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
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Proper way to Target train for maximum muscle.

    Combined with the proper set and rep scheme, picking the right exercise and doing it the right way with proper technique and form is crucial for success in a training program. My Training methodology is about using internal cues from the body to gauge feedback rather than just external cues like strength levels etc.. The old myth would have us all believe that it is just a matter of selecting basic exercises and "training heavy". I'm here to tell you both concepts are ancient and non-applicable for real gains. If it was that simple then everyone who just lift weights would have great development.

    You see in target training you want to select exercises that put the working muscle at it most disadvantageous leverage positions. This allows the muscle to achieve the most overload. So for instance if you have a stalky build with short limbs then bench-pressing with a barbell is probably a good idea for you, But for anyone who may have longer limbs bench pressing is the worst exercise to select, because the pecs are not the prime movers in that exercise, let alone are they put in a disadvantageous leverage position. That is another reason for proper exercise selection as well.

    Worshipping strength for its own sake does not equal muscle gains. We've all been there. What you should be attempting to do is isolate a muscle as an agonist, (or the muscle doing the most work) and then insure that that muscle and only that muscle is doing the most work. That way you get away from just measuring what is on the bar, (an external cue) and you can start to "feel" the effect the movement has on the muscle.
    This whole mentality of "just do basic exercises and train heavy" misses the whole point. In my Training, you "train the muscle and not the movement". This whole idea of training the muscle and not the movement gets you away from recording how much you lift. When you target train, how much is on the bar is secondary to" where do I feel this working" that is the most important variable.

    Doing a movement like military presses and using 5 or 6 different muscle groups inefficiently to get the reps, is a lot less productive than doing say a side lateral, using only medial delts to lift the weight for 5 sets of 8 reps. Now you can see that "heavy" becomes a relative term and less important to your overall training strategy. Training hard is what matters, heavy is elusive and usually involves training the ego rather than the muscle.

    When lifting for development If your training centers around age old concepts like basic exercises and just training "heavy" then you are probably wasting your time and you need to reassess your training protocol or have a expert do it for you

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  3. #2
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Allen, what do you recommend for longer armed people instead of barbell bench? I fall into that category and have never really felt a good chest pump from barbell bench.
    6'1", 215lbs

    Deadlift - 475, Front Squat - 320, Back Squat - 405

  4. #3
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    Allen, what do you recommend for longer armed people instead of barbell bench? I fall into that category and have never really felt a good chest pump from barbell bench.
    DBs over BBs. As you are pressing the weight bring the DBs toward each other as you are pressing and focus on driving your elbows in to flex the chest. You should feel a peak contraction before the DBs touch, so stop at that point. Also try to keep your wrist directly above your elbow. Control the negative and flex the weight up, don't just lift it.

  5. #4
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Awesome, good stuff, I will try that today. Thanks!
    6'1", 215lbs

    Deadlift - 475, Front Squat - 320, Back Squat - 405

  6. #5
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    DBs over BBs. As you are pressing the weight bring the DBs toward each other as you are pressing and focus on driving your elbows in to flex the chest. You should feel a peak contraction before the DBs touch, so stop at that point. Also try to keep your wrist directly above your elbow. Control the negative and flex the weight up, don't just lift it.
    Allen, just wanted to say I tried this today and it made an incredible difference. Thanks for the help!
    6'1", 215lbs

    Deadlift - 475, Front Squat - 320, Back Squat - 405

  7. #6
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    Allen

    I too am a long armed bencher(or was when I could train)

    I could have some sloppy form on the flat bench sometimes which would lead to shoulder injury, so I'm really considering dropping the flat bench when I return and using the incline. I found that I always had perfect form on a 45 degree incline and even though the rom was longer, I never had any shoulder, pec, or bicep pain when on the incline.

    What do you think? Keep in mind that I would be doing floor press and overhead presses as well. I'm not a bodybuilder by the way, just thought I'd enquire cause you seem to know stuff.
    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...

  8. #7
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJDANEXT0 View Post
    Allen

    I too am a long armed bencher(or was when I could train)

    I could have some sloppy form on the flat bench sometimes which would lead to shoulder injury, so I'm really considering dropping the flat bench when I return and using the incline. I found that I always had perfect form on a 45 degree incline and even though the rom was longer, I never had any shoulder, pec, or bicep pain when on the incline.

    What do you think? Keep in mind that I would be doing floor press and overhead presses as well. I'm not a bodybuilder by the way, just thought I'd enquire cause you seem to know stuff.
    I would incorporate Flat DB presses as you have a bit more freedom to manipulate the angle of your wrist which can decrease torque on the shoulder joint, but regardless always practice perfect technique to minimize risk of injury.

    What is your main goal? Size, strength??

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    I would incorporate Flat DB presses as you have a bit more freedom to manipulate the angle of your wrist which can decrease torque on the shoulder joint, but regardless always practice perfect technique to minimize risk of injury.

    What is your main goal? Size, strength??
    Allen, my main goal(when I get back to lifting) will be strength, like it always has been, however my upper body has gotten a good bit smaller since my time away from lifting, so I'm not sure if I should just get back to what I was doing before(1-5 heavy reps only) or use higher reps for a while to ease back into lifting post injury.

    Any advice?
    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...

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