A basic tenet of powerlifting is, if you don't know why it's in your program, it shouldn't be there. I guess that would go with any type of training. You should only serve one master at a time. I'm sure most bodybuilders aren't max effort benching every week and risking pec tears. Pic someone who trains and you can find an analogy that fits.

So yesterday while benching, I was complaining to my wife/training partner/legal guardian, Jessica, that my arms were killing me. I wasn't sure if it was my shoulders, biceps, or pecs as those areas all tie in together. Reflecting back on training I was thinking it was probably training biceps both after Max Effort Bench and also Dynamic Effort Bench days. I said something to Jess and she just nodded as if she understood or cared.

While training I'm still thinking about these aches I'm having. When thinking realistically I train my biceps pretty lightly. I have torn both so I don't push them hard. It's rare that I'd do anything heavier than 30 lbs in each hand. Then it hit me like a lightning bolt, pull ups. I have been doing pull ups twice a week. Now hanging 255 lbs from my arms is a far cry from light dumbbells.

I have done pull ups in the past with no ill effects. However, those were band assisted. Now that I have refined this big mess of a body I can do them much easier without bands. So I have been doing three finishing sets after my back work. So not only am I getting no assistance like in the past, I'm pre-fatiguing the muscles. When I presented this epiphany to Jess and asked her it this was more likely the issue, she said "Nah." I was like, was that sarcastic. She said "No of course it isn't duh." I got that one, it was definitely sarcasm. What can I say, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Now I'm not telling anyone pull ups are bad for you. However, are pull ups what I need to build a bigger bench - no! I need a strong upper back and I can get that in a variety of ways other than pull ups. But I like being able to do pull ups. Hmm, again, hanging all of that weight onto all that soft and connective tissue can't be a good idea can it? Especially for someone who benches twice a week, has some shoulder arthritis, and has compromised biceps to begin with.

Now will I do something like this again? Of course. We all do things we are not supposed to and rarely learn about them until they bite us in the ass. It's like flipping tires for conditioning. Yeah, I consider that fun stuff. So if a 400 lb tire is good for conditioning then why not flip the 800? Because the 800 is much more likely to tear your biceps tendon clear off the bone.

Is conditioning important, yes. Building bigger muscles, absolutely. Training the body on multiple planes, of course. Just make sure the reason is to make you better at what you do. Not because you saw someone else do it, or it is the in thing to do. Don't let vanity or ego get in the way of your goals.