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  1. #51
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    It is vital to remember to breath properly during each rep, whether doing squats or leg presses. Remember to exhale while you press the weight up. Never, ever, hold your breath and strain to make the rep. If you have to do this to lift the weight, stop and decrease the weight. Very bad things can happen otherwise, things that will irrevocably halt your career.
    Great advice, and some very impressive lifting (2x bodyweight for 3 sets of 30 is near unbelievable!), but the above information is wrong. Holding one's breath is called the valsalva maneuver, and is exactly what you should be doing when lifting a heavy object, and is, in fact, what the human body will do naturally.

    Imagine what you would do if you had to get a car rolling; shoulder down, big breath in and push until you're red in the face. This maneuver increases intrathoracic pressure, stabilizes the spine, and is the only to safely lift the weight. Most people will, to some extent or another, however, breathe, grunt, scream, moan, etc., during the end portion of the lift, but thoracic pressure is never lost.

  2. #52
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    Holding your breath is a bad thing. We all do it when we strain, but there are some times it is more dangerous than others. Lifting really heavy weights is one of them. If you research the issue, you will find that there are quite a few incidences of aneurysm and dissection of arteries leading to death that occur in health clubs and gyms. The arterial defects are normally diagnosed post mortem.

    This is separate from the occurence of heart attacks. Using the valsalva maneuver, you do raise your blood pressure significantly. I have seen research where power lifters BP exceeds 400! When you get older, and your arteries are no longer quite as flexible, they can sometimes fail under all that pressure. At least that is how my cardiologist explains. It happened to me, which ended my cycling career. I am thus something of a crusader about the topic, because I sure would like to try to prevent it from happening to someone else. I was lucky enough to be right next door to the right facility with a more than competent cath lab that refused to give up.

    Note, the grunt, moan scream etc that you talk about is exactly what I am talking about--you are exhaling, and reducing the valsalva induced effect. When I hurt myself, I did none of that. You see it all the time if you watch the heavy lifters--the guys who have been at it a long time all grunt, scream etc to get over the sticking point; its the ones who have not received proper training that don't say a word, or exhale, that are the one's who are at risk. Granted, injuries like mine don't happen very often, but the cost of being wrong is very high, so a little prevention is worth it, in my book. Sorry to be so preachy.

    J

  3. #53
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    I found that after I upped the weight to a certain point and was doing 4-6 reps with 5 sets on squats/leg presses, I'd pretty much grunt after every rep involuntarily. I can't really prevent the grunt even if I want to, but I guess it also gets the ladies attention in the gym and then they look over and see my bar is stacked! hahaha.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho3 View Post
    Holding your breath is a bad thing. We all do it when we strain, but there are some times it is more dangerous than others. Lifting really heavy weights is one of them. If you research the issue, you will find that there are quite a few incidences of aneurysm and dissection of arteries leading to death that occur in health clubs and gyms. The arterial defects are normally diagnosed post mortem.

    This is separate from the occurence of heart attacks. Using the valsalva maneuver, you do raise your blood pressure significantly. I have seen research where power lifters BP exceeds 400! When you get older, and your arteries are no longer quite as flexible, they can sometimes fail under all that pressure. At least that is how my cardiologist explains. It happened to me, which ended my cycling career. I am thus something of a crusader about the topic, because I sure would like to try to prevent it from happening to someone else. I was lucky enough to be right next door to the right facility with a more than competent cath lab that refused to give up.

    Note, the grunt, moan scream etc that you talk about is exactly what I am talking about--you are exhaling, and reducing the valsalva induced effect. When I hurt myself, I did none of that. You see it all the time if you watch the heavy lifters--the guys who have been at it a long time all grunt, scream etc to get over the sticking point; its the ones who have not received proper training that don't say a word, or exhale, that are the one's who are at risk. Granted, injuries like mine don't happen very often, but the cost of being wrong is very high, so a little prevention is worth it, in my book. Sorry to be so preachy.

    J
    No worries about preaching, as I always welcome great conversation, especially from those more experienced than myself.

    A drastic increase in blood pressure certainly does happen when lifting very heavy weights, though we might have to agree to disagree about the valslava maneuver when lifting. The cardiovascular system, like the entire body, adapts to stresses when given a chance to do so; assuming that one starts slow and builds up over time, there is no reason that the valsalva should give them an anuerysm or worse. I know what the current literature says, and I know what is preached to personal trainers and the like as "safe."

    Realistically speaking, however, most people will utilize the maneuver automatically, and eventually start grunting or screaming when things get hard enough. As long as they aren't letting all their air out at the bottom of a heavy squat, they'll be fine.

    Thanks for the conversation, not often I get to talk about lifting on this forum.

    Steven

  5. #55
    Senior Member IbikezLA's Avatar
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    What has worked for me, and I press 1000 lb but I am 6'5", was doing 8 reps very slowly. I would bring the weight down for 8 seconds and try to get my legs close to my chest, then push the weight back up for 3 seconds. I did this ONCE (8 reps) every other day

    This WILL BURN but you will see results. My legs got strong quickly and I was adding 45 lbs every almost every week because of how quickly my legs adapted.

    Just be careful because this focuses on the negative rep which is pretty stressful.

  6. #56
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    You're probably recruiting mostly slow twitch on that one huh?

    I'll try it out next time I'm at the gym. Does it help you on the hills or what?

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoopinFresh View Post
    Great advice, and some very impressive lifting (2x bodyweight for 3 sets of 30 is near unbelievable!), but the above information is wrong. Holding one's breath is called the valsalva maneuver, and is exactly what you should be doing when lifting a heavy object, and is, in fact, what the human body will do naturally.
    I can vouch for both John's abilities in the gym and his abilities on the bike. At the time he was doing those lifts he was also flirting with 300 rpm, and 50 MPH motor sprints...in a 68 inch gear. He was headed for a rainbow jersey, I think, before his barely unsuccessful effort at killing himself with leg presses. I was composing his eulogy in my head while racing to the hospital, so you can also count me as a "Don't hold your breath while lifting!" preacher.
    Last edited by Six jours; 02-23-09 at 07:03 PM.

  8. #58
    Senior Member IbikezLA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
    You're probably recruiting mostly slow twitch on that one huh?

    I'll try it out next time I'm at the gym. Does it help you on the hills or what?
    I feel like it helps, when I first got into cycling I was able to push it out on some hills around town to keep up with my more experienced friends. But the muscle is nothing without good fitness.

  9. #59
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    Thanks for the info, guys. I've got to get my act together if I want to be competitive this summer.

  10. #60
    Junior Member uncaboos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterm5365 View Post
    For the leg press you should do one leg at a time and try to "throw" the weight. Just my two cents.
    This is one of the most absurd and dangerous suggestions I have ever heard or read, I suppose you also suggest to bounce when doing stretches also, hunh?

    For the OP, go and read "Strong Enough" and "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe for useful information about training with weights. Good luck and don't "throw" or "bounce" in your exercise program if you wat to stay healthy and improve.

  11. #61
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    I'm starting to think leg presses are a bit inferior to squats for track racing...

  12. #62
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    Freeweight squats and deadlifts are definitely superior to leg presses for our purposes. The freeweight exercises strengthen all the core muscles too, which is huge for cycling. They also allow you to get more benefit with less weight, which is better for joints.

    Unfortunately, I don't have access to a bar, plates and rack, so I've been making due with my gyms dumbells (a pair of 20kg maximum) and leg press. It's ok, but I REALLY wish I could do proper squats....

  13. #63
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    My take on the statement "throw the weights" that I hear people say from time to time on cycling forums is not that you are attempting to throw the weights away from your feet at the top of the movement, but more that you should be attempting to be very explosive at the bottom of the leg press.

    This is not something I am advocating for or against... I just dont think there is anyone who thinks catching a loaded sled with your feet, after you "threw it" at the top of a leg press rep is a good idea

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaboos View Post
    This is one of the most absurd and dangerous suggestions I have ever heard or read, I suppose you also suggest to bounce when doing stretches also, hunh?

    For the OP, go and read "Strong Enough" and "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe for useful information about training with weights. Good luck and don't "throw" or "bounce" in your exercise program if you wat to stay healthy and improve.
    This article http://www.dubbayoo.net/files/docs/T...t_Training.pdf , written by the Head of Strength and Conditioning for the Australian Track Team strongly advocates exactly that


    Single-leg Press is our bread and butter. Different foot and hip positions for different phases of pedal stroke, standing, seated, etc. I use high speed video to match joint angles and velocities for each rider. We mainly do it ballistically for power - throw the sled as far as you can

  15. #65
    R900Campagnolo marcelinyc's Avatar
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    Could anyone tell me what is the proper squat technique with smith machine?
    leg placement etc.
    Thanks

  16. #66
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    Feet well in front of the bar, back straight and almost perpendicular to the floor.

    FWIW, I don't much like Smith squats. They put tremendous pressure on the front of the knee, and they encourage poor form which easily leads to low back injuries.

    If I had to pick one lower body lift a track racer should do, it would be the squat. Everything else is either a supporting exercise, or a poor substitute.

  17. #67
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    Don't use the Smith machine. It's a joke.

    Guys, I'm down with the 'ass-to-grass' thing now that I've been trying it more and more. But I think I got 2 more weeks of squats before I phase out the weights for more intervals... I just want to get 300lb before that happens, then I'll hang it up!!

  18. #68
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Why phase out the weights? Most guys stay in the gym at least 2 days a week unless there is an event 10-12 days out. You can drop the volume and do shorter sets saving you some energy for other workouts. If all your doing is switching to intervals I would just do both equally as hard, eat lots and really reap some benifit.

    I will counter the above statment that leg press is inferior to squatting or deadlifting. Used properly all 3 are as good as each other. The leg press is the easiest machine to concentrate the power in a differant part of the legs movment as you can adjust your hip angle and how far forward you foot placement is while removing a large part of core support. On its own, its definatly not enough, but used along the other workouts its great.

  19. #69
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeRacer View Post
    Why phase out the weights?
    Because I'm phasing in the road racing right now...

  20. #70
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
    Because I'm phasing in the road racing right now...

    That would make sence! Sorry I assumed you were a sprinter.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeRacer View Post
    That would make sence! Sorry I assumed you were a sprinter.
    Hmm.. road sprinter perhaps. I'll do match sprints this summer at the track but no interest in being a pure match sprinter.

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