Bench Press

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by FastFreddy, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    The concentric contraction of a squat takes place when you're pushing up, not when you're lowering the weight. The lowering part is called eccentric contraction, pronounced eeh-centric, not ex-centric.
     
  2. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    They also place too much stress on you joints if the upper arm/forearm angle is less than 90 degrees (at bottom of dip).

    The same goes with squats (90 degrees minimum between lower/upper leg)
     
  3. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    not true at all, tell that to an olympic lifter
     
  4. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    In the face of an argument about how low one can safely go on squats, I'm definitely going to err on the side of caution and listen to the people who say don't go lower than parallel.
     
  5. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    explain to me how going lower than parallel can be more damaging than parallel.

    also, the post i responded to said 90 degress, which is actually above parallel. a partial squat (above parallel) can be done with more weight, and loads the knee more than a full squat. so you are A) putting more pressure on the knees and B) adding more weight to a motion that already loads the knees.
     
  6. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I pretty much said I don't know what the truth is, so I can't very well explain it. I'm sure others here will probably do so soon enough.

    Until that time, I can only go with my gut instinct on this one, which stems from common sense exercise principles: the less extreme way of doing any activity is usually going to be the safer way.
     
  7. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    the problem is, though, that a half-squat and a full squat involve different points where you switch from eccentric to concentric. one (that half squat) places more load on the knees at this point.
     
  8. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Hey, if you can get a consensus that agrees with you about this, I'll reconsider. But until then, I'll err on what appears to be the more cautious side.
     
  9. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    what if what appears to be the more cautious side is more likely to harm you? I personally dont care what you do, thats your choice.

    a side note: 1/4 squats with medium or light weights are great for athletic ability since they mimic natural movement more, who squat atg before jumping? the problem is that people get greedy and hurt themselves with 1/4 squats.
     
  10. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    In the face of conflicing advice, that's a risk I have to take, isn't?

    Also, didn't a bunch of people in this thread hotly disagree with you that it's good to go low on squats?

    So what am I to do? Since the answer is unclear, and I could be wrong one way or the other, I will err on the side that seems safer to me, which is the less extreme range of motion, and which is consistent with basic principles of moderation and caution.

    Someone else weigh in here, please. Let's get some other opinions, folks!
     
  11. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    I think full squats are safe as long as you have enough hamstring and
    glute flexibility so that you back doesn't round as you descend.
    It's a very natural position. Babies do it and people in many parts of the
    world still descend into full squats all the time during waste evacuation.
    They ascend with less weight than they descended with though...
     
  12. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Yes, but is it safer than not going fully as the other poster alleges?
     
  13. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    In the big picture and in the long run, it might be.
    Imagine this scenario:

    1) You only do partial squats
    2) You start off with a modest weight and over time build up to a larger weight.

    So far so good, right? Well, now imagine these two scenarios:

    1) you are squatting and for some reason your leg feels more fatigued you
    legs give out or you are unable to ascend and as a result you keep
    descending instead and go deeper than you normally do. You haven't
    worked this range of motion so it is possible that you will have little
    strength or even flexibility here and you could end up rapidly descending
    and injuring yourself.

    2) you are playing tennis or some activity. You get tired and your legs
    give out or stubble or something that causes you to descend past the
    point you normally squat. Again you don't much strength here and could
    get injured.

    What may happen is that your knees will go forward as you descend,
    putting it in a vulnerable position.
    Also when your legs are weak in the lower position what will happen usually
    is that you simply won't lunge or bend low enough for the ball and will
    use your back instead to bend over or round your back. This is a very bad
    thing and can lead to lower back injuries.

    It's like the guy doing benches by only descending a few inches. I've
    seen guys lifting quite a lot this way all the time. Like past 250 lbs.
    If they accidentally screw up once and get past their usual lower
    position they could be in trouble. Even with a spotter.

    For the purposes of tennis, a full range of motion is important. Sometimes
    you have to hit stretch volleys or shots where you are moving in very
    outstretched/lunging position and you don't really want your legs to
    give out or be weak here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  14. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Im 165#

    Bench 305
    Squat 325
    Dead 320
     
  15. LazyAzN

    LazyAzN Rookie

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    2 years ago I was 140 lbs and benched 185 max. Repped 135 for 3 sets of 5. Then I was 153 and could rep 2 sets of 10 for 135 lbs. Now I'm 141 and rep 95 for 3 sets of 15.
     
  16. FastFreddy

    FastFreddy Semi-Pro

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    Lifted

    I put up 285 for 20 reps 3 sets 5 mins rest between sets. first I warmed up with 6 sets of seated shoulder press started at 185 for 15 reps finshed at 255 for 5 reps.Shoulder feels good going to still get a mri on the 30th and get the results on the 2nd. Haven't played tennis for 4 weeks. If I do decide to play again no more two hand backhands just hit the slice and crank out some onehand top spin backhands. I will string my racquet with 15l vs gut on the crosses and Luxilon power rough 16l on the mains 60 pounds.
     
  17. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    What say Rickson and Chess9 about which is safer, going low on squats or not?
     
  18. Gmedlo

    Gmedlo Professional

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    They'll probably say it depends on your anatomy... I can go ATG on my squats as long as I keep my weight on my heels, while my friend can barely get past parallel, and has tons of knee popping and crackling.
     
  19. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    This anecdote offers no support for the "full is safer" argument, nor even a "depends on your anatomy" argument, given we are trying to determine which way is safer. Instead it suggests that partial is safer. Whether some people could go full without ill-effect does not mean that full is safer, ya know?
     
  20. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    If you're benching 300#, you should be squating 500# easy.
     
  21. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    What if he doesn't work his legs much, Kev?
     
  22. Gmedlo

    Gmedlo Professional

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    I should've said that ATG is what I naturally do, as in it causes no pain. My friend, however, almost falls over, writhing with knee pain when he does full ATG squats. It depends completely on who is doing the squat. Full is safer for me, just beyond parallel is safer for my friend. The only point that we can be sure of is that not going to at least parallel is good for no one.

    Reading some of your earlier posts, I wish I had my book Starting Strength with me (heard of it? ;)). There's a great excerpt that explains how the hip flexors activate optimally at a certain depth (you see this at the bottom of the squat when the hips move forward before you go up), so there are more differences between a partial squat and a full squat than simply stress on your knees. When you go deeper, you are activating more muscles to lift the same amount of weight, thus usually making it safer. I've never heard or read anyone recommend staying above parallel.

    When I lift at my friends on monday I'll get the book back and try and scan the pages if I have time. Or, if you have the book, you can find it yourself.
     
  23. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    We need some more opinions! Rickson, pay attention and put your two cents in here.

    Also, what about the thing of not letting your knees go past your toes? Isn't going fuller likely to increase that happening?

    And what does "ATG" stand for?
     
  24. Gmedlo

    Gmedlo Professional

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    ATG = "AS*S to Grass", as in going as low as possible.
     
  25. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    How true it continues to be. Someone has introduced the possibility that the pain in my lower leg/top of foot could be a stress fracture.
     
  26. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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  27. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    You bench almost twice your body weight, and you bench just as much as you deadlift and squat.

    Proof? Video?
     
  28. samkristy

    samkristy New User

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    i'm 160#, can only bench 210-220 once on a good day, can squat not much over 250 going just down to parallel, and I can deadlift 300. How could you bench over 300 and barely do more than me in the deadlift? seems odd, but of course, nothing's impossible
     
  29. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    OK, let me get this straight........you have a shoulder injury and can still bench 285 for 3 sets of 20 reps?

    Suddenly I feel like a pu$$y.

    You must be one large, thick man sir. Holy ****.
     
  30. FastFreddy

    FastFreddy Semi-Pro

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    Shoulder

    Well I did tweak my shoulder 2 months ago hitting a two hand backhand. so I have hung up my tennis racquet for good. Well 285 is a warmup set for me I do 15 reps with that.

    Next I jump up to 325 or 335 for 5-8 reps then finish with 385 for a single rep.
    Since I jacked up my right shoulder from tennis I got a xray which doesn't show a tendon problem. So I was going to get a mri on Sept 30th but found out I would have to pay 800.00 for it. So I said no thanks and just rest it for 9 months and let the tedon heal on its own and do my pt. The doctor called me up and said if I wanted to come in to the office for a courtozone shot after I turned down the mri but I was like thanks but no thanks.

    Those are really bad for your tendons plus it will mask the pain and your will go out and tear up your shoulder even more. Plus if the mri might show nothing or show a small tear in the cuff I didn't feel like having a third shoulder surgery and do all the rehab to what play tennis again, I only play 2-4 times a month so its not a big deal to me at this point in my life.

    It hasn't really effected my benching I decided to just to stay safe and stay away from low reps anything under 15 reps until 9 months pass or maybe never go heavy again. No more tennis for me in this lifetime, plus I been playing less and less and getting worse and worse its really sad how much my game has fallen off in the last 9 years. I was playing great in Jan 1999 then tore my left cuff playing on clay 12 hrs a week. I know 285 sounds like a lot but I bench on a smith machine and don't go past parallel. I gave up free weight bench after I wrecked my right shoulder back in 1992 while playing ice hockey.

    My best bench on free weight was 365 at 185. My best bench on the smith was 425 at 223. Remember I been lifting twice a week since I was 10 years old and was high school weight lifting champ so don't feel like a pu**y or weak. Plus I weigh 209 so 285 isn't really that heavy for my weight.

    I also gave up my membership at lafitness so I won't be tempted to lift any heavy weights any more. Now I do a chest press at my condo gym that only goes up to 285 so all I can do is more reps and sets. I do some seated rows, lat pulldown underhand grip to the front, standing dumbell shoulder press and curls and trap work thats it. Just running and cycling for the legs and heart.

    I got two wilson k90 4 5/8 grip racquets like new 9 out of 10 if anyone wants them I listed them on this site in the for sale ads. I will give you a great deal on them since I will not be playing again. Just bought them one month before I screwed up my shoulder.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  31. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    That's being pretty modest, considering you are tossing that weight for 15 reps (and apparently not even struggling with the 15th rep).

    I still think you are a bada$$ (and so do the charts below). I bet you are probably in the "elite" range in all of the core exercises listed!!

    http://exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/BenchStandards.html

    http://exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html
     
  32. FastFreddy

    FastFreddy Semi-Pro

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    Weightlifting

    I checked out the chart you posted I was elite in benching 365 and pressing with 245 at 185. I have only done deadlifts to 365 when my weight was 185 with no belt and no knee wraps. I was too scared to go past that weight since I don't want to wreck my lower back since I was playing Junior hockey at the time. Plus I was building strength so I kept the reps at 5-8 range and the weight at 85 percent of my max.

    I am not built for squats so I never done them. I instead do leg press instead I gone as heavy as 3 reps at 900 and one rep for 1000lbs. Most of the time I keep the reps at 25 and the weight at 450 max on a cybex leg press machine to burn up the legs. Sounds heavy and it is but I seen bodybuilders do like 2500 on the sled on utube Ronnie Coleman. Plus at that weight you feel it more in your joints than on your muscle.

    It's hard to gauge most lifts like bench, squats, leg press since most guys do short reps. Most of the time you have to see the lift to believe it unless you know that person and know they use good form. I use to clean 245 then press it and put it behind my neck then do my step ups for hockey. To make elite In all I would have to squat 480, clean 310, deadlift 548 never going to happen to me.

    I was told I am good at benching because I have strong lats and rear delts, traps and lower back for support. I got good at it with years of training that lift and alot of it is to train your muscles for that movement and your mental training to lift for a one rep max.
     
  33. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Can you explain what you mean by "not built for squats"? I have an idea maybe, but would like to understand what you mean.

    Your cybex routine reminds me of the "death squat" routine I do once in a while. I think Tom Platz made if famous.
     
  34. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I understand the benefits of weight belts when doing exercises like deadlifts, squats, and standing military presses for reducing stress on the lower back. I tend to not use a weight belt, even though I do lift heavy. I do feel stress on my lower back, but always assumed that it was better to let my spinal erector muscles get used to the load and build strength.

    What is your opinion?



    Anyone can chime in if they have an opinion. Thanks.
     
  35. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Well if anyone can chime in, then I will: If we're talking about back-stressing amounts of weight, perhaps it's a sign that it it's too much weight or is otherwise not a healthy exercise for us?
     
  36. FastFreddy

    FastFreddy Semi-Pro

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    Squats

    As you know some guys like me are built for benching. Short arms large chest.
    Other guys are deadlift guys short legs long arms. And squat guys like my friends are shorter( short thick legs ) between 5'3 to 5'9 at about 225lbs. Plus I have like zero flexibility in my hamstrings and my hockey ankles only like going side to side not foward and back. I tired the piece of wood under my feet and some plates. Also that dam bar digs into my neck does not feel good. I tried the black foam pad the blue bat wing.
    Also my hips are also super tight like the rest of my body. I was born super tight aleast as I age I wont lose any flex since I strarted with zero.


    I never used a weight belt or knee wraps other guys swear by them.
    Just be careful adding weight to your lower back movements so not to tweak your back. I have wrecked my lower back from getting to crazy with power cleans back in the day. So bad it took me 5 mins to get into the car in the passanger side I couldn't even drive. Just remember you have to be able to tell the difference between a sore lower back from working it and wrecking it. Its a fine line which most of us who lift heavy will cross now and then and pay the price. By walking bend over for a week or 2. If you are doing squats the right way you should feel it in your legs not your lower back. If you feel it more in your back you are doing a good morning movement. Tom Platz is the man for legs and super low squats hams kissin the calfs.
     
  37. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    True.

    The only exercise that really makes my lower back sore anymore (and worries me a little) are deadlifts.

    I used to feel it in my back on squats, but I was just doing them wrong. With the standing military press, it just took a little time for my back to adjust and get used to it. I used to do seated military presses or dumbbell presses.
     
  38. srv vlly

    srv vlly Rookie

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    i can only do 75lbs for 4 sets of 10 i weigh 148
     
  39. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    For the past week I have been thinking about the weight you have pulled / pushed as I set my own strength goals.

    I am 6' 2". 210 lbs. 35 years old.

    My goals on 4 "benchmark" exercises:

    Standing Military Press: Body weight

    Bench Press: Body weight * 1.5

    Squat: Body weight * 2

    Deadlift: Body weight * 2.5 (this might be slightly too high)

    I am estimating 18 - 24 months to achieve these goals.

    Thanks "FastFreddy" for your help.
     
  40. FastFreddy

    FastFreddy Semi-Pro

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    update

    It's almost been a year since my last shoulder surgery which was my fourth one. I had two on the left and 2 on the right. One open style and scope job on each shoulder for a tear in my cuff and remove bone spurs. I started benching free weights again 3 months ago. I have not benched free weights since 1992 because that was the year I wrecked my right shoulder in hockey. Best bench on the smith machine in the past 20 years was 285 for 20 reps. This past Friday I put up 255 for 15 reps. My goal by summer is to get to 285 and reach 305 for 15 reps by 2014. Going to try 260 and 265 tomorrow hope my cuff holds up?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  41. T1000

    T1000 Hall of Fame

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    At my best last summer at 190lbs
    Bench: 275
    Squat: 385, missed 405 by a little :(
    Deadlift: 455

    Mono and injuries got me, down to 225/315/405 right now. Hoping to get a 315/500/800 before I'm 25 (20 now, 21 beg of may)
     
  42. Itagaki

    Itagaki Semi-Pro

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    800lb deadlift?

    Jesus, that'd give you the drug tested world record in your weight class....by a long shot.

    My numbers at around 170lbs.

    Bench: 230
    Squat: 408
    Deadlift: 401

    I neither deadlift nor bench very much. Bench tends to make my shoulders tighten up a bit too much for the class lifts
     
  43. FastFreddy

    FastFreddy Semi-Pro

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    nice

    Killer deadlift I never gone past 365 since I was worried about wrecking my lower back nice lift!! 385 is a sweet squat almost 4 plates!!
     
  44. T1000

    T1000 Hall of Fame

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    Those goal weights would be around 220-225 BW. I'm 170 now and we have the same lifts except squat, idk how you got a 408 when I missed 405 20lbs heavier. Being 6'1 doesn't help me either aha. And to get that deadlift I'd probably have to use if I want to stay around 225 at 10% and I probably will. Another long shot goal is to get a 845 squat and break the 225 weight class record.

    Deadlift is my strongest by far. Long arms make it easier to pull. I was so pissed when I missed that 405 squat, would've been awesome to hit 4 plates. I can do a 4 plate box squat but can't back squat it yet. Hoping to hit that by May.

    You're bench is sick for having 4 shoulder surgeries. I've had 2 and I can't imagine going above 225 right now. Got my standing press to 135 and am not going above that any time soon. Did you have any surgeries before 20? I'm 21 in May and had 2 in high school and it's so frustrating having my lifts stalled and regressing a little in my physical prime. Yours were spread out right, not all within 4-5 years?

    EDIT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlMCIhdMSg4 825 squat at 220 bw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nZ-F7MHpbA 800 dead at 240
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVhvy6T8dIA 875x4 dead at I think 280
    couple inspirations to watch before squat and deadlift day
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  45. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Did someone say ass to ass??
     
  46. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    5'7" and 160 lbs. I can do 235 lbs for reps. Not a lot but enough for me
     
  47. Itagaki

    Itagaki Semi-Pro

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    Realistically speaking, you're maximum potential is going to be at a much heavier bodyweight than 225 at that height.

    And you'd DEFINITELY have to use to reach those number (maybe not definitely, but i'm like 99.9% confident). However 6'1 225lbs and 10% should be achievable natural

    Also worth remembering is unless the records were set in the IPF or USAPL, they were set with 24 hour weigh-ins, so the record holders are likely walking around 20-30+ pounds over their competition weight class

    Here's a good drug free squat though
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIv2miT9NJc

    I think his best squat without wraps is 302kg/666lbs and he's pulled 290kg

    It was done in an untested federation (but I know he's clean), it's the american record in the 220 class for the SPF, and despite the typical squat depth in the SPF, that's pretty damn legit.


    Regarding my squat...it's about the only thing I'm really decent at, my snatch and clean and jerk suck in relation. Makes me think I should switch to powerlifting....except olympic lifting is way more fun
     
  48. FastFreddy

    FastFreddy Semi-Pro

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    shoulder

    No, 24 years old, had 4 surgeries done over the past 16 years. My best clean and press was 245 @ 185 pounds in my best hockey shape.
     
  49. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    10% 225 is 55 lbs of lean muscle gain? That would be tough as a natural.
     
  50. Itagaki

    Itagaki Semi-Pro

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    That's pretty impressive I'd say. ~1.5xBW for reps?

    If we accept something like the FFMI (which is certainly not perfect but a good starting point) you're right.

    I was thinking of Donny Shankle when I made that statement, he's about 6'0 and competes as a 105kg/231lbs. He's certainly not fat, but he's clearly not 10%. I was estimating him around 15% visually, but it could certainly be off. I firmly believe he is steroid free due to the amount of testing weightlifters get in the USA. However the FFMI would say he's on steroids if he's anything under 21% bf so I don't quite believe it's always applicable.

    Another example would be Jon North who's around 5'9-10 and competes as a 94kg/206lb lifter, FFMI would also suggest he's on something. So I believe it's possible, but certainly not easy.

    Also some motivation for T1000
    http://www.allthingsgym.com/2013/01/jesse-norris-839kg-total-90kg-age-19/

    Drug tested meet? Check
    2-hour Weigh in? Check
    WR total in all tested or untested meets at that class? Check

    In fact in all drug tested meets, his total exceeds that of the two weight classes above him (no wraps, exceeds the weight class above with wraps even)

    Just an idea of what can be achieved naturally (or by beating the tests if your pessimistic)
     

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