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I don't want to use barbells but I want to get strong.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by darienx19 View Post
    My advice: Shovelglove =) from Urban Primalist
    I just have to say, in my frustration with my own training I looked in to shovelglove and have given it a try. I've been lifting barbells for a few months and I thought, "this might be a nice home routine to add with my 35lb kettlebell and pullup bar". I bought a 10lb sledgehammer (higher than they recommend you start), and went to town on it. I was actually disappointed by how easy it was, I even tried to change the leverages and it still wasn't overly hard. It trained my forearms more than I was conditioned to, but that was about it.

    My verdict? Not a strength exercise. It's a conditioning tool. The founder of shovelglove uses a 20lb hammer after years of training, and my bet is that any guy with a 400+ squat (obtainable in less than a year for many young guys) could start off with a 30+ pound hammer without a problem.

    Not trying to diss it, I just have to warn skinny guys that swinging a 10lb hammer is not representative of strength.

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    • #32
      www.madbarz.com is a great site if you want to stick with just bodyweights. They focus on using the pull-up bar and the parallel bars you can find at outdoor parks. Theres also easy instructions on building your own as well. To build one cost about $100 total which cludes 2 wooden beams, 6 bags of concrete and the bar itself.
      Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'Failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.

      Mary Pickford

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      • #33
        @dabears

        I have to respectfully disagree. Barbells aren't the most efficient way to gain strength, there are just one way to gain strength. They can be very tough on the tendons and joints. He is looking for more functional strength which to me, my opinion, would be to focus on bodyweights. Variations of push-ups, pull-ups, pistol squats, lunges, walking pistol squats are a way better workout, again my opinion, than any barbell could provide.
        Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'Failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.

        Mary Pickford

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        • #34
          @AppalachianMatt

          Your joints and tendons actually become more resilient as the weight increases, leading to resistance to injury.

          What exactly is "functional" strength? With bodyweight exercises you are handicapping yourself to your bodyweight. I understand that you can increase the technical aspects of the exercises to make them more difficult, but there is no progressive overload after a certain point (I would call it the intermediate strength level). You become a master of your body, but not from a strength standpoint. Unless you add a weight vest, which removes the bodyweight argument... and even that has its limitations.

          Show me a lean guy who can squat 315 and deadlift 405 who couldn't do the exercises you listed in the 5-10 rep range. Because I can definitely show you a lean guy who can do the exercises you listed who cannot squat 315 and deadlift 405. He has general, "functional" strength. If you go from an explosive 225 squat to an explosive 275 squat, your ability to jump higher has most likely increased, without ever doing a box jump / other types of jump training.

          It all boils down to progressive overload, and that isn't possible past a certain point with bodyweight exercises. Nothing other than barbell exercises allows you to reach your genetic potential. How is that not the most efficient way to gain strength? Why not start from the beginning?

          Edit: I should make note that exercises like the chin-up, pull-up, dips, push-ups I use in my own routines as accessories, and build strength as well. But the compound barbell exercises like squat, deadlift, press, barbell bench, clean variations etc. are the most efficient & effective for gaining strength and allow for unlimited progressive overload.
          Last edited by dabears; 04-24-2013, 09:35 AM.

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          • #35
            Progressive loading and resistance is the name of the game - find a way that gets you that and do it. I train with both barbells and bodyweight and love it.

            I will concede that FOR ME training the lower body with bar-bells is a lot more rewarding than it ever was doing so with bodyweight. However, when I can't get to the gym I know some challenging movements. You can focus more when under a bar than wrestling with a sandbag for instance - however, depending on your goals, this may be exactly what you need.
            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by dabears View Post
              @AppalachianMatt
              I understand that you can increase the technical aspects of the exercises to make them more difficult, but there is no progressive overload after a certain point (I would call it the intermediate strength level). You become a master of your body, but not from a strength standpoint. Unless you add a weight vest, which removes the bodyweight argument... and even that has its limitations.
              While I generally agree that bar-bell training is awesome, I think you're the one with the limitations, both in understanding of progressive bodyweight training and imagination.

              I know we can do this dance all day, so let's just put the question out there: would you consider a person that can do one-arm chin ups (with less fingers even, like many climbers can) strong? if your answer is yes would you still say that's just "intermediate-level" strength?

              I think bodyweight, gymnastics style upper body development is much superior than anything you can do with bar-bells.

              I also disagree that adding a weight-vest discredits "bodyweight" training. It's not really an argument I care to have though.
              I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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              • #37
                The optimal tool for muscle development that works best for EVERYBODY does not exist! Some people get the best strength and muscle development for their lower body from barbell squats and deadlift variations - others from machine hack-lift, leg-press and lying thigh curls - and others again from a combination of barbells, machines and dumbells. Saying that one tool only is the holy grail for everybody is a fundamentalist bias and lack of experience...
                Last edited by Gorbag; 04-24-2013, 10:07 AM.
                "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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                • #38
                  But we all agree about the necessity of progressive overload, right?

                  T NATION | The Biggest Training Fallacy of All
                  The Champagne of Beards

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                  • #39
                    I have my definition of strength, and after reading through the rippetoe thread I won't open that can of worms again. We aren't discussing the same definitions.

                    I know we can do this dance all day, so let's just put the question out there: would you consider a person that can do one-arm chin ups (with less fingers even, like many climbers can) strong? if your answer is yes would you still say that's just "intermediate-level" strength?


                    I would say they have advanced grip strength, and are strong for their bodyweight. Could they pull 3x bodyweight off the ground with their advanced grip strength? Unlikely, if they only trained bodyweight. They haven't had the progressive overload to reach that level. Could someone who is lean (key here) and can deadlift 3x bodyweight raw (no straps) perform a one-arm chin up? Very likely. Their grip strength is likely at a similar level, and their OVERALL strength is much better.

                    I think bodyweight, gymnastics style upper body development is much superior than anything you can do with bar-bells.

                    I completely agree with this, hence why I include them in my routines. Chin-ups and pull-ups are some of the best exercises out there. But if I had a choice between barbell exercises only or bodyweight exercises only, I think you know which I'd choose. Obviously a combination of both is the best.

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                    • #40
                      I have my definition of strength, and after reading through the rippetoe thread I won't open that can of worms again. We aren't discussing the same definitions.

                      I know we can do this dance all day, so let's just put the question out there: would you consider a person that can do one-arm chin ups (with less fingers even, like many climbers can) strong? if your answer is yes would you still say that's just "intermediate-level" strength?


                      I would say they have advanced grip strength, and are strong for their bodyweight. Could they pull 3x bodyweight off the ground with their advanced grip strength? Unlikely, if they only trained bodyweight. They haven't had the progressive overload to reach that level. Could someone who is lean (key here) and can deadlift 3x bodyweight raw (no straps) perform a one-arm chin up? Very likely. Their grip strength is likely at a similar level, and their OVERALL strength is much better.

                      I think bodyweight, gymnastics style upper body development is much superior than anything you can do with bar-bells.

                      I completely agree with this, hence why I include them in my routines. Chin-ups and pull-ups are some of the best exercises out there. But if I had a choice between barbell exercises only or bodyweight exercises only, I think you know which I'd choose. Obviously a combination of both is the best.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by dabears View Post
                        I have my definition of strength, and after reading through the rippetoe thread I won't open that can of worms again. We aren't discussing the same definitions.

                        I know we can do this dance all day, so let's just put the question out there: would you consider a person that can do one-arm chin ups (with less fingers even, like many climbers can) strong? if your answer is yes would you still say that's just "intermediate-level" strength?


                        I would say they have advanced grip strength, and are strong for their bodyweight. Could they pull 3x bodyweight off the ground with their advanced grip strength? Unlikely, if they only trained bodyweight. They haven't had the progressive overload to reach that level. Could someone who is lean (key here) and can deadlift 3x bodyweight raw (no straps) perform a one-arm chin up? Very likely. Their grip strength is likely at a similar level, and their OVERALL strength is much better.
                        I think the main problem when it comes to these discussions is one side is willing to say that a person with a good deadlift is strong, but the other side thinks a one-finger, one-arm pull up is impressive grip strength only. They'll do anything to discredit any accomplishment not centered around a bar.

                        This is why we can't have nice things.
                        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                        • #42
                          1. Pick a program you like and do it.
                          2. When you realize you've taken it as far as you can, figure out what you're missing.
                          3. Pick another program to remedy those weaknesses and do it.

                          Repeat steps 2. and 3. until you die of old age.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                            I think the main problem when it comes to these discussions is one side is willing to say that a person with a good deadlift is strong, but the other side thinks a one-finger, one-arm pull up is impressive grip strength only. They'll do anything to discredit any accomplishment not centered around a bar.

                            This is why we can't have nice things.
                            I think its incredibly impressive, and I cannot do it myself so it would be shortsighted of me to discount the strength required. I just meant their total strength is relative to their bodyweight + difficulty of the exercise they can perform, whereas someone who has a 3x bodyweight deadlift is on a general basis, more "strong".

                            It is splitting hairs at the end of the day, if you can complete 8-10 reps of the advanced bodyweight exercises you are a most likely a lean & strong individual and nobody would call you anything else. I'm just trying to make the case of the difference in progressive overload & efficiency between a complete bodyweight exercise program vs. barbell exercise only.

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                            • #44
                              I'm not sure I understand where the limitations are you speak of. When I do pull-ups, push-ups, etc I literally do any and all variations possible. There is more freedom in being able to do bodyweights then with barbells which in turn would strengthen the joints and tendons far more then barbells and injury would be far less likely. After having my shoulder rebuilt due to a posterior dislocation and having to repair all 4 muscle in my rotator cuff my view on training is quite different.

                              After not lifting weights for 2 years I can still bench about 250 lbs and squat over 400 lbs. Have you ever tried a pistol squat or walking pistol? Google it. Bodyweights isn't about doing 3 sets of 5-10 reps but about creating strength through movement where range of motion is not limited. Next time you get a chance try a human flag and tell me how that works out for you.

                              Now I understand everyone has their own method of working out and whatever works for you then run with it. For me bodyweights makes more sense b/c there is no gym required, I can workout outside, incorporate my son into my workout and I am definitely strong enough to do whatever I need to do plus some.

                              Also Hershel Walker does only bodyweights and I think that guy could pick up 4x his bodyweight. and you can still have progressive overload with bodyweight exercises through variation.
                              Last edited by AppalachianMatt; 04-24-2013, 11:00 AM.
                              Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'Failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.

                              Mary Pickford

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                1 arm pull-ups are ridiculously hard. Muscle ups even moreso so I give lots of props to anyone who can complete just one. Weights can be a great tool to utilize and if thats your thing then go with it, if bodyweights work best for you then cool. If a combo gets you results then by golly do them.

                                I hate these type of forums b/c people get too easily offended and they think they're getting attacked. If only these conversations could happen in person we'd be far better off.
                                Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'Failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.

                                Mary Pickford

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