T Nation

Different exercises for growth???

The best way to ask this is with an example. Everyone endorses something like 3-5 sets on bench press, but wouldn’t it be better to do one set of normal grip, one set of wide grip, one set of close grip, one set of incline bench, and one set of decline bench? That’s five sets, but each one is a different angle. I think we were all jealous of the bodies of the gymnasts in the Olympics recently… they train from multiple angles. Wouldn’t multiple angles be safer on joints too? The only thing is, you never hear anyone talk about the pro/cons of this approach.
I know I hate the old “hit a muscle from more than one angle” cliche… probably the most annoying one heard in the gym, but I’m starting to think that that’s the way to go. Anyway, that’s the approach that I’m going to take for a while.

You should check out some of Charles Poliquin’s Books, I can’t remember the title off hand, but tonight I’ll put it on here. His book is all about different angles, different tempos, different heighths, and it is all to put on size and strength. I’ve been reading his stuff for about 3 yrs. and the guy knows what he’s talking about. I live in Scottsdale, and Jim Mckenzie trained at my gym when he played for the Coyotes, Charles used to write up his programs. The guy literally got stronger every work out, and he was doing some weird exercises. I don’t know if he was on any gear, but if not go with one of Charles’ routines. I’ll put the name of the book on here tonight.

Alright, Sal, I’ll look into his stuff… thanks.

Ian King is also a believer in this kind of training. Check out his get buffed book, it is a little pricey, but very enlighting. I also ordered charles poliquins new book, but I am still waiting for it to arrive. This definitely seems like a good way to train.

browncy…I think you bring up a really valid prospect. I think that this approach would be beneficial during a hypertrophy phase for certain, but for a strength phased I’m not so sure. The point that you hit on that really stands out is only doing 1-2 sets of each. You are correct that many trainees always do 3-5 sets of flat bench, but then they also think they need to hit their chest from every other bench angle for 3-5 more sets and then all kinds of different flyes (DB’s, Cable, Pec Dec)until they’ve hit every angle, including the wall and about 30 sets. I think you get my point. Hitting the muscle from all the angles is critical, but doing so in an efficient manner is just as important. Give it a shot, bro. I’d like to hear how it goes. SAL…that’s some pretty neat info about my man Coach Poliquin. I’d be interested in the book and a follow-up. I’m looking forward to getting his newest.

As far as bench goes, I like to do the warmup sets with the closest grip and progress to a wider grip at the maxium weights. I also like to alternate with dips or inclined bench for variations in angle. If I combine all three angles in the same workout, I definitely limit the number of sets for each one to keep the total sets and time about the same.
I’m sure this helps promote muscular balance in the joints and stabilizer muscles as well, as the current thread about the kneecap problem illustrates in leg training.

I like to categorize pushing and pulling exercises by plane of motion. For example, complex pushing exercises in 3 different planes would be: dips, flat bench, overhead/military press. Incline or decline bench would provide 2 more planes, although I don’t use these very often (perhaps I should for variety, if for no other reason than to keep things interesting mentally and stave off burnout/boredom).
For pulling: upright rows or cleans, seated rows with high elbows, and pull-ups.
Mixing these up so you perform complementary motions seems to stimulate progress, as described in one of T-mag’s articles. For example, supersetting dips with upright rows, supersetting flat bench with seated rows/high elbows, and supersetting overhead press with pull-ups.
In my last strength phase, I had my best personal record on flat bench while supersetting with the opposite motion, seated rows with high elbows. - Nylo

Browncy, can’t believe I forgot the name of this book The Poliquin Principles