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Let's Discuss Raw Training

I train using the Westside Method; ME days, DE days, waves, accumulation and intensification blocks, bands, chains, boxes and different bars. They all have their place and I feel they all help the raw lifter. Two important things that have helped my bench are speed days with emphasis on bar speed, not percentages and alot of heavy rows. A good friend of mine (and mentor if you will) Mart Killion stated he does one row for every press he does in training. I’ve been doing this over the last 10 weeks or so and have noticed I have much more control and tightness in my upper back. I used to feel really loose when the weight started to get heavy, yet since I’ve added in more back work, this problem has been dissipating weekly. I hope this helps. I’ve scene some very impressive raw numbers and I hope my limited knowledge can help y’all continue to hit PR’s

What kind of rows or just a mixture? I don’t really know if my back is a weakness or not. Too often when you ask people about their barbell row numbers, for example, it’s such a mixed bag as some like to do them with rather loose form and others very strict.

Gonna try hard to push them after exams and see where that takes me. How much rowing volume do you have then? I usually do a horizontal back movement one day and a vertical back movement another day. But even though pull-ups etc. are good I think maybe I need to focus more on the rowing as you feel that more in how you bench.

I am curious about this less core work improving things dealio. Why would not doing ab shit help me?

I do one ab thing everyday. Like hanging leg raises, or cable ab thingers, I dunno. I just do stuff I see strong people doing. Maybe I should do less ab stuff?

ALSO random question that I will post here since I’m a raw-er. Knees caving when you squat means _____ is weak?

Are my quads weak?

KTHANKS

[quote]Spock81 wrote:
I am curious about this less core work improving things dealio. Why would not doing ab shit help me?

I do one ab thing everyday. Like hanging leg raises, or cable ab thingers, I dunno. I just do stuff I see strong people doing. Maybe I should do less ab stuff?

ALSO random question that I will post here since I’m a raw-er. Knees caving when you squat means _____ is weak?

Are my quads weak?

KTHANKS[/quote]


see if that helps.

as for knees going in, your hips. try doing some glute activation work, wide stance [box] squats, and unilateral work.


try that stuff.

if your knees shoot forward that is weak quads.

[quote]Spock81 wrote:
I am curious about this less core work improving things dealio. Why would not doing ab shit help me?

I do one ab thing everyday. Like hanging leg raises, or cable ab thingers, I dunno. I just do stuff I see strong people doing. Maybe I should do less ab stuff?

ALSO random question that I will post here since I’m a raw-er. Knees caving when you squat means _____ is weak?

Are my quads weak?

KTHANKS[/quote]

His abs may not be a weak link for him so doing less of them may take away less from his ability to recover as a whole. For someone like me where my abs are a weak link, more is going to be needed though I’ll have to skimp elsewhere. Recovery is limited allocate your training accordingly. Also remember that GPP work generally increases your total recovery pool available.

When you have valgus of the knees (knees sinking in) your abductors are weak.

Try banded clam shells and bad girl machine. I like to do both with a pause at the fully contracted position for ultimate suckage.

[quote]asooneyeonig wrote:

[quote]Spock81 wrote:
I am curious about this less core work improving things dealio. Why would not doing ab shit help me?

I do one ab thing everyday. Like hanging leg raises, or cable ab thingers, I dunno. I just do stuff I see strong people doing. Maybe I should do less ab stuff?

ALSO random question that I will post here since I’m a raw-er. Knees caving when you squat means _____ is weak?

Are my quads weak?

KTHANKS[/quote]


see if that helps.

as for knees going in, your hips. try doing some glute activation work, wide stance [box] squats, and unilateral work.


try that stuff.

if your knees shoot forward that is weak quads.[/quote]

Knees shooting forward does not mean weak quads necessarily. It can be a variety of issues most often related to technique and people being uncomfortable with sitting back on their heels. Goblet squats are great for training one to sit back.

Question;

How much of you guys’ work is heavy?
I recently switched to a conjugated style of training… half of the days are max effort method, the other half is repitition method

I’m always looking foward the heavy days, it’s agonizing… I HATE the feeling of going light.
Not even sure if the Repetition effort is doing me any good, I actually feel smaller. Though it might just be in my head, trying to find excuses to go heavy all the time again.

[quote]Spock81 wrote:

ALSO random question that I will post here since I’m a raw-er. Knees caving when you squat means _____ is weak?

KTHANKS[/quote]
If you have a mini band, take the mini band and double it, then put your legs through it like you are putting on pants. Situate the band so it is right under your knees and do wide stance bodyweight squats. Dont let the band cave your knees in, push out hard the whole time. This has done wonders for me being able to keep my knees out and I actually now use a monster mini for 20+ rep sets. Id give it a try.

This thread is awesome, it is great hearing everyones views on what has worked and not worked for them.

I always bench with a CG. Typically index next to smooth.

When you’re trying to break the bar do your wrist move out a bit like you’re actually trying to break it in half?

[quote]michael_xyz wrote:
Also a good point.

I’ve brought my grip width in a bit recently though. It has meant I lift a bit less but I am hoping that in the long-run my shoulders will thank me for it. I want to be in it for the long haul and my shoulders always had some nagging problems.

Also, personally, slightly narrower grip feels more “right”.[/quote]

In my opinion, wider grip = shoulder pain is a bit of a myth. If you bench with really good tight form, a good arch, a reasonable elbow tuck, and really good shoulder blade retraction, when the grip is wide, the shoulder rotation is almost negligible. I think the cause of shoulder problems is from people who have a imbalanced rotator cuff. Often people will do their upper back or whatever, but they will often to exercises that neglect the small muscles of the anterior rotator cuff. This will cause the neanderthal look and contribute to the shoulder pain. The other thing, is tightness! Stretching the chest, anterior delt, and anything else that is tight, will help a lot of people.

EDIT: I bench with maximum grip width and bench a lot (like 5 times a week) and never have shoulder pain. I think rear delt flyes with light dumbells everyday is the secret.

It’s not a myth. People are different. Just because YOU can do it without pain doesn’t mean that other people can bench that way. For many people, even those who have decent mobility, their shoulders just aren’t built to tolerate lots of wide grip benching.

Aren’t you primarily a geared lifter?

My shoulder health improved immeasurably when I took my grip in, and I got stronger at it to boot. I have my grip with my index fingers about two inches wider than the smooth and I feel that this way I kind of get a mix of close and wide grip benching elements. It’s been working for me lately anyway.

Rockman,
A bench thought for you… I often get stuck where you almost did in that meet vid and I found recently that a floor press with chains progession involving a near maximal weight at the top did wonders. Here’s what I did: I used a fat bar, but a normal barbell will work I am sure.

wk 1 in sets of 10 work up to an empty bar + as many chains as you can handle for a set of ten. Mine was 70 lb bar + 6 chains per side (about 300 lbs at the top) and my max at the time was 300.

wk 2 in sets of 10 work up to bar plus 25s + as many chains as you can handle for a set of ten.

wk 3 in sets of 10 work up to bar plus 45s + as many chains as you can handle for a set of ten.

wk 4 in sets of 10 work up to an empty bar + as many chains as you can handle for a set of ten. (essentially repeat) I made it to 7 sets of chain per side the second time through and my bench went up after a couple cycles.

I think this works well for people who miss in the middle of the movement. For one it puts emphasis there (middle of the movement) as that’s where the concentric starts in the floor press and two it requires you to push through an increasing load.

If you have access to chains give it a shot. It could probably be adapted for bands as well.

[quote]arramzy wrote:

[quote]michael_xyz wrote:
Also a good point.

I’ve brought my grip width in a bit recently though. It has meant I lift a bit less but I am hoping that in the long-run my shoulders will thank me for it. I want to be in it for the long haul and my shoulders always had some nagging problems.

Also, personally, slightly narrower grip feels more “right”.[/quote]

In my opinion, wider grip = shoulder pain is a bit of a myth. If you bench with really good tight form, a good arch, a reasonable elbow tuck, and really good shoulder blade retraction, when the grip is wide, the shoulder rotation is almost negligible. I think the cause of shoulder problems is from people who have a imbalanced rotator cuff. Often people will do their upper back or whatever, but they will often to exercises that neglect the small muscles of the anterior rotator cuff. This will cause the neanderthal look and contribute to the shoulder pain. The other thing, is tightness! Stretching the chest, anterior delt, and anything else that is tight, will help a lot of people.

EDIT: I bench with maximum grip width and bench a lot (like 5 times a week) and never have shoulder pain. I think rear delt flyes with light dumbells everyday is the secret.[/quote]
I disagree but what kind of things are you talking about to help shoulder imbalances?

I think some people, like you potentially, are just lucky in the mobility and everything that they possess. For me, squats are rather “easy”. Don’t need to do much for them, feels very nice, feels “right” and all.

Bench is the opposite. Doesn’t feel right. My form is crappy but mobility and all is poor. That’s just genetics though. Pushing the mob work but some can do none of it and still be fine.

[quote]arramzy wrote:

[quote]michael_xyz wrote:
Also a good point.

I’ve brought my grip width in a bit recently though. It has meant I lift a bit less but I am hoping that in the long-run my shoulders will thank me for it. I want to be in it for the long haul and my shoulders always had some nagging problems.

Also, personally, slightly narrower grip feels more “right”.[/quote]

In my opinion, wider grip = shoulder pain is a bit of a myth. If you bench with really good tight form, a good arch, a reasonable elbow tuck, and really good shoulder blade retraction, when the grip is wide, the shoulder rotation is almost negligible. I think the cause of shoulder problems is from people who have a imbalanced rotator cuff. Often people will do their upper back or whatever, but they will often to exercises that neglect the small muscles of the anterior rotator cuff. This will cause the neanderthal look and contribute to the shoulder pain. The other thing, is tightness! Stretching the chest, anterior delt, and anything else that is tight, will help a lot of people.

EDIT: I bench with maximum grip width and bench a lot (like 5 times a week) and never have shoulder pain. I think rear delt flyes with light dumbells everyday is the secret.[/quote]

Since a lot of guys are loving to disagree with you, I will give you a little love here. First of all, its clear that the majority of the stronger benchers use a pretty wide grip. Not all, I know (KK and Hoornstra), but the strong majority. I used to bench narrow and was stronger narrow. Wide grips hurt my shoulders and all the jazz. But from what I have seen and experienced, once you start to use perfect technique (naysayers should watch Det Azathoth bench) and correct some muscle imbalances (I would say rotator cuff stabilization is part of it but scapular stabilization is even more important) a wider grip is just more efficient. Once you figure out how to let your triceps and lats dominate your bench its just better in my opinion. However, once you lose that upper back tightness and lat push you are screwed with a wide grip and will frequent tweak your shoulders and biceps tendons.

What is the maximum width for grip on bench? yes i am a noob to the sport

[quote]Achilles of war wrote:
What is the maximum width for grip on bench? yes i am a noob to the sport[/quote]

Pointer on the rings mostly. Just can’t be outside the rings. When I am talking wide, I am just meaning pinky on the rings of wider generally.

What grip do you guys use on the BP? I read Kroc’s article the other day and came across this

"Changing the position of the thumb affects elbow position. The full grip rotates the hand outward to a greater degree, thereby rotating the elbows out and emphasizing the chest.

With the thumb-less grip the hands are turned in more towards the body, making it easier to tuck the elbows on the descent and recruit the triceps.

Gripping the bar with the thumb along the bar is a compromise of the two. So a lifter with a comparatively stronger chest (or one looking to work the chest to the highest degree) would benefit from a wide, full grip, whereas a lifter with extremely strong triceps would get the most out of a relatively narrow thumb-less grip."

What do you guys use?

I am moving more and more narrow (pinkies an inch inside the rings vs index on the ring at the beginning of the year) as a way to preemptively avoid shoulder issues. I also use the full grip (thumb wrapped around bar). Does anyone use the thumb-less grip? I have never really tried it, it seems uncomfortable, and I bench alone a lot and have heard the horror stories of people losing bars with this grip so I am thinking maybe not. Any advice?

Article if you want: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/big_bench_program_for_strength_and_size

[quote]Achilles of war wrote:
What is the maximum width for grip on bench? yes i am a noob to the sport[/quote]

Some part of your hand has to cover the power rings - you can’t be completely outside the rings of the bar (e.g. judges can see the rings). That would mean pointer on rings would be maximum if you have a full grip, OR, if you use false grip it goes as far as thumbs on rings (because your thumbs will be covering the rings so, technically, it is legal)

[quote]americaninsweden wrote:
What grip do you guys use on the BP? I read Kroc’s article the other day and came across this

"Changing the position of the thumb affects elbow position. The full grip rotates the hand outward to a greater degree, thereby rotating the elbows out and emphasizing the chest.

With the thumb-less grip the hands are turned in more towards the body, making it easier to tuck the elbows on the descent and recruit the triceps.

Gripping the bar with the thumb along the bar is a compromise of the two. So a lifter with a comparatively stronger chest (or one looking to work the chest to the highest degree) would benefit from a wide, full grip, whereas a lifter with extremely strong triceps would get the most out of a relatively narrow thumb-less grip."

What do you guys use?

I am moving more and more narrow (pinkies an inch inside the rings vs index on the ring at the beginning of the year) as a way to preemptively avoid shoulder issues. I also use the full grip (thumb wrapped around bar). Does anyone use the thumb-less grip? I have never really tried it, it seems uncomfortable, and I bench alone a lot and have heard the horror stories of people losing bars with this grip so I am thinking maybe not. Any advice?

Article if you want: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/big_bench_program_for_strength_and_size [/quote]

I went thumb-less well over a year ago (watching meat’s videos and discussing the grip with him) and will NEVER, ever go back. I feel I have better control of the bar, my wrists align better I have 0 shoulder pain and can feel my lats and triceps working more effectively. Shit, I even do most of my pulling (outside of deadlifts) thumbless now too.

As far as width - I used to be pointer on rings but was losing power at the bottom. For the past year or so have been just in middle on rings and feel much better. I’ve been working on my triceps more and more to bring them up cause I feel that’s what’s holding me back, but the way I see it:

  • Wider grip less power out of the bottom but less total distance and less work for triceps
  • closer grip - more pop off the bottom but longer total distance and more work for the triceps.

Since my tri-s as I said, are my limiting factor, my comp grip is relatively wide (middle on rings) but I am doing tons of accessories for tri-s to make that up. Also, I feel the wider you go the more back and lat work you need cause you will need their help to get that pop off the bottom (as well as good leg drive, of course)