T Nation

New to PLing, Random Questions...

just finishing up my 1st cycle of 5/3/1.

ive had some random questions come to mind, so ill just throw them out there and see what i get…

  1. I tried seated dumbbell cleans the other day, liked them. As my first time doing them, i went light- used 20lb bells. 3 sets of 20 reps. I found out this exercise is actually quite humbling, at least at the start, as 20lb bells seemed to be about all i needed. Today i did them with the 3 x 20 again, moved up to 25lb bells last set. These seem to be frying my back at the time, but im wondering if im going to get much growth out of doing them with 25’s? Sorry that it sounds like such a newbie question, but i guess these are new to me so…

  2. PowerSquat Machine Good Mornings- who likes them? at my current strength levels and size, i just find barbell good mornings awkward. tried them today on the power squat and i was able to just load up the weight and focus on the movement. my thoughts are to get decently strong on them this way and maybe move over to the barbell good morning, or is that stupid?

  3. I’ve had patellar re-alignment surgery- it was actually about 7 years ago. i have noticed at times that when i do leg pushing movements, the leg that wasnt operated on seems to do more of the work, causes an uneven pump feeling. i dont care much about that pump, as far as “getting a pump” is concerned. i want my squat to go up. should i just keep squatting with good form, let my legs distribute the stress as they will, or should i attempt to address this through maybe doing a few extra sets of something for just the operated leg?

  4. My hips are sore! right at the outsides of my hipbones- is this just from squatting wide? its an annoying dull achey soreness, notice it when sitting and laying. is this going to go away as my hips get stronger, or could i be doing something wrong, etc? i usually squat somewhat wide, but not extreme like to the sides of the rack or anything. and i pull conventional.

thanks

for the seated dumbell cleans i would personally use a heavier weight with lower reps. idk what your strength is but from what you gave i am assuming that starting with 40’s for 10 reps 45’s for 8 50’s for 8 and 55’s for 6 would probably help you get the gains you want. by the way you are lifting you are going for a real cut look not the PL strength.

as far as the machine good mornings i would not do them because DB’s are always going to work more muscle because of the control it takes to use them. but if you feel that you are making sufficient gains by using them then continue to do so.
for your squat problem i have no input on that.

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
just finishing up my 1st cycle of 5/3/1.

ive had some random questions come to mind, so ill just throw them out there and see what i get…

  1. I tried seated dumbbell cleans the other day, liked them. As my first time doing them, i went light- used 20lb bells. 3 sets of 20 reps. I found out this exercise is actually quite humbling, at least at the start, as 20lb bells seemed to be about all i needed. Today i did them with the 3 x 20 again, moved up to 25lb bells last set. These seem to be frying my back at the time, but im wondering if im going to get much growth out of doing them with 25’s? Sorry that it sounds like such a newbie question, but i guess these are new to me so…

  2. PowerSquat Machine Good Mornings- who likes them? at my current strength levels and size, i just find barbell good mornings awkward. tried them today on the power squat and i was able to just load up the weight and focus on the movement. my thoughts are to get decently strong on them this way and maybe move over to the barbell good morning, or is that stupid?

  3. I’ve had patellar re-alignment surgery- it was actually about 7 years ago. i have noticed at times that when i do leg pushing movements, the leg that wasnt operated on seems to do more of the work, causes an uneven pump feeling. i dont care much about that pump, as far as “getting a pump” is concerned. i want my squat to go up. should i just keep squatting with good form, let my legs distribute the stress as they will, or should i attempt to address this through maybe doing a few extra sets of something for just the operated leg?

  4. My hips are sore! right at the outsides of my hipbones- is this just from squatting wide? its an annoying dull achey soreness, notice it when sitting and laying. is this going to go away as my hips get stronger, or could i be doing something wrong, etc? i usually squat somewhat wide, but not extreme like to the sides of the rack or anything. and i pull conventional.

thanks [/quote]

Here are some short answers to your questions:

  1. Seated power cleans are an auxilliary exercise. Don’t worry so much about weight with these. Proper form is more important as the shoulder is at an awkward angle while doing these. Keep the heavy weights for your main lifts.

  2. If these work for you and help make you stronger, keep doing them. Whatever helps you get to the next level is good. Better to do a version of the Good Morning than not do it at all.

  3. Add in some single leg work like lunges or bulgarian split squats to help address this imbalance.

  4. It’s from squatting wide. Maybe bring your stance in a bit or just do more foam roller work to loosen up your hips.

Just my thoughts, best of luck!

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
2) PowerSquat Machine Good Mornings- who likes them? at my current strength levels and size, i just find barbell good mornings awkward. tried them today on the power squat and i was able to just load up the weight and focus on the movement. my thoughts are to get decently strong on them this way and maybe move over to the barbell good morning, or is that stupid? [/quote]

I’ve been doing these since a herniated disk in my c-spine has kept me from squatting and doing barbell goodmornings. Very smooth exercise and has helped my deadlift. The only problem has been that progression on the machine has come very fast (and I’m not a strong guy at all, DL is only around 500) and there are limited ways to add additional weight to the machine once the plate holders are maxed.

Recently, I’ve started supersetting it with dumbbell swings and that’s been working pretty well. If you have any ideas on progression other than trying to set plates on top or having someone stand on the back, I’d love to hear them. Best of Luck!

[quote]sailortom wrote:
for the seated dumbell cleans i would personally use a heavier weight with lower reps. idk what your strength is but from what you gave i am assuming that starting with 40’s for 10 reps 45’s for 8 50’s for 8 and 55’s for 6 would probably help you get the gains you want. by the way you are lifting you are going for a real cut look not the PL strength.

as far as the machine good mornings i would not do them because DB’s are always going to work more muscle because of the control it takes to use them. but if you feel that you are making sufficient gains by using them then continue to do so.
for your squat problem i have no input on that.

[/quote]

i would say from the way the db cleans feel, 40-50lb bells would be too heavy at this point for me. the position the shoulder is put in is really just too awkward to go that heavy at this point. if the bell over-rotates just slightly, that could mean some bad shoulder tearing.

as far as going for a real cut look, i dont think 3 sets of 20 necessarily dictates that. diet is going to determine that. trust me, im not “real cut”! as long as i eat the way i do, i could do sets of 50 and im not going to be real cut! that thought that higher rep sets give you more definition is just simply “behind the times” in this iron game.

for the goodmornings, im not sure if you meant to type BB or DB…but since you typed DB, i think that doing dumbbell goodmornings almost makes it a different exercise. in fact, it would make it a different exercise- it would make it much more like a romanian deadlift, which isnt what im trying to do.

regardless, thanks for the response!

ultimatethor-
thanks for your thoughts, i think ill do some split squats

ajcook99-
i know what you mean, i loaded a bunch of plates on and went to town the first time i did them, and yes, it does make it a very smooth motion, which i feel allows me to concentrate where i need to- on moving the weight with the right muscles, instead of thinking about where the bar is going on my back.

for progression, once you cant fit anymore weight on the thing, i would say just focus on upping your reps per set. if youre doing 3 x 12 then work up to 3x 15, then 3 x 20, etc. look at Matt Kroc, he does sets of 30+ on some exercises, doesnt seem to be hurting his strength at all!

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
just finishing up my 1st cycle of 5/3/1.

ive had some random questions come to mind, so ill just throw them out there and see what i get…

  1. I tried seated dumbbell cleans the other day, liked them. As my first time doing them, i went light- used 20lb bells. 3 sets of 20 reps.

I found out this exercise is actually quite humbling, at least at the start, as 20lb bells seemed to be about all i needed. Today i did them with the 3 x 20 again, moved up to 25lb bells last set.

These seem to be frying my back at the time, but im wondering if im going to get much growth out of doing them with 25’s? Sorry that it sounds like such a newbie question, but i guess these are new to me so…[/quote]

I’d do them for sets of 10-15 instead of 20.

[quote]
2) PowerSquat Machine Good Mornings- who likes them? at my current strength levels and size, i just find barbell good mornings awkward. tried them today on the power squat and i was able to just load up the weight and focus on the movement. my thoughts are to get decently strong on them this way and maybe move over to the barbell good morning, or is that stupid?[/quote]

You’ll probably be better off in the long run if you make an effort to learn the BB movement.

[quote]
3) I’ve had patellar re-alignment surgery- it was actually about 7 years ago. i have noticed at times that when i do leg pushing movements, the leg that wasnt operated on seems to do more of the work, causes an uneven pump feeling.

i dont care much about that pump, as far as “getting a pump” is concerned. i want my squat to go up. should i just keep squatting with good form, let my legs distribute the stress as they will, or should i attempt to address this through maybe doing a few extra sets of something for just the operated leg?[/quote]

Just focus on pushing evenly with both legs. I have a similar problem with scar tissue in my right hip that makes my body want to twist as I squat. You can overcome imbalances like this by having someone that knows their shit watch you squat and then working off of their cues. Start with your lighter sets and then work from there.

If your hips are sore from squatting, it means your stance is too wide. Either bring it in or buy a pair of single ply briefs for support.

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
ultimatethor-
thanks for your thoughts, i think ill do some split squats

ajcook99-
i know what you mean, i loaded a bunch of plates on and went to town the first time i did them, and yes, it does make it a very smooth motion, which i feel allows me to concentrate where i need to- on moving the weight with the right muscles, instead of thinking about where the bar is going on my back.

for progression, once you cant fit anymore weight on the thing, i would say just focus on upping your reps per set. if youre doing 3 x 12 then work up to 3x 15, then 3 x 20, etc. look at Matt Kroc, he does sets of 30+ on some exercises, doesnt seem to be hurting his strength at all![/quote]

Yeah, I know what you’re getting at, but my posterior chain seems to react better to lower rep ranges with progessive resistance. I’m thinking about getting some bands and wearing them like this guy:

But in the PowerSquat. Or trying to reduce the number of plates but hook the bands on to the plate holders. Come to think of it, that might make for a nice progressive strength curve on a push press on the same machine.

yea that could definitely work, hold them down with dumbbells

I dunno how guys huck big weight on seated dumbbell powercleans.

I’m on the verge of going 700/475/600 and I’d use like 25-35lb 'bells at the very most for sets of 12-15.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
I dunno how guys huck big weight on seated dumbbell powercleans.

I’m on the verge of going 700/475/600 and I’d use like 25-35lb 'bells at the very most for sets of 12-15.[/quote]

Not to sidetrack, but how long has it taken you to get those numbers?

[quote]Hanley wrote:
I dunno how guys huck big weight on seated dumbbell powercleans.

I’m on the verge of going 700/475/600 and I’d use like 25-35lb 'bells at the very most for sets of 12-15.[/quote]

agreed. i will probably bump up to the 30’s and see how it goes with 3-4 sets of 15, but i wont go much above that, at least not at this point. its really not a move that you want to go getting a big ego about.

i suppose i should have clarified in my question, that i was really just asking if i should expect to see any growth using the 20-25’s, out of pure eagerness to grow, not because i was asking if i should go up much more.

and yes, i know this is powerlifting, but for vanity’s sake, how many of us dont want to be bigger, right?

thanks for your thoughts Hanley. in my opinion, youve been a great asset to this site

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
sailortom wrote:
for the seated dumbell cleans i would personally use a heavier weight with lower reps. idk what your strength is but from what you gave i am assuming that starting with 40’s for 10 reps 45’s for 8 50’s for 8 and 55’s for 6 would probably help you get the gains you want. by the way you are lifting you are going for a real cut look not the PL strength.

as far as the machine good mornings i would not do them because DB’s are always going to work more muscle because of the control it takes to use them. but if you feel that you are making sufficient gains by using them then continue to do so.
for your squat problem i have no input on that.

yeah man sorry i had meant to say dumbells sorry about the typo
i would say from the way the db cleans feel, 40-50lb bells would be too heavy at this point for me. the position the shoulder is put in is really just too awkward to go that heavy at this point. if the bell over-rotates just slightly, that could mean some bad shoulder tearing.

as far as going for a real cut look, i dont think 3 sets of 20 necessarily dictates that. diet is going to determine that. trust me, im not “real cut”! as long as i eat the way i do, i could do sets of 50 and im not going to be real cut! that thought that higher rep sets give you more definition is just simply “behind the times” in this iron game.

for the goodmornings, im not sure if you meant to type BB or DB…but since you typed DB, i think that doing dumbbell goodmornings almost makes it a different exercise. in fact, it would make it a different exercise- it would make it much more like a romanian deadlift, which isnt what im trying to do.

regardless, thanks for the response![/quote]

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
just finishing up my 1st cycle of 5/3/1.

ive had some random questions come to mind, so ill just throw them out there and see what i get…

  1. I tried seated dumbbell cleans the other day, liked them. As my first time doing them, i went light- used 20lb bells. 3 sets of 20 reps. I found out this exercise is actually quite humbling, at least at the start, as 20lb bells seemed to be about all i needed. Today i did them with the 3 x 20 again, moved up to 25lb bells last set. These seem to be frying my back at the time, but im wondering if im going to get much growth out of doing them with 25’s? Sorry that it sounds like such a newbie question, but i guess these are new to me so…

  2. PowerSquat Machine Good Mornings- who likes them? at my current strength levels and size, i just find barbell good mornings awkward. tried them today on the power squat and i was able to just load up the weight and focus on the movement. my thoughts are to get decently strong on them this way and maybe move over to the barbell good morning, or is that stupid?

  3. I’ve had patellar re-alignment surgery- it was actually about 7 years ago. i have noticed at times that when i do leg pushing movements, the leg that wasnt operated on seems to do more of the work, causes an uneven pump feeling. i dont care much about that pump, as far as “getting a pump” is concerned. i want my squat to go up. should i just keep squatting with good form, let my legs distribute the stress as they will, or should i attempt to address this through maybe doing a few extra sets of something for just the operated leg?

  4. My hips are sore! right at the outsides of my hipbones- is this just from squatting wide? its an annoying dull achey soreness, notice it when sitting and laying. is this going to go away as my hips get stronger, or could i be doing something wrong, etc? i usually squat somewhat wide, but not extreme like to the sides of the rack or anything. and i pull conventional.

thanks [/quote]

Personally- I’ve never been a fan of DB cleans- either the weight was too light or it beat up my shoulders. I would redirect your focus to “money” upper back work- heavy barbell rows, heavy shrugs, pull ups, DB rows- these are serious mass/strenght builders.

I have never liked the groove of the squat machines I have encountered- but to each his own. As you are probably aware, this is no substitue for good mornings. My hunch is that the machine is largely taking your back and core musculature out of the mix and just leaving you with a pure glute/ham movement. Good morning are hard work- but well worth it.

If you have knee issues, you may want to spend more time box squatting. When my knees have been screwed up, box squatting has allowed me to take it easy on my knees but still do some heavy work. Box squat are no replacement for free squats in my opinion- but they beat getting hurt and doing nothing.

Hip pain is a constant for many. I don’t squat especially wide and I have had intermittent hip and IT band discomfort. I think long-legged squatters are more susceptible to hip issues from squatting wider than shoulder stance- just a matter of leverage. Gear helps some- like briefs or a suit. Mostly, I think you just need to listen to your body. Take your time warming up. If you are really banged up- back off or try a movement that does not agrevate the pain. Rolling on a foam roller, a tennis ball, or baseball can help also.

I hope that helps.

i do t-bar rows, db rows, pullups, pulldowns, seated cable rows

-not all on the same day of course, but i rotate through them. im doing Wendler’s 5/3/1, which means i have 4 workout days- military press, deads, bench, squat. i will normally do a row on each of those days, vertical one day, horizontal the next, and keep switching.

i work the 4 days across a 3x/week schedule, so even though i do a back movement at each workout, its never on consecutive days, and i only do 3-5 sets, so i havent encountered a problem with working the back muscles “so frequently”.

but the dumbbell cleans are mostly a finishing exercise, get some blood in there…

oh and the knee- i dont have any knee pain. and the knee feels no different during the squats, its just afterwards, the “good” leg feels more pumped, which im just using as an indication that it did more of the work.

having said that- yesterday was my squat deload day, and after the few light work sets, i did what Wendler calls “boring but big” which is the main movement for whatever %'s youre supposed to do, followed by an additional 5 sets of 10 @ 50%. im happy to report that both legs pretty much felt the same after this, so ill continue this way and see if that doesnt just fix my concerns.

thanks

geeez…i always remember things after i hit submit…

just wanted to add that i have been “nagging myself” about needing to add barbell rows to the equation as well. also, i do shrugs but theyre another thing that i would add on after my main movement and accessories, because i find them to be pretty easy to do at the end of the workout when im fried, as they are not a technically complex movement.

[quote]Rape Weight wrote:
Hanley wrote:
I dunno how guys huck big weight on seated dumbbell powercleans.

I’m on the verge of going 700/475/600 and I’d use like 25-35lb 'bells at the very most for sets of 12-15.

Not to sidetrack, but how long has it taken you to get those numbers?[/quote]

Started with 365/245/420 raw in April 2006. Now I’m 2 weight classes and a layer of poly beyond that (IPF single ply gear like).

OP, Pendlay Rows are the absolute cheese imo. I much prefer them to barbell rows. I always felt much less stress on my lower back, and much more stress on my lats/upper back!

thanks man. ive heard of pendlays, but i cant recall what they are. time for me to hit elitefts.com and find out!

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
thanks man. ive heard of pendlays, but i cant recall what they are. time for me to hit elitefts.com and find out![/quote]

I filmed a warm up set a while back cos someone asked me about them; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CakrTxpTlrI

thanks man