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    Default Load the muscle not the bar...

    Since 2009, I’ve written many words on this forum;however one aspect of training I’ve always emphasised was and still is the psychology of training. I believe not enough thought is given to this essential element of our training, the thought of how we ought to approach our training.

    If your goal it to make the weight go up instead of effectively working your muscles, then by all means focus on loading that bar and going for it. However if you think of training as something you do to your muscles with the weight, instead of something you do to the weight with your muscles, then (and only then), you would go far on your way to building some serious muscle.


    Perhaps some are not convinced of what I’ve just written above, arguing (maybe) that moving heavy weights or using a certain amount of repetitions is vital to ensuring muscle growth. Again here we see the focus has been shifted onto the load and volume instead of applied effort by the muscles themselves. Let me see if I can illustrate my point for you further.


    If you were to take a weight and begin to do a barbell curl with it, only to stop at the midway range position, where the tension on the biceps is at its maximum capacity, here you’d find that the bar is mechanically moving neither up or down, but has rather been held statically by the effort your biceps are applying onto that weight, preventing it from being pulled down by gravity. As time ticks away and the seconds increase in their count, you’d find that even though the weight on that bar has not increased, your effort in maintaining it in a motionless state has increased, causing metabolic stress and other factors that go to enhance your muscular development.


    No, the above was not some prescription to a new way of working out (even though static holds as such do have their place in bodybuilding), however the sole purpose of my example was to simply illustrate to you that our main objective here is not how many repetitions you perform, but rather how you perform each of your repetition.

    Thank you for reading.
    Last edited by Fadi; 24-09-2016 at 07:24 PM.
    1984 Age 18, BW 73kg: FS195kg, BS200kg, 162.5 3x10, PC 140kg, C&J 160kg. 1987 Age 22, BW 77kg BS 130kg x20, 120kg x50.





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    Fadi, I believe by now this is common knowledge among the weightlifting community. I would at least hope so.
    As you mention, some have different goals and if you're strength training you're worried less about the contraction and more so about moving the weight.
    Those doing hypertrophy training should be more focused on the technique you speak of.

    I myself try to get the best of both worlds if I can.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fadi View Post
    Since 2009, I’ve written many words on this forum;however one aspect of training I’ve always emphasised was and still is the psychology of training. I believe not enough thought is given to this essential element of our training, the thought of how we ought to approach our training.

    If your goal it to make the weight go up instead of effectively working your muscles, then by all means focus on loading that bar and going for it. However if you think of training as something you do to your muscles with the weight, instead of something you do to the weight with your muscles, then (and only then), you would go far on your way to building some serious muscle.


    Perhaps some are not convinced of what I’ve just written above, arguing (maybe) that moving heavy weights or using a certain amount of repetitions is vital to ensuring muscle growth. Again here we see the focus has been shifted onto the load and volume instead of applied effort by the muscles themselves. Let me see if I can illustrate my point for you further.


    If you were to take a weight and begin to do a barbell curl with it, only to stop at the midway range position, where the tension on the biceps is at its maximum capacity, here you’d find that the bar is mechanically moving neither up or down, but has rather been held statically by the effort your biceps are applying onto that weight, preventing it from being pulled down by gravity. As time ticks away and the seconds increase in their count, you’d find that even though the weight on that bar has not increased, your effort in maintaining it in a motionless state has increased, causing metabolic stress and other factors that go to enhance your muscular development.


    No, the above was not some prescription to a new way of working out (even though static holds as such do have their place in bodybuilding), however the sole purpose of my example was to simply illustrate to you that our main objective here is not how many repetitions you perform, but rather how you perform each of your repetition.

    Thank you for reading.
    give some examples of how this is done, in a practical sense please fadi.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Puggy View Post
    Fadi, I believe by now this is common knowledge among the weightlifting community. I would at least hope so.
    As you mention, some have different goals and if you're strength training you're worried less about the contraction and more so about moving the weight.
    Those doing hypertrophy training should be more focused on the technique you speak of.

    I myself try to get the best of both worlds if I can.
    I hear what you're saying Puggy. Even though you say it's common knowledge, it's exactly the bodybuilding community that (I believe) falls short when it comes to keeping to such a training psychology. Ask 10 gym goers of what they hope to achieve (say) within the next 4 weeks or so, and 9 out of 10 would reply with a focus on some increase in load on the bar. It's about how many plates I've squatted; benched, or pressed overhead today, instead of how did my muscles feel during lifting said weights. So the mental occupation is still (as I see it), is the load on the bar instead of the load on the muscles.
    1984 Age 18, BW 73kg: FS195kg, BS200kg, 162.5 3x10, PC 140kg, C&J 160kg. 1987 Age 22, BW 77kg BS 130kg x20, 120kg x50.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Goosey View Post
    give some examples of how this is done, in a practical sense please fadi.
    Take the barbell curl for example. Many minds are occupied with the load on the bar instead of how this load is moved from point A to point B. If (as I've already written), the focus is on the biceps doing something to the weight ,i.e. lifting it form point A to point B, instead of using the weight to do something to your biceps, i.e., loading it, then in that case one is simply lifting a weight instead of working a muscle. So basically what I'm saying is this: stop focusing on how much weight you can add to that bar, and focus more on how the weight on the bar is affecting your muscles. A barbell curl is a great exercise, but can very easily become one of the most dangerous exercises for the lower back if one's aim is load on the bar instead of load onto the biceps.
    1984 Age 18, BW 73kg: FS195kg, BS200kg, 162.5 3x10, PC 140kg, C&J 160kg. 1987 Age 22, BW 77kg BS 130kg x20, 120kg x50.


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    Aside from getting the forklift out I've never seen anyone lift the bar without using their muscles.

    I'd love to know how thats done.

    If we are simply taking things like not swinging a barbell curl. People that can't work that out on their own are beyond any help.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fadi View Post
    I hear what you're saying Puggy. Even though you say it's common knowledge, it's exactly the bodybuilding community that (I believe) falls short when it comes to keeping to such a training psychology. Ask 10 gym goers of what they hope to achieve (say) within the next 4 weeks or so, and 9 out of 10 would reply with a focus on some increase in load on the bar. It's about how many plates I've squatted; benched, or pressed overhead today, instead of how did my muscles feel during lifting said weights. So the mental occupation is still (as I see it), is the load on the bar instead of the load on the muscles.
    The thing is progression is something better measured objectively, to track numbers is seen as a lot more accurate than something like the subjectivity of how well you 'think' you have trained your muscles. Sure, you can make mental progression but in your mind maybe what you see on paper is just as good as that? I think you need a balance of both in training to be honest.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazza20 View Post
    Aside from getting the forklift out I've never seen anyone lift the bar without using their muscles.
    Naturally you're going to use your muscles to lift the weight, however the subtle difference in one's approach is what makes all the difference. So if you think of training as something you do to your muscles with the weight, instead of something you do to the weight with your muscles, then you're on the right track to effectively building muscle whilst minimising on injury. If on the other hand you think of training as something you do to the weight with your muscles, instead of something you do to your muscles with the weight, then you're potentially asking for trouble.
    1984 Age 18, BW 73kg: FS195kg, BS200kg, 162.5 3x10, PC 140kg, C&J 160kg. 1987 Age 22, BW 77kg BS 130kg x20, 120kg x50.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazza20 View Post
    Aside from getting the forklift out I've never seen anyone lift the bar without using their muscles.

    I'd love to know how thats done.

    If we are simply taking things like not swinging a barbell curl. People that can't work that out on their own are beyond any help.
    Agreed, I'm not really sure what fadi is thinking here.
    lifting weight is not brain science


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    Quote Originally Posted by Puggy View Post
    The thing is progression is something better measured objectively, to track numbers is seen as a lot more accurate than something like the subjectivity of how well you 'think' you have trained your muscles. Sure, you can make mental progression but in your mind maybe what you see on paper is just as good as that? I think you need a balance of both in training to be honest.
    Progression is the measure, but what I think can happen is that (in terms of what fadi is saying, I think) as the set progresses rep by rep form degrades (as fatigue sets in), in an attempt to reach the target, instead of maintaining focus on rep tempo or cadence, and also one twists and contorts the body to get that weight from "A" to "B", in most cases it's both.
    Last edited by Goosey; 24-09-2016 at 08:30 PM.


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