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Emerald_Dragonfly

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11 minutes ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

 

My very best heavy bench (135 pounds) - with your advice in mind (are you trying to look good or lift heavy? - lift heavy in this pose, obvi!).  You can see where I lose my tightness, and my arch is crap.  But I don't know how to fix it. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-pjhN4N22OMQ0VRZkJOdy1tbE0/view?usp=sharing

 

Off to google "t-spine mobility" to see what I can see...

 

Leg bracing? I'm not good at the arch either but I find it helps to get my legs spread a little wider and pull my feet back more (but still keep them flat on the floor). I try to get my legs into a position like I am going to do a wide stance squat. The firm positioning helps me brace my arch. 

 

Ironically I googled to find an image and the first one that I found that demonstrated what I meant is spezzy, or I assume it is. The URL says Nerd Fitness.  

 

setup.jpg 

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9 minutes ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

 

My very best heavy bench (135 pounds) - with your advice in mind (are you trying to look good or lift heavy? - lift heavy in this pose, obvi!).  You can see where I lose my tightness, and my arch is crap.  But I don't know how to fix it. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-pjhN4N22OMQ0VRZkJOdy1tbE0/view?usp=sharing

 

****ALL HELPFUL CRITICISM WELCOME!****

 

Off to google "t-spine mobility" to see what I can see...

Here!!! I'll help you 

 

Plus, he's sexy so you can watch it just for fun.

 

 

My immediate thoughts:

  • I think you would do better with a slightly wider grip.
  • Girl!!! Get a lift off!!!!
  • It doesn't look like you have much/any leg drive. Is that a correct assumption? Think about squeezing your quads and glutes and using that to drive into the ground and push yourself toward your head. That is a terrible way to explain leg drive, but again our friend google can probably help.
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2 minutes ago, miss_marissa said:

Here!!! I'll help you 

 

Plus, he's sexy so you can watch it just for fun.

 

 

My immediate thoughts:

  • I think you would do better with a slightly wider grip.
  • Girl!!! Get a lift off!!!!
  • It doesn't look like you have much/any leg drive. Is that a correct assumption? Think about squeezing your quads and glutes and using that to drive into the ground and push yourself toward your head. That is a terrible way to explain leg drive, but again our friend google can probably help.

Will try a wider grip.

The usual lifter-offer was filming. :redface-new: 

I only feel it in the legs like 10% of the time.  I read the words and watch the videos and cannot seem to actually get my body to do it. 

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I have really poor mobility in general and need to maintain a decent arch to get my shoulders squarely on the bench.  What I do is I set up high on the bench, looking over the bar.  Then I walk my shoulder blades under and down while pulling my chest up.  Then I drive with my heels to push the tops of my shoulders up and into the bench.  At the end, I've moved my head down probably 3" below the bar.  Using my feet to push my shoulders up helps keep me arched.  I still need a lot of work to improve the position, but it's a start.

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Leg drive is one of those stupid things that until it "clicks" it just doesn't make sense. Took me nearly a year of bench pressing before I figured it out. And I still have trouble with it sometimes lol I wish I had better advice but I don't.

 

Re: grip. If you read Spezzy's article she talks about position of the forearms should be vertical at the bottom of the lift, not angled either way. This is what leads me to believe you should be wider. Take photos or video from the crotch angle and also from the side and you can determine what your width should be.

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6 minutes ago, miss_marissa said:

Leg drive is one of those stupid things that until it "clicks" it just doesn't make sense. Took me nearly a year of bench pressing before I figured it out. And I still have trouble with it sometimes lol I wish I had better advice but I don't.

 

Re: grip. If you read Spezzy's article she talks about position of the forearms should be vertical at the bottom of the lift, not angled either way. This is what leads me to believe you should be wider. Take photos or video from the crotch angle and also from the side and you can determine what your width should be.

 

I sometimes feel it in my legs/glute, but I have trouble replicating it.  I feel tight for the first 2/3 reps, and then it falls apart (you can see it where my bar path wobbles - that is just after my body goes all loosey-goosey).

Okay...Monday is my next bench day.  I will read spezzy's article (again, I am apparently a slow learner!)  Then I will:

  1. set shoulders first and then plant feet - thanks @Grymm; I kinda do that now, but maybe a more deliberate settle-in will help
  2. wider grip (I thought that I *was* vertical, but I think that I was considering the wrong plane.  Grrrrr
  3. Wider legs and plant the heels (so bench day will also be legging day to avoid any upshort shots, good grief)
  4. clench the glutes harder/more consistently

Sound like a plan? 

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15 minutes ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

 

I sometimes feel it in my legs/glute, but I have trouble replicating it.  I feel tight for the first 2/3 reps, and then it falls apart (you can see it where my bar path wobbles - that is just after my body goes all loosey-goosey).

Okay...Monday is my next bench day.  I will read spezzy's article (again, I am apparently a slow learner!)  Then I will:

  1. set shoulders first and then plant feet - thanks @Grymm; I kinda do that now, but maybe a more deliberate settle-in will help
  2. wider grip (I thought that I *was* vertical, but I think that I was considering the wrong plane.  Grrrrr
  3. Wider legs and plant the heels (so bench day will also be legging day to avoid any upshort shots, good grief)
  4. clench the glutes harder/more consistently

Sound like a plan? 

 

YES that sounds fabulous. You are fabulous.

 

I haven't watched this yet, but it is Alan Thrall so we can assume it is genius. 

 

 

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If you find your form has loosened up after (2) reps, you can always rack, reset, and unrack again.  An extra 10 seconds between reps won't hurt you, and the nuisance of having to rerack might drive it home a bit.

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Yesterday I walked, yoga'd, fruited, veggied. 

 

Did not clean a room, because. 

i-dont-want-to-do-things.gif

 

This morning I walked (2 miles again!) and yoga'd.  Will gym a bit later. 

 

I also researched Texas Method & MadCow last night. 

I think that I have settled on Wendler's 5-3-1.  I know that it is a slower progression, but I'm okay with that.  I am going to run SL until my squats stall, or until the home gym is finished, whichever comes first.  I feel like 531 is going to be the best fit with my age, will hopefully let me progress without having to eat so much, and encourages conditioning as part of the training.  Once my home gym is finished, I plan to add heavy bag training to my workouts, so I need something with room for that, I think. 

Thoughts? 

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We are thinking along the same lines. I'm planning to switch to a slower progression soon because my body is getting pretty beat up. And I would also like to have more energy for working on general conditioning as well as yoga. 

 

I obviously don't have thoughts on 5/3/1 because i am not that knowledgeable, just that I agree with your logic. :) 

 

I don't know why I feel like I want this to be some challenge unveil thing, but I'm going to be doing the Juggernaut method, as it is designed for athletes who have other activities on their non-lift days. Which is what I need, and it is well structured.

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I've never heard of that one - I will look into it! Thanks, @Taddea Zhaan!

 

Today's lifting, in pounds:

Squat:

2 x 5 at 45

1 x 5 at 95

1 x 3 at 135

5 x 5 at 165

They felt good, although I ripped right through my brand new leggings. 

 

@Grymm, you may be The Destroyer of Pants; apparently I am The Destroyer Of Leggings. 

 

OHP

2 x 5 at 45

1 x 5 at 65

1 x 3 at 85

5 x 5 at 95

 

Deadlift

1 x 1 at 135 - pain. 

FRACK. 

new plan for DL: start with 45 lb bar and do RDL next time - see if that helps. 

(It probably doesn't help that I tripped down the steps yesterday evening - well, uncontrollably slid down 3 steps on my heels in my socks and my back was sore for the rest of the day - it felt fine this morning, though, and I had forgotten about it until I began to DL.  Oops.)

 

Also - made a strong effort to make friends, or at least be friendly.  The nice guy who works at the desk and I had a conversation about DL on Wed (he is having trouble with his), and since I can't really help, instead I brought him my Starting Strength book to borrow. 

Edited by Emerald_Dragonfly
Numbers, shumbers
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12 minutes ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

(It probably doesn't help that I tripped down the steps yesterday evening - well, uncontrollably slid down 3 steps on my heels in my socks and my back was sore for the rest of the day - it felt fine this morning, though, and I had forgotten about it until I began to DL.  Oops.)

 

Ewwww.......

 

One man I know at the gym injured his back by missing a step and going down an extra 8 inches. :(

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2 hours ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

(It probably doesn't help that I tripped down the steps yesterday evening - well, uncontrollably slid down 3 steps on my heels in my socks and my back was sore for the rest of the day - it felt fine this morning, though, and I had forgotten about it until I began to DL.  Oops.)

 

Ouch!

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8 hours ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

Yesterday I walked, yoga'd, fruited, veggied. 

 

Did not clean a room, because. 

i-dont-want-to-do-things.gif

 

This morning I walked (2 miles again!) and yoga'd.  Will gym a bit later. 

 

I also researched Texas Method & MadCow last night. 

I think that I have settled on Wendler's 5-3-1.  I know that it is a slower progression, but I'm okay with that.  I am going to run SL until my squats stall, or until the home gym is finished, whichever comes first.  I feel like 531 is going to be the best fit with my age, will hopefully let me progress without having to eat so much, and encourages conditioning as part of the training.  Once my home gym is finished, I plan to add heavy bag training to my workouts, so I need something with room for that, I think. 

Thoughts? 

Hope your back feels better soon.

 

My experience with 5-3-1 was pleasant. I liked it a lot for my lower body lifts, but I don't think it did much for my bench (not enough volume! I need a ton of volume on bench to see results). If you go through my log starting pg 7 is about when I started 5-3-1 and thru pg 10 if you wanna see. I understand if you don't :)

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5-3-1, cooool! I looked at it a couple of times, not sure why I never went with it. I also checked out the Juggernaut, which TZ is looking into, might revisit that one.

 

Exciting times! Heavy bag work! A lady not to be messed with. :)

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Nice reps with the big plates :D.

 

One other set-up tip that I don't think has been mentioned is "breaking the bar":

 

Kelly Starrett uses the cue "external shoulder rotation" to describe the same movement. It helps engage your lats and keep your upper back tight... might help support the upper half of your arch. Don't worry if you already have a bunch of things to think of the next time you bench, though.

 

Hope you enjoy 5/3/1! Recovery has been much better for me since starting that program -- towards the end I was getting beat up running Starting Strength and later the Texas Method.

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54 minutes ago, Alanna said:

One other set-up tip that I don't think has been mentioned is "breaking the bar":

 

Kelly Starrett uses the cue "external shoulder rotation" to describe the same movement. It helps engage your lats and keep your upper back tight... might help support the upper half of your arch. Don't worry if you already have a bunch of things to think of the next time you bench, though.

Eric Spoto gives the same tip, though he might actually break the bar.

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18 hours ago, miss_marissa said:

My experience with 5-3-1 was pleasant. I liked it a lot for my lower body lifts, but I don't think it did much for my bench (not enough volume! I need a ton of volume on bench to see results). If you go through my log starting pg 7 is about when I started 5-3-1 and thru pg 10 if you wanna see. I understand if you don't :)

I just read a TON of your log, thanks! (And definitely narco-liked some old posts - new job? Yay!  New coach? Yay!  A touch late to the party, ha!) I am thinking to do a light/moderate DB bench session on OHP day to get in some more volume. 

 

15 hours ago, SevenofSeven said:

Exciting times! Heavy bag work! A lady not to be messed with. :)

Well...in my head, anyway!  I'm very excited about this brand of cardio!!!

 

2 hours ago, Alanna said:

Nice reps with the big plates :D.

 

One other set-up tip that I don't think has been mentioned is "breaking the bar":

...

Hope you enjoy 5/3/1! Recovery has been much better for me since starting that program -- towards the end I was getting beat up running Starting Strength and later the Texas Method.

SO helpful!  I have heard that cue before, but had no real idea how to put it in place.  *Adds it to the list of things to think about during Monday's bench*  Thanks! 

I'm not really having trouble recovering as far as DOMS - I pretty much never get it anymore, unless I go more than 10 days without lifting (so, you know, never).  However, I am worried about injuries, and I was having a hard time getting in 3x per week because of general tiredness (before my vacation started - I'm GREAT now).  I'm attributing that to 1. sitting too much at my new job and 2. being a kinda old-lady lifter.  Hopefully this will help.  I am still collecting underpants researching, as I have at least a month, perhaps more, before I need to decide. 

 

Right now, I am writing out some thoughts on what accessories to include if I go with 531 - it's kinda fun and kinda "uh-oh, I dunno how to do that".  Which is its own brand of fun. Not ready to share right now, but once I have thought it through, I may put it on here for discussion. 

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I like the 'break the bar' cue. Don't have much in the way of bench advice at the moment. Bench seems to be my problem lift at the moment. I'm hoping that it will click at some point...and then I can let you know what worked for me. 

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All responses welcome to the following, even if it appears the discussion has moved on:

 

It has come time to think about outfitting the gym (structure will be finished in a month or so). 

Cost will of course become an issue, HOWEVER, I have an amazing and creative husband who is willing to search for deals and build things from scratch.  SO....

If you were building a home gym, what would you put in it? 

I own 1 each in 5 lb increments of DB up to 40 lbs, 3 yoga mats, and a mini trampline (Iknow,right?).  I plan to purchase or build a power cage, a bench, and a heavy bag.  Some sort of sound system.  Perhaps an old tv or monitor on the wall attached to an old computer for self-form checks? 

 

What else would you put into it? 

It will have an area of about 12 ft x 15 ft with one side quite tall (13 ft, maybe?). 

 

I'm looking for dream gym type answers as well as practical things that I am likely forgetting...

 

upkxw.jpg

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1 hour ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

Some sort of sound system.  

 

I'd really like to have that if I had a home gym! You could also use the computer for playlists. 

 

Sorry if that's been mentioned before and I've missed it but what's the floor going to be like?

A non-slip surface (that is in one piece) under the power cage/where deadlifts are done might be quite practical.

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