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Some trainers are funny

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by zenpharaohs, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. Nico

    Nico Well-Known Member

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    Proprioception is highly underrated as compared to strength, endurance, etc. Train your balance and coordination and your strength will be that much more useful, rather than focusing solely on mass and low b/f and being built yet unathletic and prone to injury.
     
  2. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I agree, but I didn't know the word for it until Kino hipped me to it.

    Other than staying out of unhealthy bf levels I don't have bf targets. I don't have weight targets either, since I don't know where my lean mass will end up. So these exercises that challenge stability and balance play the role of subgoals - I can use them as milestones of progress even though I didn't have them in mind when I first started.
     
  3. Nico

    Nico Well-Known Member

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    Yes Kino knows lots of cool words like that.
     
  4. BigDog

    BigDog Well-Known Member

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    Unconventional stuff

    Is what makes you get better at what you do - or want to.

    Most people still think that the only way to lose fat is to cardio yourself silly.

    Most people think lifting heavy weights will make you lose flexibility.

    Most people think that you should cut as much fat out of your diet to lose fat.

    It's not conventional to get up at 5:15 to get your workout in. I'm the only person I know who brings lots of food to work.

    Verstagen's program isn't wild or odd. It includes lifting, explosiveness training, HIIT, LISS and a really good warmup/flexibility portion. It has a lot of variations on more traditional themes. For me - it has worked in every aspect that I could have wanted it to work, and it's worked better.

    Did I feel awkward on the physioball sometimes. Yep. You bet. Was I always comfortable when I started some things? Nope. Not at all. But it's been great for me.

    bd
     
  5. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    That's deep. So today we did lots of cable oblique twists with squats. Then in passing conversation I mentioned to the trainer about the proprioception idea and that "they said the kinetic chain will learn quickly". So he says "well let's see" and bing, there we are doing the Swiss ball pushups. When I did the eleventh one he stopped me and added another trick - now when we do those push-ups I have to roll the ball toward my gut on the way down and roll it back on the way up. It's not much of a roll - more of twisting the grip. I did about six of those.

    Then we did another one which I didn't mention here before, but we did about a week and a half ago, which I call the "attempted faceplant". That one you get in the up pushup position hands on the Swiss ball and the trainer taps, pokes, prods, and punches the ball from different directions to see if you can stabilize the ball. No faceplants so far.

    It was a pretty good workout but I missed the cardio hour, so I will catch that up after dinner.
     
  6. Kino

    Kino Well-Known Member

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    That's a great exercise to develop shoulder/upper body stability. :tu:
    I'd be interested in his experience with JC Santana?
     
    #66 Kino, Aug 2, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2005
  7. Nico

    Nico Well-Known Member

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    I've read that JC encourages people to train for stability + balance and strength by getting the trainer to create a more unstable base by moving shit around unpredictably.
     
  8. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Rats! I keep forgetting to ask him. On the other hand, he was originally trained by a power lifter.

    We've got another demented stability exercise today: single leg 2x20# dumbell dealift with twist; the twist is toward the outside of the down leg on the way down.
     
  9. Nico

    Nico Well-Known Member

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    While standing on a bosu perhaps? :lol:

    Just reading that will really piss off some people but I've done the exact exercise you're talking about with the bosu and it's very challenging to perform correctly. A lot of rotational strength, core stability, and great balance are required.
     
  10. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    No, not the bosu that time. Today we had a couple other bosu things.

    I asked my trainer about JC Santana. He said, he didn't know about Santana and he'd come up with the poking the balls to destabilize them himself. After I described some things I read on Santana's site he said Santana's approach sounded very good to him. But he told me that he is also influenced by things he knows about how Laird Hamilton works out. He said that when Hamilton works out his feet never touch solid ground - lots of bosus and Swiss Balls. He says Hamilton does squats on a Swiss Ball - but he thinks the ball is in sand for that. He said he's tried squats on a Swiss Ball (not in sand) himself and it's not easy. DUH? Was there really a question about that?

    Today we measured bench press, and the new 1RM is 225. That might not sound like a lot on this board, but a year ago that 1RM was around 145; a month ago it was 210. Plus, I think we are still going up even though we didn't do all that much bench pressing in the past month. Some sets of bizzaro push ups, and with the vest, but not bench presses. I am coming to the opinion that for me, squats and deadlifts are the heavy strength exercises of choice.

    Also I upped the vest from 30 pounds to 34 pounds.

    Today's "unconventional" exercises for today were:

    Push ups off a medicine ball on an inverted bosu. Not actually all that bad because the angle is helping, but I didn't get past 10 reps in a set.

    Then two feet on bosu, lift medicine ball from near feet on one side up to as high as possible on the other and back down again. Had to go slow to keep balanced but I did these pretty easily.

    One foot on bosu. Lift one leg. Lower the medicine ball over the lifted leg with a 90 degree torso twist, and straighten up again. Did NOT do these pretty easily. This one is similar to the one you just mentioned but with medicine ball instead of dumbells.

    Now in the past, I have done single leg dumbell stuff on the inverted bosu. One dumbell up and down with twist, two dumbells up and down with twist. Sometimes with curl and press overhead on the one dumbell stuff. The weighted vest typically adds a cardio angle to any of these exercises that involve the torso going up and down by much.

    One of the most interesting contrasts was dumbell flys. We were toward the end of the hour. With the extra 4 pounds in the vest, I feel like I've just done nine billion shrugs at low weight. So we do slow 10 pound dumbell flys in a squat - turns out this way the vest engages at the higher angles of the flys. Sort of like how guys put chains on barbells so the resistance increases with lift height. Oh man I was not enjoying this one. Here I am enjoying the new bench press number. But it's back to earth with only 10 pounds in each hand. There's always some muscle that needs work.

    We also did the infamous medicine ball torso twists seated on the bosu. Still not many of those happen. But if I can cheat and just barely touch my heels to the floor then I can do lots of them. I'm not sure how much progress that is.
     
  11. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I think this is vague. So I'll try again.

    Stand erect in front of say, a chair and place a foot flat on the chair so your knee points directly in front of you. Hold a medicine ball in front of you with one hand one each side at chest height. Torso twist 90 degrees towards the leg on the chair. Now lower the ball to below the hip on that side, raise it again (this is like a lat raise), and twist back to face front.

    Now, do this but with no chair under the bent leg, and a bosu ball under the straight leg.
     
  12. Nico

    Nico Well-Known Member

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    I read back through some earlier posts of yours and realize you're the one who helped start some controversy in Marcus' Core Stability thread. :lol: You made a comment about your current trainer and I responded and someone else chose to try to completely discredit core training as a method of exercise. That's an argument that I can't resist getting into every time :lol:

    I really like reading about the training you're doing and actually I'm going to be copying some of those moves which I've never tried.

    In the past I've avoided doing any kind of pushups in favor of heavy bench, dumbell presses, flyes, cables, machines, etc. But it makes more and more sense to work the chest without the stability of the bench.

    The fact that your own bench press max has increased so dramatically gives credence to the idea that you can increase your power even in traditional bodybuilding lifts without having to ignore the core while doing the exercise.

    Once you've mastered these twists and unbalanced presses you're chances of having proper posture for squatting and deadlifting will be dramatically increased.

    Are you doing any flexibility work?
     
  13. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    We do a little flexibility work, but I am thinking of getting that one going more myself. I was once a competitive fencer. Flexibility and range of motion were things we worked on a lot.

    At the moment I'm still going for strength and strength endurance so I can get rid of twenty five years worth of sedentary. It's already really noticable, but I'm still 70 pounds above where I used to compete (130 pounds). This body is not so flexible with all the fat on it. I'm surprised at how strong it is, but I think the gumby stuff is off the menu until more pounds come off.

    I dig what you say about the posture for squats and deadlifts, but those are sort of easy. Like my brother the power lifter, I have congenitally big strong legs and lower back. I never did much to develop it, but it turns out that it develops fast if you work legs, back, and core a lot. We didn't do any real barbell squats as training, using dumbell squats instead. I got a squat rack now at home and I'm just working out what my weight is. At home Monday I got up to 10 x 215 (no failure) and today I did 6 x 235 (no failure). Maybe Friday I'll get to 10 x 235. I probably have a 1RM over 300 I'm not sure where because I haven't failed a squat I've tried yet - I'm in zero injury mode. I also credit the stability and core stuff a lot because so far my squats have all been rock steady. Who knew?.

    One really interesting thing about working out with core and stability is that nobody is waiting to use the equipment. There are always enough bosu, Swiss, and medicine balls. Dumbells are sometimes in demand, but usually there are enough, and if not, medicine balls are usually fine. (We use a 15 pound medicine ball that isn't popular - the women all use the smaller ones - not that many guys use them). So at the gym, we rarely wait for equipment, and we don't spend a lot of time changing plates. We keep the pace up, run calories, and get strength endurance as well.
     
  14. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Today's new tricks:

    Lunges on two bosus, one inverted.

    Dumbell squats on dumbell handles. Set two dumbells where the balls of your feet go in a squat. Then do dumbell squats on them (heels off the ground). The first few you do without dumbells in your hands to get the hang of it.

    When I was doing my cardio, the TV showed the awful Cameron/Beltran collision, and I winced and so did this woman on the next treadmill. She took this opportunity to open a conversation; she wanted to know about whether the weight vest was for training for a specific event. I told her no, it just allowed me to up the intensity of walking without upping the impact or pace so much. I mentioned that I trained with Andre (that's his name) and she said that she did too. Then the next thing she said was "and you wouldn't believe all the weird things he has me do....". I allowed as how I would believe it.
     
  15. tennisball

    tennisball Well-Known Member

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    Not to hijack, but you work with your trainer a lot. Doesn't that get expensive?


     
  16. Kino

    Kino Well-Known Member

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    I love coming back and reading this thread. Everything you're doing with your trainer is the absolute definition of truely Functional Training. Above, I read where your bench had gone up over the past few weeks, but you haven't mentioned doing any bench work in this thread. Was this the result of doing only the exercises that you've mentioned here, or have you been doing bench work all along and simply not documented it here?
    This thread has apparently lost it's interest to the article and magazine guru's. (though that comment ought to get me jumped on :lol: ) It's one thing to try to explain that this type of training is more productive overall than the traditional do X number of reps for X number of sets. It's an entirely different thing to read the testamony of somebody going through this type of training, and reading their experiences and results.
    You seem to understand that you've really got yourself a fantastic trainer. I hope that you have the opportunity to stick with him long term, so that you can see how far you can really go with proper training. :tu:
     
  17. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    It's expensive, but I'm the usual high pressure Manhattan executive type who let health take a back seat for twenty five years to get my career to where it is. Turns out that is a bad bargain, but I already lived that part of my life and what's done is done.

    Now in another year, I probably will have gone through the 190 pound weight level. At which point I will be able to refinance my life insurance premiums. The money that saves would pay for more than three hours a week training for the rest of my life.

    So I might end up making a profit.
     
  18. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    The bench increase has to be due to all the bodyweight pushup stuff. I don't do enough bench sets to get anywhere - mostly we use once a month or less to measure the maximum. We used to do a good deal of dumbell presses but that was like 35# each.

    We do some machine presses (those nice isolated hammer strength things) and pec dec. The machine presses are, as far as I can see, have only got up to more than one 45 pound plate on each side because I did the 225 bench. And I typically do 15-20 rep sets on those things.

    Mind you, I was not kidding when I said that these Swiss ball medicine ball and inverted bosu pushups are harder than benching. I've got the vest on - that's 34 pounds now. If you use the 60%-75% formula, and include the 34 pound vest, then a single pushup off the floor would be about 154-184 pound equivalent bench press. We do those for reps and these other weird pushups, and we use them for "active rest" between leg sets (which means not just on "upper body" days) is it that surprising that I can bench something consisent with that for 1 rep max?

    OK so the 60-70% pushup/bench press equivalent is probably not too accurate, but it's out there probably because it's not nuts.

    I also do (assisted) dips and bench dips. There's going to be translation from that to the bench press too. I don't have huge increases in dips because we're losing assist and I'm upping weight on the vest. But the bench dips are going up even though the vest is going up. I'm sure that is connected to bench press strength.

    At home, I can do bench presses, but really haven't done any for heavy. I did some of 80 pound stuff on the bosu and Swiss ball, but that is more like confidence building and range of motion. I do those pretty fast for reps to get a little cardio, but there isn't a lot of cardio there.

    I'm not sure exactly how all this would affect the bench strength directly although it's getting me a lot of stability for the bench. Good form is zero problem in most exercises I do even at big resistance.

    Now the question comes up how much do I want to bench? It's actually not that good a goal. It's not like during the day 200 pound weights are lodged on my chest and I need to press them off. I want overall fitness and strength and stability and balance and agility and.... You get the idea. So it doesn't make sense to bench press _per se_. On the other hand, it is a handy number that can put progress in perspective when talking to other people.


    As to what sort of training is more productive? I think that depends on what fitness cards the individual is holding to start with. A guy like me with strong legs and back and experience with endurance, and a history of competing in a sport where balance and agility are huge, might be expected to respond well to cardio, strength endurance, and core/stability. Plus, I'm not looking for hypertrophy or a six pack. So I use my excess body fat to let me get away with training that might not work for a bodybuilder who needs to go from 9% to 7%. I'm going to do stuff that could cost that guy muscles and I'm going to get away with it.

    Now that I got the squat rack and bench here at home, I've added a little squat program to the training. Mainly because I'm curious as to whether heavy resistance squats will get me somewhere. I got to squatting every plate in the house (235) so I went and got four legitimate 45 pound plates today. Did my 10 x 235 and moved up to two sets of 6x255. Onward and upward. Right now the guess for 1RM there is 300. Sounds low to me but 6x255 gets you 296 on one of the internet 1RM calculators. I did leg extensions and curls too. I expect to do a few sets of heavy squats (once I figure out what heavy is for me) every four or five days.

    So I have no view that classical weight training is less productive. Nor do I assume that it is more productive than core/stability stuff. If I had to guess, I would guess based on my experience that the core/stability stuff is more benificial to more muscles in more ways than the classical weight stuff, and if you only do one, then do the core/stability stuff. But if you can do the heavy classical weight training, there is a place for that. It's pretty obvious that squats are a good exercise - and a few heavy ones makes sense.

    I just think in terms of: "what training can I do with the time and resources I have today?" I try not to step too hard on rest days, but I don't make them a fetish. There aren't supposed to be many cardio rest days.
     
  19. pmh

    pmh Well-Known Member

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    What is this obsession with working out on a big blow up ball! You know all this crap wasn't around 15 years ago and people didn't suffer any because of it.

    During all my lifting days when I was squatting 500lbs + for reps and DL 600lbs did I not once have back problems. My back troubles started after 5-6 years of sitting on my ass munching cakes and pies. I had to see a physio who did give me some exercises for my core muscles but only because I was such a lazy loser that I managed to undo all my hard work *and* switch off my core muscles.

    My lower back which was giving me chronic pain has gone from strength to strength since running and working out again doing DL's and bent rows. I'll leave sitting on balls to gerbils and hamsters. Sticking to the bread and butter free weight basic exercises is what builds muscle and as tennis ball stated when you lift heavy and properly you get the thickest abs anyone could ever wish for.

    Whatever next, PT's will have you swinging from the light fittings to train your core muscles....
     
  20. Carrie35

    Carrie35 Well-Known Member

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    It never ceases to amaze me the venom some feel about this subject! If you think your too macho or too "cool" to work on core stabillity....don't do it. But I don't get why it is necessary to demean those who do.

    Afer years of inactivity I started hitting the gym 6 days a week...cardio and classic weight training....my lower back just couldn't take the change and I started having chronic lower back pain. After making minor changes to my strength workout to activate my core (doing bench presses on a stability ball, standing on a balance disc for squats, shoulder presses, curls etc., sitting on the stability ball for lifts etc. etc.) and adding a bit more ab work, including plank and bridge poses, my LBP has virtually disappeared. So, I have been converted.
     

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