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Ripped, Rugged & Dense Q's


After doing 3 condensed weeks of Meltdown, I’ve started RR&D this week, with the goal of losing BF. I’m a relative newbie to t-mag et all, so excuse me if the questions are a little basic. I did search the archives first, though.

I have a couple of questions about the exercises:

DB clean and press:
-Is there any problem using a BB clean and press instead? Also, is the press portion of this movement done like a ‘push press’ or ‘jerk’? i.e. I squat 1/4 way down then explode up?
-isn’t this exercise more of a trap builder than leg/back extensors?

Sumo deadlifts
-I think I’m using my back too much in this movement. Any tips for correct form? I don’t quite have the flexibility I’d like for this, as I also can’t go rock bottom on squats, without falling back or kissing my knees, regardless of load. Is this lack of flexibility the source of my problem? I’ve noticed that the pics of this movement in a previous article has the guy looking up, which I’ll try, as that helped me with keeping my trunk upright for squats.
-would going back to standard deads make a difference?

Seated Half Press in a rack
-how far apart should your hands be? I’d think they should be fairly close, as this is more to target your tris, right? In a Poliquin article, he says to do them seated with back support. Is that how everyone does them, because I’d think with back/shoulder support, you’d be more inclined to arch your back.

Thanks for any answers/assistance!

I’ll jump in and help out my boy Joel:

  1. Here’s a description from an old post he made on the DB clean and press:
    “Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and the dumbbells hanging between your legs. Swing the 'bells back between your legs and then clean them to your clavicles while keeping the 'bells as close to your body as possible. Brace the “clean” movement by dropping into a quarter squat as the 'bells approach your clavicles. Powerfully snap your quads into a lockout position while simultaneously pressing the 'bells above your head. Reverse the movement, concentrating on resisting the weight with your triceps, and then once the 'bells hit your clavicles, let them free-fall between your legs. Repeat for the desired number of reps (5 in this case).”
    The only issue that I can see with replacing it with a barbell clean and press would be the issue of performing such a demanding exercise later in the workout after fatigue has set in. Smaller muscles like the rhomboids tend to give out after just a few reps (which is why you really shouldn’t do cleans for more than six reps per set). If you did want to do the barbell version, I’d suggest doing them prior to squats and deads. Alternatively, some individuals find it difficult to do squats and deads on the same day, let alone squats, deads, AND cleans. As such, many individuals have chosen to use a four day split that incorporates both quad and hip dominant days, still with great success.

  2. Looking up on sumo deads will definitely help. Straight deads would still give you similar results, although adductor and glute involvement tends to be sacrificed in favor of lower back and hamstring work. Your call; if you’re rounding your back, drop the weight and train with good form and a slower tempo instead.

  3. Poliquin has recommended a shoulder width grip for the lockouts. For me, the movement is less awkward when I do it without back support, but try both and see which works better for you. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Thanks, E.