Any Gym Queens here?

I wouldn't put stock in almost anything Rippetoe says nowadays, the man has devolved into an idiot and his organisation SS has became a joke.

To qualify my statement to some degree, he and his acolytes continuously advocate embracing significant surplus calories/ subsequent obesity to drive mediocre gains in the barbell movements and he is simply immune to considering the view points of others, preferring instead to double down or dismiss others as trolls.
 
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Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Sore knees have meant I'm giving leg day a miss.

I think I might've been a bellend and have been lifting too heavy, too regularly and my knees are rebelling.

I'm 52-and-a-half.

I'm going lighter and higher reps. Not always, but mostly now.

You live, you learn.
Not as old as you, but also not as young as I was. I've been doing a lot more weights since getting Original Strength COVID(TM) in early 2020 which has played some havoc with my aerobic fitness ability.

Mostly confirmed that it's about injury avoidance / management rather than anything else, because regardless of whatever theoretical improvements you may be capable of, the downtime from even small injuries mean that, in practice, the major determinant of progress is whether you are injury free. It's the little niggles that develop into something more major that are the killer, particularly in hard-to-stretch places.

Other than flexibility, yoga etc, I've found that antagonistic training - ensuring you train 'equal and opposite' muscle groups - is the key factor to avoiding or managing injury. For example, I had/have a persistent trapezius / rhomboid area problem that was totally resistant to any fixes, until I mixed in a lot more 'push' type exercises into my predominantly 'pull' rowing program. Similar findings in climbing fitness, where you strengthen your fingers by doing 'stretch out' exercises as much as grip or hang exercises, and looking back I can see how it applies to things I've experienced comparing cycling/rowing and running ability too. Worth considering, it's been a major fitness revelation for me despite all the various years of military phys.
 
I'm hitting PB's that I thought were long gone. I'm 53 this month.

My biggest issue is I don't train consistently. I manage a pull and a push session once a week, so although I'm making gains, in hypertrophy and weight lifted, but I'm struggling to get more time in due to lack of free time or opportunity.

I also have this recurring Tennis elbow. Ironically it's not being exacerbated by the weights, it's at night due to a very flexed elbow position. I sleep with my forearms wedged high up against my upper arm and my hand skewed under my chin. I wake and the extensor tendon is really painful as it's been stretched to it's max for possibly hours. The pain goes away during the day, and doesn't really affect me in the gym.

I use wrist straps for RDL or DL and avoid dumbbells as much as possible to avoid straining the wrist. barbells give me more stability, although the trade off is a lack of symmetry.

I use a Theraband Flexbar to stretch/exercise the tendons, as advised by my physio for few years ago. It worked then, but I'm not seeing the effect so much this time.

Managing to Chest Dip like a champ, even though I'm carrying 95kg
 
Managing to Chest Dip like a champ, even though I'm carrying 95kg

Triceps dip is one of my strong points; I've even got a weight belt to add plates to; to make myself heavier.

Not keen on chest dips though; my shoulders don't seem to like it.

One area for improvement is my pull ups. I did some a few weeks back and managed to get five good form pull ups. That didn't seem a lot considering I'm fairly strong on the lat pull down machine.

Further investigation has led me to believe that there's not a good crossover from the lat pull down machine to pullups.

So I've binned the lat pull down machine and been doing pull ups on the pull up bar, followed by assisted pull ups on the TRX strap thingies.

I can now do 8!!! Just; that last rep I counted probably wouldn't be counted by a PTI.

I'd like to be able to do 20 non-stop, good form pull ups by the end of the year.
 
Triceps dip is one of my strong points; I've even got a weight belt to add plates to; to make myself heavier.

Not keen on chest dips though; my shoulders don't seem to like it.

One area for improvement is my pull ups. I did some a few weeks back and managed to get five good form pull ups. That didn't seem a lot considering I'm fairly strong on the lat pull down machine.

Further investigation has led me to believe that there's not a good crossover from the lat pull down machine to pullups.

So I've binned the lat pull down machine and been doing pull ups on the pull up bar, followed by assisted pull ups on the TRX strap thingies.

I can now do 8!!! Just; that last rep I counted probably wouldn't be counted by a PTI.

I'd like to be able to do 20 non-stop, good form pull ups by the end of the year.

I'm struggling with Pull-Up's, have neve really put any effort in the past

To improve, I'm doing, and in no particular order (I'm 95kg)
80kg Cable Lat Pulldown 4 x 10
Standing Straight arm Cable Pullover 4 X 10 @ 30Kg
EZ Bar Bicep Curl 6 X 10 @ 38kg, narrow grip and wide grip
Hammer curls 4 x 10 @ 12Kg each hand
some other stuff too

I pulled both my Brachialis muscles several years ago, and also with a sever Tennis Elbow, meant I took a whole year off the weights. I'm still scared to weight up my arms in case I get injured again. It wasn't nice and affected every day life.

I can do 6 x Band assisted pull-up's, but haven't ventured to do any unassisted. It's probably my ego, having my legs flailing about or struggling to get my head up to the bar that' stopping me.


I may have a try this week
 
If by tracking, you mean my knees collapsing inwards; they don't. I have a bit of 'butt wink' if I go too low so I tend to go no lower than slightly below parallel.

When no-one's around in the gym, I'm sad enough to have video'd my squats, to check form.

Right. Outwards or turning in/out would also be bad. Doesn't matter if they point outwards as in a sumo deadlift, so long as the whole leg does.
 
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Scorcher68

War Hero
I wouldn't put stock in almost anything Rippetoe says nowadays, the man has devolved into an idiot and his organisation SS has became a joke.

To qualify my statement to some degree, he and his acolytes continuously advocate embracing significant surplus calories/ subsequent obesity to drive mediocre gains in the barbell movements and he is simply immune to considering the view points of others, preferring instead to double down or dismiss others as trolls.

Never been a fan .
 
I saw that a while back.

I think weight lifting systems are a bit like dieting systems as in there's no 'one best way'; they all work though some might be more effective than others, but the most effective one is the one you stick to.
Certainly agree with that. I need to get back into it and find one that I enjoy.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
I'm struggling with Pull-Up's, have neve really put any effort in the past

To improve, I'm doing, and in no particular order (I'm 95kg)
80kg Cable Lat Pulldown 4 x 10
Standing Straight arm Cable Pullover 4 X 10 @ 30Kg
EZ Bar Bicep Curl 6 X 10 @ 38kg, narrow grip and wide grip
Hammer curls 4 x 10 @ 12Kg each hand
some other stuff too

I pulled both my Brachialis muscles several years ago, and also with a sever Tennis Elbow, meant I took a whole year off the weights. I'm still scared to weight up my arms in case I get injured again. It wasn't nice and affected every day life.

I can do 6 x Band assisted pull-up's, but haven't ventured to do any unassisted. It's probably my ego, having my legs flailing about or struggling to get my head up to the bar that' stopping me.


I may have a try this week
As a general pointer, as someone who has been disproportionately good at pull-ups, climbs etc, has never been massively strong in the biceps, but has a strong back and shoulders: it's not about the biceps, it's about the back. This applies to both hands out and in.

Try doing some normal style deadlifts + chin lifts and bar rows instead of the curls, it should help you more. Once you can do sets of multiple rep pull-ups, you can go back to the curls to improve bicep specific strength.

Trying to improve pull-ups by focusing on the biceps is like trying to improve squats by focusing on your calves.
 
I've always been great at tricep dips.

But still on 8 pull ups. Maybe 7. I shouldn't count that last one; it's slow and there might be kicking involved.

I'm doing pull ups (3 to 5 sets)followed by assisted pull ups of 3 to 5 sets (TRX straps, assisted by my legs, but it's a similar movement pattern, so should have a good cross over).

I also do barbell bent over rows; a lightish weight/higher rep kind though, for good form and mind/muscle connection.

I'm hoping to do 8 pull ups this afternoon in the gym. 9 would be even better.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
I've always been great at tricep dips.

But still on 8 pull ups. Maybe 7. I shouldn't count that last one; it's slow and there might be kicking involved.

I'm doing pull ups (3 to 5 sets)followed by assisted pull ups of 3 to 5 sets (TRX straps, assisted by my legs, but it's a similar movement pattern, so should have a good cross over).

I also do barbell bent over rows; a lightish weight/higher rep kind though, for good form and mind/muscle connection.

I'm hoping to do 8 pull ups this afternoon in the gym. 9 would be even better.
It's always important to understand why you are having difficulty or plateauing. There are two basic reasons: compound or single muscle weakness. With single muscle exercises, it's common to substitute the compound muscle group (particularly if it starts stronger), such as a concentration curl that engages the back and shoulder. With compound exercises, a strong single muscle can lead to underdevelopment of the rest of the muscle group (like squats that only engage quads), because that single muscle will do most of the work. Your body will favour the easiest and strongest route if you aren't technically rigorous.

How much this affects the exercise, and how to fix it, depends on you and the exercise:
  • Single muscle exercise, single muscle weakness: be rigorous about technique, keep working at it mixing up weights and repetitions.
  • Single muscle exercise, compound weakness: unstable platform exercises (like TRX) or cut the exercise in favour of complimentary exercises that use the rest of the muscle group.
  • Compound exercise, single muscle weakness: temporarily replace with a single muscle exercise.
  • Compound exercise, compound weakness: do isometric holds, reverse tension (i.e. assist to 'up' pullup position and tension down), light weight unstable platform exercises, and antagonistic exercises.
TRX and unstable exercises are good because they engage a whole load of muscles that will otherwise be overwritten by the strongest muscle or group, forcing them to work. For the same reason, it's a bad idea to do them with a lot of weight.

Isometric holds do much the same thing: they encourage engaging all muscles, and rapidly switch from one engaged muscle to another (usually without noticing, but focus on it next time you do a long plank and you'll see).

Antagonistic exercises work on a simple balance and support principle: if you've got a strong supporting muscle or group to the one you are exercising, you are more able to tolerate fatigue in the muscle being exercised.

The basic observation is that your body works best when all muscles are in balance - this doesn't mean the same size and strength, but relative to each other. The trick is working out exactly why you are having difficulty with the current exercise, at least, before you develop and injury and it becomes obvious.
 
I've always been great at tricep dips.

But still on 8 pull ups. Maybe 7. I shouldn't count that last one; it's slow and there might be kicking involved.

I'm doing pull ups (3 to 5 sets)followed by assisted pull ups of 3 to 5 sets (TRX straps, assisted by my legs, but it's a similar movement pattern, so should have a good cross over).

I also do barbell bent over rows; a lightish weight/higher rep kind though, for good form and mind/muscle connection.

I'm hoping to do 8 pull ups this afternoon in the gym. 9 would be even better.
Athlean X did a vid with tips that helped me to improve my pull ups, as I recall;
1, do not stand under the bar, stand about 8 inches away from it
2, concentrate on keeping your core tight, point your toes away
3, keep hands shoulder width apart on the bar, do NOT wrap your thumb around the bar, keep it inline with your hand and fingers, thus will stop you engaging your forearm
4, when you pull up squeeze your hands towards each other, this engages your chest and assists


These tips helped me a lot, currently doung sets of 12 clean, and 6 or 7 with a 10kg plate
 
Athlean X did a vid with tips that helped me to improve my pull ups, as I recall;
1, do not stand under the bar, stand about 8 inches away from it
2, concentrate on keeping your core tight, point your toes away
3, keep hands shoulder width apart on the bar, do NOT wrap your thumb around the bar, keep it inline with your hand and fingers, thus will stop you engaging your forearm
4, when you pull up squeeze your hands towards each other, this engages your chest and assists


These tips helped me a lot, currently doung sets of 12 clean, and 6 or 7 with a 10kg plate

Cheers, I'll give that a go, though I think I already do 1 and 3 already. No 4 sounds interesting.
 
As a general pointer, as someone who has been disproportionately good at pull-ups, climbs etc, has never been massively strong in the biceps, but has a strong back and shoulders: it's not about the biceps, it's about the back. This applies to both hands out and in.

Try doing some normal style deadlifts + chin lifts and bar rows instead of the curls, it should help you more. Once you can do sets of multiple rep pull-ups, you can go back to the curls to improve bicep specific strength.

Trying to improve pull-ups by focusing on the biceps is like trying to improve squats by focusing on your calves.

Perhaps you did miss the bit where I highlighted a few of my back regime exercises? Was it when you were assuming I did nothing but Bicep curls?
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Perhaps you did miss the bit where I highlighted a few of my back regime exercises? Was it when you were assuming I did nothing but Bicep curls?

80kg Cable Lat Pulldown 4 x 10
Standing Straight arm Cable Pullover 4 X 10 @ 30Kg
EZ Bar Bicep Curl 6 X 10 @ 38kg, narrow grip and wide grip
Hammer curls 4 x 10 @ 12Kg each hand
some other stuff too

Yes, but that's still 50% curls, and I'm not sure the standing pullover is doing a great deal for pullups. I was suggesting you do still more back exercises.

Think about it like this: it's an exercise which is 75% back and 25% biceps, but (I'm leaving out the pullover because I think it's unlikely to be doing much) you're doing 67% biceps and 33% back. Perhaps you are doing all sorts of other stuff, but you didn't include that in your post.
 
Yes, but that's still 50% curls, and I'm not sure the standing pullover is doing a great deal for pullups. I was suggesting you do still more back exercises.

Think about it like this: it's an exercise which is 75% back and 25% biceps, but (I'm leaving out the pullover because I think it's unlikely to be doing much) you're doing 67% biceps and 33% back. Perhaps you are doing all sorts of other stuff, but you didn't include that in your post.

I do a multitude of back exercises. Dead lifts, shrugs, hanging Scapula retraction, Rotator cuff exercises, and others. My weakest part are my Biceps. mostly due the explanation above.

I still have a Tennis elbow (LH) which often impedes some wrist work, but I'm taking it easy.

I would like to do some unassisted Pull-up's but I'm not going make it a priority
 
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