WHAT’S NEW AT USI
We got a new machine.
A Chest Fly/Rear Delt machine.
I’ve really been wanting to get one of these. It’s a great exercise to isolate the pecs. The pec majors main action is to adduct and medially rotate the humerus, and this is exactly what this machine does. This machines resistance curve is constant throughout the entire range of motion because gravity is not providing the resistance like it does with a dumbbell fly. Its important to train muscles from many different angles and to have different resistance curves. Doing so will provide greater results.
If you face the machine it works the rear delts and the rhomboids. We’ve been doing this exercise a lot as a superset with seated dumbbell shrugs with a neutral grip. Some strength coaches and powerlifters that I respect claim that hitting the rear delts can also help to increase your bench. I’m not sure on this based off of application but my bench has gone up. Whether or not this exercise has contributed to that is beyond me as of right now.
Here is a video of myself and my training partner Eddie doing both exercises.
At the end of my set for the chest fly I held the weight for a 10 second hold in the contracted position and then did a few pulses at the stretched position. This is done to increase the tension time and to make the exercise a bit more challenging when you can no longer do full range of motion reps. These techniques are typically done with the last set of certain exercises so you don’t get completely fried.
My friend Teddy K. stopped in to train with me. One unique and cool exercise we did was the Earthquake Press. This exercise really works the stabilizers of the shoulder well since the kettle bells swing all over the place. If you program this into your workouts in appropriate places and at appropriate times it can help to increase your regular bench press. I like to use as either an assistance exercise, or sometimes as a main exercise if I’ve been doing a lot of volume with regular presses. Because you don’t have to use much weight (you really can’t cause it’s so freakin hard) your body can recover for all the other stuff you do. The heavier and harder stuff. There’s only about 110 lb. on the bar and it’s pretty tough.
Not everyone makes this exercise look so easy. Check out this video when we first got the Earthquake Bar to see how hard it can be. http://urbanstrengthinstitute.com/the-earthquake-bar-the-hardest-bar-youve-never-benched-with/
After reading the research on Occlusion Training we’ve been experimenting with this at the end of some workouts. Here is a video of Pat doing a Standing EZ Bar Curl. He did a super set with a Rope Tricep Pushdown (pushdown isn’t in the video).
Basically Occlusion Training is restricting blood flow (also referred to as BFR, blow flow restriction) through the veins. Blood can get into the muscle because you’re not restricting arterial blood flow, just veinous return. So blood gets in but doesn’t get out. That probably sounds dangerous but it’s not. As long as whatever you’re using to restrict blood flow (we’re using the same things doctors use to draw blood) isn’t to tight it’s not a problem. Plus, you’re not restricting blood flow very long. Currently we super set two exercises back to back with no rest, then rest 30 seconds and then do it again. We do this for four total sets, which takes probably three to four minutes. The reason why it works is it increases a build up of fluid and lactic acid levels, which causes the muscle cell to swell. When this happens the cell membrane thinks it may rupture, so it grows to protect itself.
I have a doctor who trains here and he loves Occlusion Training. I told him to look into the research figuring that since he’s a doctor he’d be interested in it. After researching it he thought the science was sound. So he tried it for the first time and said he felt pumped even the day after training arms. Now he’s doing it practically every workout and it looks to be working pretty freakin well.
You can Google Occlusion Training and see tons of articles on this if you’re interested in the research. And here is a great article on the topic by Dr. Jacob Wilson. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-occlusion-training.html
We’ve also been doing a lot of T Bar Rows. I’ve been doing this mainly with a supinated grip. It really hits my lower lats hard and just feels better than doing them pronated for me. My workout partner Eddie prefers doing them with a pronated grip. He claims he feels it more with that hand position.
Since driving up the weight on these and really strengthening my erectors from the strong isometric contraction you get, my squat, dead lift, and reverse hyper have gone up in weight. I’m not sure if the T Bar Row contributed to all this though. All that matters is that it’s working though, so we’ve continued to program them into our workouts for a while now.
That’s it for this week.
Any questions or comments please post them. I’ll try to answer any to provide more info if needed.