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Training the muscle vs mastering the exercise

xpoc

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I found a great vid today that really hit home for me. I am a former competitive powerlifter (moderate local success at best). My primary goal in life was to move the weight from point A to point B as fast as possible. And even more so, to make that happen in the SQ/BP/DL. I used to think that bodybuilders were mirror athletes. Like a Hollywood facade. Sure they looked strong but could not back it up in the gym. I was surprised to see how many of them used decent, but generally unimpressive poundages when training. I used to walk around all proud that I was using more weight on the squat than the biggest dudes in the gym despite having thin legs.

About 6 years ago I had a paradigm shift. I had just set PR's in all my lifts as a 43 year old "natty" but at the same time was dealing with a near crippling spinal injury. I walked into the gym to a few handshakes and congrats on my most recent meet. The young girl working the front desk told me she could not believe how strong I was considering my size. That was when the switch flipped in my brain. Why was I risking my long term health and ability to WALK as an advanced adult just to add a few more pounds to my deadlift or squat? Why was I risking not being able to one day hold my grandkids in order to put another 25lbs on my max BP. I think some people didn't even know I lifted seriously UNTIL they saw me in the gym. All that work, risk, dedication for a few minutes on a platform as a recreational powerlifter??? Sure I loved that it was a largely objective competition whereas bodybuilding was subjective, but I had not plans to compete as a bodybuilder. I simply wanted to look better and FEEL GOOD.

It was at that point I really focused on training the MUSCLE and not the movement. I increased my rep range 3-4 fold. I used to to sets of 3-4-5 ....I turned that into 15-20-30. I focused on squeezing, stretching and pumping my muscles. I used a fraction of the weight I previously used. Result? I gained 18 lbs. of pure muscle in a couple years as a "natty." That is a LOT considering I had been lifting steadily for the 25 years prior to that. Between the ages 44-47 I gained a lot of pure muscle, looked much better, got way more compliments than ever....no change to diet or supplements etc. Only thing I changed was the WAY I trained. I wish I saw this video 25 years ago during my peak years because I am sure I would have another 10lbs of muscle on me and a healthy spine. (Note: I do not necessarily regret my powerlifting days, but I have to tell you my spine certainly does.)


I am not a fan of any particular bodybuilder one way or another but I really love the message sent here as I feel he is SPOT ON:
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkQXIN8u8d4"]Kai Greene's Advice To The Ego Lifters In The Gym - YouTube[/ame]
 
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tenny

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I understand your paradigm shift.....and that this is different
from powerlifting....

but I must say....this is 3rd grade bodybuilding 101....

musclemeds puts these vids out to sucker those 13 to 18yo kids
into buying their supps....

this video is absolutely common sense....

I did find it interesting that Kai couldn't go 5 secs without looking at
himself in the mirror...

:cool:
 

ferd

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I'm a really old timer. I remember, in the early 80's, Tom Platz was guest poser at my first contest. My wife was asst. manager at the gym that sponsored the contest. We were both friends with the gym owner. After the contest there was a dinner at a local restaurant. We sat at the table with Tom Platz. He remarked that he was eating all he could and tipped the scales at 235 and his trainer Eric Stern would be happy. Tom arrived with a small suitcase full of leg training manuals and left with a suitcase full of cash. He was the nicest guy you could ever meet.
One comment he made during that dinner that stuck with me. Obviously he had no problem with leg development. Biceps were another thing. To solve that problem, he did this. EACH BICEP WORKOUT, he took a pair of 20lb. dumbbells and went to a corner, faced that corner and without distractions, concentrated on his biceps. Mind/muscle. Aside from his legs, he developed a great pair of biceps.
 

xpoc

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I understand your paradigm shift.....and that this is different
from powerlifting....

but I must say....this is 3rd grade bodybuilding 101....

musclemeds puts these vids out to sucker those 13 to 18yo kids
into buying their supps....

this video is absolutely common sense....

I did find it interesting that Kai couldn't go 5 secs without looking at
himself in the mirror...

:cool:

I will take the counter point on this (bold above). There are many out there who believe that progression and beating the book are the keys to hypertrophy and not necessarily "training the muscle" as you describe as 3rd grade bodybuilding 101. For example: what muscle do you feel during a deadlift? But if you continuously progress by using more weight I am sure you will get bigger. I am not arguing against that, especially for a young guy.

But at my "advanced" age, and the fact that I believe I had reached my genetic limits when it came to "strength" and the ability to add more LBS to my lifts I had to reassess. Adding strength was essentially out. So I focused on training the muscle. My message is....if you have been training the movement for years and you change to focusing on the muscle, you might have some growth potential left. I tapped into close to 20 lbs at an "advanced" age by doing this.

Keep in mind I am a guy who as a teenager used to drive to Santa Monica and Venice to watch the Barbarian Brothers, Tom Platz and the SoCal crew train so I have been around a while. To think I could add almost 20 lbs of muscle AND save my joints in my mid-late-40's as a "natty" with mediocre genetics is noteworthy for those in my demographic. The video explains it better than I can.
 

tenny

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I will take the counter point on this (bold above). There are many out there who believe that progression and beating the book are the keys to hypertrophy and not necessarily "training the muscle" as you describe as 3rd grade bodybuilding 101. For example: what muscle do you feel during a deadlift? But if you continuously progress by using more weight I am sure you will get bigger. I am not arguing against that, especially for a young guy.

But at my "advanced" age, and the fact that I believe I had reached my genetic limits when it came to "strength" and the ability to add more LBS to my lifts I had to reassess. Adding strength was essentially out. So I focused on training the muscle. My message is....if you have been training the movement for years and you change to focusing on the muscle, you might have some growth potential left. I tapped into close to 20 lbs at an "advanced" age by doing this.

Keep in mind I am a guy who as a teenager used to drive to Santa Monica and Venice to watch the Barbarian Brothers, Tom Platz and the SoCal crew train so I have been around a while. To think I could add almost 20 lbs of muscle AND save my joints in my mid-late-40's as a "natty" with mediocre genetics is noteworthy for those in my demographic. The video explains it better than I can.
yes I agree....to the bolded statement....
its just too bad you finally learned this at your "advanced" level....

and no one cares who you worshiped as a child...teen or adult...
name dropping doesn't help the fact, that you are finally learning
BEGINNER techniques.....

:)
 

xpoc

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yes I agree....to the bolded statement....
its just too bad you finally learned this at your "advanced" level....

and no one cares who you worshiped as a child...teen or adult...
name dropping doesn't help the fact, that you are finally learning
BEGINNER techniques.....

:)
I see guys my age all the time trying to add more iron to the bar when ultimately that might not be the answer. Conversely, some guys like you have it all figured out...congrats. I will be pulling for you in the Mr O this year!
:)
 

tenny

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I see guys my age all the time trying to add more iron to the bar when ultimately that might not be the answer. Conversely, some guys like you have it all figured out...congrats. I will be pulling for you in the Mr O this year!
:)
doesn't take "Mr.O" to know that ego lifting is for high school kids....
TUT...hypertrophy...HIIT are "advanced" techniques.....

like I said.....sorry you are JUST NOW figuring this out....

:)
 

xpoc

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doesn't take "Mr.O" to know that ego lifting is for high school kids....
TUT...hypertrophy...HIIT are "advanced" techniques.....

like I said.....sorry you are JUST NOW figuring this out....

:)
thank you for your condolences.
 

tenny

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your welcome...!!!!

be safe...

and smart.

:)
 

tenny

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I'm actually just breaking your balls alittle....:D

the "beginner section" is where this belongs though...

I'm really happy for you that you are seeing things in
a better light...

log books are for 20yos....progressive overload is a good
tool to build a solid base....

look at the vids better.....youll see the 20somethings still doing it...Dallas.
doing PRs....ect...

then watch the older guys....Dex...just trying to push what he pushed
10 years ago....

:)
 

concreter

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Worst thing is being very strong and not looking like it!!!
Welcome to the other side....Finally.
Post-a-pic I would love to see 18lbs of new pure muscle in 1yr...
 

tokon

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" . . . I gained 18 lbs. of pure muscle in a couple years as a "natty." That is a LOT considering I had been lifting steadily for the 25 years prior to that. Between the ages 44-47 I gained a lot of pure muscle . . . "

Concreter - reads like a 2-3year period? Still good results for mid-40s natty IMO?

Tbh I'm not sure why you guys are busting the OP's balls on this, he's just offering some prqactical insights/advice that some here might find helpful.

Congratulations XPOC on some admirable results and thanks for posting.
 

xpoc

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" . . . I gained 18 lbs. of pure muscle in a couple years as a "natty." That is a LOT considering I had been lifting steadily for the 25 years prior to that. Between the ages 44-47 I gained a lot of pure muscle . . . "

Concreter - reads like a 2-3year period? Still good results for mid-40s natty IMO?

Tbh I'm not sure why you guys are busting the OP's balls on this, he's just offering some prqactical insights/advice that some here might find helpful.

Congratulations XPOC on some admirable results and thanks for posting.
Correct...way more than a year. Did my last PL meet in 2011 at age 43 and weighed 175. Last week at age 48 I weighed just under 195, close to as lean as before (I am 5'7"). So that is actually a 5.5 year period. Not pumped in either pic...I am NOT a competitive bodybuilder etc. Never competed in bb only PL (which is why I look on the blocky side). So that is a near 20lbs difference from the age of 43 to 48 which I am pretty happy with. AND my importantly I saved my joints by changing my rep range and focusing on the muscle instead of the movement.



 
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