Come here to ask any question you'd like. Advice, stories, suggestions, anything goes.
@Fatfookingelephant haha, that was an exceptionally good flex day.
Some of that was after covid.
You definitely have great shoulder to waist ratio. Your body looks like a swimmer, so you have a great start for hypertrophy.
Dude it sounds like we had the same problems and thoughts.
When I had to go to resistance tubes it was like a HUGE shift. I could feel my muscles burn and was like 'aahh, this is what I've been missing'.
I discovered a lot.
Basically, lifting heavy is great, but the idea that it will magically cause hypertrophy I feel is false.
Hypertrophy is much less about weight and so much more about mind-muscle connection, constant tension on the muscle, full range of motion higher reps and volume.
I noticed that most guys in my gym who looked awesome were not lifting the heaviest of weights.
It's a very different way.
I could pull a decent bent over row, pick up heavy for five reps and think 'yeah, awesome'.
But now I do about 20 kilos lighter, on a standing cable row. Higher reps.
For basically every exercise now, I warm up the intended muscle. This might be simply flexing it and squeezing it until my mind is connected to it.
I do my positive pretty quick, but hhhoollddd it for a good two to three seconds, where I feel the muscle activate.
Every rep is at least 'in...hold 1, 2....slow release...before completing the negative, next rep (to maintain tension).
After a while your mind shifts. It's not about just getting that heavy weight in the air.
It's feeling that muscle tighten...feeling the tension on it. When I really want to activate it, I can hold a rep for 3 to 6 seconds. Until it really activates.
Unlike strength training. I feel my muscles after each set. Feels awesome.
Grab a light weight on a barbell and do some bicep curls. Just light. Squuueeze for two seconds at the top, and lower for two seconds.
After 12 reps, your arms should burn.
You can get that to a good level with most muscles.
8 to 20 reps is good but if you are just pumping through without mind muscle connection you could just be pumping weights.
Squeeze...hold...slow lower. Your mind shifts from the weight to the muscle.Read More
That makes sense and helps. I have always enjoyed strength training more, and felt like my body was better adapted towards it, but at the end of the day, strength is not as much of a goal as aesthetics.
Your anecdotes about mind muscle connection are reassuring. When I lift, I rarely "feel the burn" in my muscles even when I train for complete failure (bar hit safeties level failure) when I do sets of 3 on bad days.
I also have only ever consistently benched for chest and rowed/deadlifted/pullups for my back. I think more exercise variety would probably help overall.
I've really tried to emphasize my shoulder to waist ratio. As of this morning, I measured in at 46.5 inches around the widest point of my shoulders and 29.5 inches around my waist. That puts me at about a 1.57 shoulder to waist ratio (1.97 when measured in pixels from the front), but I've learned recently that shoulder waist ratio doesn't mean shit unless you're lean and well muscled.
I'm sick of putting 300+ pounds on the bar and people asking me: "are you okay with that weight?" "You're really gonna squat that?" "Don't hurt yourself, now"
The stares from people after I do can be entertaining, but it still sucks to know that I don't look like I lift. Sorry this turned into a bit of rant, but I empathize with you and your situation. I think I'm realizing the whole "just get strong and lean and you'll look good" is bullshit.
I'll start incorporating more exercise variety as well as chaining up my rep scheme. Does the 8 to 20 rep range sound better? That way I really feel the burn in my muscles.
You look pretty good in your profile picture if you don't mind me saying so. Was that a result of the shift in training post COVID? You definitely look aesthetic there.Read More
Ok, I'm not a personal trainer, but my advice on my experience.
You don't have a bad overall body shape. Bit of a v-taper, broad shoulders, so a good overall frame.
You look like you lift, but also don't.
Nobody who doesn't lift is going to look like that. I can tell you probably go the gym.
But, there is no definition. Your biceps look non-existent.You have no traps that pop, etc.
When you say you have trained in the 3 to 5 rep range it all makes sense. That's a major problem.
You're probably getting strong without the high volume, higher rep range needed for hypertrophy.
I had a similar problem. I did 3-5 for a long time. Didn't look like I had been in the gym for three years.
Once CO-VID began I totally changed my approach.
No gym, so I had to get resistance tubes. This forced me to go higher reps, lower weight.
So I was doing 3x10 with two drop sets.
Resistance tubes helped me gain MUCH better mind/muscle connection.
When I was strength training I had mind/weight connection. My mind was focused on the weight and getting it up.
Tubes let me focus on the muscle...two second squeeze, slow negatives. I could feel the exact muscles I was hitting and feel them burn every set.
I am also cutting.
So, I am back in the gym now
I still do lower weights, higher reps, and have a mind muscle connection. I hit that muscle target, feel it burn and get so much more from my training.
My body has remarkable difference four or five months later.
IMO, fuck off that low rep/high weight stuff. For me it doesn't do anything but help me lift heavier weight.
Go higher reps, lower weights.
Change how you lift. Look up where muscles are located and build mind muscle connection. Feel them squeeze and burn. Keep them under tension.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different exercises to find what hits a muscle best for you.
I never bench. It doesn't activate my chest. I do cable flys and boom...my chest has noticeable difference.
I don't do bent over rows. I do a standing cable row, because I feel it burn in my traps and entire back.
With your frame it won't be long until you see a difference.
Hope this made sense/helpsRead More
Feeling a little frustrated with lifting after 3 years.
170->(first six months lifting, doing SS 3x5 & diet regrettably) 185->135 (year and a half cutting) 135->145 (mini-bulk, but most maintenance for 6 months) 145->160 (four months bulking. I know. I overdid it.) 160->150 (two months cutting) OHP/B/S/D=140/205/315/345 Chin-ups: BW+30x5
Mostly have trained in the 3-5 rep range (mostly 3). I think all the strength training without much hypertrophy work has left me a little skinny fat. I'm feeling a little lost and wondering if I'm doing wrong. Do I look like someone whose been lifting seriously for years? Am I just too high in body fat? I'd like to see abs for once in my life.
I’m also 48 hours fasted, so I look a little depleted in the photo.
imgur.com/a/nihi4qk First photo (front) is with flexed abs Second photo (back) is unflexed
Can someone give me advice on where to go from here? My life has still gotten significantly better since starting lifting -- just about every aspect of it has benefitted from my time in the gym... I just thought I'd look better after 3 years in the gym, and I'm not sure where to go from here? Continue cutting? Start bulking? Eat at maintenance and recomp? Should I keep training like a powerlifter? Or shift to more emphasis on isolation and high reps?
Thanks for your help!Read More
@INNASKILLZ2K20 I haven't got a proper measurement done but the BIA on my scale averages around 17-18%bf but in terms of looks I look like mid 20s%. The best way I could describe it would be a flabbier dad bod (the loose skin effect gives me a muffin top). I can post a pic later if you want. But you're right, it's gonna take time to fix anyways so might as well just give'er. Thanks!