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Posts posted by StretchMediatedHypertrophy

  1. I haven't posted for a few weeks, but I've been training, and cutting though unfortunately not strutting:

    The Good: Diet has been successful so far. Now let's be real here, heck of a long way to go but clothes that haven't fitted are fitting - unfortunately the scales at the gym are bruck so the clothes have to tell the tale rn. I am going to get some callipers to test bodyfat but I honestly think I lost somewhere between 10-15lbs in less than 4 weeks. Some of it is water weight no doubt.

    I haven't really been counting macros - just trying to keep the protein reasonably high, carbs fairly low, for the most part. Diets feel a bit like surrfboarding for me, it's a case of trying to catch a wave and not fall off - I actually do intend to take a diet break in 2 weeks when my gf & I go traveling so 

    The Bad: Well training has kinda sucked. I mean, I'm doing what I can. It's not like I'm stepping on a stage/platform, it doesn't really matter if I lose a bit of size/strength  - I can get it back later through muscle-memory. So tbh, I'm focussing a bit more on arms, shoulders, and because I'm mostly training with my gf right now, glutes. So yes - good girls, bad girls, side leg machine, glute push downs, hyperextension, some high-rep good mornings. 

    The Ugly: Sprained my ankle last Saturday, tbh it seems to be more or less better now but it wawes a bit shit for a few days, basically stuck on the sofa. I actually fasted for about 44 hours, so it sort of helped with the diet weirdly. I did train quads today, but have been skipping calves though maybe some light work tomorrow.

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  2. 7 hours ago, tbarrie said:

    Eh. I'd say it only makes Tony Khan look like kind of a buffoon. But that's not exactly new. Nobody who objects to watching a wrestling company run by an oversensitive buffoon was watching AEW anyway.

    I still think 'the travel department' comes out of this looking bad. If the travel department had said categorically 'this is what is happening because x, you do y & z, you'll get your expenses & we'll try to fly you out of your home airport next time' then it would have been fine. It's a massive communication breakdown & you can either blame the ppl who's actual job it is to sort this stuff out, or you can blame a couple of idiot wrestlers, or you can apportion a bit of blame in both directions.

    That all being said, one wonders how much they're being paid and look sure, ppl were riding across the county to get 40 bucks from Ian or something....but they were getting to wrestle at least. Doing 5 minute 6-man matches is barely wrestling. It probably is time for them to move on with their lives one way or another - they're too old to be boys. And I suspect that may have been a factor but of course noone in AEW will ever say that.

  3. I think that's a pretty harsh analysis, but even if you think that it doesn't really change the fact that AEW come out of this looking like a bunch of dipshits too so it's ESH really at best.

    Dalton Castle's Boys are not the hill I'm dying on, but in a week where AEW brought us Billy Gunn vs Jay White I'm kind of wondering if I can really be arsed with this shit.

  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqg1TEhqjyI

    I can't embed anymore, but I watched the above video and it's somewhat pertinent. My gym in Budapest got in 2 cheap SSBs a few years ago, and I was just so happy to have the opportunity to use one. 

    Fast-forward to now, and the padding is definitely not what it was, and the handles don't feel secure enough (why on earth people have been removing the handles I have no idea, f'n savages). The SSB I was using at Sky campus in the UK...yeah I don't know if it was really a much better bar, but it had thicker padding and more secure handles.

    As the video points out, the really cheap SSBs don't have an offset between the downward bars and the weight collars - so it ends up being a goblet squat basically. I think I used to cheat that a bit by holding the handles higher (pushing the weight back) but now they're loose it doesn't feel that secure.

    Anyway, the point is that I don't really like doing heavyweight with this SSB anymore. Did a long pause single ATG with 121kg tonight, not sure I'll work with this above 2 plates moving forward sadly. Maybe I can get my shoulders ok with using a straight bar again sob.

    I am enjoying the dip very much right now, I have started messing around with the outward v version where the shoulders are externally rotated - the feeling in the chest is unreal. I do choose to use the assistance machine to ensure good ROM and no screw ups, but I think I will progress it further soon enough as long as I don't abuse them.

    Cut continues. I am in a deficit for sure (I get hungry and feel the sudden urge to pee out of nowhere several times a day), I am not really doing it in a structured way which is not ideal but I am ensuring I get a decent amount of protein. No obvious differences but it's only been just over a week. 


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  5. If something feels good on Smith for you then great, but I would generally suggest people rotate movements in and out. So do Incline Smith for 3-6 weeks max, then put in a non-Smith in that slot. You can then move a Smith JM Press into a tricep slot. This is especially applies if you're doing heavy work.

    My current mindset.....makes me not that keen on them. I'll be honest, I think if your gym is *really* well equipped then there's not much need for them (i.e. you don't really need to do bench presses on there if you have good chest machines, & lunge machines do exist!)...obviously for most of us this isn't entirely the case.

    The other thing I'd say is that it is not clear to what extent the theoretical advantages of the Smith Machine really translate to better muscle growth. 

  6. Back to the above, yeah I mean I think I'd use a bench block rather than not touch but it could be that he wants to get hypertrophy work for the chest, shoulders & maybe tris without tearing up his shoulders. Maybe he is a powerlifter who normally trains somewhere else? You can generally lift more weight on a Smith, I'd generally prefer a machine but some chest machines aren't easy to get 'out of the hole' without assistance and the stack-loaded may not go high enough. 

    As for me, yeah so a few weeks ago I got some pain on the left side of my chest and my left arm. I know right, bit terrifying? So being in the UK, I get myself to the hospital and I have to say, they saw me very quickly and I had a suite of tests and they didn't find anything heart-related so yeah that was a relief. I did slow my roll on my training for a bit, and I'm fine now.  

    Back in Budapest for a piece, I think I have just begun a cut but we'll see eh? Monday was an Upper - mostly assisted dips (I guess I can do actual dips, but preferring to get better ROM & control rn - I may have a summer season where I do more outdoor calisthenics), and widish grip pull-ups, bit of auxiliary work. Tuesday - pin GMs, leg press, seated hamstring & calf. Friday, Saturday will be UL with the gf, so today is going to be a bit of an utility day - a bit of horizontal pulling, abs, carries, arm work etc.


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  7. On 3/3/2024 at 10:55 PM, Technico Support said:

    There’s a guy at my gym that I only see on Sunday mornings.  He’s not in bad shape but not in great shape either.  Wears knee and elbow wraps and all he does is Smith Machine bench presses.  Just like 30 - 45 minutes of 6-8 45lb plates of Smith bench press with shitty ROM.  I don’t know what to think about this.


    I mean in his defence, if he's doing 360+bar for reps even with sleeves and shitty ROM he's still fairly strong. Apparently people do wear knee sleeves at meets sometimes so idk. It might be worth asking him non-judgementally.

    I will update in a bit.

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    • Haha 1
  8. 4 hours ago, The Great ML said:

    He moved back to Bulgaria? That’s a heck of a commute. No wonder he hasn’t been booked in AEW.

    Tbh all this probably means is that CJ has the house, and Miro has decided to spend time with family & friends rather than rent somewhere in the US. 

    He is injured apparently of course (medical care is cheap in Bulgaria, standards are different but it isn't like it is terrible), though yes Plovdiv Airport is hardly a hub.

    Bulgaria also has hot women, flexibility varies I am sure but tbh I'd be very unsurprised if Miro doesn't end up marrying a younger Bulgarian lady in 2-3 years. 

  9. Kelleher; Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Clark, Endo, McConnell; Elliott, Danns, Diaz.

    I messaged a Chelsea-supporting work colleague...don't think he's taking it well 😁

    Two games this week though, it's a happy moment but Liverpool have work to do.

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  10. Just coming back to the squatting to depth thing, I think setting up boxes is a pretty good way to a) keep things honest/real, & b) work your squat depth over time.

    During the p******c, I was doing a lot of squats with bands off a 20cm step - often with bands - sometimes I had foam on top of the step. Now bands aren't great for hypertrophy, but working off a sub-8 inch box definitely helped me keep a lot of leg power & mobility. And realistically most ppl should be able to do that - with bodyweight I mean. Don't be frightened to work with bodyweight, or with an empty bar - as the Yogi Guru Pattabhi Jois' say: “Practice and all is coming”.

  11. I had work drinks last night, quite a few,  and although there was no headache, I really didn't feel like training today.

    So I actually used the opportunity to do a heavy squat single - so I decided to squat to a 30cm (so a shade under 12 inches) hip thrust bench pad, and went to 121 kg with the SSB - which is 267lbs. Now I said I could squat 300 the other day no problem, but this is a tougher variation on a bad day, and it wasn't a true max, so it was validating enough. Echoing what I said earlier about going back to a hip-dominant squat, this was my first time doing a fat powerlifter squat in a while - I can definitely feel it in my hips. 

    I also tried landmine goblet squats and they are surprisingly challenging - again this is a more hip-dominant variation. I will have doms tomorrow I can tell, despite it being a rough workout.

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  12. Taco squatter eh? You're hardly alone there though.

    Hack squat might help you with that tbf. I also agree with C though, going with a lower weight for reps and working up may be the way to go. I could probably put 300lbs on the SSB tomorrow (well maybe Thursday) and squat it, but I could work with 100lbs for deep reps with slow eccentrics and make it count. 


    • Thanks 1
  13. Thanks for the question, and congrats on the run.

    Okay my answer would be, basically no you shouldn't be doing barbell squats if you can't get anywhere near parallel so it's not in your own head.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmAugQT1b4M (there are other resources, but Steve is a pretty reliable source of info)

    Now I can offer a caveat, which is to say that squatting onto a high box is probably ok - and will likely give you some of the benefits of squatting that a hack squat won't reach. But it's probably not the best solution.

    There are also front squats and even zercher squats which involve a more upright spine - if you try them and get on with them you can consider a harness down the line if you really want to push more weight. I don't get on with front squats to be honest, but I actually quite like zerchers though obv your crease of the arm may have a different opinion.

    A lot of gyms also have Safety Squat Bars thesedays, which generally also enable you to maintain a straighter back.

    To be fair, leg press is actually quite sneaky in terms of its ability to compress the spine.



  14. Tbf if you can hack squat 4 plates a side, then you're pretty strong and yeah, leg day is going to suck....as is trying to wear slim fit pants one imagines. It's something I do think about - the truth is that I like the idea of hitting big squat numbers but I do not like the idea of having to hack squat or leg press, or even squat, big loads every week. Tbh, I just don't really want to. So if I want to hit bigger numbers I actually going to have to revert to a wide-stance squat and use the hips. We'll see.

    So I did sort of deload the legs today - but went to 45kg for 12 on the deep leg extensions I have been doing, supersetting with ghd with the 20lb sandbell for sets of 12. So there was progression of a sort, but nothing spectacular. I may actually do some SSB squats on Friday for the first time in a while.

    I decided I'd actually try an OHP single, see where I'm at, despite no OHP or even Incline in weeks. I actually used a slightly wider grip than last time, and went up to 76kg which is a PR technically but.....I hitched it (it dropped slightly after the initial raise, but I completed it with my triceps). Now it's not a powerlifting lift, you can hitch in strongman...but in my heart of hearts I don't think it counts. Still a very good gym lift considering, and tells me I can peak that up to 80+kg nae bother.

    None of the bar holders for the power-racks really give me what I want in terms of a max bench set-up, but I may just try and hit a PR on Sunday best I can or else do another dead-bench in a slightly higher position. I *might* have another go at the OHP next week.

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  15. So 110kg on a dead bench today, I'm pretty sure that is a PR on any kind of pin press. I actually think I had the pin too low, I wasn't really able to arch normally so it was essentially 'flatback'. Wasn't all out, but not sure I would have got 120kg.

    I then tried some floor press, but tbh I'm not used to unracking from that position and it was a bit weird (in the past I've used a pussy pad and hip thrsuted the weight into position). Went up to 90kg for 6, which is more than fine. Tbh the floor press basically has the bar come up only about 1 cm above the chest thesedays....didn't used to be that way!

    My knees are still a bit creaky. They'll be fine, but it's definitely bench bro peaking season 😂

  16. Yeah obv the prevailing YouTube orthodoxy would be against floor flyes because of the lack of a stretch position, but tbh the range of motion loss probably isn't *that* much (especially with your back one imagines), you can possibly use more weight without worrying about overstretching, and the deadstop probably provides some novel stimulus because you're eliminating the reflex. 

    Something that Athlean-X pointed out is that it's a lot easier to go past failure on these, press up and do eccentric flyes. 

    I haven't done anything like this recently (or floor presses for that matter), but it's not a terrible idea actually. 

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  17. Yah, yesterday was challenging. My legs remained sore on Friday and definitely arguments would have been made to skip. I decided to use the feet forward stance on the hack, theoretically this works more hamstring but I also feel it a lot more in my core. Used the heavier band, worked up to 120kg for 2 sets of 8. Was planning on doing some light leg extensions, but machine was busy - decided to use the Bulgarian Bag for some front squats and tbh slightly tweaked my right knee. It's fine now, infact it was fine after using the GHD but it was a warning. I probably will rotate the hack squat out now.

    GHD with the bands beat me up on Tuesday Yesterday I took my shoes off, went to the 3 setting and used sandbells for extra weight. I actually tried the 2 setting but it was too painful on my quads against the machine. Nonetheless the GHD is going to be my point of focus on my remaining leg days at this gym. I basically have no work left, so I'm also hoping to be able to sneak off at non-peak times to go use the sled but we will see!

    Definitely feeling beat up at the moment, not going to lie, but about 12 days from now there will be a deload followed by slightly longer period of more infrequent workouts so I will try to make it through.

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  18. So I'd have to check but today I did a 'pussy pad' bench to a 105kg TM and I think that was the first time I've benched more than 2 plates since 2022 and the injury. I wanted to look after my shoulders hence cutting off a 2-3 cm off the range of motion - plus it arguably helps work through sticking points. Tentative plan is a dead bench on Sunday, as close to chest as I can get.

    The same guy who asked me how many sets I had left on the chest press last week was asking the same question today lol. I finished my final set and cleaned up, he said 'you train really hard' which is obv nice - I said 'sometimes.....I do try!' Obviously there are levels to that. On the chest machine I actually experimented with a slightly different eccentric technique, essentially letting the weight drop and then 'catching' at about half-way and then decelerating slowly to <1 cm from the bottom. With the narrowest grip *and* a pad behind me to push my chest forward. It was pretty nasty - I liked it, though I think you might want to be a bit careful with weight.

    Tentative plan is a dead bench on Sunday, as close to chest as I can get I realistically get two shots at benching in a power rack at this gym - this Sunday and next Sunday. I don't think I'll be benching 300 on either occasion but I have a stretch target of 122.5 kg *if* I can find a setup in the power-rack I like to retrieve the barbell

    Leg day tomorrow, which will be interesting bc my legs were still sore today. I am using 'one final push in this gym' as an excuse to get calories in - I just had a dinner which vaguely resembled a Dwayne Johnson cheat meal, but I am also drinking circa 100g of protein via shakes a day. In 2023, I think I did actually successfully put on quite a bit of muscle but realistically a cut phase is needed!

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  19. I increasingly think I could build up to 4 plates on the hack, especially with my feet forward, but not going to happen in next two weeks. Today I used a thinner reverse band, which is also a little less taut. Went up to 100kg for 6 in normal squat position, & then 2 sets of 10 at 90kg with my feet forward. I can do more, but my legs were a little tired from sled work and we go again on legs Friday.

    I actually benched today first lol. So speed work 8 x 5 - 4 different grips at a very light 50kg, then worked up to a quick top single at 90kg, edge of the knurling close grip, 3 second pause, no wrist wraps. Nothing impressive, but idea is just to edge up top singles on assistance lifts that should have good carryover. Hypothetically, I think I have the size in the titties, delts & tris to hit 300+ - it's just really about acclimatising my old man frame. I then did 2 sets of JM Presses, which I do actually enjoy a lot. I will probably hit a top single with wraps on Thursday, maybe a little wider - so maybe 2 plates but we'll feel it out.

    Double-banded the GHD today which was pretty nutty - glute activation is insane. Deep leg extensions at 35kg, 2nd set after 5 I was like......mate, I think I'm tapping out at 12 here, then I promised myself to get to 16, and I got the 20 - but I was done lol. I think these will continue to go up for a bit, BUT yeah it does depend on the knees strengthening with it. The remedy is the poison, & vice versa.

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