The New Gym Equipment

I was in the new B Fit today, ( Balleys) new spinoff. It is all new with the latest equipment. I will give it an A+ for cleanliness. But the isolation machines are made to hold up a cement truck. Well I should say the movable benches could!! as well. Not to mention they are way too high to be a safe product to get a firm footing for any pressing moves. I do not know why these are made now in this fashion. I was dumb bell pressing and it was very awkward due to the fact I could not place my feet flat on the floor, I am average 5′ 11″. This is dangerous and could result in injury,,back to the weight of the benches they are very heavy, to a point that I do believe some people could not lift one end to roll it to where they need. So WAY over kill on bench make-weight. Cable cross over stanchion was nice the choice of weight to use is by flipping a switch which was hard to decipher which weight you have.  A lot of the handles on the isolation machines were big enough for Andre the giant to wrap his fingers around ,,I could see this a problem for folks with smaller hands. OK  the power rack,,,AHHHH the new power racks! well I can say one thing, They are being built-in a fashion to distract serious lifting,,of course my favorite DEAD LIFTS ( I do All mine in a power rack ) They are now building these with the bottom support cross members high enough that the bar bell hits it before any plate bottom does.. This really is bad and takes away from a good power rack,,where it is a STAPLE in building!!.  So what do they have to supplement this?? An Olympic station which has the fat Olympic rubber plates. So only good for Olympic style lifters. Olympic plates are 45 lbs but about 3 inches wide so you can only get about 3 on each end of a bar bell.  Dumb Bells only to 80 lbs.

B Fit is pretty nice and you can get a good enough workout there. But be aware of these new style machines, you will know my frustrations as well.  Call me old school , because I am. I think the older machines particularly the Hammer Strength are tops.

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Lunk Alarm Unjust?

I think all of us that like fitness know where we would like to be in accomplishing our goals.  I most certainly would not join Planet fitness because of the fact that it does not have the equipment that I or other powerlifter/bodybuilders seek.  And of course the members of Planet fitness desire not to be at a hardcore gym and are happy to be in the Planet Fitness environment.   Hence if I did go on a day pass to Planet Fitness in a town where it was the only one available, I know I would not portray the LUNK as they say and harass the customers. And I am sure 99.9% of us would not be characterized as such in their commercial.  I personally have not encountered these individuals.  I find Planet Fitness’s commercial somewhat offensive and highly misleading about the powerlifing and bodybuilding community.

I wanted to get this out and see if any of you see it the same way?

No more big bench

No more big bench presses for me.  Since my torn pec problem two years ago I have been limited to cables and hammer strength.  But its getting the job done.  I am still seeing a massage therapist which has helped tremendously.  I also turned 47 today and it does make a difference in strength, my size is staying about the same.  I have cut down on the weight in my dead-lifts from 605 for reps to 510 and down to 425 for reps.  Squats I am 525 for reps on the smith machine and 415 for reps in the rack.

The pec tear was a huge offset,(it was a 2 inch tear), but I am grateful for the big dumbbells and bench I got before it happened.  I can do up to 100 lbs dumbbells now, but it is awkward to say the least.  I still have  a small dimpled peck area when flexing but it is usually unnoticeable at a relaxed stance.

The scary thing about these tears are the fact that I never had any indications of it coming on.  I felt strong and normal with good presses, the only thing that I could say is I was using the hand made bar that made the weights wobbly and I think my arm got to much outside of a safe zone of stability.  BUT I have heard of muscle tears regardless of proper form.

I would highly recommend warming up the muscles.  I do cable to pump the blood into the muscles before any free press weights.

Ladies and gentlemen our journey in the iron asylum is a hard goal with years of pain and sweat.  It is all worth it.

I cannot stay away from it, injuries or not.

Just use your brain as the first muscle to flex in judging your progress without going beyond something not rational to safety.

Good luck stay safe.

UPDATE

Hello everyone. It has been some time since I have posted on my Blog. I am sorry for those following my blog on Blogger for I just got done moving it and closing some Google accounts. I hope that you have found the new web address.  The WordPress one has not changed. I am still in the lifting world. Setting no goals, I have just maintained and in some lifts reduced the amount. I will be turning 47 soon. I do not want to tear anymore muscles or get injured in any way. Though my mind loves the heavy lifting, and I continue to lift hardcore I notice my body talking to me to ease off some days .  I am great full for meeting my goals and sometimes exceeding them. My pectoral tear is still healing to some degree. I do notice being a little stronger. It will never be the same as I accept it and happy to still be able to lift. The imprint of the tear is still there and it is still awkward to do bench or dumb bells but I can still do them.

Today was leg day

315X12 warm up Smith machine
415X10
525X10
525X10
Leg press
1200X12
1200X10
1200X9
1200X9
Walking Dumbell Lunges
90X2
85X2
80X2
85X2

Pec tear update

One of the best gifts I received from my wife was an hour massage from a therapist in town that is recommended.  I have been four times now and this person has done more for helping to restore and heal my torn pec than anyplace else. She can move muscle back into place as she found on out in my upper bicep area that I was unaware of. Since it is back in place my bicep is more proportionate and I have gained strength there as well. I wish that I would have been to this treatment earlier in my injury, but happy to have some needed recovery that is noticeable.  I am able to do dips comfortably< I have not tried weighted ones yet.  Wide grip pull ups are sometimes uncomfortable still.  I would recommend to those who have had a pec tear or other muscle tear to see a massage therapist after you see your sports doctor.   Earlier I went to a chiropractor for Active Release Treatment. (ART). I thought it promising to some degree but the massage therapist is showing results to my severe tear.

 

I decided to take a week off lifting upper body. I have stepped up cardio workouts. I did do squats yesterday, following with leg presses and FST 7 on the leg extensions to finish off a quality workout.

 

Power rack squats

1X 315 12 reps warm up

1X 510  10 reps

1X 510  8 reps

1X 495  6 reps

1X 405  10 reps

Leg press

1X  1100 12 reps

1X 1200 10 reps

1X  1200 10 reps

Leg raises

1X 200 12 reps

1X 190  12 reps

1X  170 8 reps

1X  180 10reps

1X 170 10 reps

1X  190 8 reps

1X 180 10 reps

no more than 30 sec rest between leg raises.

 

 

Today I will be doing more cardio on the stair climber or step climber as I feel this is good equipment in a more vertical redundant to your body weight pacing your heart rate up in a good manner. Compared to the cross trainer or as some would call “elliptical” you are using more centrifugal  force forward and denying a good quality heart rate elevation.

 

Pec tear on 3-10-2011

Good luck in your workouts and keep the challenge up.

Why Deadlift?

 

What Is The Deadlift?

 

Simply put the deadlift is a weight training exercise where you lift a weight (barbell, trapbar, dumbell, stone, keg, sandbag, etc) off the ground starting in a bent-over position and ending in an upright position. It is one of the three basic powerlifting lifts, and is arguably the greatest muscle building and strength producing exercise you can do. It is personall y my favorite lift.

 

Muscle Worked

The Deadlift is considered a compound movement, meaning it involves movement at several joints thus working several muscle groups. The deadlift could be said to work the entire body (ever look at someone deadlifting, are there any muscles not flexing?), but it does give more stimulus to certain groups of muscles. The primary muscles worked in this lift are the hamstrings, gluteals, quadriceps, trapezius, and the psoas. All the other major muscles in your body are used in stabilization.

Benefits Of Deadlifting

  1. Efficiency, Maximum Muscle, Minimum Movement
  2. Arguably the greatest strength builder out there.
  3. Great exercise for injury prevention, strong backs and hamstrings provide protection against many injuries.
  4. Bragging rights. So few people actually deadlift anymore that you will quickly become stronger than most people you know.
  5. Builds confidence. It feels amazing to know you can lift a heavy weight of the  floor. Strange but true.
  6. Requires very little space.(Good if you workout in a small room or cluttered basement)
  7. Doesn’t require any fancy equipment.
  8. Strenght built from deadlifting translates to many other exercises.
  9. Greater Energy. I know this would seem to be a unlikely benefit from a strength movement, but a stronger body is a more energetic body.
  10. A great cardiovascular workout! What? It’s true. Doing deadlifts in a high repetition fashion is an amazing cardiovascular exercise. Don’t believe me? Try doing 3 set of 20 repetitions with a moderately heavy weight(moderately heavy for you). If you’re not huffing and puffing like you just ran 10 sprints I’ll eat my words.

Tips On Technique

When bending down to grasp the bar you should keep the following points in mind:

  • Look straight ahead or slighty up.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Squat down till your legs are slightly above parallel.
  • Will vary, but torso should be roughly 45 degrees to your thighs.
  • Feet shoulder width apart.
  • Arms slightly outside your knees.
  • Bar should be around 2″ (give or take according to your biomechanics) in front of your shins.

Torn Pectoral Update

Its has been a year since my severe pectoral tear and I have been able to get back much of my strength but not 100%. I still have the noticeable dimple if I flex the pecs. No pain but some discomfort still when I do dips or flys. I have stopped Active release Treatments and now going to a full hour of massage appointments. The therapist is very good and placed a muscle that was out of place due to this injury.  I am doing follow up appointments. I use a golf ball to roll and drag upon the tear area to loosen up the scar tissue. I am hoping on one more year to full recovery but my expectations aren’t as high.  I was comfortably pressing 150 lb dumbells before this and now I am up to 100 to 110. But it feels uncomfortable and weak and I do not want any more injury. I have been dialing back my heavy weight moves, I just want to continue a life in the gym than injuries that will hinder my routines.   So all of you please train smart and know that you can still challenge yourself over time to make your personal bests.

 

Do You Want A Big Bench Press?

Then you’re probably determined to get one. It’s that same determination that will be your struggle. The more you want it, the harder you want to work and the longer you want to stay in the gym. This is going to lead to overtraining which will stunt any strength gains you’ve made and delay any dreams of an even bigger bench.

How do you know if you’re at risk of overtraining? If you feel run down after a workout, notice that you aren’t making any gains, you always do forced reps, you’re not getting enough rest, your diet stinks, you have a bad attitude or you aren’t motivated you’re probably overtraining. Insomnia is another big sign. Put it this way, if a weight continually feels heavier than normal, chances are you haven’t gotten weaker, you just haven’t recovered from previous workouts.

There are three distinct stages of metabolism. The first is a state of equilibrium easily described as the fully recovered state where energy is neither being depleted and tissue is not being damaged or repaired. The second stage is catabolism. Catabolism is the stage you are in during a workout. Energy is being depleted and muscle tissue is being damaged. Your goals should be to keep catabolism in the gym, but many people that overtrain keep this stage going long after their workouts end and lose hard-earned muscle tissue to help the recovery.

Finally the stage that usually doesn’t get much of a chance to kick in before we’re back in the gym for another session. The third stage is anabolism where energy is restored and tissue damage is being repaired. So after you lift you want to heal and reach a state of homeostasis,but instead many of us are back in the gym tearing our muscles and using energy when we haven’t even let the muscle fully recover from the previous workout. Never lift a muscle group that is still sore. I know it’s difficult but sometimes more isn’t better.

There is always the urge to overtrain thinking that if we just work harder the gains will come. How do we resist the urge? First off lets think, quality not quantity. If you lift each muscle group only once a week and spend less than 1 hr in the gym you’re on the right path. Although you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the gym the time spent must be intense.

Every single exercise and rep should be performed with a passion and you will accomplish more in 45 minutes than most people do in two hours. If you are truly pushing yourself you should be exhausted at the end of the workout. After tearing your body apart, do you think it’s going to be ready to do it again in two to three days? I think not, try at least a week.

So all you benchers out there if you’re lifting heavy, workout after workout make sure that the reason you hit a plateau is not that you are trying too often. Let your body recover, heal, and grow before you start ripping it up again. When you hit each body part several times a week you don’t really try as hard because you know you’ll get another shot at it in a week. When you only lift each body part once per week you develop a sense of urgency.

You know you better lift hard because you won’t get another chance to train it again for a week. Then as the week passes by you find yourself looking forward to your next chest day. Anyone that thinks they might be overtraining take a couple of days off and go back to the gym revived and motivated with the determination to train smarter and harder.

Mike Westerdal is the President of Critical Bench, Inc. He earned his BS from Central CT State University and holds certification as a personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Westerdal also has experience coaching and playing professional football. His articles are published throughout the Web and in numerous weight lifting magazines including Monster Muscle. His best RAW bench press is currently 450 lbs. He is the author of the Critical Bench Program which can be found at www.criticalbench.com

Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas season and have your gift shopping done and gym memberships up to date.  I have been backing off the real heavy lifting and sticking with the moderate poundage for gains.  I have met my goals in weight and since my pec tear injury I have decided to back off a little.  I am still keeping my size for almost 46 yrs old and satisfied. BUT I am going to try and cut a little in the mid section.  My deadlifts a squats have always been heavy with gains in the hips and my wifes good cooking shows how well I like to eat!.  Thats the hard part for me is a diet and cardio which is fundamental to leaning out in those areas.  We have a new bodybuilding season coming up.  I do not know if I am going to do any shows.  Right now I am just having fun lifting weights and changing up my routines and using different approaches to building muscle.  I am looking forward to the upcoming powerlifting season. The new year will unleash a new round of up and coming powerlifters both men and women.  North port Chad Walker (shw) from North Port Barbell Squatted 1080, benched 750 and deadlifted 800lbs at the SPF Outlaws meet in Tampa, Florida. His 2630 total will move him up to #4 (Mp) tied
on powerlifting watch (current) lifter rankings.
Here is the footage of his lifts.

Suzanne Prusnek, ranked #5 in the 165 pound womens raw, and #3 in the womens Masters, brought home two gold medals, the 1st place trophy in the womens raw masters, and a second place trophy in the raw open womens division. She set three new world records for her weight class and age division, and broke two American records for her weight class and age. At 55 years old, she was the oldest woman in the competition. Here are some of her lifts:

These are just a few of the athlete’s and are sure to succeed in added achievements.  I have been following Kameron Ross here in my area he is an up and coming powerlifter with a wealth of determination.  I am confident he will go far in this sport.

Everyone have a good and safe holiday season.