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Rippetoe's New Article - Must Read If You Have Strength Questions

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  • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
    And so does dumbbells or sandbags! Many experienced lifters think that dumbbells stimulates an even more natural movement pattern than barbells – why do you think they are wrong about that?
    I don't think they are - for certain movements like presses. I mentioned the problems earlier. One is mechanics for lifts such as the squat and deadlift (such as the back angle produced with a barbell deadlift vs say dumbbell). The other is difficulty with linear progression. How do you increase the sandbag by 5lb every workout? How do you bench press a sand bag? How do you get 300lb of sandbags on your back?

    Remember you're not just doing the same weight over and over, nor can you make big jumps. So if you're training with more "real" objects like sandbags or stones, it's a problem. Say I lift stones. Today I lift a 100lb stone for reps across. Next workout I should try to lift 105lb. Do I have a 105lb stone? What about 110lb, 115lb, etc? There's also the issue of size. How big is a 400lb sandbag? I might have the strength to pull that weight off the floor, but if it's too cumbersome it will be a poor training instrument. For example, you might have a 500lb deadlift, but won't be able to lift a couch all by yourself that only weighs 100lb because of the weight distribution and sheer size. It's just not practical after a certain point.

    Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
    Why do you have to put them on your shoulders at all? You can do hack-squats standing on a block holding heavy dumbbells behind your body. Yes, it gives a somehow different stimulus than a back squat, but if you build overall muscles in your body then you must have a general strength carryover “to life” also from doing that? And you can combine it with leg press also, so barbells squat is still not a must if you are not a competing power lifter.
    I'm having a hard time visualizing what you're proposing. Do you have a picture of this?

    Also, how do you get the dumbbells there, where do you get 150lb+ dumbbells, and how do you increase the weight by only 5lb total?

    Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
    Depends on your goals I would say! And why does it have to be either or? Dumbbells, machines and barbells, they all have their pro and cons, use them all is my general recommendation, if you does not have specific goals…
    Barbells and dumbbells are largely superior to machines. Barbells are not necessarily superior to dumbbells, but because of mechanics and logistics for certain lifts, they are the better tool for the job overall.

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    • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
      And so does dumbbells or sandbags! Many experienced lifters think that dumbbells stimulates an even more natural movement pattern than barbells – why do you think they are wrong about that?
      One thing, I definitely prefer either weighted dips or dumbbells for chest work. I've relegated the barbell bench to "when hell freezes over". Actually I'd argue dips and weight chins are much more "full body" than the bench press. Every single reason you can come up with that you think squat trumps leg press on can be directly applied in a logical sense to why dips trump bench press . Not saying I actually subscribe to such logic myself, but if you do then the cognitive dissonance of arguing in favor of bench press may very well be enough to make your head explode.

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      • Originally posted by quikky View Post
        I don't think they are - for certain movements like presses. I mentioned the problems earlier. One is mechanics for lifts such as the squat and deadlift (such as the back angle produced with a barbell deadlift vs say dumbbell). The other is difficulty with linear progression. How do you increase the sandbag by 5lb every workout? How do you bench press a sand bag? How do you get 300lb of sandbags on your back?
        So you have never been to a real hardcore old school gym that also includes sandbags have you? Some of them can be refilled yes, also with less than 5 pounds, and chained hang up mechanism for back squats etc. Also yes, it’s possible to bench press and even better do heavy pullovers with them…

        Originally posted by quikky View Post

        I'm having a hard time visualizing what you're proposing. Do you have a picture of this?
        Like a barbell hack-lift or hack-squat only with heavy dumbbells that you hold behind your body. You stand on a block to get a full rom ass to floor movement, very hardcore but more easy on your spine than a back squat…
        "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

        - Schopenhauer

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        • Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
          One thing, I definitely prefer either weighted dips or dumbbells for chest work. I've relegated the barbell bench to "when hell freezes over". Actually I'd argue dips and weight chins are much more "full body" than the bench press. Every single reason you can come up with that you think squat trumps leg press on can be directly applied in a logical sense to why dips trump bench press . Not saying I actually subscribe to such logic myself, but if you do then the cognitive dissonance of arguing in favor of bench press may very well be enough to make your head explode.
          Yes, I generally agree. Dips is a great upper body pressing movement, and the broad V dips is one of the best developer for upper chest and delts, while the narrow grip hits the triceps and front delts more, so it is also possible to specialise on dips where you want most of the impact...
          "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

          - Schopenhauer

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          • Bench press became popular when chesticles did. The standing press more accurately fits the criteria quikky and I are defending. And it was the measure of upper body strength until the magazines told men care about pecs.
            The Champagne of Beards

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            • Push press with a heavy sandbag is even better "for life" than barbell pushpress...
              Last edited by Gorbag; 04-19-2013, 12:04 PM.
              "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

              - Schopenhauer

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                Push press with a heavy sandbag is even better "for life" than barbell pushpress are...
                Now we're debating minutiae. Push press takes part of the range of motion away from the upper body. Also hard to judge consistency between reps (e.g. are you pushing the floor harder with your legs or actually pressing more strongly). And some sandbag designs might limit the bottom of the ROM if they sit on your chest.

                But that's really neither here nor there. If you want to use another implement besides a barbell where you can progressively load weight and do full-ROM compound movements, have at it. I think it's easier to throw a few more plates on my barbell than sit there with a measuring cup and buckets and buckets of sand, but that's clearly a matter of personal preference.
                The Champagne of Beards

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                • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                  So you have never been to a real hardcore old school gym that also includes sandbags have you? Some of them can be refilled yes, also with less than 5 pounds, and chained hang up mechanism for back squats etc. Also yes, it’s possible to bench press and even better do heavy pullovers with them…
                  Gorbag, like Rich said, now you're just nitpicking. If you genuinely think adding 5lb to a sandbag every workout, and using chains to get it to a proper position, and all this crap you have to do to make it usable for progressive training is more efficient than just using a barbell with some plates, then go ahead and train with sandbags in a "real hardcore old school gym".

                  Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                  Like a barbell hack-lift or hack-squat only with heavy dumbbells that you hold behind your body. You stand on a block to get a full rom ass to floor movement, very hardcore but more easy on your spine than a back squat…
                  How do you lift 150lb dumbbells (for a 300lb squat, it's even worse for anything heavier) off the floor and get them behind your back, especially without affecting your energy and strength levels for the lift itself? I really think you're arguing for the sake of arguing now.

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                  • Originally posted by quikky View Post
                    Gorbag, like Rich said, now you're just nitpicking. If you genuinely think adding 5lb to a sandbag every workout, and using chains to get it to a proper position, and all this crap you have to do to make it usable for progressive training is more efficient than just using a barbell with some plates, then go ahead and train with sandbags in a "real hardcore old school gym".
                    Nitpicking? Look at your post you asked questions about just that! So we can finally agree upon that barbells are not indispensable for strength training and progressive overload then?

                    Originally posted by quikky View Post
                    How do you lift 150lb dumbbells (for a 300lb squat, it's even worse for anything heavier) off the floor and get them behind your back, especially without affecting your energy and strength levels for the lift itself? I really think you're arguing for the sake of arguing now.
                    You can lift them from the dead position, like a deadlift, or you can keep them on a bench in front of you, grab them and let them swing behind your body with less energy lost than unracking the bar when squatting. And you don't need to use exactly the same weight as in a squat either. My point is only that you can progress on other stuff than just barbells, and probably better for general muscle development or "for whatever life can throws at you" than barbells only. Use a variety of dumbbells, barbells and maschines or even sandbags! Hell, when I trained in japan for judo we did behind the neck pushpress with living persons! If thats not training for life what then is it?
                    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                    - Schopenhauer

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                      Nitpicking? Look at your post you asked questions about just that! So we can finally agree upon that barbells are not indispensable for strength training and progressive overload then?
                      Now we're arguing about whether we're arguing. More judo stories, please.
                      The Champagne of Beards

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                        Nitpicking? Look at your post you asked questions about just that! So we can finally agree upon that barbells are not indispensable for strength training and progressive overload then?
                        You didn't really answer all my questions, like how do you bench press sandbags, or what size is a 400lb sandbag, or how would you hold a 300lb (and 400lb, and 500lb) sandbag on your back? The keywords with barbells are "most effective". You proved my point precisely, because filling bags with sand, measuring 5lb of sand, adding to the bag, closing the bags, using some chain contraption to place bag on back, somehow holding the bag on the back while squatting, somehow being able to consistently add 5lb to it from 135lb to 500lb+ is a completely ineffective and unsustainable system of progression long-term.

                        Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                        You can lift them from the dead position, like a deadlift, or you can keep them on a bench in front of you, grab them and let them swing behind your body with less energy lost than unracking the bar when squatting. And you don't need to use exactly the same weight as in a squat either. My point is only that you can progress on other stuff than just barbells, and probably better for general muscle development or "for whatever life can throws at you" than barbells only. Use a variety of dumbbells, barbells and maschines or even sandbags! Hell, when I trained in japan for judo we did behind the neck pushpress with living persons! If thats not training for life what then is it?
                        Can you post a video of yourself swinging 150lb dumbbells on your back? I am also fundamentally puzzled how deadlifting the squat weight, "swinging" it on my back, and holding it there with my hands will cost me less energy than doing a 1/10 of a squat and 2 steps to unrack the barbell from the rack. Also, have you considered wrist and elbow health from holding said dumbbells behind your back, especially with your wrists bent backwards? Also, what about greater than 150lb dumbbells? 300lb squat is nothing amazing, so presumably someone who is serious enough about their training will want 200lb dumbbells and higher at some point, do you know of many places where you can find such heavy dumbbells? If you do find them, do you know how wide they are? How will this affect your hand position? I mean this is beyond silly.

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                        • He meant held at arm's length, behind the back, as in a hack squat. But it's easier said than done, and dumbbells of that and larger size are rare beasts.
                          The Champagne of Beards

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                          • Who is still nitpicking in irrelevant minutae here? Seriously I have other things to do than explain all details about training to you quikky, so when we finally have agreed upon that there are many other ways than just barbells to develop and progress in strength, then I am pretty much done here! And say hello to Rippetoe from me that his barbell fundamentalism does not impress me at all...
                            "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                            - Schopenhauer

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                              Who is still nitpicking in irrelevant minutae here? Seriously I have other things to do than explain all details about training to you quikky, so when we finally have agreed upon that there are many other ways than just barbells to develop and progress in strength, then I am pretty much done here! And say hello to Rippetoe from me that his barbell fundamentalism does not impress me at all...
                              We have indeed agreed that there are many ways to improve strength. We've also agreed that barbells are the most effective, and most sustainable long term.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                                He meant held at arm's length, behind the back, as in a hack squat. But it's easier said than done, and dumbbells of that and larger size are rare beasts.
                                That makes a bit more sense. Ok, fair enough. We still have not heard about how you can progress with them long-term. Of course now he doesn't have time to explain

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