Monday, November 7, 2011

Chuck Sipes on Cable Training - Dennis B. Weis

Chuck Sipes on Cable Training
by Dennis B. Weis (1982)

Let’s take a look at some of the immediate advantages of cable or expander training. They are very easy to store or transport and are therefore great for travel or vacations. The action of the cables is quiet. There are three distinct classes of cables or expanders: steel spring, flat rubber, and elastic cord type. The steel springs seem to offer more uniform or consistent strength per spring. The main disadvantage in the spring type is that on any movements that are next to the body they can pinch the skin.

Some very general expectations from cable training are: increased chest expansion, better breathing capacity, and a very beneficial internal massage on the organs and muscles. At this point we will now concentrate on how the bodybuilder can apply cable training to his weight training schedules.

Sets, reps, and rest periods should be selected according to each lifter’s particular needs and goals, and the amount of time available for cable training. For example, if your goal is to achieve greater upper body muscularity, a specialized cable training course of 30 minutes to one hour, four days per week is best. These four days you will find yourself using only the cables and the other two days using the weights. At this time, I would like to share with you some points which will help your specialized cable training to assure the best results in muscularity.

1) During this four-day-per-week, 30 to 60 minute program, use SPEED with smooth movement in each of your exercises.

2) Strive for shorter rest periods between each set of exercises. In this way you will be able to add more and more sets in the allotted 30 to 60 minute program.

3) One of the most important points or phases in cable training is: As you pull the cables throughout the movement more and more tension is put on the tendons, ligaments and muscles. Thus, cables have the faculty of stimulating muscle growth faster because of the increased resistance AS THEY ARE STRETCHED through the full range of the movement. In the high range or completed area of the movement concentrate on a deeper, wider stretch.

4) For added muscularity, hold the maximum stretched position for a count before the next repetition.

If you don’t want to specialize on cable training four days a week as suggested, this is how I would encourage a bodybuilder to use cables in a basic barbell program. During the first two months of training this way, perform 2 sets of cable work after all of your sets per one bodypart worked. For example, after you have completed all of your biceps work, finish off with 2 sets of cable curls. Use this approach with each bodypart worked in each day’s exercise schedule.

During the second two months, perform 3 sets of cable work after all your sets per one bodypart have been completed.

During the third month and thereafter, perform 4 sets of cable work per bodypart.

This is how your upper body musculature specialization for a six-month period might look:

First Two Months

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Deltoids – 2 sets of cable movements after all weight-related work is completed
Biceps – 2 sets of cable movements . . .
Triceps – 2 sets of cable movements . . .

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Chest – 2 sets of cable movements after all weight related work is completed
Lats – 2 sets of . . .
Traps – 2 sets
Forearms – 2 sets . . .

Second Two Months

At this point you simply add one set of cable work to each bodypart for a total of three set.

Third Two Months

Perform four sets of cable work following your weight work for each bodypart.

Some of the best cable training movements to apply to the above training plan are:

Two hands upright row to under the chin.
Front lateral cable raises.
Side lateral raises.

One arm cable curl.
Reverse cable curl.

Two hand triceps stretch. Palms down, elbows locked in front of the body. Concentrate on stretching the cables to the side.
Archer’s movement.

Chest pulls in front of the body with cables in back. Arms locked.

One arm cable rowing, seated or standing.

Cable shrugs.
Cable stretches from the front.

Wrist curls in half-biceps curl position. Palms up or palms down.
Reverse curls.

The best rep schedule to follow when using cables, whether specializing of combined with weight work, is 10 to 12 reps. This seems to prove best for development. When the 10 to 12 reps are performed easily and you don’t obtain a deep burn or ache in the muscle area being worked, it is time to add another progressive strand or band to your cable exerciser.

The arrangement of movements in cable training are overwhelming. For instance, if you are into a specialized cable program, you might consider super-setting body parts with your cables as with barbells. I suggest you have two cable sets available to accomplish this, since all body parts are not strong enough to use the same number of cable strands.

21’s can be done with cables, in the same fashion as they are done with weights.

As mentioned earlier, cable training puts more and more tension on the tendons, ligaments, and muscle areas. Thus, through cable work these areas are strengthened in a different way than from weight training.

With this in mind, the powerlifter would be wise to consider such training with cables as assistance to his weight schedule.

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