench.
    Yup.


    Personally I don't think you can "overarch." IF you are truely arching "like a gymnast" or like some of the eastern european women do, you are arching with your pelvis anyway, not your lower back. The secret to what they do is psoas and upper quad flexibility and the ability to rotate the pelvis.

    I also agree with Chris, that if you aren't seeing gains in your bench following a westside template, you don't understand what you are doing. I'm a geared lifter but most of my training is raw, just like the westsiders I know.

    If you are a high archer and your bench isn't working, you need to look at upper back, lats, and triceps strength. You are missing something there with your training.
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  21. #20
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lones Green View Post
    Not really. He would have said something like "drug free" "clean" etc.

    When someone says gear and raw in powerlifting, it means equipment.

    Lifting "raw" has nothing to do with whether one does - or doesn't take drugs.
    I stand corrected, thank you for pointing that out.
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    "All people dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous ones, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."

  22. #21
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiser View Post
    EXACTLY! Which is why I said Whoop probably doesn't know enough about PL to be commenting on a thread pertaining to it. By doing so he could give poor advice that could cause someone injury. Which is why I only comment on topics that I have a lot of experience with.
    I do not know everything about PL. In fact, I am just beginning to understand the real ways/techniques behind it slowly but surely. However, I would never give in depth advice and call it fact if I didn't know what I was talking about. Especially if I thought it could harm someone if i was wrong. I misunderstood, and stand corrected on the terminology behind "gear..raw..etc" thanks to Lones Green pointing it out in a learning manner.(unlike yourself) OP's main concern was his arch, which I thought I gave decent feedback on. So to jump to a conclusion saying "I shouldn't be commenting on a PL forum because I will give advice that will hurt someone" based on the fact I mixed some terms up is completely moronic and unfair. We are all here to learn and improve our training. With that comes mistakes.
    Bench: 350
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    "All people dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous ones, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    Yup.


    Personally I don't think you can "overarch." IF you are truely arching "like a gymnast" or like some of the eastern european women do, you are arching with your pelvis anyway, not your lower back. The secret to what they do is psoas and upper quad flexibility and the ability to rotate the pelvis.

    I also agree with Chris, that if you aren't seeing gains in your bench following a westside template, you don't understand what you are doing. I'm a geared lifter but most of my training is raw, just like the westsiders I know.

    If you are a high archer and your bench isn't working, you need to look at upper back, lats, and triceps strength. You are missing something there with your training.


    Yeah I agree, like I said before I know Westside works for raw, and I know it's likely my weak muscle links/ technique. I have pretty small arms, and upper back, I have started hammering those hard. Would it be best after say my bench day do heavy board work/close grip (any heavy tricep motion) with fewer reps, then on my military press day hit something like dumbell extensions for low weight high reps? I know Louie Simmons preaches band pushdowns for sets of 100+ 3 days in a row then take the fourth day off, but this sounds like a lot.


    Thanks for all of the help guys, for such great lifters as all of you to take time out of your day and answer questions to a guy who's only done one meet means a lot.

  24. #23
    JERSEY IRON Brian C's Avatar
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    x3 Eat brother. Im not a fan of 531. Just my personal opinion. We set up all our programs using Prilepin's Chart. Our whole crew has been progressing and PRing frequently.
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  25. #24
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    Just me personally, I bench the exact same arched or not.

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