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tennispal
08-16-2008, 05:58 PM
which one is more effective-lets say comparing about 25 fast pushups to 12 slow ones.

i find that its easier to maintain form on slow ones. its also tougher and easier on the back (imo). so i guess im leaning towards the slow one.

opinions?

wyutani
08-16-2008, 06:02 PM
slow is much better. but i do the fast one...

baseline08thrasher
08-16-2008, 07:41 PM
I would do slow ones.
Especially stay in the up position of the push up for a longer time because it will strengthen your core also.
I know this because my coach made me hold a push up position for a very long time and it works your core and upper body.

Rickson
08-16-2008, 08:46 PM
which one is more effective-lets say comparing about 25 fast pushups to 12 slow ones.

i find that its easier to maintain form on slow ones. its also tougher and easier on the back (imo). so i guess im leaning towards the slow one.

opinions?

Super slow reps will not improve your overall strength and is not as effective as quick reps on the concentric portion of the exercise. If you don't believe me, try walking up the steps very slowly and see how much strength you gain from doing that. Super slow is not a very effective exercise routine although it's better than doing nothing at all. Quick concentric movements are the way to go, but slow eccentric movements are a very good thing so keep that in mind. To recap, slow on the way down and fast on the way up.

cncretecwbo
08-16-2008, 09:04 PM
or just do clap or some type of plyometric pushup and that will be better

wyutani
08-16-2008, 09:09 PM
i know a friend who is a muay thai boxer, he said slow better. i rather believe a guy who has fought pro fighters before.

Rickson
08-16-2008, 09:27 PM
Are you talking about me, wyu? I'm a former personal trainer with 2 certifications so if you're calling me unqualified to give advice about exercise, you'd better think twice. If you think your muay thai practicing friend knows more than I do regarding exercise, you'd more than likely be wrong about that.

BU-Tennis
08-16-2008, 10:34 PM
Let's face it, you have to do many various excercises. Slow reps are GREAT for building muscle mass as you engage more muscle fiber. And fast are good for building the stamina and explosive strength required by most sports. You have to do both, the most important thing to to remember to rest properly as this facilitates max muscle growth and increases strength.

wyutani
08-16-2008, 11:14 PM
Are you talking about me, wyu? I'm a former personal trainer with 2 certifications so if you're calling me unqualified to give advice about exercise, you'd better think twice. If you think your muay thai practicing friend knows more than I do regarding exercise, you'd more than likely be wrong about that.

nah mate', talking to the OP of course.:)

all that talk about unqualified stuff, i didnt say that.

goober
08-16-2008, 11:40 PM
i know a friend who is a muay thai boxer, he said slow better. i rather believe a guy who has fought pro fighters before.

Yah well I know this female mud wrestler and she said sometimes fast is better and sometimes slow, but it depends on her mood. I think she knows what she is talking about mate.

autumn_leaf
08-17-2008, 05:02 AM
it depends on what you try to accomplish. in pole vaulting we did them fast cause of the time restraint on practice, we pretty much agreed slower would be better.

if you need to pass a test like my sis does in rotc/national guard, you need to do it superfast within a time limit.

it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

Rickson
08-17-2008, 05:22 AM
nah mate', talking to the OP of course.:)

all that talk about unqualified stuff, i didnt say that.

My fault, wyu. Tell your MT fighter friend that slow has been proven to be less effective for strength gains than fast on the concentric portion because slow concentric contractions cause the lifter to struggle with heavy weights.

wyutani
08-17-2008, 06:05 AM
My fault, wyu. Tell your MT fighter friend that slow has been proven to be less effective for strength gains than fast on the concentric portion because slow concentric contractions cause the lifter to struggle with heavy weights.

its cool dude. :)

Anyway, the MT friend sort of prefer the barbell bench press, an alternate version of the push ups. He does like 10 sets of 10 repetitions using 80 percent of his 0ne-rep max. he increases it to 85 percent 5 weeks later. on week 7, he does 90 percent. There are many more type of exercises he do like jumping rope,mirror boxing, suspended push-ups, & parallel dips.

sounds easy but i've seen him train, looks painful. he offered to train me for tennis, but i refused.

tennispal
08-17-2008, 08:41 AM
it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

Well, im trying to get stronger and fitter for tennis. maybe build up muscle mass

Rickson
08-17-2008, 08:50 AM
Eccentric contraction, otherwise known as the negative, helps break down muscle tissue which will help you increase your muscle mass. Going slow both ways will hurt you in the strength department so remember, slow when you go down and fast when you come up.

heycal
08-17-2008, 10:18 AM
Rickson, what would you prescribe for a basic exercise routine for someone whose goals are as follows: build a bit more muscle -- for both looking good for the ladies and to help burn more fat/flab -- and also to keep tennis related injuries at bay.

Let's say I'd commit to going to the gym twice a week, 45 minutes tops each time. Maybe do a little aerobic stuff on other days. (Plus play tennis whenever I can, of course, which is maybe once a week.)

So given all that, what should I do at the gym when I get there to meet my goals?

(btw, I currently do a bunch of little RC and TE related exercises, and a couple of thigh lifts and body weight calf raises and squats, and do some light free weights and pushups and chins. That's been pretty good for keeping tennis injuries at bay, but I want to burn more fat and have more muscle for general vanity purposes, so need to amp up things a bit.)

LuckyR
08-17-2008, 11:00 AM
Fast movements require more work, but they can make the exercise easier by unintentionally using the momentum of the fast motion's "overshoot" to lessen the workout. This can be compensated for, though. Many therefore recommend a medium speed as a mechanism to eliminate this overshoot, but it is not optimal.

Rickson
08-17-2008, 11:49 AM
Cal, you have to go back to basics in order to get a flashy physique. Compound exercises give you that overall mass and development you seek. Too many clowns in the gym do all kinds of little shapers that are a waste of time. Hammer curl, incline dumbbell fly, lying pullover, decline fly, bent over laterals, etc. are all a waste of time imho. Stick to the basics such as bench presses, dips, pullups, pulldowns, squats, leg presses, and barbell curls. You won't catch me doing the inner thigh squeeze machine. Your physique will get all the shape it needs from compound movements and not those silly little shapers. Who do you think would have a better physique anyway? Someone who does all compound movements with a clean diet or someone who does both compound and shaping movements, but with a junkfood diet? Those shaping exercises don't get you ripped, a calorie cutting diet gets you ripped.

cncretecwbo
08-17-2008, 12:30 PM
Cal, you have to go back to basics in order to get a flashy physique. Compound exercises give you that overall mass and development you seek. Too many clowns in the gym do all kinds of little shapers that are a waste of time. Hammer curl, incline dumbbell fly, lying pullover, decline fly, bent over laterals, etc. are all a waste of time imho. Stick to the basics such as bench presses, dips, pullups, pulldowns, squats, leg presses, and barbell curls. You won't catch me doing the inner thigh squeeze machine. Your physique will get all the shape it needs from compound movements and not those silly little shapers. Who do you think would have a better physique anyway? Someone who does all compound movements with a clean diet or someone who does both compound and shaping movements, but with a junkfood diet? Those shaping exercises don't get you ripped, a calorie cutting diet gets you ripped.

i would go so far as to say all you need (lifting-wise) is
squats
deadlifts
press/bench press
row/pullup

and with a coach, olympic lifts

if youve seen olympic lifters, its probably some of the most amazing displays of power, strength and flexibility youll ever see.

Purostaff
08-17-2008, 12:38 PM
and why are we doing these push ups for? A push up competition of some sort?

heycal
08-17-2008, 01:26 PM
Cal, you have to go back to basics in order to get a flashy physique. Compound exercises give you that overall mass and development you seek. Too many clowns in the gym do all kinds of little shapers that are a waste of time. Hammer curl, incline dumbbell fly, lying pullover, decline fly, bent over laterals, etc. are all a waste of time imho. Stick to the basics such as bench presses, dips, pullups, pulldowns, squats, leg presses, and barbell curls. You won't catch me doing the inner thigh squeeze machine. Your physique will get all the shape it needs from compound movements and not those silly little shapers. Who do you think would have a better physique anyway? Someone who does all compound movements with a clean diet or someone who does both compound and shaping movements, but with a junkfood diet? Those shaping exercises don't get you ripped, a calorie cutting diet gets you ripped.

I tend to agree with you about compound exercises meeting my needs, and don't intend to do many shapers. But the thing is, aren't those annoying little shaper-type exercises the exact thing we're supposed to do to keep our rotator cuffs strong for tennis and ward off TE, etc?

Also, what about the belief that if you ignore certain muscles, like not doing exercises for rear delts but only the basic shoulder press, or only doing curls but not triceps, you are setting up imbalances in both strength and appearance?

cncretecwbo
08-17-2008, 05:10 PM
I tend to agree with you about compound exercises meeting my needs, and don't intend to do many shapers. But the thing is, aren't those annoying little shaper-type exercises the exact thing we're supposed to do to keep our rotator cuffs strong for tennis and ward off TE, etc?

Also, what about the belief that if you ignore certain muscles, like not doing exercises for rear delts but only the basic shoulder press, or only doing curls but not triceps, you are setting up imbalances in both strength and appearance?

if you get all the basic compounds in i beleive everything will get worked. providing you use correct form

heycal
08-17-2008, 05:37 PM
if you get all the basic compounds in i beleive everything will get worked. providing you use correct form

If so, then why are tennis specific exercises often recommended to prevent injuries? (I'm 45, btw.) You know, all those little annoying rotator cuff exercises with tubing, or dumbbell wrist curl type movements for TE. Not to mention annoying calf raises to prevent calves tears. (I've torn both, so a particular worry of mine.)

Rickson
08-17-2008, 05:44 PM
Rehab exercises and shapers are not the same thing although it may seem that way at times. There are 2 types of calf raises, the standing and the seated. Standing calf raises target the gastrocnemius which is the high and bulky part of the calf. Seated calf raises target the soleus which is more on the inside of the calf area. Do both types of calf raises and call me in the morning.

heycal
08-17-2008, 06:51 PM
Rehab exercises and shapers are not the same thing although it may seem that way at times. There are 2 types of calf raises, the standing and the seated. Standing calf raises target the gastrocnemius which is the high and bulky part of the calf. Seated calf raises target the soleus which is more on the inside of the calf area. Do both types of calf raises and call me in the morning.

We're not really talking about rehab exercises. Aren't many of these kind of exercises, particularly the rototator cuff ones, recommended to prevent injuries, and generally strengthen areas prone to tennis injuries? Meaning even if you've never injured any of these muscles, or maybe injured them long, long ago, you should still be doing these exercises regularly to prevent future trouble. This is the issue I'm curious about, not rehab.

Rickson
08-17-2008, 07:04 PM
Injury prevention through exercise is a difficult task. I recommend some deep stretching after a thorough warmup because increased range of motion will help you prevent some injuries. I don't recommend any stretching before lifting weights or before an athletic event (tennis match). Strengthening your muscles can help to a certain degree, but there's no guarantee you won't get injured on the court. I don't believe in shaper exercises for injury prevention. I believe that stretching to increase your range of motion is your best bet and that's not guaranteed either.

heycal
08-18-2008, 06:58 AM
Injury prevention through exercise is a difficult task. I recommend some deep stretching after a thorough warmup because increased range of motion will help you prevent some injuries. I don't recommend any stretching before lifting weights or before an athletic event (tennis match). Strengthening your muscles can help to a certain degree, but there's no guarantee you won't get injured on the court. I don't believe in shaper exercises for injury prevention. I believe that stretching to increase your range of motion is your best bet and that's not guaranteed either.

Are you saying that the recommendations on this board and elsewhere that one ought to strengthen certain muscles through exercises in order to prevent injury is baseless?

Hey, I'd love to toss my stupid little RC and TE and calf routines I do regularly in order to help keep those areas strong and injury free, so give me a good reason to drop them and I will.

Mikael
08-18-2008, 07:16 AM
Are you saying that the recommendations on this board and elsewhere that one ought to strengthen certain muscles through exercises in order to prevent injury is baseless?

Hey, I'd love to toss my stupid little RC and TE and calf routines I do regularly in order to help keep those areas strong and injury free, so give me a good reason to drop them and I will.


Heycal,

the problem most of the time isnt about absolute strength for a specific muscle, but rather about balance. From what I understand injuries tend to occur when a specific muscle group becomes too tense or weak relative to another muscle group... The key word here is relative, because it forces your body to eventually overcompensate.

For example: tight and overactive hamstrings coupled with dormant glutes = recipe for hamstring pulls.

Or: tight and overactive anterior delts and pecs coupled with weak and loose posterior delts and scapular retractors = recipe for shoulder injuries.

And so on.

So for injury prevention the key is addressing balance issues. Usually a good physiotherapist can tell whats wrong by looking at your posture and looking at how you perform certain movements. You will have to stretch tight muscles and activate (strengthen) inhibited muscles.

It is a very individual thing, however if you are sedentary and have a desk job it is a safe bet that you will highly benefit from different rowing variations, external rotations of the shoulder, glute activation, etc.

BTW, concerning the first question about push-ups, Rickson is absolutely right. You want to go fast on the concentric and slow on the eccentric (but more than 3-4 seconds is probably useless).

heycal
08-18-2008, 07:40 AM
Or: tight and overactive anterior delts and pecs coupled with weak and loose posterior delts and scapular retractors = recipe for shoulder injuries.

But doesn't this contradict the other recommendation to do compound exercises, and don't worry about doing such area specific exercises like for rear delts?

Sleepstream
08-18-2008, 08:44 AM
But doesn't this contradict the other recommendation to do compound exercises, and don't worry about doing such area specific exercises like for rear delts?

It's all about muscle balance.

And there is nothing stupid about training the RC for injury prevention. If you stop doing them and get a shoulder injury, you'll realize that those exercises actually do help.

Rickson
08-18-2008, 09:39 AM
But doesn't this contradict the other recommendation to do compound exercises, and don't worry about doing such area specific exercises like for rear delts?

You get more rear delt development from doing pullups or pulldowns than from bent over laterals or that rear delt fly machine, this I will guarantee. The rear delt fly and the bent over lateral work lower trap-ezius and the scapula area more than the actual rear deltoids. Increase the range of motion in your shoulders if you have RC problems. Don't go too heavy on overhead presses and use dumbbells instead of the barbell. The moment you feel a pinch in either shoulder, you have to lower the weight until you find a weight that causes you no pain. Weight training is not about fighting through pain, it's about gaining strength and developing muscles. Increased ROM is more important at this stage for you than lying sideways on a bench and flapping your forearm around. You should warm up first, use light weights that cause you no pain at all, cool down on a treadmill or bike, then stretch slowly but never to the point of pain. Good luck, Cal.

asafi2
08-18-2008, 09:46 AM
Pushups are a great horizontal push exercise that require the core to play a significant role. If you are doing pushups fast...then they arent hard for you and you should do some variations. Some of my faves are incline pushups and pylo-pushups (these are tough...)

heycal
08-18-2008, 08:53 PM
. .

heycal
08-18-2008, 08:57 PM
You get more rear delt development from doing pullups or pulldowns than from bent over laterals or that rear delt fly machine, this I will guarantee. The rear delt fly and the bent over lateral work lower trap-ezius and the scapula area more than the actual rear deltoids. Increase the range of motion in your shoulders if you have RC problems. Don't go too heavy on overhead presses and use dumbbells instead of the barbell. The moment you feel a pinch in either shoulder, you have to lower the weight until you find a weight that causes you no pain. Weight training is not about fighting through pain, it's about gaining strength and developing muscles. Increased ROM is more important at this stage for you than lying sideways on a bench and flapping your forearm around. You should warm up first, use light weights that cause you no pain at all, cool down on a treadmill or bike, then stretch slowly but never to the point of pain. Good luck, Cal.

I think were mingling two issues, and I didn't mean for that to happen. Sorry.

1) The first issue I'm asking about is whether it's useful to do specific exercises, like rotator cuff band work or whatever, or wrist curls, to prevent tennis injuries. Let's keep this separate from the next issue, which is:

2) The second issue is more about looks and symetry and general muscle balancing. For example, most exercises and machines for shoulder muscles seem to ignore the rear delts. And if look at the little diagrams that accompany chin ups and row machines in the gym, you'll see they don't include rear delts in the many muscles supposedly worked by these compound exercises.

Same goes for various curl exercises and curl machines that don't work the triceps. So in both these examples, why are we concentrating so much on the front of the arm, or the front of the shoulder, and basically ignoring the other side? That can't be helpful for either looking your best or have nicely balanced strength, can it?

Ocean Drive
08-19-2008, 09:19 AM
Slow is tougher on the muscles, that's for sure.

Rickson
08-19-2008, 10:17 AM
Cal, I can tell you from many years of training that most back exercises work the rear deltoids. The irony is that the rear deltoid fly or the bent over laterals work the upper back more than the actual rear deltoids. Perhaps the inventors of these exercises decided that since pullups work rear delts anyway, maybe they should come up with a "rear delt" exercise that actually works the upper back as a tradeoff, but they'll just say it works the posterior deltoid because it all evens out in the end.

heycal
08-19-2008, 05:16 PM
Cal, I can tell you from many years of training that most back exercises work the rear deltoids. The irony is that the rear deltoid fly or the bent over laterals work the upper back more than the actual rear deltoids. Perhaps the inventors of these exercises decided that since pullups work rear delts anyway, maybe they should come up with a "rear delt" exercise that actually works the upper back as a tradeoff, but they'll just say it works the posterior deltoid because it all evens out in the end.

But on the pull up machines, for example, they show all these muscles that are worked by that machine -- biceps, lats, etc -- but not rear delt. There is no logical reason for them to list several muscles but leave out one other than that they believe that to be the case.

Also, isn't the rear delt one of those tricky muscles that needed be worked on their own preicisely because they are not worked during compound exercises?

And what of the inner muscles of the thigh/quad? Why, back when my knees were bothering me a bit, would an ortho have recommended I do a version of that excerise by squeezing a pillow between between my knees if a compound quad exercise would have done the same thing?

I submit it's for the same reason the rear delt should be worked separately -- because compound exercises, while great for you and better than most other excercises, don't meet ALL your needs.

Along those lines, I would guess that standard delt exercises or lat exercises aren't going to do much to help your rotator cuff stay strong.

Mikael
08-19-2008, 07:40 PM
But on the pull up machines, for example, they show all these muscles that are worked by that machine -- biceps, lats, etc -- but not rear delt. There is no logical reason for them to list several muscles but leave out one other than that they believe that to be the case.

Also, isn't the rear delt one of those tricky muscles that needed be worked on their own preicisely because they are not worked during compound exercises?

And what of the inner muscles of the thigh/quad? Why, back when my knees were bothering me a bit, would an ortho have recommended I do a version of that excerise by squeezing a pillow between between my knees if a compound quad exercise would have done the same thing?

I submit it's for the same reason the rear delt should be worked separately -- because compound exercises, while great for you and better than most other excercises, don't meet ALL your needs.

Along those lines, I would guess that standard delt exercises or lat exercises aren't going to do much to help your rotator cuff stay strong.


Isolation work can be done, it is dumb to ban it altogether from your training. It is commonly accepted that it shouldnt amount to more than 20 percent of your training volume though.

And if you're training for performance or injury prevention rather than aesthetics, I'd suggest spending that 20 percent on more productive isolation work than biceps curls...

Concerning the rear delt more specifically, dont trust those little pictures next to the machines at the gym... Its usually not the best source of info. They dont make them very detailed.

Check out
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/LatissimusDorsi/WtChinup.html

You will see it in the list of synergists. Rows are also excellent for the rear delts.

heycal
08-19-2008, 08:32 PM
Rows and chins don't feel like they are working the rear delts as much as rear-delt specific exericises like cable pullbacks or whatever do, but maybe you guys are right. I don't know.

But in any case, if you say isolation work IS smart, but for only 20 percent of your workout, what exactly should be isolated during that 20 percent? Arms, shoulder, legs??

heycal
08-19-2008, 09:08 PM
Here's another question for you guys: If one's goals are just a little bit of increased muscle mass and appearance benfits, as well as helping the legs (and knees) stay strong and healthy for tennis, can I just rely on the leg press machine? Maybe that one where you are sitting back and pushing the weight up in the air? (Incline leg press?)

I like that exercise. But I pretty much hate all the other exercises that work similar muscles, like squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls, etc.

So can the magic leg press do it all by itself to meet my somewhat modest goals? Maybe even give me a little calve strengthening along the way (at least acccording to that one source linked above)?

I'd love to be able to skip all those other annoying machines/exercises if I can truly get almost the same benefit from a couple of sets of leg press. Can I? Or must I do that other stuff if I want true benefits?

cncretecwbo
08-20-2008, 09:43 AM
Here's another question for you guys: If one's goals are just a little bit of increased muscle mass and appearance benfits, as well as helping the legs (and knees) stay strong and healthy for tennis, can I just rely on the leg press machine? Maybe that one where you are sitting back and pushing the weight up in the air? (Incline leg press?)

I like that exercise. But I pretty much hate all the other exercises that work similar muscles, like squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls, etc.

So can the magic leg press do it all by itself to meet my somewhat modest goals? Maybe even give me a little calve strengthening along the way (at least acccording to that one source linked above)?

I'd love to be able to skip all those other annoying machines/exercises if I can truly get almost the same benefit from a couple of sets of leg press. Can I? Or must I do that other stuff if I want true benefits?

i hate leg extensions too, pretty pointless for sports.

why dont you want to do squats though? they are a lot better for everything in general. If you know who mark rippetoe is, ill leave you with a quote.

"There are few things graven in stone, except that you have to squat or you're a *****." -- Mark Rippetoe

Rickson
08-20-2008, 09:55 AM
Cal, just because a lot of gym members do them, doesn't make it right. Leg extensions may be a popular exercise right after squats, but they're actually bad for the knees. Do you want to know what I do for a leg workout if I haven't been to the gym? I walk up the stairs, 2 steps at a time and come back down and do it again for a few sets. After that, I bring my feet halfway out on one of the steps and do calf raises. If I want to work the soleus, I bend my legs while doing the calf raises on the step. How simple is that?

heycal
08-20-2008, 10:10 AM
Cal, just because a lot of gym members do them, doesn't make it right. Leg extensions may be a popular exercise right after squats, but they're actually bad for the knees. Do you want to know what I do for a leg workout if I haven't been to the gym? I walk up the stairs, 2 steps at a time and come back down and do it again for a few sets. After that, I bring my feet halfway out on one of the steps and do calf raises. If I want to work the soleus, I bend my legs while doing the calf raises on the step. How simple is that?

Sure, that's simple. But what do I do AT the gym? I'd like to skip squats, which I'm sure are great but which I don't like and which feel slightly dangerous too -- and folks, please skip the lectures about how squats done correctly are actually incredibly safe or whatever, and just assume I'd do them incorrectly and drop the issue -- and I also want to skip extensions and hamstring curls and calve raises, and JUST do a couple of sets of leg press twice a week or so.

Will that alone be enough for both increased lower body muscle mass and keeping legs and calves strong for tennis? Or must do other exercises and/or more of them?

Rickson
08-20-2008, 10:15 AM
How's this then? Leg presses for your quads, seated leg curls for your hams, standing calf raises for your gastroc, and seated calf raises for you soleus. I could wrap up that leg workout, provided the machines aren't occupied, in 15 minutes. No squats, no leg extensions, no lying on your belly leg curls.

heycal
08-20-2008, 10:23 AM
How's this then? Leg presses for your quads, seated leg curls for your hams, standing calf raises for your gastroc, and seated calf raises for you soleus. I could wrap up that leg workout, provided the machines aren't occupied, in 15 minutes. No squats, no leg extensions, no lying on your belly leg curls.

That's four different excercises, Rickson. Not quite as attractive a notion as being able to do one exercise, is it?

Two pages ago it was we were all about "compound exercises" are the only thing you need. Now I gotta two differents sets of calves exercises, plus two other machines?

And don't hamstrings (and glutes, and calves) get worked by the leg press machine in additon to the quad? I thought that was one its appeals, it's a compound exercise.

Rickson
08-20-2008, 10:27 AM
Will you stop wanting to eat that damn cake? You do not work both the soleus and the gastroc with one kind of calf raise. How about doing the standing calf raise with a bend in your knees? That should cover the calves. As for the hams, you don't get a direct pump from the LP, but you'll work them indirectly. I think you'll be pleased with the seated leg curls.

hollywood9826
08-20-2008, 10:37 AM
Im no expert with multipple certs or anything. But since you dont want to do squats youre elimanting the compound portion. Glutes wont get hit much at all on a seated leg press. You will get a little hammy involved but for the most part once you sit down you hit mostly quad and will need to compensate with other exercises.

When i do legs I do what rickson suggested, except I do the lying on the belly leg curls, and forgo standing calves raises. After that i usually jump on a stairmaster for 45 and stretch a ton

heycal
08-20-2008, 11:07 AM
How about this boys? A couple of tough sets on leg press, to get quad, and hams and glutes and calves indirectly, and then a one or maybe two sets of mellow low weight squats, okay? Will that be enough?

Oh, how I long for the days of two pages ago, when all one needed to do were a couple of compound exercises and they were done at the gym. Now it's "do seated this, seated that, standing this, standing that, and don't forget this other crazy exercise, etc, etc."

cncretecwbo
08-20-2008, 02:37 PM
How about this boys? A couple of tough sets on leg press, to get quad, and hams and glutes and calves indirectly, and then a one or maybe two sets of mellow low weight squats, okay? Will that be enough?

Oh, how I long for the days of two pages ago, when all one needed to do were a couple of compound exercises and they were done at the gym. Now it's "do seated this, seated that, standing this, standing that, and don't forget this other crazy exercise, etc, etc."

learn to do deadlifts, that should hit pretty much everything. Why cant you learn squats? they are probably top 3 lifts you can do (clean and jerk might top it all, but thats another can of worms)

Mikael
08-20-2008, 06:15 PM
learn to do deadlifts, that should hit pretty much everything. Why cant you learn squats? they are probably top 3 lifts you can do (clean and jerk might top it all, but thats another can of worms)


He is right heycal, the squat and the deadlift would cover your entire lower body. Unless you specifically want to isolate one muscle, those two exercises - and arguably the back squat is enough on its own - work all lower body muscles.

Generally unless you're a bodybuilder you want to think in terms of movement patterns, not specific muscles. The leg press won't do your entire lower body justice because there is no hip extension involved. So as others have said your glutes and hamstrings wont get as much work as your quads.

Hey, maybe try different squatting variations and you will like one of them. Personally I hate back squats and usually stick to front squats... But variation is good occasionally.

As to your previous question about what to isolate, well it is an individual thing, depends on your own goals, weaknesses, etc.

And don't forget that an injury prevention program shouldn't exist without appropriate mobility work, stretching and soft tissue work. Getting the right muscles stronger is only part of the job, you also want to make the right muscles longer or more flexible.

onehandbh
08-20-2008, 07:34 PM
how about

1) lunges across the floor? (one leg at a time) You can hold dumbbells
in each hand to increase resistence.

and

2) bodyweight squats or one legged bodyweight squats.



or

just do a couple sets of the adductor and abductor leg machines and call it a day.
(don't wear your short shorts when you do these!)

heycal
08-20-2008, 07:54 PM
Just do adducter and abducter machines and call it a day? Rickson would go crazy!

You others guys drive a hard bargain here, so I'll tell you you what: if you can all agree on the proper non-injury risking technique for squats, I will do a set or two each time I visit the gym using not very much weight, in addition to a couple of sets on the leg press machine.

Would that give me some decent benefits? Can we call this combo a deal?

As for deadlifts? Forget about it. Sounds like an injury waiting to happen even more than the squat does...

cncretecwbo
08-20-2008, 07:55 PM
how about

1) lunges across the floor? (one leg at a time) You can hold dumbbells
in each hand to increase resistence.

that could be useful.

2) bodyweight squats or one legged bodyweight squats.

heavy squats are much more beneficial, but 1 leg squats are heavy even with just bw, so that could work. although theres still probably gonna be less posterior chain activation


just do a couple sets of the adductor and abductor leg machines and call it a day.
(don't wear your short shorts when you do these!)

i assume thats not serious?

Rickson
08-20-2008, 08:27 PM
If you choose to do squats, make sure you align the bar with the trap-ezius muscles and not the neck. If you're severely lacking in the trap department, line up the barbell with your shoulders because you certainly don't need a sore neck. Look straight ahead and not down. Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and point the toes forward and not out at a 45 degree angle as that leads to sumo squats and you don't want that. Make sure your knees don't turn in or out but directly in line with the toes. Go down slowly and up quickly. Inhale on the way down and exhale as you go up. Come down until your thighs are parallel. Lower than that will hurt your knees. Good luck with the squats.

heycal
08-20-2008, 08:50 PM
If you choose to do squats, make sure you align the bar with the trap-ezius muscles and not the neck. If you're severely lacking in the trap department, line up the barbell with your shoulders because you certainly don't need a sore neck. Look straight ahead and not down. Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and point the toes forward and not out at a 45 degree angle as that leads to sumo squats and you don't want that. Make sure your knees don't turn in or out but directly in line with the toes. Go down slowly and up quickly. Inhale on the way down and exhale as you go up. Come down until your thighs are parallel. Lower than that will hurt your knees. Good luck with the squats.


Thanks. I'll probably give it a whirl when I officially re-join a gym next week. But hey, how the hell am I supposed to get the barbell off the ground and up onto my shoulders safely? Just getting barbells and dumbbells into position can be a challenge.

One reason I want to join a gym again is because at home with dummbells and a bench, trying to do something like a press with heavy dumbbells causes stress on my arms getting them into position and putting them back down again, and just seems like a slightly dangerous thing in general. I think years of that set me up for TE, actually. But machines, while certainly not as good as dumbells, at least are a bit safer and let you lift more since don't don't have to swing a lot of weight into position. Which reminds me that I had similar irritation at the leg press machine at my old gym, and hated having to lift 100 lb plates off the ground and hoist them onto the bar. (And then off again too.)

onehandbh
08-20-2008, 10:08 PM
heavy squats are much more beneficial, but 1 leg squats are heavy even with just bw, so that could work. although theres still probably gonna be less posterior chain activation

i assume thats not serious?

Yes, the ad/ab ductor thing was a joke:)

I do 1 leg squats w/my heels firmly planted on the ground and go
down until my glute touches my ankle (basically all the way down).
Doesn't hurt my knees and works the glutes & hams pretty good.
Good for rock climbing also b/c it works on balance as well.
Once getting to 10 reps is easy you can add some weight by
hold a dumbell in front of you w/both arms. Even adding 5 or
10 lbs makes it much more difficult b/c it is only on one leg so
it is like adding double the weight. Once you hams & glutes
get stronger, you can try some glute ham raises but these are
**MUCH** harder.

superman1
08-21-2008, 02:02 AM
I would just do lunges, heycal. Squats are a tricky thing and 95% of people I see are doing them incorrectly and putting way too much stress on the knees or lower back - these are the same people online who talk about how important squats are. Young people can handle bad form, their bodies can take the damage for the time being until they either give up or figure out how to squat correctly, but older people need to be much more careful. There is no room for error.

Kobble
08-21-2008, 04:52 AM
I'll give you my opinion. Do squats, even if it is bodyweight squats, or you have to start with little weight. Leg presses aren't the worst thing to do, but biomechanically it doesn measure up. I am an example. When it high school I got hooked on the leg press in gym class. My leg press strength went up, but my overall athleticism (agility and vertical jump) barely improved. Later on I tried squats, and significant gains in agility were experienced on a tennis court; I never tested my vertical jump.

There is a reason why it is the cornerstone for leg development all over the globe.

cncretecwbo
08-21-2008, 05:24 AM
If you choose to do squats, make sure you align the bar with the trap-ezius muscles and not the neck. If you're severely lacking in the trap department, line up the barbell with your shoulders because you certainly don't need a sore neck. Look straight ahead and not down. Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and point the toes forward and not out at a 45 degree angle as that leads to sumo squats and you don't want that. Make sure your knees don't turn in or out but directly in line with the toes. Go down slowly and up quickly. Inhale on the way down and exhale as you go up. Come down until your thighs are parallel. Lower than that will hurt your knees. Good luck with the squats.

low bar squats see, to hurt me less. Inhaling down is probably a bad idea. Inhaling before you go down puts air in your lungs and supports your spine. I would inhale, then go down and up and the exhale. I also dont think going lower will be bad for the knees, going not low enough would be bad for the kness, but going ATG probably wouldnt.

I have no certification, mind you, but i have read a lot and i feel like this is a pretty good representation of what i have read by certified people.

heycal
08-21-2008, 05:33 AM
^^^
See what I mean? I figured you guys couldn't all agree on the right technique to do squats. Hence, part of my fear about this exercise...

I forget to mention that the one exercise I hate more than squats are lunges. I don't think they are particularly dangerous -- I just hate 'em.

cncretecwbo
08-21-2008, 06:17 AM
^^^
See what I mean? I figured you guys couldn't all agree on the right technique to do squats. Hence, part of my fear about this exercise...

I forget to mention that the one exercise I hate more than squats are lunges. I don't think they are particularly dangerous -- I just hate 'em.

half squats are dangerous, parallel or below are not all that more dangerous than soccer or basketball, even less so.

Mikael
08-21-2008, 06:36 AM
^^^
See what I mean? I figured you guys couldn't all agree on the right technique to do squats. Hence, part of my fear about this exercise...

I forget to mention that the one exercise I hate more than squats are lunges. I don't think they are particularly dangerous -- I just hate 'em.

There is no right or wrong answer on squat depth, it depends on your flexibility (hamstring and ankle flexibility mostly). If at one point your lower back starts to round or your ankles come off the floor, thats bad form and means you have gone beyond what your flexibility will allow. Some people can almost go ***-to-floor, some people can just make parallel...

But hey, if you dont want to do them... you probably wont. In my experience the only things that work long term at the gym are those that you feel really motivated about. The people that do squats consistently are not those that look forward to squatting - I can guarantee you no one really enjoys squatting - they are those that understand how valuable they are.

heycal
08-23-2008, 12:44 PM
Joined a gym today. Among other things, did some gentle squats with just a 60 lbs barbell. Wasn't the end the world... Maybe I'll do them again.

What do you guys think of squat machines? My gym has some sort of squat machine that lets you do them backwards or forwards at a slight incline.

heycal
08-23-2008, 12:47 PM
Oh, and how many sets should one do at the gym? I think Rickson is a believer in not having to do very many at all, which is music to my ears.

My plan is to go to the gym like every 3or 4 days or so and work entire body. Do a little cardio other days. Is 2 sets of each exercise good enough under this plan?

cncretecwbo
08-23-2008, 06:25 PM
last time i lifted i did 10 sets total (not counting warmups)

sometimes ill go more, but for each exercise its usually 3 x 5, 1 x 5(deadlifts) or 5 x 3 (cleans and snatches which i sometimes do 5 or 6 x 2)

Rickson
08-23-2008, 10:57 PM
Oh, and how many sets should one do at the gym? I think Rickson is a believer in not having to do very many at all, which is music to my ears.

My plan is to go to the gym like every 3or 4 days or so and work entire body. Do a little cardio other days. Is 2 sets of each exercise good enough under this plan?

If the exercise is new to you, it's one set of 15 reps with a relatively light weight. After you get used to the exercise, increase the weight and do 2 sets of 10 reps or 1 set of 15 and the 2nd set at 10. I like doing 2 sets of 10 with a medium weight once I get accustomed to the movement. Remember, it's only 1 set of 15 your 1st time out and that means 1 set of that exercise for the day. Sound like too little exercise for a day? Trust me, I'm the pro. Give a novice more than 1 set and you know what you get? A novice who never comes back to the gym.

heycal
08-24-2008, 12:46 AM
If the exercise is new to you, it's one set of 15 reps with a relatively light weight. After you get used to the exercise, increase the weight and do 2 sets of 10 reps or 1 set of 15 and the 2nd set at 10. I like doing 2 sets of 10 with a medium weight once I get accustomed to the movement. Remember, it's only 1 set of 15 your 1st time out and that means 1 set of that exercise for the day. Sound like too little exercise for a day? Trust me, I'm the pro. Give a novice more than 1 set and you know what you get? A novice who never comes back to the gym.

Wish I read this before I went to the gym. All my muscles are starting to hurt now, and probably will for a couple of days, because I did 2 sets and about 10 reps at moderately heavy weights for each machine/exercise, most of which I'd either never used before or hadn't used in maybe 10 years.

I thought I was smart enough by now not to overdo it with such things, but I guess I couldn't resist trying to get some bang for the buck out of my first workout.

I will definitely go back though. Assuming there are no major muscles tears that become apparent in the coming hours and days...

But once I'm up and running, 2 sets, 10 reps per exercise when going to the gym every 3 or 4 days is good enough to see some okay gains in muscle mass?

superman1
08-24-2008, 02:53 AM
So since you're doing squats, I'll just say: thumbless grip, elbows pointed back, bar resting as low as you can get it, feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed OUT 30 degrees (everyone gets this wrong), take a deep breath before you go down and hold it (this will help keep your core tight and prevent back rounding), go as far down as you can without rounding your back (thighs should at least be parallel to the ground), when you go down your knees should point OUT in the direction of your toes (most people get this wrong), push up as hard as you can with your HEELS, exhale as you go up.

Common problems: toes pointed straight ahead, knees buckle in, not going deep enough, rounding of the back, pushing up with the ball of the foot not the heels

cncretecwbo
08-24-2008, 03:12 AM
So since you're doing squats, I'll just say: thumbless grip, elbows pointed back, bar resting as low as you can get it, feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed OUT 30 degrees (everyone gets this wrong), take a deep breath before you go down and hold it (this will help keep your core tight and prevent back rounding), go as far down as you can without rounding your back (thighs should at least be parallel to the ground), when you go down your knees should point OUT in the direction of your toes (most people get this wrong), push up as hard as you can with your HEELS, exhale as you go up.

Common problems: toes pointed straight ahead, knees buckle in, not going deep enough, rounding of the back, pushing up with the ball of the foot not the heels

and look at a spot on the ground 6-10 feet in front of you

superman1
08-25-2008, 09:46 PM
That's optional. Don't look at the ceiling but some people like looking straight ahead or slightly up because it helps them keep their back straight. Mark Rippetoe ain't God...just a guy who wrote a good book with stuff that he certainly didn't invent.

RanchDressing
09-03-2008, 03:52 PM
are you kidding?

I could do like 30 fast advanced perfect pushups and hardly sweat. But slow i will really sweat.

Rickson
09-03-2008, 04:31 PM
Fast on the way up and slow on the way down.

TENNIS_IS_FUN
09-03-2008, 11:20 PM
a combination of fast and slow.

chess9
09-04-2008, 03:54 AM
Super slow reps will not improve your overall strength and is not as effective as quick reps on the concentric portion of the exercise. If you don't believe me, try walking up the steps very slowly and see how much strength you gain from doing that. Super slow is not a very effective exercise routine although it's better than doing nothing at all. Quick concentric movements are the way to go, but slow eccentric movements are a very good thing so keep that in mind. To recap, slow on the way down and fast on the way up.

I agree with this. Weighted pushups are worth a try as well. Put a 10-25 lb plate on your back (have a buddy do it and hold it) and go down slowly, and up fast. Do them wide, do them narrow. Do them with hands up a bit and back a bit. The different angles catch a few different muscles, tendons, ligaments. You build explosive power with fast muscle contractions, not slow ones on the concentric phase. Balance the speed of movement with safety however, particularly when doing something like free bar SQUATS.

Just my humble opinion, and I'm sure I'm wrong as usual. ;)

-Robert

Rickson
09-04-2008, 06:29 AM
No, you're right this time, Robert.

heycal
09-04-2008, 08:06 AM
I agree with this. Weighted pushups are worth a try as well. Put a 10-25 lb plate on your back (have a buddy do it and hold it) and go down slowly, and up fast.

Ah, the memories this brings back. When my daughter was small, I'd invite her to (carefully!) climb on my back while I did push ups. It was fun and challenging. But now at 12 she's too big and/or I'm too weak....

Rickson
09-04-2008, 03:46 PM
You still ask young girls to climb on your back, Cal, but now they're other people's daughters.

heycal
09-05-2008, 07:05 AM
You still ask young girls to climb on your back, Cal, but now they're other people's daughters.

Yikes.

I am dreading the karmic payback that may be in store for me as creepy guys try to defile my daughter in the years to come...

onehandbh
09-05-2008, 08:14 AM
Ah, the memories this brings back. When my daughter was small, I'd invite her to (carefully!) climb on my back while I did push ups. It was fun and challenging. But now at 12 she's too big and/or I'm too weak....

LOL. That reminds me of this co-worker once. She was surprisingly pretty
strong and one day someone asked her what she does. She said she had
been carrying around her song for the last couple years and unfortunately
her husband is a really big and tall guy so the son is giant and he's grown
bigger and bigger so she's had to to get stronger and stronger to be able
to carry him. It was pretty funny b/c the woman was pretty petite.

heycal
09-05-2008, 08:27 AM
Sort of like the tale of the guy who carried the calf up the hill every day, and as it grew and got bigger, so did he.

The thing is, even if I could do push ups with my 85 lb daughter on my back, what self-respecting 12 year old hipster girl would be caught dead assisting her dad with his exercises as if she were still 3 year old?