View Full Version : Is this dangerous?

06-01-2001, 06:48 AM
I went to the company gym on my lunch break today, and this guy asked it he could work in with me while I was doing my bench presses. Anyway, we started talking, and told me about a training method his friend uses to build explosiveness. (This exercise is a bench press variation) He picks a fairly light weight, like 145 lbs. lowers it to his chest then throws the barbell up. His spotters help to catch and stabilize the weight and he repeats for however many reps he wants to do. I can understand pressing the weight up rapidly, but throwing it? (unless he was actually referring to rapidly pressing the weight up. he didn't specify how far the barbell left his hands or anything. If I see him again, I'm gonna try to get clarification about it all) Have any of you heard of such a method and or tried it? It doesn't sound like something I'd reccomend.


06-01-2001, 08:31 AM
Throwing a weight upwards and lying underneath it while expecting a spotter to save your butt sounds a little silly to me. Don't think I'll try that one.

What we do in life echoes in Eternity

06-01-2001, 04:34 PM
heavy powerlifting builds fast-twitch muscle fiber, just because the weight isn't moving fast, does not mean the movement isn't explosive. The very act of initial exertion calls every fiber into play, and is in actuality explosive. Throwing the weight as you described is just plain stupid. You can, however, using a light weight, "throw" it up while maintaining your grip on the bar. Another method is by using cables, breaking down the movement itno increments. i.e. adoing the first six inches of the movement for six reps, then the next six inches, etc. The resistance is constant throughout the entire range of motion, and you are "firing" the nerves to train the body to explode throuought the movement. Combining powerlifting with cables is a great combination. There is a HUGE difference between usable strength, and beach muscles. Concentrate on moves that incorperate large muscle groups rather than concentration exercises, such as the bench press, squat, deadlift,powercleans, snatch. You will be amazed at your gains in raw power

unclaimed effort
06-01-2001, 09:02 PM
catching and lifting are two different things. If by chance one time you missed it by a bit, what will happen to you then? :)

If two tigers fight, the result will be one injured tiger.

Stillness in stillness is not real stillness. Stillness in motion is real stillness.

06-01-2001, 11:32 PM

Even if you have perfect robot spotters who are guaranteed to catch the weight 100% of the time, this is a dumb exercise. It's like those people who do "jumping squats."

If you insist on doing training like this, do jumping pushups, where you "push up" so hard your hands come off the ground (it's essentially the same as doing a 145lb bench anyway, especially if you put your feet on something so they're at the same level as your shoulders (that makes it like flat bench). Regular pushups are like decline bench, as far as muscle recruitment goes).

Anyway, personally, I would advise you to not do this type of training, especially with a barbell. There are other ways to build raw power.


[This message was edited by IronFist on 06-02-01 at 02:37 PM.]

06-02-2001, 12:12 AM
I feel the same way. Like, I said, it's nothing i'd reccomend. I was just wondering if any of you had heard of this before. His friend swears by this method, which I find dangerous.


06-02-2001, 01:23 AM
Throwing weights is also used in some kung fu style's such as the late Wai Ming Chau's style of Wu Mui. I believe he called it "iron bar training", and this type of benching is closely related.

You don't ever lose control of the weight because you take a loose but solid grip. The weight is thrust out in a burst so that it if you to were let go the weight would fly away. But it is held at the end of the thrust by your fingers until gravity takes over and you return the weight to the original position. Use weight light enough that your stablizing muscles can handle redirecting the weight back safely.

Ford Prefect
06-02-2001, 01:41 AM
It's actually a technique that some Russian coaches use. If you watched the strength testing for the NFL draft, you would have seen a guy doing this with 225 lbs but he caught the weight himself. His max bench is close to 500 lbs, so you obviously use a very low percantage of your 1RM. With a little searching around the net, I'm sure you can find his trainers name.

Ford Prefect
06-02-2001, 01:48 AM
The guy I was talking about is Adam Archuletta and his strength coach was Jay Schroeder. I guess if you have access to the Supertraining list by Mel Siff (world-renowned trainer) on Yahoo, then there is a lot of stuff about this type of training there.

mad taoist
06-02-2001, 03:53 PM
I have read that the amount of fast and slow twitch muscle fibres we are born with cannot be increased, but their performance and efficiency can be increased.

'If we do not go within, we go without'.

06-02-2001, 06:49 PM
In my opinion, you should use weights to build your strength and endurance while practicing speed with the movements you will actually be using. The problem with a movement like your acquaintance was mentioning is that while it does require a certain "explosiveness" it utilizes a jerking motion which really doesnt emphasize power throughout the whole movement. Push-up claps i would think focus more on a complete motion but even still its not a smooth flow. True speed and explosivenss comes from the genetic makeup of your body (fast and slow twitch percentages) and the training of your nervous system to decrease muscular inhibitors. This is a matter of much controversy. Ask any Olympic trainer what they do for speed and they will have many varying opinions. Check out some of the weird things they do for the speed barriers. Very interesting stuff.

06-07-2001, 05:50 PM
"I have read that the amount of fast and slow twitch muscle fibres we are born with cannot be increased, but their performance and efficiency can be increased."

We do not gain 'more' muscle when we train/work out. We simply grow pre-existing muscles that we've always had. Fast and Slow twitch muscles can be trained by a variety of programs. Basically if you are a power lifter, or 100m sprinter you would have a percentage of somewhere around 80% fast-twitch to slow-twitch, as opposed to the opposite for a marathon runner. So you aren't gaining more fast or slow twitch, you are simply increases the size of one type over the other, which in pratical terms amounts to the same thing.

09-10-2001, 12:03 PM
do push ups and explode up and clap your hands each time is basically the same thing. do them at an incline decline or flat, it's the same thing and much safer

09-10-2001, 08:33 PM
These are plyometric exercises...some ppl do em and get good results...I haven't tried plyometrics with weights before though. And I don't know if it's actually proven to increase speed anymore than regular powerlifting.

09-10-2001, 11:48 PM
Thats about the stupidest thing I've ever heard.


09-12-2001, 09:26 PM
It's not stupid, it's plyometrics and some people swear by them. Although I must say, medicine ball exercises are more traditional than this method, and they certainly sound alot safer. Explosive pushups are also good.

I'm not sure where people keep reading that power lifting activates fast-twitch fibers. Could you guys provide a reference? It seems like this is contrary to what physiology tells us.

Whoever brought it up - I too am under the impression that we can't alter the genetic proportion of fibers in our muscles, however we can target specific groups in exercise and thus alter their functional ability.

09-13-2001, 03:16 AM
Don't got any references on hand but I'm sure I could look them up.

If we consider the fast twitch muscles to only be involved on the positive part of the movement (a quick snap of the muscles), which is what plyometrics directly address, then some lifts are going to be more explosive than others. With lifts like squats and bench, the negative is just as important as the positive part of the movement, or else you risk injury. In that sense it wouldn't be as explosive.

When you look at lifts like the clean and press, or the clean and jerk, which are usually a single rep in Olympic competition and essentially have no negative movement as such, then yes, the quick ballistic snap you use to hoist the weight is a very fast-twitch-muscle-oriented, explosive movement.

If my understanding of fast-twitch muscles and explosive power is incorrect, please help me out.

Just some thoughts from an ignoramus.

09-13-2001, 12:42 PM
Being a positive, one-rep exercise doesn't make it plyometric. Although I would agree that some powerlifting exercises could be seen as plyometric. Some of Pavel's kettlebell stuff comes to mind.

But it's this quote I had the problem with:

"heavy powerlifting builds fast-twitch muscle fiber, just because the weight isn't moving fast, does not mean the movement isn't explosive. The very act of initial exertion calls every fiber into play, and is in actuality explosive"

I do not believe this is true. It implies that a standard heavy powerlifting routine will include within in it the same benefits as a plyometric training program. I do not believe that this is true either.

09-13-2001, 09:43 PM
I'm supposed to be doin my ex-gfs homework right now, I'm gonna have to put off the searching for the documentation.

I will say that I disagree with you on one point. You said that just being a 1 rep positive one-rep exercise doesn't make it plyometric. You forget that I said that the Olympic lifts I was pointing to involved a quick "snap". You can not do a clean and jerk slowly, when you're talking a lot of weight. Some people lose momentum and don't fully get the weight snapped out. This is considered a failure though, and people rarely get that last kick out if this happens. I'm not sure I've ever seen someone power through the last kick out slowly.

I think the motion of the weight needs to be somewhat ballistic in order to be explosive or plyometric. I get the indication that you're imagining weight lifting or even power lifting for that mater, as slowly struggling under the bar while you grunt and strain to get the weight up. It's not as static or romantic as all that.

Plyometrics are known for riding momentum; because starting from a lowered position is already using more static, slow twitch fibers to maintain the position. This is evident in the jumps. Whether frog jumps or push up jumps, you don't spend to long in the lower part of the movement, opting to possibly not go as low, to maintain the elasticity- or riding the momentum.

This training philosophy can be carried over to weights and powerlifts. There was a report on tv not too long ago of a certain coach who tailor made some plyometric weight lifting exercises for this high school kid for the specific purpose of getting him in the NFL. Some of the exercises he was doing looked about as crazy as someone tossing the bar in the air on a bench press.

I'll get goin on finding those studies (not sure where i'm gonna look hehe). I'm so far behind right now on helpin my exgf that she's about ready to kill me..

Just some thoughts from an ignoramus.

09-13-2001, 10:07 PM
"I get the indication that you're imagining weight lifting or even power lifting for that mater, as slowly struggling under the bar while you grunt and strain to get the weight up."

Heh... I've been lifting daily for seven years. ;) It's been my experience that slower movements are better, but I don't approve of the grunting, struggling, and straining stuff.

"You forget that I said that the Olympic lifts I was pointing to involved a quick 'snap'."

There's fast and there's fast. Doing a light bar of bench presses really fast, for example, isn't plyometric. Is the burst at the end of olympic lifts? Good question; I'd be interested in seeing the studies. If it is, does this mean that the powerlifting routine of an olympic lifter therefore encompasses plyometric training? I don't think so.

"Plyometrics are known for riding momentum..."

Maybe we're just getting lost in semantics, but this sounds directly wrong to me. In plyometrics you have to load the muscle a split-second before the exercise. I wouldn't call this 'riding momentum.' Plyometrics 'going low' at all isn't about slow vs. fast twitch, it's about loading the muscle to it can do the ballistic snap. According to theory, it can't do it without the load.

"This training philosophy can be carried over to weights and powerlifts."

Yes it can, and there are many plyometrics exercises with weights. All I'm saying is that this does NOT mean that someone doing a standard weight routine is therefore doing plyometrics.

09-16-2001, 03:53 AM
why you doin your ex girls homework? she that fly?

"You can't see it if you blind but we will always prevail (true)/Life is like the open sea, the truth is the wind in our sail/And in the end, our names is on the lips of dying men/If ever crushed in the earth, we always rise again/When the words of lying men sound lush like the sound of a violin/The truth is there, it's just the heart you gotta find it in" - Talib Kweli

09-18-2001, 01:51 AM
hey sevenstar... my teacher swears by that method, only when he throws the barbell up he doesnt let go, he basically uses a light weight and punches upwards with the bar or pushes upwards really fast however u say it , u know what i mean. but it really does work, much better may i add than punching with weights....

I wongsifu shall strike fear into the hearts of trolls and mma guys who **** me off on these forums oh and in real life.

09-18-2001, 02:28 AM
nah, I'm just that nice i guess.
little down, still no word on my job.
they're saying mid to late october now.

Just some thoughts from an ignoramus.