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The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:53 pm

You nailed it with the diet. That is my biggest weakness, too. Plus I probably don't get enough rest. Busting your ass in the gym only gets you so far.

I eat too much red meat, I like to cook asparagus in olive oil, and I will add salt for seasoning. I'm not sure I could eat really clean. It'd be hard to swallow (that's what she said).

Thanks for the Tabata overview. I've gotten nearly enough info from the sample that I could put together an actual routine. The overall number of sets per body part seem a tad high, but I guess that's the point. Around what percentage of your one-rep max would you use for weight?
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:10 am

The high number of sets is indeed the point. The volume training hits things differently than you will be used to. According to Jim: "since it enhances endurance, it boosts your body’s ability to burn more fat. And since it enhances explosive energy, the kind you use in a typical set of bench presses, it can help you get more reps with a given weight, or use more weight to get a given number of reps. And that not only crosses over to more strength, but also more muscle growth, since a greater overload on the muscle results in greater growth. And the benefits won’t end there. Because you are doing fairly high reps and taken very short rest periods between sets, you’ll increase the amount of blood vessels you have feeding your muscle fibers. This help to get more nutrients, oxygen and anabolic hormones to your muscles, which means they’ll have more energy during workouts and better recovery and growth after the workout’s over. And the best benefit of all may be the fact that because you are essentially training anaerobically and aerobically with Tabatas, you can nix the cardio if you want to." It is not something that you should do long term, just 3-6 weeks max and then go back to a regular routine. It is all about really shaking up your body to improve performance for regular lifting.

He listed a five day split: chest/abs, legs/calves, shoulders/traps, back/abs and biceps/triceps/forearms. Four exercises per main body part (chest/back/legs/shoulders), three for biceps/triceps, and two for abs/calves/forearms, always followed by four full-body exercises at the end (and for those, he really pulls out all the stops and does four different ones each day. I am not even sure what some of those he chose are and would have to look them up!)
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:52 am

I just realized that I never answered your question. Unlike the HIIT 100s that I am doing, where he said to use 50% of your 10RM, he was pretty vague on the Tabatas and said that you would have to do some trial and error: "I suggest you start very light as you can work up in weight each week. If you find a weight that allows you to complete 20 seconds of reps for the first 5 or 6 sets but you can not do the full 20 seconds on the last two or three sets, you can stick with that weight. This way you can set a goal to complete the 20 seconds of reps for all eight sets before you move on to a heavier weight. Each week that your follow the Tabata Weight Blast Program, your goal should be to increase the weight you use, or the number of reps you complete in those 4 minutes."
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:04 pm

Here's a workout I use from time to time: http://www.muscleandfitness.com/bust-through-your-plateau-mad-scientist-workout-plan.

It mixes in a bit of what you're describing related to high volume and rest-pause sets. Note that there is a typo on the Day 1 partial-range reps. That should read 8 to 10 reps, not 100. Nevertheless, I don't do the partial-range reps. I substitute in full range.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:58 am

That is a heckuva typo! I have not done too much with rest/pause training, but that is the third of the trilogy that Stoppani recommends for shaking things up, along with the HIITs and cardioacceleration. A fourth one would be four-minutes sets, which I think I mentioned once before. I need to do more of all of them. I vary my workouts every 3-6 weeks anyway, but I think that I need to increase the amount of times that I throw in the shakeup workouts. Maybe not every other time, but something like that.



P.S. Ha! I just noticed that it had a link for the four-minute sets at the bottom of the workout to which you linked:

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/training/four-minute-muscle-program
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:43 am

Nice find! Adding that one to the mix.

I love how the models they choose to highlight the exercises are extremely fit and strong. The dude is curling 135 pounds for his timed barbell curls. Gotta be honest: About 100 pounds is my limit, and it would be less for a timed workout like this.

The workout I linked to is better than it appears on the surface. I've gotten some good results, but it's the kind of thing you have to try to appreciate how hard it can be. You also have to be willing to push yourself. I guess that's true of any workout.

Question: Any idea how to do a barbell wrist curl? Is that a reverse grip curl or are they referring to a forearm curl where you rest your forearms on your legs and curl your wrists? I'm going to guess the latter.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:08 pm

The latter would indeed be the case. I have been doing them with the HITTs, and it is amazing what a difference doing volume training on that body part does -- after doing over 130 total reps, when I finish the workout by doing dumbbell cleans (the 10/10 deal again) I can barely hold onto the dumbbells by the end.

Actually, the workout you linked to looks good to me, even on the surface. Having done things like the HIITs and the four-minute sets, I do appreciate how that kind of training makes a difference. (By the way, I can vouch for the fact that the four-minute sets require a bit of willingness to make the effort as well!)

You never see pictures of "average" builds on sites like that, but I suppose that it is no different than the amazing women in fashion ads. It is all about selling someone on the product.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:09 pm

Well, it's the image we all want to be, and it preys on many people's insecurities when many of us are perfectly normal. I use it as motivation. Anything else would be depressing!

My forearms are a weak point, and I should bulk them up to give a better balance to my body. I think I must be small boned, as my wrists are a tiny 6 and 3/4 inches. It looks odd as I move up my arm. I'm by no means huge, but my upper arms are 16 inches, which is a contrast to my wrists. Bulking up my forearms would probably help with symmetry.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:50 am

My problem is that my arms are just too long. I am a hair under 5'10", but with a reach of over six feet. Since most of my body fat tends toward the torso, in a way that keeps my build looking unbalanced. My forearms are pretty narrow, though I can see some benefits from the high volume wrist curls, partly in mass but also partly in defintion. Since I wear a lot of short sleeved shirts, even in the winter, in a way that is a real benefit as the "visible" part of my body day-to-day is looking better.

I just have to work on continuing to drop that fat!


I will not bother with a new thread, but Audioholics had a pretty interesting story on amplifiers and whether differences are measurable or audible. Interesting for them, they seem to conclude the the differences are indeed audible, and that measurments do not tell the whole story:

http://www.audioholics.com/education/amplifier-technology/the-sound-of-an-amplifier
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:31 am

Most men would like extra length. To be honest, I don't know many who would say no, myself included!

Long arms or short arms: we're all different. I doubt yours are too long, and there are many cases where that is a plus. If you ever take up sparring, that is a definite advantage. A disadvantage for you is that those long arms probably allow you to move awkward items easier than most. That must suck when your friends or family move house. At any rate, we are what we are.

I'm with you on forearm exercises. I really have to work on that, as I do my grip. I started rock climbing (just indoors) over a year ago and my grip is my weakest point. I can hang on for a long time doing pull-ups, but rock-climbing often has you gripping onto holds that are less than ideal. It really strains the tendons in your hands and that exposes a weak grip pretty quick.

Very interesting article. I'm glad they posted it. I read over it quickly, but I will have to give it a more careful read later.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:07 pm

Well, since I have chosen weight lifting, having disproportionately long arms is a bit of a disadvantage. You are right about sparring or boxing, though. But in my case, the shift in leverage makes things like pull ups harder for me than they would be for someone with proportionately shorter arms. (To say nothing of the fact that I have to move weights through a longer range of motion than someone of a similar height but shorter arms.) However, like you say, it is what it is and you just have to deal with it!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:32 pm

I'm doing one more week of core-strength and size building, and then I'm going to try the four-minute workout for four weeks. My plan is to build some definition.

I've never resorted to supplements, save for protein powder. Are you using anything? Are there supplements you'd recommend?
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:51 pm

I mostly do protein, with whey before workouts and a whey/casein blend for after. Other than that, I stick to basics like fish oil, flaxseed oil and glucosamine. I keep thinking that I want to give creatine a shot, but I have never really done so, other than as part of a pre-workout blend that I used for a while which also contained arginine and caffeine, but it spiked my blood pressure too much.


Stoppani just posted an insane one-day arm workout that he said could add up to one inch on your arms -- in just that one day, single workout. The catch was that it was a six-hour workout! That one is behind his paywall, but if it ever opens up I will try showing it to you. It involves short routines done on the hour, twenty minutes after the hour, and forty minutes after the hour, repeating six times, with carefully planned out supplementing on a schedule during the workout. He had the science behind it to back it up, too. He said that at a minimum for some it would still add at least a quarter inch. Bit too much for me!

I am back on one of my favorite M&F splits, which is a six-week program focused on adding mass, with alternating weeks. I like the variety built into it, and the fact that it uses "pump" sets on the heavy weeks and 12 rep sets on the alternating weeks, both of which are very effective for me:

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/training/routines/simply-huge-mass-gain
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:37 pm

I picked up some whey protein and a branched-chain amino acid blend for post workout. When I did so, I was given some samples of a pre-workout blend, but I haven't taken it yet for the reasons you stated. It contains a lot of caffeine and other stimulants. Not sure I'm after that kind of kick.

That one-day arm workout sounds intense. I'm not sure I'd want to do that. I also wonder how permanent the gains would be. Sure, an inch-gain is plausible, but that could be the result of the arm muscles being engorged with blood. Heck, if I give it my all on a regular arm workout, I can see the pump.

I prefer Dorian Yates approach to working arms. He only does three sets for biceps!

Today is leg day and will be the last of my strength- and size-gaining routine for a while. Then I'm going to try the four-minute workout.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:42 pm

Let me know how that goes!

The six-week mass gain program times out perfectly for me, as Eve and I are going on vacation at the end of April and the program will end the week before we live. There is a Snap eight miles from our hotel (we are staying at a resort outside Vegas) so I can lift if I want to, or just do cardio that week, or whatever else, and kick back into either cardioacceleration or Tabatas when I get back.

Oh, there was more to the one-day arm routine, including follow-up. He had suggestions for what to do in the following weeks to make sure that you do not lose what you gain.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:03 pm

Are you going to hit some tables when in or near Vegas?

I'll let you know how the four-minute workout goes. Next week will probably be my test week to gauge the correct weight to use for each exercise. The week following will be the true test.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:52 am

Actually, we are barely going to hit Vegas itself. We do have tickets for the Cirque du Soleil tribute to the Beatles, "Love," and may or may not hit Penn & Teller. Other than that, it is a place to stay while we drive to Lake Mead/Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, and various other places. More our kind of stuff.

By the way, just to show that I am on the right track with my workout music because, you know, science:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=psychology-workout-music
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:48 am

Whatever works is what matters most!

I think you will like Love. I quite enjoyed it. Penn and Teller aren't my thing so I can't comment. Personally, I'd stick to another Cirque show like O. Red Rock is also nice, but stick to hiking in the earlier parts as you enter the park. I think the formations and overall scenery are nicer there than at the later parts where things get a bit more flat and desert-like. Hoover Dam is okay and something you should do just because, but know that it is a tourist trap. If you're feeling exuberant, Vegas has a race track that's open to the public. You can take a five-lap spin in an Aston, Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche and others. Also, for dining, look up Firefly. It's southern tapas-style restaurant that's well priced and decent, and off-strip. The place will be packed, so make reservations. The head chef and owner competed on Chopped. Paris is home to Ramsay's Steak restaurant, which is worth a try if you're willing to drop the money. They carry Kobe beef, and it is excellent, though horribly expensive. I'd skip the other Ramsay restaurants (in Caeser's and Planet Hollywood). There are other big-name restaurants in other hotels as well, of course.

I started the four-minute workout on Saturday. Two words: Bloody hard.

I started with push-ups to warm-up and then started the workout. For chest, this included bench press, dumbbell press, incline dumbbell flye and cable crossover. Here's how that played out:

Bench: I loaded the bar to 185 pounds. I can generally pump out 12 reps relatively easy, so I thought it a good place to start for a target 15- to 19-rep first set. I only managed 15. I rested 20 seconds and squeezed out another six before failing. After that it was four- and three-rep sets. I think I ended up with 37 reps total in four minutes -- a far cry from the 60-rep target. I will be dropping weight on bench press next time.

Dumbbell press: Thinking I had learned my lesson from before, I chose lighter dumbbells (55 pounds) and off I went. Similar story to the bench . . . .

Incline dumbbell flye: Stuck to 30-pound dumbbells and did much better. I ended on 55 reps, so it's possible I might want to up the weight slightly in a few weeks for this exercise.

Cable crossover: I set the weight at 30 pounds per side and I hit the magic 60, so I will also increase weight here as well.

For biceps and forearms, I did barbbell curl, dumbbell curls, preacher curl and wrist curls. The results:

Barbbell curl: Still remembering how I had done with bench, I grabbed a relatively light weight (50 pounds). I usually curl 90 or 100 pounds, so I thought this a fair place to start. It turned out too easy and I hit 60 reps in only three minutes, so I will have to bump up the weight. But biceps are tricky, as seen by my performance with the next exercise.

Dumbbell curls: I grabbed two 30-pound dumbbells and failed. I only hit the mid-30s for reps by the end of four minutes.

Preacher curl: I thought I was being smart and only loaded two 25s (for 50-pounds on top of the bar). I guess I must have been pretty fatigued because I was completely toast and only managed to hit 37 reps.

Wrist curls: I stuck with the 50-pound from before and hit the magic 60, so I will bump this up a little.

I did okay on the ab exercises (leg raises and decline sit-ups), hitting 60 reps within the four-minute window.

Overall, it was humbling. The workout is more difficult than it sounds and requires checking your ego at the door. I overestimated my ability on some exercises and fatigued too early, which prevented me from pumping out the target number of reps. Of course, I recognize that this is a six-week journey. I think the trick is finding a weight that I can initially only do about 40 to 45 reps with in four minutes. Then, work up to the 60 reps. Oh, and I was hurting the next day. Tonight is back. We'll see how that goes.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:29 am

The interesting thing with workouts like that, or the HIIT100s, or Tabatas, is that with the volume you would expect to gain more definition than mass, but I think that you will bee surprised at the strength & mass gains that you can get. The REAL surpise is what kind of effect that it has when you switch back to a more conventional routine -- you may well find yourself feeling much stronger and able to complete the reps; in a weird way, it feels "easier" after doing the four minute program. But I agree with you about the weights; I found that when I was picking weights, I usually ended up on the high end of the 15-19 scale rather than the low end. It is indeed humbling. If you REALLY want to be humbled, sign up for a free week at Jim Stoppani's site and print off the HIIT100 program! I just ended that two weeks ago, before hitting the standard 6 week mass gain program. I will not soon forget it.


Eve is braving sitting through a time-share presentation to get us tickets to "Love" for $20 a piece. Most of the other tickets down there are much more expensive, of course, and we are not exactly looking to break the bank, gambling or not. She did order a bunch of Groupons for restaurants that will save us half, with the downside being that she deprived me of choice in the matter. We shall see how it works out. But yes, we are going to do Hoover Dam just because, you know, Hoover Dam. It is really no different than when we went to the Badlands and The Black Hills; I really had no interest in Mt. Rushmore, but you cannot go out there without checking it out at least once. I know that people will end up quizzing us about Hoover Dam, so better to do it and get it out of the way.

Thanks for the tip on the race track, but looking at the prices we may give it a pass. The Vantage S was $249 for five laps, which I suppose is not unreasonable, but we are already shelling out quite a bit. We shall see . . .
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:02 am

Although I'm hurting less today after my back and triceps workout than I was with chest and biceps, I was surprised by how pumped I looked following the workout. I know that is mostly a case of engorged blood, but still. I believe you that there might be the reward of strength and mass gains at the end of this.

I tried to be more responsible with my weight choices, but I fell into the same trap as before on a few exercises. Getting the weight right is tricky.

Today is shoulders. Then I think I will take a day off.

That is a good price for Love. One thing you might hate about the casinos (which you can't avoid if you're going to a show) is the smoke. Drives me batty. But I've never smoked and I absolutely hate the smell of cigarettes and smoke.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:03 pm

I lied about the back and triceps workout. The pain simply arrived later in the day.

The shoulder workout was the toughest one yet, even though it called for the fewest sets. But damn if I didn't feel like I was looking at Tom Hardy when I took my shirt off in the change room. Well, not really, but you catch my meaning.

I'm taking today off as a recovery day. Legs will be tomorrow.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:39 pm

Had an agonizing leg day yesterday. I am on the three-sets-of-six followed by a pump set of 25 week, and I started off very disappointed with myself on the straight squats at the beginning, where I should be able to pulls three sets of six off of at least 250lbs, but instead struggled and barely did 220. However, I followed it up with loading the leg press to over 600lbs for the same pattern, so it may just have been a warmup issue -- and I did precede the squats with ten minutes on an elliptical and a couple of lighter warmup sets. The funny thing is that while I was doing the HIIT100s, even after doing the hundred repetitions at ten sets of ten to start, I felt really strong doing the squats at my 10rm. My muscles were screaming, of course, and I came up in the seven-rep range after the hundred, but I still felt better doing it than I did when I should have been stronger. My legs may just simply take some serious time to get warmed up.

On the other hand, here is something that relates to your disappointment over not being able to push as heavy a weight as you thought on the four minute program. On chest day, the six rep week that I am doing now started with incline barbell bench presses followed by flat presses. Normally, I should be able to do significantly more weight on a flat bench than I can on an incline -- say, in the 25%-30% range -- but after pushing the 3/6 followed by the 1/25 on an incline, I could barely slightly over the same weight when I started the flat presses. So on the chest, my first exercise was my strong one and it seriously cut into my next exercise, which is the opposite of what happened with the legs. But I was very happy when I hit the end, even as the weights kept getting lower than what they should be; I definitely went to failure!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:16 am

Well, and that's really the key. It's not about the weight, unless you're power lifting. It's about working to failure and even beyond if you have a spotter who can help you do negatives or if it's an exercise that you can safely squeeze out a few cheat reps.

I follow Yate's routine for strength and size and I find I'm mostly wrecked after the first exercise. Using chest as an example, his workout only requires seven sets total:

Bench or dumbbell press (flat or decline): 2 warm-up sets of 8-10 reps followed by one working set of 6-8 reps. By working, he means go to complete failure. And that usually means quite a bit of weight. He also stresses proper form (slow decline and explosive contraction).

Incline dumbbell press: 1 warm-up set of 8-10 reps followed by one working set of 6-8 reps.

Incline dumbbell flyes: 1 warm-up set of 8-10 reps followed by one working set of 6-8 reps.

Rest between sets is one minute. And that's it. But the key is working to failure. I actually find it easier to work with dumbbells when doing this workout because when you work to failure on bench, the bar ends up on your chest if a spotter isn't around.

I'm not sure what to do about legs today. On a regular workout day for squats, I might go as high as 400 pounds (keep in mind I'm short). But I'm not sure even 200 pounds is suitable for the four-minute workout. I might want to go lower. I think I will see how I feel when I get to the gym.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:41 pm

Interesting idea with Yate's routine. I may need to give that a shot -- though definitely with with dumbbells, since I lack the spotter, and going to complete failure like that is a bit hard to get the safeties on a smith machine to that accurate of a stopping point where they would not be either a half inch too high or a half inch too low.


Don't sell short that pumped up feeling that you got when doing the four minute sets. While it is true that "pumps" are temporary, they can have long term effects if you follow up with them. That stretching of muscle tissue may be temporary, but it sets the stage for growth if followed up with mass-building work. That is the idea with the alternating program that I am doing; you start with the heavy 3/6 followed by the pump set of 25, and then the next week you do four sets of 12, each to failure, which is the mass-building "sweet spot." I am a firm believer that "pump" is a good thing.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:57 pm

Unfortunately, I'm not going to make it to the gym today, which irritates me a touch, but that's the way the cards have fell. I got stuck at work and I don't feel I have the energy to do the workout justice. The good news is I can cut work short tomorrow, so I will get in there and do it properly.

I never really considered the pump the way you described. I just always enjoyed it for what it is.

You can find Yate's routine on youtube, under a search for Yate's Blood and Sweat. If I remember correctly, it's a five-part mini documentary. It's actually pretty cool and you get to see what he means about really working to failure. Most people in the gym never really push themselves that way, and I can attest that it made a difference when I trained myself like that. Of course, like most of these routines, I'd only do it for four to six weeks. Variety is also key.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

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