Hammer Strength Triceps Question
- 04-22-2007, 12:18 PM
Hammer Strength Triceps Question
I guess this is the best forum to pose my question. I have been lifting for over 50 years and now at 65 I am getting really serious about powerlifting (220lbs, 65 - 69 class). I can't handle squats for the same reasons I can't run anymore but I can and love to do heavy lifts in everything else. In particular I do pretty heavy BPs, HS (Hammer Strength Pulldowns), HS Rows and especiallly HS Seated Triceps Pushdowns. Yesterday, Arm Day (I am in my first week using Epi), I managed a new PR with 5 reps @ 540 lbs (12 X 45lbs). Earlier this week, Back/Shoulders Day, I hit 360 lbs ie 8 plates) for 6 on both the Pulldowns and Rows. I finished the latter workout with 8 reps of Rack Deads @ 365. Now I know none of this means diddlysh*t for powerlifting but it is training I can do which allows me to go heavy and without a full-time training partner. Now the guys in my gym regardless of age go bonkers when they see these weights. I get lots of great feedback. What I don't know is if I have built a base which can convert into some serious Powrlifting competition attempts? Am I just doing the big fish in the small pond routine or does this kind of strength portend a real chance at competition in my age/weight group? Sorry for the long exlaination but do any of you have experience with these HS machines and what is your opinion based on the results I have achieved. Should I take a run at it or am I kidding myself?
- 04-22-2007, 02:52 PM
- 04-22-2007, 03:47 PM
04-27-2007, 01:17 PM
It sounds like you have great upper body strength, for any age, leave alone being 65.
Yet, unless tthe Hammer Strength people start having contests of strength particular to their apparatus, there will be no way to compare yourself to others across a wide area. My workout place has many Hammer Strength machines, but not the seated tricep pushdown machine you mentioned. They do have the HS high row and low row machine, and many others, including a V-squat machine. Several monthes ago I got myself up to a set of 16 x 605 # on the V-squat HS machine (to parallel) -- it's no where near the same as doing free weight squats, but I do have strong legs.
Power lifting focuses on three free weight exercises, as you know, -- the bench press, the deadlift, and the squat. And stongman competitions invent their own competive strength exercises.
You would have to convert the power you've created in your body to fit into one or several of these power lifting or strong man exercises to compete in a wider forum.
Seems like you could be good at the bench press for example. I don't know if there is anything preventing you from deadlifting?
04-28-2007, 03:02 PM
Tuberman, thanks for your input. I wish my knees would allow me to do squats, I used to love them, just never hit those kind of numbers. I prefer using the Hammer Strength equipment we have here because I am always concerned with injury and the controlled range of motion is safer for us old farts. Last week I did manage to do 6 reps each with 8 plates ie. 360 lbs on both the HS pulldowns and the HS Low Rows. After some shoulder work I finished with 8 reps of rack Deads (4 hole) @ 365 lbs. The rack deads leave me feeling better than any other exercise. I love em.
I am starting a program to try and improve my BP and recently did 3 X 10 @ 225. I hope to raise it by 5 lbs a week. I finished that chest day with 5 sets of rack extensions for 5 sec holds @ 275 (using a close grip and setting up high over my shoulders). I'm hoping that with a few months work I can do some decent BPs and Deadlifts.
04-29-2007, 03:55 PM
I'm nearly 59, and had some bouts of bad health a couple of years past.
I focused on leg strength for months. That's how I got them fairly strong. On the other hand, my bench is not as good as your's (I can tell by your workouts), and I'm sorely lacking in the dead lift, my best being 295#. I have an arthritic back from a injury that happened when I was 14. I've only been able to get it as strong as the 295# by carefully doing good mornings, light stiff-legged deads, and some other work-arounds that focus on the hamstrings and gluts.
I'm convinced I can reach 350# in another few months without injuring it again. But 350 is certainly not competitive, even for my age group.
I have a problem with working heavy more than 5-6 weeks in a row. The intensity of the heavy workouts really jacks up blood pressure. Lately I've been taking high doses of taurine about an hour before the heavy workouts -- this helps a little, but if I go too far with it, the taurine can cause the runs.
It's funny, you can watch videos of power lifters in their late 20's through their early 40's pushing themselves so hard with massive weights that blood spurts out of popped veins in their eyes. They laugh it off. I can't go that far. I'd be dead or a vegetable.
But I'm always trying to find a way to improve. I'm thinking of trying a new product soon to be out by Applied Nutriceuticals called RPM. Its basically Icariin with some potentiators to back it up. Icariin is a SARM, which is a steriod mimmicker without the bad lipid profile, blood pressure raising, or shutting down of your own hormones sides, in fact, it lowers blood pressure. In a few weeks I'd give this a go along with some avena sativa and keep track of my blood pressure (I will have to push it some, can't be helped). I expect some decent results.
If you can move up 5# a week in the bench with multiple sets of 10 (starting at 225#), you will be great in no time. What people eventually have to do is work on sticking points -- if the hardest part of your bench is lockouts, you work on them, if you get stuck half way up, you put boards on your chest and work from the sticking point.
Before you get to that point you need to do a heavy cycle. In the heavy cycle you would typically do a warmup set, and then move quickly to the small rep range, as heavy as you can lift for 3-5 reps (usually 85% to 90%+ of max). This along with occasionally trying a max or PR lift, and you will know your sticking points to work on from then. Do not often, I repeat, do not often work to failure in this 3-5 rep range. You should usually leave one rep in the bank, meaning you could just barely crank out one more rep, but don't.
Many power lifters also use "gear" as in a bench shirt to help lift heavy. They allow people trained to use them to lift more. They seem to stiffen the arms an keep them in a groove for the bench, and these shirts also seem to help the balancing muscles. The big muscles grow strong fast, such as the chest, the lats, and even the triceps, yet the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that do the balancing for the complex moves can't easily keep up. A good stiff bench shirt used by a trained user helps. A bench without such "gear" is referred to as a "raw" bench press.
Watch out for chronic problems developing in the rotator cuff of the shoulder and the insides of your elbows on the flat bench press.
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