Lifting heavy is enjoyable. It’s actually my favourite factor to do. It’s what I educate individuals to do for a dwelling.
However throughout the better realm of energy coaching, there are particular workout routines that I merely don’t have individuals carry out with heavy weights anymore. Whether or not it’s a skewed risk-to-reward ratio or the biomechanical nature of the train, some actions are simply greatest performed with much less weight on the bar.
There have been occasions throughout my teaching profession the place I’ve suggested individuals to deal with the barbell row like a fourth competitors elevate. Prepare it exhausting and heavy, even go as far as to attempt to set new 1-rep maxes frequently. Now, I understand that rows and most different higher physique pulling actions simply aren’t well-suited for heavy hundreds and low reps.
The biomechanics of rows, pull-ups and pulldowns are such that it’s exceptionally exhausting to make use of good approach by means of a full vary of movement as soon as the burden will get actually heavy. Irrespective of how sturdy and the way technically sound you could be, it’s rattling close to unimaginable to maintain strict kind when you get across the 5-rep mark or fewer.
Not like a urgent motion the place the energy curve is such that the motion will get simpler towards the top of the concentric part, pulling actions get HARDER on the similar level. It’s robust to load the fully-contracted place correctly if the burden is heavy and your approach is sloppy.
And whereas I feel many lifters view the barbell row as extra of a “energy” train than a “hypertrophy” one, I’m undecided that it has vital carryover to the principle lifts, particularly performed with the heave-ho, grip-and-rip method that you simply see most lifters use.
I now favor lifters to remain throughout the 8-12 rep vary with rows and preserve strict kind. Higher but, many of the rows I prescribe are chest-supported or performed on a seated cable row machine.
For a similar cause as rows, the energy curve of a biceps curl simply doesn’t jive with heavy weights. And provided that it’s too simple for the shoulders and decrease again to take over the motion, curls are greatest performed with lighter weights, letting a managed tempo and excessive reps drive the problem.
From a powerlifting specificity standpoint, curls haven’t any direct carryover to any of the large lifts. Nonetheless, huge arms create extra cross-sectional space beneath the bar whereas benching, which I consider to be crucial. Much like the hamstrings contacting the calves within the squat, I consider that when the biceps contact the forearm as you decrease the bar throughout the bench press, it creates added stability and management of the bar path, which might make or break a heavy bench try.
Coaching your biceps by means of a full vary of movement in each totally supinated (palm up) and pronated (palm down) positions can protect elbow and shoulder well being. These motions are underrated for entering into a great again squat place, and I’d quite do curls than rotator cuff workout routines, so take that for what it’s value.
I wish to prescribe curls for even larger reps – no less than 12 reps per set and as excessive as 30. Chase the pump. Cut up the pores and skin. Save the elbows.
Lunges/Cut up Squats
There was a time after I educated crew sport athletes and a lunge or break up squat was typically the principle decrease physique energy motion as a substitute of squats. My coronary heart was in the best place. Squats are notoriously exhausting to be taught, and plenty of athletes have orthopedic limitations of their hips, knees, ankles or decrease again that make squatting a poor selection when “do no hurt” is the mantra. And whereas sport particular coaching is a big crock of shit, most athletes spend extra time in split-stance and single-leg stances than in deep bilateral squats.
It wasn’t the train choice that was the issue. It was the loading protocol. In hindsight, prescribing lunges and break up squats for heavy units of 3-5 reps per leg is borderline reckless. The variety of occasions I’ve seen athletes practically eat shit or roll an ankle attempting to get in place for a lunge or break up squat offers me coronary heart palpitations. Nothing like blindly exploring your environment looking for a bench behind you for Bulgarian break up squats or a field in entrance of you for step-ups with a pair hundred kilos in your again or within the entrance rack place.
Now after I prescribe lunges and break up squats, I attempt to preserve the hundreds gentle to reasonable within the 6-12/aspect vary, perhaps even larger reps in a “finisher” situation. However I additionally attempt to lower the stability calls for at any time when doable by including in hand help akin to Hatfield variations or just holding onto a squat rack whereas holding the burden within the reverse hand.
Gentle is Proper
Supposedly there’s a time and place for the whole lot, however for these workout routines, I now not see utility in prescribing them heavy for the lifters I coach. I attempt to preserve an open thoughts and frequently evolve as a coach, so maybe sometime sooner or later I’ll come again round, however for now, after I write these workout routines into packages, I’m maintaining the weights lighter for higher execution and improved risk-to-reward ratio.