## Re: [STREND] Hello

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• Welcome, Do you really think you have a SEVERE disadvantage? There are ways to minimize that. Besides how do we know you don t have a huge chest? Here are
Message 1 of 7 , Aug 1, 2001
Welcome,
Do you really think you have a SEVERE disadvantage?  There are ways to minimize that.  Besides how do we know you don't have a huge chest?    Here are some tips from:  http://www.t-mag.com/html/body_101bench.html

The floppy bar syndrome: If you use a "whippy bar" such as a competition Olympic bar, you'll lose a lot of energy controlling the whip (the multidirectional movement) of the bar. Of course, the heavier you go, the more this poses a problem
2) The "thick as a brick" equation: There may be as much as a one-centimeter (1/2-inch) difference between the circumferences of different bars at the point where you grip it. While there's an optimum bar circumference relative to your hand size, I'd recommend using a bar with the circumference of nine to nine-plus centimeters, as opposed to the one that's over ten centimeters.
3) The bent bar factor: Normally, using a bent bar wouldn't make much difference. But once you go anywhere above 70% of your 1RM, you'll really notice the impact of a bent bar. Not only will it reduce the load lifted, it may also cause you to strain or tear soft tissue. Avoid it like the plague!
The "trueness" of a bar can make 2-10% of a difference on your lift, depending on the extent of the bend.
My "made in Taiwan" Olympic bar has lines 102 cm apart, as opposed to my Eleiko bar lines, which are 90 cm apart. This is a massive factor, and it could make as much as a 5-15% difference in the amount of weight lifted
Note:   Do you know about the measuring and 83% rule?
If you use a bar that's shiny or slippery, you lose too much energy fighting the lateral hand slip, even when using chalk. If you want to keep your hands soft for your girlfriend, like the slimy character in "Of Mice and Men," you don't have to use the roughest bar. But you want one that provides an adequate grip. I find that a slippery bar can cause you to lose up to 5% of your 1RM.
6) Pick the right height, Dwight: Optimum dimensions for bench height will be influenced by your stature. Ideally, you need to be able to have an acute knee angle (less than 90 degrees) with your feet flat on the ground. If the bench is too high, you won't be able to achieve this acute knee angle and still be able to have your feet flat on the ground, which is necessary so that you can exert force through the feet.
If the bench is too low, your knee angle will be too acute, and you'll be mechanically disadvantaged when it comes to driving through the ground with your feet. Most competition bench presses are about 45 cm off of the ground. This is for a person of average height. If the bench is way off, compared to your height, it could make at least a 10% difference to your 1RM.
This can pose a problem, we don't adjust bench heights in STREND, nor do we check thickness, or bend of bar  thickness of the foam etd.
7) Pick the right width, Sid: Optimum dimensions for bench width again will be influenced by your bodyweight, shape, and back width. Ideally, the bench will allow you to place most of your force through your scapula, which should be in a retracted and motionless position. If the bench is too narrow, you won't be able to find a flat, firm place to create that action-reaction through your shoulder blades.
If the bench is too wide, the only harm is that it will restrict your range during the lowering. (While doing cambered benches, I usually find symmetrical bruising behind my shoulders every time, and it took me a while to figure out why!) Therefore, using a bench that's too narrow is the main concern. Most competition benches will measure about 30 cm wide, which is ideal for the average lifter. An extremely narrow bench (relative to you) could cost you at least 10%-15% off of your 1RM.
, it's too soft. You'll lose energy while stabilizing the movement of the shoulders. I prefer a harder bench to a softer bench. Think of the mechanics of action-reaction: the harder the surface, the greater the "rebound;" the softer the surface, the greater the dissipation. A really soft bench (as used in most commercial applications) may cost you 5-10% off of your 1RM.
11) The "home of the golden arches" principle: If you want to lift at your max, you're only kidding yourself if you don't use some kind of body arch! An arch of the trunk reduces the distance that the bar travels, increases the potential contribution of the lats and lower pecs, and creates an arc in the lift, as opposed to being straight up. All of this translates into more weight being lifted.
I classify three arches. First, a subtle movement is performed after you lie down on the bench in which you slide your bum/hips up closer to your shoulders. The second type is a more aggressive position in which you place your shoulders down first upon lying on the bench, then put your bum/hips down as close as you can to your shoulders.
The third, final, and most aggressive (and, therefore, most effective) arch technique is the one used by powerlifters in competition. Start right on the bench by positioning your feet far back, driving your hips in the air and back down the bench, then driving your shoulders into the bench in a position that's close to the feet. It's a little more complicated than this description, but you get the general idea!
A few words of advice, though. Warm and stretch the lower back before using any of these arches. Come out of them slowly. Do a reverse stretch (cradle) on the bench before getting up. Don't overuse this technique, though. Save it up for the max strength phase. Arching is probably the most powerful of all of these techniques and tips and can give you up to 20% extra on your 1RM!
12) The "Isaac Newton, for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction" principle: I identify four main points where vital action-reaction dynamics are occurring, and if you aren't using them, you won't lift to your potential. The most important would be the shoulder blades. Most of the loading goes through this point. You must learn to use your shoulder blades as nonmoving, stable points of action-reaction. Drive through them!
13) The "keep those blades sheathed" principle: I want the shoulder blades not only retracted during the lift, but still, too. They provide the greatest area of action-reaction. Most trainees allow them to protract (drift outward) with the completion of the concentric phase. Don't! Hold them tight and still. It's almost impossible to reposition them for the next rep, and as soon as you've "lost" them, they can no longer act as the major action-reaction site. This simple habit could contribute as much as 5% more on your bench.
No doubt, you've heard or read about the "sticking point" during the concentric phase of the lift. This is the point of greatest mechanical weakness, the point at which you're most likely to fail.
When you get into this zone and feel the lift slowing, consciously, progressively, and minimally drive the bar more toward the head (i.e. upward at a 45-degree angle), as opposed to straight up. This keeps the bar moving and may actually allow you sneak through this weak joint angle. However, timing the use of this technique is critical: too early and you'll lose it, too late and you'll be too fatigued. And worse, if you overdo it, you'll drop it onto your head!
But what's less known is the use of breathing during other parts of the lift. When you take possession of the bar (from the rack), you should have full lungs, temporarily holding your breath. This prevents that initial feeling of being crushed by the load, a technique used extensively in powerlifting for both squats and benches.
From here, any inhalations or exhalations (except for those that take place during the actual lifting phase) have to be shallow and quick to avoid losing this firm base. When you begin to lower the bar, be careful not to breathe in too early, as this will make the time frame between the end of the inhalation and the sticking point too long, possibly causing a degree of hypoxia or shortage of oxygen in the muscle cell.
You can train yourself to hold your breath for longer periods of time. This is what most powerlifters inadvertently do. But, for the average lifter, finishing the inhalation too early can cause you to miss the lift.

Granted, many of these tips are aimed at powerlifters and bench freaks who just want to lift a lot of weight. But many of these principles have direct applications to bodybuilders, too. After all, proper technique, with the added benefit of proper equipment, will lead to additional hypertrophy all the more quickly. Now go slap some poundage on that bar.
Hope all that helps,
Matt
.

At 08:33 PM 7/31/2001 -0500, you wrote:
Just signed up for the STREND group.  I am mostly a lurker on news groups - you learn a lot more that way ;-)  I learned of STREND from my son who was stationed in Hawaii and competed in the (I think) First Aloha Games event.  I am a bit old perhaps to compete at 66, but STREND epitomizes my training goals over the past 40+ years.  I would really like to improve my bench press.  At 6' 2" with 37" sleeves I think I have a severe mechanical disadvantage.  Any suggestions welcome.  Hello to all.

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Matt Bogdanowicz
Fitness Specialist
Cisco TimeOut Fitness Center
375 E Tasman,  Bldg.  6
Phone:  408-525-9311
Fax:      408-525-9527
Extension:        59311
mbogdaan@...
• Thanks for the pointer to the t-mag site. Lots of good reading there - some of it a bit far out though. Rest assured that I do not have a huge chest.
Message 2 of 7 , Aug 19, 2001
Thanks for the pointer to the t-mag site.  Lots of good reading there - some of it a bit far out though.  Rest assured that I do not have a "huge" chest.  Thanks again.  It is motivating to read about the workouts others are doing, so please keep us up to date.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, 01 August, 2001 14:42
Subject: Re: [STREND] Hello

Welcome,
Do you really think you have a SEVERE disadvantage?  There are ways to minimize that.  Besides how do we know you don't have a huge chest?    Here are some tips from:  http://www.t-mag.com/html/body_101bench.html

The floppy bar syndrome: If you use a "whippy bar" such as a competition Olympic bar, you'll lose a lot of energy controlling the whip (the multidirectional movement) of the bar. Of course, the heavier you go, the more this poses a problem
2) The "thick as a brick" equation: There may be as much as a one-centimeter (1/2-inch) difference between the circumferences of different bars at the point where you grip it. While there's an optimum bar circumference relative to your hand size, I'd recommend using a bar with the circumference of nine to nine-plus centimeters, as opposed to the one that's over ten centimeters.
3) The bent bar factor: Normally, using a bent bar wouldn't make much difference. But once you go anywhere above 70% of your 1RM, you'll really notice the impact of a bent bar. Not only will it reduce the load lifted, it may also cause you to strain or tear soft tissue. Avoid it like the plague!
The "trueness" of a bar can make 2-10% of a difference on your lift, depending on the extent of the bend.
My "made in Taiwan" Olympic bar has lines 102 cm apart, as opposed to my Eleiko bar lines, which are 90 cm apart. This is a massive factor, and it could make as much as a 5-15% difference in the amount of weight lifted
Note:   Do you know about the measuring and 83% rule?
If you use a bar that's shiny or slippery, you lose too much energy fighting the lateral hand slip, even when using chalk. If you want to keep your hands soft for your girlfriend, like the slimy character in "Of Mice and Men," you don't have to use the roughest bar. But you want one that provides an adequate grip. I find that a slippery bar can cause you to lose up to 5% of your 1RM.
6) Pick the right height, Dwight: Optimum dimensions for bench height will be influenced by your stature. Ideally, you need to be able to have an acute knee angle (less than 90 degrees) with your feet flat on the ground. If the bench is too high, you won't be able to achieve this acute knee angle and still be able to have your feet flat on the ground, which is necessary so that you can exert force through the feet.
If the bench is too low, your knee angle will be too acute, and you'll be mechanically disadvantaged when it comes to driving through the ground with your feet. Most competition bench presses are about 45 cm off of the ground. This is for a person of average height. If the bench is way off, compared to your height, it could make at least a 10% difference to your 1RM.
This can pose a problem, we don't adjust bench heights in STREND, nor do we check thickness, or bend of bar  thickness of the foam etd.
7) Pick the right width, Sid: Optimum dimensions for bench width again will be influenced by your bodyweight, shape, and back width. Ideally, the bench will allow you to place most of your force through your scapula, which should be in a retracted and motionless position. If the bench is too narrow, you won't be able to find a flat, firm place to create that action-reaction through your shoulder blades.
If the bench is too wide, the only harm is that it will restrict your range during the lowering. (While doing cambered benches, I usually find symmetrical bruising behind my shoulders every time, and it took me a while to figure out why!) Therefore, using a bench that's too narrow is the main concern. Most competition benches will measure about 30 cm wide, which is ideal for the average lifter. An extremely narrow bench (relative to you) could cost you at least 10%-15% off of your 1RM.
, it's too soft. You'll lose energy while stabilizing the movement of the shoulders. I prefer a harder bench to a softer bench. Think of the mechanics of action-reaction: the harder the surface, the greater the "rebound;" the softer the surface, the greater the dissipation. A really soft bench (as used in most commercial applications) may cost you 5-10% off of your 1RM.
11) The "home of the golden arches" principle: If you want to lift at your max, you're only kidding yourself if you don't use some kind of body arch! An arch of the trunk reduces the distance that the bar travels, increases the potential contribution of the lats and lower pecs, and creates an arc in the lift, as opposed to being straight up. All of this translates into more weight being lifted.
I classify three arches. First, a subtle movement is performed after you lie down on the bench in which you slide your bum/hips up closer to your shoulders. The second type is a more aggressive position in which you place your shoulders down first upon lying on the bench, then put your bum/hips down as close as you can to your shoulders.
The third, final, and most aggressive (and, therefore, most effective) arch technique is the one used by powerlifters in competition. Start right on the bench by positioning your feet far back, driving your hips in the air and back down the bench, then driving your shoulders into the bench in a position that's close to the feet. It's a little more complicated than this description, but you get the general idea!
A few words of advice, though. Warm and stretch the lower back before using any of these arches. Come out of them slowly. Do a reverse stretch (cradle) on the bench before getting up. Don't overuse this technique, though. Save it up for the max strength phase. Arching is probably the most powerful of all of these techniques and tips and can give you up to 20% extra on your 1RM!
12) The "Isaac Newton, for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction" principle: I identify four main points where vital action-reaction dynamics are occurring, and if you aren't using them, you won't lift to your potential. The most important would be the shoulder blades. Most of the loading goes through this point. You must learn to use your shoulder blades as nonmoving, stable points of action-reaction. Drive through them!
13) The "keep those blades sheathed" principle: I want the shoulder blades not only retracted during the lift, but still, too. They provide the greatest area of action-reaction. Most trainees allow them to protract (drift outward) with the completion of the concentric phase. Don't! Hold them tight and still. It's almost impossible to reposition them for the next rep, and as soon as you've "lost" them, they can no longer act as the major action-reaction site. This simple habit could contribute as much as 5% more on your bench.
No doubt, you've heard or read about the "sticking point" during the concentric phase of the lift. This is the point of greatest mechanical weakness, the point at which you're most likely to fail.
When you get into this zone and feel the lift slowing, consciously, progressively, and minimally drive the bar more toward the head (i.e. upward at a 45-degree angle), as opposed to straight up. This keeps the bar moving and may actually allow you sneak through this weak joint angle. However, timing the use of this technique is critical: too early and you'll lose it, too late and you'll be too fatigued. And worse, if you overdo it, you'll drop it onto your head!
But what's less known is the use of breathing during other parts of the lift. When you take possession of the bar (from the rack), you should have full lungs, temporarily holding your breath. This prevents that initial feeling of being crushed by the load, a technique used extensively in powerlifting for both squats and benches.
From here, any inhalations or exhalations (except for those that take place during the actual lifting phase) have to be shallow and quick to avoid losing this firm base. When you begin to lower the bar, be careful not to breathe in too early, as this will make the time frame between the end of the inhalation and the sticking point too long, possibly causing a degree of hypoxia or shortage of oxygen in the muscle cell.
You can train yourself to hold your breath for longer periods of time. This is what most powerlifters inadvertently do. But, for the average lifter, finishing the inhalation too early can cause you to miss the lift.

Granted, many of these tips are aimed at powerlifters and bench freaks who just want to lift a lot of weight. But many of these principles have direct applications to bodybuilders, too. After all, proper technique, with the added benefit of proper equipment, will lead to additional hypertrophy all the more quickly. Now go slap some poundage on that bar.
Hope all that helps,
Matt
.

At 08:33 PM 7/31/2001 -0500, you wrote:
Just signed up for the STREND group.  I am mostly a lurker on news groups - you learn a lot more that way ;-)  I learned of STREND from my son who was stationed in Hawaii and competed in the (I think) First Aloha Games event.  I am a bit old perhaps to compete at 66, but STREND epitomizes my training goals over the past 40+ years.  I would really like to improve my bench press.  At 6' 2" with 37" sleeves I think I have a severe mechanical disadvantage.  Any suggestions welcome.  Hello to all.

Post message: STREND@...
Subscribe:    STREND-subscribe@...
Unsubscribe:  STREND-unsubscribe@...

List Homepage:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STREND

To go to the STREND Website:
http://www.strend.com

Matt Bogdanowicz
Fitness Specialist
Cisco TimeOut Fitness Center
375 E Tasman,  Bldg.  6
Phone:  408-525-9311
Fax:      408-525-9527
Extension:        59311
mbogdaan@...
Post message: STREND@...
Subscribe:    STREND-subscribe@...
Unsubscribe:  STREND-unsubscribe@...

List Homepage:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STREND

To go to the STREND Website:
http://www.strend.com

• Hi, My name is Thad Wilson. I found out about Strend from a friend while discussing triathlons. I have never competed in a Strend event. I live in Ohio and
Message 3 of 7 , Jun 6, 2003
Hi,
My name is Thad Wilson. I found out about Strend from a friend while discussing triathlons. I have never competed in a Strend event. I live in Ohio and would be interested in any future events in the Midwest area.

---------------------------------
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• Check out the Canadian Strend. I drove up from Wooster last year. Great event--super hosts!!!! John C. ... From: thad wilson To: STREND@yahoogroups.com Sent:
Message 4 of 7 , Jun 6, 2003
Check out the Canadian Strend. I drove up from Wooster last year. Great event--super hosts!!!!

John C.
----- Original Message -----
To: STREND@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Friday, June 06, 2003 7:34 AM
Subject: [STREND] Hello

Hi,
My name is Thad Wilson. I found out about Strend from a friend while discussing triathlons. I have never competed in a Strend event. I live in Ohio and would be interested in any future events in the Midwest area.

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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
• thad - hey bud glad to hear you are looking for an event in the midwest. the 3rd annual midwest is july 19th in anoka, mn. i think this will be the closest
Message 5 of 7 , Jun 8, 2003
hey bud glad to hear you are looking for an event in the midwest. the
3rd annual midwest is july 19th in anoka, mn. i think this will be
the closest for you and it is a great time. check it out on the
sean

--- In STREND@yahoogroups.com, thad wilson <twilson63@y...> wrote:
> Hi,
> My name is Thad Wilson. I found out about Strend from a friend
while discussing triathlons. I have never competed in a Strend event.
I live in Ohio and would be interested in any future events in the
Midwest area.
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Free online calendar with sync to Outlook(TM).
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
• Hello, my name is Joe and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I was in search of a competition that I could behaps compete in besides a 10K or marathron. I do a lot
Message 6 of 7 , Aug 22, 2006
Hello, my name is Joe and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I was in search of a competition that I could behaps compete in besides a 10K or marathron. I do a lot of basic expercises and those are pull-ups, push-ups etc. I work-out with weights but not totally I mix it up with these basic excercises. I found STREND on the internet and I would like to compete in STREND soon. I don't see a 2007 schedule. When one comes available I will be interested in competeing. Also I would like to know if there are any STREND members that live in the Phoeinx area that I can work out with at times.
Thanks, looking forward to the future.

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