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Old 03-13-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
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Default Weakness training for Bodybuilders?

Hi there,

Its often stated if you want bigger you have to get stronger. We know that and Steve is great in favour for that too.

Well I thought about this after my last training session-also about my post regarding variation etc.

Lets say my bench is stucked. So one possibility to get stonger again is to look at my weakness. Say its the triceps. Now I incorporate board and floor press to strengthen the weakest link to improve my performance in the this lift.

If my goal is mass IME its wise to incorporate one main "pet lift" per bodypart as a marker for improvement of my strength.

Lets say my pets are:

Barbell Bench
Dumbbell military press
chin up ("lat wideness")
row on pulley ("lat thickness")
LEg press
Romanian deadlift.

So does that mean, that when stalling on one of those I have to check my weakness and train it?
Isnīt that getting INSANE? Also with which exercises does someone improves performance on a row pulley or dumbbell military press?

Just wondering-Bodybuilders are no Powerlifters-or should they be seen more similar than i do?
Also Rich Knapps opinion as a Natural BB PRO would be appreciated!

Always nice to learn from you guys!
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:15 PM   #2
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Let's start at the beginning...

When you first start out, there is NO difference between a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or general lifter. Everybody starts out on basic progression with basic coumpound lifts, or at least they should start out that way. Nothing complicated is needed to make progress.

Now when you hit a sticking point as a beginner or intermediate, then usually simple solutions are the best. You can increase recouperation with more rest, better nutrition, or improved conditioning. You can cycle the weights to get a little break and get another running start. Or you can reduce or split your routine. Still, nothing complicated is needed.

Now once you are in the advanced stages of strength training you may have to get more inventive with getting through your sticking points. But I will say this; If you get to the advanced levels of strength, it will be painfully obvious if you are meant to be a bodybuilder, a powerlifter, or one of us guys that just keep struggling along with no future of being great at either.

I think too many lifters employ advanced techniques long before they are needed...

There was an article posted here today written by Dave Tate. In it he said that beginners and intermediates need programming and a kick in the @ss, not fancy gimmicks.

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Old 03-13-2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flow View Post
Lets say my pets are:

Barbell Bench
Dumbbell military press
chin up ("lat wideness")
row on pulley ("lat thickness")
LEg press...errr I mean SQUAT
Romanian deadlift.
Fixed it for ya
When you are advanced, and you stall on squats, you can use the leg press as another exercise to strengthen a weak point.

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Old 03-14-2012, 12:46 AM   #4
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I don't see leg presses having much carryover into a squat. A squat is based on hip extension and the primary concentric movers are the posterior chain muscles. The leg press is an isolation exercise based on knee extension. Front squats would have much better carryover into squats than leg press since it strengthens your core.

Squats benefit from deadlift, good mornings, glute ham raises, stiff leg deadlifts, and any other movement that benefits the posterior chain. You can witness increments in your squat from dynamic speed squats alone.

I just really hate leg presses. They just remind me of those egotistic kids that run around in the gym doing them all the time for the purpose of advertising their large number of weight moved on it. I think there was a quote one time that said "leg presses were made to keep geeks out of the squat rack".

I'm not saying leg presses don't have their place in any routine, but I just don't see them benefiting a squat and I think front squats are much better and even lunges are better.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:17 AM   #5
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It's hard for me to address the plateau issue because I believe most of the time it's non-existent. Most lifters don't hit true plateaus for a very long time. They often misinterpret a decrease in the rate of improvement as a plateau. Sometimes those thinking they have plateaued have a misguided idea about expectations.

Often when I do see someone enter an early hold pattern they aren't eating enough, or are not doing enough volume on lifts that generally need a little extra volume. Sometimes it's just flat out that they aren't trying hard enough, or they just don't believe in what they can achieve or what is possible.

Forums are filled with guys like this. They get to a certain level where they have added some strength but are not willing to kick things up a notch. They lack perspective and experience and don't understand what expectations they should be having. This is a big part of the picture.

On some forums a 300 squat is huge and rare. These forums are typically filled with unimpressive physiques and the occasional rare gem. Other forums, like MAB, are filled with guys gunning for a 500+ squat. Know what happens on forums like MAB? The young guys bump their expectations and no longer consider a 300 squat to be the be all, end all. And before you know it they are all squatting 300.

I can name at least 7-10 guys here who have rammed their squat numbers during the last several months and are at, near or over 300. These younger lifters are thriving because they have a richer understanding of the possibilities and are not surrounded by mediocre lifters with mediocre physiques and strength totals.

I am not trying to put anyone down here by tossing out the label "mediocre". it is merely an accurate representation of the reality of the situation.

If you look across the forum you see nearly everyone is making consistent progression. The guys here are on track and hitting frequent PRs. Occasionally someone will struggle and we'll add a few tweaks and things get rolling again. But I don't recall anyone here hitting a plateau longer than a few weeks.

By the time a bodybuilder does start to see dramatically slowing strength gains they have 85%+ of the muscle they'll ever need to gain. They do not resort to training like powerlifters and using movements that target weaknesses, but they still need to train their weaknesses.

The only difference between training weakensses at this level...bodybuilders do so for extra muscle and generally add volume or advanced techniques, and powerlifters do it for strength. The main difference is exercise selection and approach, which needs to be goal specific.

At the 85%+ range the goal determines the approach. A bodybuilder does not need to do good morning heavy singles for weak hamstrings because they are not trying to build stronger hamstrings, per se. They may (probably should say NEED) need to bring up strength with their exercises to build hamstring more hamstring muscle, in concert with volume and other practices.

I will add that at this point it's all about will. Anyone that moves past that 85% in their sport and wants the top level has to have the mental drive, and a willingness to do whatever it takes. For bodybuilding it may be hammering weaknesses. Bodybuilders hammer weak bodyparts, powerlifters hammer weak bodyparts. Two different approaches and goals, similar practice.

Is it insane? Yes, to the 98% of lifters who never want more than a Brad Pitt Fight Club body. Few get well beyond 85% without being insane to some level. Most days I scare myself. Today I put 555 pounds on my back and gave my wife emergency procedures should something bad happen. This is not a joke.

Guys like Rich Knapp...he's a lunatic! I mean that in a flattering way. He has a drive and dedication that is off the charts. Emeka is the same. He's out-repping me on 405 deadlifts. He's nuts!

So to answer you question:

Quote:
So does that mean, that when stalling on one of those I have to check my weakness and train it?
Isnīt that getting INSANE?
Bodybuilders don't do this so it's a non-issue. Strength is not the end game. More than this, most plateaus are real plateaus to begin with.

But a bodybuilders DOES have to train weaknesess, and yes it's insane. Bodybuilders need to bring up glaring weak bodyparts and powerlifters need to bring up glaring weak bodyparts.

Bodybuilders don't train weak muscle groups to strengthen main lifts. But they have to get strong everywhere before they can figure out what their lagging bodyparts are. And while training weaknesses they will have to use progression at some level.

The point in building strength for bodybuilders isn't to accumulate strength. Strength is required to build muscle. It is a vehicle and not a goal, but a vehicle that is required for the goal. Powerlifting is the same way. Building muscle is a vehicle and not a goal. But a top level powerlifter will have to build some muscle if they are to reach their goal.

You can't deadlift 700 pounds and be frail. You can't build 18 inch arms and be weak.

Getting to that 85% isn't as hard as people make it out to be and it requires no complexity whatsoever. I will also add that it doesn't even have to involve the concept of bodyparts or bodypart training, and it probably won't ever involve hitting impossible plateaus.

I just want to keep this conversation grounded. 98% of people looking to build muscle will never have to do anything fancy because they don't care about getting past the 85%.

If you're looking to build muscle, get strong on about 7-10 lifts for the next 5 years using the 5-12 rep range for most exercises. It's all you need to do. If you want to know the secret beyond this level, watch how Layne Norton, Rich Knapp or Doug Miller trains. It will make your balls fall off.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:19 AM   #6
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Want to see the difference between how an elite natural bodybuilder trains, and how a mediocre lifter who believes a 300 squat is beastly trains? Watch this video.

Doug Miller does 545x8 deadlifts, while the mediocre lifters do nonsense in the background.

it's not so much about training weakness...it's about training the mind.

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Bodybuilders don't train weak muscle groups to strengthen main lifts. But they have to get strong everywhere before they can figure out what their lagging bodyparts are.
I just wanted to pull out that little gem. It says so much, it should be a sign in every gym where guys struggle to build muscle.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
Fixed it for ya
When you are advanced, and you stall on squats, you can use the leg press as another exercise to strengthen a weak point.
HAHA Thanks

No the leg press is not to strengthen the squat. I never got the form right.
With proper form (lordosis hold) I can to quarter squats. 6 Months ago I trained with a sport physiotherapist to get the form right. He said I am more suited with my structure for deads than for squats.
We then did deads (romaninan,conventionell) and the form was clean.
I could consider to switch the leg press for lunges.(he also said that)
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
It's hard for me to address the plateau issue because I believe most of the time it's non-existent. Most lifters don't hit true plateaus for a very long time. They often misinterpret a decrease in the rate of improvement as a plateau. Sometimes those thinking they have plateaued have a misguided idea about expectations.

Often when I do see someone enter an early hold pattern they aren't eating enough, or are not doing enough volume on lifts that generally need a little extra volume. Sometimes it's just flat out that they aren't trying hard enough, or they just don't believe in what they can achieve or what is possible.

Forums are filled with guys like this. They get to a certain level where they have added some strength but are not willing to kick things up a notch. They lack perspective and experience and don't understand what expectations they should be having. This is a big part of the picture.

On some forums a 300 squat is huge and rare. These forums are typically filled with unimpressive physiques and the occasional rare gem. Other forums, like MAB, are filled with guys gunning for a 500+ squat. Know what happens on forums like MAB? The young guys bump their expectations and no longer consider a 300 squat to be the be all, end all. And before you know it they are all squatting 300.

I can name at least 7-10 guys here who have rammed their squat numbers during the last several months and are at, near or over 300. These younger lifters are thriving because they have a richer understanding of the possibilities and are not surrounded by mediocre lifters with mediocre physiques and strength totals.

I am not trying to put anyone down here by tossing out the label "mediocre". it is merely an accurate representation of the reality of the situation.

If you look across the forum you see nearly everyone is making consistent progression. The guys here are on track and hitting frequent PRs. Occasionally someone will struggle and we'll add a few tweaks and things get rolling again. But I don't recall anyone here hitting a plateau longer than a few weeks.

By the time a bodybuilder does start to see dramatically slowing strength gains they have 85%+ of the muscle they'll ever need to gain. They do not resort to training like powerlifters and using movements that target weaknesses, but they still need to train their weaknesses.

The only difference between training weakensses at this level...bodybuilders do so for extra muscle and generally add volume or advanced techniques, and powerlifters do it for strength. The main difference is exercise selection and approach, which needs to be goal specific.

At the 85%+ range the goal determines the approach. A bodybuilder does not need to do good morning heavy singles for weak hamstrings because they are not trying to build stronger hamstrings, per se. They may (probably should say NEED) need to bring up strength with their exercises to build hamstring more hamstring muscle, in concert with volume and other practices.

I will add that at this point it's all about will. Anyone that moves past that 85% in their sport and wants the top level has to have the mental drive, and a willingness to do whatever it takes. For bodybuilding it may be hammering weaknesses. Bodybuilders hammer weak bodyparts, powerlifters hammer weak bodyparts. Two different approaches and goals, similar practice.

Is it insane? Yes, to the 98% of lifters who never want more than a Brad Pitt Fight Club body. Few get well beyond 85% without being insane to some level. Most days I scare myself. Today I put 555 pounds on my back and gave my wife emergency procedures should something bad happen. This is not a joke.

Guys like Rich Knapp...he's a lunatic! I mean that in a flattering way. He has a drive and dedication that is off the charts. Emeka is the same. He's out-repping me on 405 deadlifts. He's nuts!

So to answer you question:



Bodybuilders don't do this so it's a non-issue. Strength is not the end game. More than this, most plateaus are real plateaus to begin with.

But a bodybuilders DOES have to train weaknesess, and yes it's insane. Bodybuilders need to bring up glaring weak bodyparts and powerlifters need to bring up glaring weak bodyparts.

Bodybuilders don't train weak muscle groups to strengthen main lifts. But they have to get strong everywhere before they can figure out what their lagging bodyparts are. And while training weaknesses they will have to use progression at some level.

The point in building strength for bodybuilders isn't to accumulate strength. Strength is required to build muscle. It is a vehicle and not a goal, but a vehicle that is required for the goal. Powerlifting is the same way. Building muscle is a vehicle and not a goal. But a top level powerlifter will have to build some muscle if they are to reach their goal.

You can't deadlift 700 pounds and be frail. You can't build 18 inch arms and be weak.

Getting to that 85% isn't as hard as people make it out to be and it requires no complexity whatsoever. I will also add that it doesn't even have to involve the concept of bodyparts or bodypart training, and it probably won't ever involve hitting impossible plateaus.

I just want to keep this conversation grounded. 98% of people looking to build muscle will never have to do anything fancy because they don't care about getting past the 85%.

If you're looking to build muscle, get strong on about 7-10 lifts for the next 5 years using the 5-12 rep range for most exercises. It's all you need to do. If you want to know the secret beyond this level, watch how Layne Norton, Rich Knapp or Doug Miller trains. It will make your balls fall off.
Thank you steve for the long reply.
I also thought that a bit.

Ok,now what would be your turn on that:

MY routine 2x the week HLM

H: 2x5, 1x5-8
Leg press (will change...)
Leg Curl
Bench press
chin up
Seated Barbell Press behind the neck (to the ears)
cable pulley row

The exercises for the L/M days are the same
L: 2x12-15 1 min rest
M: 3x8-10 2 min rest

The exercises:
Leg Press (will change)
Romanian deadlift
Dumbbell bench press
Dumbbell row
dumbbel press seated
LAt pulldown. (to weak to to this high reps with chins)

The HLM structure fits me really well and I progressed good with this template.
Even after deload (2 weeks) and upping the kcals since then (from 2400 to 3200 each day) I stall. Since 4 weeks I cannot beat the log. Only on the dumbbell rows and cable pulley I progress slowly. (+2 reps in this 4 weeks)
So what to do? This is why I also opened the other threads like accomodation, variation etc.
Should I bump up the volume on the other lifts?
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flow View Post
HAHA Thanks

No the leg press is not to strengthen the squat. I never got the form right.
With proper form (lordosis hold) I can to quarter squats. 6 Months ago I trained with a sport physiotherapist to get the form right. He said I am more suited with my structure for deads than for squats.
We then did deads (romaninan,conventionell) and the form was clean.
I could consider to switch the leg press for lunges.(he also said that)
I think a focus on traditional bent legged deadlifts is a great thing. I am the opposite, I focus on squats because I suck at deadlifts. One or the other will serve you well.
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