Weight Training, Routines and More

The Iron Game

September 12th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Revisiting A Time Tested Old School Movement

This message is for those of you who have been disciples of the The Iron Game for literally the better part of their lives.  I’m directing this to those folks who may have started their weight training in their teens and have continued through their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

Throughout this journey you have probably seen your strength and size increase dramatically.  If you were a consistent 3 to 4 day a week, hard and heavy fanatic as I am, you may have at times had to abandon certain exercises because of injury, i.e. sit down behind the neck military presses, bench presses, and squats.  As we mature we discover substitute exercises to fill the void created by abandoning the old school time tested movements.  All the while very much aware of “what used to be”, as you once pounded monsterous weights with caged aggression and you attacked each giant set like there was no tomorrow!

If you have the good fortune of training in a facility that has a wide variety of equipment including a smith machine, dumbbells and a t-bar, you might experiment by returning to an old school movement.

I have not been able to bench press for 22 years due to the wear and tear caused by heavy benching twice a week from age 22 to 35.  Just recently I tried benching on the smith machine and couldn’t believe how my anterior delts had healed and thus experienced no pain in the movement!

My focus now is not on pushing huge weights but rather on doing the movement itself, which feels great!  I don’t count sets at all, though the reps will range from 12 to 15 per set.  My focus is on working the pecs, anterior delts and triceps.  After a number of sets I’ll use a wider grip for several more sets, finishing off with wide grip benches with the bar coming down closer to my neck, which gives you an entirely different feel.  Benching in this fashion plus incline presses, when it’s all said and done, takes me about 55 minutes and I do 40 plus sets.  It’s great to be back benching!

As a substitute for behind the neck military presses, simply try sit down side dumbbell laterals or try the movement with chains.

Want to further develop your legs but you can’t squat anymore because your knees kill you?  Try focusing on working your back with two old school movements; bent over barbell rows and t-bar rows.  These two movements coupled with deadlifts will not only strengthen your back, but will indirectly hit your legs and you will feel and see a difference in your lower half.  I do bent over rows, t-bars and deadlift twice a week.  Very few people will do these movements because they are too hard.  They are time tested and produce the results you want!

Give benching a try if you have access to a smith machine, you just might be surprised that you can do it again!  Good training!

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.John Wayne

Gary Lillvis

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