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    (Original post by Smack)
    Close grip bench press:

    70 x 9
    70 x 5

    Nice rep PR on the close grip bench, literally came out of nowhere. But triceps fail quickly and was really, really close to failure on the 5th rep of the second set so I racked it and didn't try a 6th.

    My grip width is such that my thumbs can just touch the smooth if I stretch them out.
    Is that kind of width regarded as the standard for close grip benching? Because that's how I bench all the time and I realised recently that my grip was narrower than most but didn't realise it was ACTUAL close grip benching.
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    (Original post by redbuthotter)
    Hard for me to imagine... but I think its a case of me being very posterior chain dominant... I would assume you were the opposite. I usually only feel it in my abductors... weird.
    I try to utilise all the muscles of my legs and hips. But my hamstrings are far weaker than my quads, and when the going gets tough, my quads to all of the work.

    (Original post by redbuthotter)
    Out of interest how much you do SL/RDL and if you don't are GHR's the only indicator of hamstring strength?
    I don't do SLDLs because I can't get the form right. Ends up being a low back exercise for me.

    I haven't RDLed in ages. But I think they're a great exercise. Fry my glutes and hamstrings like nothing else.

    I think GHRs are fairly worthless, actually. The story behind them and the craze is that Louie Simmons say some Russians doing them and thought that they must be the secret. I suppose they are good as a "finisher", but they're nothing compared to SL and RDLs.
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    (Original post by Break To Build)
    Is that kind of width regarded as the standard for close grip benching? Because that's how I bench all the time and I realised recently that my grip was narrower than most but didn't realise it was ACTUAL close grip benching.
    There is no real standard of close grip benching. Close grip is simply a grip that is closer than your normal grip.
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    Decided not to continue doing high bar olympic type squats as they were not agreeing with my knees.

    Squats:

    70 x 5
    90 x 5
    110 x 5
    130 x 5
    150 x 3

    Bit disappointed with this. I suppose it's only my own fault for slacking on these for so long. Maybe stance was a bit wide, too.

    Press:

    64 x 3
    64 x 3
    64 x 3 + 10 second hold at top

    Nice and easy.

    Power cleans:

    90 x 3
    80 x 3

    Nice powerclean PB. Did a lighter set after to try and reinforce the elbows up part of the catch.

    Chin ups:

    bodyweight x 3
    bodyweight x 3
    bodyweight x 3
    bodyweight x 2.5

    More reps this time from less sets.

    Also, say some girl doing deadlifts with 110kg - that's more than most of the jacked up "bodybuilders" do!
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    (For the girl deadlifting bit)

    Are those presses rock solid strict or slight leg push?
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    No knee bend.
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    Been very busy lately with university work. First workout in over a week. So obviously feeling either a little bit weaker or technique feeling a little bit worse.

    Paused [2s] squats:

    60 x 5
    80 x 5
    100 x 5
    120 x 5

    Not too hard. Focus here was on technique and finding a stance that is right for me. Before, with the wider stance, it felt like too much hips and inner thigh. Shoes probably also throwing me forward a bit, to be fair, taking out some of the glute and hamstring work. With a narrower stance I definitely felt my hamstrings and glutes come into play more. Was also focusing on keeping really tight - especially in my low back region. This has also been a weakness for me, too.

    Bench press:

    60 x 5
    70 x 5
    80 x 5
    70 x 5

    These felt really awful. Technique all over the place and just no strength there. Too much time off is the culprit. To bench a lot, you've got to bench a lot, and I've just not been doing that.

    Speed deadlifts:

    120 x 2
    130 x 2
    140 x 3

    Speed was okay I suppose. Been a couple of week since I deadlifted from off the floor and technique felt a little sloppy as a result. Was locking out a little too high due to not pushing hips forward enough.

    Chins:

    bodyweight x 4
    bodyweight x 3
    bodyweight x 2
    bodyweight x 2

    Meh.
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    Smack I liek your opinion because you know what its like to claw at gains bit by bit and be ecto, it's v applicable to myself. I also read your blog more than any other. Now I've blown smoke up your ass:

    What was your experience like with box squats? You had abit of a westside phase amiright? where you did a fair bit of box squatting..anything positive come of it? Your squat is what I would consider pretty good and I'd like to hit 3 plates soon or I'll cry myself to sleep at night, I'd appreciate your thoughts

    I do 3x5 with +2.5 linear progression most of the time, with plenty of higher rep assistance stuff and occasionally triples on squats when I'm stalling/fed up of 3x5, but on the whole I'm quite strict with it. Have never smashed past the 130 mark. Any novel ideas? Box squats? RDLs? moar high rep quad stuff than I already am doing?

    ps nice strict pressing
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    Box squats made me good at box squats. I ditched them after finding out this and haven't done them in almost two years, I don't think. Might start doing them as an assistance after proper squats, but I've been saying that for ages and never got round to it. From my experience, I'd definitely never make them the main squatting exercise. Squatting or paused squatting works best.

    I haven't done RDLs long enough to know whether they are a good squat builder. I do know, though, that they are a tremendous glute and hamstring exercise - far better than crap like the GHR and back extension.

    I've never bothered with high rep quad work. My quads have always been my strongest body part, both in terms of strength and size. Low bar squats and deadlifts have always hypertrophied them enough. At the moment my problem is getting the hamstrings and glutes to do some of the work!

    I think it might be mental. Forget about barriers etc. and just consider each step a small step up from the previous step. Maybe try speed work, too.
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    Ok man thanks, I think quads are getting enough with high rep leg press so I'll up the RDLs and look into speed stuff. I'll never neglect plain squatting as the core of my lifting so the very worst that can happen is I find a new exercise/lifting tempo that's fun to do from time to time to alleviate monotony
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    Maybe you need to just squat, and only squat.
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    I respect what you're saying (sub 140 squatter overdoing assistance, paralysis by analysis etc) but I honestly have been there and didn't really like it. The quad work (plus heavy core) is what made me better at keeping more upright and not folding in half like a penknife and GMing it up, and ham stuff in the past just made me feel more worked and stronger for squatting. When squatting alone I just tended to stall. I am a patient person so whatever I try next I will stick at for a month or two minimum (alongside plain squatting 2x week)
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    What style of squat are you using?
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    I think most would call it "low bar" but I have seen some peoples' definitions of "low" which seem too low. For instance I wouldn't say it's as low as this:

    http://stronglifts.com/wp-content/up...r-position.jpg

    I have feet just past shoulder width and toes out. I don't really know how else to decribe my "style". I squatted with a o lifter once and he insisted I pretty much squat PL style..which I wouldn't agree with but then again I suppose I did compared to him lol.
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    First session in a while today. Been really busy with university deadlines, and then next I've got exams, so probably won't be training much in the next three weeks. Expecting to train a lot over the summer though because the gym is on the way home from work.

    Today's session was the earliest I've trained in many, many months. Didn't have much food before hand either, so wasn't expecting much.

    Paused squats [2s]

    120 x 2
    125 x 1
    130 x 1
    135 x 1
    140 x 1
    100 x 5

    Maybe had a triple in me on 140. Was hoping to do a couple of back off sets but the bar kept sliding down my back so had to stop. Ran out of chalk so couldn't correct it.

    Push press:

    60 x 3
    65 x 3
    70 x 2

    Completely lost technique with these. Couldn't balance or anything, felt really weird. Was hoping for much more...

    Strict press:

    60 x 4.5

    Did this after push press because my strict technique feels more solid. Was hoping for 6 reps but tired shoulders coupled with everything else meant I only got 4 and a half.

    Dorian rows:

    80 x 8
    80 x 8

    Haven't done these in a while. Knackered, too, and these did more for my quads than back. I'll stick with Pendlay rows.

    Also did dumbbell benching - 25s for a really easy 6 as a warm-up but then couldn't even get the 35s for a bloody single; chin ups - did two and a half reps and that was it; and reverse curls with the EZ bar, 2 x 10.
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    Good session tonight!

    Squats:

    140 x 6
    100 x 6 - paused 2s
    100 x 6 - paused 2s

    Nice beltless PR. Probably had another rep or two in me but the focus was on keeping tight and big breath, so didn't want to go into territory that would make me use less than optimal form.

    Press:

    70 x 1
    72 x 1
    74 x 1
    75 x 1
    60 x 3
    60 x 3
    60 x 3

    Nice PR. Didn't feel like I had much in me on this, but I persevered and got my rewards. Just shows that you've got to not give up.

    Pendlay rows:

    60 x 6
    70 x 6
    80 x 6
    80 x 6

    Prefer the stricter row. Also going to start controlling the negatives on these, since I feel it better in the lats.

    Did some triceps, biceps and stretching then went home.
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    April's Training Review

    April's training didn't go so well because I had to take a lot of time off due to a lot of university work. Set a press PR, though. And a for reps beltless squat PR - not that really means much, but I have been working on form, i.e. keeping tight, deep breath and stuff.

    May is also going to be very hit and miss as I've got exams.

    I'm changing my focus pressing focus to the press rather than the bench. Benching is really pissing me off lately and to be honest I've stopped caring about it. Going to be using dumbbell work as assistance, though, and it'll be interesting to see how the press plus dumbbell benching (flat and incline) helps my bench, without actually benching. Oh and another factor is that it's quite hard to get a free bench at the best of times.

    Pressing will be getting done Bulgarian style - i.e. often and heavy. The shoulders seem to recover very quickly and due to the light weights used, the press isn't a very CNS demanding exercise.

    Hoping for a good summer of training, though. Gym is right on the way home from where I'll be working, so I've got no excuse for slacking.
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    Nice pressing, man.
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    Not a terrible session I suppose for just getting back into things after my lung infection, which I still don't think is properly away yet.

    Squats:

    60 x 5
    80 x 5
    100 x 5
    120 x 5

    Harder than usual, but still kept a lot in the tank.

    Press:

    40 x 5
    50 x 5
    60 x 1
    64 x 1

    64 almost felt like a 1RM attempt. I seem to have lost more from my pressing than squatting. Hopefully it'll all be back in a couple of sessions.

    Close grip bench press:

    50 x 5
    60 x 5
    60 x 5

    Elbow didn't like these. A lot more in the tank, just felt weird on my elbow.

    Chin ups:

    bodyweight x 2.5

    Very poor.

    Went home.
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    Lung infection? Nasteh.
 
 
 
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