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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Thread: Auxilaries

  1. #1
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Auxilaries

    Ok, I've been debating if I should even post this question on this board at all but that nagging voice in the back of my head finally pushed me to make this thread.

    I like most bodybuilders do my core or main lifts first thing in my workout. You have more energy then, your more focused etc. Most often I will increase my core lifts by a few pounds every couple of weeks. However i've been training for a year (dieting and training right mind you) and my auxilaries are at the same places they have been for months. Now you dont do auxilaries to break records but wouldnt it make sense to EVENTUALLY go up atleast a few pounds? My guess is that most of my energy is being diverted to my larger lifts so my auxilaries will ALWAYS be the same if not go down depending on how intense I am on larger more complex lifts (bench press, squats etc.). Now every once in a while i'll have a day where i may go up 5 lbs on an auxilary but the next time i try to do that same weight most of the time i cant do it (or atleast not the same amount of times).

    My question is this. Should i even worry about the weight i do on auxilaries at all? I've found many times that if i decrease the weight on auxilaries i get a better workout because i isolate the muscles better. I can also concentrate on the negative portion of the excersize to further breakdown muscle.

    Today for instance was a lower body workout. I did my usual weight in all my excersizes. However on my leg extensions i went down 30 pounds. Not only did i get a better burn, i could do the weight without "freaking out" (grunting, straining etc.). Im not out to impress everyone with how much i can "leg extend" or "dip" but i just like pushing myself. If i constantly see the same numbers i feel lazy, and that im doing something wrong in my diet or sleep.

    Any comments/help/thoughts would be appreciated.

    -jordan
    Last edited by Jordanbcool; 03-30-2006 at 10:03 PM.
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

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  3. #2
    T.J.W. nhlfan's Avatar
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    im feeling the same way at the moment, i want to hear some responses.
    -Matt
    gym lifts: squat: 341lbs, deadlift: 374lbs, bench: 275lbs
    My journal: http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=85034
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    if your core lifts are going up and you are getting bigger I would not worry at all
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
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  5. #4
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    Have you tried using a 5 x 5 approach to gain some strength and to break through these plateaus?

  6. #5
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatrick
    Have you tried using a 5 x 5 approach to gain some strength and to break through these plateaus?
    No, i use 3x3 on core lifts and i dont really have plateaus for my core lifts. Just auxilaries.

    Plus I do this for auxilaries: 3x10, 3x12, or 4x8.

    3x10 is what i usually do
    3x12 for things like situps, dips, weighted pushups etc.
    4x8 when i want to go heavier.

    I never do anything less then eight reps. because thats the minimum you should be doing to build good muscle. My core lifts are focused more along strength. I just thought i'd eventually go up in auxilaries but i havent. In all reality i've been doing the same lat row weight for years (since i started weight lifting 4 years ago).

    -jordan
    Last edited by Jordanbcool; 03-31-2006 at 08:50 AM.
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

  7. #6
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Bump, because i still havent gotten hardly any feedback lol.

    -jordan
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

  8. #7
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordanbcool
    Now you dont do auxilaries to break records but wouldnt it make sense to EVENTUALLY go up atleast a few pounds? My guess is that most of my energy is being diverted to my larger lifts so my auxilaries will ALWAYS be the same if not go down depending on how intense I am on larger more complex lifts (bench press, squats etc.). Now every once in a while i'll have a day where i may go up 5 lbs on an auxilary but the next time i try to do that same weight most of the time i cant do it (or atleast not the same amount of times).

    My question is this. Should i even worry about the weight i do on auxilaries at all? I've found many times that if i decrease the weight on auxilaries i get a better workout because i isolate the muscles better. I can also concentrate on the negative portion of the excersize to further breakdown muscle.
    Well, I suppose it depends on your goals and your training. Sometimes, the only thing that seems to be improving are my auxiliary lifts... I concentrate on squat, bench, and deadlift usually, but I really believe that there should be scheduled "breaks" where you are focusing on other lifts from time to time.

    If you've been using the same weight on lat pulldowns for four years, even if you not concentrating on it (but doing it regularly), then you might consider putting some time and effort into bringing that up a bit.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  9. #8
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Personally, I have adopted a jack of all trades typing training. The big three are great lifts, but they shouldn't be the only thing you focus on. One thing I personally do is take a week or so off of those lifts and hit another muscle group a lot harder than normal. The weight does go up. There was a good 2 -3 week period where I did hardly any Power Cleans at all and decided to work on Dead Lifts instead... Or a period of time where I worked on my Bench Press.

    There really isn't a good answer for you, because it depends on your goals. So, if you want to be in shape, strong in many different ways etc, then be sure to change this up and work several different exercises. If your goal is compete in Power Lifting and be the best you can be at it, then focus on those three for the most part.

    Good luck, dude!

  10. #9
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    I'm not hugely bothered what weight I move. Of course I like to see the numbers go up to indicate progress but to me it's the mirror that matters the most. I worry about the big 3 numbers most but thankfully they keep improving.

    So yeah, in short, if my squat is improving I dont care how much I can do on the leg extension machine.

  11. #10
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo

    So yeah, in short, if my squat is improving I dont care how much I can do on the leg extension machine.
    Well, I do not even see the use of a leg press machine. I mean, not to offend anyone that uses it. I just don't see what a leg press is going to do that a squat won't except take your back of the picture or what not... You know? But, I won't be dogmatic about it

    But when I think of Auxilery, I don't think of leg press... I think of Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Tricep Pushdown, Curls, etc... I certainly don't think thinks like Machine Bench Press, or Leg Press are even valid lifts *ducks to avoid the future flames*

  12. #11
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    ^^ Read again.. I said leg extension, not leg press :P :P

  13. #12
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    ^^ Read again.. I said leg extension, not leg press :P :P
    So you did... I better get my eyes checked... Hey, wait, these aren't my glasses... Better stay off the roads. Well, anyway, the reply was directed at your anyway :P just in general... Hmm, is my foot still stuck in my mouth? Give me a hand buddy.

  14. #13
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    *Removes foot from mouth*

    There there, lol

  15. #14
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    I'm not hugely bothered what weight I move. Of course I like to see the numbers go up to indicate progress but to me it's the mirror that matters the most. I worry about the big 3 numbers most but thankfully they keep improving.

    So yeah, in short, if my squat is improving I dont care how much I can do on the leg extension machine.
    Great point. This is what seems to happen to me. I work out very hard and i dont like to brag but I have a lot of muscle to show for it. My core lifts are as follows: Box squat, Leg press, Squat, Deadlift, Bench press, Military press, Incline bench and Decline bench. I do two core lifts per day. Usually having to do with that particular day (i split my workouts between lower and upper bodyparts). Some people disagree with this but I find it to be very effective for me. Basically I hit the core lifts very hard and i usually go up a few pounds every few weeks. Depending on what i eat beforehand and how much sleep i got; i might go up alot. However like you said my auxilaries usually suffer because of it. I guess my real problem is that im focusing on numbers to much. If my core lifts are in order, my form is good, and my body is getting a great workout it dosent really matter if im doing 400 pounds or 40 pounds (on auxilaries).

    This past week i've dropped most of my auxilaries by about 20 pounds and my muscles are hit alot harder. I used to use my arms alot for lat rows but now they are just like loose appendages reaching out to my goals.

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    -jordan
    Last edited by Jordanbcool; 03-31-2006 at 10:38 PM.
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

  16. #15
    C.S.C.S. ddegroff's Avatar
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    I've watching your journal and and here are my thoughts:
    1) you do a lot of "machines" (i.e. leg ext, leg curl, lat pull down, decline machine)
    2) i've completely cut out all of those, i use only free weights. I did cable cross overs and it reminded me why I do flys. ITs good that you've got the core lifts down. But instead of doing deads then lat pull down, do deads and pull ups or one arm rows. Do Db decline bp and flies instead of CC and the decline machine (i think your talking about usint the smith machine and a decline bench??).

    I've seen some of the best gains on ALL of my lifts from moving from cable/machines to all free weights (i use the leg press to give my lower back a break after deads, but thats 5sets out of the whole week). Just a thought.
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  17. #16
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddegroff
    I've watching your journal and and here are my thoughts:
    1) you do a lot of "machines" (i.e. leg ext, leg curl, lat pull down, decline machine)
    2) i've completely cut out all of those, i use only free weights. I did cable cross overs and it reminded me why I do flys. ITs good that you've got the core lifts down. But instead of doing deads then lat pull down, do deads and pull ups or one arm rows. Do Db decline bp and flies instead of CC and the decline machine (i think your talking about usint the smith machine and a decline bench??).

    I've seen some of the best gains on ALL of my lifts from moving from cable/machines to all free weights (i use the leg press to give my lower back a break after deads, but thats 5sets out of the whole week). Just a thought.
    Agreed... Machines are teh suck
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeder
    Agreed... Machines are teh suck
    Yep.. I wasted almost a year doing preacher curls, bench press machine (LAME), pec deck and tricep extensions. I didn't grow at all.

    Then this site introduced me to deadlift, squats etc. I grew.

    If I'd had it right from the beginning I could have been 180lbs, 10% by now.

  19. #18
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    Yep.. I wasted almost a year doing preacher curls, bench press machine (LAME), pec deck and tricep extensions. I didn't grow at all.

    Then this site introduced me to deadlift, squats etc. I grew.

    If I'd had it right from the beginning I could have been 180lbs, 10% by now.
    They are good for isolation. But, free weights > machines. ALWAYS.

    -jordan

    I never started getting big till i started doing dumbell bench press, and free weighted leg press
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

  20. #19
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordanbcool
    I never started getting big till i started doing dumbell bench press, and free weighted leg press
    What exactly is a "free weighted leg press"?
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei
    What exactly is a "free weighted leg press"?
    lol, I assumed it was a joke was of saying squat.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordanbcool
    I never do anything less then eight reps. because thats the minimum you should be doing to build good muscle.
    -jordan

    Whoa! Are you saying that less than eight reps doesn't build "good muscle"? What exactly do you mean by "good" muscle, and how does it differ from any other kind of muscle?

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordanbcool
    Ok, I've been debating if I should even post this question on this board at all but that nagging voice in the back of my head finally pushed me to make this thread.

    I like most bodybuilders do my core or main lifts first thing in my workout. You have more energy then, your more focused etc. Most often I will increase my core lifts by a few pounds every couple of weeks. However i've been training for a year (dieting and training right mind you) and my auxilaries are at the same places they have been for months. Now you dont do auxilaries to break records but wouldnt it make sense to EVENTUALLY go up atleast a few pounds? My guess is that most of my energy is being diverted to my larger lifts so my auxilaries will ALWAYS be the same if not go down depending on how intense I am on larger more complex lifts (bench press, squats etc.). Now every once in a while i'll have a day where i may go up 5 lbs on an auxilary but the next time i try to do that same weight most of the time i cant do it (or atleast not the same amount of times).

    My question is this. Should i even worry about the weight i do on auxilaries at all? I've found many times that if i decrease the weight on auxilaries i get a better workout because i isolate the muscles better. I can also concentrate on the negative portion of the excersize to further breakdown muscle.

    Today for instance was a lower body workout. I did my usual weight in all my excersizes. However on my leg extensions i went down 30 pounds. Not only did i get a better burn, i could do the weight without "freaking out" (grunting, straining etc.). Im not out to impress everyone with how much i can "leg extend" or "dip" but i just like pushing myself. If i constantly see the same numbers i feel lazy, and that im doing something wrong in my diet or sleep.

    Any comments/help/thoughts would be appreciated.

    -jordan
    About your question. I say you should worry about it.. Here's why. I believe that auxilaries are important, not as important as the compounds to be sure, but important. For example let's look at the bench press. You use (primarily) pecs, triceps and shoulders. If any of these are weak,(let's say triceps) you will not be able to lift as much. But if you spend time working on your triceps with dips and CGBP and add 30-40 pounds to those lifts, that will carry over into the bench press. Same for shoulders if they are a weak link. Strengthing auxilaries is a good way to increase your lifts on the big compounds.

  24. #23
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    About your question. I say you should worry about it.. Here's why. I believe that auxilaries are important, not as important as the compounds to be sure, but important. For example let's look at the bench press. You use (primarily) pecs, triceps and shoulders. If any of these are weak,(let's say triceps) you will not be able to lift as much. But if you spend time working on your triceps with dips and CGBP and add 30-40 pounds to those lifts, that will carry over into the bench press. Same for shoulders if they are a weak link. Strengthing auxilaries is a good way to increase your lifts on the big compounds.
    There was alot of posts so Im going to respond to them all at once.

    1) Yes, it was a joke about squats. lol

    2) It is widely known that low reps are used for strength (powerlifters), mid-way is best for body builders because it promotes the most hypertrophy, and anything about 12 reps is for endurance type people.

    I like to combine a little of everything except endurance. On my core lifts i do 3x3 and on everything else i do 4x8, 3x10 or 3x12.

    3) The basic problem is that by the time i reach my auxilaries im usually to tired to really go up in them. I could use more caffine but i really think from now on im not going to record auxilaries at all. If im hitting them hard (and im the only person that can determine that) numbers are just that...numbers. For instance. When i lower the weight i've been doing i usually get much better form and i hit the muscles harder. My form has never been bad (except how i used to do squats and deads) but.........well jay cutler said it best. "The key to getting bigger is not weight at all. Picture your muscles working hard to perform the task at hand and your less likely to cheat or have poor form. If you think of it this way, and ignore the numbers your workouts will be much more productive".

    Now those werent his exact words but he said something similar. This past week i've been having that mindset of going on feel instead of weight. If something challanging for me then i do it. If its to hard i lower it. Simple. I really think in a few weeks my auxilaries will go up alot.

    -jordan
    Last edited by Jordanbcool; 04-01-2006 at 08:25 PM.
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
    Stats
    ATF squat- 275 RAW
    Deadlift- 415
    Bench- Two 100lbs DB's four times
    190lbs 15% BF (Estimate)

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordanbcool
    2) It is widely known that low reps are used for strength (powerlifters), mid-way is best for body builders because it promotes the most hypertrophy, and anything about 12 reps is for endurance type people.




    -jordan
    However the parameters vary widely and there is considerable overlap. These are ONLY rough guidelines and are not set in stone. For example someone might see better mass gains from low reps and strength gains from higher reps. For another person it could be vice versa. I myself made the best gains from reps under eight. Saying that "I never do anything less than eight reps, because that's the minimum you should be doing to build good muscle" is just plain wrong. If you work best with eight reps or higher, that's one thing. It's quite another to promote it as a minimum standard for others.

  26. #25
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    Late to the discussion...I still recommend 5 x 5 to get your strength up. Increased strength will allow you to lower the weight and still go for hypertrophy range on reps. This should let you do more weight, in the hypertrophy range, than you are doing now because:

    1) you focused on gaining strength in the 5 x 5 by using heavier weights than what you are using now
    2) increased strength will allow you to go back to you normal hypertrophy range, but with a heavier weight than what you were using previously.

    It worked for me and others. Give it a shot. Take a month off your regular hypertrophy workout and substitute in a 5 x 5 approach. Then go back to you normal workout. I'm willing to bet that you'll improve your lifts.

    It's only a month - not a very long testing period in the grand scheme of things!

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