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Old 02-07-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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Default Contraction vs Moving Weight

Contraction vs Moving Weight


A quote from the article: Contraction vs Moving Weight

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I think Kai Greene is knowledgeable about what he does, yet he is just raw in his ability to explain it. His first point is that bodybuilders aim to “stretch and contract their muscles”. This is why there are so many bullshit comments and articles about the “mind-body connection”; it’s referring to the ability to feel particular muscles in a movement and effectively work them. This attention to detail isn’t prevalent in the realm of strength training because strength training primarily demands moving the bar from point A to point B. The truth is that it isn’t that simple.


In my time of dicking around with “bodybuilding styles of training”, I developed this awareness. Nowadays I can perform a low bar squat in two different ways — one that uses the hamstrings and one that doesn’t — but make the two reps look identical. I have an awareness of what my triceps are doing in a press and what my lats do during a bench. This awareness is most relevant on a lift like the RDL, which is entirely dependent on stretching and contracting a muscle group instead of moving the bar from point A to B. Of course, if mechanics are sound, then the proper muscular action is a byproduct of doing a lift correctly, but muscle awareness can assist in the “means” to get to the “end”.


The second thing Kai Greene is talking about is lecturing the other dude on his curling technique. I would assume the other guy was using a lot of English and not getting good biceps work. The lesson is that if you’re trying to grow or develop a muscle, then working that muscle is more important than simply moving weight.


This concept is most relevant during assistance work. I specifically put exercises into training programs to develop musculature. The close-grip pull-downs for a weaker girl will develop strength, but more importantly give them a work load that will develop their muscles (I hesitate to say “grow muscles” since they won’t actually get that much bigger since they are a female with 1/10th the testosterone of a man, but I digress). Bigger muscles will move joints more efficiently, and developed muscles apply more force than muscles that haven’t received work. I use rows, dips, or RDLs to develop muscles to help with other movements, thus making the body stronger.


If you have a lagging group of muscles — whether they are lagging in size or in doing their job in a liftf — the time you spend on assisting that muscle should ensure it gets good contraction. Yes, doing RDL’s with 315 will look cool, but 185 is where most of you will get the best contraction. Ensure you understand how the muscle works and how to focus on the contraction of that muscle given the movement you are using. Feel your triceps while doing dips (externally rotate the shoulders by keeping the elbows close to the body and apply force through the heel of the palm), feel your lats while doing pull-downs and rows (think of the elbow driving back to the ribs), feel your biceps doing curls (don’t bring your elbow forward to use shoulder flexion), avoid flailing during weighted sit-ups, and keep tension on your hamstrings (by pushing the hips back and not letting the knees go forward). I could go on, but the point is that increasing your awareness to the contraction of your muscle(s) — particularly during assistance exercises — will help develop that musculature and augment the more important strength lifts. Not to mention you’ll get the full worth out of each rep by avoiding wasted effort.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:05 AM   #2
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I agree with Kai on this one. Many many people need to learn this if being a bodybuilder is the goal or they will never truely be a bodybuilder but always a gym rat or weight lifter.

But Rich lifting heavier leaded to more size!

Lifting heavy gets you bigger yes, but not in the shape you will want as a bodybuilder. Muscle separation,striations, definition comes from bodybuilding work pre cutting up. Cutting up just exposes it.



Lift heavy as you can in the form of a bodybuilder, if bodybuilding is the goal.


If your a power lifter or gym rat, yes the goal it to move the weight. Go for it. Move that iron any way you can.

Pick ether one and stay dedicated and keep the drive.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:31 AM   #3
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I train for both, and i personally see no reason to not push hard at doing both. Thats just me.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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Contraction training works better on gear. You wake up receptors and they then get flooded with Weider juice. I'm not convinced that the same principles apply for a natural. Sure use proper form but use it with heavy weight. Too many bodybuilders stay small simply because they think they don't have to lift heavy to get big. For a natural this simply isn't true.

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Old 02-07-2012, 10:42 AM   #5
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At some point in your career, I'm sure that training for 'feel' will benefit the bodybuilder. But too many kids start off that way and get slow progress by not getting strong FIRST.

Lift like a gym rat, get strong, then decide if bodybuilding or powerlifting is your gig.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #6
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I usually train for contraction on my iso movements and move weight on my compound movements focusing mentally on the primary muscles doing the work.

It's actually funny some people watch me go from benching heavy, 315+, and then to cable crosses with like 25lbs. lol

Or leg pressing with the racks full of 45lb plates and then to leg ext with 85lbs

I've learned and i am still learning that some exercises break the muscle tissue down through way of resistance and others fill the muscle with blood by way of contraction. Combine both and enjoy the results
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emekajokammor View Post
I usually train for contraction on my iso movements and move weight on my compound movements:
That seems like a balanced way to do it.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emekajokammor View Post
I usually train for contraction on my iso movements and move weight on my compound movements focusing mentally on the primary muscles doing the work.

It's actually funny some people watch me go from benching heavy, 315+, and then to cable crosses with like 25lbs. lol

Or leg pressing with the racks full of 45lb plates and then to leg ext with 85lbs

I've learned and i am still learning that some exercises break the muscle tissue down through way of resistance and others fill the muscle with blood by way of contraction. Combine both and enjoy the results
I agree with you E. Thats why I do light sets then power sets to trick the CNS to allowing me to do heavier ending sets. Those last sets do more in fiber break down than the power sets.

Many people also don't understand that Bodybuilding also isn't all about size but smoke and mirrors and knowing how to pose. Some of the biggest bodybuilders place in top 3 but have never won because of this.

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Old 02-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #9
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This is one of my favorite BB vids on the net.

In essence, he is also talking about the importance of form over weight. I don't internalize "training for feel" or "muscle contraction" as any different than listening to/understanding your body and knowing good form.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *MC* View Post
This is one of my favorite BB vids on the net.

In essence, he is also talking about the importance of form over weight. I don't internalize "training for feel" or "muscle contraction" as any different than listening to/understanding your body and knowing good form.
Great point. I see guys in the gym all the time that call themselves bodybuilders but when they hit every set they use every muscle in there body but the one that is supposed be getting worked.

Why beyond a cheating or what I call a power rep set.
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