Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Benefits Of Thick Bar Training Coming Soon To TSC

Tonbridge School Centre is currently in the process of providing a range of training equipment which will easily convert any ordinary dumbbell, barbell and bar into an equivalent “Thick Bar”. So I wanted to take the time to discuss the benefits behind thick bar training so to help maximise their use and educate all our members on the benefits that will be freely available to them without even adapting there current programme.
I’m presuming that the majority of people won’t have had access to this particular adaptive training as in the U.K equipment is limited. Having personally trained and worked in a number of different gyms throughout the U.K from mainstream gyms in London and Leeds; to local individual clubs in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells I have only encounter the product a handful of times.

The Benefits of thick bar training are linked with the development of muscular strength and endurance. There are a number of different reasons for this, some which are more obvious and others which are not so obvious.
Firstly when performing any pulling exercise like One Arm dumbbell rows or Chin Ups, when using the Thick Bar, your grip will be tested a lot more. Your forearms will have to work much harder to hold on to the same weight, increasing the tension in the muscle, and improving the strength of your grip. This is great for many different sports and improving your grip will help you work more efficiently in future training sessions.

Secondly I look to discuss the principle of "Irradiation". I will use a practical example to help you understand the concept without all the Scientific Information. You may already be aware that when contracting a muscle you also contract surrounding muscles. A good Practical example I have come across helps you understand what I’m talking about.
1.      Try flexing your bicep as hard as possible without making a fist.
2.      Flex your bicep as hard as possible whilst making a very tight fist.
3.      You should notice your bicep contract much harder when making a tight fist.
4.      If you flex your forearms hard enough you will begin to feel tension not just in your arms, but in your shoulders, chest, and back.

This is the Irradiation principle in action. The nerve impulses of surrounding muscles can amplify the effect of that muscle. When training for strength gains you can generate much more tension within Prime Mover (main muscle being used in exercise) and synergists (supporting/surrounding muscles).
The more your body uses Irradiation in the pulling movements the stronger your forearms will get. This strength will directly translate into other pressing movements when squeezing the bar hard. Allowing you create more tension when training and maximise progression.
One last point to make on the subject is you cannot combine the thick bar work and lifting straps. Although lifting straps may appear to allow you train harder, as you may be able to hold more weight when performing pulling movements. You don’t rely on your grip at all no Irradiation occurs and they weaken your ability to generate tension in your forearms. After all the strength gained is not functional or usable without the straps.

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