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Thread: The Matt Rhodes vs. Westside Thread

  1. #51
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    It's not the focus that's the problem.

    Your body will move on the bench for reps and it changes the leverages as well as creates a rythmn that you would not be able to get to without doing reps.

    I think doubles and triples are fine for beginners who need to practice things, but for an advanced lifter who is going through a max effort workout, it needs to be singles.


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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    Your body will move on the bench for reps and it changes the leverages as well as creates a rythmn that you would not be able to get to without doing reps.
    You know, i hadnt even considered that but now it seems obvious, it isnt just high reps (8+) where fatigue can change the subsequent rep. Nice one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    It's not the focus that's the problem.

    Your body will move on the bench for reps and it changes the leverages as well as creates a rythmn that you would not be able to get to without doing reps.

    I think doubles and triples are fine for beginners who need to practice things, but for an advanced lifter who is going through a max effort workout, it needs to be singles.
    Travis,

    How do westsiders get in volume on their ME work? How much volume are you looking at per session on ME lifts?
    The only lift I'm proud of at this point is a close stance, ass to grass zercher squat of 170kg x2 at 85kg bw. If only they held zercher squat competitions...

  4. #54
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    Im interested in this as well, my assumption had always been that the build up to a true 1rm happened in small increments, so much so that you had plenty of work done above 70% to illicit a training effect.

  5. #55
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Browse through my log, the ME bench days are exactly what the morning crew does (aside from the PM session)


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  6. #56
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Handling a Max lift is a lot different on the mind and body than rep maxes. With maximal weights the room for error is so much less. And, it only makes sense that if you're going to take a 1RM that you train accordingly. Not to mention, doing reps is different than doing singles. My doubles and triples are performed a little differently that my singles.
    Which brings us to an excellent point. You are familiar with the S.A.I.D. principle, correct? If so, what is your understanding of it?


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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    HAHAHA! The "Butt Rocket". Awesome!

    This is one example that makes ZERO sense to me. In the bottom of a competition squat, you can't relax anything. On the box, you relax and flex? Now, In reality are we just relaxing our glutes? Absoluetly not. Everything is loosening up. Glutes, legs, abs, back... If that happens at the bottom of a competiton squat the bar ends up jacking you in the back of the head and landing on the floor in front of you. So, why would I practice something 8-12 times a week on DE day that is so counter productive and should be counter intuitive to what I would do in competition?

    Yeah, the Butt Rocket has been an ongoing topic of conversation in the gym for years now... in more than one context too.

    I don't know, in the bottom of free squat, I feel as if I slightly relax my glutes to "drop in" and get deep enough. If i keep my glutes super tight, 1) i cant get down and 2) if almost always fall forward. It is almost identical to how I feel box squatting, where there is that slight relaxation on the box, then a hard contraction (the butt rocket fires) and I shoot up. its that glute contraction that gets the weight moving and then quad flex that moves it through to lockout. Its hamstrings contraction that keeps my torso from going forward.. more or less. Basically to me a squat is a box squat without the box.

    Some of this is a lifter proportions issue and squat stance issue too. I am short and fat, so squatting is more of a "natural" movement for me than someone who is tall and lanky, like you are.


    Bottom line, it is all about the butt rocket.
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  8. #58
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    Today I did Speed Bench for the first time without bands. I did 8x3 @ 60%. Instead of doing the standard 3 reps in 2.5 seconds, I just lowered the weight, paused on the chest, and exploded up, focusing on speed. I really liked it. Monday, I'm doing Speed Squats and I'll do them in a similar manner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    Yeah, the Butt Rocket has been an ongoing topic of conversation in the gym for years now... in more than one context too.

    I don't know, in the bottom of free squat, I feel as if I slightly relax my glutes to "drop in" and get deep enough. If i keep my glutes super tight, 1) i cant get down and 2) if almost always fall forward. It is almost identical to how I feel box squatting, where there is that slight relaxation on the box, then a hard contraction (the butt rocket fires) and I shoot up. its that glute contraction that gets the weight moving and then quad flex that moves it through to lockout. Its hamstrings contraction that keeps my torso from going forward.. more or less. Basically to me a squat is a box squat without the box.

    Some of this is a lifter proportions issue and squat stance issue too. I am short and fat, so squatting is more of a "natural" movement for me than someone who is tall and lanky, like you are.


    Bottom line, it is all about the butt rocket.
    I am 6 2-3' tall and lanky and I can squat perfectly. If I relax my glutes while I am squatting then I'll probably forget about doing the butt rocket (and I don't because I injured my SI joints that way). I generally squat with tight glutes from the rack out to to the descent and the only downside is I descent more slowly and a little more shakily but I have no issues with falling forward or losing balance. I squat high bar though so it may be different if I squat low bar.
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  10. #60
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    I have no idea what the SAID pricipal is, Chris. I've heard it mentioned before.

    I know that EVERY program out there has a peaking phase for a reason.
    Last edited by RhodeHouse; 03-11-2013 at 04:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    Yeah, the Butt Rocket has been an ongoing topic of conversation in the gym for years now... in more than one context too.

    I don't know, in the bottom of free squat, I feel as if I slightly relax my glutes to "drop in" and get deep enough. If i keep my glutes super tight, 1) i cant get down and 2) if almost always fall forward. It is almost identical to how I feel box squatting, where there is that slight relaxation on the box, then a hard contraction (the butt rocket fires) and I shoot up. its that glute contraction that gets the weight moving and then quad flex that moves it through to lockout. Its hamstrings contraction that keeps my torso from going forward.. more or less. Basically to me a squat is a box squat without the box.

    Some of this is a lifter proportions issue and squat stance issue too. I am short and fat, so squatting is more of a "natural" movement for me than someone who is tall and lanky, like you are.


    Bottom line, it is all about the butt rocket.
    I can understand what you're saying. It seems that your box squat form is almost identical to your squat form. In my mind, this makes box squatting "ok" because there's some direct feedback thatyu have based on how they both feel.

    Most people have atrocious box squat form that is nothing like their squat form.

    BUTT ROCKET!

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulo_Santos View Post
    Today I did Speed Bench for the first time without bands. I did 8x3 @ 60%. Instead of doing the standard 3 reps in 2.5 seconds, I just lowered the weight, paused on the chest, and exploded up, focusing on speed. I really liked it. Monday, I'm doing Speed Squats and I'll do them in a similar manner.
    When I do DE work, this is what I do. It makes no sense to do 3 reps in 3 seconds because it takes 3 seconds to do a competition attempt... That makes absolutely no sense whatso ever. Never did. But, doing 3 singles (3 reps) and focusing on each rep individually does make sense to me.

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    its easy to fix some "problems" with westside . i lift raw and i am in offseason , next meet in 4 months . i have allways 2 4weekcycles (westsidestyle only for bench) . the last 2 cycles i did triples on the ME exercise and 5-8 on the scond ME-style-lift . i worked up with triples to a max triple with really small jumps (5-10 %). i did this the first time and it was fun and i disagree with travis in the point that singles are better for form etc.. using different exercises every week means that you must come clear a bit with it. so my second rep was always better than the first one and the third rep was a perfect grinder. and my strength explosed . on the second mnth i could triple what i did on the same exercise for a single a cycle before.

    i agree with matt using 2 heavy days a week for bench. i kicked de-work and did / do bench for 4-8 reps instead. i would stop if my max effort work getting down , but no, on both days i hitting prs cince over 9 weeks with rarely deload .

  14. #64
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    When I do DE work, this is what I do. It makes no sense to do 3 reps in 3 seconds because it takes 3 seconds to do a competition attempt... That makes absolutely no sense whatso ever. Never did. But, doing 3 singles (3 reps) and focusing on each rep individually does make sense to me.
    Cool. I did speed squats today and I went down to parallel (no box) and once the bar touched the safety bars, I focused on exploding up. I felt real good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    When I do DE work, this is what I do. It makes no sense to do 3 reps in 3 seconds because it takes 3 seconds to do a competition attempt... That makes absolutely no sense whatso ever. Never did. But, doing 3 singles (3 reps) and focusing on each rep individually does make sense to me.
    I'll tell you the big thing for me with that 3 seconds..and it really came to light when I switched from single ply to multiply where I had to have a slower bar descent because of the shirt catching---thats breathing. The 3 seconds of holding your breath in a full bench setup is very, very important.

    What I found out was I flat out couldnt' hold my air in a 2 ply shirt. I could bench fine in a single ply shirt, but in a 2 ply, there was just enough time to touch, it didn't work. I tore my training apart and couldn't figure out WTF was wrong.. .but at some point along the way, I realized I'd got into the habit of taking a slight breath between each rep, focusing on each rep individually. In other words, expelling air slightly on the up stroke (which I think I did to move the bar faster) and inhaling slightly on the down stroke. In a shirt, this flat out did not work for me.

    When I switched to taking one deep breath, then doing the 3 reps---slower descent, FAST upstroke like I'd have in a shirt, my breathing problems seemed to magically go away.

    In my mind, that justifies the "3 seconds" idea.
    Last edited by JK1; 03-11-2013 at 11:15 AM.
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  16. #66
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    When I do DE work, this is what I do. It makes no sense to do 3 reps in 3 seconds because it takes 3 seconds to do a competition attempt... That makes absolutely no sense whatso ever. Never did. But, doing 3 singles (3 reps) and focusing on each rep individually does make sense to me.
    I could see an argument for the 3 seconds rule not making sense based soley upon it taking 3 seconds to perform a multiply bench, however it does make sense from the standpoint that if you are doing it much slower, it's not very explosive.

    Explain to me how 3 singles is different than 3 reps? If they are legit singles, it's going to have even less carryover than the 3 reps will because you're training your stretch reflex for less than one second in the first place. That doesn't make much sense to me.

    What we've experimented with at the gym is 8 sets of 5 reps, still done explosively and with the same weights. However much more than 5 seconds and you're really testing the limits of what the stretch reflex is going to be able to do.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    I'll tell you the big thing for me with that 3 seconds..and it really came to light when I switched from single ply to multiply where I had to have a slower bar descent because of the shirt catching---thats breathing. The 3 seconds of holding your breath in a full bench setup is very, very important.

    What I found out was I flat out couldnt' hold my air in a 2 ply shirt. I could bench fine in a single ply shirt, but in a 2 ply, there was just enough time to touch, it didn't work. I tore my training apart and couldn't figure out WTF was wrong.. .but at some point along the way, I realized I'd got into the habit of taking a slight breath between each rep, focusing on each rep individually. In other words, expelling air slightly on the up stroke (which I think I did to move the bar faster) and inhaling slightly on the down stroke. In a shirt, this flat out did not work for me.

    When I switched to taking one deep breath, then doing the 3 reps---slower descent, FAST upstroke like I'd have in a shirt, my breathing problems seemed to magically go away.

    In my mind, that justifies the "3 seconds" idea.
    I just hold my breath for the 7-10 seconds (?) it might take me to do the 3 reps (as 3 singles in my mind).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    I could see an argument for the 3 seconds rule not making sense based soley upon it taking 3 seconds to perform a multiply bench, however it does make sense from the standpoint that if you are doing it much slower, it's not very explosive.

    Explain to me how 3 singles is different than 3 reps? If they are legit singles, it's going to have even less carryover than the 3 reps will because you're training your stretch reflex for less than one second in the first place. That doesn't make much sense to me.

    What we've experimented with at the gym is 8 sets of 5 reps, still done explosively and with the same weights. However much more than 5 seconds and you're really testing the limits of what the stretch reflex is going to be able to do.
    I may have misunderstood what you asked. So, I'm going to try and explain what I mean by "3 singles". if I'm not answering your question, I'll get some real sleep tonight and go after it tomorrow. HA!

    By 3 singles I mean it's a set of 3, I just Pause each rep at the top and bottom. I lower the bar fast, but under control, pause on the chest for a second, and explode the weight up. Even Louie says (at least in old articles) tha tghe stretch reflex is stored up to 2 seconds. I would do the exact same thing for sets of 5, aswell. Holding my breath the whole time.

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    One of the better threads lately. I'm learning a ton of stuff. Y'all keep up the discourse and I'm gonna keep gleaning some information from some truly strong people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    I may have misunderstood what you asked. So, I'm going to try and explain what I mean by "3 singles". if I'm not answering your question, I'll get some real sleep tonight and go after it tomorrow. HA!

    By 3 singles I mean it's a set of 3, I just Pause each rep at the top and bottom. I lower the bar fast, but under control, pause on the chest for a second, and explode the weight up. Even Louie says (at least in old articles) tha tghe stretch reflex is stored up to 2 seconds. I would do the exact same thing for sets of 5, aswell. Holding my breath the whole time.

    Are you a fan of paused reps for raw benching? I found that when it started incorporating paused that I got stronger off the chest.

    Nice thread.
    The only lift I'm proud of at this point is a close stance, ass to grass zercher squat of 170kg x2 at 85kg bw. If only they held zercher squat competitions...

  21. #71
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    I have no idea what the SAID pricipal is, Chris. I've heard it mentioned before.

    I know that EVERY program out there has a peaking phase for a reason.
    Really? Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It is the underlying principle to all forms of training. Your body will adapt in a very specific way to each unique demand. Now, consider that in relation to the idea of max singles, and very heaby singles va. multiple rep sets. Consider all of the physiologic processes occurring during a max single attempt vs. those during multiple rep attempts.

    You are right, different rep counts (to a point) can all contribute to strength, but there are many kinds of strength and you have to train in a way which optimally helps you to reach your goal.


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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post

    You are right, different rep counts (to a point) can all contribute to strength, but there are many kinds of strength and you have to train in a way which optimally helps you to reach your goal.

    I think this is a key point, and one that really is missed by many lifters. We all have a certain "rep count" that our bodies respond to best. For me it seems to be largely singles and some doubles. For someone like Rob (a raw lifter with a body shape somewhat similar to mine) it seems to be doubles and triples. For my wife (an equipt lifter, much smaller than we are) it is 3-5 reps. If she can do a single, she can almost always double it, where for me i can grind out a maximum single and that second rep may take an act of God to happen.

    In the end, maximizing the rep scheme that works best for you will lead to the best strength gains with a particular exercise. You just have to figure out what the heck it is and test it periodically to make it work.
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  23. #73
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Really? Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It is the underlying principle to all forms of training. Your body will adapt in a very specific way to each unique demand. Now, consider that in relation to the idea of max singles, and very heaby singles va. multiple rep sets. Consider all of the physiologic processes occurring during a max single attempt vs. those during multiple rep attempts.

    You are right, different rep counts (to a point) can all contribute to strength, but there are many kinds of strength and you have to train in a way which optimally helps you to reach your goal.
    I'm still a novice to Westside knowledge (compared to people here, at least). But has Westside experimented with doing ME days with sets consisting of 2-3 or even 4-5 rep maxes in rotation with the regular 1RM? So for example: The first 3-4 weeks using a 1RM for each exercise followed by 3-4 weeks of higher rep maxes with the same exercises?

    As you have stated, there are many kinds of strength so would working multiple areas ultimately help you reach a stronger overall total?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJDANEXT0 View Post
    Are you a fan of paused reps for raw benching? I found that when it started incorporating paused that I got stronger off the chest.

    Nice thread.
    Absolutely. I thinkthe Paused rep is a great raw builder (Squat and Bench). I hate them so much I'll keep doing them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Really? Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It is the underlying principle to all forms of training. Your body will adapt in a very specific way to each unique demand. Now, consider that in relation to the idea of max singles, and very heaby singles va. multiple rep sets. Consider all of the physiologic processes occurring during a max single attempt vs. those during multiple rep attempts.

    You are right, different rep counts (to a point) can all contribute to strength, but there are many kinds of strength and you have to train in a way which optimally helps you to reach your goal.
    I guess here in college athletics we just train our kids and don't worry about acronyms.

    I'm very well aware that one needs to train in a way that is optimal for their goal. That's Day 1 stuff.

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