Happy Hour during Back-off Week.

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  • July 28, 2006 at 12:11 am #575

    Okay you’ve heard all this before but still it amazes me!

    This week has been a back-off week where I drop my weights to 70%. The problem with back-off weeks is I find it really hard to back-off. Instead of cruising I do stuff like slowing down the excentric and following really strick form.

    Anyway on Wednesday I’d had a tough day and headed off to do legs after 4:30 pm. The plan was to rest the back from heavy hack squats and do 5 or 6 easy sets on the leg press and head home.

    When I arrived at the crowded gym I sprinted across the floor to claim the vacant leg press machine. It’s right next to the smith machine where there was pretty much a queue.

    I did about 6 sets on the leg press. Not really as intended as I slowed the excentric right down and used wave loading. But, I could barely concentrate on this because of the endless stream of people next to me enquiring as to when the smith machine would be free.

    During the whole time the squat rack was empty. I’m not sure but I may have caught a glimpse of someone doing their curls at the rack as I’d sprinted in.

    After my sixth set, I should be doing some calves and leaving, right? But I can’t. I can’t stand the sight of that empty squat rack.

    Now I shouldn’t be doing squats. My L5/S1 disc is no more, the vertabrae just sit on top of one another and the facet joints are fucked. Sitting poorly for as little as half an hour can stuff up my back for days.

    So squats can be problematic. If I go arse to grass (or lino or whatever they’ve got on the floor) I stuff my back with just the bar. However, with a light weight to parallel things are okay.

    I’ve found that hack squats – standing in a power-rack with the bar behind the legs – allows me to use a bit of weight and my back survives for a few weeks of this but then it needs that back-off week!

    But that empty squat rack was like some siren calling me over.

    Okay, I thought lets try some light reps, just one or two so that sweet little squat rack doesn’t feel like that pretty young thing at the club who everyones to scared to ask to dance.

    I slapped on some iron and slowly worked up towards 100kg, a couple of reps at a time. Now there’s nothing special about this weight, pretty pathetic really, but previously for me this was were my back would give out. Also I’d just finished 6 sets on the leg press so I was feeling pretty good.

    But what to do? Fuck it, I thought and did 3 x 3 reps @ 100, 3 x 6 reps @ 80 and 3 x 8 reps @ 60 – I know I should’ve done 20 reps – down to parallel with a strict 60 secs between sets. The sweat started pouring but I felt awesome after that.

    And after being in the gym for little over an hour and I was the only person the have used the squat rack.

    Come on, what’s going on here? If I can do it, any poor sod can.

    The smith machine was never vacant the whole hour I was there :cry

    July 28, 2006 at 9:37 am #2817

    I think most people are a bit worried about the old squat rack, like its gonna piss off over the other side of the gym when you un-rack the bar! and leave you standing there 😆 You can keep hold of the smith machine so it doesn’t run off 😉

    July 31, 2006 at 4:56 am #2818

    haha yeah i know what you mean Dr J. I think personal trainers are to blame in the main. Im yet to see a personal trainer with a newbie telling them to squat or use anything other than a machine for that matter. Fair enough for someone fresh but still, nothing is as good as a deep squat.

    I think there are all of 3 people in my gym who deadlift. go figure. Some people must just not like muscle!

    August 1, 2006 at 5:42 am #2819

    Hi John,
    You may be interested to check out two authorities regarding training with lower back ‘limitations’. Having similar problems myself I have found the information that these guys offer to be invaluable.
    The two intrepid Scots:
    1. Stuart McRobert at http://www.hardgainer.com
    His books: ‘THE INSIDER’S TELL-ALL HANDBOOK ON WEIGHT-TRAINING TECHNIQUE’ and the more comprehensive ‘BUILD MUSCLE, LOSE FAT, LOOK GREAT’
    2. Stuart McGill PhD author of ‘Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance’ available in Oz from logicalfitness.com

    You are probably familiar with the second Stuart from T-Nation, but if you want some good tips on the finer points of exercise technique, particularly in regard to avoiding injuries, McRobert is the man!

    August 1, 2006 at 8:10 am #2820

    Hack squats go low as well as standard back squats. Id rate them as just as good or better for the quads.

    Lately Ive been doing Hack NEGs on one leg, (tip-toe on the other) they are a real killer. You dont need much weight, and UNFORTUNATELY – don’t need a squat rack, as they a quite safe to do for as long as you have strength in your quads. DA

    August 1, 2006 at 11:02 pm #2821

    @Tony Reid wrote:

    Hi John,
    You may be interested to check out two authorities regarding training with lower back ‘limitations’. Having similar problems myself I have found the information that these guys offer to be invaluable.
    The two intrepid Scots:
    1. Stuart McRobert at http://www.hardgainer.com
    His books: ‘THE INSIDER’S TELL-ALL HANDBOOK ON WEIGHT-TRAINING TECHNIQUE’ and the more comprehensive ‘BUILD MUSCLE, LOSE FAT, LOOK GREAT’
    2. Stuart McGill PhD author of ‘Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance’ available in Oz from logicalfitness.com

    You are probably familiar with the second Stuart from T-Nation, but if you want some good tips on the finer points of exercise technique, particularly in regard to avoiding injuries, McRobert is the man!

    Thanks Tony. I’ve been meaning to get McGills book for ages and although McRoberts books have been around for ages (it seems to me!) haven’t had a look at them.

    J

    August 1, 2006 at 11:04 pm #2822

    @Derek Amos wrote:

    Hack squats go low as well as standard back squats. Id rate them as just as good or better for the quads.

    Lately Ive been doing Hack NEGs on one leg, (tip-toe on the other) they are a real killer. You dont need much weight, and UNFORTUNATELY – don’t need a squat rack, as they a quite safe to do for as long as you have strength in your quads. DA

    So you do these with free weights and not a hack machine?

    J

    August 2, 2006 at 5:13 am #2823

    Yes Dr J, a barbell, put your heels up on a couple of 10kg weights, load the BB with say 70 or 80kg and GO.

    I recycled Charles Poliquin’s Arm feature in T-Nation, taking the neg part (8×3) & using it on various body parts, the Hack squats were one of them. Next workout I do the concentrics, applying Charles 5×5 I think it is. Works excellently. Incline DB Benches work similarly. DA

    August 3, 2006 at 5:45 am #2824

    @Tony Reid wrote:

    Hi John,
    You may be interested to check out two authorities regarding training with lower back ‘limitations’. Having similar problems myself I have found the information that these guys offer to be invaluable.
    The two intrepid Scots:
    1. Stuart McRobert at http://www.hardgainer.com
    His books: ‘THE INSIDER’S TELL-ALL HANDBOOK ON WEIGHT-TRAINING TECHNIQUE’ and the more comprehensive ‘BUILD MUSCLE, LOSE FAT, LOOK GREAT’
    2. Stuart McGill PhD author of ‘Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance’ available in Oz from logicalfitness.com

    You are probably familiar with the second Stuart from T-Nation, but if you want some good tips on the finer points of exercise technique, particularly in regard to avoiding injuries, McRobert is the man!

    i keen on having a look at these since i have a bad back, what condtions does it cover or is it just general info

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