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Forearm vs. grip training frequency


Guest MonStar1023

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Nobody here is a coach or professional trainer. Does this mean that we don't know how to build strength ? Personnally, I have laughed at many personnal trainers and coaches in the gyms I've been to. When a personnal trainer advocates me to avoid deadlifts and do hyperextensions, I know that this guy knows nothing about strength. When this guy tells me that squat will ruin my knees and I should do leg extensions, he knows nothing about strength. What about the giant hyper set of cable crossovers, flyes, incline, decline and flat bench ? Strong men don't do such crap.

In the gym, ask advice from the guy who never talks to the others, the guy who is dressed with old clothes, the guy who never touches the smith machine. Ask advice to the guy who squats and deadlifts double bodyweigth for 20 reps, the guy who trains his grip hard, the guy that people think is crazy.

I'm one of these guys and I'm proud to be. I'm not a coach or a personnal trainer but I feel like I have some background to give advice to the others when advice is asked. More than that, I am very happy to receive advice from some of the best grip athletes in the world. They are not coaches or personnal trainers but who cares, they are strong and want to be stronger.

On this board, people share experiences and toughts. I have learned how to do strap holds by Steve Weiner, how to pinch by Nick McKinless' picture and tips and how to improve on the grippers by almost everyone. If I asked 99% of the coaches or personnal trainers on how to improve my grip, they will tell me to do a few sets of wrist curl and to squeeze a tennis ball.

Don't listen to any advice. Don't listen to people only because they have a title. Listen to advice that are logical and senseful. Read the messages of this board and you'll have 99% of senseful advice and ... 1% of crap, ignorance and showing off.

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  • blueshadow

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i'm sure it didn't used to be this way, but today everybody that has the latest issue of Muscle & Fitness, or Men's Health thinks they're a personal trainer and strength coach.  What's worse is they try to force these opinions on you while you're training.  i sometimes feel like smacking them with whatever weight i happen to be using at the time.  come to think of it, that could be a useful excercies, pinch grip slaps, or maybe thick bar rabbit punches.  my point is, and yes i actually do have one, you've got to learn to filter out the good information from the bad.  odds are anything you get from this board is gonna be useful, and sometimes you'll actually get somethin you can use at the gym (if the right person's there).  just beware what the guys with the jump suits and styled hair tell you, it's only gonna cause you to stumble.  trust me, i spent many years spinning my wheels before i found useful training like most of us here use, and now i'm gainin like never before

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Guest kINGPIN

I love it when I hear people that have 'seen the light'.  I too spent a #### of a long time doing 12 sets per bodypart, 6 times a week, two hours a day, on crap isolation exercises.  I can not recall anyone on here whos training methods seem detrimental to getting seriously strong.  If anyone is not progressing here on the weights (apart from me.....who seems to have picked up an injury...in my off week!!! :angry: ) then get yourself down to the Hardgainer and Cberpump websites and don't leave the comp until you have read everything!  Then get yourself a plan and apply.

Tou, I am sad to say that my profesion is full of trainers like the ones you describe.  They do there 2 week coarse, they read a bunch of mags about 'how to peak your biceps' and then go teaching this bullshit to clients.  It is an embarrising fact, I have seen some real shit taught in gyms by people that should know a lot better.

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I do some personal training work. I know I am the only p t that advocates 2 sessions or less a week (the bigger and stronger you get the less you need to do. Two prerequisites for this to work- intensity must be very high and you must end in failure) one set per exercise and almost all the exercises should be multi joint (core exercises) etc.

All my clients make progressive strength, size, fitness and increased range of motion gains every time they train even after years of training. This is because I treat every client as an individual. I customize they’re routine keeping the core ideas in place (see above) and changing days per week, number of sets and reps per set until they make fast progress. Then I asses their routine, weight used etc. on a weekly basis to insure their progress doesn’t come down to a snails pace or stop.

There are some trainers out there that have seen the light (IMHO) but the view of more is better is so deeply imbedded in people that its very difficult to change their way of thinking. In time I am sure people will start coming around to this more efficient way of training. But make no mistake this is the hardest workout that you will ever do. Most people even if they consider themselves fit and strong don’t make it thru their first workout. Nausea and dizziness and sometimes shock (like when you have an accident) come to mind. But the body responds, fast. Faster than you can ever imagine possible.

For those that think I don’t practice what I preach go to the training routine page. You will find my personal routine there.

Credit to all the people on this board. Since I found it I have learned much and I am eternally great full for what I have learned and what I will learn!  :D  :D

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Guest kINGPIN

GeneticPerfection, i have read all your posts since you have been on here and have a lot of respect for your advice.  You are cirtainly not one of the trainers I mention.  One set to failure has never been for me but it is still a good protocol.  I train Hardgainer style which is very similar and has given me some good gains, I only wish I started when I was younger but my mistakes are all part of the learning process and I feel it has helped make me a good teacher so in a way I am glad I made them.

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i agree kingpin.  as with everything else in life, i've learned more about training from gettin kicked on my butt than from anything else.  not only does this build strength in the long run, it also builds character, self esteem, and many other personal attributes.  you can learn a lot from others (especially from the likes found here), but you can also teach yourself a lot.

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Guest 86-1005097353

The subject of personal trainers has come up and seems to be one that most have a negative opinion of.

The Iron game has a long history, perhaps over a 100 years in the modern age. In that time there have been various theories about how to get bigger and stronger. We have seen some advocate sensible training methods. Then we learn that training must be progressive. About 50 years ago some exercise scientists began doing experiments on humans and other animals to discover things about muscles and the body. That pursuit has more or less ignored what has been happening in the many hardcore gyms all over the world.

In one famous study someone concluded that deep squats were dangerous and could injure the knees. That study was over 40 years ago and today the vast majority of professionals in our area believe that full squats are not recommended. I wondered about that finding because I ended up with sore knees way back in 1975. I was training for a physique contest and thought I wouldn't be able to train my legs because of the pain. One night I decided to train light and work up 10 pounds at a time on a Smith Machine. I started with the bar and after many sets ended up with something like 260 pounds. The next day there was no pain in my knees. How could that be? I did deep squats and not the recommended half squats. So I thought about what else I was doing that might be causing the pain. I was a PE teacher at the time and also owned my gym. Well, I discovered that two things could have caused the injury. One was running downhill on pavement and the other was playing basketball on tarmac. Most Aussie schools do not have indoor gyms! I could jump up and touch the rim on those outside courts. The jarring from landing must have damaged the connective tissue just below my knees. After that I never did jump high on those hard surfaces and  I have never had knee pain again.

If you think about it those weightlifters should have sore knees if that theory is true. Weightlifters go into very deep positions and with a ballistic force on top with the weight coming down. I don't recall that they have knee trouble.

The truth is that study was not a good one. It could have been done on college students and the ones chosen for the experimental group could have been doing other things that contributed to the knee pain.

This issue brings us to wonder how then do we claim to know anything about lifting weights and building muscles. Do we go on what works in the gym or do we read the journals of exercise scientists? It is my view that we do both.

I agree that the training available to prepare people for positions in gyms and schools is inadequate. I have seen all those 6 or 12 week courses turn out "expert" after expert who know very little at all. Even worse they don't realise that they know almost nothing.

Eventually there will evolve some knowledge in our field and we will be able to consult experts regarding what to do. If we look at the various bodybuilding magazines we will have to acknowledge that they are far from being a source of scientific knowledge on how to train. At the moment there are so many experts that one wonders what to do. Is Mike Mentzer correct regarding Intensity or are the vast majority of bodybuilders training the best way?

If you want to see how ridiculous our activity is then consider the issue of free weights versus machines. That is the silliest debate I have ever seen. I honestly believe that there are so many false theories in our sport that just about anybody can claim that they are an expert. No, free weights aren't better!

A bodybuilder should be able to discuss his training with an exercise scientist and both should agree on what is the best way to get results. At the moment I doubt that this is what you would find.

Are personal trainers experts in exercise? Some are but the vast majority are not. We can see that when you ask them how they can improve the really big or strong men. Most simply wouldn't know what to do. If a trainer can't improve everyone who is training in a gym then he is not knowledgeable.

What everyone has to realise is that most of us embrace the beliefs and theories that everyone else has in the gyms that we use, or the magazines that we read. It is very difficult to sort out truth from falsehood among the countless theories that people believe. The truth is most of us hold many false theories about training but do not know we are mistaken. How then do we discover the truth? That is not easy or likely at all. Most of us cling to what we know and do not accept new theories.

Let us take training frequency. How often should a muscle be trained? I am sure there will be all sorts of ideas here.

What is the trigger for hypertrophy and strength increases?

There are so many questions that we think we know but in truth we really are ignorant about. The only way we are going to acquire knowledge is for scientists to do studies and find out. At the moment those scientists do not seem interested in big muscles. Some are interested in strength. It is as if our sport, including bodybuilding, is virtually forgotten by mainstream science.

Let us take the issue of anabolic steroids. Science has not determined that they do help muscle size or strength. That is hard to believe but go do the search and see for yourselves. The Olympic committee outlaws the use of such chemicals and penalizes those found using them. How is that possible when there is no conclusive proof that chemicals help? Oh, there is monumental anecdotal opinions that anabolic steroids work but that is not scientific evidence. At the moment it doesn't look like more studies with those dangerous chemicals will be done because universities will not risk litigation if those chemicals harm subjects and law suits result.

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I train hardgainer style 3 times a week. I'm glad I found hardgainer.com and ordered BEyond Brawn and Weight training technique. I've been training for two months and I love it!

I do no more than 3 work sets per excercise. 5-6 excercise per workout. Workout time is 65min.

Hardgainer Rules.

James

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Guest 86-1005097353

I can't understand why there is this concept "hardgainer". Why should the principles of physics apply differently to various people? I don't believe that it does.

Let us examine a simple formula.

Workout + nutrition + rest = growth

If that formula is basically correct then it follows that if you are not growing then one, two or even three things are not right in your program. I don't believe that anyone has properly explained why some people gain quicker than others. Are we going to propose that some people have more muscle fibres? If so then those will less should still grow at the same rate but be unable to develop great size.

If we hypothesize that some people just grow faster then what is it that accounts for this growth? Genes, special adaptation system, more growth hormone secreted? Nobody knows.

I don't buy the hardgainer theory. It really isn't a theory at all.

I have watched people training for decades. If you go back to a gym every 6 months you will see that some people grow and others do not. How do you account for the non-growth? We will assume that those who did grow did all the right things.

I have mentioned that the way to monitor if you are growing or not is to see if you always get delayed onset muscle soreness on the days following a workout. If you no longer are getting your muscles sore you are unlikely to be experiencing significant growth. Is it any wonder that you will take forever to grow? I would bet that the fast growers do get sore after most workouts.

It is fine going along with a system and training method that is getting you results. I honestly believe you should be growing after every workout if you do the right things. Ah, exactly what is "doing the right thing"? Well, that should be the topic of another thread.

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Vince did I read your post correctly!? You say that free weights are not better than machines? I must respectfully disagree! I have been trainning for appx. 34 years with weights and therefore feel I know a little bit about this subject! Don't get me wrong now, I also experimented with all the shiny new machines in several gyms but found that I never could get the "feel" of any of them. Machines give a person a false sense of being stronger than he really is by allowing him/her to lift more weight than with barbells,dumbbells,etc. Also the age old argument that machines do not allow for the natural range of motion that free weights do is true as any one who has tried both can verify! Your input and comments are appreciated ,please keep them coming!

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Guest kINGPIN

Vince, I am with Blueshadow on that one but if I were to go into that then it'll take a long time.  I think that you may need to read a little more about hardgainer style before you class it as bunk.  Hardgainer is not just about having bad genetics.  You can have the genetics of Dorian Yates and still train this way.  Having a stressful job with long hours can turn an otherwise easygainer into a hardgainer so the energy that he can expaend in the gym is less and gains come a bit slower but at least they are still coming, whereas if he were to train the way he was then he would stagnate/get injured/get ill.  Take your pick....I would rather gain even if it is at a slower rate.  Also you are giving your body just a few stimulie in the form of a selected few exercises to choose from so that it can progress easier.  Not many other bodybuilding protocols can say that.  

With regards to genetics, the hardgainer way is one of the only styles where safety plays THE most important role.  I respectfully say that I can imagine not many of the machines in your gym are as protectful to a hardgainers body (or indeed an easy gainers).  The fact is that gym owners would lose a lot of trade if peiople realised that machines just are not needed, but many are blinded to this fact as all the junk mags push that they are better and then have an advert for one on the next page.  

Finding hardgainer training was the best thing that could have happened to my training.

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Thank you for the wonderful comment its great to know that someone is actually taking note and doesn’t think my ideas are a load of crap!

Vince hard gainer has every thing to do with genetics. ???  Genetics is your own personal blueprint and everything is governed by it. Some people like myself do not have the genetics to get stronger, bigger and fitter fast or in extreme cases at all. We find it hard to achieve progress and we have to have absolute perfect training routines to make the smallest of gains. I personally feel that this word is thrown around by to many people who aren’t hard gainers and just have bad training programs and training ideas.

IMO if you can do more than 2 days training with more than 2 working sets per exercise and you use split routines AND you are making any sort of progress, you are not a hard gainer. I have trained like this and I regressed. I became smaller weaker and incredibly tired. Now on the routine I have I am making progress every week, like clock work. I have always been sore but training TOO MUCH with low, medium or high intensity I regressed. Now I do not come even close to over training my intensity is always max 100% and even up to 120% (negative failure). Now I get sore to the point of almost not being able to move. It takes on average 4-5 days for the muscle soreness to go away. I agree with you that if you aren’t sore even a little you have made no progress since your previous workout.

These are word you should live by. It has been mentioned recently on this board (can’ remember who but he is a wise man)

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DO LOADS OF SETS, REPS, EXERCISES ETC. DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD!! :D

Do the absolute MINIMUM to get the absolute MAXIMUM!  :D

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Ditto Kingpin and Geneticperfection,

Along with hardgainer and dinosaur training combined with HIT and plenty of grip work I believe that I have found a good combination for myself.Agreed that all of us are different and respond in different ways to this type of training I Feel IMHO that there is no better way than with free weights regardless of the method used!

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Guest MonStar1023

blue shadow-

Can you please give me some links to check out on Dinosaur Training and HIT Training along with Hardgainer training. I too have just purchased a) Mastery of Hand Strength and 2 CoC grippers, along with Natural Hormonal Enhancement by Rob Faigin. I am lookin to get the most optimal results possible. What kind of routine are you following? For example for chest what do you do? And how often?

Help me out bro.

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Guest MonStar1023

blue shadow-

Can you please give me some links to check out on Dinosaur Training and HIT Training along with Hardgainer training. I too have just purchased a) Mastery of Hand Strength and 2 CoC grippers, along with Natural Hormonal Enhancement by Rob Faigin. I am lookin to get the most optimal results possible. What kind of routine are you following? For example for chest what do you do? And how often?

Help me out bro.

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Greetings and Good Health MonStar,

The three links that Wannagrip posted are highly recommended,along with Jay Triggs' Garage Gym Links.                WWW.net1.net/users/trigg/links.htm

As for personal pec work out,I do only one the king of all chest excercises,barbell press always using chains on either end. As for max or minimum,I go completely by feel,after so many years of training I instinctively know what my body can handle. I never go too light as this would be useless for me. I always use medium reps (8-12) never more than 3 sets per excercise. Hope this helps MonStar,it works for me. Keep in mind that it has taken me many years to perfect this routine for myself and it may or may not work for you. Also and most importantly do not become obssessed with the iron and steel as it is easy to do especially grip work. Remember to be a complete person and live outside the work outs! Meditate,laugh,bring God and family into your life! Believe me

the gains will come. Pay heed to the wisdom contained in this forum from the likes of Tom Black,wannagrip,Kingpin,Sybersnott,etc,etc. Sheesh see what you made me do!? I did not intend to go on like this,please excuse the lengthy post everyone.

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OOps! Almost forgot,Monstar I train 2x's a week every 3 days,and I do a total body work out,my work outs last according to how I feel on that day, 1 hr to 1.5 hrs,I do grip work on both days. I will do cardio 1 or 2x's during the week which consists of stationary bike for 20 min at a time,got to keep the old ticker healthy. Live Long and Prosper.

                                                  JJ

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Free weights have their place but they aren’t the end all and be all.

Consider this-

Gravity only works 90degrees straight down (linear). There are no exceptions! When you do a bicep curl with a free weight you start with your arms straight down. In this position there is no resistance on the bicep (the muscle you are targeting). Then you start the movement and as the angel of your arm changes from 0deg the resistance starts to increase. It comes to its max at 90deg elbow bend. This is usually called the sticking point (most exercises have them). As the angel goes from 90deg to 180 deg the resistance goes from max to zero at the top of the curl. Following? When the muscle is straight it its at it's weakest and the power output increase up to its max at the point where the muscle is fully contracted. SO the start of a bicep curl with free weights to 90deg, the exercise is perfect in every respect but then it becomes completely wrong. At the point where the muscle can and MUST have the most resistance acting on it there is NONE. This in effect only exercises half the muscle and the wrong half at that. Lets say you are making progress with this exercise witch only exercises half the muscle. Imagine how fast your progress will be if you use an exercise that works all of the bicep!!!!! The above is a fast and crude explanation. Look at all the exercises you do and you will see that very few are excellent some are good but most are bad working the muscle only thru a limited range of the full range of motion. When it comes to grip the grippers are perfect in every respect except in the v shape that puts more emphasis on some fingers and less on others. Wrist curls are the same as bicep curls perfect at the start bad at the end. Plate pinching is perfect for its purpose. I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the picture.

For perfect exercises you need OMNI DIRECTIONAL resistance because the body isn’t linear like gravity but omni directional and the resistance must be low at the start and increase as the muscle shortens and the power output reaches its max.  

(I apologize for the non-grip related example)

G :D

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If wrist curls are performed with the wrists about

2-3" lower than the elbows, the strength curve is

very satisfactory for the whole range of movement,

because you cannot rest in the top position. I prefer

the hands to be slightly wider than the elbows.

If the wrists and elbows are on the same level, you can

catch a moment of rest at the top.

You have some great points in your post, Genetic,

and you probably remember that when Boyer Coe

first tried a Nautilus curl machine with 100 lbs on it

he was unable to curl all the way up, for the very reasons

you have explained.

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I do remember. Most people that use proper omni directional machines/exercises the first time feel very award and they can’t use nearly the same weight. This is however rectifies with blistering speed and previous weight is surpassed with ease. But if you exercise using only 50 % of the muscle (linear exercise) 4 times a week and you are on the brink of your recovery ability you will theoretically only be able to exercise twice a week using all of the muscle (omni directional exercise) to avoid over training.

Sheeeeees so much to think about!!

G :D

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Guest kINGPIN

The main problem I have with machines is that they just don't let the body follow its proper groove (with the exception I suppose to cables) and until they do, machines will never be equal to free weights.  Also, the assisting musculature involved and the gains they get I feel far outway the benefits of using machines.  This also adds to the development of functional strength and co-ordination which go hand in hand and are vital for any sport be it boxing, wrestling, and strongman which may be the reason a lot of people got into it in the first place.  For bodybuilders, in order to train the same amout of muscle they would have to use more exercises in order to target all the tiny bits of muscle they are missing when they do not use free weights and may never get that 'look of power' as described nicely by Stuart Mcrobert anyway.

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Kingpin,

Both have a place, and I try to avoid staleness

by alternating now and then. The Hammer Strength

machines are wondrous in their 'feel'.

Has anyone tried the Hammer Strength Wrist Curl

machine? I have not, and am hoping for some opinions.

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Guest kINGPIN

The leg press also feels nice, but it will never equal the squat, deadlift and there variations.   To brake boredom and staleness you can still use free weights as there are so many safe exercises and variations you can do with them.  

MAchines do have there place escpecially for calf work, grip work and stomach work but all these are not a matter of necessity but of choice.  All of the above can be trained just as hard with without machines and the only thing they have going for them is the fact that they make life easy as all you need is a pin to change the resistanse and the equipment is always in position.

Who says I am stuck in my ways?!!!!  :D  :D  :D

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You can go down a mountain with a racing bike but you will get down a lot faster with a state of the art mountain bike. Don’t put limit’s on  your thinking use the appropriate tool for every situation!  ;)

G :D

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