The rebound went much faster than I hoped it would. I don't exactly know why my strength went up so nicely and in a pretty short time, but I think one of the reasons could be that my rotator cuffs, rhomboids and traps really sucked! I lately added a fairly high volume of work for those muscles to my routine, and my bench seemed to highly profit from that.
Looking forward to many new training lessons of yours!
I'm relatively young to you guys, but I'm considering doing some rehab/joint health or forgotten muscles work with my normal training. Hopefully this can bump up my strength levels in the long run, avoid imbalances and future injuries.
I'm doing a lot of blast band work in between sets of my pressing movements. Well, basically I'm just doing everything that can be seen in Thib's videos and what he advices in this training question thread.
I think a lot of younger guys just gloss over discussions of injuries, rehab, or worrying about 'smaller' stabilizers and such. Cool to see that such attention can contribute to a much more noticeable jump in progress (who wouldn't want to claim a 500 bench?!)
Looking forward to your next contest prep, once you get everything all squared away and such
Absolutely. That's just the way it seems to be. Remember when we were younger (I first wanted to write "when we were warriors", but than I realised that we still are!)? I, for my part, just wanted to get bigger and stronger, bounce-pressed too heavy weights in sometimes very bad form and the like.
It just seems to be very, very difficult for younger lifters to extrapolate the consequences of such a way of working out to something like 20 years in the future. No, at an age closer to 40 than to 30, I believe that the most important contributers to my long-term future progress will be to stay healthy and not to get injured! (By the way, this is equally true for my intellectual, spiritual, mental development as well as for my physical progress.)
No, I know that a 19-year old aspiring bodybuilder will never listen, but all I can say is, that one should really see bodybuilding as a life-time commitment, and given you still want to be able to train (or walk the stairs, for that matter) in 20 years, you should really start to think about those pesky little stabilizers and assistors.
For me, it really paid off. I'm now stronger, much stronger, than I was in my early 20's. And I weight 20-30 pounds less today. On top of that, I'm painfree, and I remember times when my shoulders and knees just hurt like hell after every workout.
By the way, my next contest is planned for October 2011. This means one full year of getting better, of playing Thib's guinea pig, following everything he writes or talks about on this site. I believe I will be in the best shape of my life
Not too long ago, I really thought that the only way it could and would go, being in my 30's, was down. And I honestly believed that this was just the way it has to be. No, I think this is complete rubbish. I see no reason why I shouldn't get better for many years coming. I added something like 100 pounds to my bench press in 2 or so years, and I think I look much better than at the age of 20 when I thought I was going to be the next Mr. Olympia (it took me a while to find out that this could be a bit difficult being a natural bodybuilder and not having the nicest set of genes for this sport...).
Of course, it's a matter of discipline. I know, many guys love to hide behind such words as "bad genetics" or "too little time", but at the end of the day, what it all boils down to, is discipline. You've got to want it. But, honestly, it's also a matter of luck, whether or nor you get into the "groove" and really start to make fast, sustainable, overwhelming progress. You just have to read the right thing in the right mood, or meet the right person at the right time, be in the right place at the right point in your life. For me, it was TC first, Shugs and Thibs later. No joke. Man was I in a rut. If it weren't for TC's Atomic Dog essays, I would probably still work in a shitty job to earn money I don't deserve to buy things I do not need. I would still think that it's completely normal to somehow decay - physically and intellectually - after the age of 30. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?
Later I started to read Thibs' stuff and - well - just followed everything he wrote to a t. And Shugs is something like my daily portion of bad-ass motivation; reading his posts is just, well, great! Summary: TC: Foundation of mind-set. Defined the T-man I always wanted to be. Thibs: Tha man! My embassador of kwan. 90% of my training success. Shugs: Steady motivation.
Maaan, I digress... But some things just have to be said some time...
Yes, you are back with those numbers! Just more evidence to support the effectiveness of the training methodologies Thibs and Tim Patterson have so eloquently spoon fed to us. As one of the younger punks on this forum, it's definitely humbling to hear about the success from the guys with more experience.
Anytime I read and learn from the following people, it makes me realize how much potential I/we have for continuing our progress, no matter what age we are!
(1) Coach Thibs: for helping me see and understand the importance of a program's training methodology and be able to apply the associated techniques to my own program design; autoregulation and high threshold hypertrophy techniques like max force training; and for training without ego influencing my progress
(2) Bret Contreras: the go-to guy and friend that I look up to for specializing and increasing lower body strength via improvements in hip and glute mobility/strength
(3) The most influential forum members I'm very fortunate to share this message board with (including but not limited to The Mighty Stu, Synergy, Professor X, Paragon, ACTrain, Mutsanah, . . . ): for any advice or support I've received personally or was able to read on this site!