Thursday, April 5, 2012
An Exercise of The Week: Dual Pulley Pulldown
The two straps that you pull down on are independent, making it less likely that you can develop a strength imbalance. In other words, the machine (in this case a Life Fitness rig), helps prevent one side of your body from dominating the other. Of late, I do a set of 12 X 105#, then one set of 120# as many reps as I can.
I thought I'd slide in occasional descriptions of my own weightlifting sessions, to help augment my book, particularly Chapter 8, which covers resistance training.
I usually do split routines, in which each session targets different muscle groups – in my case, I have upper-body and lower-body days. The other day was set aside for upper body. I mostly focused on chest, shoulders, and arms.
First the bench press. I started off with a warm-up round: 10 X 115#, 8 X 135#, 6 X 155#. You guess it, I was increasing the weight by 20 pounds each time. Then I set the weight at 175# and left it there. I was unspotted, so I almost never do 180 or more while lifting alone.
Then I kept going back and forth to the bench (luckily, no one was waiting for it...) to do a set of 4 X 175#. In between, I did some sets of a seated shoulder press with free weights. With this exercise, I found out one of the interesting and valuable aspects of weightlifting – it will pinpoint your weaknesses and help you eliminate them.
After going back recently to the shoulder press with free weights, I found out that I had a pronounced weakness in my left shoulder. My left arm could only do five pounds or about 20 percent less than my right (I'm a righty, so that has something to do with it).
This didn't seem to make a difference when I did military presses with a bar. So that's one of the special elements of using free weights – a superior isolation of separate muscle groups and parts of the body.
When I finished doing my last set of 4 X 175#, I put my feet on the bench and did 20 inverted push-ups. This more or less "finished off" the "pec" muscles for the day.