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Mauro Aquilini

Arm size and strength.

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Joshua Naterman

Why use that when you can do stuff like HSPUs, planche pushups variations, dips, etc?

Those are VERY tough on the elbows and they're basically like isolation work which won't help you progress in anything here.

Just because something's an "isolation move" doesn't mean that it is useless. Anything that strengthens the triceps is going to help with HSPU, since they're mostly a tricep exercise, for example. Just like for me, my shoulders are a weak point. I am doing some specific stuff, like the rotator cuff work and the prone victorian dumbbell presses, which could also be considered something of an isolation movement, and they are helping immensely with other things here. I respect your knowledge and experience, but I think that your comment was not completely thought out. There is value in isolation exercises with regard to the skills sought after here, just not in ONLY doing isolation exercises.

I totally agree about the elbow strain, it's pretty rough compared to a lot of other supplementary exercises. A slightly more abbreviated motion would help with that issue, but not eliminate it.

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braindx

Why use that when you can do stuff like HSPUs, planche pushups variations, dips, etc?

Those are VERY tough on the elbows and they're basically like isolation work which won't help you progress in anything here.

Just because something's an "isolation move" doesn't mean that it is useless. Anything that strengthens the triceps is going to help with HSPU, since they're mostly a tricep exercise, for example. Just like for me, my shoulders are a weak point. I am doing some specific stuff, like the rotator cuff work and the prone victorian dumbbell presses, which could also be considered something of an isolation movement, and they are helping immensely with other things here. I respect your knowledge and experience, but I think that your comment was not completely thought out. There is value in isolation exercises with regard to the skills sought after here, just not in ONLY doing isolation exercises.

I totally agree about the elbow strain, it's pretty rough compared to a lot of other supplementary exercises. A slightly more abbreviated motion would help with that issue, but not eliminate it.

There is definitely value in isolation work in gymnastics. For the biceps. For upper level strength skills.

There is no need for the triceps.

If you're training all of the strength dynamics I mentioned in addition to things like manna you will know what I mean/

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Joshua Naterman

I think there would be better improvement with my manna with the tricep isolation, but I haven't tried it :P But you're right, the biceps are the really important one. Transfers to almost all the high level stuff.

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braindx
I think there would be better improvement with my manna with the tricep isolation, but I haven't tried it :P But you're right, the biceps are the really important one. Transfers to almost all the high level stuff.

Not really

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norbeex3

I read trough the topic and i have one question. Let's say I'm 6"1'(roughly) and my optimal weight is 175 pounds(I'm only seventeen). So if this is the case and I'm at the most optimal weight that can be achieved can I gain strength and achieve the maximal strength possible(I know it's far away but It's a hypothetical question, and I don't mean weights but bodyweight exercises)? And is it possible to lose fat while staying stationary with my weight(or only 2-3 pounds change, I want to go under 10%)? :roll:

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Joshua Naterman

Don't worry about bodyfat. Concentrate on eating the right amount of food for your size, and focus on building strength and power. There's no such thing as an optimal weight based on height and/or age, only optimal performance. As long as you eat enough and train right, you will be able to continually improve. No one ever reaches their true maximum potential. Between injuries, changes in life direction, and periodic lack of motivation, there are always things that get in the way. Just concentrate on constant improvement! I have to go now, but if you post what your goals are I can perhaps help you plan out how to achieve those goals more efficiently.

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Ortprod

Well said.

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norbeex3
Don't worry about bodyfat. Concentrate on eating the right amount of food for your size, and focus on building strength and power. There's no such thing as an optimal weight based on height and/or age, only optimal performance. As long as you eat enough and train right, you will be able to continually improve. No one ever reaches their true maximum potential. Between injuries, changes in life direction, and periodic lack of motivation, there are always things that get in the way. Just concentrate on constant improvement! I have to go now, but if you post what your goals are I can perhaps help you plan out how to achieve those goals more efficiently.

I'm 175 pounds, this weight is perfect for me(I know there is no such thing as perfect but for me it's perfect and my BMI says It's perfect too) and my goal is to reach what is possible without losing weight.(I have lighting fast metabolism and It was a hell of a time to gain weight so I don't want to lose a significant amount only 3-4 maximum if needed). So is a constant improvement in strength possible as you said without losing or gaining weight? I think this is my goal. :)

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Ortprod

Stay within the slightly higher rep ranges, i.e. 5 or 6 reps, and make sure you are getting enough for your post workout nutrition. Also, be sure that you are getting enough sleep. You should be fine.

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Joshua Naterman

First off, having been 6'1 before, I can tell you for a certainty that 185 is much more ideal as far as pure relative strength goes, and possibly higher. BMI is a load of crap. If you look at mine, it says I am obese because I am 220 at 6'2, but one look at a picture and you can see that I am not. I had to deal with that nonsense in the Navy all the time. Skinfolds or underwater displacement tests are the best currently available measurements for determining your bodyfat and overall composition. And yea, for some random smartass who's going to tell me that there's some electro-whatsit thing that is even better, that's true, but it's only in a lab at like 3 universities, so that doesn't matter. Properly done, skinfolds are very, very accurate. Having said all that:

If you want to read up on some very, very good info go find Chad Waterbury's "Muscle Revolution." You will learn how to use different reps and sets, along with rest time and speed modulation, to get the strength, size, or both that you want. Since you had trouble putting on weight, learning the information in this book will really help you. Scrawny to Brawny is another good book, which focuses on teaching people who have trouble gaining muscle how to make the gains they seek. I'd read Muscle Revolution first, but read them both. You can apply the information directly to the gymnasticbodies exercises. It is a wonderful book, and much more than worth the small cost of the book. It contains nearly all of the general training knowledge that I've built up in my life, and I have learned and had several things clarified from and by the book as well. Chad has overcome average genetics to develop very high levels of strength, as well as successfully guiding many clients to achieving their goals. This is one book that truly should be on the tip of every fitness enthusiast's tongue.

One thing that first bit doesn't touch on, and that you have also missed, is that what the scale says doesn't matter very much. As you've said, you're over 10% bodyfat (since getting under is your goal). That's obviously still good shape, unless you're above 15% in which case it isn't, but the numbers don't matter that much. For example, if you are 175 and have 13% bodyfat, you'd be better off at 166 lbs and slightly under 8%.

HOWEVER, you would be FAR better off at 175 with slightly under 8% bodyfat.

At 166 with 8% bodyfat you'd have 152.72 lbs of lean mass(muscle, bone, and internal organs) and 13.28 lbs of fat. That's exactly what you have now(assuming 13%), with less fat.

At 175 and 13% bodyfat you have 152.25 lb lean mass and 22.75 lb fat. Notice that this is the same amount of lean mass as 166 @ 8%!

At 175 with 8% bodyfat you'd have 161 lb of lean mass, and 14 lb of fat. That's over 8 lb of muscle more, which means that at the same weight you'd be massively stronger.

Now, look at this. At 185 with 8% bodyfat you'd have 170.2 lb of lean mass, and 14.8 lb of fat. With less than one pound of extra fat, and 9.2 lb of extra muscle, you are going to be WAAAAAAAAAAY stronger. You just need to gain that mass mostly in your upper and mid back, shoulders, biceps, forearms, and chest, with some being in the legs as well. The strength gained there FAR outweighs the burden those extra pounds put on your muscles during bodyweight exercises.

Don't take this as me pushing you to gain weight. You do whatever you want. I'm just speaking from personal experience and providing hard numbers for you to look at so that you have information to work with. If you are having trouble gaining weight, you probably aren't giving your body the stimulus it needs. Everyone's body is different. I don't get heavy easily either, but there's no reason to not be gaining at least 2 lb of muscle a month. But you may need a different number of sets and reps, as well as different progressions within workout structure to see those gains. For example, if you do the same weight for the same sets and reps, but each week you increase the speed at which you complete these with good form, you will be increasing force production, which will help you increase strength. Similarly, if you cut the rest time each week, you will gain size as well.

My goal is to open your eyes to the possibilities that lie ahead. It's up to you to decide what you want.

I have personally trained my friend Andrew, who is exactly like you according to your description, he doesn't gain weight for anything. He is tall and lean, with a narrower frame than me. He started out at 6'1 or 6'2(he insists 6'1 but I am pretty sure he is a hair taller than me) and 155. Four months later he was the same height and 175. He liked how he looked, and stopped working out as consistently, so he has just maintained what he gained since then. Much leaner, much stronger. No steroids. All we used was good food, frequent meals, the right stimulus for his body, and some protein. My buddy Bryan gained over 40 lbs in the same time period, but I'd guess only 30 of it was muscle. He likes bacon. A LOT. :P I personally just gained strength, I only put on about 10 lbs. I am very highly trained though, so that's more normal, and still a LOT better than most people at my level of development. 10 lbs in 4 months is a dream to most, because they don't work out right and eat right. It's not a one shot deal, everyone grows from different stimuli. I just want you to know that it is possible to gain more muscle at your size. Andrew is seeing now that he'd be better off with bigger, stronger shoulders for this gymnastics stuff, and is working towards that.

To get what you've said you want, which is to stay 175 and drop bodyfat while gaining muscle, here's the easy way. Use an online calculator, search for calorie calculator on google, and find one that uses your activity level as one of the factors for figuring out how many calories you need. Eat about that much, and make it all good food. No bullshit, no junk food, no soda, lots of fruit, lots of veggies, lots of meat, lots of olive oil, nuts, and peanut butter(only use natural, the regular stuff has hydrogenated oils and your body will store them as fat. NOT what you want). Mixed nuts are better than peanuts alone. Ok!

As for your workouts, how you train will directly affect how you develop size and strength. You want to train for both. Because you are only eating enough food for a 175 pound guy, you won't get heavier than that. What will happen (and happen much much faster if you get yourself to walk uphill on a treadmill at maximum incline at 2-2.3 mph without using the rails for at least 30 minutes a few times a week) is that you will start burning bodyfat and building muscle at the same time. If you want to get rid of the bodyfat you WILL need to do some aerobic exercise. The reason I suggested the uphill walking is that it is the easiest on your body. Uphill walking forces your whole body to work, so you burn a lot of calories without any muscles working too hard. It is very efficient, and doesn't affect recovery as much as anything else you do for aerobic exercise. Walking on flat ground is worthless for this purpose. You can also watch House at the same time :) Or whatever. If you don't want to do that, jogging and jumping rope are the next best things. The best thing about the walking is that you will burn lots of fat directly, WHILE YOU ARE WALKING. With the other aerobic options, that happens to a lesser extent because they involve moments of extreme effort followed by a relatively long period of rest. Any time you are jumping or running, you are spending most of your time in the air, where your body doesn't work at all. That's not good for directly burning fat, which is better in this situation than just burning calories regardless of source. You don't want a calorie deficit, that's what causes weight loss. You want to burn fat actively while maintaining your weight. That's what causes FAT loss. It's not the only way that works, but it's more efficient, meaning it works faster and takes less effort.

All right, that was yet another ridiculously long Slizzard Report.

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Richard Duelley

Wow Slizzard . . . thanks a lot for all that info and I just finished grabbing those books you mentioned! I am currently at the 6 foot 155lb level and I think I am hitting my maxes at my current size so I have been researching heavily to learn how to put a little more mass on my frame. Over the past year and a half now (wow its been that long!) I dropped from 190ish lb to below 155lb and I have been working hard to gain some good mass back, basically all my flab is gone for good and I have been struggling to put on weight over the past few months. I seem to have peaked at 155 at the moment so I have been tweaking my diet and looking at hitting the weight room along with my gymnastics training to try and expedite the mass gain. On a random side note I easily pulled a 255lb deadlift last Wednesday on a random trip to the weight room (just to see). I am going back sometime this week to try and get my actual max, but 255 was my goal going in last week and I almost threw the bar, so I just left with a smile on face :mrgreen: . I struggled with 205 about a month ago so I was really surprised at the increase (I think its the BL work)!

But 2lbs a month would be really, really nice . . . me at 185 would be ridiculous!

Your post is now saved on my computer for future reference/motivation! 8)

Keep up the good work everyone and don’t forget about that prehab!

Slizzard, don’t worry about post length; I have a bunch of novels I wrote over on my hand balancing thread on Idos forum.

:D

Time to read some books!

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Joshua Naterman
Wow Slizzard . . . thanks a lot for all that info and I just finished grabbing those books you mentioned! I am currently at the 6 foot 155lb level and I think I am hitting my maxes at my current size so I have been researching heavily to learn how to put a little more mass on my frame. Over the past year and a half now (wow its been that long!) I dropped from 190ish lb to below 155lb and I have been working hard to gain some good mass back, basically all my flab is gone for good and I have been struggling to put on weight over the past few months. I seem to have peaked at 155 at the moment so I have been tweaking my diet and looking at hitting the weight room along with my gymnastics training to try and expedite the mass gain. On a random side note I easily pulled a 255lb deadlift last Wednesday on a random trip to the weight room (just to see). I am going back sometime this week to try and get my actual max, but 255 was my goal going in last week and I almost threw the bar, so I just left with a smile on face :mrgreen: . I struggled with 205 about a month ago so I was really surprised at the increase (I think its the BL work)!

But 2lbs a month would be really, really nice . . . me at 185 would be ridiculous!

Your post is now saved on my computer for future reference/motivation! 8)

Keep up the good work everyone and don’t forget about that prehab!

Slizzard, don’t worry about post length; I have a bunch of novels I wrote over on my hand balancing thread on Idos forum.

:D

Time to read some books!

Hahaha, that would have been funny to see! You know, the look on your face when you did the 255 so easy :P I am sure it is the BL work along with any GHR stuff you're doing, because I know I got a straddle back lever really quickly and it's because of the back and hamstring strength I have. The rollover has to go both ways :P Congratulations dude! I'll be surprised if you don't break 300. I'd honestly do maybe 5 reps with 225, go straight to 275, do 3(should be easy. Unfamiliar perhaps, but easy), and then take a 2-3 minute rest and go to 315 or 325 and go for it. I think you'll make it. If you don't I am guessing it will be grip, not back or legs, that gets in the way.

Great work knocking off that flab! I think you'll see that you gain the first 15-20 lbs pretty easy. As long as you eat clean you'll be gaining muscle and kicking ASS!!!!! on the rings! You're probably better on the HSPU than I am, so you could use that as one of your strength moves with a weight vest or something like that, so you aren't doing shoulder presses all the time. Oh, and you'll love this video. The moment I saw it I can only think to myself "Crap. That would be kick ASS for pressing to handstands! You'll see.

Right here! ======>bo2O9AupMFs

And yea, prehab is the shit! THe inlocate/exlocates with heavy resistance bands is helping my shoulders a LOT.

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norbeex3

Slizzard! I cannot describe you how thankful I am for your post. I tought I was going to get a short post with some help and thats all but I get every information I needed instead. Those books are great! As soon as I have some free time I will read trough them. And I want to thank you for the advice to put on some more weight It's a good idea accord to what you have said but I have one more little question. Doesn't more weight have some impact on my tumbling and acrobatics performance? I planned to learn some tumbling moves but what if I'm too heavy? Does it matter anyway? And if we are at the tumbling topic(I know the title says Arm size but never mind :D ), do I have to learn the basics like headspring and back roll to handstand(just some examples not only these) to have a foundation for the advanced moves or can I start out with let's say the back handspring?

Thanks again for your response! :P

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Joshua Naterman

As for the tumbling progressions, Nifty, blairbob, and Coach can really tell you the deal there. I haven't got a clue. If you post the question in skill development I guarantee you at least two of them will have answers for you. Now with the tumbling itself, I will just say that I have seen a 245 lb 6'4 guy out-tumble a 165 lb 5'9 guy. I couldn't freaking believe it, let me tell you. Seeing that completely changed my perspective one what I could accomplish at my size. 10 extra pounds at your height and weight will absolutely NOT get in your way. Heck, Marlon is in circus school and he's 6'1 and 184 I think. You have to be good to get in there :P

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Joshua Naterman

Oh, and to get an idea of what a muscular guy can do, here's one of Ido Portal's videos. This is him performing acrobatics on the grass. As you can see, he is not a skinny guy. paFCJKPElto

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Richard Duelley
As for the tumbling progressions, Nifty, blairbob, and coach can really tell you the deal there. I haven't got a clue. If you post the question in skill development I guarantee you at least two of them will have answers for you. Now with the tumbling itself, I will just say that I have seen a 245 lb 6'4 guy out-tumble a 165 lb 5'9 guy. I couldn't freaking believe it, let me tell you. Seeing that completely changed my perspective one what I could accomplish at my size. 10 extra pounds at your height and weight will absolutely NOT get in your way. Heck, Marlon is in circus school and he's 6'1 and 184 I think. You have to be good to get in there :P

I dont tumble that much . . . I just use standing front and back flips for my explosive leg conditioning. :mrgreen:

I am more of a hand balancing/strength kind of guy more than a fly through the air kind of guy. 8)

The 255lb pull I also stood there for awhile, just holding bar, and stared at myself in the mirror . . .a little self love never hurt anyone :D And I agree that grip will be my limiting factor, and the school gym doesnt have any fat bars for me to work on that! I was really disappointed, I dont even think they knew what I was talking about. . . :(

norbeex3:

Remember if you put on a few pounds of muscle you will most likely dramatically increase your strength and explosiveness, if you do it properly.

Edit: :mrgreen: I pulled 315 . . . TWICE! Full story on my tread on Ido's forum (see signature). :mrgreen:

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Joshua Naterman

Bring your own handles to slide onto the regular barbells! PVC is best, but ABS works too. There should be 2 foot pre-cut pieces for a couple bucks, and even if it's only 2", you'll be fine. I'm using 2.25" internal diameter schedule 80. You'll only find schedule 40, but it'll be fine. Cut two six inch-ish pieces and then a half inch or so wide horizontal strip out of each one, so that they will clip onto the bar. Then you don't even NEED no one's stinkin' fat bar, cuz you'll have your own in your backpack!

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Richard Duelley

Thats a GREAT idea! Now I will get even more weird looks at the gym . . .the weighted one leg squats get me enough attention. :mrgreen: The only concern I have is over the seams . . . do I just have to try and put the seam where my hand isnt grabbing (like put the seam up) so it doesnt pinch.

Hmmm . . .its a cheep (money wise) accessory so I just might try it and see what happens. 8)

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Joshua Naterman
Thats a GREAT idea! Now I will get even more weird looks at the gym . . .the weighted one leg squats get me enough attention. :mrgreen: The only concern I have is over the seams . . . do I just have to try and put the seam where my hand isnt grabbing (like put the seam up) so it doesnt pinch.

Hmmm . . .its a cheep (money wise) accessory so I just might try it and see what happens. 8)

With mine, I cut somewhere between a .5 to .75 inch piece off to make the bar groove, and there are no issues. I just put the opening in the middle of my palm. Believe me, if you can crush a piece of pvc with your hands you need to remember to do maintenance on your hydraulic hands. :P You have to sort of slap it on, which is nice because they can't fall off, and you have to pull a little for them to come off, but there is no way you are ever going to pinch yourself. Get the groove wherever you feel the most comfortable with it. I would suggest sanding the edges slightly, just for a little extra comfort. I didn't do mine, the bar knurling eventually sanded them anyways :P It never bothered me. Now weighted one leg squats are pretty awesome. I havent tried those yet :P I think the counterbalance would help me a lot.

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norbeex3

Thank you for the responses and sorry for not answering I had network issues.

I will think about the weight gain, now it doesn't seem like a bad idea. :) Ido always amazes me :D He's moving in such a controlled way. I'd wish he was my teacher. :)

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Richard Duelley

For the one legged squats I hold the barbell/plate on my chest, this means no counterbalance . . .its all you! 8) And its 45lbs my arms would die holding that out in front of me for 5 reps and 3-5 sets! :mrgreen:

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Guest cccp21
Braindx, read the article carefuly, it suggests even in weight class sports, hypertrophy is used in order to gain strength. (to a certain extent)

Optimal bodyweight for relative strength is something that is very specific to the person/activity in question. It is effected by many factors. Look at the data the Russians collected about OLifters and their Vjumps. The best relative strength was achieved by a the 90Kg (200lb) class. That is quite heavy.

Ido.

*********** Not sure if it's related but Vasili Alexeeyev needed more reps(than 1 to 3) to maintain his maximal strength levels than were prescribed.In fact as high in some exercices as 15! The bigger the person the more the volume needed even if this person is "neurologicaly" efficient at the same time larger people "fatigue" in their Cns faster and easier that smaller people.

In my present belief optimal reps(TuT) depends on speed of execution,size and fiber make up of the muscle,size of the person in general and level of qualification(neurological efficiency).

Brandon Green

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Joshua Naterman
For the one legged squats I hold the barbell/plate on my chest, this means no counterbalance . . .its all you! 8) And its 45lbs my arms would die holding that out in front of me for 5 reps and 3-5 sets! :mrgreen:

It's probably still counterbalancing. The added weight is forward of your center of gravity, and almost certainly forward of your hip, which means that the net effect is your upper body experiencing more forward force, reducing any tendency for a backwards movement. To have no counterbalance you'd have to wrap the weight evenly around your center of gravity, like a weighted belt. There's nothing wrong with counterbalancing, it doesn't make an exercise easier, it just adjusts the relative load balances to make movements like SLS possible for some people like me and a few others where a combination of long upper legs and insufficient ankle flexibility make the movement physically impossible due to location of center of gravity at the bottom of the movement. In effect counterbalancing moves your center of gravity so you don't fall over backwards :P.

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iyaites

I like it the most while holding a kettlebell or two; it makes your arms strong too

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braindx
Braindx, read the article carefuly, it suggests even in weight class sports, hypertrophy is used in order to gain strength. (to a certain extent)

Optimal bodyweight for relative strength is something that is very specific to the person/activity in question. It is effected by many factors. Look at the data the Russians collected about OLifters and their Vjumps. The best relative strength was achieved by a the 90Kg (200lb) class. That is quite heavy.

Ido.

*********** Not sure if it's related but Vasili Alexeeyev needed more reps(than 1 to 3) to maintain his maximal strength levels than were prescribed.In fact as high in some exercices as 15! The bigger the person the more the volume needed even if this person is "neurologicaly" efficient at the same time larger people "fatigue" in their Cns faster and easier that smaller people.

In my present belief optimal reps(TuT) depends on speed of execution,size and fiber make up of the muscle,size of the person in general and level of qualification(neurological efficiency).

Brandon Green

Some people do respond better with higher reps. And by higher reps I mean 4-6 reps.

But those that need significantly more reps probably just need more volume with their strength work.

It is good to switch it up once in a while (higher reps) for at least joint/connective tissue conditioning and general prehab though, so this may be what he was doing. Shrug.

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