T Nation

Pursuit of MuscleMindConnection or Heavy Weight

Heres the thing.
This happens to me in several exercises, to be honest in almost all of them.
But to give you a clear example.

When im at the low row machine.
Ok, so I put half of the weight Id normally use for a set to warm up, but I really focus on the muscle mind connection, tempo of the reps, etc…
And obviously this way I really feel the lats/mid back working great.
Then when I hit the working sets, my grip or biceps, gets tired before the back muscles.

So its kind of obvious(I should go the way I feel my back more), but the weight I use for those sets its fairly light.

So what, should I pursuit heavy weight or muscle mind connection?

Just kidding!!
Im not asking for advice for myslef in this particular case but as a general question/ debate, should we bodybuilding practitioners aim for large amounts of weights even though we dont feel the right muscles?

Is it really needed to use heavy weights, in order to get BIGGER(not stronger necessarily)?

And I need to mention, I still feel my back during the heavy sets but just as I said before other parts get tired first.

Work the muscle not the movement. I’ve grown a lot recently using half the weight and working a movement where I feel the muscle being trained working and contracting very well.

Both man.

For instance with my back workout I do chest supported rows (not hammerstrength it’s one where you are slanted and facing the ground.)
But anyways I’ll start with a plate and do really slow 10 reps to feel the lats
then I’ll add a plate and do the same really slow for 10 reps
then a 3rd plate for five slow reps still feeling the lats
then a 25 on top of the 3 45 plates and just move heavy weight for 3x10
(I’ve gotten good about MMC recently so I still primarily feel this in the back but because I’m going heavy I do feel it a lot in my grip and some bicep

but for my next two movements, lat pulldown, cable rows it’s all about form, squeeze and feeling the lat.

For hitting a certain muscle(s), choose a movement(s) which hits the targeted muscle(s) when that movement is at it’s peak of intensity before form breaks down. Don’t train at a lower intensity just to feel a certain muscle, unless you are first learning to use that muscle.

EXAMPLE #1: When trying to work your chest, if intense flat bench pressing hits your delts and tris, don’t just flat bench at a low intensity just to feel your chest working. Choose an exercise which allows you to feel your chest when training that exercise at a high intensity. If intense flat benching works your chest, the flat bench would be a good chest exercise for you.

EXAMPLE #2: When trying to work your quads, if intense back squatting only hits your glutes and low back, don’t just back squat at a low intensity just to feel your quads working. Choose an exercise which allows you to feel your quads when training that exercise at a high intensity. If intense back squatting works your quads, the back squat would be a good quad exercise for you.

I do feel, however, that certain exercises are just less intense than others. Also, sometimes the intensity has to be a little lower at first in order to do enough volume.

pre exhaust with pullovers, then hit your pulldowns, then rows and deadlifts last. mind muscle connection through the roof.

im at the point now where i can do an entire back workout and not feel my grip or biceps working at all. and even have enough oomph left for a few heavy bicep sets after.

also, hold the squeeze and control the negative, 2-3 second negatives.

use straps

[quote]austin_bicep wrote:
Work the muscle not the movement. I’ve grown a lot recently using half the weight and working a movement where I feel the muscle being trained working and contracting very well.[/quote]

Agreed with working muscles and not movements for bb purposes.
When you say, "Ive grown a lot since " , do you really mean A LOT it??? or just saying?

[quote]paulieserafini wrote:
Both man.

For instance with my back workout I do chest supported rows (not hammerstrength it’s one where you are slanted and facing the ground.)
But anyways I’ll start with a plate and do really slow 10 reps to feel the lats
then I’ll add a plate and do the same really slow for 10 reps
then a 3rd plate for five slow reps still feeling the lats
then a 25 on top of the 3 45 plates and just move heavy weight for 3x10
(I’ve gotten good about MMC recently so I still primarily feel this in the back but because I’m going heavy I do feel it a lot in my grip and some bicep

but for my next two movements, lat pulldown, cable rows it’s all about form, squeeze and feeling the lat.[/quote]

So mainly you guide yourself by the MMC instead of weight most of the time.

Thanks for the advice guys but, as I said before, Im asking generally speaking how should we guide ourselfs, cause most articles and stuff on the internet/forums say that the best way to build muscle is to put more weight and lift heavy, but is it really?

Should we sacrifice several amounts of weight for a better MMC maybe?

I agree with iron made first off - use straps. Second - using rows for example, concentrate on the feeling of bringing your elbows together rather than handling the weight from your elbow down (forearm/grip) if that makes sense like imagine your arms were chopped off at the elbow.

I made an effort to make a better connection with certain body parts earlier this year and the results have been outstanding. Also now I can better recruit certain muscle groups for heavier weight/lower rep sets due to the improved connection. As a result of this I’m going to throw in a few more heavy days in the coming months for some variety. I’m hoping the increased load combined with the better connection and therefore harder contraction/more muscle fibres recruited will lead to similar gains

Both. First half of the workout heavy, second half pump/MMC is pretty tried and true.

Which bodybuilder’s torso is that in your avi?

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
Both. First half of the workout heavy, second half pump/MMC is pretty tried and true.

Which bodybuilder’s torso is that in your avi?
[/quote]

Tried to find out but no luck…

[quote]Matias A. wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
Both. First half of the workout heavy, second half pump/MMC is pretty tried and true.

Which bodybuilder’s torso is that in your avi?
[/quote]

Tried to find out but no luck…[/quote]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/printthread.php?t=67189&pp=15&page=1

[quote]super saiyan wrote:

[quote]Matias A. wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
Both. First half of the workout heavy, second half pump/MMC is pretty tried and true.

Which bodybuilder’s torso is that in your avi?
[/quote]

Tried to find out but no luck…[/quote]

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/printthread.php?t=67189&pp=15&page=1[/quote]

Wow, that is impressive

Nice to know my ideal physique is unattainable unless I’m computer generated or Shawn Ray

GREAT link sayian.


Yesterday I did rope face pulls, all I felt was forearms and biceps FUGHKC!

Great thread here, I’ve been super-focused on the mind-muscle connection over the past few months myself. While the results have been good, what’s more impressive to me is the lack of wear-and-tear or joint pain with this type of approach.

When I used to lift with a focus on movement or performance, I would find myself spending as much time foam rolling as I did lifting.

I wanted to chime in on the above post RE rope face pulls.

One thing I stumbled on was doing a similar movement with the arms fully extended overhead. Pull back AND up at the same time and squeeze at the top…the range of motion ends up being fairly short. Since the arm stays straight, the biceps are taken out of the movement. Really sets the traps on fire.

Oh, another quick point - you can still get strength gains with this type of lifting approach (focus on MMC), but they are slow and subtle. I almost didn’t even notice it, but then suddenly I would pick up a weight that I used to struggle with on a certain movement and just completely own it, with strict form and at a controlled tempo. Maybe with this slower approach to strength gains, the tendons and other tissues have more time to strengthen and ultimately support higher loads.

[quote]Iron_Made wrote:
use straps[/quote]

This…

It applies to everything. While flexing and holding a pump is fine, I just don’t think you get the same hypertrophy that you do when you use heavy weights. But you should use the heaviest that you can use to hit the muscle the max. Which for scientific purposes is between 6-8 reps, however if you do 2 and feel like you went far as you can go without tearing that muscle then IMO 2 is good. Bringing this all back to the straps, if you are working your forearms you wouldn’t use them, if you are working your back you would, with enough weight and correct form to feel it hit the muscle.

I think the rope face pull thing its cause its more difficult to loose the grip( u got to squezze harder the rope than a barbell) which makes more use of the forearm/bicep(i think its called something like irradiation principle)…anyway ill try with a bar next week

[quote]Matias A. wrote:

[quote]austin_bicep wrote:
Work the muscle not the movement. I’ve grown a lot recently using half the weight and working a movement where I feel the muscle being trained working and contracting very well.[/quote]

Agreed with working muscles and not movements for bb purposes.
When you say, "Ive grown a lot since " , do you really mean A LOT it??? or just saying?
[/quote]

I’ve put on 10 pounds this fall, lean mass, training like so. Got a little leaner too.