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Quality of lifts, targeting specific muscle groups

PitbullTank

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While there is constant search for progressive overload, i think people forget the QUALITY of the lift is very close importance to the QUANTITY when targetting...

lets like break down a leg extension... for most, its just get in and swing that shit up and down... sure, we can go 190 this week 200 next, 210lbs following.... but if we are jumping all around in the seat using momentum etc, its just not going to target that muscle specific... but there is soo many little things to make the lift quality better...
-keeping your ass sunk deep all the way on the seat and not letting your body rise up and down slightly for momentum...
-stopping the weight completely at the bottom for 2 seconds letting all elasticity dissipate
-moving the weight in a speed that ALL momentum is taken out of concentric, and the weight is lowered while in 100% control without free fall
-holding a slight contraction at the top
-pointing the toes
-Keeping the knees from rolling outwards

i mean thats 1 little exercise and 6 points that can take it from beginner level to advanced and let you use less weight while specifically targeting the muscle better and less chance injury... ... i would not sacrifice the quality of perfect execution for the mere fact of added resistance... but added resistance overload is always the end goal WHILE using perfect execution

same with lets say bicep curls... easier to look at preacher since kind of fixed motion... make the plane of motion so you pull the outside of the curling hand to your delt, instead of the inside (thumb).... keep wrists bent backwards/or complete neutral (as soon as the wrist curls in, it is like an arm wrestling "over the top" move and is going all forearm)... you can do this at home and fee difference immediately... curl and flex your bi while bending your wrist backwards, then flex it while curling your wrist.. night and day contraction difference... same thing w the momentum speed mentioned for extension, no free fall, 1 sec pause bottom and release elasticity...


anyways, I'm sure some of these things are nothing new for a lot of you, but for others just trying to pass along some small tips to target the muscle and use quality of a lift to keep the tension on that specify muscle.... any other lifts you guys wanna break down and talk about? I have said my thoughts on targeting chest many times... lets talk about some others!! :headbang:
 
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Elvia1023

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Good post. I think what you post is the most important thing in the gym. Yes guys using momentum etc will still grow. But if you have a weak body part and don't specifically target that body part (chest is a good example) it will never be a good body part no matter how much you can lift. As with anything guys can get away with things even with poor form especially with good genetics. But when they don't have those genetics what you write will become even more apparant over the years. Although we can only do our best with what we are given.
 

PitbullTank

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...and i even forgot another point on the extension... when you stop the weight at the bottom, you do not stop it when your leg is at 90* and the tension is gone, you stop it 110*-120* angle so it keeps all tension on the medialis
 

juggy38

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...and i even forgot another point on the extension... when you stop the weight at the bottom, you do not stop it when your leg is at 90* and the tension is gone, you stop it 110*-120* angle so it keeps all tension on the medialis

Pitbull, when you say "point your toes" are you meaning dorsiflexion or plantar flexion?
 

PitbullTank

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Pitbull, when you say "point your toes" are you meaning dorsiflexion or plantar flexion?

good catch... i actually don't think it matters the direction of flexion, i was meaning as long as they "point" at the same width between them/the ankle and don't roll off to the outside....i don't go extreme dorsiflexion, but just make them point straight up to the ceiling at the top... you will see people as they go further towards max extension their feet start moving all over or go \ / instead of || , basically the same thing a lot of peoples knees do on the extensions they raise... i remember i got this from some old BPak vids i watched where he was saying how bad it was for the knees to roll outwards on it..

side note- I also want to say that I have learned things from everyone i study... i take a bit of this, and a bit of that and use what i feel is good for me.. these are not concepts i developed, but rather watched, listened, learned,and happy to share ... A lot of my credits for training stem from Dante, Meadows, JP, Bpak, Charles Glass, and Dennis James....
 
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RamboStallone

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Pit, great thread bro! One I want to point out is for back. I see these silly guys doing 200lb+ pulldowns and no lats at my gym. Remember with back, the negative is more important. Control the negative to really work the back properly. My back has grown significantly since I started controlling the negative instead of swinging around like an idiot doing pulldowns or rows with momentum. Or the idiotic rack pulls and deads where guys just drop the weight, seems retarded, control the weight don't let the weight control you!
 

rmtt

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Pit, great thread bro! One I want to point out is for back. I see these silly guys doing 200lb+ pulldowns and no lats at my gym. Remember with back, the negative is more important. Control the negative to really work the back properly. My back has grown significantly since I started controlling the negative instead of swinging around like an idiot doing pulldowns or rows with momentum. Or the idiotic rack pulls and deads where guys just drop the weight, seems retarded, control the weight don't let the weight control you!
I love doing pull ups where I emphasize the negative aspect. I will even add enough weight that I can't get a pull up with, and start at the top of the move and just work the negative part of it.

Most people already know about chest and retracting the scapula, but if you don't you really need to look into it.

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thethinker48

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This is why it takes years to actually learn how to train properly.

You can read about this stuff as a beginner, but you need to first make the mistake in a way, and experience it on your own to be able to discern it. That's why you can spot a seasoned lifter just by the way he/she performs a lift (according to their own biomechanics of course).
 

juggy38

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My mid and upper back has improved from lowering the weight quite substantially and actually getting full contraction acutally using my back muscles. I also had to do some chest stretches and work on my rounded shoulders doing corrective posture exercises
 

maldorf

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...and i even forgot another point on the extension... when you stop the weight at the bottom, you do not stop it when your leg is at 90* and the tension is gone, you stop it 110*-120* angle so it keeps all tension on the medialis

Constant tension on all lifts, even barbell. Something most guys don't do when they start out. Good thing you brought that up.
 

powerof2

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Definitely. I have fallen into this rut before. Chasing the bigger numbers all along losing focus on feelings the target muscle. Nice post.


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PitbullTank

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One thing i do for back that reallyyyyy helped me i attribute to watching Dusty and reading Dantes writing ....it is a few second pause in the fullyyy stretched position... i loveee this on hammer strength hi pulling machines...i will lose my back arch and let it pull amd strecth my lats maximum, then arch hard amd slam the elbows down/ back far as possible... no momentum...people sometimes think about controlling the negative, but also shouldnt be moving a weight so fast/explosively that its moving w momentum amd not muscle...
 

suppdude

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On any pulldown movement, the negative/eccentric + stretch at the top is far more important than the concentric motion.


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samson516

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Great post Pitbull and good tips from all the other posters as well. I especially agree with what Thethinker posted as well. If you stick with this game long enough and put in the tough training sessions over time...and really pay attention to how the exercises feel and how your body responds to them..you'll hopefully figure out what works for you individually. Like most of you, I've been training hard and consistent for 30+ yrs. Not always smart tho...lol. I'd say in the last 8-10 years I finally started listening to my body when it was trying to tell me certain exercises didn't feel right. Instead of just "powering thru" like i did in my younger days...and having my physique suffer for it...I've made adjustments. Some exercises I've been able to keep in my routines (with some mechanical tweaks) and others I've had to discard because they just don't work for me no matter how much i tweak my technique. My physique is better now than it's ever been...and I'm as orthopedically "sound" as I've ever been. No injuries (knock on wood)! If you're injured you can't train properly...and that f-in sucks!!
 

PitbullTank

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On any pulldown movement, the negative/eccentric + stretch at the top is far more important than the concentric motion.


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partial agreement brotha... the problem is a lot of people don't pull far enough down..... or they lose their back arch positioning when pulling releasing tension from lats.... orrr they usually have some type of body english leaning back as they get to about the 3/4 point, then try to like bring their chest back up to the attachment piece in a quick move as it comes down further to make them feel like they have pulled it from the top of the movement to top of the chest...you need to be able to pull down( or pull yourself up on a pull up) far enough where you can fully contract... elbows have to come back/down as far as possible while keeping a locked back arch
 

brocksamson

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"SUCCESSFUL MECHANICAL POSITIONS OF EXERCISES

In my opinion it has always been about putting yourself into a successful mechanical position...that is the beginning, the solution and the end to this bodybuilding puzzle. And then when you are in that proper "suited for your unique physique and structure" mechanical position....you get incredibly strong at that movement for reps over time and THAT IS WHAT CREATES INCREDIBLY LARGE MUSCLE MASS." --Dante

I try to think of this every time i'm loading up a bar or machine.
 

brutus69

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My mid and upper back has improved from lowering the weight quite substantially and actually getting full contraction acutally using my back muscles. I also had to do some chest stretches and work on my rounded shoulders doing corrective posture exercises

once i learned to think of pulldowns/ups and rows as a PUSH exercise, meaning imagining yr arms are bars and hands hooks attached to them...and ur using yr elbows to PUSH the weight back or down, trying to touch yr shoulder blades together....thats when i really felt the lats working.
 

rmtt

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"SUCCESSFUL MECHANICAL POSITIONS OF EXERCISES

In my opinion it has always been about putting yourself into a successful mechanical position...that is the beginning, the solution and the end to this bodybuilding puzzle. And then when you are in that proper "suited for your unique physique and structure" mechanical position....you get incredibly strong at that movement for reps over time and THAT IS WHAT CREATES INCREDIBLY LARGE MUSCLE MASS." --Dante

I try to think of this every time i'm loading up a bar or machine.

I agree with this. But it can have different applications. When doing a compound lift you want to be in the best position you can be to generate as much force as possible. For example with Deadlifts...you want to be lined up almost straight over the bar, arms close so that you are pulling in a straight line so to speak so that your body does not have to compensate by "aligning" itself during the movement.

But some exercises such as a preacher curl...you start with your elbows in front of you to facilitate the "pre-stretch" in the short head so that you get a good contraction at the top.

The best mechanical position can sometimes be very different depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Most newbie lifters look for ways to make an exercise easier...when they should be testing the waters and doing the opposite...trying to make it harder.

I always try to start a rep with the muscle in as much of a "pre-stretched" position as possible.
 

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