T Nation

Feeling the Weight?

Am curious what a consensus is re feeling the weight. When I train I seldom feel the weight. For bench presses and lat work (ie rows, pull-ups) I feel it most in my elbows. Even with isolation movements for triceps presses and barbell curls I feel it equally it seems in forearms and elbows, but not in upper arms.

Question: how many here place importance on feeling the muscle you are working when lifting?

[quote]Scotacus wrote:
Am curious what a consensus is re feeling the weight. When I train I seldom feel the weight. For bench presses and lat work (ie rows, pull-ups) I feel it most in my elbows. Even with isolation movements for triceps presses and barbell curls I feel it equally it seems in forearms and elbows, but not in upper arms.

Question: how many here place importance on feeling the muscle you are working when lifting?[/quote]

me

[quote]Scotacus wrote:
Am curious what a consensus is re feeling the weight. When I train I seldom feel the weight. For bench presses and lat work (ie rows, pull-ups) I feel it most in my elbows. Even with isolation movements for triceps presses and barbell curls I feel it equally it seems in forearms and elbows, but not in upper arms.

Question: how many here place importance on feeling the muscle you are working when lifting?[/quote]

Your elbows are not a muscle. If you lack the ability to feel a muscle working at all, my assumption is that your gains will come much slower. One thing that sets apart those who make quick progress from others is the ability to tune into the target muscle group instead of simply going through the motions.

When I train chest, I feel it in my chest. Yes, triceps and shoulders are involved as well, but that doesn’t erase the fact that my chest is what feels worked after a training session.

The same with every other body part.

Some of that is because I have been training for a long time. However, if you are doing pull ups (or pull downs) and don’t feel your lats working at all, you may want to concentrate on fixing that problem. It may be as simple as trying to move too much weight or simply not paying attention.

When I train lats, I feel it in my lats.

I have found that what I don’t feel doesn’t grow. This is the so called “mind muscle connection”.

I’m a believer. I also believe it can be learned if it doesn’t come naturally, but form is the first suspect if you don’t feel a movement in it’s target muscle group.

Feeling it to some extent in corresponding groups is not unusual, however if you are getting 90% of your fatigue in your elbows doing any movement, it’s something that needs work in my opinion.

Of course the most important question is whether you’re seeing results which I suspect are not what you’d hoped or you probably wouldn’t be asking this.

Concentrate on visualizing the muscle group you are attempting to work growing and working. It works for me ad Arnold used to do it. For a while I did a lot of back work but never hit my lats, then I did DB pullovers while really focusing mentally and they grew pretty fast.

I appreciate the responses. I have been growing consistantly in volume on a weekly basis. I think my form is pretty clean, ie I always focus on not cheating and using additional momentum; I stop reps when my form starts to fail; the weights tend to move very controlled.

I tend to feel the muscle worked after the workout, either later in the evening or the next day. I have thought maybe Im using too much weight (though currently I am training for strength/size).

However, even when I cut the weight in half for a final set of 20 reps and try to get a pump or burn it doesnt happen, I dont feel a pump. Yet the changes in my physique are noticable and obvious. THis is why I ask.

[quote]Scotacus wrote:
Am curious what a consensus is re feeling the weight. When I train I seldom feel the weight. For bench presses and lat work (ie rows, pull-ups) I feel it most in my elbows. Even with isolation movements for triceps presses and barbell curls I feel it equally it seems in forearms and elbows, but not in upper arms.

Question: how many here place importance on feeling the muscle you are working when lifting?[/quote]

I do. For me, the mind-muscle connection is very important in lifting. If I don’t feel the lift, I feel that I’m not working hard enough. Maybe you don’t lift hard enough then.

I used to have this problem with my lats. For a year, they didn’t seem to grow or get stronger. So I looked for exercises wherein I could let my lats do super hard work (it turned out to be cable pullovers supersetted with bodyweight pullups, something I wouldn’t try out if I was a beginner), and it worked. A month with those exercises did a lot more for me than a year without them.

I find it kinda wierd you feel your joints more than your muscles. Do you have joint problems?

Here’s a couple things to try.

For back work, when doing rows try to start the movement with your shoulder (bring you shoulder blades together at the start of each rep) then focus on bringing your elbows(not hands) back. It should be one flowing movement not two separate movements.

Use a similar process for pull downs, but pull your shoulders down not back.

The other thing to try is spend time flexing. I strongly recommend to do this in private as doing it in the middle of the gym floor will make you look like a tool. :slight_smile:

Try flexing and holding the poses for 10-15 seconds (and I mean really hold them as tight as possible). Do this for 10-15 minutes a few times per week and you should start feeling your contractions.

[quote]Scotacus wrote:
I appreciate the responses. I have been growing consistantly in volume on a weekly basis. I think my form is pretty clean, ie I always focus on not cheating and using additional momentum; I stop reps when my form starts to fail; the weights tend to move very controlled.

I tend to feel the muscle worked after the workout, either later in the evening or the next day. I have thought maybe Im using too much weight (though currently I am training for strength/size).

However, even when I cut the weight in half for a final set of 20 reps and try to get a pump or burn it doesnt happen, I dont feel a pump. Yet the changes in my physique are noticable and obvious. THis is why I ask.

[/quote]

Maybe your looking for more of a feeling then your supposed to get. Your not supposed to cum off it.

also if you do 70% reps to failure and you don’t feel any muscle working then why did you stop?

Last may have an extremely high work capacity. Do a little pre-exhaust on the compounds then go high reps heavy weight on the cables.

I usually feel like the weight is in my hands or on my back.

A few days ago itried something i saw on here, the “100 Pull Ups” posted under cool tips. Durring that, i didnt really have a huge pump in my lats as such, just a Feeling of fatigue. however… the next day i couldent sit up my LATS were so sore.

As for everything else, my elbows dont tend to get a pump, nor does any muscle im not working. If i work triceps, my triceps get sore. Same with any muscle, this has already been said.

Drop the weight, and rather than just moving the weight, squeeze the shit out of a targeted muscle againts a force, it works much better.

PC

[quote]Scotacus wrote:
I appreciate the responses. I have been growing consistantly in volume on a weekly basis. I think my form is pretty clean, ie I always focus on not cheating and using additional momentum; I stop reps when my form starts to fail; the weights tend to move very controlled.

I tend to feel the muscle worked after the workout, either later in the evening or the next day. I have thought maybe Im using too much weight (though currently I am training for strength/size).

However, even when I cut the weight in half for a final set of 20 reps and try to get a pump or burn it doesnt happen, I dont feel a pump. Yet the changes in my physique are noticable and obvious. THis is why I ask.[/quote]

Hmm, a little cheating helps with the pump, in my experience at least. Maybe you can try a little cheating, just a little, so that you can continue your set for 1-3 reps and hopefully feel something.

You don’t feel a pump after a 20 rep set? I’ve never heard this before. I always get a pump whenever a set lasts 10 reps or more.

What then do you feel after doing those 20 reps?

[quote]Scotacus wrote:
I appreciate the responses. I have been growing consistantly in volume on a weekly basis. I think my form is pretty clean, ie I always focus on not cheating and using additional momentum; I stop reps when my form starts to fail; the weights tend to move very controlled.

I tend to feel the muscle worked after the workout, either later in the evening or the next day. I have thought maybe Im using too much weight (though currently I am training for strength/size).

However, even when I cut the weight in half for a final set of 20 reps and try to get a pump or burn it doesnt happen, I dont feel a pump. Yet the changes in my physique are noticable and obvious. THis is why I ask.

[/quote]

Growing in volume isn’t necessarily the same as growing in size and strength. I can just about promise you if you are feeling your elbows more than the target muscles something is wrong. For pulling movements, maybe your shrugging without knowing it for instance, a common issue.

I’ve been teaching my daughter about this type of thing. To use cable rows as an example. The cable should be aligned with the lower arm. I use a yard stick when she’s feeling her biceps or triceps too much to show that her lower arms are not aligned one way or the other with the cable.

This turns the movement from a back exercise into a partial curl or tricep pushdown and distracts from the ability to fell whatever back work is actually being done.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
I usually feel like the weight is in my hands or on my back. [/quote]

nice try at comedy

[quote]Scotacus wrote:
I think my form is pretty clean, ie I always focus on not cheating and using additional momentum…

I have thought maybe Im using too much weight
[/quote]

It’s probably not the weight. Nine times out of ten, feeling pain or pressure in your joints is a result of poor form. Have someone who knows what they’re doing critique yours, like Tiribulus does for his daughter. There are many factors that compromise form besides momentum. Posture and alignment are usually the culprits.

Again, great responses. Now, another question: a physique such as Dave Tate’s has likely been trained without any consideration whether or not he could feel the muscle when training. So – why is it considered necessary to feel the particular muscle?

(Just to note, I am not a powerlifter though am currently focussing on strength gains. Neither am I trying lead the discussion in any particular direction. Just trying to understand more the mind-movement connection better so I can understand what, if anything, I am missing.)

And, is it as important to feel the muscle worked when training for strength than for hypertrophy or cutting?

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:

Growing in volume isn’t necessarily the same as growing in size and strength. [/quote]

This is what I am trying to figure out. By volume I mean generally added weight and not simply tacking on more sets/reps. Given that, were I not gaining in size, would I not have to be cheating in increasingly pronounced ways to maintain an increase in poundage moved per rep? I know you dont know exactly but am just trying to get a sense of what sounds likely.

[quote]Scotacus wrote:
Again, great responses. Now, another question: a physique such as Dave Tate’s has likely been trained without any consideration whether or not he could feel the muscle when training. So – why is it considered necessary to feel the particular muscle? [/quote]

Why do you think this? The man isn’t new to “bodybuilding” so why think he ignores feeling the target muscle group he is trying to hit?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Scotacus wrote:
Again, great responses. Now, another question: a physique such as Dave Tate’s has likely been trained without any consideration whether or not he could feel the muscle when training. So – why is it considered necessary to feel the particular muscle?

Why do you think this? The man isn’t new to “bodybuilding” so why think he ignores feeling the target muscle group he is trying to hit?[/quote]

Of course its an assumption on my part. I think this because do not powerlifters (and oly lifters) train to move weight, rather than how their muscles feel when moving it? I could be totally wrong as I admit I know next to nothing about powerlifting.

[EDIT]
Also, in the articles by him that Ive read, I dont recall him ever mentioning focusing on the muscle in this way.

Another question: is one more likely to feel the weight when doing slower reps as opposed to the fast concentric/eccentrics suggested by T-Nation writers lately? I try to move the weight as fast as possible (while of course using a relatively heavy weight). How fast do you move the weight?