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Monday, 19 May 2014

Rusty Moore - The biggest strength training mistake I see is...

I'm not going to lie.

I'm definitely not the strongest person in my gym. 

I'm between 6'3" and 6'4" and have arms almost as long as Plastic Man....but this is the hand I've been dealt.

Being somewhat tall is cool, but with downfalls:

    Sucks trying to fit into plane seats (I never ride first class).
    The sleeve length of 99% of shirts and coats are too short.
    When you are young people ask if you play basketball (I didn't).
    Higher chance of bumping your head on stuff.

Note: When you have a greater chance of hitting your head and you are also bald, you are almost guaranteed to see a bit of blood.

...but it's not all bad. Here are some things I like about being tall.

    I don't have to invest in step stools.
    I get a great view at most concerts.
    I don't have to worry women I'm dating being taller than me.
    People can easily find me in a crowd.

Note: Being tall doesn't really give you the ability to find other people in a crowd. When I'm looking for a group of friends they always spot me before I spot them...but then again, I might stand out because of my freakishly long arms.

So...although I'm not the strongest person, I do know what it takes to increase strength.

Let's talk a little about the bench press.Most guys...not matter what height or bone structure should eventually be able to bench press 225 pounds at least 1-2 times. 

I'm tall with a light bone took me a long time to get to this level of strength in the bench.

I could squat 405 X 5 before I could bench press 225 pounds one single time.

Looking back, I was making a huge mistake.

A couple of them actually.

    I was using pyramid sets working up to the heaviest weight.
    I was using forced reps and training to failure.

Know why my squat increased so quickly compared to my bench press?

    I typically stopped warm-up sets well short of not a true pyramid setup. 
    I never trained squats to failure, because failing in squats is a brutal process, even in a power rack.

---> If I would have trained my bench press like my squat workout...I'm convinced I would have hit my goals much earlier on.I avoid heavy squats these days, just to keep my legs in proportion with my upper body. If you need mass in the lower body they work well, but at some point you may find squats TOO effective at building lower body mass.

My advice on gaining strength?

Train all lifts in a similar fashion to a typical squat setup.

1. Start light, but don't exhaust yourself on the lighter that energy and effort for your heavier sets.

2. Stop 1-3 reps before failure on even the heaviest sets.

Back to the bench press...I see a lot of young guys who ask for spotters on each and every set. They exhaust the muscles being worked before they hit the most important strength producing sets.

By the time they are lifting heavy, they can't give 100%.

I just saw a group of young personal trainers in my gym struggling the past 2 months trying to increase their bench press max.

I figured this would be a quick tip others could benefit from as well.


-Rusty Moore
Fitness Black Book and Visual Impact fitness courses

PS: I do realize that it is tough to hold back when so many trainers are pushing the "lift till you puke" workout philosophy. I've never trained until I puked. Am I alone? I haven't even seen this happen in my 27 years of having a gym membership in over 15 different gyms. 

If your workout involves are doing it wrong :)

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