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Forearm vs. grip training frequency


Guest MonStar1023

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Let's bury this "genetics" crap once and for all.....

This is a TRUE story about a skinny little kid who went on to become a bodybuilding legend.

Everyone he knew told him he had "bad genetics" (whatever THAT means).  He entered a local bodybuilding contest and lost.  Instead of whining and crying about it, he went up to a judge and asked him what was wrong.  The judge said, "Your legs".  So this kid took the judge's advice and built himself a pair of awesome wheels.  He was so proud that he entered another contest - and lost.  He asked the judge what was wrong this time.  The judge replied, "Your arms".  Well, this kid went out and built himself some of the best guns in bodybuilding.  He was so proud, he entered another contest - and lost.  Again, he went up to the judge and asked him what was wrong.  The judge replied, "Your back.  You don't have one."  So this kid went out and built one of the most incredible backs in bodybuilding.  He was so proud that he entered another contest - and won.  He entered another contest, and won that one, too.  Actually, he didn't lose much after that.  In fact, he went on to win the Mr. Olympia six times.

So, who was that skinny kid with "bad genetics" that never gave up and kept on trying?

Yeah.... you got it...  "The Shadow" - Dorian Yates.

Look..... don't fall for that genetics crap.  Not everyone is 6'5", 220 pounds ripped naturally.  The strength world is filled with genetic "misfits" that ignored what people were saying and became legends.  Look at Doug Hepburn - he was born with a club foot, and most people believe he was one of the strongest men who ever lived!  Did he give up?  #### no.... he just worked HARD at it, and had unshakeable confidence in himself.  A lot of others did the very same thing.

If YOU want it..... WORK for it, baby!  Go for broke, and save the drama for yo mama!!  The #3 is an obtainable goal IF YOU WORK FOR IT.  And so is just about anything else in your life!

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Genetic Crap????????:angry:

There are two things in life you can be assured of and only two.

1- Genetics rule who and what you are. What you possibly can become however good or bad. 2- You will DIE. ???

IMO this is how Dorian Yates was affected by genetics.

Untrained he was skinny. People looked and said bad genes. How the h ell did they come to that conclusion? As far as I know there is no magic pair of glasses that show the wearer someones genetics! His genetic programming how ever did say you will be big, bigger than you could have hoped for even though it doesn’t look like it now. When he started exercising these genes were activated and BAM one of the biggest guys on the planet.

People like him can have the worst exercise program that you can imagine and they will get big. This fact makes it easy for them. They don’t need to learn about genetics, what exercises are superior to others, where their point of over training is etc. They don’t need to experiment and pay their dues. But if you are on the other side of the scale like myself you need a perfect exercise plan to make the smallest of gains and reach your goals. You need all the points of few/ideas you can lay your hands on. If you don’t have these points of few/ideas what the h ell are you going to experiment with? How are you gong to come to the perfect exercise program that will only work for you?

What's the point of this board? To share info even if some think its crap.

Just because someone tells you, you have bad genes doesn’t mean you have. You will never know what your genetic potential is in relation to exercise if you don’t go and find out. I have bad genes for getting bigger and stronger FAST. Do I sit at home and mope about it? NO! I am on this board learning. I do research on the internet. I read books etc. When I go to the gym I exercise with such intensity that I have been asked if I’m mad. The point is know how genes will effect your progress. Know how exercise affects your body, gather all the information you can handle and make informed decisions and design a workout that meets your requirements.:D

G

We are all individuals and genetics make us so!  ;)

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Guest kINGPIN

Genetics does matter a #### of a lot.  Yates may have been skinney at some point, most people do not start out big.  Flex Wheeler was skinney and even went on the Springer show to meet up with the person who nicknamed him flex because of is small stature.  COurse I can be big, but to what degree and how easy is down to my genetics.  I could be absolutly huge if I pumped myself with the s### that they do!

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Hear, Hear KingPin.

The s hit they sell you only gets you there faster (can’t exceed your genetic max) but at what cost? Big with shriveled nuts! Big with permanent liver or kidney damage? The only real place it gets you faster, is in the grave! Besides if you exercise with the correct exercise plan for you and know how exercise affects the body you should reach your genetic max within a few years without all this stuff they try to sell you.  :D

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O G-O-D yes! Don’t forget those taxes!!!!  :D  :p  :D  :p  :D  :0  :0  :0

I wonder if there is a tax rebate for closing the #3. I need to look into that! My girlfriends an accountant Ill ask her.

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I respectfully disagree.  

If you used "genetics" as an excuse, you would of NEVER heard of guys like Yates, Hepburn, etc., etc.

You bring up Flex Wheeler.  Wow.... this guy has some of the BEST "genetics" (i.e., muscle shape, small joints, symmetry) in the bodybuilding world!  Oh yeah, HOW MANY Mr. O titles does he have?  NONE.  Genetics is NOT everything, and anyone who uses that lame phrase/excuse is undermining their own potential.  ( "WWAAAAAAA.....  I'll never be as good as so-and-so because HIS genetics are better than mine!" )

Yes, steroids does play a BIG part in bodybuilding.  Anybody that says that it doesn't is someone who needs to wake up and smell the coffee!

Those who choose the "quick and easy" will have to pay the price sooner or later.  Me?  I'm interested in natural strength and fitness, and listen to and read about guys who were a lot stronger years ago than the guys who "pump and buff" today.  I don't have time (or money) for steroids because I'm NOT interested in BB competition.  Steroids for somebody else; but NOT for me.  I will get stronger "the old-fashioned way".... and I refuse to listen to naysayers who preach that "genetics are everything", because I know they aren't.

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Guest 86-1005097353

I enjoyed reading the posts in this thread. I don't post on weekends so that is why I am quiet for a few days! :) There are many here who have a good grasp of the issues discussed.

The genetic debate cannot be properly conducted because none of us are experts in this field. All we are doing is conjecturing about the subject. How would we know what the genetic potential of anyone is? We really have no idea. Or at best we guess.

Let me give you a good example of the genetic debate. Larry Scott hailed from the backwoods of Idaho. He won a local contest and got the bodybuilding bug. When he arrived at Vince's Gym in North Hollywood he introduced himself to Vince Gironda. He said, "Hi, I'm Larry Scott". Gironda apparently replied, "So what!". Larry didn't stand out and from Gironda's experienced eye was just another wannabee. Larry didn't have a big frame and who in those days would have predicted the future for him?

Larry was highly intelligent. He improvised on routines and listened to what Gironda and others had to say. He ended up winning the first two Mr Olympias and was almost worshipped in Brooklyn after his famous victories there.

I met Larry in Sydney in 1979 when he gave the best seminar we have ever had before or since. The guy learned how to build muscle. However, some of us wondered if he was wise to try to make a comeback. There were lots of huge guys now, and Sergio and Arnold sort of dominated the scene, althought Sergio more or less stopped competing. Larry learned his lesson and didn't fare well in some grad prix contest that he enterred.

The question I would ask is: Did Larry Scott have good genetics for bodybuilding? I would answer no. When he competed against the naturals he didn't do well. If you examine his physique you will see that his shoulders are not wide. Neither are his legs huge. Yet, for his day, he was unbeatable. I have always suspected that the arrival of Sergio Oliva was the end of Larry's dominance.

On the other hand if Larry did not have bodybuilding potential how did he win the Mr Olympia and develop perhaps the best looking arms in the history of bodybuilding?

I would like to discuss the machines vs free weights issue but do not want to go into it here. It is clear that the number of years a person has been training and in the Iron game may or may not help when it comes to knowing the truth about the theories concerning muscular growth. How are we going to decide who is correct? Well, the truth has little to do with people but plenty to do with theories.

For example, do full squats injure the knees? How do we know and what are the means to find out. If anyone says that his experience tells him so we can counter that anecdotal experiences are not proof. We need the evidence from proper scientific experiments. Likewise, how are we going to conduct a debate in the machines vs free weights question? Asking various people about their opinions is not a scientific process. Neither is canvassing opinions and arriving at a concensus. The only valid way to be accurate is to conduct experiments that will demonstrate what is found to be the case. It will be obvious that some individuals will be found to be right about the issues. However, there is little they can do at the time to prove what they believe is actually true.

A question I would throw in here is, Does a muscle know if it is contracting against a machine or a free weight?

The hardgainer concept is a complex one. It is my opinion that the basic concept is flawed. However, that doesn't mean that those behind that theory aren't knowledgeable and good thinkers. There are lots of competing theories trying to explain muscular growth. Perhaps hardgainer is one attempt to explain the nongrowth that is so ubiquitous out there. That many of us have found gaining slow over the years doesn't make us a hardgainer. There could be other explanations for our lack of rapid gains.

I have tried to help some hardgainers in the past. The strange thing is most of these guys refuse to do what you tell them to do. They won't eat enough because they want to have abs for the beach. When you tell them abs can come later they dismiss what you are saying and soon enough they are back to where they started from. Or you advise them to do only one of two exercises twice a week. They surely don't follow that protocol and gravitate back to what they were doing before. It seems that false theories are almost impossible to eliminate from the brains of many people. Ah, the joys of owning a gym. :)

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Vince,

When you mention that Larry Scott did not do well

when competing against the naturals, what do you mean?

Scott won all his early contests except for placing

third in the 1960 Mr. Los Angeles.

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Guest 86-1005097353

Hi Joe,

Yes, Larry Scott took California by storm. Then America. He certainly is one of the most successful bodybuilders. He states that he is the only man to win Mr America, Mr Universe and Mr Olympia.

When I use the expression "natural" I am not referring to the use of drugs. It is assumed that all the Mr Olympias were not drug free throughout their training.

What I am stating is that, in my opinion, Larry Scott was not a natural bodybuilder like Steve Reeves was. Or Sergio Olivia. Those two had wonderful structures, long muscle bellies, small joints and great proportions. Neither of them were short, either. There are many other bodybuilders with superior genetic structures to Larry Scott. That Larry was so successful was due in part to the success of his methods and the level of hypertrophy attained on parts of his frame.  When Arnold and Sergio arrived the likes of Larry could no longer win the big contests. In recent years there are many champions who had better potential that Larry did. I know it is not a level playing field but Larry, at his best, would not fare well against the current bodybuilders.

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In using the terms 'potential' and 'genetics' in

regard to bodybuilding, it seems to me to be

the same thing. Any underdeveloped man's po-

tential is not obvious, how can you tell how long

a muscle belly is on a 98 pound weakling?

Ellington Darden in appraising my potential for

forearm development felt my right forearm to see

how near the wrist my muscle belly stopped. Although

he was kind, his assessment placed me in the average

group, and it turned out he was right. Then he mentioned

that Viator's forearm belly ended somewhere beneath

his wrist watch...

When Casey made his embarrassing re-entry into

bodybuilding (Masters Olympia), Ell told me after the

contest that he though Casey had the best forearms

in the contest. Casey could do sets of wrist curls with

225 lbs.

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Genetics is a complex issue but it does determine everything in the body. If it doesn’t please tell me what does? Obviously DNA come into it but lets leave it at that.

Genetics doesn’t however determine things the way most think.

There are genes in the body that set definite outcomes like the color of you eyes etc.

Then you have genes that set possibilities and upper and lower limits. These are what we are concerned with in exercise.

Humans in relation to any thing fall on a bell curve. On the one side the person that’s the absolute worst and on the other side the absolute master and most falling in-between with the highest number somewhere in the middle. Now lets take Jo average (apologies to those called Jo) slap in the middle of potential to have a strong grip. He most probably has average strength, average size etc.  If he leads a normal life his forearms will stay average. If he never uses his hands what so ever his genetics will determine the lower limit of muscle waist and speed of the waist occurring . If he exercises properly his genes will determine an upper limit and the speed of hypertrophy . What these limits are no one can tell you. YET!

I am not saying you should use genetics as an excuse.

Know about it, debate about it, and then forget it, and-

Train TRain TRAin TRAIn TRAIN!!!!!

If you don’t like the last five words LEAVE because your obviously in the wrong place!

Vince you are so right. You help people, they start making enormous progress you leave them alone for one minute and what do they do?

”” MMMM if I’m making this much progress exercising once twice three times a week how much progress will I make if I exercise five, six times a week. How about 24/7 G-o-d I’ll be the size of Arnold in no time””.  This is so infuriating, frustrating but more than that quite sad.(The above”” ”” is just an example)

On free weight/machines. I personally use only one- Pull over. For the rest there is no need.

:D

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Guest kINGPIN

Admitting to yourself that you have bad genetics is not an excuse to train like a p u s s y!  If I have given that impression then I apologise.  But admitting I had bad genetics was the best thing that happened to me.  Because that turned me to the hardgainer way of thinking and that was when the gains started coming.  Instead of me trying to train like COleman, Arnie, Sergio, Matarrazio etc. I was training is a way that suits me.  This is not a theory as it has actually worked.

Breif

Infrequent

Progressive resistance

HArd n heavy!

.....and most importantly safe.

This is the hardgainer way.

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"Brief

Infrequent

Progressive resistance

HArd n heavy!

.....and most importantly safe.

This is the hardgainer way."

Yes, and those principles are not peculiar to hardgainers. If there is a theory of hypertrophy then anything that works for hardgainers must be in the general theory of hypertrophy. I believe that so-called hardgainers have been forced to find the true theory of hypertrophy because they surely do not gain much doing just anything like some guys do when they lift weights.

Is "hardgainer" a description of individuals or a theory of hypertrophy? It would seem it is the latter. Why I think the concept hardgainer is flawed is because there is no way to identify these people ahead of time. What happens is that those who make slow gains are labelled hardgainers.

About machines. There are many different machines and types of machines. If we restrict out discussion to those with weight stacks or that use added plates then we see that there are two main kinds of apparatus. Those that change the direction of force, and those that use gravity vertically.

How can anyone train their backs easily without a lat machine? Triceps are also easy to train using pressdowns. Calves are almost impossible to train without machines. Not comfortably, that is, except for partner donkey raises.

And so it goes for lots of muscles. What amuses me is that there are many who swear their theories are right and they really have no evidence to back up their claims. They have beliefs and a preference that has given them results so that is what they are sticking with. That is hardly being scientific. The bias of many people towards free weights is interesting and I think retains an historical link with the past. There is no inherent superiority of free weights over machines.

A question that comes up when I think about this issue is exactly what makes the muscle grow? How do we know that Nautilus cams are what will make the muscle grow best? It may be that some of those theories are mere hypothesis and have no support in fact. There is always danger when you assume things to be true.

I believe there are many false beliefs in bodybuilding and powerlifting. These falsehoods remain no matter what breakthroughs occur. I wonder why that is? In our modern age we use keyboards and seldom typewriters. Would anyone actually prefer a typewriter? That would be bizarre. Someday I believe the same sort of thing will be thought of those who insist on using only free weights. Quite bizarre.

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In reply to Joe's post re Casey Viator. I remember meeting Casey on the harbour cruise after the 1980 Mr Olympia. He remembered that I won my contest around the same time as he did. He said, "Hey, kid, has it been 10 years already!".

Robert Nailon had a small gym in Randwick at the time and a few of the champs trained at his gym. I saw photos of Casey training that Robert took and wondered how Casey could look so ordinary on stage and yet so huge in the gym. Yes, he had magnificent forearms. That he could wrist curl 225 pounds is assured. However, we must be careful about strength and size as you well know.

I remember a longshoreman named John Hammerley in Vancouver who decided he wanted to have large forearms. Well, he quietly began doing wrist curls religiously. After about 6 months he was handling over 220 pounds for sets of wrist curls. He also performed reverse wrist curls. He lamented that his forearms still didn't grow that much and later he gave up the quest for huge forearms through heavy training. I always wondered why he didn't grow and others did. Where was that famous correlation between strength and cross-section of muscles? In individuals the strength was supposed to go up as the muscles got larger. However, there was no marked hypertrophy other than what was achieved through his usual programme and heavy work on the docks.

I concluded that bodybuilders might not develop proportional strength for their size. The implication for hypertrophy theory is that there need not be gains in size for increases in strength. It remained to account for the gains in strength. I don't think anyone has done that.

An easy mental experiment to see if adding weight is the reason muscles grow and get stronger is to see what happens if you get to limits. If someone were to add a measly 5 pounds of weight on his bench press every week for a year he would be benching 260 pounds more at the end of a year. That sort of gain is quite rare. It is near impossible for anyone to continue with that sort of progress for 2 years because that would mean the person would be benching an additional 260 pounds or 520 pounds. If the person started out at 200 pounds then he would be near world record ability in two years. There is no way this 5 pound gain can be sustained for 3 years because that would mean he would be lifting 980 pounds. The conclusion is that gains in size cannot soley be due to gains in training poundages. Training resistance is but one factor in the hypertrophy formula. The other factors must have something to do with the endurance and/or other components of muscle tissue that does not contract.

There was a theory that individuals who had small muscles, such as the calves of many African natives, didn't need big muscles to be strong or to move about. It was thought that big muscles were needed by individuals with inferior muscle leverages and compositions. I wondered about that. If it is partly true then those who develop big muscles are not the true genetic superiors afterall! :)

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Aaah!  Kingpin, Vince I couldn’t have said it better myself. Admitting my shortcomings was the best thing that I have done. Now I train exactly the way you described K and finally progress is coming like clockwork where on ‘’normal training’’ I regressed.

Vince your theory on weights/ machines- on the money.

Theory on genetics- WOW. I thought about it and it makes sense. O boy is that going to p iss some people off. :D

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"Brief

Infrequent

Progressive resistance

HArd n heavy!

.....and most importantly safe.

This is the hardgainer way."

Yes, and those principles are not peculiar to hardgainers. If there is a theory of hypertrophy then anything that works for hardgainers must be in the general theory of hypertrophy. I believe that so-called hardgainers have been forced to find the true theory of hypertrophy because they surely do not gain much doing just anything like some guys do when they lift weights.

Is "hardgainer" a description of individuals or a theory of hypertrophy? It would seem it is the latter. Why I think the concept hardgainer is flawed is because there is no way to identify these people ahead of time. What happens is that those who make slow gains are labelled hardgainers.

About machines. There are many different machines and types of machines. If we restrict out discussion to those with weight stacks or that use added plates then we see that there are two main kinds of apparatus. Those that change the direction of force, and those that use gravity vertically.

How can anyone train their backs easily without a lat machine? Triceps are also easy to train using pressdowns. Calves are almost impossible to train without machines. Not comfortably, that is, except for partner donkey raises.

And so it goes for lots of muscles. What amuses me is that there are many who swear their theories are right and they really have no evidence to back up their claims. They have beliefs and a preference that has given them results so that is what they are sticking with. That is hardly being scientific. The bias of many people towards free weights is interesting and I think retains an historical link with the past. There is no inherent superiority of free weights over machines.

A question that comes up when I think about this issue is exactly what makes the muscle grow? How do we know that Nautilus cams are what will make the muscle grow best? It may be that some of those theories are mere hypothesis and have no support in fact. There is always danger when you assume things to be true.

I believe there are many false beliefs in bodybuilding and powerlifting. These falsehoods remain no matter what breakthroughs occur. I wonder why that is? In our modern age we use keyboards and seldom typewriters. Would anyone actually prefer a typewriter? That would be bizarre. Someday I believe the same sort of thing will be thought of those who insist on using only free weights. Quite bizarre.

Vince for the sake of argument I believe the opposite is true how can anybody train lats on a machine when the free weights are handy!? Granted the muscle does not know if it is a free weight or a machine,but the person doing the excercise knows!! I can understand your point of view,whereas being a gym owner and inventor you prefer machines,it's your bread and butter! As for the comparison between keyboards and typewriters if the typewriter did the job better and more efficiently, you bet my preference would still be the typewriter!! Calves can be developed doing toe raises with a barbell inside a power rack,this is a lot more strenuous than any machine and unless I'm wrong making it harder to perform is what you want! If you want to make it easier then by all means use machines! I believe machines do have their place (in gyms mostly) and any excercise is better than none! As for thinking that people who use only free weights are bizarre,so be it! I would rather be thought of as being bizarre rather than following the rest of the sheep everytime a pretty new machine appears on the scene! And nine times out of ten these machines are so outrageously expensive that no one can afford them except gyms which in turn charge enormous fees for the use of their equipment! In  my lifetime I have made use of several gyms and the machines were fun because they made me feel stronger than I really was and they had a limited range of motion that made them a lot easier to use than free weights! I do beleive machines have their place perhaps I would use them for rehabilitation purposes,etc! Vince are you familiar with dinosaur training?? If not I would recommend the book by Brooks Kubik,it does go to extremes at times but it's an iteresting read! Thanks for your input and knowledge,Vince I respect your opinions and comments1

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GeneticPerfection,Do not be so quick to jump on the bandwagon with Vince,as a gym owner and inventor it is his job to sell you on machines! That is the only way to turn a profit. Granted it is a legitimate profession but he is just as adamant about machines as dinosaurs are about free weights! :D I take it from your posts that you are still a young man spreading his wings and testing the waters! Listen to a couple of old timers such as Vince and myself then make up your own mind! Machines and gyms will cost you a fortune in the long run not to mention personal trainers,etc. Whereas if you learn to develop discipline,commitment and are willing to sacrifice blood sweat and tears you can reach your goals on your own using nothing but free weights!! Again machines are pretty and they are fun, but you need the weights to truly know what you are capable of! Well guys I will shut my big mouth now!! Thanx for the outlet!

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Sheeeshhh!!!!! Please excuse my spelling and typos, all,it's been along day and I'm tired! Besides I never claimed to be the best typist in here!!! :D

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Guest kINGPIN

Allthough I do not use a single machine now, I do believe that they have there place.  Calf raises are a good one but that is not to say that they are better, I would just put then as equal.  As for lat pulldowns, when you are a beginner they are particularly good because the resistance can be set low which is something you can not do with chin ups ecspecialy if you are carrying a lot of 'insulation'.  These movements are not a lot different from there free weight alternatives.  But in my opinion....get too attached to them at your peril.  

Your muscle does not know what you are pushing/pulling against but you joints do.  The pathway of a bench press is not totally vertical as we all know, but with a machine it is.  When using the FW's when your joint needs to move it is allowed to, yet with most machines the joint has little/no choice of its path way and so goes where the muscle tell it to.  I do not use free weights as a way of maintaining tradition.  Our bodies are designed to lift, push and pull things.  In order to do this, assister muscles are used and strengthened.  If you lift, push, or pull on a machine then you will only be able to lift, push and pull on a machine.  try going back to free weights and you will be back where you started or may even regress.

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Blue I’m not jumping on any bandwagon. I use machines that I consider beneficial to my exercise regime. I don’t just see a machine and use it. I look at how it works, if it gives resistance thru a full range of my motion. I test the resistance (smooth ness of the bearings pulleys etc.) in the machine. I look and see if its just mimicking a free weight exercise and thus has no extra value. I also assess if a machine is necessary to use for the way I wish to perform the exercise. For example if I want to do shoulder presses to full negative failure not using a machine would be extremely dangerous. Not just for me but my training partner (past positive failure he is doing all the lifting). If and when all my criteria are met I will consider using that machine.  Machines are a great tool too overcome weakness as Kingpin said. My girlfriend can’t do a pull up with her body weight so in the mean time she uses  a counter weight machine (she is 5kg away from doing a bw pull-up). When she reaches that point she will disregard the machine and do only bw pull-ups and ultimately progressive resistance pull-ups.

Blue don’t tell me to learn/develop discipline, commitment and be willing to sacrifice blood sweat and tears. You don’t know anything about me and how I train! :angry:

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Fuel Crusher

A bit harsh Genetic. Blueshadow was only doing what we all do on this board, offer opinions/advice. You don't have to agree with opinions or take advice. Angry smilies along with statements like that are only going to stir up flame wars.

Chill   :)  :)

FC

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GeneticPerfection,Please forgive my comments they were not meant to offend you! In the future I will keep my opinions concerning you to myself! Again please accept my deepest aplogies As I did not mean to sound patronizing!

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