The Swedish Murder Machine said:
how does the manta ray work out for you, other than it being fun? do you need to adjust your technique in any major way?
Fat and Skeptical said:
My gym has one of those gimmicks. I’ve never tried it. What’s the advantage?
I kinda lump everybody who uses the manta ray and/or MaxiPad into the same category. Does it have an actual purpose (besides making you look like a girly man)?
All right, listen. Here’s three things about the manta ray:
1. It makes the bar sit about 2 inches higher than it would when you do a high bar squat. So if low bar squat is the most “good-morning”-ish, and high bar is a little more upright, then with manta ray your torso will be the most upright, sort of like a front squat. Why would someone want this? Well if you do high-bar squats and you like them, then you will also like the manta-ray, either for the variation, or to work on your form with a little less weight. Like I can use about 30-40 lbs less than my best high bar squat with the manta ray, though I expect the gap to lessen. If you are a dedicated low bar fanatic, well Louie Simmons also has his guys use it (for box squats but whatever).
2. It is more comfortable than squatting with the bar across your back/traps/rear delts. A lot of reviews on Amazon stress this point. I would argue that if this is the sole reason you bought the thing (unless you have some physical ailment) then you need to either toughen up, grow upper back musculature, or learn to squat correctly (or all three). Seriously though, I do a lot of regular squats, and let’s face it, I don’t exactly enjoy getting under the bar for my 20th set of the day. I have raw red abraded skin and/or callused strips across my upper back. Yes, I deal with it, it’s fine. But I look at the comfort factor as a pleasant side effect rather than the device’s raison d’être.
It is not like the so-called “puss-pad” (foam cylinder). The puss-pad just lets you continue to place your small squat weight on your neck and pretend that everything is fine while at the same time making the bar more unstable.
However if you are a masochist, I can reassure you that there will be a new minor stabbing pain in your traps from the front overhang of the two flaps. (Whatever, I’m not a technical writer). Take your index finger and jab it annoyingly into the front of your traps. That’s what it feels like. Now my traps are red and scratched looking too.
3. It blasts and shocks your quads. Yeah. They’re sore for the first time in years.
Is there a carryover to regular squats? Well I guess we’ll find out.
Manta Ray Squat: 45×4, 135×3, 225×2, 280, 320, 340, 355, 365, 375, 385; 290,295x1p, 300,305,310,315,320×1, 295×3
Partial Squat: #9 405, 495, 565, 600; #10 495, 545, 570
I know fatman would not approve, but I kind of hate partial squats because I picture everyone else thinking “He thinks he’s hot shit but he’s not even going close to parallel. Show off.”
Military Press: 45×10, 95×5, 135×5, 145×5
DB Bench: 40,45,50,55 x 20+
Pushups: 1 set
Tri Pushdowns: 4 sets
Band Tri Pushdowns: 4 sets
Band Shoulder Pulls: 2 sets
Chinups or Pullups: 2 sets
DB Row: 50,60 x 10
RDL: 135×3, 205×2, 275×1, 345×1; 295×1,5
Today I just wasn’t feeling like heavy RDLs okay? this was the best I could do. leave me alone.