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Richard Robichaud

What is lifting weights good for?

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Richard Robichaud

I'm hoping someone can help me out with this question around weights.

Would there be any reason for a person using this GST system to need to add weights at all in addition to this program?  I mean, is there any advantage to doing so?

I understand that bigger muscles produce greater force and that's why I keep playing with the idea that I need to create bigger muscles to allow me to do more work and develop greater power output.  I would imagine this is why football players try to get as much muscle on as possible to be as fast and as explosive as possible.  

Body builders use weights to grow big muscles for show and not so much to use them in any athletic way (generally speaking)

GST has helped me greatly and I love it, but is there any advantage to using weights at all while on this program?  For example, if I'm stuck on a ring row progression, is it worth my time focusing on dumbbell curls to strengthen my biceps to allow me to add more reps to my rows?

And it seems GST focuses on higher rep ranges which I understand as working muscle endurance and less in the "power range" of 3-5 reps or the hypertrophy range of 8-12.

Just trying to rethink my way of understanding strength vs. size and if there is a reason to have to train in all of the different rep ranges.

Thanks in advance for any help in clarifying this for me.

Rich 

 

 

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Coach Sommer

Of course there are advantages to adding weights.  However at the right time and place.

It very much depends upon how advanced the athlete it.  Are they fast, but weak?  Are they strong, but slow?  How is their mobility?  Do they already have sufficient strength for their chosen athletic endeavor or have they exceeded their optimal surplus of strength?  Most athletes reach a point where their athletic performance begins to dwindle if they get too strong or too big.  

Saquon Barkley, running back for the Giants, is the only exception to this rule that I have personally seen.  

For beginners the rep range is purposely high to help avoid joint injuries as most have a tendency to work harder than their joints can support.

As for ring rows, why would you think that biceps curls would help?  Do more ring rows!  Add sets, do rest pause sets, do chinese breakdowns etc.  The possible programming tweaks are limitless.  Do with ring rows more often, experiment with less often.  Play, explore and train until you find the variables that best suit your individual physiology.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer 

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James O'Boyle

@Coach Sommer What are chinese breakdowns?  I've never heard that term before.

 

Thanks,

James

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Coach Sommer

Chinese breakdowns are a type of ladder style workout.  Begin from a low rep set and go up as high as you like and then reverse back down again to original low rep set.  Whether the set steps are one rep or two reps or three reps etc will depend upon the highest number aiming for and what multiple you would like to use.  For example if 15reps is my top end set, I might go 3r, 6r, 9r, 12r, 15r, 12r, 9r, 6r, 3r for a total of 75reps.

Chinese breakdowns are great because the warmup, top end and cool down are all integrate into a single structure.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

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James O'Boyle

@Coach Sommer  Ah, yes!  I love those--I know them as "pyramid sets".  They're a great idea for ground rows...

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Richard Robichaud

Thanks very much for personally answering this question for me @Coach Sommer.  So the whole idea of the high rep range is to develop the connective tissue and strengthen the joints hence the reason for all of these progressions - that makes a lot of sense.

My idea behind the bicep curls was to build additional strength in the arms to break through a plateau allowing for possibly more reps.  I will take your advice and do more of what needs improving and keep it simple.  

I feel a lot of what I've been taught in the past in terms of how to get fit was a waste of time.  Having to start with machine weights or free weights right from the start is not the way to go.

Do you offer any courses on the theory behind how to build an athletic body?  I know you wrote a book but I can't seem to track it down anywhere.  Amazon is selling it for $133.00 CAD for the paperback ($71.00USD).  I'd love to pick up a copy and learn the right way to train.

Thanks again,

Rich

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Matthew Walker

Don't lift weights. Once your friends find out you're moving a lot of iron they will always ask you to help them move. 

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