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cant seem to build strenght...help

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  • DanpDanp Posts: 1,148Member Member Posts: 1,148Member Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    wiigelec wrote: »
    DO NOT BENCH PRESS IN THE SMITH MACHINE

    That doesn't actually make sense - in bench press the bar follows a linear path so it's not a problem at all.
    For other lifts I would agree Smith machine isn't a good choice.

    But for someone who might need to gain confidence the safety aspect of being able to fail without getting pinned by the bar might (just might) mean they can push harder without fear.

    But benching in the smith machine takes away almost all the benefits of the bench press as there's no need to engage muscles to stabilise and control the bar.

    Surely if you're just looking for a linear pushing motion you're better off just sitting in the chest press machine.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,263Member Member Posts: 15,263Member Member
    Danp wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    wiigelec wrote: »
    DO NOT BENCH PRESS IN THE SMITH MACHINE

    That doesn't actually make sense - in bench press the bar follows a linear path so it's not a problem at all.
    For other lifts I would agree Smith machine isn't a good choice.

    But for someone who might need to gain confidence the safety aspect of being able to fail without getting pinned by the bar might (just might) mean they can push harder without fear.

    But benching in the smith machine takes away almost all the benefits of the bench press as there's no need to engage muscles to stabilise and control the bar.

    Surely if you're just looking for a linear pushing motion you're better off just sitting in the chest press machine.

    It takes away some of the minor benefits I would agree - but the main muscle groups used are the same. The balancing of the bar and stabiliser muscle benefits are not the major aim of benching, it's the big muscle groups people are primarily seeking to train.
    The idea is to get over what I'm assuming must be a confidence and/or specific strength issue in one plane.

    Yes he could use a chest press machine to achieve the same thing, the ability to push harder with the confidence of not hurting himself.
    I'm not suggesting OP uses an alternative to barbell benching for the rest of his life. He could also do a mixture of both, low RPE work with his currently empty bar and higher RPE work in the Smith machine (or cage, or machine, or dumbells, or spotter.....).
  • rileyesrileyes Posts: 1,307Member Member Posts: 1,307Member Member
    Check out Alan Thrall’s leg drive video for bench press. Also, check out the “strength-specific” training programs which may be less reps and progressively heavier than what you are training now.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Posts: 4,429Member Member Posts: 4,429Member Member
    wiigelec wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    wiigelec wrote: »
    DO NOT BENCH PRESS IN THE SMITH MACHINE

    That doesn't actually make sense - in bench press the bar follows a linear path so it's not a problem at all.
    For other lifts I would agree Smith machine isn't a good choice.

    But for someone who might need to gain confidence the safety aspect of being able to fail without getting pinned by the bar might (just might) mean they can push harder without fear.
    If you get pinned under the bar there is no way to dump it...

    Well you can bench without the clips. Not as ideal as safety bars but you can dump the weight if you have to. It can be awkward but it works. (I know this from experience).

    Since he can’t even lift the bar it’s a little irrelevant whether or not he uses clips. It seems to me fear of dropping the bar or getting pinned under it can’t be what is causing the issue - if you dropped it straight down on your teeth it would be an issue but otherwise a 45 lb bar just isn’t that scary. Unless you are a kindergarten child you aren’t getting pinned by 45 lbs.
  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    Danp wrote: »
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your numbers really don't add up - your push exercises and the weights you are doing them at should equal a hell of a lot more than a 45lb bench press. That's an empty bar, that's a really small amount for an adult male.
    Can you confirm you are using a barbell and not a machine?

    I am sorry, I did not understand.
    Are you saying that based on my workout routine that I have outlined I should be comfortably able to bench press 45 lbs? Well I am not able to.

    And whoa, you're 60 and in good shape, good for you!

    I'm saying based on the weights stated doing other pressing and push movements it doesn't seem credible that you can't bench press much more than that.
    e.g. shoulder press 35lbs but can't chest press 45lbs when it recruits far bigger/stronger muscles seems odd.
    Tricep isolation exercises of 35lbs and 40 - 55lbs but can't do a compound lift including triceps (and pec & shoulders) doesn't make sense.

    You didn't answer the question regarding barbell BTW.
    Are you just pressing an empty 45lb barbell? That would be extraordinarily low for an adult male.
    sijomial wrote: »
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your numbers really don't add up - your push exercises and the weights you are doing them at should equal a hell of a lot more than a 45lb bench press. That's an empty bar, that's a really small amount for an adult male.
    Can you confirm you are using a barbell and not a machine?

    I am sorry, I did not understand.
    Are you saying that based on my workout routine that I have outlined I should be comfortably able to bench press 45 lbs? Well I am not able to.

    And whoa, you're 60 and in good shape, good for you!

    I'm saying based on the weights stated doing other pressing and push movements it doesn't seem credible that you can't bench press much more than that.
    e.g. shoulder press 35lbs but can't chest press 45lbs when it recruits far bigger/stronger muscles seems odd.
    Tricep isolation exercises of 35lbs and 40 - 55lbs but can't do a compound lift including triceps (and pec & shoulders) doesn't make sense.

    You didn't answer the question regarding barbell BTW.
    Are you just pressing an empty 45lb barbell? That would be extraordinarily low for an adult male.

    I see, yeah thats why I came here. I can do all these exercises but cant bench press.
    I am talking about an empty barbell.

    That makes zero sense.

    You're able to use just your triceps, a small single muscle, to lift 55lbs but all of a sudden you can't use your triceps AND Pecs AND delts AND traps to lift 45lbs.

    That's like saying I can tow a caravan with my motorcycle but as soon as I use my motorcycle and my car and my truck the wheels start spinning and the caravan won't move.

    exactly my concern. this is why i joined this forum to seek advice on what am i doing wrong and what i be doing instead in order to be able to bench press. instead, all ive gotten is angry bros ridiculing me.
  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    OP can you post a picture of what you think is a bench press. I haven’t read every post but I suspect some terminology confusion. Plus, as others suggested it’s better to run an established programme.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj0vZu2sMfkAhUTr54KHbaVD6AQjhx6BAgBEAI&url=https://gfycat.com/gifs/search/bench+press&psig=AOvVaw28W9qQr57jp0mVl0zNvcfh&ust=1568243486923166

  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    AgentFlex wrote: »
    I'll be honest with you, I think you need to look at a few good videos on bench press form. I have a feeling you are relying too much on your arm strength for the lift. Do some research on which muscles to engage for the lift. The bench press is a chest exercise, not an arm exercise. While arms and shoulders help with the lift they are not meant to take the bulk of the weight. You should also be engaging your lats, have your feet flat on the ground, etc. Many have suggested Stronglifts 5x5 which is what I used when I first started lifting. Here is a link to the program

    https://stronglifts.com/5x5/#gref

    There are videos right on the page.
    thanks but how am i supposed to lift with my chest and not my arms?

  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your post is mostly about what you are putting in your mouth - but you gain strength by training not by ingesting!

    Tell us about your training, not your diet.

    Hi, Thanks for your response. My current gym routine:

    5 times a week.

    1. 4 sets of 15 reps of triceps kickback of 55 lbs. 2 on each side.
    2. 2 sets of 15 reps of shoulder press of 35 lbs.
    3. 2 sets of 15 reps of dumbbell curves of 35 lbs.
    4. 2 sets of 15 reps of triceps extension of 35 lbs.
    5. 1 set of 15 reps of barbell curl of 50 lbs
    6. 1 set of 15 reps of curved barbell front raise 40 lbs.
    7. 2 sets of 15 reps of lat pull down of 90 - 110 lbs
    8. 2 sets of 15 reps of cable triceps push down 40 - 55 lbs.
    9. 2 sets of 15 reps of leg extension 70 - 80 lbs
    10. 2 sets of 15 reps of sitting leg curl of 120 lbs
    11. 2 sets of 15 reps of leg press of 135 lbs
    12. 15-25 min cardio

    Total time at the gym: 1 hr

    Please advise what I should be doing better to really build strength so I can finally bench press at least 45 lbs? I feel like I have weak wrists for a guy.
    Why is it that some days at gym I do not have as difficulty lifting as I have on some other days?

    Hope you can guide!

    this is so confusing - are you sure you have your exercises named correctly? it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that you could do tricep kickback of 55lbs and not bench 45lbs. here is a pic of arnold doing tricep kickbacks and it doesn't look like he is doing anywhere near 55lbs - the tricep kickback is not normally an exercise you would be going super heavy on (not saying arnold couldn't do 55lbs - but based on what you wrote you are no arnold). Something is just not adding up here!

    (and to build on what everyone else said - yes, you should be on a structured lifting program and if you want to be able to bench press you need to practice bench pressing - if you can't do an empty bar start with light dumbbells)

    sorry not tricep kickback,i meant dumbbell row https://www.google.com/search?q=dumbbell+row&rlz=1C1CHBF_enCA742CA742&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjwve3RscfkAhUJmeAKHRhCBv0Q_AUIEigB&biw=1904&bih=920#imgrc=K2BwYj5m0Pe0kM:
  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    I also think stronglifts 5x5 would be a good program to start with. Just go back to 5 main lifts and cut all the extra for a while. Watch some form videos on bench press, go back to the gym and practice. Ask if they have a 35lb bar or smaller to practice with. Can you do pushups?

    sorry, not able to do push ups.
    so you're saying i stop doing my current routine and just do these 3 exercises 3 times a day and that would put me in a better form than my current routine?
  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Are you sure you don't have a mental block where you are scared on bringing the bar down because you are scared it is going to fall on you? That is really the only explanation I can imagine as to why, based on your other lifts, that you can't do the bar. If that is the case, can you do it with a gym buddy who spots for you and holds the bar essentially while you guide it down, helping to lift it up if you need it? Maybe that will help you break out from it.

    thats one of the reasons as well. also, when I can barely lift the with 10 lbs how can I do 45 lbs? what im unable to lift and everyone starts laughing at me. I mean I dont want to be humiliated like that. how do you make a gym buddy? im shy, just go to random person and ask them if they can be my gym buddy?
  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    11Templars wrote: »
    Wow, what a funny thread.. Not haha funny either... ;-)

    I'm not too sure where that routine came from, but as others have pointed out, it's odd, very odd..

    as @sijomial suggested, 5x5 is a great place to start: https://stronglifts.com/5x5/#gref

    I would suggest using dumbells to do your bench pressing, or even start by simply doing push ups. It's easier mentally, because you're not afraid to drop anything, and all around, dumbells are always the best way to go. imho

    Happy to help in anyway I can..

    Cheers,

    thanks everyone seems to recommend 5x5 so I'll try doing that today but they're only 3 exercises..compared to my current routine. wouldn't I be neglecting my biceps, triceps and forearms if im only doing this beginner 3 workouts every other day? right now im doing my current routine everyday
  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    rileyes wrote: »
    Check out Alan Thrall’s leg drive video for bench press. Also, check out the “strength-specific” training programs which may be less reps and progressively heavier than what you are training now.

    where? link please
  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your post is mostly about what you are putting in your mouth - but you gain strength by training not by ingesting!

    Tell us about your training, not your diet.

    Hi, Thanks for your response. My current gym routine:

    5 times a week.

    1. 4 sets of 15 reps of triceps kickback of 55 lbs. 2 on each side.
    2. 2 sets of 15 reps of shoulder press of 35 lbs.
    3. 2 sets of 15 reps of dumbbell curves of 35 lbs.
    4. 2 sets of 15 reps of triceps extension of 35 lbs.
    5. 1 set of 15 reps of barbell curl of 50 lbs
    6. 1 set of 15 reps of curved barbell front raise 40 lbs.
    7. 2 sets of 15 reps of lat pull down of 90 - 110 lbs
    8. 2 sets of 15 reps of cable triceps push down 40 - 55 lbs.
    9. 2 sets of 15 reps of leg extension 70 - 80 lbs
    10. 2 sets of 15 reps of sitting leg curl of 120 lbs
    11. 2 sets of 15 reps of leg press of 135 lbs
    12. 15-25 min cardio

    Total time at the gym: 1 hr

    Please advise what I should be doing better to really build strength so I can finally bench press at least 45 lbs? I feel like I have weak wrists for a guy.
    Why is it that some days at gym I do not have as difficulty lifting as I have on some other days?

    Hope you can guide!

    You need to get on an established program. You're doing too many movements for one thing, and most of them are isolation movements. I don't even see bench press in there...if you want to get stronger on bench press, you need to bench press. Beyond that, the rep scheme is not conducive to efficient strength gains...that many reps is working muscular endurance more than anything. Programs geared toward building strength in the most efficient manner are typically low rep at a high % of your max...like 1-5 reps.

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1

    which one do i pick? there's like 60 different programs
  • wiigelecwiigelec Posts: 74Member Member Posts: 74Member Member
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    which one do i pick? there's like 60 different programs

    https://blackironbeast.com/starting-strength

  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Posts: 4,446Member Member Posts: 4,446Member Member
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    11Templars wrote: »
    Wow, what a funny thread.. Not haha funny either... ;-)

    I'm not too sure where that routine came from, but as others have pointed out, it's odd, very odd..

    as @sijomial suggested, 5x5 is a great place to start: https://stronglifts.com/5x5/#gref

    I would suggest using dumbells to do your bench pressing, or even start by simply doing push ups. It's easier mentally, because you're not afraid to drop anything, and all around, dumbells are always the best way to go. imho

    Happy to help in anyway I can..

    Cheers,

    thanks everyone seems to recommend 5x5 so I'll try doing that today but they're only 3 exercises..compared to my current routine. wouldn't I be neglecting my biceps, triceps and forearms if im only doing this beginner 3 workouts every other day? right now im doing my current routine everyday

    This is exactly why I recommend that program. You seem to be overwhelmed by all the other stuff/accessories. Once you get the basic lifts down, you can add in accessories as needed. Your assisting muscle groups do work during the main lifts, they just aren't the main muscle targeted. Your gym should have smaller bars than the regular 45lb. Just ask someone who works there to show you where they are. Of course stronglifts is not the only beginner program, I just like it because it is so basic and uses very little equipment. My gym only has bars and plates, no dumbbells or machines, so it works for me. I add in exercises to suit my goals, but I have been lifting for a few years now.
  • MikePTYMikePTY Posts: 2,966Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,966Member, Premium Member
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    I also think stronglifts 5x5 would be a good program to start with. Just go back to 5 main lifts and cut all the extra for a while. Watch some form videos on bench press, go back to the gym and practice. Ask if they have a 35lb bar or smaller to practice with. Can you do pushups?

    sorry, not able to do push ups.
    so you're saying i stop doing my current routine and just do these 3 exercises 3 times a day and that would put me in a better form than my current routine?

    You can do pushups from your knees if you can't do them in normal form. There is no shame in that.

    The big issue with your current workout is that you don't seem to be working out your chest at all. That is where your muscles appear to be weakest and why you are unable to do bench press, which uses your chest primarily. That is the core of your upper body strength and you need to develop it. Strong lifts in only 3 exercises because it works multiple muscle groups per exercise. It is better to do fewer meaningful exercises less frequently rather than doing exercises frequently that don't work what you need to work.

    Always take a rest day between working the same body parts.
  • jonmarrowjonmarrow Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    stand in front of your bathroom mirror, hands clenched to


    you mean like this? http://sonamics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/bl43-300x300.png
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