The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
Latest Article

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
More Recent Articles
Contrast Training for Size
By: Lee Boyce
An Interview with Marianne Kane of Girls Gone Strong
By: Jordan Syatt
What Supplements Should I be Taking? By: Jay Wainwright
Bench Like a Girl By: Julia Ladewski
Some Thoughts on Building a Big Pull By: Christopher Mason

Facebook Join Facebook Group       Twitter Follow on Twitter       rss Subscribe via RSS
Results 1 to 21 of 21

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969

    Westside and non-equipped benching

    It's ironic. Yesterday I was browsing the bodybuilding forum and couldn't help to smile when I saw one benching post after another, and now I come here to ask about the bench.

    Anyway, I've been lifting for three years and I started doing Westside about 12 weeks ago. I've been cutting since mid September (with at 3-week break in December). My bench routine is as follows:

    ME exercise work up to a 1RM (so far I've done 1-3 boards, CGBP and maxed flat bench, chave every 3 workouts)
    Skulls 3-4 sets of 12
    Horizontal row 4-5 sets of 10 (seated cable row, t-bar row, BB row)
    Rear delts 3 sets of 15

    Speed bench 9 sets of 3 (3 different grips)
    Incline CGBP 4 sets of 8
    Chins 30 reps (done in as many sets as needed, usually 5)
    Rear delts 3 sets of 8


    8 weeks ago I maxed on the flat bench. I got 205, but failed at the bottom with 215. The progression was:
    45x15
    65x12
    85x8
    105x5
    125x3
    145x3
    165x3
    185x1
    205x1
    215x miss

    I figured part of the problem was my lats, so I increased the number of sets of lat work from 6 to 8-10 sets per week. I also figured that I had used too many warmup sets

    Today I maxed again. And again I got stappled with 215... twice. This time I used less sets than 8 weeks ago:

    45x10
    75x8
    105x6
    135x3
    155x2
    175x1
    195x1
    215x miss
    215x miss


    Since I've had some good progress on my deadlift and squat, even if cutting, I was expecting some sort of progress on my bench too, but it seems there has been none. The only two things that come to mind as the problem are form and lack of lat strength. My form may not be perfect, but it has improved a lot since I started doing Westside. Since Westside seems to focus heavily on upper part of the bench ROM (tris and delts), how can my routine be tweaked to improve the bottom of my bench? Should I be doing even more back work? Or the only thing to do is to continue to work on form and be patient and wait to get better back development?

    I'm not desperate about getting my bench up (I'm not planning on competing or have anything to prove to anybody but me), but the lack or progress in 8 weeks has me kinda puzzled.
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  2.    Support Wannabebig and use AtLarge Nutrition Supplements!


  3. #2
    . rpffly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, CA.
    Posts
    358
    Is there a reason you didn't attempt 210 instead of 215?
    Won't you pour me a Cuban Breeze Gretchen......

  4. #3
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    No reason, just thought that I could get 215. Right after I finished my workout I asked myself the same thing "why didn't I go for 210 instead of 215?"
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  5. #4
    . rpffly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, CA.
    Posts
    358
    Well I think you have at least something to work with then. Did your other max presses increase (CGBP, board presses)?
    Won't you pour me a Cuban Breeze Gretchen......

  6. #5
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    Yes, all of them went up, usually about 10 lbs between the first and the last workouts
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  7. #6
    . rpffly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, CA.
    Posts
    358
    Nice.

    It just sounds like you were overly ambitious. I'd be curious to see what the more experienced lifters think though.
    Won't you pour me a Cuban Breeze Gretchen......

  8. #7
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    Yeah, that could be what the problem was. I'll try 210 next week and see how it goes
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    123
    Maybe throw dumbell bench or paused bench in either as your ME exercise every now and then or as assistance work. Plus sometimes it just isn't there, you will definatly get it in time though.

  10. #9
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    Paused bench sounds like a good idea. How long should the pause be?
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  11. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    123
    Not particularly long, maybe a second or so.

  12. #11
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    cool, thanks for the advice
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  13. #12
    Do that voodoo that he do
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Bangor, ME, United States
    Posts
    4,173
    West Side protocol works on having more warm-up sets. That's how you get your reps.

    Anyway, to focus on your question: West Side stuff is mostly designed for shirted benchers. As you noticed, that's why they do so much lockout and tri stuff. Those who don't use a shirt generally need more full ROM and chest work. Use more low boards (2 and 3 boards, staying away from 4 and 5's), close-grips, reverse-grip benches, and reverse-band benches (if you use bands).

    I like doing DB benching as an assistance exercise. Delt work is important, too.

    Speed is very important for a raw bencher. You'll get stuck off the chest, and that's where speed comes into play. Be focused in your speed work. You want fast, perfect reps.

    Learn to use leg drive and really keep your traps screwed into the bench.

    By the way, how big are you? This is entirely constructive criticism: If you're struggling with like 210 for a single then most of the West Side technique isn't the issue. It's that you're simply not big or strong enough. Focus on continuously pushing up your assistance work.
    Be a man. Be awesome at it. Be proud of it. Beyond the Barbell

    "Borris is correct. That sounds logical if you ask me."
    -galileo

  14. #13
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    Thanks for the extensive reply, Borris, this is exactly what I was looking for. I'm far from big, currently I'm 166 @ 12-15% BF, I'm this "light" because I've been working more on getting rid of the extra flab than on getting big, but I'm about to start bulking.

    My main focus so far have been learning to use leg drive and keeping my traps and back tight. Speed is something I have to hammer real hard, as I don't think I'm explosive enough. I don't use bands, and with the set up I have at home, I'm not sure if I could do reverse bands.

    I will focus on the low boards and close grips and add some DB work as assistance. And, of course, keep hittin my lats hard.

    I was thinking of getting some chains for speed work, mostly just to add some variety. Do you think I could benefit from that or should I wait a bit more?

    Thanks again for the helpful info.
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  15. #14
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Baltimore, MD, USA
    Posts
    8,668
    What weight are you using for speed work?

    Are you really fast?

    You are learning what works and what doesn't for you - If the ME work is going up, you are getting stronger - you just have to keep figuring out what's weak.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  16. #15
    Do that voodoo that he do
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Bangor, ME, United States
    Posts
    4,173
    What Paul said.

    I wouldn't bother with chains yet. Spend a few months really learning how to do speed work and make it fast. Then start messing with it by adding chains, bands, or weight releasers if you'd like.
    Be a man. Be awesome at it. Be proud of it. Beyond the Barbell

    "Borris is correct. That sounds logical if you ask me."
    -galileo

  17. #16
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    I'm using 125 lbs for speed work, roughly 60% of my max. Usually the slower part is the bottom of the rep, once I go past the first third of the distance it goes faster.
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  18. #17
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    Chains will wait then. How can I tell if I'm going fast enough? Also, since I don't use a shirt, should I do all speed sets with my regular bench grip or keep doing three different grips, as recommended by Dave Tate?
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  19. #18
    Do that voodoo that he do
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Bangor, ME, United States
    Posts
    4,173
    You know, I never really found much of a difference.

    Some people like the three grips, some like one grip.
    Be a man. Be awesome at it. Be proud of it. Beyond the Barbell

    "Borris is correct. That sounds logical if you ask me."
    -galileo

  20. #19
    Senior Member debussy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Posts
    1,388
    Hey Edgarmex, I've been following your journal for a while, and I believe your lats are strong enough. Hell, your lats are stronger than mine. I believe you are strong enough to bench 215. All your assistance lifts and ME exercises are looking very strong.

    Anyway, do you feel that you are activating your lats when you bench? When I bench I can usually feel a nice lat pump afterwards. One thing with the speed benching.... if you lower the bar as fast as possible, in my experience it takes out a lot of lat activation. I've been trying to lower the bar a little slower and then blast up.

    Another thing, I agree with Borris on the dumb bell work. I've been thinking about doing some as well. I've been stuck at this crappy 255 bench for a while now.

    Last question, do you tuck your elbows in hard when you bench? Thats one thing I really have to pay attention to. And when I hit my usual sticking point I flare my elbows hard and the weight usually flies up smoothly.
    Last edited by debussy; 03-02-2005 at 02:50 PM.

  21. #20
    No me llames cerdo... EdgarMex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cd. Juarez, Mexico
    Posts
    1,969
    Quote Originally Posted by Borris
    You know, I never really found much of a difference.

    Some people like the three grips, some like one grip.
    I've tried both, but close grip feels a bit strange. I'll go back to just regular grip and see how that works.

    Quote Originally Posted by debussy
    Hey Edgarmex, I've been following your journal for a while, and I believe your lats are strong enough. Hell, your lats are stronger than mine. I believe you are strong enough to bench 215. All your assistance lifts and ME exercises are looking very strong.
    Thanks for your comments, debussy. I've always seen my back as a weakness and it feels like I don't work it enough.

    Anyway, do you feel that you are activating your lats when you bench? When I bench I can usually feel a nice lat pump afterwards. One thing with the speed benching.... if you lower the bar as fast as possible, in my experience it takes out a lot of lat activation. I've been trying to lower the bar a little slower and then blast up.
    Yes, I try to activate my lats as much as possible, although I don't feel much of a pump on them after benching. The way I set up, first I shrug my traps, pinch the shoulder blades and get a bit of an arch on my back, then I grip the bar and try to flare the lats as much as I can, and then proceed to unrack the bar.

    Another thing, I agree with Borris on the dumb bell work. I've been thinking about doing some as well. I've been stuck at this crappy 255 bench for a while now.
    I've never like DB work much, but I'll add some high rep benching after the ME exercise instead of skulls, it'll give my elbows some rest too.

    Last question, do you tuck your elbows in hard when you bench? Thats one thing I really have to pay attention to. And when I hit my usual sticking point I flare my elbows hard and the weight usually flies up smoothly.
    Yes, I tuck the elbows as much as possible, but I've never tried flaring them on the way up. I'll have to give that a try too. Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
    Edgar V.

    So you don't wanna get big, do you?


    ----------------------------------------

    "If your arm measurement is currently 13 inches, you are worrying about the wrong things. Quit comparing to others, quit worrying about little details, get your ass in the gym, work as hard as you can, then go eat something. Repeat until huge." - Paul Stagg

    "There is no miracle "look good" diet/pill other than determination and commitment" - geoffgarcia

    "Freaking lift to get bigger, or stronger, or better at your damn sport, and quit worrying about weather or not your arm is 16 inches or 16.2 inches." - Paul Stagg

    "If you want to look like Brad Pitt go run a marathon or something." - Severed Ties

  22. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Ks
    Posts
    1,262
    You need more work off your chest, when i did Ws i got nothing on my flat bench either, but my board work got stronger, when i started working off my chest it took off. Also get some mini bands for your speed work. Have you tried benching 2 times a week? I do a comp grip one day and then narrow grip board work 2-3 days later and my bench has went though the roof. I also use bands on every thing.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •