Over the years on my social media accounts I've put up my training for presses and pulling using thick bars. Since most are homemade they don't spin and that is alright with me because I'm using them to make my training HARDER not easier. The tremendous stress on the muscles, tendons and ligaments makes this a great training tool.
Grabbing a thick barbell or dumbbell will have you feeling like you're grabbing a damn telephone pole!!! Safety first here.... always and I mean always do your pressing inside of a power rack because of the thickness and the fact that it will roll out of your hands you have to protect yourself. Usually the thick bar work is performed starting on the pins set at various points but DO NOT let the bar simply crash back to the pins this will for sure get you kicked out of most gyms and honestly there ain't enough gyms out there that cater to the more hard-core lifter. I'm telling you this from personal experience, as much as I travel for coaching I can attest to the difficulty in finding a gym with the equipment that I need to train.
Using thick bars will develop unparalleled open hand grip strength, forearm, wrist, finger and thumb strength. If you've used a thick bar then you know the thumb is hard at work for sure while the barbell or thick handled dumbbell like the one you can find at IronMind which brings me to another benefit and that is and that is the FEAR FACTOR.. don't drop that damn thing on your chest or head!!! I'd also say that there is a mind-body connection beyond the fear factor, when you grab that Fat Bar and lock in your grip to start the pull on a power clean or just a pull that damn thing is fighting you all way..... to me it's a ME vs YOU and dammit I'm determined to win that battle.
You want to make sure that you strengthen your body not damage it so you be best to follow a few simple rules.
1. Set your body tight
2. Do not just press the bar off the pins, you have to flex your shoulders and elbows then you drive into to until it begins to move then you can jam that damn thing up
3. When lowering the bar back to the pins you want to control it the whole way so I play a game and that is to set the bar back on the pins as quiet as possible. I really emphasis this on the final rep coming down super slow and this is more of a fuck you to the bar because I refuse to let it beat me!!!
4. Set up for the next rep exactly the same do not get in a hurry.
For Pressing I'll usually set the bar right at my chest or chin and perform 5-4-3-2-1 working to the heaviest possible single for today. This requires some thinking on your part to plan out the weight to use on those first sets so it can help you as you learn to challenge yourself for the number of reps that you have assigned. I don't miss reps very often in training, I plan out what I'm gonna do for the reps that are written. I'm challenging myself to get stronger and more powerful not to stay the same.
I do a lot of barbell rows in my training so I like doing 2 weeks on a regular bar then I'll throw in the fat bar for a week before going back to the barbell. Don't be scared.... get some power cleans with the Fat Bar.
I also do double arm and single arm holds.... why do that with a regular barbell... same goes for curls!!
Challenge Yourself and grab a fat bar!!!
PLAY HARD...TRAIN HARDER... NO EXCUSES