1. Have you installed the new JSF Mobile app? Check out all the details here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. One account & one avatar for all of JSF. Unified login and profile. Forum alerts on the main site, and more. Check out the details here: Forum & main site unified account feature is live!
    Dismiss Notice

Max-OT alone at home

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Anton, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Anton

    Anton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Max-OT stresses the importance of "repeating to failure." I don't see how you can with certain exercises if you're working out alone. For many kinds of exercises this is not an issue, but how about barbell bench press, for instance?

    Does anybody here use Max-OT without a training partner? John Stone does. How do you actually repeat to failure with certain types of exercises? Do you cheat and repeat nearly to failure, or do you simply avoid these exercises?
     
  2. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
    Staff Member Owner

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    20,867
    Likes Received:
    75
    I use a power rack, which has adjustable safety spotter bars. A power rack allows one to lift to failure in complete safety without a spotter. Check out my Home Gym Page for some pictures...

    I love it! :D
     
  3. Chris_Otto

    Chris_Otto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0
    I went with a Smith machine instead of a pure power rack. My machine has the ability to put hooks and spotter bars and use it as a pseudo-power rack. I'm happy with it for the most part.

    The Smith has some advantages and disadvantages, knowing what it can and cannot do is important.
     
  4. d!abolic

    d!abolic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've got the same rack as John. It's awesome.
     
  5. Anton

    Anton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, thanks for the good advice. I agree that a power rack is probably the best answer. A Smith machine might work too, though I understand some people find them uncomfortable.

    However, I am just starting out, and I think a power rack is a little overwhelming for now. First I need to make sure that this whole weight training business is something for me :-)

    Now, without a rack, I don't see how I can do a barbell bench press to failure, which makes me think that perhaps I should stick to dumbbells only. To me, this doesn't sound like a bad option at all. Anything that can be done with a barbell can also be done with dumbbells (correct?), and I can put plenty of weight on them (I have the adjustable type), enough to keep me busy for quite a while. Remember, I'm new at this.

    It's just that in all those articles I've been reading lately, I have yet to see a single one that doesn't list a barbell as an absolutely essential piece of equipment. I wonder why that is. Yes, I understand that you'll be able to lift more weight with a barbell, but as long as you can go to failure with dumbbells, what's the problem?

    Opting for dumbbells exclusively, I don't need a rack and I can get by with a smaller bench, two important points when space is limited. The only real disadvantage I can think of is lack of variety, which is unfortunate from a motivational as well as physical point of view.

    So I guess my question now is: would a dumbbell-only approach be acceptable at least for a while, and where do you draw the line beyond which a barbell is the way to go?
     
  6. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey - cool new smilies :jumping: John is ALWAYS werkin' :bow:


    Anyway - back to my actual responce...

    You can get by for a while with dumbells :db: but as you said, you can't lift as much weight...
    so as for Max-OT - you will not reach full potential..
    I find I can do 60-70% of what I can do with BB if I use DBs... I have seen this topic many times on other forums before, those numbers are along the lines that have been reported by others.

    now, you do get a good workout for all the little stabalizing muscles when you use DBs and have to put extra effort to balance them...

    In the long run, you'll find that flat bench is limited with DBs, and things like heavy squats and dead lifts are simply not possible with out a BB.
    You'll also want to do dips and pull-ups as core compound movements- and a rack is set-up for those aswell.

    Bottom line - if you wanna get serious :
    - get a gym membership, or set your self up with an awesome home gym like John's :drool:
     
    #6 SCHTEEVIE, Jan 24, 2004
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2004
  7. Anton

    Anton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, but you'll still lift to failure, right? Meaning that the effect should be the same, even with the lighter load. Or is that wrong?

    I still think I can do with dumbbell bench press for a while (provided the logic above holds water). I guess you're right about the heavy squats, though, but what about substituting them with single leg squats (essentially doubles the weight, plus the DBs won't collide with knees as easily), step-ups, lunges or leg extensions (with a suitable bench)?
     
  8. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    Based on the max-OT philosophy, it is essentially wrong.

    however - it will be ok to get started using DBs in a moderate rep range...
    and doing one leg squats is a good idea.

    The idea with max-ot is to overload and go to failure in 4-6 reps
    - meaning more weight/less reps.

    Failure with a lighter load is caused more by fatigue then overload since it will take more reps to get to failure...

    here is an example:

    - curl a soup can to failure.

    is that going to generate muscle growth?
    likely not since it would probably take 150 reps to get to failure - but you would fail eventually - not due to a muscle overload, but due to exhaustion...

    So I hope this answers your question. :tu:
     
  9. Anton

    Anton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Absolutely, we are totally agreed on that point. I didn't make my point very clear, but essentially what I meant was:

    If I can go to failure with dumbbells within 4-6 reps, the effect will be essentially the same as going to failure within 4-6 reps with a barbell, even if the load won't be the same.

    Now, this is only what I think. If somebody can prove me wrong, please do. But even if it is in fact wrong, following Max-OT principles with dumbbells is bound to generate muscle growth quite efficiently, no matter if barbells are even more efficient or not.
     
  10. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    well - I still think mass building needs the highest weight you can lift in the desired rep range - so where aplicable, BB will always be superior to DB.

    I understand your point about failing in the same reps with DBs, but it is not your targeted muscles that are failing first - it is the smaller, weaker stablaizers that force you to fail.
    - since the targeted muscle could have probably done more work after the stabalizers failed, it is not getting hit as hard as is ideal to promote growth.
    BBs require much less stabalizing.

    having said all that - you'll get somehwere using only DBs
    - especially if you are just starting out :tucool:
     
    #10 SCHTEEVIE, Jan 24, 2004
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2004
  11. GorA

    GorA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've always used db's over bb. There were times where I tried to workout with a bb, but it just wasn't the same (even though I was able to lift 10lbs+ on bb).

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Max-OT can never be reached when working out without a spotter. Since I workout alone 95% of the time, I lift until I can't bring the weight up anymore, and than just drop it. However when I have a spotter, I can always go the extra step, leaving my muscles twice as sore the next day.
     
  12. Anton

    Anton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, that sounds fair. However, those stabilizing muscles should strengthen quickly (they're actually getting the full Max-OT package), to the point where they're no longer the bottleneck. They don't have to be super strong for that, after all stabilizing is considerably easier than the actual lifting.

    That was my original question. Since then, it's become more or less clear to me that it actually can, either with a barbell and a power rack or Smith machine, or simply with a set of dumbbells, provided you're able to dismount them after going to failure :-)

    But I would still like to hear the opinion of others on this.
     
  13. Mahdimael

    Mahdimael Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with this- let's say you're doing hammer curls- the main muscle worked out is the bicep, and an auxilliary muscle is the forearm (and there are probably others that stabilize). It makes sense that if you're doing Max-OT, you're going to work whatever muscles are involved to failure- so once those auxilliary muscles have strengthened to the point that they're not the limiting factor after a while

    Therefore, if the argument is that BB isolate the main muscle more, it may be that DB provide a more complete workout, though possibly slower.


     

Share This Page