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Old 08-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
LindenGarcia18
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Default A Few Lifting Questions

My training's going great, but I just have a few questions.

If you could help me out that'd be great


1.) Are they're any good alternatives to dips that are as effective at hitting the shoulders and triceps?
I've gained size in my shoulders perhaps more than anywhere else, and I think it was because of the dips, seen as I'm good at them, and not very good at all at OHP.

I've been going around and over 95KG with dips altogether (body weight + extra weights), but I've recently been having shoulder pain thats just ot worse and worse, and I'm worried I'm going to damage something if I continue.

If there's is no alternative to the dips, what should I do?



2.) With my Bench Press, last workout I lifted 57.25KG, and failed on set 4 out of 5, on the 4th rep.
This time, I needed to progress and beat that 4th set at least.
I managed it, so I was pleased with that, but then the rep I failed at this time was the 4th rep of the 5th set.

I'd progressed which was great, and hit my goal to get that 4th set which I didn't get last time, but this time I almost got my full 5X5 and missed it by one rep!

Very annoying, and thats my point.

Do I add weight now, or continue at the same weight because I didn't get that last rep.

I'm using the progression system of adding more weight once I hit 5X5, and then work my way up with the new weight until I get 5X5, add weight, repeat.

It seems a waste of a session to use the same weight for another workout when I was so close to beating it in the last one.
Anything could've stopped me getting that last rep, so I can't judge it really.

What do you think?



3.) I've gained some really noticeable muscle now. Obviously not by your standards, but for me it feels like allot, and people are noticing all the time which is great.

My legs have gone up by 3 inches.

A product of deadlifts and squats, the best movements to build muscle and strength as youv'e all told me.


Thats great, don't get me wrong, but what I'm worried about is that all the muscle is actually going to my legs, as opposed to my upper body.

There are some muscles in my upper body that have gone up about 3 inches too,
but I don't know. Its very likely an irrational fear I know, but I'd just like some reassurance.

Deadlifts and squats of course being the best exercises to build muscle and strength, coupled with the fact that they feel more taxing than the other lifts put together,
I just came to the conclusion maybe I was cheating myself out of gains in my upper body somehow.

Not that I'd want to lessen my time doing deads and squats, but maybe how I could make my upper body lifts more challenging?

They defiantly feel challenging, just none are as challenging as the squats.


I'm guessing there's nothing I really need to change and that what I'm doing is actually challenging enough, I was just wondering though. Wanted to clear it up.

I can't help but wonder weather I'm just going to end up with big legs in 3 years, and a more underwhelming upper body!

For the guys at BB.com its often the other way around since not many of them do squats and deadlifts



Thanks for the help, and sorry if the questions are a bit silly, but you know how my mind works :L


Thanks again!


- Linden

Last edited by LindenGarcia18; 08-04-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:39 AM   #2
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As simply as I can, since I'm sure there are better people here to answer questions.

1: What I've always heard from the best, is to work on your weaknesses. My overhead is horrible, so I train it. As it very slowly gets stronger, I like it better. These and bench pressing should take care of the shoulders and tris for now. If your shoulders stop hurting when you stop dips, there ya go

2: Just my humble opinion, I would add 5lbs if I was 100% confident.

3: Squats are challenging. It will all balance out. And 3 inches added is awesome, keep it up!
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:15 AM   #3
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What does your routine look like, just out of curiosity?

Also, there's a lot of ways to hit the deltoids and triceps. Take your pick, if dips are hurting you.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
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My main question for you is, what is your overall goal? Strength? Aesthetics? Both? Sports? Let us know which path you are on so we can help you better. As far as your questions, here are my opinions:

1. You are probably going too deep. Elbows should be parallel to the floor at max depth.

2. Personally, I would keep the same weight until I hit my 5x5. If I felt like doing more that day after hitting that, then I would. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes years upon years to reach these types of goals. Try not to look at it as slower progress, but instead consider it more volume toward your progress. Almost like a deposit in the strength/fitness bank. No session is a wasted session unless you are unfocused.

3. Your legs and back are the two biggest muscle groups in the body. They often make the most noticeable gains, especially in new lifters. Tell us what you are doing for upper body and we can offer opinions as to whether or not you should tweak it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindenGarcia18 View Post
1.) Are they're any good alternatives to dips that are as effective at hitting the shoulders and triceps?

2.) Do I add weight now, or continue at the same weight because I didn't get that last rep.

3.) Thats great, don't get me wrong, but what I'm worried about is that all the muscle is actually going to my legs, as opposed to my upper body.
1. First off, being good at something doesn't necessarily mean its more or less effective. Sometimes being bad at something actually forces your body to respond MORE. As for the dips, How are you performing them? If you're too upright then they'll put strain on your shoulders. Try tucking your knees up towards your chest and looking a little down towards the ground while you do them, and keep your knees up the whole time. This will tilt your whole body forwards slightly which puts you in a better position to push. The reason I say to keep the knees tucked the whole time is that some people throw their knees down when they come up to make the movement easier, unaware that this forces their spine to be more upright which, like I said, causes horrible strain on the shoulders.

Are you experiencing this pain while you actually do dips or later on? If it's later on then it might not be from the dips at all. I get pretty bad aches in my shoulders from any overhead pressing and I have to be very careful about it.

2. Adding weight is the best way to monitor progress and force adaptation, but there are other ways to do it too. If you lift the same weight but it comes more easily, then you've gotten stronger. Do the same weight again, nail your 5x5, and make that weight your bitch. That weight has owned you and forced you to fail. Show it you're the boss, get it done, then add weight next time.

3. Big, strong legs are a good thing. The stronger your legs get, and the more weight you're moving, the more testosterone you're going to have in your veins and the bigger every muscle in your body will get. I'm sure Steve's mentioned that. Just remember that this is an ongoing process of change, and if you find that your legs actually are getting ahead of everything else then you'll be able to tweak your program and put more emphasis on your upper body.

But don't try to fix a problem that doesn't exist, and don't change something that's working at this point.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afraziaaaa View Post
My main question for you is, what is your overall goal? Strength? Aesthetics? Both? Sports? Let us know which path you are on so we can help you better. As far as your questions, here are my opinions:

1. You are probably going too deep. Elbows should be parallel to the floor at max depth.

2. Personally, I would keep the same weight until I hit my 5x5. If I felt like doing more that day after hitting that, then I would. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes years upon years to reach these types of goals. Try not to look at it as slower progress, but instead consider it more volume toward your progress. Almost like a deposit in the strength/fitness bank. No session is a wasted session unless you are unfocused.

3. Your legs and back are the two biggest muscle groups in the body. They often make the most noticeable gains, especially in new lifters. Tell us what you are doing for upper body and we can offer opinions as to whether or not you should tweak it.
Just to let you know, we've been working with Linden for a while. He's a working model who's main goal is aesthetics, so he wants to add muscle while minimizing fat gain. He wants to get the sort of physique that Taylor Lautner had in twilight.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Soldier View Post
3. Big, strong legs are a good thing.
.
Agree with Soldier. A 3" gain on legs is a huge, huge, huge difference. I know you want to gain mass on your upper body, but being able to pack mass onto your lower body is like a gift from God. So many people (including me) find adding leg mass a real struggle.

Fitness models these days have much better leg development than they did ten or twenty years ago. Unless your legs are getting ridiculously big, which is unlikely at this stage, I'd count your blessings.

As for dips, my view is that whilst it's a great exercise, there are plenty of substitutes if it's giving you grief. Overhead press, incline pressing, close grip bench press, even flyes are all good. 95kg seems a lot, and as Ben (Elite) points out, we all tend to avoid the exercises we're weakest at, but that's not always a good thing.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:19 PM   #8
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You said you feel pain in your shoulder by doing dips. Maybe your doing it wrong because the main target of dips is your tricep and lower pecs.

If you corrected your form and still feel pain when doing dips i do have an alternative. try doing wide dips. I just improvise my wide dips by putting two bars on the squat rack and do my wide dips in there. Or just try close grip bench press if your are just targeting your triceps.

About your 5x5 workout, you can try to lower your weight maybe 20 to 30percent of your 1rep max if you already failed on your 5th sets so you can recover your muscle and will avoid injury.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
As simply as I can, since I'm sure there are better people here to answer questions.

1: What I've always heard from the best, is to work on your weaknesses. My overhead is horrible, so I train it. As it very slowly gets stronger, I like it better. These and bench pressing should take care of the shoulders and tris for now. If your shoulders stop hurting when you stop dips, there ya go
yeah. Pretty simple when I think about it now actually.
I'll try them again tonight.

Quote:
2: Just my humble opinion, I would add 5lbs if I was 100% confident.
Yeah, I think maybe it'd be safer bet to stay with that weight till I'm 100% like you say.

Quote:
3: Squats are challenging. It will all balance out.
Well thats good news then

Quote:
And 3 inches added is awesome, keep it up!
Thanks man, will do! Cheers for the help.

- Linden
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dray View Post
What does your routine look like, just out of curiosity?

Also, there's a lot of ways to hit the deltoids and triceps. Take your pick, if dips are hurting you.

Basically 5x5 full body, every other day, alternating between an A and B workout where I use entirely compound lifts.
All the main lifts are in there.

I could write it out if you'd really like to see it fully.

I'll try the dips out again tonight, and if it hurts I'll think about picking another exercise.

Its just the case of which one!

Thanks for the advice Dray


- Linden
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