Arm Wrestling and Acrobatics Arm Wrestling and Acrobatics

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Thread: Arm Wrestling and Acrobatics

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Default Arm Wrestling and Acrobatics

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    I'll make this post as introduction. I've not yet read the book but I bought it on kindle so I'm halfway there I suppose. I'm almost 40 and this will be the first time in my life I attempt a real strength training program. I did some heavy bodybuilding exercises and T&F in high school, some gymnastics training in uni which resulted in several bad ankle sprains, a half assed triangle program for powerlifting that got me up to cat iv levels in 6 months. Next year was lw national strongman champion. Then I tried hard to gain mass and ended up hospitalized and came out smaller than I started. Got into rock climbing and calisthenics (did 3 rep chins with each arm), played a little with bending and grip (almost got an old #3), a few seasons of highland games to briefly hold the lw record for weight over bar, easily won my first arm wrestling tournament then a few weeks later stupidly tore my UCL in a training session against a giant roided up pro. Gradually rebuilt my side pressure with weighted muscle ups and came back stronger than before. Then I got into parkour and developed painful bone spurs in my ankles. Did a long bicycle tour and started losing mass. After 30 I started really losing mass and strength quickly. Began competing in ninja warrior and was doing well until suddenly my 10 year old UCL injury started hurting again and wouldn't stop. Was sedentary a few years and then 2 years ago got back into arm wrestling.

    My strength now is about two thirds what it was at my peak and looks as though I've lost 20-30 % of my muscle mass. My old ligament damage is really bothering me and holding me back in training and competing. I want to rebuild my mass and power with the program, while strengthening my elbow, wrist, and ankle ligaments with accessory exercises after main lifts. Since arm wrestling is basically static, I was thinking of doing static holds for time and high volume low intensity short rom pulls at various angles. And since acrobatics is dynamic I was considering doing one foot and two foot hops in all directions until fatigue, along with some static ankle exercises. I think it's possible to do both sets of exercises at the end of each training session. Hopefully this won't interfere with the main program.

    One more thing I've decided to substitute dips for bench press for several reasons. It's a more functional exercise especially for the sports I do. I've heard Mark say it's a superior exercise yet doesn't recommend it due to the awkwardness and risk of injury. I can easily do 3 sets of 5 weighted dips and I'm confident I won't get injured. I always felt bench was very impractical and awkward but I still wouldn't mind doing it except for the fact that I train alone and can't for the life of me find someone that actually knows how to spot. On top of that my gym is disgusting and the bench is covered with a permanent film of organic grease that makes me want to vomit. Plus I just really like dips.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    I think the problem you may have here is your attempting to emulate your sport with what you do to get generally stronger. SS is a barbell program that uses exercises with the most mass, longest effective ROM, and places an emphasis on load. Dips like you said have problems with the apparatus and risk of injury. Your maybe in a age demo that make wtd dips scew riskier than favorable. Standardization is also a problem since you have to take into account both the apparatus and your BW. I believe most think of dips as a great augmentative assistance exercise for your presses. That however does not make them a main lift. As far as the status of the bench im sure you can find a solution if the cleanliness is the real problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    East Haddam, Connecticut
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    If you are looking for permission not to do the program, you're free to do whatever you'd like. However, I think you'll find that if you follow the program, as written, it works well as is. You may also find that by getting stronger, you also become a better arm wrestler.
    Last edited by Cody Annino; 02-14-2020 at 02:09 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys I've started benching in the squat rack with no spot, throwing a towel down and while it's now possible to train bench it's still awkward and I still hate it. The height of the pins has me doing a quarter press at an awkward angle to get into position for the first rep, which tires me out. And it just doesn't feel nearly as good as dips. Maybe I'm interpreting Mark's words wrong but in the section on dips he says clearly that dips are superior to decline bench because of a greater range of motion and because the whole body moves instead of just the arms. He also says push ups are better than bench because the whole body is moving, however the issue with push ups is that they can't be loaded. He then says "dips address both problems, allowing heavy weights to be used while the entire body moves during an upper body exercise." He also says dips are a good substitute for bench if you can't do bench "for some reason". When questioned about dips vs bench on the forum he said the reason dips are not recommended is because of the difficult in loading, the risk of injury, and the lack of standardization. When you put it all together this seems to imply that one can solve these issues then dips would actually be a better exercise than bench press. I really do want to do the program but I'm struggling with bench and I can't help but interpret Mark's words as "dips are the superior exercise but we won't recommend them because they're too difficult to coach and we don't want to be responsible for you getting hurt". If I'm wrong I'd love to have it explained to me so I can understand it better.

    I agree that bench press and chin ups will improve the strength of my muscles as applied to arm wrestling. However my concern is not muscle strength but ligament strength. In fact strong muscles combined with weak ligaments is what lead to me getting injured years ago. What I want to do is spend some time applying sideways force to my ucl in a way that will stress and strengthen the ligaments and supporting muscles, yet would preferably not interfere with the program. Mark has said that "its probably ok to do some curls on friday" so it seems there is room for a few ancillary exercises once in a while. I'd just like to do light intensity exercises which will gradually strengthen my ligaments in odd directions. I have no interest in doing curls.

  5. #5
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    You don't need our permission to do dips instead of benches, and you don't need to justify your decision. Good luck with your training.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2020
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    I don't see why you can't work your AW specific exercises in, even if you do them on alternate days. Even worked hard they are not particularly systemically fatiguing. The biggest problem some face, imo, is the pain of aw practice interfering with lifting at your best because, as you know, armwrestling hurts, lol. I would also suggest that chins are a very excellent exercise for armwrestlers, particularly with a close parallel grip and a close overhand grip. You can also incorporate holds at the top. I'm sure you know all this but maybe there is a little something you can use in there somewhere.

  7. #7
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    It's true, table training causes week-long excruciating throbbing soreness, but I'm not doing any table training, nor am I doing any heavy exercises. What I've been doing lately is applying light side pressure on bands, holding for about 30 to 60 seconds. It doesn't cause any soreness or pain, but it causes slight discomfort around my UCL where the tear is. I do the same thing with back pressure, and finger pressure (with the mazurenko eccentric). Hopefully this will be enough to get those ligaments used to some strain without interfering with the program. I don't plan to compete again for at least 4 months, but it can take at least that long to strengthen tendons and ligaments. I've been doing the same band work for my ankles as well, usually every other day.

    As far as pull-ups, it's true neutral grip is the recommended exercise for arm wrestling. However I read in the forum that Mark prefers supine chin ups for more muscle involvement, so that's what I'll be doing for the program. Also I figure supine grip chins will place more strain on my UCL, and may be more beneficial to my technique as a hooker.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2011
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    Raw Power - You may want to see the You tube video of arm wrestling champ Devin Larratt with Eric Spoto who recently held the world bench press record. This may make you want to rethink not doing bench pressing.

    YouTube

  9. #9
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    Larrat relies on endurance and "technique" on the table. He's not strong compared to the likes of Saginashvili, Tsyplenkov, or Dave Chaffee. Heck even fifty-something middleweight Todzilla Hutchins, who models his training after westside barbell method, was able to flash him. Maybe Devon needs to bench more. All he's talked about since his 0-6 loss to Tsyplenkov is that he needs to get stronger.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Raw Power View Post
    Larrat relies on endurance and "technique" on the table. He's not strong compared to the likes of Saginashvili, Tsyplenkov, or Dave Chaffee. Heck even fifty-something middleweight Todzilla Hutchins, who models his training after westside barbell method, was able to flash him. Maybe Devon needs to bench more. All he's talked about since his 0-6 loss to Tsyplenkov is that he needs to get stronger.
    He's one of the greatest of all time, and plenty f'ing strong, but with his frame he could pack on more muscle for sure. Scott Mendelson is another former world record bench presser who's gotten into arm wrestling.

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