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Thread: Empty bar work on off days?

  1. #1
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    Empty bar work on off days?

    So does anybody with lower training frequency do the lifts with just the bar on off days?

    Do you think there is any benefit?

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    I think literal empty bar doesn't really do much, other than assist mobility and if you were doing certain things like very slow muscle snatches could be useful for upper back activation, controlling of posture and things like that. Gymnasts, for example, will do much easier variations of their key movements for 10-20 second tempos. I don't think that is the best for WLing but it could be somewhat useful.

    If we are talking about snatching, cleaning and jerking with real speeds with just an empty bar, then I would almost certainly recommend at least a 50% working weight of your max. This should be entirely doable, fairly restful and somewhat restorative, even on your most tired day. It might take a few sets if you are truly beaten up, but 5x5 snatches at 50% is a reasonable little recovery session done in ab out 15-20 minutes.

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    The main benefit is it gives a lifter something to do and practice with a bar. It gets them moving around more which can aid recovery. It may help mobility. So maybe they only have 3 real training days but they can fill in their off days doing a light session and getting sweaty for 20-45minutes.

    I used to go up to 70-80% on off/light days way back like Thursdays before maxing out the next day. And Tuesdays after a heavy Mon session and Wed was still heavyish just not as heavy as Monday.

    They could probably go up to 50-70%.

    When I'm beat to hell, I don't mind and could probably do 70% and it wouldn't impede recovery but these days I'd rather just have the day off and probably benefit more than that. I no longer feel like I have to touch the bar every day or not improve. It also gives me the time to do something else rather than commute to the gym, do a quick warmup just to do 50-70%. If I had a bar at home again, I'd do it but losing an hr with a short commute and workout to the gym isn't worth my time anymore.

    Charlie Francis in "Train High/Low" would say up to 75%. Obviously sprinting is different than WL but he'd prescribe say tempo runs at 60% on a light day.

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    On a day off? Empty bar work? Christ no. If I can get the motivation to do empty bar work, I'm going to 70%

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    I very much like doing a training session with just the bar. In fact, I'm doing a bar only session this afternoon. I don't do it religiously, but rather as a means of recovery with a secondary benefit of reinforcing motor pathways.

    My session takes about 50-60 minutes and involves doing drills you learn as a beginner and a large dose of stretching. I'd say it is about 70% stretching and 30% drills. The idea is to get some heat into the muscles used in weightlifting. Normally I begin the training session feeling sore from previous training days sessions and leave feeling refreshed. The stretching is all dynamic, actually a modified power yoga approach.

    The most difficult part of the session is to begin. I mean, there is nothing cool going on and it takes a while to get that warm feeling.

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    Finished the "bar" session. It took about 55 minutes. Breakdown was about:

    Stretching--55%
    Easy bodybuilding--20%
    Drills with bar--15%
    Self massage--10%

    Feels great now.

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    Exactly Gary. I really should do it more but I like the respite from WL twice a week. If I had a bar, I'd probably touch it and that is the idea again in the future. Don't need anything too fancy, but I do want it to spin decent enough that my shoulders don't hate it.

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    I couldn't do it. I have rare days where i go in to just do a 'mobility day'... basically, where i stretch everything for 2 hours and do some coaching... no lifting at all. But if i haul out a bar, i'll end up loading greens (for snatch) or yellows (for C&J) sooner or later. And ov course... like Miss Vickies S&V chips... you cant have just one. 40 turns into 50, 60, 70... What i will do though, is just haul out the greens and yellows and thats it. Snatch to 70-80ish, C&J to 80-90ish, 60%ish... but ov course... because those are gimme days, and there is NO expectation, i'll almost always end up having the best session all week, and end up in PR territory. Never fails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Echternacht View Post
    Finished the "bar" session. It took about 55 minutes. Breakdown was about:

    Stretching--55%
    Easy bodybuilding--20%
    Drills with bar--15%
    Self massage--10%

    Feels great now.
    Gary, do you feel like using the bar adds to recovery?
    Does it seem to improve the next heavier session in some way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas View Post
    I couldn't do it. I have rare days where i go in to just do a 'mobility day'... basically, where i stretch everything for 2 hours and do some coaching... no lifting at all. But if i haul out a bar, i'll end up loading greens (for snatch) or yellows (for C&J) sooner or later. And ov course... like Miss Vickies S&V chips... you cant have just one. 40 turns into 50, 60, 70... What i will do though, is just haul out the greens and yellows and thats it. Snatch to 70-80ish, C&J to 80-90ish, 60%ish... but ov course... because those are gimme days, and there is NO expectation, i'll almost always end up having the best session all week, and end up in PR territory. Never fails.
    I can't tell what you are saying at the end there. You feel like you could go for a PR during the easy session, or the mobility work and ~60% weight make you feel like you could go for a PR in the next session?

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