T Nation

SSB Questions

First time long time.
Anatomically, why does the SSB crush my upper back so profoundly?
I’ve done lots of shrugs, lots of rows, lots of stuff, “for my upper back”, and I never feel a pump like 50 rep squats with 135 on a SSB, and I’m curious as to why.
On my spine it feels like infraspinaous, ie. deeper to my spine than solely my lower traps but the pump lasts days.
Secondly has anyone ever tried to bend/weld one?
Weight is so much cheaper if you buy it in a set with one of those crappy bars, yes I know I’m perusing craigs list and calling gyms to ask about going out of business stuff, but buying new its way cheaper to buy weight with one of those bars, can they be ground down welded and bent?
I’m guessing the bending would destroy the chrome, not sure about the bar integrity.
Thanks for your thoughts

Once you bend one of those crappy bars it’ll always be weak there. Unless of course you plan to get it done right at your friendly local pipe bending company. Which would make no sense since they don’t generally deal that way.

[quote]knotginuwhine wrote:
First time long time.
Anatomically, why does the SSB crush my upper back so profoundly?[/quote]

It’s crushing you because you haven’t hit those muscles that way before. This is why the SSB is awesome and should be in every gym. The bar will work the muscles in ways that the exercises you listed below just can’t do. Another great example, Ever played with Atlas stones? You dead lift, row, curl, squat all you want but the stones will flat out kick your ass.

[quote]knotginuwhine wrote:I’ve done lots of shrugs, lots of rows, lots of stuff, “for my upper back”, and I never feel a pump like 50 rep squats with 135 on a SSB, and I’m curious as to why.
[/quote]

This is simple… First do you do those exercises for 50 reps? prolly not… Second “isolation” exercises NEVER produce the same results as compound movements such as squatting with a SSB.

I do bent over rows for 100 reps timed with 135, switching between over and underhand grip, each set, current mark is 7’31", once I get it under 7’ I’m bumping up to 185 same paradigm else.
I have done many other similar rep schemes, for many rowing movements, (I like to hope we all have at least experimented with super high rep face pulls for a pump), Kroc rows, t-bars, high rows, CSR, seated rows, and recently an upright DB variation that is in between upright row/high pull/med delt lateral.
I’ll admit to not being much of a shrugger, but I’ve done enough of them, in my miss spent youth, to know they don’t give me that full upper back beating either.
I stand by my statement I never feel a pump close to what I feel from SSB squats in my upper back, and I assure you it’s not for lack of loading, intensity, volume or trying.
I’m curious of the kinesiology of it, because I’m a curious person and I can’t fathom how it goes down like that.
I do believe they are magic, while simultaneously desiring to understand.
I don’t feel at all tensed when holding a SSB I feel far tighter pulling a straight bar into my shoulders, so why the great difference in upper back load?
I totally feel you on SSB in every gym. Fifth most important piece to me when I’m perusing new gyms, after rack, spot to pull, straight bar and weight and then in sixth is absolutely nothing because those are the only things I need because I bring my own chalk.
And I’m as yet unconvinced I can’t fabricate one, unconvinced I can as well for that matter.

Just buy one… By the time you mess around with getting all the materials, fabrication costs and getting someone to weld it you might as well get a real one. CAN you make one? ABSOLUTELY… EFS has sales on this shit all the time. NY Barbells has some and I’ve seen them on Craigslist. you may have to searc for cities but the money you’d spent on shipping can buy a lot of gas to drive somewhere. You live in OH. LOTS of power lifters up there. Maybe make them an offer on their bars?

Not to be a dick, but who gives a shit if rows and shrugs give you a pump like the SSB. They hit the muscles differently eventually if you use the SSB enough you won’t get the same pump and you’ll be wondering what’s up.

First time I used my Yoke bar a few years ago I got stapled with 355 ( 3 wheels each side) I had squatted 495 for 5 reps the week before with a straight bar…

It gets worse, 6 Months ago I bought a EFS Spider bar… guess what… I got fucking OWNED with 2 plates! thats 270#. I had muscles sore that I didn’t know I had man. That’s what it’s all about. Finding weaknesses and making them strengths!

I give a shit because I am curious.
Thanks for the reply.
Nice to talk to you.

Good prices at New York Barbell, that’s where I got my SSB.

With rows etc, you’re training scapular retraction (shoulder blades back and together). With a SSB, or Atlas stones or front squats even, you need thoracic extension - keeping your chest up. You can have stacks of lat and trap strength and get crushed by a weight on your back.

1: The camber on the SSB sets the weight out in front of you, almost like a front squat. The neck padding increases the surface area and the disperal of the weight, more so than a regular bar. Both of these factors cause excess stress on the thoracic musculature because the weight is constantly falling forward and that pushes you into a postion where the muscles responsible for scapular retraction are passively/maximally engaged. The bar makes it so your thoracic musculature is fighting flexion throughout the lift. Same principle for the 14 inch cambered bar and the middle back.

The infraspinatus (not spinaous) is a shoulder external rotator and horizaontal abbducter, not a spinal erector.

2: Dont be such a cheap bastard and just buy a nice one. My SSB caost me $175 and came with a 14inch cambered bar that I have been using constantly (with myself and clients) for years.

Thank you, musculature fighting thoracic flexion, good looking out, I’m always trying to hit my back and I love the SSB feeling.
Unfortunately I won’t have access to one for some years, not do to cost, but do to geography, I’m in South America, though not my address, for the next few years, and I was contemplating trying to mimic the effect else.

I’m not being a cheap bastard per say, I have access to all the tools and know how, I was just curious if anyone had ever tried manipulating chromed bars, obviously bars can and do bend and are bent, I apologize if my question was or is poorly stated, but I don’t find it an unreasonable question, though perhaps silly, stupid or whimsical, as I’m sure in this community it has at least been contemplated and likely attempted.
I’m familiar with Dave Draper’s Top Squat, though I’ve only used one once, it didn’t seem as diesel, I’ll admit that perhaps that was pilot error and a lack of giving it a firm go, perhaps.
Much thanks.