T Nation

Thoughts on Lifting and Bodybuilding

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]johnflower wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
What are your accomplishments?[/quote]
None of note. I’m just a little chap lifting in his garage trying to add a kilo here and a rep there.[/quote]

With this, I do not know how you can genuinely have any sort of belief on training. My best advice would be to spend another decade busting your ass and from there evaluate.[/quote]

Don’t you find it at least a little interesting tho? :slight_smile:

[quote]confusion wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]johnflower wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
What are your accomplishments?[/quote]
None of note. I’m just a little chap lifting in his garage trying to add a kilo here and a rep there.[/quote]

With this, I do not know how you can genuinely have any sort of belief on training. My best advice would be to spend another decade busting your ass and from there evaluate.[/quote]

Don’t you find it at least a little interesting tho? :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I truthfully didn’t read it. I look at what one has accomplished before I consider their words. His unwillingness to even provide some basic stats in turn makes me unwilling to entertain the ideas.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
His unwillingness to even provide some basic stats in turn makes me unwilling to entertain the ideas.
[/quote]

he has a 55kg bent press.

[quote]TheCB wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
His unwillingness to even provide some basic stats in turn makes me unwilling to entertain the ideas.
[/quote]

he has a 55kg bent press.[/quote]
Pretty soon we will start comparing each other’s Kelly snatch http://www.usawa.com/USAWA%20Uploads/2012/03/Piper-Kelly.jpg

Is the OP a member of USAWA?

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]TheCB wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
His unwillingness to even provide some basic stats in turn makes me unwilling to entertain the ideas.
[/quote]

he has a 55kg bent press.[/quote]
Pretty soon we will start comparing each other’s Kelly snatch http://www.usawa.com/USAWA%20Uploads/2012/03/Piper-Kelly.jpg

Is the OP a member of USAWA?[/quote]

may have to try a bent press/kelly snatch superset tomorrow.

Below are responses to various posters. Thank you for your thoughts. Look for your name below.

The Mighty Stu

Stu said: “For bodybuilding purposes…”
I think I’ve posted in the wrong forum. You, and many others (as Yogi suggested) use the word bodybuilding to mean Competitive Bodybuilding. I’m using the term in a more general way. Everything you have said about being competitive makes perfect sense to me. Thank you for taking the time to post.

JGF said: “If you get stronger you will get bigger”
I’m being overly general here. It’d be more accurate to say that there are a variety of rep/set combinations that will produce fair amounts of strength and size at differing ratios. E.g. 5x5 and 3x10 are fairly similar. But 6x1 would be produce a high ratio of strength to size. I accept, and agree with your statements about strong people who are small, and that size can be gained with minimal increase in strength. Have I got this right?

JGF said: “Favour exercises with transfer to each other, and to the world outside of the gym”
Stu said: “While this may be fun for athletic types, for dyed in the wool gym rats who train solely for asthetic purposes, this is of no consequence.”

We are using different aesthetic criteria. You are right for the purpose of winning significant BBing comps. I’m interested in how useful my muscles are outside of the gym, and off the stage. So whilst my shoulders may get bigger by doing seated presses, the rest of the body would lag - making it difficult to apply that strength. Hence wasteful for my purpose. Clean & Press might be less efficient but whatever is gained has transfer to more activities outside of the gym.

JGF said: “Tempo is bollox”
Stu said: “check out Compensatory Acceleration Training by Hatfield”

Will do.

Spidey22 & Plain Pat

John said: “IFBB pro … Even for the food only… Bent Pressing…”
Spidey said “… You do know IFBB pros still rely on ‘food’, right? … I’m not sure why you’d think drugs would effect the ability of a particular lift to promote hypertrophy.”
PlainPat said: “Pro Bodybuilder that they are wrong and that they don’t rely on food”

Switch “food only” for “natty”. Food has everything necessary for growth. Drugs make the food work better. Natty’s use Food, enhanced lifters use Food+Drugs.

I’m know little about drugs. I do know that they work very well, and that elite athletes in many codes use them, can’t win without them. That some drug combinations mean a lifter might use different programming from a natty. That a lowered threshold for growth may mean that changing how an exercise is done, or different exercise choices may result in superior results. I have no idea how useful Bent Pressing may be for such a person.

Chris Colucci
JGF said: “Pressing builds triceps. More pressing builds more triceps. Pressing works better than various tricep extension exercises.”

CC said: “When you start stalling at lockout, I think you’ll come to a different conclusion.”

Possibly. I suspect I won’t encounter this. I only do overhead pressing. The lockout portion of the movement is overloaded heavily by:-

  1. Always pausing at the top for a few seconds on all lifts and lowering the weight to the shoulders under control.
  2. Two Hand Waiters Walks
  3. Push Pressing
  4. Bent Pressing, if I can lockout 55kg with one hand then I can lockout 110kg with two. My best Push Press is 70kg.

Re: NASA million dollar pen
Ran my mouth on that one.

Re: Library
Some of those books contradict each other as well. They place differing levels of importance on different lifts, on how to train, and how to execute a lift. E.g. Pavel talks abot KBs, Everett almost exclusively C&J and Snatch, Rippetoe Barbells. I’ve read Saxon, and Calvert as well, also Bob Hoffman and Sig Klein… Their titles are out of copyright on the net. I first learnt about Bent Pressing from Pavel’s book Beyond BBing. I thought it was a silly little lift at the time (he had photos of a small KB, and only a few sentences describing it). You’re right, owning the books doesn’t mean understanding them. Verkhoshansky’s writing is heavy stuff!

Re: Bent Press
There is a possibility that some of the benefits I associate with BPing actually come from the One Hand Clean I use for shouldering the bar for moderate intensity reps. It is a pet lift because I’ve progessed faster in this lift then anything else. Ever. I find it quite exciting to be lifting 75% of my bodyweight overhead with one arm.

A muscle can grow through isometric, or limited ROM, with progressive overload. How efficient this is will depend on the lift. E.g. the muscles of the back move little during deadlifting, cleans, or squats. Yet those lifts help tremendously in building the back. A weak stimulus might be that the muscles of the legs contract isometrically when pressing; but don’t grow significantly. The amount of growth varies between lifts. The question is, how much growth can be gained from Bent Pressing.

The Bent Press is a game of supports and this is how some muscles can be given a strong stimulus for growth. Having the support means a greater weight can be used, up until the strength of the least muscle is reached. The muscles of the forearm work hard through out the lift to keep the bar parallel to the floor, and orientated to the front. They are not supported at all. The bicep works hard from the start of the descent till the bottom. The tricep takes over from this point and works hard to lock the bar out. The muscles that control the shoulder joint work hard to keep the weight balanced, especially once the arm leaves the ribs up till the shoulder is locked out. The lats, obliques, and other muscles work hard on resisting flexion, and torsion, on the way down, and in extension on the way up (kind of like a unilateral Good Morning).

I suspect it fell from favour because it takes time to develop enough skill in the movement to lift heavy enough for growth. Also it stopped being commonly used in competition early in the 20th century. Even at the height of it’s popularity there were those who viewed it as dangerous (just like some people think squatting is bad), or as a trick. Alan Calvert notes there is a ratio of 2.5:1 between Bent Press and One Arm Press. Someone with a poor ratio wouldn’t benefit much at all… for them it’s just weighted yoga.

“Grimek was a top-level Olympic weightlifter for years before ever competing in bodybuilding … bent presses didn’t make Grimek Grimek.”

Grimek did do Olympic Lifting. Many BBers of his era did. Many comps of that time awarded points for the competitor being involved in an athletic activity. Oly Lifting was very compatible. There was no PLing back then. Also consider that OL meets he did had more lifts than today. Some of his meets had The Press, One Hand Snatch, One Hand C&J, as well as the two hand versions. A good role model for someone interested in building a good looking body without drugs. He also Bent Pressed near 300lbs. It’s impossible to say what impact BPing had, but it was important to him that he do it.

T-Nation has bio of him at:-

T3hPwnisher
“His unwillingness to even provide some basic stats in turn makes me unwilling to entertain the ideas.”

I posted my stats above. Nothing stunning. The numbers (except for the Back Squat, which I haven’t videoed), can be verified by searching my name on YouTube and watching the most recent video for a given lift. I don’t do any closeups of the plates. But the bumper plates use the standard colour coding from 10kg up, and I use a standard 20kg bar.

Ecchstang
“Pretty soon we will start comparing each other’s Kelly snatch”

Oddly enough I have tried this. Failed miserably. Certainly a gimmick lift. Though I wouldn’t mock Grimek, he has been photographed doing the lift. I imagine this lift being invented whilst having a few beers after training. “Mate, can you do this?!?!?!”

“Is the OP a member of USAWA?”
No. I live in New Zealand. I have been to their site. Some of the lifts are useful (Bent Press & Get Up). Some are just a bit of fun, like the Kelly Snatch. They do have a collection of rules that I find useful to judge if I’m lifting correctly. I am considering competing in an IAWA comp. Hopefully we have one in NZ this year… and that they include BP and OAS.

Confusion
C said: “p.s.have a look at strongman Paul Anderson”
Watched a doco, and read a few articles on him. One of the great figures in weightlifting history.
C said: “do you consider the amount you have eaten that day?”
I eat best when I’m working. The structure of the working day means I eat regularly, train regularly. I’m on holiday at the moment and it’s all up the wazoo. I eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m not. I cook up kilos of beef mince every couple of weeks and store it in the freezer, along with frozen vege, and big bowls of rice in the fridge, also I boil trays of eggs and store them in the fridge as protein snacks. I’ve found this the cheapest, and most convenient, way to eat well. I eat six times a day, out of habit… not for any scientific reason. I used to measure my food, I don’t now. If I get a little tubby I eat a little less for a while.

C said: “Keep in mind regarding your training journal”

The journal is gold. The numbers tell the truth. I’m hoping to sit down next week. Draw a few graphs and mine the data for what works. My gut feeling is that I need to squat more, that squatting will drive everything else up.

Sorry boss, but bent presses didn’t make Grimek Grimek.

Maybe he did high rep,low weight hip thrusters,like on your challenge video?

if your goal is to get.stronger on your lifts,you will need to gain weight. You will have to eat more than you are now,or burn less calories by lifting less often,or a number of other things. Are you trying to stay within a certain bodyweight? Don’t get me wrong 2.5 kilos a year for 5-10 years is a good deal of lean muscle. And,I assume you’re in this for the long haul…keep something in mind tho,if your plan and desire is to get as strong as possible,you will be well advised to learn from an expert at that particular thing. For example,louie simmons,or an olympic coach,or that type of person. They have done it before and taught others how to do it. This way.you can skip the trial and error period. Confusion

[quote]confusion wrote:
for quite a while I was training one time a week. I was following the ideas of a body builder named Mike Mentzer. I got to a point where my training stalled and I had to be honest with myself that I wasn’t getting bigger and stronger. [/quote]

Now there’s a shocker.

[quote]roybot wrote:

[quote]confusion wrote:
for quite a while I was training one time a week. I was following the ideas of a body builder named Mike Mentzer. I got to a point where my training stalled and I had to be honest with myself that I wasn’t getting bigger and stronger. [/quote]

Now there’s a shocker.
[/quote]

haha. Hows it going Roybot? Do you think I will be awesome now that I train more?(joking)

[quote]confusion wrote:
Sorry boss, but bent presses didn’t make Grimek Grimek.

Maybe he did high rep,low weight hip thrusters,like on your challenge video? [/quote]
That’s cute, busting my chops for actually doing a challenge you ignored.

[quote]johnflower wrote:
A muscle can grow through isometric, or limited ROM, with progressive overload.[/quote]
Can is nowhere near ideal and certainly not “king of lifts” in terms of muscle-building. Focusing on bent pressing for size is like focusing on pec-deck for strength.

The answer is, not much. Seriously. It’s an impressive and difficult feat of strength but it’s not an efficient tool for hypertrophy.

If you’re interested in reading more about the roots of Olympic lifting in bodybuilding, may I suggest this as a starting point:

Nope, wrong on this too. When Grimek was Olympic lifting, they only competed in the three (two-armed) barbell lifts - clean and press, clean and jerk, and snatch.

That’s cute, busting my chops for actually doing a challenge you ignored.

I might consider one that makes me bigger stronger and leaner…I am sure you get my point. Yes,I am aware some people thrive on this sort of thing,and I am perfectly cool with that…

[quote]confusion wrote:
That’s cute, busting my chops for actually doing a challenge you ignored.

I might consider one that makes me bigger stronger and leaner…I am sure you get my point. Yes,I am aware some people thrive on this sort of thing,and I am perfectly cool with that…[/quote]

I have been doing this for the past 2 months and went from squatting 405 for 6 reps to 16 as of yesterday.

Set 1: Heavy set of squats (something like 6RM)
Set 2: Same weight, half as many reps (round up)
Set 3: Take off a plate per side (or 25lbs per side if using lighter weights), perform as many reps as possible
Set 4: Same weight as set 3, half as many reps

Train once a week. Each session, add a rep to sets 1 and 3. When you hit 20 reps for set 3, stay at 20, make set 4 AMRAP and add a 5th set for half as many reps as set 4.

Give it a try. Your legs will be sore for days, haha.

Oh yeah, also, for sets 3 and on, don’t lockout the squat. The pump you get is pretty crazy.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]johnflower wrote:
A muscle can grow through isometric, or limited ROM, with progressive overload.[/quote]
Can is nowhere near ideal and certainly not “king of lifts” in terms of muscle-building. Focusing on bent pressing for size is like focusing on pec-deck for strength.[/quote]

Sig Klein, master of this lift, said, “I have done enough with the Bent Press to know what marvelous body building possibilities there are in this lift. It develops practically every muscle in the body…”

It is a good muscle builder. Good does not mean best. The combination of hypertrophy potential, strength gains, and flexibility improvement give it great value. Even if you do not rate it as highly as I do, consider the number of exercises commonly done which are inferior to the Bent Press. Where would you place it in your order of exercises? Closer to the other top compounds, or nearer to side bends? Do you consider it to have any benefit other than as a feat of strength?

I supplied quotes from some experts in the lifts regarding how it is good for the lats at http://tnation.T-Nation.com/hub/johnflower#myForums/thread/6058347/3

If you’re interested in reading more about the roots of Olympic lifting in bodybuilding, may I suggest this as a starting point:
http://www.T-Nation.com/training/olympic-lifting-for-bodybuilders[/quote][/quote]

Read it. Good article. It’s very much in line with my thinking. I clean, or power clean, the bar, or dumbbell, for all overhead lifts (except the snatch and the occasional double dumbbell swing for TH Waiter Walks).

Nope, wrong on this too.[/quote]
I stand corrected. The OH lifts stopped before he started competing. He did do them in his training.

Above is a picture of him Bent Pressing. We both agree that it is a difficult lift that takes time to master. A world champion would only take the trouble if they thought it had value. Bob Hoffman, in “Weight Lifting” notes that the bottom position of the OAS Snatch, C&J, and Bent Press is the same. As a heavy support lift it prepares the mind, and body, for handling greater weights. John Grimek thoght heavy supports were critical to hus success as a BBer. See http://ditillo2.blogspot.co.nz/2010/09/developing-greater-strength-john-grimek.html

An aside note, the mens’, in the audience, arms hang by their sides. Not in front. No problems with internally rotated shoulders caused by muscle imbalance in their programs!

Don’t take this the wrong way, John, but if the bent press is so good at adding muscle, why haven’t you added any muscle?

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Don’t take this the wrong way, John, but if the bent press is so good at adding muscle, why haven’t you added any muscle?[/quote]
I have. I’ve gone from little pebble to big pebble.

I stopped doing bench, rows, and pullups, on September 1 to make time for Bent Pressing. Based on my own eyes (perhaps a poor judge), I believe that my arms, shoulders, and lats are bigger. I believe (but can’t prove) that the combination of One Hand Clean & Bent Pressing is responsible. Given that there has been no other change to my routine it seems a reasonable statement.

I’ve posted a lot about the lift. That’s because it is the most controversial part of my training. No one is going ask “Why the hell are you doing squats for!?!?”. The bulk of my lifting is fairly standard, the only special thing is that I only use the rack for squatting. Everything else is pulled from the floor.

[quote]johnflower wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Don’t take this the wrong way, John, but if the bent press is so good at adding muscle, why haven’t you added any muscle?[/quote]

I have. I’ve gone from little pebble to big pebble.
[/quote]

[quote]johnflower wrote:

Over the last year and a half I’ve gained 2.5kg. The best progress I’ve ever made. Terrible progress compared with many others.
[/quote]

if you enjoy the way you’re training just now then that’s fair enough and by all means keep at it, but if you think doing these circus trick lifts or following some weird dogma about only pulling stuff from the floor is a magic secret to better strength/a better physique than all the rest of us gym goers who train normally, then you’ll be disappointed. I would think that your mediocre results (I don’t mean to be cruel by saying that, I just can’t think of a different way of putting it) would be some indication of this.

In any case, I wish you luck.

[quote]johnflower wrote:
Stu said: "For bodybuilding purposes…"
I think I’ve posted in the wrong forum. You, and many others (as Yogi suggested) use the word bodybuilding to mean Competitive Bodybuilding. I’m using the term in a more general way. Everything you have said about being competitive makes perfect sense to me. Thank you for taking the time to post.
[/quote]

I’m not referring to competitive bodybuilding, but for hypertrophy in any optimal sense as the goal. For the rank beginner, pursuing strength (or chasing #s as I like to call it) is a good and usually necessary thing, but I feel you will be hard pressed to find any advanced bodybuilder who maintains that strength = size. Some PLer like to say this because IMO it makes them feel better about carrying higher amounts of bf, but you will also find what I believe is a greater amount of PLers who will admit that training for strength is very different than training for size.

Your fascination with old school approaches is respectable, as guys like Colucci and myself are big fans of the history of the sport, but, realize that much of what the forefathers of weight training believed has since been corrected, improved upon, or even understood and disregarded for better options.

Throwing out guys like Grimeck to support one exercise he utilized will never hold water because the guy was a one in a million example. He was also amazingly short, and due to his genetic disposition, seemed to naturally develop his physique in an amazingly balanced manner. Most trainers aren’t so lucky.

Klein, also one of the real early guys in the sport, didn’t have a physique that would really turn many heads these days, even in the non-Ped using crowds. He may have been a “master of a lift”, but if that lift doesn’t yield desired physical changes - the goal of most who enter the gym - no one will really care.

I always say that for most guys in a gym (myself included), they’d rather LOOK like they can bench 500 lbs than actually be able to do it.

S