Weightlifting Thread

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Weightlifting Thread

Post by Rudiger » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:56 am

I know at least a few people who've signed up have shown interest in weightlifting and exercising from the other forum, and I constantly have questions about this and it's something I'm constantly reading about, so I thought I'd see where everyone is at. Especially the newer guys to weightlifting like Fred, who started not long after I did (about a year and a half ago) whereas someone like kj, mountain of muscle before, and still is, but of course guys like this probably have the best knowledge.

Anyway one thing that's annoying me is tricep contraction, and my triceps are coming along fine so it's not like I'm getting nowhere with them, but half of the renowned exercises for triceps, I can't feel shit. Now I'm not a solid believer in "the pump" being make or break for breaking down muscle fibre, but when it comes to triceps it does seem like I should feel them popping, similar to biceps or traps.

Instead I feel nothing, in particular with close grip bench press, skull crushers (particularly nothing with barbell but dumbbell as well) and dumbbell overhead extension.

Kickbacks however I get good contraction with, not always, but most of the time, and push downs are usually OK too, but overall I still get little mind-muscle connection with the triceps compared to other muscles where I'm instantly engaged from the first reps.

Should I even worry about it? The muscle is clearly still being worked, it's growing in proportion with other muscles.

Generally though I really need to work on cutting some weight down, I'm proportionally in good shape but still way too much fat. I'm 5'10 and 200 pounds, but I am down from 213 only 3 weeks ago (and I'm not exactly sure why). I still do bro splits and I know some scoff at that, but I do 3 days a week of bi's, tri's and shoulders (3 exercises and 3 sets each, which many insist is a LOT of volume but I'm always finished my workout within 50mins), and the other 2/3 days always bench press, and secondary exercise either back or legs at least once a week.

At some point I will have to flip over to just doing full body workouts but I dunno, I like working out up to 6 times a week and full body seems to take up too many rest days. Maybe my logic on this is all wrong though.
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Re: Gainzzz Thread

Post by kj6723 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:08 pm

Generally I stick to the stuff with which I'm feeling a good contraction for the muscle/muscle group I'm trying to target. If I'm not feeling the contraction, or feeling it elsewhere, I tend to drop the exercise for something else. For compound movements this isn't such a big deal, but for something like tricep, or anything where your goal is to isolate a specific muscle, you really want to feel it. I see the most growth in certain areas when I am working through constant full ROM with good form, concentrating on that specific muscle to the point I feel it contracting. What also helps with this is for at least some of your isolation exercises, holding the squeeze for each rep when you hit the contraction, and returning the weight slowly with an eccentric movement

I'm also doing splits at the moment, but I know what you mean. Likely there will come a time when my freetime is more limited and I'm forced to switch to full body workouts

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Re: Gainzzz Thread

Post by Afro_Vacancy » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:42 pm

I gained a decent amount of FAT between November and April due to travel. I went to a lot of places ... Virginia, Connecticut, New York, California, Florida, New Orleans, New Zealand, Australia.I'm now trying to lose it again, so that I can gain. I was finally trim last year and now I got big again.

It's only 15 lbs, but I'd love to join you guys soon. However, my willpower is not what it was a year ago.

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Re: Gainzzz Thread

Post by DerPapillus » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:43 pm

Hi :)

Have been working out since I was 18, with minor pauses in between because of
studies and work.

Tried many different workout-regimes throughout the years, but for me this is
what works;

- Always 3 days workout, and 1 day off.
- Day 1; Back and biceps (pull)
- Day 2; Chest and triceps, and front shoulders (push)
- Day 3; Legs (deadlift) and shoulders (pull)
- DAY OFF
- Day 1; Bach and biceps, and back shoulders (pull)
- Day 2; Shoulders and triceps, and upper chest (push)
- Day 3; Legs (squat) and abs

Note that it's mainly divided into push/pull days, and I have always that one day off after 3 days.
This one day off is especially important after the ''Deadlift-day'' as the next workout focuses on
the back and biceps again (pull). Also note that I always train the front off shoulders when it's
''push-day'' because of the nature of the exercises (ex military press).

I always start the workouts in the written order also ie the big muscle groups-exercises, for ex day 2;
1. Incline barbell bench press (2 sets warm up, 3 ''working'' sets)
2. Military dumbell press (3 working sets)
3. Dips (3 working sets)
4. Flies on bench (4 working drop-sets)
5. Tricep push-down cable (front tricep) (3 working sets)
6. Tricep bench dips (back tricep) (3 working sets)

In general the workout-regime is focused on building aestetics and hormone releasing (start big), especially
emphasis is put on the v-shaped upper body to obtain good shoulder-waist (hip) ratio! This is paramount
on bodily aestethics...

About the ''feeling'' the muscle (mind-muscle) I would go with Kj and say that this cannot be expected
with the big base exercises like f ex Deadlift, but when you are nearing the end of and exercise and want
to ''drain'' the musle then in my experience it's important to be able to really feel the fibers contract in
order for maximum response (musle damage and metabolic stress both).

Just my personal observations of course!

Cheers
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Re: Gainzzz Thread

Post by Rudiger » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:41 pm

DerPapillus wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:43 pm
Hi :)

Have been working out since I was 18, with minor pauses in between because of
studies and work.

Tried many different workout-regimes throughout the years, but for me this is
what works;

- Always 3 days workout, and 1 day off.
- Day 1; Back and biceps (pull)
- Day 2; Chest and triceps, and front shoulders (push)
- Day 3; Legs (deadlift) and shoulders (pull)
- DAY OFF
- Day 1; Bach and biceps, and back shoulders (pull)
- Day 2; Shoulders and triceps, and upper chest (push)
- Day 3; Legs (squat) and abs

Note that it's mainly divided into push/pull days, and I have always that one day off after 3 days.
This one day off is especially important after the ''Deadlift-day'' as the next workout focuses on
the back and biceps again (pull). Also note that I always train the front off shoulders when it's
''push-day'' because of the nature of the exercises (ex military press).

I always start the workouts in the written order also ie the big muscle groups-exercises, for ex day 2;
1. Incline barbell bench press (2 sets warm up, 3 ''working'' sets)
2. Military dumbell press (3 working sets)
3. Dips (3 working sets)
4. Flies on bench (4 working drop-sets)
5. Tricep push-down cable (front tricep) (3 working sets)
6. Tricep bench dips (back tricep) (3 working sets)

In general the workout-regime is focused on building aestetics and hormone releasing (start big), especially
emphasis is put on the v-shaped upper body to obtain good shoulder-waist (hip) ratio! This is paramount
on bodily aestethics...

About the ''feeling'' the muscle (mind-muscle) I would go with Kj and say that this cannot be expected
with the big base exercises like f ex Deadlift, but when you are nearing the end of and exercise and want
to ''drain'' the musle then in my experience it's important to be able to really feel the fibers contract in
order for maximum response (musle damage and metabolic stress both).

Just my personal observations of course!

Cheers
Maybe I need something more like this, I might be too intensely focusing on arms and shoulders when maybe I should do bigger compound exercises and finish off with arms when tired.

Fairly unrelated to that - one thing I should advise to others is German Volume Training. I'm always surprised by how unknown this is but when it comes up among guys who are huge, they always highly recommend it as probably the best way to pack on muscle. Many actually forget about it as well.

So you go fairly light on the weight, maybe 50-60% of 1RM. Do 1 exercise for each body part, 10 sets of 10 reps, the first few sets up to even 6 or 7 can feel too light, but the last few definitely won't.

I dunno if 10 sets of 1 exercise sounds ridiculous to some, I think it did to me, like the ultimate bro science "just keep lifting repeatedly brah and the gains will come". But look it up, Elliott Hulse did a video on it.



A short video but I can't recall Elliott ever simply saying "do this and you'll explode" about one set of exercises or routine, so that was a big selling point for me.

I think most people only do it for 4-6 weeks because of muscle soreness, but my recovery always seems to be pretty quick (no roids though). I'll talk about my recovery in another post actually, basically I seem to be able to do a lot of exercises and sets and don't really feel it so bad the next day, 2 days later and I'm definitely recovered. Some guys talk about intense exercises or volumes as if it kills all week, and literally work a 3 day program so that they only do each body part once, but I just don't trust for me that this will work well. It doesn't seem enough. Most guys instantly say "because you aren't working hard enough", well I can only move the weight up more so that my form turns to shit, I'm normally always training each set to failure (and ironically the same guys will say not to do this, so you should work harder yet don't kill yourself on each set, mmmkay?)

Anyway a day of GVT on arms for me would be the following, though I'm not doing this at the moment:

10 sets of each 50-60% weight of 1RM:
Dumbbell bicep curls
Tricep kickbacks
Lateral raises
Finisher of Farmers walk 3-5 sets, basically until my arms want to fall off
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Re: Gainzzz Thread

Post by DerPapillus » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:04 pm

Rudiger wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:41 pm
Maybe I need something more like this, I might be too intensely focusing on arms and shoulders when maybe I should do bigger compound exercises and finish off with arms when tired.

Fairly unrelated to that - one thing I should advise to others is German Volume Training. I'm always surprised by how unknown this is but when it comes up among guys who are huge, they always highly recommend it as probably the best way to pack on muscle. Many actually forget about it as well.

So you go fairly light on the weight, maybe 50-60% of 1RM. Do 1 exercise for each body part, 10 sets of 10 reps, the first few sets up to even 6 or 7 can feel too light, but the last few definitely won't.

I dunno if 10 sets of 1 exercise sounds ridiculous to some, I think it did to me, like the ultimate bro science "just keep lifting repeatedly brah and the gains will come". But look it up, Elliott Hulse did a video on it.



A short video but I can't recall Elliott ever simply saying "do this and you'll explode" about one set of exercises or routine, so that was a big selling point for me.

I think most people only do it for 4-6 weeks because of muscle soreness, but my recovery always seems to be pretty quick (no roids though). I'll talk about my recovery in another post actually, basically I seem to be able to do a lot of exercises and sets and don't really feel it so bad the next day, 2 days later and I'm definitely recovered. Some guys talk about intense exercises or volumes as if it kills all week, and literally work a 3 day program so that they only do each body part once, but I just don't trust for me that this will work well. It doesn't seem enough. Most guys instantly say "because you aren't working hard enough", well I can only move the weight up more so that my form turns to shit, I'm normally always training each set to failure (and ironically the same guys will say not to do this, so you should work harder yet don't kill yourself on each set, mmmkay?)

Anyway a day of GVT on arms for me would be the following, though I'm not doing this at the moment:

10 sets of each 50-60% weight of 1RM:
Dumbbell bicep curls
Tricep kickbacks
Lateral raises
Finisher of Farmers walk 3-5 sets, basically until my arms want to fall off
Well, you seem to have been working out for some time, so you're prolly getting to know your
body pretty well obviously... For me atleast, the setup of compound first and isolation at the
end of workouts works best, both in cutting and bulking mode... atlhough I use GVT while
bulking often, but not always due to soreness as you mentioned :)

I completely agree with you on the GVT! Matter of fact, I did GVT today on my 1st day (back-biceps),
and it looked like this;
1. Lateral pulldowns
2. Rows
3. Biceps barbell curls

I too believe and have noticed on myself also that GVT is prolly *the* best way to bulk up, but I
don't really know many others who practice it IRL.

Also, fairly off topic (or not?)... I can't help myself saying that no matter the workout setup,
in my experience the nutrition is more important even. One should atleast track ''macros''
in order to expect results (if not having astonishing testo-levels naturally or ''bycyclin'').
How do you feel your nutrition is? Do you have some 'recommendation there like the GVT
maybe? :)

Cheers
''I have hope for life man'' - buckthorn, 2018

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Re: Gainzzz Thread

Post by DaveSmith420 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:07 pm

How do you guys motivated yourself to work out?

I always follow a work out plan for a month or so then give up. My weight is down at the moment but I 100% need to put some muscle on.

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Re: Gainzzz Thread

Post by Rudiger » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:52 am

DerPapillus wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:04 pm
Well, you seem to have been working out for some time, so you're prolly getting to know your
body pretty well obviously... For me atleast, the setup of compound first and isolation at the
end of workouts works best, both in cutting and bulking mode... atlhough I use GVT while
bulking often, but not always due to soreness as you mentioned :)

I completely agree with you on the GVT! Matter of fact, I did GVT today on my 1st day (back-biceps),
and it looked like this;
1. Lateral pulldowns
2. Rows
3. Biceps barbell curls

I too believe and have noticed on myself also that GVT is prolly *the* best way to bulk up, but I
don't really know many others who practice it IRL.

Also, fairly off topic (or not?)... I can't help myself saying that no matter the workout setup,
in my experience the nutrition is more important even. One should atleast track ''macros''
in order to expect results (if not having astonishing testo-levels naturally or ''bycyclin'').
How do you feel your nutrition is? Do you have some 'recommendation there like the GVT
maybe? :)

Cheers
Good to see another GVT advocate. I have known some guys who have tried it, and when I brought it up the reaction was always the same, a kind of paused "GVT?... yeah, that was really good... why did I only do that once/a few times?"

Everyone has success on it but for some reason forget about it. I suppose it is a tad monotonous, a little hard to keep track of sets, there's also a concern about not hitting every part of a particular muscle group either, but as I was doing arms 2-3 times a week that wasn't an issue.

My nutrition is poor, I only started calorie counting again last week but I'm not consistent. I guess I find it particularly hard when the summer weather is good, meals, bbq's, alcohol, I should have started my attempt at cutting back in March or April and at least I'd be more on track now. Christmas is also hard to keep on top of nutrition but at least that's only 2-3 weeks, summer is like a quarter of the year. I have looked up my macros again recently but not following it at all.

My one tip is the ketogenic diet, mainly for cutting but there are plenty of people out there who claim to build just as much muscle while staying lean, all while on keto. I'm sure it depends on genetics too, but if you want to cut, keto will actually use fat as a primary energy source to burn. There's a lot of other benefits to the keto diet as well.

Of course the problem is that it's not sustainable for most, in fact I can't imagine anyone I know who live such a lifestyle that they'd find it easy or convenient to stick to keto. But if you can do it, it's the ultimate way to burn fat.
DaveSmith420 wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:07 pm
How do you guys motivated yourself to work out?

I always follow a work out plan for a month or so then give up. My weight is down at the moment but I 100% need to put some muscle on.
I'm sometimes lazy with working out, but I'll always do minimum 2 work outs a week such as this week (though the week before last it was only 3, so I need to pick myself up and get back to minimum 4/5) so I know at times it's not always easy.

Well results take a long time, anyone looking for pure results won't be able to stick it, so remain aware of results and new growth so you know what's working, but don't depend on it to be motivated.

The reason I and probably anyone continues is because it's a somewhat addictive feeling, to challenge yourself like that, and feel your central nervous system challenged. In particular before I'm thinking about working out, and I really don't want to, most of the times my brain will eventually click in to place that I'll remember that I'll feel much better about it when it's done.

In fact the shittier you feel about working out, normally the better you'll feel after, it's a very difficult thing to always remember but it comes only with habit.

My only question is, maybe you aren't really pushing yourself enough? It annoys me when people always make that assumption if you aren't getting the most out of something at the gym, but you should really feel fatigued immediately after a workout and gradually better in the hours following.

That reward feeling that builds throughout the day is what keeps you addicted to going back. While I get lazy from time to time it's hard to imagine my life now without some form of exercise at least a few times a week. For people who don't train or go through yo-yo diets and 8 week exercise challenges, they never form a habit, and for them they look at you as you regularly go to the gym and they're like "I don't know how you keep motivated"

Well, I don't think people understand you actually want to do it for the most part, it's not like you drag yourself in every single time. People also assume you do it for major gainzzz, now I might not be as focused without getting results, but even if for some hypothetical reason I knew I'd get zero results from the gym, no matter what, I'd still want to go regularly.

It sounds like you've been on the right track in following a program and also doing it for a month or longer, I would say that's very close to building a habit. Everyone is different but if you can keep a routine for maybe 3 months, possibly 6, it's going to stick with you as something you are just used to doing, just a part of daily life.

Just make sure you're somewhat exhausting yourself to feel great after.
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Re: Weightlifting Thread

Post by kj6723 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:32 pm

DaveSmith420 wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:07 pm
How do you guys motivated yourself to work out?

I always follow a work out plan for a month or so then give up. My weight is down at the moment but I 100% need to put some muscle on.
For me my motivation is multifaceted. I'd say it's a combo of bdd, a fear of aging, and an addiction and enjoyment of the overall challenge and feeling of accomplishment. Observing significant results definitely helps, unfortunately you're going to need to stick with it for more than a month to get that. Maybe decide you're going to stick with it for at least 2-3 months no matter what. If you stick with it and are working out properly, you should definitely get those worthwhile, fairly quick newbie gains within that time frame. As Rudiger says, though, it's not about "feeling" like going to work out. Even for those of us who maintain consistency there are plenty of days where we wrestle with the idea of taking an unscheduled day off, try to rationalize not going because we are just feeling lazy and unmotivated, and in the end still end up forcing ourselves to work out on that day.

Really the fear of aging thing is driving me hard right now. As I'm almost 30, which is still relatively young, but I recognize that within the next 5-10 years the peak of what I'm able to build up to from nothing will become significantly lower. It's why I've also added a lot more cardio and functional mobility oriented things within the last several months which I plan to stick with. I'd been really inconsistent with cardio over the last couple years, primarily focusing on bodybuilding, but as far as muscle mass I'm in a good place right now, and I want to maintain athleticism into middle age. So I try to make sure I'm doing HIIT at least 2x a week and 1 longer distance (at least 3+miles) jog a week, and I throw in other functional stuff like box jumps and jumping rope. All this makes my workouts really long which is why eventually I'll probably have to switch my strength training to full body
Last edited by kj6723 on Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Weightlifting Thread

Post by Bklyn_23 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:46 am

Rudiger wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:56 am
Anyway one thing that's annoying me is tricep contraction, and my triceps are coming along fine so it's not like I'm getting nowhere with them, but half of the renowned exercises for triceps, I can't feel shit. Now I'm not a solid believer in "the pump" being make or break for breaking down muscle fibre, but when it comes to triceps it does seem like I should feel them popping, similar to biceps or traps.

Instead I feel nothing, in particular with close grip bench press, skull crushers (particularly nothing with barbell but dumbbell as well) and dumbbell overhead extension.

Kickbacks however I get good contraction with, not always, but most of the time, and push downs are usually OK too, but overall I still get little mind-muscle connection with the triceps compared to other muscles where I'm instantly engaged from the first reps.

Should I even worry about it? The muscle is clearly still being worked, it's growing in proportion with other muscles.
Interesting. Without seeing your mechanics/form and your particular physiology (muscle insertions/length, any imbalances that may cause the tricep to be underutilized on certain exercises etc.) I couldn't say why only certain tricep exercises give you the good contraction and pump.

Interestingly, I have almost the exact same problem with my biceps. Except that in my case NO exercise gives me that strong contraction/pump, and in addition to that (and likely because of it), my biceps simply WON'T GROW. At the risk of TL;DR, here's a post I made about what I feel to be a pretty unique problem on a bodybuilding forum in the hopes of soliciting some novel advice from anyone who might have been in the same boat:

I'm new to the forum but figured there couldn't possibly be a better place to ask about this. I've been lifting for about 2.5 years (nearly age 40 now), and while I have seen good gains in every other area, my biceps simply WON'T GROW no matter what I do. Strict form, loose form/cheat reps, light or heavy weight, no matter the type of exercise I do. Here are the problems I have as I understand them (or believe them to be):

1) Poor bicep innervation. My left bicep is slightly better in this regard than my right one, but I believe I have poor innervation of both biceps. I base this on the fact that, save for certain VERY specific conditions, I simply cannot flex the muscle and contract the biceps to the point where they "cramp up." Other people I've spoken to about this can do so on command, however. So basically I cannot activate the biceps at will when not performing exercises, which affects both the level of contraction/utilization of the biceps during exercise as well as prevents me from developing that needed "mind-muscle connection." To put it simply, when I flex my biceps in front of a mirror in the classic front double-bicep pose, I cannot make them contract to the point they cramp up. To my knowledge most other people can (at least most who've been working out for a couple of years or more).

2) My shoulders and back are much stronger than my biceps. I'm pretty sure this holds true for most people, but the degree of the disparity in my case leads to a situation wherein most/all force and tension is transferred to my shoulders and upper back/traps during curling exercises done in any position or by any method (standing, sitting, decline, machine vs. free weight). I can literally feel the force being distributed to my shoulders and back and not my biceps during every bicep exercise, while they biceps get very little activation by contrast (also tied in with point #1 I'm sure).

3) Speculative point: I'm wondering if my particular physiology in terms of shoulder breadth and point of bicep attachment plays a role, as I also have trouble with supination at the top of curls in that I don't feel like I can supinate enough to active that last portion of the muscle (and as noted, I get VERY little activation to begin with).

It's very frustrating to be pretty dedicated (I go to the gym 3-4 days per week and spend ~7 hours lifting per week) and also to see results everywhere else except the one area that you actually want to develop (I've always had broad shoulders/chest even before I started lifting - I'd really love to grow my arms so that they're at least proportional with my shoulders/chest when viewed from the side. They're not puny looking or anything, but in my opinion they're not proportional. The ONLY time I can manually contract my biceps to the point they cramp up is when I hold my arm way out in front of me facing inward while protracting my shoulder/scapula. Note that this is not even acting against any resistance, just trying to contract the bicep with an empty hand. As soon as I change the position of my arm in any way or bring it closer to my body I lose the activation and mind-muscle connection. It's incredibly odd. I also realize that the intuitive answer may be "so just find a bicep exercise you can do where your arm is in that exact position." I have tried this, but it's an incredibly awkward position to exert any force from both due to the placement of the arm and the protraction of the shoulder/scapula. Strange.

Has anyone else ever struggled with these specific issues (not simply lagging biceps, but specifically points #1 and 2 above)? If so, how did you overcome it and get results? I really do appreciate any advice that's given.

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Re: Weightlifting Thread

Post by White Ferrari » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:45 pm

Bklyn_23 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:46 am
Interesting. Without seeing your mechanics/form and your particular physiology (muscle insertions/length, any imbalances that may cause the tricep to be underutilized on certain exercises etc.) I couldn't say why only certain tricep exercises give you the good contraction and pump.

Interestingly, I have almost the exact same problem with my biceps. Except that in my case NO exercise gives me that strong contraction/pump, and in addition to that (and likely because of it), my biceps simply WON'T GROW. At the risk of TL;DR, here's a post I made about what I feel to be a pretty unique problem on a bodybuilding forum in the hopes of soliciting some novel advice from anyone who might have been in the same boat:
Try incline dumbell curls super setted with standing hammer curls. Gives me crazy pump.

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Re: Weightlifting Thread

Post by Rudiger » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:41 am

Bklyn_23 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:46 am
Interesting. Without seeing your mechanics/form and your particular physiology (muscle insertions/length, any imbalances that may cause the tricep to be underutilized on certain exercises etc.) I couldn't say why only certain tricep exercises give you the good contraction and pump.

Interestingly, I have almost the exact same problem with my biceps. Except that in my case NO exercise gives me that strong contraction/pump, and in addition to that (and likely because of it), my biceps simply WON'T GROW. At the risk of TL;DR, here's a post I made about what I feel to be a pretty unique problem on a bodybuilding forum in the hopes of soliciting some novel advice from anyone who might have been in the same boat:
So I started trying high volume in my triceps, 15-25 reps, after watching a video from a juiced up YouTuber who's name escapes me. He's not exactly a treasured YouTuber of mine but I thought I'd try it, unfortunately I think it's getting even less activation. It's very tiring of course so I find myself just trying to move the weight which is useless. I suppose watching this jacked up guy do it on YouTube it looked pretty good when he got to the end of each set.

Maybe I'll go back to GVT just for triceps, can still get focus on contractions and of course a lot of volume but over 10 sets, and also keep to the same 1 or 2 exercises which work.

OK so I would have guessed bicep contraction is a rare issue, I think most people who don't even work out can automatically flex like you described (the kinda normal wrestler pose). That being said it's not unusual to see guys with massive chest, shoulders and even triceps, but a lack of rounded biceps. I'm still fairly new to weightlifting so I hardly have the "Boulder" look but I can see the shape coming along.

So first of all and most importantly- get Fat Gripz (or some rubber tubing, there's tutorials, they can be expensive in the States but for me were only like 8 quid). Keeps all of the tension on the bicep and not your grip. I use them for all bicep exercises, every time, sometimes for back exercises (like one arm rows) but for biceps they are a definite.

So for me the stretching of the muscle on the eccentric part of the curl is everything, even let the barbell/dumbbell drop as slow as 4 seconds on the way down, and fairly quick burst back up to the top with supinated grip and wrists tilted as far forward as possible while still comfortable (barbell also close to the top of the palm or even fingers) to keep under tension and see if you can squeeze the bicep at all (and don't bring your wrists in too close to being a completely vertical angle as this is a mini-rest not under tension).

Sorry if you already know most of this anyway but just to go through it all.

Doing negatives from a chin up position may help as a warm up too. Do a chin up, squeeze biceps, and as slow as possible without being static, drop down. 30 seconds is a good time to aim for, this is of course focussing on the eccentric so you may not feel it at the time, but repeating it 3 times as a warm up and you may feel activation when starting curls. You could try experimenting with overhand as well (just keep hands close enough together and hold yourself up, with some space between your chin and the bar).

Isometric bicep exercises is another option and very easy to perform, I just personally haven't tried them much. To give an idea, you'd sit at a table/desk (heavy or bolted down) and put your hands under it, the tips of your fingers pushing up and contracting the biceps. In a gym setting there's a ton of ways to do this but for example sitting under the Smith machine.

In terms of a particular exercise, concentration curls on a preacher bench work best for me, you can stretch your arm out fully without losing any tension, and bursting back up can require a lot of activation. You can try going a bit heavier on these as well and if failing the last few reps use your other hand to slowly pull up with it. This looks like a silly cheat move by the way but who cares, you know the muscle being worked is at it's optimal level.

Another suggestion is one arm high cable curls, not personally a fan of these but a lot of guys do this for activation, especially at the top of the movement with the squeeze.

Also there's 1 and a half reps, I like these more for lateral raises but just do a full normal rep up, then down (keep arms a little bit more bent and horizontal than a normal curl) and back up halfway. Obviously rep range is lower, maybe 7-8 completed 1.5 reps.

Finally I can just think of doing partials, but I've only tried this a few times, it's hard to explain the set up so here you go:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AQzGh-Zo9qc

Also like this, but to be honest I think there's better demonstrations I'm just being lazy:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RnOJQyGi9Bo

Because I've always naturally had good bicep activation I've never worried too much about partials but possibly that can help. I know they're very useful for bench press and working on weaknesses in the movement, possibly in the 1st video I linked that top part of the movement, the squeeze, could be vital to keep repeating the focus on.

So yeah give all of that shit a try tomorrow and let me know if it works LOL
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Re: Weightlifting Thread

Post by Bklyn_23 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:03 am

Rudiger wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:41 am

OK so I would have guessed bicep contraction is a rare issue, I think most people who don't even work out can automatically flex like you described (the kinda normal wrestler pose). That being said it's not unusual to see guys with massive chest, shoulders and even triceps, but a lack of rounded biceps. I'm still fairly new to weightlifting so I hardly have the "Boulder" look but I can see the shape coming along.

So first of all and most importantly- get Fat Gripz (or some rubber tubing, there's tutorials, they can be expensive in the States but for me were only like 8 quid). Keeps all of the tension on the bicep and not your grip. I use them for all bicep exercises, every time, sometimes for back exercises (like one arm rows) but for biceps they are a definite.

So for me the stretching of the muscle on the eccentric part of the curl is everything, even let the barbell/dumbbell drop as slow as 4 seconds on the way down, and fairly quick burst back up to the top with supinated grip and wrists tilted as far forward as possible while still comfortable (barbell also close to the top of the palm or even fingers) to keep under tension and see if you can squeeze the bicep at all (and don't bring your wrists in too close to being a completely vertical angle as this is a mini-rest not under tension).

Sorry if you already know most of this anyway but just to go through it all.

Doing negatives from a chin up position may help as a warm up too. Do a chin up, squeeze biceps, and as slow as possible without being static, drop down. 30 seconds is a good time to aim for, this is of course focussing on the eccentric so you may not feel it at the time, but repeating it 3 times as a warm up and you may feel activation when starting curls. You could try experimenting with overhand as well (just keep hands close enough together and hold yourself up, with some space between your chin and the bar).

Isometric bicep exercises is another option and very easy to perform, I just personally haven't tried them much. To give an idea, you'd sit at a table/desk (heavy or bolted down) and put your hands under it, the tips of your fingers pushing up and contracting the biceps. In a gym setting there's a ton of ways to do this but for example sitting under the Smith machine.

In terms of a particular exercise, concentration curls on a preacher bench work best for me, you can stretch your arm out fully without losing any tension, and bursting back up can require a lot of activation. You can try going a bit heavier on these as well and if failing the last few reps use your other hand to slowly pull up with it. This looks like a silly cheat move by the way but who cares, you know the muscle being worked is at it's optimal level.

Another suggestion is one arm high cable curls, not personally a fan of these but a lot of guys do this for activation, especially at the top of the movement with the squeeze.

Also there's 1 and a half reps, I like these more for lateral raises but just do a full normal rep up, then down (keep arms a little bit more bent and horizontal than a normal curl) and back up halfway. Obviously rep range is lower, maybe 7-8 completed 1.5 reps.

Finally I can just think of doing partials, but I've only tried this a few times, it's hard to explain the set up so here you go:



Also like this, but to be honest I think there's better demonstrations I'm just being lazy:



Because I've always naturally had good bicep activation I've never worried too much about partials but possibly that can help. I know they're very useful for bench press and working on weaknesses in the movement, possibly in the 1st video I linked that top part of the movement, the squeeze, could be vital to keep repeating the focus on.

So yeah give all of that shit a try tomorrow and let me know if it works LOL
Thanks for such a detailed response! Unfortunately, I did know and have tried most of that with the exception of isometrics. Here's what I have tried with no improvement seen:

- Change the frequency of bicep work from 1x/week to 2x/week (Mondays after back exercises and on Fridays as part of a dedicated arm day).
- Change the volume within my biceps day from 3-4 exercises to 5-6 exercises
- Change the rep range (heavier weight for 5-8 reps or 10-12 reps with lighter weight makes no difference).
- Isolation exercises of all kinds (incline, preacher, spider curls etc.)
- Prolonged the eccentric phase

There's been other stuff too. Ultimately, what it comes down to is that I just don't feel that mind/muscle connection with my biceps. As I said, I can't even contract them on command to the point they cramp up (to clarify: I can of course "contract" them and do the traditional bicep flex pose, but I can't contract them so hard that they will cramp up, which many/most people can). The only time I feel somewhat of a pump and strong contraction in my biceps is if I first do 2-3 triceps exercises, then do biceps. Especially if I do concentration curls and protract my scapula/arm away from my body and do the curl sort of parallel to the plane of my body instead of perpendicular to it (if you can visualize that). I think I get the activation that way because it somehow takes my shoulders/upper back completely out of the movement, and prevents force from being transferred there (which as I said was one of my big problems).
Last edited by Bklyn_23 on Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Weightlifting Thread

Post by blackg » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:46 pm

Bklyn_23 wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:03 am
Thanks for such a detailed response! Unfortunately, I did know and have tried most of that with the exception of isometrics. Here's what I have tried with no improvement seen:

- Change the frequency of bicep work from 1x/week to 2x/week (Mondays after back exercises and on Fridays as part of a dedicated arm day).
- Change the rep range (heavier weight for 5-8 reps or 10-12 reps with lighter weight makes no difference).
- Isolation exercises of all kinds (incline, preacher, spider curls etc.)
- Prolonged the eccentric phase

There's been other stuff too. Ultimately, what it comes down to is that I just don't feel that mind/muscle connection with my biceps. As I said, I can't even contract them on command to the point they cramp up (to clarify: I can of course "contract" them and do the traditional bicep flex pose, but I can't contract them so hard that they will cramp up, which many/most people can). The only time I feel somewhat of a pump and strong contraction in my biceps is if I first do 2-3 triceps exercises, then do biceps. Especially if I do concentration curls and protract my scapula/arm away from my body and do the curl sort of parallel to the plane of my body instead of perpendicular to it (if you can visualize that). I think I get the activation that way because it somehow takes my shoulders/upper back completely out of the movement, and prevents force from being transferred there (which as I said was one of my big problems).
Good to see you over here, Brooklyn.
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Re: Weightlifting Thread

Post by Bklyn_23 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:57 am

blackg wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:46 pm
Good to see you over here, Brooklyn.
Thanks!

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