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Training/Nutrition Questions


I have a few random bodybuilding questions that i need answers/opinions too...

I've been reading some of Pavel Tsatsouline's books lately. In one of his book, he recommended to "pull the bar apart" in the eccentric portion of the bench press. However, i read somewhere to "pull the apart" on both the concentric and eccentric portion. What's the right technique?

  1. Since most of you guys recommend using your hands as hooks during back training, would you guys recommend actually using real training hooks to train back?

  2. Can drinking too much milk build intolerance? Personally, talking from experience here, i notice this to be true. I think CT said this in an article a while back as well.

Feel free to answer any questions if you can contribute, it's greatly appreciated.


1) Doesn't matter, you're overthinking it. Bench has to be one of the most simple and straightforward exercises. Get under the bar and press it up with intensity.

2) I don't use straps, although if you do a lot of direct forearm work it shouldn't matter either way.

3) Who knows, I don't drink any milk because it makes me bloated. Although, I imagine I am in the minority on that one. Eat enough meat, and frequently, and you will not need the extra protein milk provides.


I can only answer your questions with the info i know to be true or what i have experienced personally..
That said, not having a background in maximal strength training i have just heard that this visualisation technique works when lifting on the concentric effort, and this makes more sense to me too.
I would assume that the latter (eccentric) may work when actually focusing on this part of the lift, such as with overloaded negatives or when using controlled/slow negatives.

I prefer straps, i have heard (on enough occasions to never want to use them) that hooks in reality are not as effective as one would assume.
As chitown said, if you do use straps or hooks a lot you will need to train the grip independently (I rotate their use and currently forgo their use to assist my forearm size).

I don't know for a fact, but i have not only heard that it is possible to develop allergies to foods if you eat too much of them, but i have also experienced this with shellfish.
Lactose intlolerance is much more common than most think, and it sounds like chitown is a sufferer, as am i but not to any degree that would stop me drinking this great food source.



So for back training, would you guys generally train with straps? no straps? thumbless grip? complete grip? alternate between them? combination of them? or would it depend largely on the back exercises you are doing?


If im doing deadlifts I use an alternated grip (one hand over hand and one underhand) and switch which is over or upper hand from set to set. I myself use chalk, other guys I lift with use straps but no one in my gym uses hooks. Other then that I dont use anything for any other back exercise, maybe the occasional chalk for rows or heavy shrugs as well but thats about it.

Everyone is different though man. Try it out and see if you like it.


These small things will matter when the weight gets heavy enough. A close example would be DB press, you can get away with not having tight scap, slight arch etc with small DBs...


1) Doesn't really matter. He probably means pull the bar apart AND pull it down with your lats. And there is nothing wrong with pulling the bar apart (with your triceps) on the concentric.

2) Train without straps when possible, with a full grip. In the middle of a set if your grip gives out, you can drop the thumb to finish your reps. A more important thing for back work is to always pull from your pinkies, and think of pulling your elbows back, not your hands.

3) Im not sure about this one. I thought I read somewhere that you could use up all of your lactace enzyme but im not sure about that. But also with just food in general you can eat too much and develop an allergy.


  1. You should "spread the bar" on the pressing portion, it does not matter on the negative - just focus on staying tight and tucking properly.

  2. The hooks are not great but straps are helpful once your back strength exceeds your grip. I would only use them when needed so that you are not creating a weakness or imbalance with lack of grip strength. I will generally use straps on only 2-3 sets per workout or for things like weighted chins where I want to focus on working my back and not have to worry about grip. APT Pro Wrist Straps is your best bet for good straps.

  3. Too much of anything can be bad, and milk is not great for bodybuilding (it is great for building mass though). If you are experiencing stomach discomfort then scale back the milk consumption. A lower quality protein shake could also be causing problems if you are mixing the milk with protein powder.

Hope this helps.


From experience, yes. If I drink a reasonable amount of milk (say, about 1 litre daily for a week) I start becoming lactose intolerant, it gives me stomach cramps and gas. I am black though, so naturally I'm genetically programmed to produce less lactase as I exit infancy since traditionally African farmers didn't rely on dairy products.