T Nation

High ROM Lifts

Are squats, deadlifts and benches truly the superior core lifts? If so why do some lifts increase these lifts? For example close grips and cambered bar bench will increase the bench. Zercher squats will increase the deadlift. Wouldn’t it be wiser to dump the big 3 for a less taxing movement with a fuller ROM? A deadlift is only a partial ROM compared to a deficit deadlift or a zercher squat. A bench press is only a partial lift compared to a close grip or cambered bar.

I think a cambered bar would be superior to a close grip because you get more ROM with more weight. Mike MacDonald used a cambered bar. Is it possible to increase the big 3 using a longer ROM with submaximal weight? Example: What if I increased my deficit deadlift over a few months, but never pulled off the floor? Would my deadlift go up? If it did would that make the deficit deadlift a superior lift? Just because you can use more weight in conventional deadlift shouldn’t make it the most productive lift. If weight used is all that mattered then the rack deadlift would be king. Can’t argue with “specificity” because you are completing the exact ROM, with the benefit of going deeper. Same for the close-grips; will your bench 1RM increase if your CG’s increase? I am asking because I notice this in my own training. I feel like I can increase my lifts this way. Any thoughts?

Mental masturbation. Give it a try, see what happens.
They’re the core lifts because they’re the competition lifts.
If the snatch-grip DL from a 5" deficit replaced the deadlift for competition tomorrow, I’m sure it would do the same on the “Big 3.”

You have to find the “sweet spot” of using movements with a large enough ROM that still allow you to move enough weight to get stronger. It’s not all about ROM and it’s not all about the about of weight lifted. The reason you see the competition lifts performed more often is that they are obviously perfectly specific to the competition lifts. Performing longer ROM lifts and partials can both help the competition lifts, but the farther away from the competition lifts you get, the less the carryover. So like any other training tool, longer ROM lifts can be very useful, but the positive effect is diminished when taken to extremes.

A cambered bar us a great way to destroy your shoulders benching. As for the other lifts, there’s s reason we use regular bars. Also a reason for specialty bars.

[quote]Sharp4850 wrote:
They’re the core lifts because they’re the competition lifts.
/quote]

This.

Duh.

Since this was posted in powerlifting I’m going to assume you have, at least, a marginal interest in the sport which is, at this point in time, squat, bench and deadlift; range of motion as defined by the federation in which you compete.

Other lifts are done presumably to improve the big three. At least that’s the goal of my training.

Will exclusively training the deficit deadlift increase my conventional deadlift though? I think my post came across wrong. Please forgive me. I am wondering because it could help in both strongman and powerlifting.

[quote]QE4 wrote:
Will exclusively training the deficit deadlift increase my conventional deadlift though? I think my post came across wrong. Please forgive me. I am wondering because it could help in both strongman and powerlifting. [/quote]

In my opinion it won’t. You will be able to break more weight off the floor conventionally by training deficits but it will limit the amount you are able to lock out at the top. That’s the reason people train rack pulls. They can do super maximal loads at the top to strengthen that portion of the lift. It woulda also help to identify where your weaknesses lie; off the floor or at the top.

What do you think about the Zercher? Does it carryover to the squat or deadlift very well for you? I know these are crazy questions. I have this theory that training the rock bottom portion of the lift will make the actual common lift feel like a partial. It just seems to me that close grips are just increasing the rom with less weight yet the reward is huge. Mike Macdonald apparently advocated the cambered bar and he had a huge raw bench. Macdonald didn’t appear to be a huge guy, yet he could push 500+. People can argue, leverages, muscle type, genetics etc. They named a bar after him “MacDonald Bar”. I know myself that my bench goes up with close grips and flat dumbbells, they both have a deep ROM with quite a bit less weight. Same goes for the zercher and its almost unanimous carryover from what I’ve read. All it is, is an ultra deep squat. Maybe I’m wrong.

In my opinion increased ROM versions of the core lifts (within reason) can help increase them. i made huge gains on my bench training the closegrips. as for the defecit deadlifts as long as its only a couple inches so as no to change the whole mechanics of the lift. I trained deadlifts solely from a 1 inch defecit (smaller plates) leading up to my first competion. My stick point was just above the knee, had difficulty lockin out big weights. missed 600 in a practice meet 2 weeks out. got the 600 pull in competition, partly because the stick point was just that little bit higher that i could grind through it. The texas deadlift bar used at the meet was also whippier than the one i used in training.

How do you guys train with the CGBP to increase your bench?

I usually throw in 3 or 4 sets after my main bench workout at 80-90% of my main work sets. I do it mainly for triceps work, but if there is a carryover, that’s great.

Mike MacDonald didn’t use a cambered bar for the majority of his training, as he felt it was too severe and would cause injury if over used.

You are wrong on what a Zercher is, it places the weight at a different center point to cause you to use different muscle groups more heavily.

Honestly, what are your lifts at? unless you have technique down pat and are hitting some big numbers, I wouldn’t worry too much. I use zerchers to strengthen my abs for lockouts and the middle of the squat. Why? because they are sticking points for me. I also compete as a strongman and the zerchers help with stones a lot.

I’d skip a cambered bar for bench, it will destroy your shoulders.

if you are not training for competition 1rm then I think variation is king. Pick exercises you are horrible at, do them until you get better and switch it up, simplified version. If your are training for strongman you should gice the snatch grip dl a try too. I always have felt this would be a good ex. to train. Keeps the weight lighter to reduce stress but also trains a wide grip through a long rom which can be helpful.

[quote]majik wrote:
You are wrong on what a Zercher is, it places the weight at a different center point to cause you to use different muscle groups more heavily.

Honestly, what are your lifts at? unless you have technique down pat and are hitting some big numbers, I wouldn’t worry too much. I use zerchers to strengthen my abs for lockouts and the middle of the squat. Why? because they are sticking points for me. I also compete as a strongman and the zerchers help with stones a lot.

I’d skip a cambered bar for bench, it will destroy your shoulders.[/quote]

I don’t compete in anything except armwrestling occasionally (5 years ago pathetic). I lose all my strength in the summer. I do lawn care / landscaping. My metabolism is very high. It seems like I gain all my strength back in the winter. I would like to enter a NAS strongman competition in my hometown, but it’s in the middle of July. The only way I can compare my strength is by reading powerlifting threads. My lifts are a cheated 342 2" Bar bench. 430 squat with jeans belt and knee wraps on and a solid 515 deadlift all at a weight around 205-211 or so. It’s been a hit and miss for the last 20 yrs. If it’s not one thing it’s another. No consistency in my diet, especially in the summer. Anyone else have this problem?

[quote]majik wrote:
You are wrong on what a Zercher is, it places the weight at a different center point to cause you to use different muscle groups more heavily.

Honestly, what are your lifts at? unless you have technique down pat and are hitting some big numbers, I wouldn’t worry too much. I use zerchers to strengthen my abs for lockouts and the middle of the squat. Why? because they are sticking points for me. I also compete as a strongman and the zerchers help with stones a lot.

I’d skip a cambered bar for bench, it will destroy your shoulders.[/quote]

You’re probably right about the cambered bar destroying the shoulders. In the past I’ve had problems with it causing pain and crunching sounds, but recently I haven’t. I started out with a single board to decrease depth a little then moved to no board, because I felt like I could go deeper. But I didn’t feel like I could have done that on the first day, no way.

you will progress with a given template only for a period of time, then progree will stall. everything you mentioned is a variation of the big 3. do it until you are not getting stronger anymore, not progressing, then change it. after that assess for yoursellf if it was successful and worked for you. doing this over a period of years is how you learn to be a lifter. if you are not consistent, then it doesn’t matter anyway, because the trends and results won’t mean anything.

[quote]SILVERDAN7 wrote:
if you are not training for competition 1rm then I think variation is king. Pick exercises you are horrible at, do them until you get better and switch it up, simplified version. If your are training for strongman you should gice the snatch grip dl a try too. I always have felt this would be a good ex. to train. “Keeps the weight lighter to reduce stress but also trains a wide grip through a long rom which can be helpful.”[/quote]

“Keeps the weight lighter to reduce stress but also trains a wide grip through a long rom which can be helpful.” This sparked another question. What’s the difference on the CNS if I do a 85% 6RM vs 100% 1RM? Could I train with max intensity using lower percentages w/o burning out? That’s kind of where I’m at right now. When I squat and deadlift heavy nowadays my CNS gets fried and I get all the scary symptoms of overtraining, especially insomnia and rapid HR. Gains are coming very slow and sporadically(It’s not my diet in the winter). I wrote a program periodizing leg day using zerchers. I figure using less weight through a long ROM would keep things moving forward, plus they kind of double as a squat and deadlift which makes them easy to periodize. Otherwise I used to alternate squats and deadlifts every other week 14 days ( which is getting closer to every other 16 days or so before I am ready for more). For Zerchers I use the Prilepin Chart. Should I alternate out the Zerchers with squats and deadlifts? I think I could max on the other stuff w/o a problem. I know it’s got to be the legs that stall everything. I know this thread is getting off subject a little bit, but I want to take advantage of the advice. I will be googling Snatch grip deadlifts after this post. Thanks

Day 1

Zercher Squat
Push Press
GHR or Rev.Hyper
GHR Situp

Day 2

Cam. Flat Bench
Fatman Rows
Hang Clean
Dip

Day 3 (optional depends how I feel)

Grip
Neck
Forearm
Curl

Zercher Squat (prilepin chart)
Week Max 315
11/27/2010 65% 205
12/4/2010 70% 221
12/12/2010 75% 236
4 80% 252
5 85% 268
6 90% 284

Work up to a 1RM then finish with 12-24 reps / Record
Cam. Flat Bench
Hang Clean
Push Press

24-30 reps
Fatman Rows
Dip
GHR or Rev.Hyper
GHR Situp

Train both days 1 and 2 every 8-9 days

[quote]GaWd wrote:
How do you guys train with the CGBP to increase your bench?

I usually throw in 3 or 4 sets after my main bench workout at 80-90% of my main work sets. I do it mainly for triceps work, but if there is a carryover, that’s great.[/quote]

Even benching just inside the rings with the elbows tucked in helped mine. Konstantin Konstantinovs benches close grip all the time. he has a huge raw bench with long arms which is impressive. He even uses it for his competition lifts. I once read that only 20% of the lifts that people use actually contribute to their gains. Close grips has to be one of the 20% er’s.

I think the main reason you get carryover from close grip bench is because it strengthens your triceps. I got a huge amount of carryover from doing about 6 weeks of close grip partials starting with 120% 1RM over a small range of motion, and gradually increasing the ROM. When I went back to regular benching after that I set new PR’s. I’m going to repeat the same training cycle again soon.