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  1. #1
    Registered User mileena202's Avatar
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    Question about muscles used as synergistics/isometrically/stabilizers vs. primary

    On legs day, I do a ton of deadlifts (conventional, sumo, stiff-leg, and hex trap bar). I know deadlifts train the following four muscle groups synergstically only (as stabilizers): abdominals, obliques, calves, and hip adductors. From my understanding, the primary muscles targeted directly are the hamstrings, quads, and gluteals, and erector spinae (lower back).

    Question: since the abdominals, obliques, calves, and hip adductors were not targeted directly by the deadlifts, I also force myself to do single-use exercises targeting these muscles. Is this really necessary, or is my time better spent doing more compound exercises? [My friend, who is an advanced lifter, says he does not do abdominal exercises since his rack pulls target those muscles.]
    Last edited by mileena202; 05-14-2021 at 06:34 AM.
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  2. #2
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    It depends on your goals or needs. In your friend's case, it might just be that he only wants or needs the synergist muscles to be strong enough for him to perform the lifts that he wants to perform. As long as they are not limiting him, he wouldn't have to do direct work.
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    If you're doing a high volume of deadlifting on one day, I personally wouldn't additionally do isolation work for any of the several major muscles involved on that same day.

    I am not sure what your goal is, but if it's mostly about posterior strength and size I would give deadlift the lion's share of volume for the week and then take note of your sticking points and train those in isolation between deadlift blocks.
    Bench: 320
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    Registered User mileena202's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    It depends on your goals or needs. In your friend's case, it might just be that he only wants or needs the synergist muscles to be strong enough for him to perform the lifts that he wants to perform. As long as they are not limiting him, he wouldn't have to do direct work.
    Thanks!

    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    If you're doing a high volume of deadlifting on one day, I personally wouldn't additionally do isolation work for any of the several major muscles involved on that same day.

    I am not sure what your goal is, but if it's mostly about posterior strength and size I would give deadlift the lion's share of volume for the week and then take note of your sticking points and train those in isolation between deadlift blocks.
    Thanks also for the advice! I will follow it. I want to develop all of my muscles and eventually become a power lifter, while hypertrophying (is that a word?, lol) as much as possible. I realize both are not maximally possible. On legs/core day, I do a ton of deadlifts, squats, and leg presses. I try to throw in some lunges, Bulgarian split squats, and hip adductors/abductors. I am trying to simplify things as much as possible so I have less to do, hence my question.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Yes it depends on your goals and you answered you want to power lift.
    You can be powerlifter right now.
    Powerlifting will help develop the muscle to lift maximum poundages.
    Powerlifting is all about lifting maximum weight on the squat ,bench press and deadlift.
    Those should what you focus on and learn to develop good technique on each.
    That being said working on specific assistance movements to help each lift should be something you do once you find what your weaknesses are on each.
    For example locking out a bench press requires strong triceps so strengthening the triceps would be something to do.
    The same thing for each lift.
    Abdominal/core is very important on squats and deadlifts so core work would be important.
    Yes the main lift will work them,the abdominals somewhat but direct work will really help strengthen them but you need to work on getting them strong rather than rep after rep.
    Good luck to you there is much to learn but everyone has to start somewhere.
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    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    ^^ All great advice above.

    Powerlifting involves a lot of technique for max strength, so start practicing form on the Big 3, squat bench deadlift.

    What's your whole program right now? You mention "leg day" which makes me think you're doing a bodypart split. You'll be better spreading out exercise volume across the week.

    Don't overdo anything, in terms of doing "a ton" or "throwing in" anything. Especially don't overdo big compound movements like deadlifts, that takes away from development more than it gives.

    Good free programs which balance exertion and recovery:
    Candito linear
    Fierce 5
    AllPro's
    Vikings
    RTS Powerbuilding (free PDF is floating online)

    Hypertrophying the muscles is how you build a wide base. From that wide base, you build peak strength via technique work. Sounds like you've got the right idea about that already.
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    above @ bw 88.5 age 43

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  7. #7
    Registered User mileena202's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Yes it depends on your goals and you answered you want to power lift.
    You can be powerlifter right now.
    Powerlifting will help develop the muscle to lift maximum poundages.
    Powerlifting is all about lifting maximum weight on the squat ,bench press and deadlift.
    Those should what you focus on and learn to develop good technique on each.
    That being said working on specific assistance movements to help each lift should be something you do once you find what your weaknesses are on each.
    For example locking out a bench press requires strong triceps so strengthening the triceps would be something to do.
    The same thing for each lift.
    Abdominal/core is very important on squats and deadlifts so core work would be important.
    Yes the main lift will work them,the abdominals somewhat but direct work will really help strengthen them but you need to work on getting them strong rather than rep after rep.
    Good luck to you there is much to learn but everyone has to start somewhere.
    Wow! What great and detailed advice Garage Rat! Thank you for the encouragement and for your very positive post. I didn't realize how important core work is for squats and deadlifts, so I will do them more than I have been doing and less compound exercises.

    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    ^^ All great advice above.

    Powerlifting involves a lot of technique for max strength, so start practicing form on the Big 3, squat bench deadlift.

    What's your whole program right now? You mention "leg day" which makes me think you're doing a bodypart split. You'll be better spreading out exercise volume across the week.

    Don't overdo anything, in terms of doing "a ton" or "throwing in" anything. Especially don't overdo big compound movements like deadlifts, that takes away from development more than it gives.

    Good free programs which balance exertion and recovery:
    Candito linear
    Fierce 5
    AllPro's
    Vikings
    RTS Powerbuilding (free PDF is floating online)

    Hypertrophying the muscles is how you build a wide base. From that wide base, you build peak strength via technique work. Sounds like you've got the right idea about that already.
    I appreciate the advice ECGordyn, and also your encouragement. I am definitely going to look at those programs. Right now I do a three-day split:

    Day 1: legs, core, lower back (erector spinae)
    Day 2: push muscles (triceps, anterior deltoids, pectoralis, wrist extendors (brachialis?))
    Day 3: pull muscles (biceps, lats, posterior deltoids, traps, rhomboids, teres major/minor, wrist and hand flexors). I also add medial deltoids here since I was told they are neither push nor pull. Hope that is right!
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  8. #8
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mileena202 View Post
    I appreciate the advice ECGordyn, and also your encouragement. I am definitely going to look at those programs. Right now I do a three-day split:

    Day 1: legs, core, lower back (erector spinae)
    Day 2: push muscles (triceps, anterior deltoids, pectoralis, wrist extendors (brachialis?))
    Day 3: pull muscles (biceps, lats, posterior deltoids, traps, rhomboids, teres major/minor, wrist and hand flexors). I also add medial deltoids here since I was told they are neither push nor pull. Hope that is right!
    Do an Upper-Lower 4 days or a FullBody 3-4 days a week. This will give you more frequency and practice with each lift.

    What are your current numbers for the Big 3? You can give 1RMs or your best recent working weights.
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    above @ bw 88.5 age 43

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