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gman
03-10-2009, 11:50 AM
Just curious for some of you masters vets out there, and trying to get our subsection to have some more activity.

What is the best way for us to bring up lagging body parts as older bodybuilders?

For example, my legs are fine, but my upper body, particularly shoulders, are lagging.

Should we do the lagging body part twice a week, and other parts once?

Just hit the lagging part 10x harder on its day?

Or what?

esplendido
03-10-2009, 01:29 PM
Interesting that you should mention shoulders. Those were always a lagging body part for me. I used to train them with chest and triceps (push-pull cycle).

4 years ago, I decided to give shoulders their own day....nothing else worked with them. I do 4 exercises; military press (on Smith machine) lateral raises, front raises, and rear flies on reverse pec deck. I do work traps at the end with 3 sets of shrugs.

With the shoulders isolated, I decided to go HEAVY, meaning weight that only allows 6-8 reps. I currently use 60lb dumbbells for lateral and front raises and have to add 60lbs to the 220lb stack on rear delts. I rep with 255 on the smith machine and occasionally use 275.

My shoulders blew up....and especially my traps, which get worked hard during front raises.

My point is, isolate the lagging body part. Train it heavy. Keep getting heavier and that part will come up.

gman
03-10-2009, 01:38 PM
thanks, Rick.

I have been doing a shoulder day for quite some time, but am doing light weight. I had never thought of going real heavy on raises.

Is it ok to cheat up the weight a little, that's why I haven't gone heavier, because my form goes in the shitter. I mean, I am still only doing 20lbs for laterals.

esplendido
03-10-2009, 02:53 PM
Mike, proper form is overrated! Strictness is relative. You want to move a weight so that the maximum force is applied requiring maximum effort over a select range of motion. "Cheating", meaning using a swinging motion, or other muscle to move a weight is bad only if that action takes the stress OFF of the target muscle. If a weight is heavy enough that it needs a "running start" to begin, but in the middle or end of the motion places proper stress on the target muscle, it's a good rep.

Shoulders grow best on flies when the weight is held parallel to the shoulders at the top of the motion. Lower or higher is less effective. So a little swing at the bottom to get the weight up to shoulder height is ok if you can pause just a nanosecond at the top of the movement. If you can raise the dumbbells in an even motion to the top, the weight is too light to produce gowth.

At the same time, if the weight is so heavy that not only do you give it a swing at the bottom, but you 'duck' under it at the top to get it to the top, the weight is too heavy.

Your arms should NOT be fully extended straight out, as that puts way too much shear at the elbow. Your arms should be bent forward a little at the top of the movement, where the db's are slightly in front of the plane of the body rather than in the plane of the line through the shoulders. You should supinate the dumbbells as you raise them up, which means beginning with the handles perpendicular to your body (just like holding them in a relaxed position at your side), and turning them as you raise them so that the handles are parallel to the floor (imagine the same position as a wide-gripped bench press). More or less, your knuckles will be up at the top of the movement.

Front flies will always have a little 'swing' at the start if you're using enough weight to grow on. You do NOT turn the dumbbells while raising them. AND, you do not keep your arms extended straight as you raise the weight. They should have a slight outward bend to them to put the stress on the shoulders and not the elbows. Make sure that at the top of the motion, your bent elbows are at the same height as your shoulders. Below or above will make the move less efficient.

Rear delts are always best worked on a reverse pec deck. But bent over dumbbell flies will work. Your rear delts get hit hard during back work, too, especially during bentover rows or seated rows.

Hope that helps. I know it's a lot of info, so you might ask someone in your gym to help or practice with light weight at first.

gman
03-10-2009, 03:35 PM
Great info, Rick.

I look forward to trying this out next Tuesday on shoulder day.

By outward bend on the front raises, do you mean have your arms wider than shoulder width slightly, or having the elbows bent to be wider than shoulder width but keeping the hands shoulder width?

Just doing them at my desk, I am guessing the former, because I can feel the delts working harder that way.

Too bad I don't have any hardcore people at my gym to train with or have watch me. If you can believe it, I am the most hardcore one there in the mornings! lol

esplendido
03-10-2009, 09:19 PM
Great info, Rick.

I look forward to trying this out next Tuesday on shoulder day.

By outward bend on the front raises, do you mean have your arms wider than shoulder width slightly, or having the elbows bent to be wider than shoulder width but keeping the hands shoulder width?

Just doing them at my desk, I am guessing the former, because I can feel the delts working harder that way.

Too bad I don't have any hardcore people at my gym to train with or have watch me. If you can believe it, I am the most hardcore one there in the mornings! lol

The dumbbells should come up in front of the shoulders.

gman
03-10-2009, 09:22 PM
I done guessed wrong again! Not the first time in my life!

Bryan Hildebrand
03-10-2009, 11:49 PM
touching on shoulders...
I really like doing my presses HEAVY and then moving to traps to pre-exhaust them completely before isolation movements. being an endo, my delts have always been strong, but i've had difficulty bringing size to them. this has helped a lot.

smith machine militaries: 135, 185, 225, 275, 315, 335 for 4.
Icarian machine presses: 1 set stack for max reps - 20-25 usually.
BB shrugs. 135 up to 845.
BB front raises
1 arm DB lateral raises
DB reverse crossbody raises
wide grip upright rows

they have grown tremendously over the past year. so much wife says they are her new favorite body part on me.

Bryan Hildebrand
03-10-2009, 11:50 PM
and I train them completely on their own. no tri's. only abs to finish.

gman
03-11-2009, 11:57 AM
I love this thread so far. I am ready to try to go heavier and grow. One question though, since I am trying to cut 25-30 more lbs, can I grow my shoulders, or any other part for that matter on a caloric deficit. Or is it wise to get lean first, then start trying to get bigger muscles?

esplendido
03-11-2009, 12:33 PM
I love this thread so far. I am ready to try to go heavier and grow. One question though, since I am trying to cut 25-30 more lbs, can I grow my shoulders, or any other part for that matter on a caloric deficit. Or is it wise to get lean first, then start trying to get bigger muscles?

Typically, you'd only maintain what muscle you have as you diet down. In certain cases, especially where a muscle group has not been seriously challenged before, you can add a little muscle to that group during a diet by shocking it....as in heavy training where light training was all it got. But the growth will be minimum.

Strength, however, is another thing. You can actually improve your strength during a diet, and then allow the rebound after coming off the diet to cause rapid growth. It's very typical that strength precede growth.

gman
03-11-2009, 12:44 PM
So basically I need to go for it!

Youngguns
03-11-2009, 12:48 PM
You need to use weight you can handle. Go for higher reps, low reps aren't for shoulders. By low reps I mean under 6, even then that's very few.

Shoulders can take a lot of stress, keep the reps high, and the rest times low.

gman
03-11-2009, 01:12 PM
I am a living example of low weight, high reps for shoulders, and as you can see, I have absolutely nothing to show for it after 3.5 years.

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w294/namtrag/DSC00212.jpg

Youngguns
03-11-2009, 01:16 PM
Then that is either your genetics, or you have unrealistic goals...

Remember, when I say light, I mean after 12-15 reps you want to throw the weights...

Increase load, eat enough food- growth.

gman
03-11-2009, 01:29 PM
....

beau
03-11-2009, 04:37 PM
6-8 reps has worked best growth wise for me on almost every bodypart....only exception is legs where i like to do 8-12 reps. Take Esplendido's advice, clearly your not happy with the results you have been getting with higher reps. So change things up. Best of luck!

esplendido
03-11-2009, 04:47 PM
You need to use weight you can handle. Go for higher reps, low reps aren't for shoulders. By low reps I mean under 6, even then that's very few.

Shoulders can take a lot of stress, keep the reps high, and the rest times low.

YG, this is the Masters forum and the thread topic is regarding Masters issues. You do not have enough experience to comment as you have above. I'm sure you mean well, but you are very much off-base. There isn't a muscle in the body that grows better with light weight, high reps, than with heavy weight, medium to low reps.

Lift for another 20 years, or at least compete and win at the State level before offering advice to your seniors. Free advice....;)

gman
03-11-2009, 04:59 PM
Thanks, Rick!

Time to blast the shoulders instead of "tone" them lol!

sassy69
03-11-2009, 07:13 PM
I didn't really gather that it matters if you're "old" or not with the approach you take to build lagging parts. Instead I think it has more to do w/ reviewing your current protocol and evaluate if it is working. IMO one of the worst lies people tell people is only do light weights, high reps. I want to choke when I see women flapping around in the gym w/ 5 lb weights telling me they are "going for reps, not weight". The point is rather to constantly change up the influences on your body and observe what you respond best to, but also change things up regularly because even the "best" response stuff can stagnate.

gman
03-11-2009, 07:55 PM
I see women doing 1 arm rows with 5 lbers, and want to say something, but I am too polite.

Good advice Sassy

BoneBz
03-11-2009, 10:25 PM
My favorite shoulder routine has been

rear delts (any rear delt move, I like to change it up) 6 sets
standing barbell military press 4 sets
side laterals 4 sets
shrugs(behind the back usually, sometimes in front or with a machine)

Always pyramiding the weight while progressively lowering the reps. Warm up sets can be as high as 12-15 reps and working sets can be as low as 4-6.

sassy69
03-12-2009, 04:56 AM
I see women doing 1 arm rows with 5 lbers, and want to say something, but I am too polite.

Good advice Sassy

Tonite I almost beat a girl who had the balls to put 5lb plates on the leg press and then proceeded to LEAVE them on the leg press. Holy sheep. Seriously.

TB
03-12-2009, 05:56 AM
Gman, if you want width, then there is no better exercise than Side Laterals. I prefer to do them seated and eliminate body swing as much as possible. I use a thumb over grip which necessitates using staps with heavy dumbells. As esplendido describes, your arms should be unlocked at the elbow. Keep your elbows from going above shoulder height, as this brings the traps into play and try to keep your palms parallel to the floor or even very slightly tilted forward. 3 heavy sets plus a lighter high rep set and your arms should weigh a tonne while hanging there!!!
In my opinion and from my experience, this will cap your delts nicely and add real width to your physique.
I do Dumbell Press, Seated Side Laterals and Rear Dumbell Laterals. Sometimes I add cable movements to further fry them.
Hope this helps!!
TB

esplendido
03-13-2009, 12:43 AM
Ouch.

:D:p:D

sassy69
03-13-2009, 12:54 PM
You tell 'em Grampa ;)

gman
03-13-2009, 12:59 PM
he could squash younguns with one thumb, even at his advanced age.

Anyway, back to the topic on hand. Do the principles outlined by esplendido pretty much apply to every body part?

esplendido
03-13-2009, 01:20 PM
he could squash younguns with one thumb, even at his advanced age.

Anyway, back to the topic on hand. Do the principles outlined by esplendido pretty much apply to every body part?

Damn! You guys are BRUTAL.....:D

Now, where the hell is my Geritol....?

gman
03-13-2009, 01:29 PM
in the cabinet with your Carter's Little Liver Pills

esplendido
03-13-2009, 05:40 PM
Mike, I hope others chime in on your question, but let me give you my take. Muscle responds to the stress put on it. A long distance runner places aerobic stress on his/her muscle trying to maximize endurance balanced with speed. Note their muscular development. A sprinter, also a runner, places anaerobic stress on his/her muscle to maximize speed balanced with endurance. Note their muscular development.

A bodybuilder simply tries to place stress on the muscle to develop size. Shape comes with size and has very little to do with specific training. Size is a response to load. The heavier the load, the larger the muscle gets.

Load is fluid. It can mean raw weight. Push as heavy as possible. Load can also mean stress. Wear the muscle down (break it down) to cause growth. Both are combined in bodybuilding training.

I apply a pyramid technique to training a muscle. I warm it up in preparation for stress. Then I load it in increasing phases to draw more muscle tissue into the lift. It's a well known fact that the body will recruit only the least amount of contraction to move a weight. Your first working set might engage 50% of the muscle's fiber. You would then increase the weight for the next set to utilize the ready 50% plus requiring the body to engage more fibers. Usually, you can achieve 100% muscle involvement with 3-4 working sets, each in increasing weight. The final set should be working the entire muscle structure.

Getting to that 100% engagement can be accomplished in a number of ways. Pyramiding is one. Another is pre-exhaustion, performed by doing a light set to exhaustion and moving to 1 or 2 working sets at max weight (for 6-8 reps). Negatives is a way to overload the muscle, as is drop sets. Giant sets also pre-exhaust the muscle.

HIT routines do so in 1 set by using straight lifts, rest/pause, and forced reps (assisted).

In the end, the idea is to take the muscle to 100% engagement and overload it at that point. In my pyramid training, I do that by incorporating a single max lift at a weight a little heavier than my previous best, or at least equal to my previous best with a spotter there to make sure I complete the lift.

Light to medium weight with high reps are good for pre-exhaustion, but as a means to an end actually train the muscle for endurance.

The injuries and pain every successful bodybuilder WILL experience come from pushing that limit. Smart lifters just barely push the limit as opposed to handling way too much weight in a single or multiple rep set. Steady pushing or pulling are essential to avoiding injury as opposed to jerking, bouncing, or launching a weight.

The only muscle I've ever seen respond well to moderate weight/high reps are the calves. Look at professional cyclists calves and they are huge and ripped. That says something about the unique structure of that muscle, Heavy still works well, too.

Hope that helps!

gman
03-13-2009, 06:02 PM
Thanks, Rick. I would like to workout with someone like you one of these days. I am on my own, and I know I probably don't push myself as much as I could, or recruit all the fibers I could. I bet I think I am working hard, and I am not even scratching the surface of what I am capable of.

I know I brought this up before, but I recruit my calves 0% and they are the best looking muscle I have. Weird, huh?

esplendido
03-13-2009, 06:23 PM
Thanks, Rick. I would like to workout with someone like you one of these days. I am on my own, and I know I probably don't push myself as much as I could, or recruit all the fibers I could. I bet I think I am working hard, and I am not even scratching the surface of what I am capable of.

I know I brought this up before, but I recruit my calves 0% and they are the best looking muscle I have. Weird, huh?

Welcome to genetics! I hate you :( ...LOL!

gman
03-13-2009, 06:30 PM
Yeah, my calves are an inch and a quarter bigger than my puny biceps! lol

Most people have the opposite problem

thepump
03-19-2009, 06:18 PM
10 to 6 sets brings them up for me

little d
03-22-2009, 02:40 PM
Hey, sassy.. how about lagging bi's for females? I ez curl preacher for 80lb's 4 12 reps, 30lb db, do alot of cons curls, with not very good results! I have my low weight & form days and high weight days! I am desperate to bring them up! Age 51, 4''10 123lb doing my first national show in July.

sassy69
03-22-2009, 03:27 PM
Hey, sassy.. how about lagging bi's for females? I ez curl preacher for 80lb's 4 12 reps, 30lb db, do alot of cons curls, with not very good results! I have my low weight & form days and high weight days! I am desperate to bring them up! Age 51, 4''10 123lb doing my first national show in July.

Hey D -- you sound like a powerhouse! Bis can be a challenge - how much of it is genetic, how much isn't? I don't know. Bis are the one thing I've got genetics for - as pointed out on a different thread, I've got a short bicep but a killer peak. Unfortunately I don't have a killer tricep so the bi peak overpowers it but also because I'm tall, I don't proportionately have thick muscles.

But anyway, what got my peaks to come out was doing ezbar 21s. My current program is:

- ezbar 21's + DB hammer curls
- machine preachers (90 degree angle) to full contraction & hold
- cable straight bar curls
- reverse ezbar curls (forearms)
- high cable bi curls (range of 10-15 x 3)

Over time I go w/ back / bis or switch to bis/tris and w/ bis/tris alternate for heavy / light so I can do active recovery , lifting 2x/week. I've had elbow tendonitis for years so I tend to change up high or low reps based on what I can curl w/o pain.

On your curls make sure your wrists are bent back (i.e. not curl your hands forward on the contraction to get max contraction.

little d
03-23-2009, 11:12 PM
Thanks Sassy! I will try the 21's and the Hammers. I have wrist issues.. possible arthritis.. its hell getting old! But hey beats the alternative!

You still compete? How tall are you?

sassy69
03-24-2009, 04:44 PM
Thanks Sassy! I will try the 21's and the Hammers. I have wrist issues.. possible arthritis.. its hell getting old! But hey beats the alternative!

You still compete? How tall are you?

I'm seriously considering buying some wrist wraps - like those elastic wrist supports because all of my presses stop at 65 lb cuz I can't get heavier DBs up by myself for the first rep. I don't really have a good spotter and if the both DBs don't get up for the set up, my wrists are the weak part and can't hold up the one while the other is getting set up. Its all up at once or scratch. Its all tendonitis.

The 21s usually work pretty good, or I'll just revert to full ROM curls and super w/ hammers. Hammers take a little more stress off so I can go a little higher. Otherwise, seriously I was capped at 20 lb db curls doing just alternating seated incline curls. Really humbling. I work just about every other option w/ preachers at different angles, even 21s on preacher machines, high rep / low weight, etc. Luckily I've got good peaks, but can't rest on your laurels.

gman
03-25-2009, 02:05 PM
Just wanted to let you guys know, I did shoulders yesterday, and I used 35's to do laterals with. Not heavy for a lot of guys, but double what I used to do. Like Rick said, even though I had to cheat a little to get going, my middle delts right below the point of my shoulder meeting my arm are killing me today like never before.

esplendido
03-25-2009, 02:13 PM
Perfect!

gman
03-27-2009, 10:23 PM
my shoulders are still a little sore on Friday night, and I did the laterals on Tuesday morning. Thanks, Rick!

Gunz
03-27-2009, 11:22 PM
my shoulders are still a little sore on Friday night, and I did the laterals on Tuesday morning. Thanks, Rick!


I feel your pain :D!! Every workout with him is like that. Be thankful he's not in your face at the gym!?$%*&@

esplendido
03-28-2009, 01:13 AM
I feel your pain :D!! Every workout with him is like that. Be thankful he's not in your face at the gym!?$%*&@

The results are obvious :D

Rocco1943
03-29-2009, 04:03 PM
This question is probably kind of dumb to a lot of you, but what is the correct way to measure your thighs? How far from the knee do you measure? thanks in advance

gman
03-29-2009, 04:29 PM
Good Question, I am not sure either, I measure mine relaxed way up high about 4-5" down from the top inside where it meets your crotch. It gives me the biggest size that's why I do it there! lol

esplendido
03-29-2009, 04:58 PM
At the widest point.

zander
03-31-2009, 07:45 AM
Hmm yeah never really had a problem with shoulders , always traditional heavy sets and working each muscle head and traps .... I think part of the key is finding the right weight to get good solid reps and form and working up from there. Particularly liked cable flys there for a while ....