Health and fitness

Godmy

A Monkey
It is great when one's ability to lift the weight from the ground over the head coincides with their max squat, because then you don't need any rack or a substitute of it for the backsquat :) A quick tip: you can usually get even more over your head if you use the athletic/weightlifting techniques (including momentum, little jumps etc.) such as the split jerk, I sometimes train for reps with as high weight as possible the split jerk. That is probably technically the hardest exercise I do and metabolically most demanding! (after deadlift)

And even though it's a little bit of a "cheat overhead/military press", it helps with your overhead press maximum too! (since the front delt/front of the shoulders is heavily engaged anyway)
 
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Adrian

Civis Illustris
Today, for the first time in a very long time, I tried to do some push-ups. I thought it's gonna be a disaster.... and it was, but not in a scale I predicted.
It's still a long way ahead of me, but I'm starting to feel the difference...
 

Godmy

A Monkey
Well done, @Adrian! Pushups shouldn't be underestimated. Try to program them... if not every week, then every other week (3-4 sets, maximum reps in a set, with a good form!) I don't always necessarily do all the same exercises every week, but I can bring the intensity up ;) I rarely finish not short of my energy, haha.

Update: 112% of bodyweight deadlift, 72kg


It felt quite nice, much better than 67kg 3(!) weeks ago! The hypertrophy (non-strength) training in between worked well. Again, probably not my maximum... (since I do a number of reps.)
 

Godmy

A Monkey
My beginner's attempt at power clean & split jerk with near my maximum weight 52 kg (81% of my bodyweight) / getting overhead 52 kg.

Power clean means getting the barbell to your shoulders with this particular technique - olympic weightlifting technique (where the arm muscles aren't really engaged if you do it correctly) and then it rests in the "rack position", on your front delts (you're not actively holding it)
Split jerk means getting the the barbell overhead from the shoulder level by using momentum, jumping and splitting your legs. I can do it quite nicely without this much weight, this wasn't exactly well done, but... it worked somehow too. (Ideally you should split your legs as much and as fast in a jump that the barbell ends up while here I'm pushing it a bit...)

If you want to learn it, you can watch this video and this video.

Spoiler:
1) you DON'T curl the barbell up
2)
you don't pull the barbell up with your shoulders, you don't pull the barbell up at all
3) you don't actively hold it at the shoulders, it's resting on your front delts.
4) you don't resist the barbell while it goes it down / reverse curl (that would work your arms unnecessarily in the negative phase), you just let it go and catch it when it's down.
 
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Godmy

A Monkey
So how's it going guys? Anything new in fitness or diet connected to it worth sharing?

I suggest all of you bench pressers to try a dumbbell (flat*) chest press here and then. After about 4 months pressing only with the barbell, I tried today heavy dumbbells and got the results that were kind of expectable. I pressed 2x30kg (60kg). With a barbell, about three weeks ago I pressed 67kg (but for many reps) - I think today the equivalent of that would be above 70kg... As you can see it's quite a workout to even get into the position :D


The pros:
- you can get the hands into a neutral most comfortable grip, because there is no horizontal bar telling your wrist how to turn
- you can get a bigger squeeze from the chest because, no matter how you start, you always end up in a gravity-perfect** adduction of the arms - something you rarely do with a bar
- you know that no weaker arm is cheating because the arms can't help each other, you are making sure you're going to have equally sized chest muscles ; ) Avoiding the imbalances!
- you're not getting stuck below the barbell in case of a disaster (and a dangerous setup) and if you're not lying on a bench either but are only slightly elevated like I am (e.g. 10cms above the ground), it's inherently much much safer than a barbell press will ever be (=you're not going to get choked e.g.)
- the stabilization factor is very high in here because each hand needs to establish the correct trajectory since the hand can move in all directions anytime unlike with the bar => the stabilizers work hard and that adds to how strongly the muscles are worked
- it makes less noise (like when loading the plates etc.) :-D

The cons:
- one hand cannot help the other, so if you feel that one arm is fine, the other one is saying "bad luck, you gotta stop, I can't go anymore"
- getting the dumbbells into position is a chore and sometimes even slightly dangerous (but with not big risks), it goes slightly easier in gyms with better dumbbells and a bench, but there you can also fall down if you do it wrong :p
- the triceps gets almost the equal workload the chest does, because, unlike with the bar, you have to achieve a complete lock out of the arms, they need to end straight, a weak triceps can f* it up a little bit
- the math is harder, since there is always x2 :D
- loading is more tiresome, since everything is x2 xD
- the stabilization is much harder, the hand can move or fall literally in any direction: impossible with the bar!

*not-inclined
**you can't get the maximum squeeze against gravity this way, only with an expander or a cable machine - but with dumbbells it's as good as it can get!


This must have been near my maximum - maybe 31.25*2 (62.5kg) would be one rep max, since, at first, I accidentally loaded there 65kg (32.5*2) and I could barely get the elbows from the ground, it was completely hopeless! :D According to the strengthlevel.com my barbell and dumbbell chest strength both approaches the "intermediate" level, the dumbbell being slightly stronger. I way around 64kg nows, but I'm in a tiny tiny caloric deficit at the moment (which for me still means 2600kcal*) so the max strength is not there.

*my caloric maintenance (or a tiny tiny surplus) would be around 2900kcal atm.
 
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SpeedPocok5

Active Member
So how's it going guys? Anything new in fitness or diet connected to it worth sharing?

I suggest all of you bench pressers to try a dumbbell (flat*) chest press here and then. After about 4 months pressing only with the barbell, I tried today heavy dumbbells and got the results that were kind of expectable. I pressed 2x30kg (60kg). With a barbell, about three weeks ago I pressed 67kg (but for many reps) - I think today the equivalent of that would be above 70kg... As you can see it's quite a workout to even get into the position :D


The pros:
- you can get the hands into a neutral most comfortable grip, because there is no horizontal bar telling your wrist how to turn
- you can get a bigger squeeze from the chest because, no matter how you start, you always end up in a gravity-perfect** adduction of the arms - something you rarely do with a bar
- you know that no weaker arm is cheating because the arms can't help each other, you are making sure you're going to have equally sized chest muscles ; ) Avoiding the imbalances!
- you're not getting stuck below the barbell in case of a disaster (and a dangerous setup) and if you're not lying on a bench either but are only slightly elevated like I am (e.g. 10cms above the ground), it's inherently much much safer than a barbell press will ever be (=you're not going to get choked e.g.)
- the stabilization factor is very high in here because each hand needs to establish the correct trajectory since the hand can move in all directions anytime unlike with the bar => the stabilizers work hard and that adds to how strongly the muscles are worked
- it makes less noise (like when loading the plates etc.) :-D

The cons:
- one hand cannot help the other, so if you feel that one arm is fine, the other one is saying "bad luck, you gotta stop, I can't go anymore"
- getting the dumbbells into position is a chore and sometimes even slightly dangerous (but with not big risks), it goes slightly easier in gyms with better dumbbells and a bench, but there you can also fall down if you do it wrong :p
- the triceps gets almost the equal workload the chest does, because, unlike with the bar, you have to achieve a complete lock out of the arms, they need to end straight, a weak triceps can f* it up a little bit
- the math is harder, since there is always x2 :D
- loading is more tiresome, since everything is x2 xD
- the stabilization is much harder, the hand can move or fall literally in any direction: impossible with the bar!

*not-inclined
**you can't get the maximum squeeze against gravity this way, only with an expander or a cable machine - but with dumbbells it's as good as it can get!


This must have been near my maximum - maybe 31.25*2 (62.5kg) would be one rep max, since, at first, I accidentally loaded there 65kg (32.5*2) and I could barely get the elbows from the ground, it was completely hopeless! :D According to the strengthlevel.com my barbell and dumbbell chest strength both approaches the "intermediate" level, the dumbbell being slightly stronger. I way around 64kg nows, but I'm in a tiny tiny caloric deficit at the moment (which for me still means 2600kcal*) so the max strength is not there.

*my caloric maintenance (or a tiny tiny surplus) would be around 2900kcal atm.
This summer I used to do strenght trainings, I don't lift every month but keep improving!

You are stronger than me!

Pull ups +40 (Here I count only one rep because the third was done at horrible form)


Dips +50 (1 rep)


When you adquire some strenght, you arrive at a point where improvement it's horribly hard!

I really admire your press bench!
 

Godmy

A Monkey
Me update: deadlift 75kg - 117% of my bodyweight (but for 6-8 reps ;p ... there was still a lot in the tank)

____________________

This is awesome, @SpeedPocok5, congratulations for this strength (+50kg... or +40kg.. that's really awesome). Thanks for the videos too (I subscribed to your channel :) ). I used to do pull ups (or chinups) with added weight, currently, I do them without any additional weight (trying to get max reps, see where I get there before I add weight again).

The same with dips....

There's a tip for you how to progress: try to train more for muscle hypertrophy between the +40/+50kg tries (before you try them again). That means going with lower weight but all the way up to failure (as many reps as necessary). E.g. do the dips or pull ups for max reps at 3-4 sets without any weight... Do that maybe 1-2 twice a week, then e.g. every 14/21 days try the +40/+50kg lifts. In the meantime your muscles will grow a bit to make it possible for you to progress. How about the diet? Quality carbohydrates, calories, protein? ;)
 

Tironis

Civis Illustris
Mind over Matter?
 

Godmy

A Monkey
I thought I should post some updates on my lifts, if anyone wants to join, it would be great!

1) Bench/Chest Press (barbell) - 75kg - 117% of my body weight (today) - : after about 40* days I decided it was time to try the heavy bench again, did my personal best, but not for many reps, you could say it was darn close to the 1 rep max. (*in those 40 days I trained heavy the chest press once with dumbbells though - I posted a video of that above)

2) Barbell Back Squat - 75 kg (117% of bw.) - it went "rather" well, I struggled a bit, but the form was perfect, I kept my back straight (that is as it can be in that position) all the time, did that the last saturday

3) Deadlift - 75 kg (117%) - that went very well, it was still probably very far from a 1 rep max (1RM), did that two weeks ago

But my clean & jerk got worse, wasn't able to do 52 kg after a hiatus again (albeit with a better technique slightly)... but otherwise everything goes great. I started to supplement a bit of Vitamin D3 (about 400 IU), since I counted that I don't have enough in my diet for even the recommended minimum (+ there is "no" sunlight really at this time).

__________________________

I thought I should give more advice on muscle building (not just strength, but muscle in particular), something I learnt recently from my own experience. I wrote about something similar some time ago, but not quite this way. So, I learnt that pretty much in any lift you do, you should be able to identify 3 segments, to choose the target weight wisely for your training - and you can choose really any of the 3, but you should do it smartly. But try to be able to identify all of them. I made a picture for an easier understanding with my bench press that peaks somewhere around 75 Kg and I wrote what you achieve approximately in each segment, if you train with that weight given your maximum 75 kg.


smart training for muscle hypertrophy - godmy.PNG


1) The first segment, if you really go with less than 50% of your maximum (let's say 40%) and you go for a few sets (2-3) and for MAXIMUM REPS(!) until there is so much blood in the muscle it is visible larger for a moment, it is hot, it burns, it feels like exploding, you feel distinct pain. You can feel that sometimes even when you just hold something heavy for longer than you feel you are able to. (Ignoring the temporary blood hypertrophy for a moment) this will ultimately results in type I muscle hypertrophy (sarcoplasmic) where the muscle tries to adapt by creating more space for the fluids that go in and out of the muscle. This training - the muscle [blood] pump also greatly enhances muscle regeneration (=even after heavy training) since the blood going there carries all the nutrients that are needed for it, it also considerably slows down muscle atrophy in case you need to stop exercising (heavy) for a longer period.

2) the second segment, if you find the sweet spot (for me it was almost somewhere at the end of it) - if you train there for about 8-12 reps (or slightly more - even as much as you can but with high intensity, 2-3 sets) is the best to create the type II hypertrophy (myofibrillar) which actually ADDS new muscle fibers! If you complement this with the pump trianing (segment 1) you can get most benefit more muscle growth. (Let's say 2 sets in the segment 2, then 2 sets for max reps in segment 1 on your training session). Training in segment 2 also causes a bit of the type I (sarcoplasmic) muscle hypertrophy, since you go for moderately many repetitions. The pump can be achieved also with an expander (and sometimes in a much better way).

3) the third segment is in some way the most powerful one, since its moving the boundaries of your maximum strength will be affecting the boundaries of the segment 1 and 2 also, therefore giving you more potential to build muscle when training in segment 2. There is usually pretty much NONE type I hypertrophy involved (the pump => no pump) and there is a LITTLE bit of type II hypertrophy involved, however, training in segment 3 mainly causes your nervous system to become more efficient. That means, that when your brain gives the command to a certain muscle to contract, it will do so more efficiently: your brain learns to control MORE of the muscle you have than it is able to do at the moment, so even if you get no new muscle, you do practically really become stronger AND if you complement it with training in the segment II (in the next training session e.g.) and also with the training in segment 1, you will build most muscle overall.


So the secret is to have different training sessions or to learn to combine smartly all 3 segments and also being able to identify them in the first place. If you only ever train for strength, you may achieve a quite impressive athletic performance, but do not expect to be overly muscular just from that (=that is called powerlifting). Or if you only ever train with the same weight over and over again (not progressing very quickly or at all), you are probably training somewhere in the middle of the segment 2 and that alone has more of "muscle maintenance" effect than progress of any kind. Try to consider moving over all of the spectrum I drew from time to time ;)



I hope this may be informative for some of you :) I'll tag who may be interested: @rothbard, @SpeedPocok5, @AoM
-------------------


Anyway, some new updates on your [maximum] lifts/performance/diet/fitness journey guys? (@Laurentius, @Adrian)
 
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Adrian

Civis Illustris
I am currently stuck at my recent limitations. I believe I have to rethink my current training regiment (presumably consult a different PT/ Instructor).
More to that (and shameful to admit); I fail to keep my diet regiment :(

PS. @Godmy I would likre to ask you about supplemts - do you use such like Creatine, BCAA , Glutamine ?

Back in the gym I train, Lots of other guys and girl claim they use supplements... Not sure if that helps or more in line of placebo...
 

Godmy

A Monkey
Thanks for the reply! Yeah, one must train for muscle development somewhere at the border of the green zone and the red zone on the picture, that usually doesn't happen when one trains with one weight every time. And from time to time, one needs to train just for the red zone... and like at the end of the training, a few sets (for max reps) in the yellow zone to get the muscle pumped up with blood. Muscle building is all about finding the resistence that the muscle "feels" but still can move it comfortably which usually doesn't happen in the red zone and when one is not far enough in the green zone, it may be too easy.

Anyway, BCAA - stripped up protein. Normal protein has 20 aminoacids, BCAA contains just the 3 essential ones the body cannot synthesize, but the problem is that if the body doesn't have the other essential aminoacids already in the digestive system somewhere, these 3 ones cannot be utilized, unless (and some studies suggest that) a muscle is broken and the other esssential aminoacids are extracted from it, just to form a complete essential aminoacid group with the BCAA's... and that then is used to build new muscle, which is pretty stupid. It's controversial, I don't recommend it. It doesn't do any harm, but it may not help either, it's wasted money, but a placebo effect works though, so it may help in that regard... haha. Protein powder is overall ALWAYS a BETTER option than BCAAs or even EAAs. (usually they take both, but still...)

Creatine = the only one of these that is proven to work and even recommended by several sport health organizations, but you won't feel its effect unless your training is super hard and superintensive, then it may give you additonal power (=it causes the ATPs in the muscle to be renewed more effectively, creatine is something you get from meat, but you usually don't get as much from it as you can from supplementation unless you eat an enormous amount of meat that nobody does). That means in a supersuperhard training you get a few more repetitions before you fail (therefore increase your potential for muscle growth). So, for a beginner: wasted money :p But it works... (under certain conditions).

Glutamine: is a non-essential aminoacid, therefore synthasized by the body itself whether you supplement it or not. Its supplementation may or may not help, may be just placebo. Some say that in an increased physical activity the body requires more of it (potentially more than it is able to synthesize at a given speed) so it could help, but... could.

__________

Yesterday was the Arnold Classic 2020 festival that consists of most famous body building and strongman competitions. (I won't spoil the results for the Strongman :) ). Here I found a video from yesterday of a guy who won one of the bodybuilding competitions. Try to look at the competitors and guess who has the best body: I guessed correctly - that guy won :p

 
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Tironis

Civis Illustris
The golden pouch did it! Talk about OTT! :)
 

Godmy

A Monkey
Some picture-science concerning the BCAAs


The explanation by the doctor:

I decided to do another post on BCAA supplementation following my previous one because I've discovered over the years that there are a number of folks who don't quite understand context which I believe is one of the most important aspects of learning, educating, and practicing. The prior post was related to the potential effects of BCAA supplementation on central fatigue during exhaustive exercise through a mechanism irrelevant to muscle growth. This post is now discussing BCAA supplementation within a different context.
.
From online fitness blogs to gym talk, it is clear that modern day concepts of protein nutrition overemphasize the purported significance of "anabolic" amino acids, i.e. BCAA or leucine, and strategies to maximize muscle protein synthesis. This was largely facilitated by earlier research demonstrating an acute and transient anabolic response upon administration of BCAAs or leucine. On one end, these findings provided novel scientific insight to the unique anabolic properties of nutrients and shaped the definition of "quality" dietary protein sources. However, on the other end, these findings also enabled a fallacious view on optimum protein nutrition in that a net anabolic state in muscle protein metabolism can be achieved by way of abundantly consuming these key nutrients (hence the boom in the BCAA market). Muscle proteins, like every protein found in the body, are constructed by a unique combination of essential and non-essential amino acids which your body can't and can produce, respectively. Thus, without a sufficient dietary EAA provision, a net anabolic state to facilitate muscle growth would be difficult to achieve regardless of whether BCAAs are consumed abundantly. Bottom line: optimum protein nutrition should be predicated on meeting total daily protein needs and inclusion of EAA rich protein sources. It should not be centered on the amount and frequency of BCAA or leucine intake. Not saying BCAA supplementation is useless. Just depends on the context in which we are asking ourselves if it "works".

Here's the original post with an explanation.
 

Laurentius

Man of Culture
Anyway, some new updates on your [maximum] lifts/performance/diet/fitness journey guys? (@Laurentius, @Adrian)
Not really, I slacked off a bit these weeks. I can't even go to the gym now first because my nose was running and now I think they even closed the gyms for the virus. I can do at home though.
Gonna try to deadlift 100kg this week though since I got a couple of 10kg plates more which should be enough to do that.
 

Godmy

A Monkey
Not really, I slacked off a bit these weeks. I can't even go to the gym now first because my nose was running and now I think they even closed the gyms for the virus. I can do at home though.
Gonna try to deadlift 100kg this week though since I got a couple of 10kg plates more which should be enough to do that.
I see! It's quite understandable. Wish you luck with the deadlift! Let us know how it went ; )
 

Godmy

A Monkey
By the way, @Adrian, you probably don't know that, but your country holds now a national treasure in the world of Strongman. Your athlete, Mateusz Kieliszkowski, has been competing in the Arnold Strongman Classic 2020 (one of two* most prestigious international Strongman competitions in the world) for the last several years, becoming better each time. This year (for the first time), he placed second only after the Mountain from the Game of Thrones (the Islandic viking Hafthor Bjornsson - usually called "Thor") and he even won several events. But Poles have been providing with very good strongmen for many years if not decades now and it really puts the country on the map! (unfortunately, none Czech strongman ever got to such prestigious competition yet :-/ Even though we don't have 'bad' athletes really)

A show of his performance in one event, this event, which is more or less called "Giant dumbbell" and the rules are simple: you lift it to your shoulder (you can use both hands) and then just with one hand, you need to lift it overhead. Mateusz broke here the World record by lifting 320 lbs (145kg)!



He's also very young, like 26 or something! Crazy! (that means that he's possibly going to get insanely better at least to the 30years of age if not more)

*The other is called "World Strongest Man" or just WSM
 
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