CB CB Athletic Consulting, Inc. Training Report
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ISSUE #121

1 The new Get Lean newsletter

The first issue of my new Get Lean newsletter is online at www.TurbulenceTraining.com. Read as the master of fat loss and Mens Fitness Training Adviser, Alwyn Cosgrove reveals:

  • What works for fat loss in the real world
  • What beginners should avoid when starting their fat loss program
  • The fat loss training method that is completely outdated and overused
  • The secret curse of aerobics and spinning instructors
  • What he really means when he says, "aerobics are useless for fat loss". The answer is shocking!

But you have to go over to www.TurbulenceTraining.com to sign-up to get my fat-blasting secrets and the Get Lean newsletter sent to you.

"I used to think you needed to spend hours in the gym everyday in order to see results. With the help of CB and Turbulence Training, I have reduced my workouts from 2 hours per day, everyday, to 50 minutes every other day. All the while I have trimmed over 60 lbs. of body fat off my now lean and muscular body. Thanks CB!"
Rob Vickers

"At mid-life, pushing 300 pounds, and highly skeptical of quick-fixes, I learned of Turbulence Training at CB Athletics and decided it was a program which made sense. It's about hard work, sensible eating, and getting stronger. I found the efficiency of the program to be appealing. In less than an hour, 3 to 4 times per week, the workouts are manageable on a busy schedule. It produced not only weight loss of close to 60 pounds; my strength increased rather dramatically. I have recommended the program to many men who are seeking an efficient, yet demanding, program for fitness and healthy eating."
Todd Thompson

2 Getting Strong: How to Improve Your Bench & Squat

Jim Wendler is a former assistant Strength and Conditioning coach at the University of Kentucky where he worked with several different teams including football and baseball. He currently works as the Senior Editor of Elite Fitness Systems and trains at Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio.

Jim played football and graduated from the University of Arizona where he earned three letters. Wendler helped lead the Wildcats to back-to-back bowl games, the Insight.Com Bowl in 1997 and the Holiday Bowl in 1998. Wendler was a key player in helping Arizona defeat the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Holiday Bowl and finish with a No. 3 ranking.

Jim started training for sports at age 14 and his best lifts in competition are a 940 squat, 650 bench press and 650 deadlift and a 2225 total. He has done numerous seminars across the country to help people reach their strength and conditioning goals. You can read more about Jims training philosophy in first CB Athletics interview here: www.cbathletics.com/issues/108.htm

CB: Without knowing the specific lifter, are there 2 or 3 tips that generally apply to most people looking to improve their bench and squat?


  1. Technique You have to be balls-on-accurate with your technique. I cant stress this enough. Every rep of every set needs to be evaluated and perfected and coached. This includes warm-up sets. There are no excuses. Even the most advanced lifters, with dozens of years of experience, are constantly improving and refining their technique. You would be surprised at how much more you can lift if it is done with proper technique.
  2. Consistency in Training I hear it all the time. People telling me how they want to start lifting again or they are starting to get back into it or other crap that they peddle verbally in order to make themselves feel better. Those that persevere and are consistent are the strongest. Dont expect to bench 500 pounds if you put forth 200 pounds of effort. Being consistent in training doesnt just mean that you dont miss workouts for a couple of months. Many of the strongest lifters are well into their 30s and have been training since their teenage years. Being strong takes time, so patience is also a great thing. Dont expect miracles overnight.
  3. Grow a Pair One of my favorite movies, Usual Suspects has a great line in regards to why Kaizer Soze was so successful, "You just needed the will to do what the other guy wouldn't." This certainly applies to training.

Now I do realize that most people dont necessarily want to squat 1000 or bench 700, but these 3 things certainly hold true for those that want to be well above the status quo.

CB: What are assistance exercises and what role do they play in improving bench and squat performance? How do incorporate them into your workouts?

Benching and squatting will help you improve your bench and squat but only for a limited time. Once you begin to plateau, you need the assistance work to help build the lifts and help address certain weaknesses and strengths.

The key to picking assistance exercises, as it applies to improving your squat and bench, is to not so much train the muscle but to train in such a way that has a carryover to the specific movement. For example, in order to improve your lockout of the bench press you need strong triceps. So is I were to say, Train your triceps. this leads to a huge amount of exercise discrepancy. If I were to say, Train your lockout. it becomes more specific and has more purpose. The trick is to find the exercises that help you; this takes time and effort.

CB: Can you briefly explain the dynamic effort workouts? Should a beginner lifter focus on dynamic effort or repetition method to increase strength?

The dynamic effort method is simply lifting a sub-maximal weight with the greatest force possible. To make it even simpler, dynamic training is pushing or pulling a weight concentrically as fast as possible.

For bench pressing, this is done with 50-60% of your 1 rep max for 8 sets of 3 reps. For squatting, the same percentages are used with 6-10 sets of 2 reps. There is one dynamic workout per week for the squat and one for the bench press. These are the basic guidelines.

To answer the second questionĶif it was a true beginner, someone that is young and completely inexperienced, then they wont need dynamic training. Remember that one of the best ways to become faster is to simply become stronger. This is something that has been lost amongst all of the latest strength fads that seem to favor ease and gimmicks rather than hard work.

To go off on a slight tangent; when I was in 6th and 7th grade, I ran cross country and did very well, running a sub 5:30 mile when I was 11 years old. Unfortunately, I was one of the slower kids in the school, in regards to sprints. The summer of my 8th grade year I began lifting weights and 6 months later I was the schools fastest kid. Now this is far from scientific, but I knew why I was faster.

If I figured that out at 13 years of age, Im still trying to figure out what these so-called strength coaches are doing not training for maximal strength. That is why nothing will ever make up for the time a coach will spend under the bar and out of the classroom.

CB: Please explain the role of the sled, bands, and chains in the workout system.

Chains Accommodate resistance by gradually increasing weight as the barbell is lifted. Chains are used primarily on dynamic effort day, although they are sometimes used during max effort work. They are used on the squat and the bench.

Bands Bands are different than chains in that they have an added component; accelerated eccentrics. The bands actually pull the weight down increasing the eccentric speed of the exercise. These are not for the beginner! Again, these are primarily used on dynamic day. Because of the stress on the body, they are not often used on max effort day. Bands are used on the squat, bench and deadlift. The bands come in 5 different strengths and what people use for their own training is based on strength and training age (how long they have been training).

The bands and chains need to be set up properly and with a purpose! Too many times people just throw the chains and bands on the bar and expect miracles. HOW to do it is not that difficult as we have numerous articles and pictures on training protocol and proper set up. But one needs to know the HOW and the WHY. They dont need to be experts, but if one understands the basic concepts it makes things much easier.

Sled Used for conditioning and strengthening. This depends on how it is used in the program. Done for time or distance with light weight, it is a great tool to increase work capacity. This is often done 2 or 3 days per week; it is not meant to be physically or emotionally draining. When used with heavy weight, it is a great way to strengthen your total body while keeping the load off of your back and out of your hands. Heavy sled dragging is generally part of a workout and is not done on an off day or for recovery. This is where many people get mixed up.

CB: Blast Straps whats up with those? What other great tools does Elite have for strength and power development that we havent already covered?

The Blast Straps are a simple way to do suspended push-ups and other upper body exercises. They are very similar to the rings that gymnast use in their training.

I first started using them a number of years ago to strengthen the bottom half of my bench press and it did a remarkable job. My bench went up 40lbs. in 2 months! Obviously this is pretty extraordinary but it helped a great deal with stability and strength in the bottom half of my press.

At Elite Fitness Systems we have a goal of not only developing new items but improving on old ones. For example, we build the biggest and baddest 45 Degree Back Raise and Glute Ham Raise. Basically, we were sick and tired of dealing with weak equipment in a strong mans world! I dont know if people realize this but every piece of equipment we sell, we use and experiment on and refine. I dont know of any other company that can say that.

CB: Thanks Jim. Readers can check out more articles and purchase products such as the Blast Straps and hundreds of other strength training items atelitefts.com

Resource Box:
The information on cbathletics.com is for education purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health-care professionals. Consult your physician before beginning or making changes in your diet or exercise program, for diagnosis and treatment of illness and injuries, and for advice regarding medications.

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