Paul have you ever used bands or chains? I'm not asking to then say "don't talk shit', I'm curious because I never really heard of them until recently and I always wondered why people went nuts for them when people have been getting big and strong without them for centuries...
I used chains for a little while, but as I've written many many times before I don't think chains or bands are really worth a damn for most raw guys. Dan Green wrote about this in the latest Juggernaut entry and it pretty much echoed all the things I have written before. For a raw guy you want to train bottom position strength. Lots of paused work, lots of "harder" movements like front squats, high bar squats, deficit deads, incline and shoulder work. Chains I could see being more beneficial than bands because you could load the chains to all come off the floor at the sticking point, however I personally also don't believe in "weak point training" i.e. doing work in certain positions because you get stuck there. You get stuck there because well, you're not strong enough to generate momentum to move the weight past that point. I've never seen anyone bench less using a two board than off the chest, yet lots of guys do 2 board bench because they fail at that position. They will stop failing at that position when they can generate enough force off the bottom to make it through the strength curve.
I see no purpose honestly for using bands if you're a raw guy. None. But some like it. To each his own.
Addendum to this -
Dan wrote basically everything I have been writing for years. If you're raw, bands and chains are pretty much a waste of your time. If you want to be brutally strong raw, quads, back, lats, chest, and shoulders are where it's at, bodypart wise. Lifting wise, you need to build bottom position strength. To quote Dan in our convo "the bottom part is the hardest position to build so you might as well quit avoiding it". I still haven't figured out why I see so many raw lifters doing equipped lifters shit. Reverse banded this and banded that. Why? You need to work the BOTTOM of the fucking lift. Not make it easier.
I really blame the internet and bad information. For years, powerlifting articles and shit were suited and written for and by geared lifters. Yet you had all of these guys that did not train in gear, reading and spouting off geared lifting methodologies. Guess what? It didn't work. For the one or two guys it did, the other 99% of us were left spinning our fucking wheels wondering "why doesn't this bullshit work? I'm not strong!" It's the same reason you still hear guys talking about lats in benching. LATS IN BENCHING?!?! PULL THE BAR DOWN TO ME? WTF?!?!? The bar will fall right into you, why do I need to pull it into me? Ohhhh it's because that asswipe can't get 600 to touch his chest. Ahhhhh makes sense now.
Basically, this is all about using the right tool from the toolbox. You wanna get stronger?
Get strong off the bottom - If a movement is harder in the bottom USE THAT. The one movement that kind of differs here is the deadlift. I find that mid-shin pulls make the deadlift the hardest. Your mileage may vary in that regard, but if I pull something from mid-shin I can pull more from the floor. Stop worrying about shit like board presses, bands, chains, and reverse band non-sense.
Build your quads - this is for squatting and for speed off of the floor in the deadlift. So guess what? Do fucking leg press and front squats. I don't care what you read about not needing quads for powerlifting, that stuff is idiotic bullshit. This means getting off the box, and stop listening to people who tell you that box squatting is full of awesome. It is not. If you want a bigger squat and pull, quads will be a great friend to you.
Build your back - The deadlift is a back movement. The legs initiate the drive off of the floor, however from there your back does the brunt of the work. The lats, especially the lower lats fire hard from the bottom as well. So train your lats and rhomboids like your life depends on it.
Build your chest and shoulders - This shit about triceps for benching.....what? Shoulders and pecs dude. Even if you're close grip. Doing a shit ton of tricep work is for guys who bench with shirts that need lockout power. Most guys don't miss a bench at lockout. They miss it at the transition point. So guess what? Just get stronger.
Build everything else with your support work - Biceps, triceps, calves, hams, abs, etc all should be what you use your support work to build. You don't need to kill yourself here, unless those areas are REALLY that far behind. If that's the case, make them a priority for a while.
I been giving you guys a lot of solid nuggets lately. And by nuggets I don't mean shit in the toilet bowl.
I really like deadlifting against the chains. My lockouts are pretty slow due to me lacking tightness and i find the chains really compliment that. But as you say once the bar is off the floor i can complete the lift. Im not doing it to train the lockout but it means that i have to bust ass throughout 100% of the lift. Once the bar is off the ground i can complete it so he chains force me to always push until the rep has finished. This does carry over to the floor and really strengthens my lats. Bands were similar but its a different feel, dont really like them. I deadlift 200kg at 66kg so im not that experienced. I think that for the deadlift the chains do strengthen my body faster than straight weight because if i can deadlift 200kg i can deadlift 200kg with 20kg of chain added in total. May as well make the reps harderReplyDelete
If your lockout is the problem, then it means your upperback is weak.Delete
I still miss at the top of my shins so I wouldn't really say the problem is lockout. The chains really do hit the lats hard though. Obviously I still do rows and chins...Delete
I like the no bullshit attitude. I am also sick and tired of raw lifters box squatting and doing 3 board presses (or 4 or 5 board presses, wtf!). Hell, I feel like I spun my wheels for 3 years and created a fuckton of bad habits in my squat due to the whole "BACK, BACK BACK" nonsense. You do not sit back intentionally in a raw squat. That shit only applies to geared lifters squatting with 3x shoulder with stance. 1-2 board presses can be ok if you have massive leg drive and you do your board presses without using leg drive. If you can get good enough leg drive you're never ever gonna get stuck at the chest, so the 1-2 board press can make sense sometimes.ReplyDelete
The only thing I see is that you seem to have a little bit of cognitive dissonance with regard to weak point training. You say that we should all work on lifts that are harder, do paused benches, lengthened-ROM pulls, and you do deadlifts from mid shin because you are weaker there. But then, aren't all these things forms of weak point training? I think they are, and I think that paused benches and weak point pulls, and bottom pause squats are absolutely fucking essential for anyone to make as good gains as they can.
Mike Tuchscherer is also a WR holder and his whole system is based on flattening out your force curve whenever it's not flat (ie strengthening your weak points) so that in the future you can get more training effect juice out of each rep you do when you get into the rack. The reasoning behind this being that if your force curve in a lift is too skewed then maybe only 10% of each rep is hard at all and therefore, for every 10 seconds you spend under tension you are only spending 1 sec under heavy tension, the rest is bullshit/too easy. Whereas if your force curve is flat (or flatter) then for every 10secs you spend under tension, maybe 7 or 8 seconds are near maximal (heavy) tension.
But then again Mike T likes working out low rep, which basically necessitates having a flat or flatish force curve. You lift with more reps, where the force curve isn't as important because you have plenty of TUT anyway. Using low reps aggravates the issues with uneven forced curves, using high reps ameliorates these issues. So I think that the amount of weak point training you should do depends on a lot of things, some of these things being the training philosophy and the special nutrition regime you wanna follow.
I honestly think that 'weak point training' is stuff like "you miss here so do this exercise and build this muscle". I would not say that flattening your force curve is 'weak point training'. Obviously you're still building on your weaknesses but I wouldn't call it the same as 'weak point training'Delete
Ohhhh so you mean stuff like doing triceps kickbacks with the intent of strengthening your bench lockout? Then yeah that's junk lol.Delete
Yeah, there's "weak point training" and there's getting weaknesses stronger. The former is the bullshit like "I missed my bench here, so if I do pin presses and 2 board presses to work that spot, I will get stronger there and now I will hit that weight." It fails for raw guys because we missed it there because we were slow off our chest, not because we magically became weak 3 inches off of it.Delete
But in the alternate universe, where we're getting weaknesses stronger, after we miss that bench, we realize it's a weak chest, so we throw in something like some DB benching as assistance in addition to our normal bench work. But we don't call it weak point training. We just call it getting stronger.
From what I've read on this site, Paul doesn't pull from midshin because that is his weak point ( weak point would imply that he misses his lift there or just past there)- he pulls from mid-shin because it's a harder movement than pulling from the floor due to leverages, at least for him. Weak point training = lifting from where you miss your lifts, Paul's philosophy- do the variation of the lift which is hardest, period, whether that happens to be your weak point or not is irrelevant.Delete
Do you know what you will be charging for the new book and will an E-version be avaiable?
On the next C&B can you ask Jamie to give out his ribs and wings recipes?
Probably a measly $15. And that's a good idea about the recipe. Will ask.Delete
Jamie gave out the wing recipe on an old C&B episode. I've been cooking them this way ever since. This is how I remember it:Delete
-5lb bag of wings
-cover in enough cayenne pepper to cause your internal organs to spontaneously combust
-cook at 475 for 1/2 hr
-cook at 475 for another 1/2 hr (they will be very crispy)
I know the wings recipe is on his blog somewhere and I'm pretty sure the rib recipe is too. I'd start by going through his Apex Predator posts or use the Google.Delete
I think chains might have some merit, especially with DL and probably with squats. But they're by no means necessary, and chances are you'll end up playing with them too much and defeat the purpose.ReplyDelete
I have found bands to be helpful, especially from the bottom of the bench...as long as I have proper tension at the beginning of the press it has helped. For me the added tension from the chest has helped me become more explosive from that point, Same with Squat I have found cycling in squats against bands my power out of the hole has become better. Bands when incorporated (for me) with mainly dynamic effort days have helped me, on the other hand reverse band stuff I really don't understand the benefit for the Raw lifter.ReplyDelete
I also find value in them when traveling on business, certain stretches (dislocates especially) and are simply less cumbersome than chains. Band pull aparts and dislocates have done wonders for me as far as shoulder health.
To each his own of course.
Good stuff. Can say one thing that bands did was give me real visceral feedback about how I wasn't accelerating all thee way through the pull.ReplyDelete
I think the problem is we live in a generation of more is better. People watch/listen to experts and experienced lifters talk about abstract concepts and try to overly apply it to themselves; meanwhile these people soaking up this knowledge havent even built anything foundational or even learned technique or the basics behind programming, eating, building muscle/strength. People think-more bands, more chains, more boards more this more that=more strength when this is not the case at all. The only thing we need more of is TIME...thats what gets you stronger.ReplyDelete
More like, the more complicated is better. It can't be so simple as picking up something heavy, putting it down, and doing it over and over, can it? NO! It MUST be very, very, complex to get strong and big...if it were simple everyone would, right? Nope.Delete
The only complex part is subduing your will to fail/sleep in/give up/be mediocre.
Man, I never used to understand why you were so opinionated on this subject. Ever since I joined the new gym though, it's been great to be around passionate lifters, but dude, some of those guys are so dogmatic about Westside philosophy. The ones that exclusively compete equipped I can understand, but most of those guys also treat their methods as if they're the be all end all for raw lifters too. Can't tell you how many times I've been told to box squat, use knee wraps for overload, use bands for accommodating resistance, etc. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome place to train, and I'm looking forward to you coming and checking it out, but I finally understand how difficult it can be to stick to your guns in the lifting world.ReplyDelete
Yeah the WS philosophy has made mindless drones out of a lot of lifters. So many now think you need that stuff to get strong, and they don't even take a minute to step back realize well, that all the guys from the 70's and 80's were a zillion times stronger than them and they never used any of that stuff.Delete
I've been reading LRB for quite a while, and many of the things you've said resonate with me very deeply (particularly amidst people who are Westside nutt-huggers). I box-squatted for many years with little to no results and just assumed that I was doing something wrong, but when I found your blog my fears were allayed.
I've been getting into heavier front squats recently, and have found, interestingly enough, that the limiting factor on them for me is consciousness. I use a clean grip, and, despite the fact that the weight feels relatively easy on my legs and upper back, I feel like I'm passing out when I'm doing front squats and have to rack the weight early to preclude impending doom. Do you have any recommendations for me?
Sounds like to me the bar placement on the neck could be "too" tight. Which is hard to do because I get it so tight against my neck I generally cough. You may want to play with not getting it quite so tight against the neck and see if that helps.
If not, shoot me a video and I will have a look.
Thanks Paul, I'll try to implement these suggestions. Should I fail, I promise you'll get a close up of my beautiful face.Delete