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Re: Expanders and bodyweight exercises
Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:35 pm
For the last few years I have been exclusively bodyweight only training. This consists of 3xweek fullbody routine bodyweight exercises. Upper body of inverted row, pull up, and dip. On the other days I do muscle control. 2 or 3 times a week. Now in the winter doing 2 full body workouts. Muscle control 2 X week also. I now want to include strandpulling (steel)into my exercise routine. And I am looking for advice and people's experience. I am thinking of adding 2x week big three exercises of ohp, fcp, and bp. On a separate day. This will result in 4 upper body sessions a week. Or just adding BP(back press) or even front lateral raise only to my full body routine to keep it 2 or 3 times a week. I would like people's opinions on what strandpulling exercises best compliment the dip, pull up and row. I think back press or front lateral raise to hit the side delt in particular which is missing somewhat in those 3 exercises. Also do they do strandpulling with weights and bodyweight exercises or as a stand alone day.
Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:44 am
to answer your last question first, yes strands can be included into any type of training routine.They combine really well with body weight training or barbells an dumbbells and you can mix and match and be creative to suit your particular needs. Of course they can also just be done as a stand alone but why be limited. I am sorry but i cannot remember his name but a British bodybuilder training for the NABBA Universe in the 60's was doing weight training 3x a week and cables 3x a week, this of course was pre contest and maybe too much for regular use. However the great thing about strands is that the overall stress on the body is less than weights so can be done more frequently without over training. In your case using B/W, strands and Muscle Control 4 days per week would not be overdoing things.Remember muscle control has a different effect on the system than the other types of training and can be a way to help muscles recover. If you just want to include a few Strand exercises into your current program then OHP,FCP and BP will give the best bang for the buck. While these will build some serious strength and muscle in the shoulder girdle, upper back and arms they do little for the chest except maybe for the serratus.You are doing dips and two pulling exercises for B/W so that would mean a big difference in the pull,push ratio.You may want to consider adding some push ups into the equation for more balance. I think the combination of OHP and dips works really well alternating sets, also front pull and push ups are a good combo. Anyway you can be creative with strands and do not be afraid to experiment with a few different schemes to find what fits you the best.You may also want to go back over the expander posts for more ideas.Hope this is of help.Good luck with the training.
Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:05 pm
Thanks Peter for the advice. I have decided to introduce the big three fcp,ohp,bp into my training schedule. Will be looking to do them 2 or 3 times a week. Either as a standalone session or with my full bodyweight routine. Today I did my usual full bodyweight routine in the morning, and this evening did the big three for 2 sets each. Less than 12 mins. It feels great. Because of the convience of expanders I can fit them in anywhere and I will take your advice about not worrying about overtraining. As they and muscle control (for sure) will not fatigue me like the bodyweight workout does. Which itself is much easier to recover from than a heavy weights session used to be(think deadlifts!). I'm in this for the long game and want to training and in shape when I'm in my 70s. Like you said bodyweight, muscle control and now strandpulling make a great combination. Also so damn convient as they can all be done from home with barely any equipment! Consistency is key to training that is for sure. I feel for these people going to the gym now after new year. They not realizing you can train from home and achieve a super physique!
Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:48 pm
Glad to be of help.Yes so convenient, anywhere is a gym.I have traveled around the world and that type of training always stood me in good stead.Also being a martial arts practitioner i was often doing some extremely rigorous training in high temps and humidity. It would have been hard to recover from the weights and martial training but i had no problem with B/W and strands.Of course martial arts have many strength building exercises too. At times when my training was less demanding i did do weights without problem though. Always a balancing act but as you say harder with the weights to recover.I remember when ihad a broken leg and could do no DL or Squat, i had a few DB's and KB's of various weights around my bench plus my strands and did a variety of exercises pus dips and pull ups. Even training hard i recovered fairly quickly without having to recoup from the heavy back and leg work.Most important i have found is to enjoy your training,then you will keep at it.
Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:50 pm
Yes Peter. That last comment is the most important. You have to enjoy your training. If you don't you will never stick to it. Willpower will never be enough. I don't want to come off as negative about weight training. I love weight training, and it was my first hobby. You can't beat a heavy deadlift. Nothing about the other three methods replicates it. Actually even when I was doing boxing, I would still do heavy weight fullbody routine once a week and had great success and consistency with it. It's just that I think the others are easier to be consistent into old age. I see weights as more of a young man's game. Also the success I had with weights was when I had a home gym in my garage. Then I could easily train and I did. As soon as I moved into other flats, houses without a garage, travelling, etc the convience was gone and it was much harder to train. Much harder to move 100kg+ free plates and a rack, than just yourself (or a chest expander!)
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:44 pm
Just a note re: Springmasters Ltd -
We only have stock of 52000 and the rest have been discontinued.
52000 @ £4.03 Each
Delivery: Ex stock
52000 is the 5lb spring, so not hugely helpful
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:27 pm
Indeed Ritchie. When I googled them the other day found list on their website from 5lb to 50lb. I haven't been in touch with them. I take it that was a recent enquiry? True a 5lb spring only isn't great. But if you already have other strengths 5lb is like microloading in weights. I had great success putting 1/2 to 1kg a week on my deadlift, squat poundages etc. Unless you already have a variety of springs lbs. Then you are better of getting the Hook. Or try eBay. I just brought some old Sandow expander handles. And spenby and others are listed.
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:45 pm
Oh, I've got a variety already. I was a relatively recent convert to springs (at Peter's suggestion) as I started out with Lifeline strands. I found that springs give a much stronger and even pull. I have Spenby and Terry's, and keep 3 sets at low / medium and heavy weight.
I took at Springmasters though as it would have been nice to get some new graded springs - but no real loss.
I notice you mentioned the rear raise vs. front lateral raise. It took me a long time to build weight/strength doing the front raise, and I had to be very careful as it has a tendency to pull my right shoulder. I would do 10-12 front lateral raise, then 10-12 single arm raises with slight waist rotation (as per the old Sandow routine).The rear raise though feels really good. Again, it took a while to build the strength, but I enjoy it. I do low reps on this as well, and couple it with single arm rear raises as well (as per Sandow again and Reg Park).
The only downside with the springs is that I tend to do all my exercises (bodyweight and strands) in just a pair of shorts and all the behind the back work can get painful!
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:10 pm
We are lucky then, because I too have several sets of steel expanders now, with various strength levels. I am a recent convert to the steel having used ironmind fabled cables many years ago. I am returning to strandpulling having been exclusively bodyweight for the last two years. I too prefer steel over rubber. I must prefer the smoother pull, but I agree the only downside is pinching on the back press(behind back exercises). I have a protective sheaf from my ironmind set which helps protect my back. You can still buy them. Alternatively on just this one exercise you could use rubber. But I have found with the sheaf and a t-shirt it is fine. But I am the same and like to train in just shorts in summer.
Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:33 pm
Wow, thanks for the springmasters link. A real shame they only have the 5lb springs, but I think I'll pick some up as that is really handy small increments. I just need to see if they are the same length as the Terry's 20lb and 25lb strands.
I got my sierra exercise strandpulling set today, really high quality and very happy with it.
Highly recommended. My shoulder girdle feels great after a light primer workout tonight.