Muscleforge - what's the heaviest you'd risk benching without a spotter?

Discussion in 'The Green Room' started by matthunter, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Socialist

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    I think I was benching 80kg or something like that, but it's quite a long time ago. I was never that serious about it and I'm sure it would be much less now.
  2. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Gym update:

    Bicep pulldown: Did 2 sets of 5 reps each at different weights: starting at 93kg (205lb) and stepping down by 15lb each time until I got to 66kg (145lb), where I did 3x5 reps. Arms are burning now.

    Shoulder press: 3x8 reps at 40kg. Much easier so going for 3x8 at 45 next.

    Leg curl: 3x8 reps at 45kg. Can definitely lift more but using the leg curl on the new bench (even though I only have some spare vinyl plates to put on it for the moment = 13kg) I noticed a twinge in my right hamstring just above the joint so decided to go easy.

    Pec curl: 2x8 reps at 104kg but I had trouble getting the weights moving on the third rep so had to drop to 95kg for that.
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  3. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    25kg plates arrived. These are huge. And free up 6 smaller plates for use elsewhere.

    Only downside with the new bench is that the position of the preacher curl pad means you hit the leg curl bar at the lowest point if using dumbbells. It's really designed for preacher bar but I'd need a stand for that.

    No gym today as puppy got hold of my gym shirt and chewed it, so went for 1st swim in over a year instead.
  4. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    so by "went for 1st swim" you mean yourself........right? :unsure: Puppies gonna puppy!
  5. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Yeah he can't swim yet - well, a two yard splosh in the river last week but prefers paddling.

    Gonna try incline bench later as have read it can work upper pecs more, need to raise the supports tho.
  6. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    I doubt if it would be much less. 80K is 176 pounds. You weigh (I guess) not much less than that and you're young so bodyweight + 10 percent would be about right.
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  7. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    yes an incline bench works the upper chest, the decline works the lower. That said you will not be able to lift as much on the incline as on the flat angle. So I would say go with about 20 percent less than you lift on a flat bench just as a good starting point. I simulate using an incline bench by putting my feet up on a tall footstool or coffee table and doing push ups.
    When I did use a bench I used dumbbells because you can never get "stuck" with a bar bearing down on you. You can just drop the dumbbells to the side. The downside to using dumbbells however is once you are in place on the bench you have to get the weights up from the floor into a "ready to push" position. And of course when you are done with your set, lowering them safely down to the floor which ends up being a controlled fall most of the time. :brood: Once you are lifting for a while you'll run into all these things.
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  8. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Bicep pulldowns were a washout today - could barely get the bar down to chin level at 93kg. Was hoping to repeat the last session as I was feeling the burn from that for days, but maybe I'm not fully recovered.

    Chest was better: 3x8 reps at 104kg (230lb) and then dropped down 20lb in steps doing 1x8 at each weight level till I hit 150lb (68kg0, where I did another 3x8 and could really feel the burn across the upper chest. Also did 2x8 reps at 50kg on the shoulder press machine followed by 3x5 reps at 40kg. Was hoping for 3x8 at 50kg but right shoulder balked at initial lift on the third set so lowered the weight. Can really feel it in my mid deltoids and tris, so it did the job anyway.

    Did 3x8reps at 50kg bench yesterday with no real issues although I'm gonna stick at it for a while longer - see if I can up to 5x8 - before going back up the weights. The pain issues I was having were almost definitely poor form and lack of strength in the supporting muscles so I was overloading my triceps and wanna avoid that again.
  9. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Been away so not too much to report. I managed another bicep shred session that matched the one in post #32 except I started with 3x5 reps at 93kg. Feeling it in my forearms and rear shoulders moreso than biceps though. Did 3x7 reps at 50kg shoulder press and 3x8 reps leg extension at 90kg.

    Also bought a Sixpad as it was going cheap - this is an ab toner thing you slap on your stomach and it zaps you with electrical shocks to make the abs twitch. Also comes with pads you can pop on your arms, hips or thighs. It won't burn my belly fat but I am feeling the effects - my abs definitely feel like I've done a sit-up/crunch routine - so should help "suck in the gut" more.
  10. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    not to burst your bubble - because I like to see people exercising and improving themselves - but google up the science behind the effectiveness of electrical impulses in building/strengthening muscles.
    I won't post a link because I don't want to discourage you. Anyway on my own exercise activities I am really taking stock of my weaknesses and focusing hard on them. From several years of shooting my bow & arrow the right side of my body (rear deltoids & teres & lats to a lesser degree) is way bigger & stronger than my left. It is seriously out of balance! That can lead to injuries down the road.
    So in addition to any training I already do, I need to start doing extra work with a variety of exercises and rep patterns (high reps with light weight, low reps with high weight) to hit the mix of slow twitch/fast twitch muscles that make up the shoulders. Of course if I overdo it I can strain my muscles - so I really need to play it smart and patient.
  11. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Yeah I'm not expecting it to really build my abs, just give 'em a kick so they stay pulled in more. Otherwise I tend to slump and poke my gut out.
  12. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    realistically you (or myself or just about anybody) will never really "build" abs, but yes indeed you can strengthen them. Sit ups are one of the three events on the army PT test so we trained them pretty hard. That said unless our body fat level gets below a certain point (around 15 percent for men) you will never see them - but go all out on the PT test and you will really feel it in your abs and hip flexors (in some people) for the next few days! :weep: Smoke your unconditioned abs/core and you will find out just what role your abs play in nearly....every...function you perform.

    But I'm going to be honest - electronic stimulators won't make you weaker, but 90 percent of making your abs stronger is to work hard on performing ab exercises. :yes: Most muscles work best using a full range-of-motion in a controlled manner. There are no shortcuts.
    There are many exercises (some on this list we did in the army, some we did are not included) but here is the secret - go slow enough to really "feel" your abs working.
    On some of these if you go fast you may injure your back, and your body will use other muscles to "assist" your abs, which negates the effectiveness of the exercises. If you aren't really feeling it, you are going too fast or doing something wrong. Even in the army we did our ab training pretty slow, only going all-out for speed with sit-ups on the actual test.

    https://www.livestrong.com/article/21921-effective-ab-workouts/
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  13. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Without a spotter at all as in taking it off the rack myself and locking my elbows before taking it down and back up.

    I would probably limit it to the 200-220 lb. range.

    My max with a spotter is just over 280.
  14. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Took a week off as had my Mum visiting but had some lifting to do anyway moving furniture for workmen (new windows and doors fitted as the original double-glazing on my house was 15 years old).

    Despite this, have now reached 3x8 reps without any pain afterwards at 65kg bench, so I think my supporting muscles are up to strength to move up to 70kg next time. Did another bicep shred at the gym although it seems to impact my forearms more - where the top of the forearm meets the joint. Should be able to start at 100kg next time though.

    Leg extension is up to 99kg (3x8 reps) but hamstrings are still weak.
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  15. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    leg extensions can be hard on your knees - I would keep an eye on that. True most people have weak hamstrings - because a lot of our typical body movements don't engage the hamstrings very much. It's really all about mechanics. It's kind of like how we use our biceps to lift and carry things much more than we use our triceps to push things away from our body. Our biceps take a straightened line and increase the angle. But for our legs it's the opposite - we use our quads (the triceps of our legs if you will) or triceps in our arms to straighten out an increased angle. We have more situations to apply maximum force to straighten our legs versus shortening the angle. Thus we end up with hams much weaker than our quads unless we deliberately perform exercises that target the hams. The prone hamstring curl is a great machine exercise, but hard to get a feel for. Personally I do the kettle bell one armed straight legged dead lift. Pivoting at the hips, you use your hams to straighten back up. Google it and you'll see what I mean - do it correctly and you'll really feel it where you should.
  16. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Yeah, I've gotta watch my knees as they can damage easily - I gave up jogging on the treadmill as I was having to wear a support on my right knee. Some of that's down to being overweight, I guess, but I've also had a slight instep since I was a kid so I don't land properly. Sticking with incline powerwalking for the cardio, or swimming.

    YES! Finally managed to hit 70kg bench (3x5 reps, though I feel I could manage another set of 3 reps at least - only just done 'em). Not great compared to some of y'all but that's a new PB and there's no (major) arm pain, just burn, so I'm lifting correctly now.

    I've definitely broadened across the chest since the OP and arms are definitely much thicker flexed (notsomuch relaxed). I tried for 100kg on the bicep pulls last gym session but only managed 2x3 reps - don't think I was fully recovered from the previous session though, as even lower weights were taxing, so I went with lat pulls instead as they needed work. Managed 3x8 at 50kg shoulder press again but it's still hard going - perhaps try 55kg but for lower reps next time to force the muscles to keep up?
  17. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Seems to have helped. Did 2x5 reps last Friday at 55kg and tried for a third set but only hit 3 reps - my back was the issue more than anything. I don't do as much core work as I should, I know. Anyhoo, must have helped build the supporting muscles a tad as tried again today and had no real issues until the final rep, which was more a "we can do this, but don't ask us to do another" signal again from the back muscles. Still, shows there was no issue with 50kg in principle, just going for higher rep numbers was probably tiring the support groups (but not enough to force them to develop).
  18. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    yes swimming is great cardio! A guy who used to work in a building near me was 70+ years old and finally retired to teach at a community college. Anyway he is also a pilot, and swam daily because you have to stay in shape to pass your flight physicals. He is very fit & thin & spry. Incline treadmill walking is great even if you don't have foot problems like yourself, because you don't land as hard (even if sprinting) yet your actual leg & glute muscles get a better workout versus just your gas tank.
  19. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Hit 75kg bench today but only 2x3 reps. Arms were doing the bulk of the work and got wobbly towards the end. I've missed gym sessions for the last coupla weeks due to workload or lack of motivation so haven't worked the shoulders/pecs as much, likely they need a good workout to remind them to help out during bench.
  20. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    indeed, your pecs should be doing almost all the work on a standard (flat horizontal) bench press. As for shoulder when I used to bench I never could feel my shoulders "engage" at all. Same with push ups (press ups) and their many variations - I can't engage my shoulders as prime movers.
  21. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Been a while but update as it seems I've been doing the wrong exercise! Bench press is making me stronger but it wasn't giving me the puffed-out chest look I was hoping for. Then last week I started using the dip assist machine at the gym. Holy hell that makes your pecs pop! Could be the combination with rowing machine which I haven't done in ages - that hits the core as well as the arms so perhaps I was standing a bit straighter, but I can really feel it today even having skipped the row this session. Just did a bunch of dips and chinups. The assist machine is counterintuitive - the more weight you add the easier it gets - as it compensates for your own bodyweight (so if I put it on 30kg and weigh 100kg, I'm "lifting" 70kg). I managed 5 chinups with only 10kg on the hook so I presume I could at least manage a full bodyweight chinup despite my mass, which is something I suppose. For the dips, I've gone to effectively lifting 75kg which seems about right given that's still about my top bench press (I've dropped back to 65kg for home exercise as my right arm is playing up again).
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  22. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    I have no idea how a dip or chin up machine works (I think they have them in my gym but I've never paid attention when anyone was using them) but I assume they are for giving you a slight boost when you can't quite lift your own bodyweight. Is this right? Regardless dips and chin ups are great exercises and you can't really pull a muscle or otherwise injure yourself doing bodyweight exercises. Dips can really work your lower pecs if you lean forward a lot and flare your elbows out. Flaring your elbows out can put strain on your shoulders though. It's really the angle of your body that affects whether dips are more lower pec or a triceps workout. Staying more upright works your triceps more. Chin ups & pull ups are a time-tested classic exercise! Palms out works your back more, palms in works your biceps more. Neutral grip is a good blend of both and works your forearms (especially the part that butts up against your biceps) a lot too. As a bonus doing chin/pull ups can really work your abs especially if you do them with proper form and technique. Again I don't know how a machine affects this.
  23. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Yep - you "add" weight the same as slotting the pin in any regular weight machine, but here they act as a counterweight to assist your motion.

    Yeah, the machine is set with the grips quite close in, so my elbows flare. I'd probably do chair dips for just triceps.

    The machine prevents a lot of that - you adopt a kneeling position on a pad which raises and lowers as you pull/push up. I assume with static bars you try to draw your knees up as you do the pullup, which is what would work the abs? I've found doing bicep pulldowns on the lat machine mimics this if you don't set the thigh restraint pads tightly - trying to stay fully sat down as you pull the bar is like doing a mini-crunch.
  24. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    Triceps? I've never done chair dips (I'll have to google it) but one GREAT triceps exercise is close hand/diamond push ups. There are right ways & wrong ways to do these, and the science is leaning toward greater effectiveness by keeping your forearms generally up & down (at 90 degrees to the floor) and elbows close to your body throughout the entire range of motion. Your body center-of-mass shifts forward in relation to your hands as you lower your chest toward the floor of course. It shifts rearward on the way up. The old way was tucking your chin & hunching up to put your nose in the diamond. :nono: Granted you will get arguments from different people but in my experience the blue shirt guy has it wrong. The shirtless guy has it right. Anyway if you go very slow & smooth you will really feel it in your triceps! BTW don't rest your chest on the floor, just stop with your chest about an inch off the floor then come back up.

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  25. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    Your momma.
  26. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    What about her? I've never seen my parents exercise at any time in my life. They're old school - to them exercise is only for athletes or injured people in physical therapy. Irony being what it is they both smoke and will probably outlive me! :brood:
  27. matthunter

    matthunter Antira

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    Been a while and I've been off-and-on at the gym, so PBs remain about the same. However. New issue - I've been trying to hit my biceps but I have an issue. Exercise (bicep bar machine or whatever) is impacted more by the weight my wrists or the muscle just below the elbow can take, despite my extensive masturbation. Any gadgets or exercises out there that will isolate the bicep and not put pressure on the wrist joint? I'm thinking there must be some sort of strap that hooks to the middle of the forearm I could then use to do curls?