Hit a plateau

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    Hit a plateau


    So i'm new to the forum, not sure if this is the right spot on this forum to post this but i'm wondering if i can get some opinions

    so for about 8 months now i've been going on this routine and this is where i'm at with the weight

    Chest
    Flat Dumbbell press- 3x8 90lbs
    Decline Dumbbell press- 3x8 85lbs
    Incline Dumbbell press- 3x8 60lbs
    Machine Flys- 3x10 150lbs

    Back
    weighted pullups- about 29 in total at 10lbs(though i was doing 26 reps at 25lbs in the middle of my cut, but suddenly that started decreasing so i'm trying to build back up)
    weighted chinups- about 20 reps at 10lbs (same issue i was at 24 reps at 25lbs but lost that, bad cut i guess)
    rack pulls- 1x12 90lbs, 1x9 120lbs, 1x8 140lbs. didn't add the 35lbs bar into the weight so i guess add that to it.
    Superset Dumbbell Shrugs- 3x12 55lbs
    Single Arm Cable Rows-- 3x9 70lbs

    Core
    Machine Ab crunch
    weighted twist
    leg raise
    Side Lean
    Lower back extensions

    Shoulders and Triceps
    Machine Shoulder Press- 3x12 130lbs
    Dumbbell Lateral Raises- 3x12 17.5lbs
    Tricep cable pushdowns underhand-- 3x12 50lbs
    Overhead cable Tricep Extensions-- 3x8 100lbs

    Legs and Biceps
    Leg Press- 3x10 180lbs
    Dumbbell Curls- 3x8 30lbs
    Leg Press Calf Raises- 3x20 90lbs
    Preacher Curls- 3x10 25lbs
    Machine Squats- 3x12 180lbs
    Overhead Cable Curls- 3x9 60lbs

    this was my workout. i made some strong gains. about an inch each arm and i got my bench strength from 55lbs to 90lbs and my pull ups went up quite a bit until recently.

    i'm feeling like i hit a plateau so i was wondering if people can critique my original workout and this new one i came up with. it consists of alternating weeks, 2 of them basically an ABA and BAB type thing but with a leg workout in there. its technically 3 day upper body split 1 day leg thing.

    so

    Week 1

    Chest/Triceps/Shoulders
    Legs/ Core
    Rest
    Back/ Biceps
    Chest/ Triceps/ Shoulders
    Rest
    Rest

    Week 2

    Back/ Biceps
    Legs/ Core
    rest
    Chest/ Triceps/ Shoulders
    Back/ Biceps
    rest
    rest

    now these would obviously alternate every other week so some weeks it'll be 2 chest and the next week would be 2 back. i haven't really ironed out specific exercises yet for each day because i assume i can't go full intensity each day because there probably isn't enough time to recover in between each workout.

    trying to get the growth going again

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    Just some advice, you need more hamstring work, maybe something like good mornings or the like to sort that out. I'd also recommend adding in some unilateral leg work. In all honesty i'd also add in Squats (not machine, just free) and deadlifts. Just too me it seems like that routine is going to leave you top heavy and unbalanced in the legs.

    Also interesting that you do not do Barbell for the chest. I would add this in too imo.

    Why so many machine assisted lifts? Id drop machine shoulder press for Military press and also you dont do much, if any rear delt work. You def need to hit your rear delts. As you dont do compound bench, perhaps even hitting front delts might be advised as long as you hit the rear delts just as hard. But meh, as long as you hit the rear delts which are not utilised much at all in lat raises or Military press, and if forms not very good, then your anterior delts will be taking most of the strain

    Id also add in external/internal rotation work just to help even out any imbalances that may develop and to strengthn up the rotator cuffs.
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    thanks for the reply. i plan on graduating to squats. my problem is i have weak muscles around my knees, and i just want them a little more stable before i get onto squats, but i probably will just do very light squats.

    also the reason i don't do barbell bench and do dumbbell is more of an OCD thing where i want to make sure my right side isn't favored. i like to make sure both arms are getting even work.

    i've been planning on switching to military press, actually was going to do them today, but my front delts were still sore from my incline dumbbell. for rear delts what do you recommend. i know there are reverse flys but i'm trying to avoid hitting my traps. i hit my traps a ton with rack pulls and shrugs. i am trying to avoid over-training them


    what do you think about my split switchup. is hitting chest and back twice a week every other week a good idea? i'm somewhat happy with my current split, but i haven't been able to get past 90lbs bench with the dumbbells.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Stand View Post
    thanks for the reply. i plan on graduating to squats. my problem is i have weak muscles around my knees, and i just want them a little more stable before i get onto squats, but i probably will just do very light squats.

    also the reason i don't do barbell bench and do dumbbell is more of an OCD thing where i want to make sure my right side isn't favored. i like to make sure both arms are getting even work.

    i've been planning on switching to military press, actually was going to do them today, but my front delts were still sore from my incline dumbbell. for rear delts what do you recommend. i know there are reverse flys but i'm trying to avoid hitting my traps. i hit my traps a ton with rack pulls and shrugs. i am trying to avoid over-training them


    what do you think about my split switchup. is hitting chest and back twice a week every other week a good idea? i'm somewhat happy with my current split, but i haven't been able to get past 90lbs bench with the dumbbells.
    For one, you wont over train traps through doing rear delt rows or reverse flys etc. over training has nothing to do with the muscles, it is caused by CNS burnout and isnt as common as you think. Reverse flys wouldnt really activate the traps anyway considering that in order to build the traps, you have to shrug upward or scapula elevation, not extend at the shoulders.

    Back to chest though, if you want to get stronger on bench, you will have to start doing compound bench. It simply works all the muscles used to develop bench power, whereas dumbell doesnt. You can also do Flat bench then dumbell press, but dont expect to get over plateaus fast with just dumbells.
    Theres more to a bench press that just the chest; strong triceps, a powerful back also have a role to play.
    That also being said, bulking will help increase your lifts.

    And im just trying to be helpful but the one of the most common things i hear when it comes to skipping squats is weak knee muscles or joints etc. so people skip these in favour of something else, or just dont do them altogether. Weak knees (for the most part, unless diagnosed) is an excuse. If you have to start light, then start light with spotters or in a power rack (all 3 perhaps if nervous about it, id usually always suggest use a power rack in any case). Weak muscles can only be made stronger through training. When you started bench your chest muscles would havebeen weak too, but you started somewhere.

    If your anterior deltoids stop you from military pressing, then put shoulders on a different day; but OHP (overhead press) shouldnt tax the anterior deltoid too much unless your form is a little off. ZiR RED posted earlier on another thread about making sure you stand tall and dont lean back, if that means dropping weight to push properly then do so. The further you lean back, then less shoulder activation and more chest and anterior deltoid activation instead of middle deltoid.

    And yes Id say you can follow that split but maybe drop the total number of sets while increasing intensity. Ill let someone else speculate on that one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    For one, you wont over train traps through doing rear delt rows or reverse flys etc. over training has nothing to do with the muscles, it is caused by CNS burnout and isnt as common as you think. Reverse flys wouldnt really activate the traps anyway considering that in order to build the traps, you have to shrug upward or scapula elevation, not extend at the shoulders.

    Back to chest though, if you want to get stronger on bench, you will have to start doing compound bench. It simply works all the muscles used to develop bench power, whereas dumbell doesnt. You can also do Flat bench then dumbell press, but dont expect to get over plateaus fast with just dumbells.
    Theres more to a bench press that just the chest; strong triceps, a powerful back also have a role to play.
    That also being said, bulking will help increase your lifts.

    And im just trying to be helpful but the one of the most common things i hear when it comes to skipping squats is weak knee muscles or joints etc. so people skip these in favour of something else, or just dont do them altogether. Weak knees (for the most part, unless diagnosed) is an excuse. If you have to start light, then start light with spotters or in a power rack (all 3 perhaps if nervous about it, id usually always suggest use a power rack in any case). Weak muscles can only be made stronger through training. When you started bench your chest muscles would havebeen weak too, but you started somewhere.

    If your anterior deltoids stop you from military pressing, then put shoulders on a different day; but OHP (overhead press) shouldnt tax the anterior deltoid too much unless your form is a little off. ZiR RED posted earlier on another thread about making sure you stand tall and dont lean back, if that means dropping weight to push properly then do so. The further you lean back, then less shoulder activation and more chest and anterior deltoid activation instead of middle deltoid.

    And yes Id say you can follow that split but maybe drop the total number of sets while increasing intensity. Ill let someone else speculate on that one.
    i'll input all of that into my workout. now another question i have is all over the internet you see a ton of people say you have to do certain beginners routines to gain muscle

    i'm not just starting out. i've been lifting for about 8 months consistently, had lifted before that but never on a consistent program. some of what is said makes sense but also it leaves very little room for adding exercises. i'm just wondering what you and anyone else think about this?

    i don't think i'm experienced enough to make my own routine but i don't want to have to be forced into some routine either.
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    For me honestly I had to settle on a routine. I had tried to freelance a few years ago when I first started lifting and my progress was pretty sad lol what are your goals? There's plenty of good beginner routines out there and some great ones for strength as well. I'm currently running stronglifts 5x5 and have seen great progress in strength and form.
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    I see 4 GLARING problems with your template: bench press, squats, deads, and overhead presses. They're all missing from your training in addition to other great lifts like dips, close-grip, walking lunges, stiff-legged deads, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Stand View Post
    i'll input all of that into my workout. now another question i have is all over the internet you see a ton of people say you have to do certain beginners routines to gain muscle

    i'm not just starting out. i've been lifting for about 8 months consistently, had lifted before that but never on a consistent program. some of what is said makes sense but also it leaves very little room for adding exercises. i'm just wondering what you and anyone else think about this?

    i don't think i'm experienced enough to make my own routine but i don't want to have to be forced into some routine either.
    Templates work well because they dont exclude important lifts (well the good ones dont). He can choose to take it or leave it but the exercises I suggested should be staple in ANY good training program. You cant claim to be training for strength if you exclude the very lifts of PL'ers. Bench, Squats, Deads on OHP should be staple as they are some of the most important compound lifts to use.

    Also, things like internal/external rotation should also be staple; not to mention other exercises that include commonly missed muscle groups (mid traps, hamstrings and so on) as these help even out any muscular imbalances that will develop over time if neglected.

    If you have the knowledge to create your own template then by all means, do so. But a good template and good programming will most likely include all the aforementioned exercises anyway with the exception of perhaps internal/external rotation.
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    i do rack pulls and shrugs is that good enough for mid traps

    also i had 2 separate advanced lifters make two different 3-day splits. one based around hypertrophy and the other around strength

    strength
    Workout A
    Squat 5x5
    Bench Press 5x5
    Barbell Row 5x5
    Barbell Shrug 3x8
    Overhead Triceps extensions 3x8
    Chins 3x5-8
    or Striaght Bar/Incline Curl 3x8
    Hyperextention 2x10
    Kneeling Cable Crunch 3x10-20
    oblique twist 3x20

    Workout B
    Squat 5x5
    Rack Pulls 5x5
    Standing Press 5x5
    Barbell Row 5x5 -10%
    CGBP 3x8
    Straight Bar or Incline Curl 3x8
    Kneeling Cable Crunch 3x10-20
    oblique twist 3x20

    hypertrophy
    MON: QUADS, HAMS, CALVES, ABS
    Squat or Front squat (4x6-8)
    Lunge or Step up (2x8)
    Leg press (3x8)
    -
    Romanian deadlift (3x6-8)
    Leg curl (3x6-8)
    -
    Standing calf raise (4x8-15)
    -
    Decline situp (3x8-12)
    Hanging leg raise (3x8-12)

    WED: CHEST, SHOULDERS, TRICEPS
    DB/BB Bench press (4x8)
    DB/BB Incline bench press (4x8)
    DB flye or cable crossover (2x10-15)
    -
    DB seated press (3x8)
    Cable/DB Rear delt raise or reverse pec deck (3x10-15)
    Cable/DB Side raise (3x10-15)
    -
    Skullcrusher (3x10-12)
    DB overhead (3x10-12)

    FRI: BACK, BICEPS, FOREARMS
    Deadlift (2x5) or rack pull (4x5)
    weighted Pullup or chinup (4xMR)
    Bentover row (4x10)
    BB/DB shrug (4x10)
    -
    BB/DB curl (3x10-12)
    Incline DB curl (3x10-12)
    -
    Hammer curl (3x10-12)
    Wrist curl (3x15)
    Reverse wrist curl (3x15)
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    For me honestly I had to settle on a routine. I had tried to freelance a few years ago when I first started lifting and my progress was pretty sad lol what are your goals? There's plenty of good beginner routines out there and some great ones for strength as well. I'm currently running stronglifts 5x5 and have seen great progress in strength and form.
    my goals are all aesthetic. people keep saying all over the internet that strength training is different from mass building. that was a little confusing to me. i would have thought they were the same.
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    Rack pulls and shrugs hit the upper traps, not the mid traps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    I see 4 GLARING problems with your template: bench press, squats, deads, and overhead presses. They're all missing from your training in addition to other great lifts like dips, close-grip, walking lunges, stiff-legged deads, etc.
    ya i found that out. they were added when people gave me new workouts. what do you believe is better. 3-day splits or 4-day splits
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Rack pulls and shrugs hit the upper traps, not the mid traps.
    what exercises hit the mid traps
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Stand View Post
    what exercises hit the mid traps
    Things that retract the scapula (e.g. facepulls).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Stand View Post
    ya i found that out. they were added when people gave me new workouts. what do you believe is better. 3-day splits or 4-day splits
    trick question as it involves interrelated variables like intensity and volume which effect frequency. throw in how many days you can workout, your nutritional intake quality, sleep hygiene, and it can be near impossible to say. and i at times will throw in beliefs in a program. the more you believe in the program the harder you may try which changes intensity which effects volume and frequency needed.

    check out this link for all kinds of great mass based programs. pages and pages of them.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Stand View Post
    my goals are all aesthetic. people keep saying all over the internet that strength training is different from mass building. that was a little confusing to me. i would have thought they were the same.
    Yes, they are different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Stand View Post
    my goals are all aesthetic. people keep saying all over the internet that strength training is different from mass building. that was a little confusing to me. i would have thought they were the same.
    They essentially are the same thing as they both involve resistance training. Where they differ is the amount of volume, frequency, and, most importantly, nutrition.
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    Jiigzz, joeyson, and rodja have given you the advice that will work best with any plateau and just overall training. I strongly recommend taking a look at joeskopec.com, If you take the time to really read into this website i guarantee you will never bring up hitting a plateau in your training. Keep in mind that a lot of these heavy compound movements require perfect form, these are definitely not exercises you should jump into and start stacking plates. there is a 5x5 routine in the joeskopec website that has plenty of 3 day splits (seemed like you were interested in 3's). Plateau's seem to happen to people who aren't eating right/enough and not getting enough rest, remember those 2 things are more important than what you do in the gym.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    They essentially are the same thing as they both involve resistance training. Where they differ is the amount of volume, frequency, and, most importantly, nutrition.
    i eat pretty clean, about 2,600 calories. 230+ g of protein.

    what would be the difference. with strength training i'm guessing people go balls out with their diet while aesthetic they keep it regulated.
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    also i was wondering what exercises would hit these areas of the traps i circled in this picture

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    You circled the entire traps; upper, middle and lower
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    Ya it was a horrible job of circling. I was in a rush. I'm talking about the bottom half of the circle.

    I have this as a back routine

    Weighted pull ups: 4xMR
    -alternate chin ups-
    Weighted chin ups: 4xMR

    Rack pulls: 4x5 80lbs each side
    Bentover rows: 4x10
    DB shrug: 4x10 55lbs

    DB curls: 3x10-12
    Incline curl: 3x10-12
    Hammer curl: 3x10-12

    Will I hit that area or do I have to add something else like face pulls / rear delt rows
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Stand View Post
    i eat pretty clean, about 2,600 calories. 230+ g of protein.

    what would be the difference. with strength training i'm guessing people go balls out with their diet while aesthetic they keep it regulated.
    It's a bit more complicated than just diet. I touched upon the factors in my previous post.
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    ok so i was wondering. i was given 2 workout plans by two different experienced bodybuilders each sharing different philosophies. one being made around strength and the other being made around hypertrophy. I've said it before, strength is only a means to an end. i'm not lifting to be able to hit certain numbers, i'm lifting for aesthetics. so with those goals in mind which one fits my goals better

    this is the strength one ABA BAB format obviously

    Workout A
    Squat 5x5
    Bench Press 5x5
    Barbell Row 5x5
    Barbell Shrug 3x8
    Overhead Triceps extensions 3x8
    Chins 3x5-8
    or Striaght Bar/Incline Curl 3x8
    Hyperextention 2x10
    Kneeling Cable Crunch 3x10-20
    oblique twist 3x20

    Workout B
    Squat 5x5
    Rack Pulls 5x5
    Standing Press 5x5
    Barbell Row 5x5 -10%
    CGBP 3x8
    Straight Bar or Incline Curl 3x8
    Kneeling Cable Crunch 3x10-20
    oblique twist 3x20

    this is the hypertrophy one

    MON: QUADS, HAMS, CALVES, ABS
    Squat or Front squat (4x6-8)
    Lunge or Step up (2x8)
    Leg press (3x8)
    -
    Romanian deadlift (3x6-8)
    Leg curl (3x6-8)
    -
    Standing calf raise (4x8-15)
    -
    Decline situp (3x8-12)
    Hanging leg raise (3x8-12)

    WED: CHEST, SHOULDERS, TRICEPS
    DB/BB Bench press (4x8)
    DB/BB Incline bench press (4x8)
    DB flye or cable crossover (2x10-15)
    -
    DB seated press (3x8)
    Cable/DB Rear delt raise or reverse pec deck (3x10-15)
    Cable/DB Side raise (3x10-15)
    -
    Skullcrusher (3x10-12)
    DB overhead (3x10-12)

    FRI: BACK, BICEPS, FOREARMS
    Deadlift (2x5) or rack pull (4x5)
    Pullup or chinup (4xMR)
    Bentover row (4x10)
    BB/DB shrug (4x10)
    -
    BB/DB curl (3x10-12)
    Incline DB curl (3x10-12)
    Hammer curl (3x10-12)
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    For aesthetic, with goals of hypertrophy and bodybuilding the second workout is much better suited. The first one is a full body program, while it will yield results it isn't an optimal program for your goals. The potential for growth/stimulation in workout 1 especially regarding sarcoplasmic hypertrophy can not be fully realized.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    For aesthetic, with goals of hypertrophy and bodybuilding the second workout is much better suited. The first one is a full body program, while it will yield results it isn't an optimal program for your goals. The potential for growth/stimulation in workout 1 especially regarding sarcoplasmic hypertrophy can not be fully realized.
    Thank you for the reply. So as a whole does the 2nd workout look good, does it hit every muscle well
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Stand View Post
    also i was wondering what exercises would hit these areas of the traps i circled in this picture

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    Barbell rows all the way
    Want to handstand like bruce lee?

    ----------> lostartofhandbalancing.com <---------------
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    Why DB seated press over Standing Overhead press?

    Also, you'll find that in years to come you might develop very weak rotator cuff muscles from lack of strengthing them but meh.

    Saw an article on Anabolic minds home page that demonstartes my point Best Rotator Cuff Exercises then you can follow the menshealth link at the bottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    Why DB seated press over Standing Overhead press?

    Also, you'll find that in years to come you might develop very weak rotator cuff muscles from lack of strengthing them but meh.

    Saw an article on Anabolic minds home page that demonstartes my point then you can follow the menshealth link at the bottom
    don't know? i'm assuming he figured i would be unable to perform those correctly after benching and incline benching. i did this workout the other day by the way.

    do you think i should rotate the shoulder presses and incline bench every other week or something because when i got to shoulder presses i was pretty much unable to get anywhere close to normal weight. i usually do about 60lbs but was at 40lbs because of the 4 sets of bench and 4 sets of incline

    or will the incline hit my shoulders enough that the shoulder presses become a nice add on. ideally i'd like to hit my side delts just as much as my front delts.

    also outside of the DB over standing overhead press and rotator cuffs what did you think of the overall workout? also if i were to add rotator cuff workouts would i just leave them at the end of the workout.
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    Chances are you just can't push as much weight; because you've pre fatigued anterior delts and triceps. But I still don't get why he would recommend not doing them.

    OHP does use the front delt, but it also works the middle delt when performed correctly; i.e. avoiding leaning back when pressing. Leaning back will cause your middle delts to become less activated and puts more strain on your anterior delts. Yeah well I do rotators twice per week, usually on shoulder and leg day. At the end.

    There are a few exercises I myself would do in the place of others, such as close grip bench and dips are probably the BEST tricep excerises (alongside skullcrushers) for building overall mass.
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