T Nation

Bench and Squats From 'Pins' Carryover

Due to the nature of my work, I probably won’t have access to a gym/power rack/bench station for the next 3 months or so. However I do have access to a barbell with some weights and managed to rig up some equipments around as a “bench” and a pair of “pins”.

My question is, do bench press and squat from pins (starting from the bottom) have a great carryover to the “normal” versions? I gave them a shot last night but it seems like the bar path that I took is a bit different than if I did the normal version, but that’s probably just because I’m not used to them. To be honest, I’m not really sure why I’m asking this question, it’s not like I have any other choice lol.

[quote]Mizery wrote:
Due to the nature of my work, I probably won’t have access to a gym/power rack/bench station for the next 3 months or so. However I do have access to a barbell with some weights and managed to rig up some equipments around as a “bench” and a pair of “pins”.

My question is, do bench press and squat from pins (starting from the bottom) have a great carryover to the “normal” versions? I gave them a shot last night but it seems like the bar path that I took is a bit different than if I did the normal version, but that’s probably just because I’m not used to them. To be honest, I’m not really sure why I’m asking this question, it’s not like I have any other choice lol.[/quote]

In theory, yes the carryover is good.

However I personally noticed that the carryover really depends on how you do the lifts from pins. You can actually get almost 100% carryover or almost 0% depending on how you do it.

  1. Make sure that you use the same form for the lifts from pins as you would with regular lifts

  2. Do the eccentric fairly slowly when training from pins. When I did lots of pin work I would not control the eccentric much (well, on the bench press I wouldn’t) and found that when I got to the regular bench press my strength was WAY down simply because the eccentric portion and the switch from eccentric to concentric gave me a lot of problem.

  3. Lower the eccentric at the same spot as you would a regular lift. Because we are lowering it from pins we tend to not care about maintaining a tight position at the bottom and it leads to bad habits

CT, is it normal to have a bench max that is lower on pins (set low just above the chest) than with a typical bench press max?

I know you have the benefits of stretch reflex on a regular lift, but it also seems like the eccentric portion of the lift can tire the muscle before you press. I just want to make sure I am in proportion.

Thanks.

That’s great to know Coach! That should keep my mind at ease a bit. Worst case scenario I’ll actually build some muscle this time instead of obsessing on gym numbers.

I found the carryover to be pretty good. For the record, I used pin lifts on CTs layer system before going back to 531 Boring But Big. On the bench I set the pins at about 1/2 inch above my chest, used a controlled descent and let the bar rest on the pins at the bottom before exploding back up from a dead stop. It helped me get out of the bottom of a full bench press when I went back.

[quote]GraniteJack wrote:
I found the carryover to be pretty good. For the record, I used pin lifts on CTs layer system before going back to 531 Boring But Big. On the bench I set the pins at about 1/2 inch above my chest, used a controlled descent and let the bar rest on the pins at the bottom before exploding back up from a dead stop. It helped me get out of the bottom of a full bench press when I went back. [/quote]

Yes, that’s the way to do it for maximum carryover. As I mentioned earlier, with lifts from pins it’s easy to fall for the temptation of just dropping the eccentric or not focusing on lowering the bar using the correct path. In which case there will be much less carryover.

My training partner at the time would just ricochet the bar off the pins. I kept telling him “open your hands at the bottom”. Opening your hands at the bottom of a pin bench (releasing the bar for one second) is a sure fire way to make sure you’ve stopped momentum, released tension and begin the next cluster rep from a dead-stop.

I play rugby and the carryover to sports is incredible. When you cock back to deliver a stiff-arm you don’t have the benefit of 300(?) pounds worth of resistance in the stretch reflex. Delivering a stiff arm is basically a dead stop movement so CTs pin bench layers work well from both powerlifting and contact sports…