Visuals, Visuals, Gorilla Arms

First! Pictures of the cheat meal I had a few evenings ago. Small, crappy pictures, but worth posting/discussing in brief anyway:

I ate half an order of onion rings (split with Kyle; thank you, Kyle, for so valiantly agreeing to stomach some of these), a large piece of salmon and black been succotash (with some kind of green sauce, observe the picture there), and cake and ice cream. And then I completely passed out when we got home. I don’t know what it is about these monthly extravagant cheat meals, but basically, I eat them and FALL ASLEEP. They are drugs, these Epic Cheat Meals.

Today it’s back to the normal diet. Basically, I periodically go out for a huge meal like the above and feel very little guilt about doing so. You know why? Because these meals are periodic–like once a month. Once I have one, I feel rather satisfied for a while. No need for onion rings for another few weeks, I think.

Yesterday’s workout involved my continual efforts and learning how to bench press correctly. My proportionately very long arms–particularly my long humeri–are a disadvantage in bench, and you can see me attempt to compensate for my problematic leverage if you watch me perform a set:

So I don’t usually do this while benching, but for some reason I decided to mess around on that fifth rep there. I have NO idea what I was doing. Kyle and I discuss this ridiculous move at the end of the video–ie, he makes fun of me and I laugh. Yeah, yeah. Having long arms means bench isn’t as efficient a movement for me as it might be for others with a shorter reach. As a reminder, I’m 62″ tall with a 68″ reach–I do not have short arms. I’m still trying to figure out how to make the benching movement as efficient as possible based on grip width, elbow position, setting up on the bench correctly (this is a big one), and other variables. I’ll get there.

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4 thoughts on “Visuals, Visuals, Gorilla Arms

  1. Ah, the gorilla arm syndrome. Not the best possible starting point for a huge bench. Bench press specialist usually have T-Rex arms and large torsos which would mean that the angle in the elbow-joint is more than 90º. Mark the word “usually”. Have no fear, there are other in your situation who puts up really respectable numbers in the bench.

    There is one prime example of a long female powerlifter with long arms who puts up insane numbers RAW in the bench press (how about a 300 pound competition bench at around 132 pounds body weight, without a über arch?). And this is of course, the one and only: Jennifer Thompson. Check out the youtube video labelled “Jennifer Thompson at the 2012 Raw Challenge at the Arnold Sports Festival”. She has also put up a tutorial called “Bench Press 101” on the youtube channel called “132poundsofpower”. Cheerio.

    1. I am quite familiar with Thompson! I actually recommend her 101 video to those who ask me how to bench more efficiently. I think she’s incredible; I’d love to meet her at some point. Scanning her body tells me that you are indeed right, she doesn’t have textbook proportions for bench, and this is heartening for me. That said… seriously, my arms are more at an extreme in terms of being “long” than typical long-armers’ arms are. Dangit. This may mean that I need to widen my grip on the bar to most efficiently move the weight, but that will place a lot of stress on my shoulders.. bleh. I continue to experiment on this and will do so more today. Thanks for the comment!

    1. I’d say I have one every week and a half to two weeks. It’s something I’m experimenting with right now; I have one, my weight comes up a few pounds mostly from water retention, then I wait to see how long it takes to stabilize (this last one took a whopping three days). It’s good to experiment in this way to know how my weight will react to certain amounts of food/types so I have control over it closer to a weigh-in for a meet. That said, I haven’t read 4-Hour Body but I think I use these cheat meals with some of the same intentions as what’s probably discussed in it. I’ve had a very good last few lifting days since my MASSIVE cheat meal on Sunday. That said, I also have many good lifting days without the cheat meal’s caloric “boost,” so frankly, sometimes I just think it’s psychosomatic.

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