Why Everyone Learns to Squat

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Virtually (not always if they don’t stick around long enough) every client I train learns to squat. We’re talking 90% or better, obviously I think it’s important. So I was caught off guard a little this week when I got hit with this gem  by a “fitness professional” none the less (paraphrasing):

“You know, you should only have experienced athletes squat because it’s bad for the back and knees and it’s non functional. I went to a seminar and learned there’s just too much spinal compression to justify using it.”

at first I was in disbelief for these reasons:

  • I just met this person an hour before.
  • they told me every fallacy attached to the exercise in 2 sentences.
  • my client was using body weight.
  • she, “fitness professional”, clearly hadn’t been informed of my reputation and wasn’t prepared for the forthcoming Bruce Lee style flying dragon kick that was targeted for her face.

Let’s get through this one by one.

Only “experience athletes”, what the hell does that mean? Define that. What qualifies as experienced and who decides?

I don’t have a definition either, but here’s how this works.

If YOU make a claim YOU need to provide EVIDENCE to back it up..it’s on the ACCUSER not the ACCUSED to prove the point. So yeah, I don’t have a definition but I’m not pushing jackassery either.

First Strawman….DEAD

Bad for the back: Really, how so? Have anything to back that up?

I’mmmmm guessssing….ummmmm, no. But I do, Mcgill, Reinold, Contreras.

Here’s the deal in short. Some spines can take compression, some can’t, the amount of force is individual and depends on their individual level of tolerance. There are no blanket tolerances.

observe the client who transitions to laying on the floor by using a deep squat – this overloads their back. Squatting is appropriate for getting off a toilet or chair but not for dropping to the floor. Instead a lunge that does not bend the spinal discs is a much more appropriate choice. Again, this builds capacity for them to accomplish more in their training session with you- McGill

It’s about the individual and the type of squat performed ass-hat, Yoda  didn’t teach you that this weekend at certified jackassery did he?

But hey, you got a certificate!

The whole “squats are bad for the knees” thing. I was hoping that was dead too. Simple answer:

They are not.

Your knees are meant to bend. People hurt their knees and backs, for that matter, when squatting because they don’t hinge the hips and lack hip/ ankle mobility as well as  thoracic spine mobility.

When you squat the load should be on the hips not the knees. If you’re not hinging the hips, sitting back, keeping tension through the posterior chain, chest up, bar tight etc, etc, etc, you’re not squatting….it’s that simple.

Squats don’t hurt the knees (for the vast majority of people) poor technique hurts your knees.

Stop blaming certain exercises for poor technique and bad coaching…..it’s not Ford motor company’s fault you got into those accidents, it’s YOUR’S….it’s not the tools it is the carpenter

place the blame where it belongs.

Non- Functional…I hate this term, “functional”, it’s become bastardized so much. It used to mean working out so you were better at real world tasks. Now it means all types of crap….

Here’s how functional squatting is….

Don't pop that squat...It's not functional!

That’s really why everyone learns to squat.

Yeah, it teaches good hip mechanics and how to distribute weight across the hip, knee, ankle and drive from the heels and keep the knees out and all that good stuff and more but mostly everyone learns it because everyone poops!
Think about how many times we sit down and get up in a day….Don’t you think it’s important to at least learn how to do it best? I do, so “fitness professional” who learned everything she knows from a weekend Yoda at a certification, I’m still teaching people to squat. I know Yoda wants you to stand up to take a crap but me and my clients ain’t doing that…..We’re gonna be all “non-functional” and clean and stuff and drop the deuce sitting down…..

Awesome article on how to be a Yoda from Bret Contreras- How to become a fitness guru in 25 easy steps.

FitnessTerms I Wish Would Die

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Every profession (and I’m using that term loosely in reference to my own) has terms, sayings, whatever, that make people in that profession cringe every time they hear them. These are mostly made up pseudo science terms that have a BS definition. Sometimes these are real scientific terms that are bastardized to mean something  other than what they actually mean, in the rest of the world.

Honorable Mention: Momentum

Momentum as used in “fitness”- think Planet Fitness, no more than a 50lbs dumbbells we don’t judge unless you unless you dead lift, grunt or try to do anything worthwhile, in which case you don’t fit our mold and we judge you to be a “Lunk”. Don’t believe me:

So yeah, they are “Judgment free” as long as you don’t do stereotypical “meat head” things…but totally judgement free for everyone else.

Any way one of the most frequent things you’ll hear from the patrons and staff from this type of establishment is some variation of the following, “You should lift the weights slowly so as not to use momentum“.

Could you define momentum? Do you even know what this means?

I can and do, because of this thing called…..Physics….: Momentum:  Mass X Velocity

So if I have an object , lets say, ohh….. I don’t know……. a barbell………that can be the mass

and I move the barbell so it has a speed of movement or velocity that kids is MOMENTUMMomentum is essentially mass in motion…

So Einstein, it’s pretty obvious that every time we move a weight we are using momentum…we don’t have a choice in the matter. We “use” momentum EVERYTIME we create any movement what-so ever….

First Runner Up: Intensity

Ever hear this before, “We work at a high intensity in boot camp” or “that was an intense workout”?…

I’m sure you have and we all know what it means…but it’s (usually) wrong…just flat out wrong.

Why?????

Because exercise intensity is a measure of  your maximum ability. It’s a numerical percentage, not a feeling.

If you go for a run at and your heart rate averages 150bpm (beats per minute) and your max heart rate is 200bpm your intensity was 75%

150/ 200= .75……75% 

If your maximum bench press is 315lbs and you bench press 225lbs for 1 rep you worked at an intensity of 71%

225/315= .71……71%

If you come back and bench 225 for 3 reps on the next set your intensity is?????

THE SAME

It’s the same damnit..it’s not more intense because it was harder. You performed the exercise at the SAME intensity, just did more work.

So called “high intensity training” programs where you do the “perfect rep” in a slow and controlled fashion often claim to be “more intense” (and they say that whole “we don’t use momentum to lift the weights jack-assery too)..but the godfather of powerlifting and one of the legitimate Yoda’s out there, Louie Simmons, dispelled this in his article Hit…or Miss

First let’s look at the concept of intensity.  Apparently H.I.T. views it as a feeling, like a pump, a term bodybuilders made popular.  Is it a scientific term?  No.- Louie Simmons

Intensity is about percentages, numbers, math….not feelings.

Runner Up: Tone

“I just want to Tone up” ……”This insert jack ass thing on a bosu ball will Tone your core”

Ohhhhhhhhh, reaaaaaaaaaally?

Tone, how it’s commonly used in this bizz is made up. You cannot lift  3 sets of 10 with 5lbs weights and “tone” up a muscle.

Tone comes from the actual (read used in science and has a universal understanding) Tonus. Which is essentially the electrophysiological state of a muscle. The continuous, involuntary, firing of neurons at a low-level to keep the muscle ready to do work. Tone, in a scientific sense is what keeps us upright and our hearts beating.

It has NOTHING to do with how the muscle appears.

Mark Rippetoe described this disconnect in Practical Programming:

The modern fitness industry’s concept of “toning” muscles is specious—it might sound cool, but it lacks any tangible and definable meaning. The term “muscle tone” or tonus describes an electrophysiological phenomenon, a measure of ionic flow across muscle cell membranes. It can be thought of as the muscle’s readiness to do anaerobic work. The more fit the muscle, the more electrophysiological activity it exhibits at rest. Lack of exercise leads to poor tone, aerobic exercise improves tone a little bit, low-intensity weight training improves tone more, and high-intensity training improves tone the fastest.

Lets use a visual comparison: Kim K. vs. Marissa Miller vs. Jessica Biel

 
 

OK, so first things first, this is not a “which is better” comparison. They all look really good in a bikini (probably because they get paid lots of cash to look that way, but I digress) we know this. Point is, what is “Tone“?

Kim obviously is a little softer than the other two, she has more body fat and  probably less muscle than Marisa, but definitely less than Jess.

Marisa is the skinniest of the group and probably has the lowest body fat and is second in muscle.

Jess obviously has the most muscle of the three and probably is in the middle in terms of body fat.

So what is “Tone“?

In physiological terms Jess, having the most muscle is probably also the strongest and has the best muscle tonuselectrophysiological activity across the muscle cell membranes. But is she the most “Toned” in fitness terms?

I’m guessing most would answer no, Marisa is.

Now, if Kim were to simply stay at her current body fat level and workout some her muscles would get harder because of increased TONUS– more activity across them. But would she look like Marisa?

Obviously not….Why?

Her body fat would be too high to uncover the harder muscles…..

So what does this little experiment tell us? TONE doesn’t mean jack….stuff is made up.

It’s not about who has the most muscle or fat or whatever…it’s about a combination of the two.

If you’re looking for fitness style “Tone” you must do some combination of gaining muscle and losing fat. It’s not a magical process that happens to your muscle just because you began to exercise.

Finally we make our way to the nights GRAND CHAMPION!

Grand Champion of Horrible fitness terminology: Muscle Confusion

Let’s just throw this out there, the term “muscle confusion” is totally “as seen on TV” made up bullshit…

where "muscle confusion" comes from

It is in NO WAY a scientific term. It was made up to sell a product, and now it’s in the lexicon. People, in this business even, use this and think they sound smart. Do some quick searches in Pubmed or  Google Scholar for “Muscle Confusion” you’ll find a whole lot of :

Nothing 

Ohh wait, here’s a nice…. ADVERTISEMENT! ………….Yea for truth!…

There is no SCIENCE behind it!...Just sales..

Here’s a clue muscles don’t get confused people.

They only know length and tension, they don’t have brains with intelligence and critical thinking skills to be confused. They don’t decide…only do.

When new physical tasks are difficult it’s not because you “confused” the muscle, it’s because the task was one of the following:

  • A new movement pattern, the BRAIN must learn to coordinate these new muscle actions.
  • An overload pattern: more tension, time under tension, speed of movement, energy system, etc.

Not because the muscle was somehow “confused”. You may have been, your muscles were not.

If you work in the bizz of training people, please either STOP using these terms or use them correctly…and if you hear your local, I went to a two-day certification this week so now I’m an expert trainer at the local Globo gym say these…stay away, very far away.

Geezers, Get up and lift a damn weight..

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

During my undergraduate education the dogma of the day regarding exercise and aging went something like this, “When you get old you will lose all your muscle and die”.

Well not quite. maybe it was more like, “When you get old you should do “weight bearing” exercise to maintain muscle mass, but you’ll lose all our muscle eventually anyway, become a invalid and die small and weak, as a gelatinous mound of carbon/ protein based goop”.

Well guess what 1980 exercise we like aerobics class, cause 10lbs dumbbell curls do something Yoda’s…You are dead wrong…again….

Yoda. You should really do some "weight bearing" exercise. Like gardening!

I covered why you geezers should be lifting heavy weights before: Geezers are (Strong) People too. So I’m not going to belabor the point but, hat tip Sweat Science, look at these images…FYI the white in the image is non muscle- bone, fat. The dark areas are muscle tissue.

 The leg of a chronically (continuously) trained 70 year  old triathlete looks almost identical to the upper leg of a 40 year old chronically trained triathlete. 

The full paper: Chronic Exercise Preserves Lean Muscle Mass in Masters Athletes

Here are the best excerpts:

It is commonly believed that with aging comes an inevitable decline from vitality to frailty….These declines may have more to do with lifestyle choices, including sedentary living and poor nutrition, that the absolute potential of musculoskeletal aging.

Followed up with:

we are capable of preserving both muscle mass and strength with lifelong physical activity.

So basically it’s YOUR  FAULT if you become a little old geezer, don’t want others to take care of you physically when you hit retirement and beyond? …Get up and do something…EVERYDAY….

It doesn’t have to happen unless YOU ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN…..

Groundhog Day Training. Think Bill Murray, or doing the same damn thing all the time.

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment
 

Groundhog day, the Bill Murray movie, not the actual “holiday” that centers around Punxsutawney Phil, describes most gym goers workouts…… metaphorically speaking that is.

 

Many people do, the same thing day after day. Basically they heard something, somewhere, and decided that X,Y,Z was the ticket and eventually, if they bang their head into the wall hard enough, a magical switch will take place and they’ll be in great shape all of a sudden.

Never mind that Albert Einstein guy:

Think about it, how many people get on the treadmill everyday and run their ass off, at the same pace, in hopes of a better body but never get anywhere? Or worse that damn elliptical prancing along like a pony?

Trust me on this one, it’s a lot.

Usually here is the scenario. They hear (on TV or in a magazine) they should add some “weight training” and that’s the magic secret. So people start doing some easy (see ridiculously light and ineffective read: useless) exercises (tricep kickbacks, sumo squats with a dumbbell, squats with a physioball ball on the wall or some other jack-assery) convinced that those are what they are looking for and they have found the Willy Wonka Golden ticket.

So they do the same exercises in the same order with the same weight for the same 3 sets of 10 ….and they keep it up until the next insert fitness meme of the moment BIG thing that convinces them otherwise and things don’t change.

This is why so many newbie personal trainers talk about “periodization“…which I covered towards the end of this post, Wired or Tired. The only problem is they follow-up the term periodization with the phrase, “Change it up”…which makes me cry, (and shows you that they have no idea what they are talking about, because just “changing things up” is not the purpose of a periodized program in the first place). But at least they realize that the body adapts to the stress on it and improvement stops.

Think about your program for a minute. When was the last time it changed? How did it change?…Exercises? Reps, Sets, Weight on the bar, Frequency? What changed? Did you work harder in any way? Improve in any way?

Not everything has to change for a new stress to be placed on the body. Look at programs like the Starting Strength, or Bill Starr 5×5. They don’t even change the damn exercises…EVER. But if you do them you get hell-a strong because they do change the weight on the bar and reps completed in a workout with that weight as you progress. These programs essentially self-periodize, as you complete a new level of performance you earn the right to progress to the next…they sure as hell just don’t randomly “change it up” because random programming leads to random results…every time.

Bill Starr, originator of the 5x5

So if you are akin to Bill Murray and can’t seem to get Andie MacDowell to fall in love with you in one day, or for the less initiated among us get in shape, you should pick out some BIG exercises. Things like Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts, Pushups, Pullups, Bench presses etc..Exercises that take lots of muscles working together to complete, and make those the foundation of your program. These are your BIG ROCKS…the most important exercises. Things like bicep curls, triceps extensions, leg extensions (which suck BIG TIME by the way) should be your little rocks, not really that important but you can do them if you want. I totally stole the Big Rocks, Little Rocks thing from Mike Boyle. Focus on the BIG rocks and progressing and things will fall into place.   

Here’s a good beginner progression:

1a) Squat: Stick with same weight until 3 sets of 5 are completed, then add 5 pounds and start again
1b) Pushups: as many as possible per set

2a) Inverted Rows: as many as possible per set
2b) Bulgarian Split Squat: add 2 reps per session until 12 per set are completed. Then change exercise to something similar like a lunge or reverse lunge or add weight and start over at sets of 6 reps.

Planned out it looks like this:

Day 1:
1a) Squat: 3×5 @ 135 (actual 2×5, 1×3)
1b) Pushups: 2x AMAP

2a) Inverted Row: 2x AMAP
2b) BSS: 2×6

Day 2:
1a) Squat: 3×5 @135 (actual 2×5, 1×4)
1b) Pushups: 2x AMAP

2a) Inverted Row: 2x AMAP
2b) BSS: 2×8

Day 3:
1a) Squat: 3×5 @135 (actual 2×5, 1×4)
1b) Pushups: 2x AMAP

2a) Inverted Row: 2x AMAP
2b) BSS: 2×10

Day 4:
1a) Squat: 3×5 @135 (actual 3×5 add 5lbs next time)
1b) Pushups: 2x AMAP

2a) Inverted Row: 2x AMAP
2b) BSS: 2×12

Phase 2:
Day 1:
1a) Squat: 3×5 @140 (actual 1×5, 2×3) LOOK I CHANGED THE WEIGHT!!
1b) Pushups: 2x AMAP

2a) Inverted Row: 2x AMAP
2b) Reverse Lunge: 2×6 LOOK I CHANGED THE EXERCISE!!

Get the picture? Stagnation is bad, change is good, but you don’t need Extreme Makeover every month, just need to get the hell out of Punxsutawney PA.

Beginners Suck…and it’s the “Trainers” Fault

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment
 

While it’s getting to the end of New Years resolution gym rush time, there are still some more motivated guys and gals who have hung on. These people are still beginners, I’m talking like total newbies. Yeah, they bought an issue of Men’s Health or whatever and they took the centerfold, fold-out, workout out of it and they carry it around the gym and so the exercises for the sets and reps prescribed, but let’s face it, they suck. Now they don’t suck a little, like as in, not good or that’s wrong, but they suck a LOT- a- bit.

This is the type of crap experts have beginners do...how far is that going to get you?

This isn’t to bash on these folks, they’ve overcome a lot just to get to this sucky point and quite honestly it’s not entirely their fault. First off, they showed up. That’s hard enough when you don’t have a clue what’s going on and is a hell of a lot more than what most people do. Which is to say, make up in their head some make-believe reason, verbalize reason and sigh out loud, sit on couch for next 4 hours and watch TV.

Secondly they realized they didn’t have a clue so they looked for help, granted it’s from a website, magazine, book etc, which is like me trying to learn car maintainance from a book. Yes, with enough time and practice pretty much anyone can become competent at almost anything, but I’m better off not buying the book and taking my car into the mechanic. It will cost me more but the job will be done right and I don’t have to struggle thought the learning curve …But hey, at least these people are trying… 

A BIG part of the problem is the “Trainers” at gyms…Seriously, what they hell are you/ they doing?

Ohh, it's cool, I saw a "trainer" do it......

 Stuff like the jackassery above is a BIG part of the problem. What the hell is that doing besides being overly complicated and getting nothing accomplished?

Here’s the problem some “trainers” don’t do shit…no, I’m not joking. I once had a “strength coach” (self-appointed, he was, mind you) tell me, “I don’t do it. I coach it”. WTF? For real?????        FO REAZL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So how would that person even know what works and what doesn’t..Would you go or take advice from a mechanic who doesn’t work on his own cars? ….It’s a job that requires little to no entry-level knowledge, any one can do it….

Then there is the other third, the “trainers” who do workout but have never “trained” a day in their life. They equate the latest greatest fad of the moment with a successful training program…Bender Balls, Bosu balls, TRX, Kettlebells, Foam rollers, Shake Weights, Zumba, CrossFit, P90X etc, etc, etc…and all types of future cappy crapola. It’s not that the modalities suck, they all have a purpose and can have GRRRRRRRRRRRREAT applications. It’s that these jackholes buy into anything entirely and use it exclusively until the next BEST THING EVER comes along. ….These people have never had goals except look good naked, which is perfectly acceptable but because of this they never set goals, they never THOUGHT about what they were doing they just went, “It’s hard and I’m dying in a pool of my own sweat and vomit so it must have been a great workout. I’m going to be really sore tomorrow”.

So the goal of this workout was:

  1. To be really tired.
  2. To be dripping with sweat.
  3. To not be able to raise their arm or walk down stairs tomorrow.

and the goals of the next workout will be…………the same…

Really? That's the goal of EVERY workout?

 Again, that’s alright some of the time…but it should have a place and purpose…not just because it’s Tuesday and the website or Yoda at the certification last weekend said that’s what you’re going to do.

Then there is the other third. These people  train, not workout. They have put THOUGHT into what they are doing. They can not only explain the what and how but the why. These people actually think about what’s going on in their training, where they have been and where they are going. They tend to have definable goals, even if those goals are as opened ended as, “I want to get stronger”, “I need to be less fat”.  These trainers are usually NOT doing very sexy things in the gym, most these things are centered on their own body weight, barbells and dumbbells….They tend to do the same old, squats, benches, deadlifts, lunges, pressess….yeah they may use a TRX for a couple exercises, Kettlebells for some, maybe even a Bosu for some core training, but overall they’re program is pretty basic and focuses heavily on….THE BASICS….strength, movement, crazy shit like that…They usually tend to be both the most knowledgeable and “in the best shape”…….

Wierd, I know.

Here’s the problem: BEGINNERS DON’T (think they) LIKE THE BASICS (at first)…..

They get bombarded with all the junk in the industry from tv, magazines and websites, lets face it people, even very smart people, buy into marketing and just from watching an hour of tv you’ll realize there is a lot of fitness marketing and by golly they aint pushing those things called barbells..you know the thing that has gotten the more people stronger, leaner, healthier than probably any other fitness apparatus….EVER….

Might not be sexy but damn does it work....

Not, squats, pushups, rows….But jumping, kicking, punching…Really? That’s how beginners should start? A guy who has spent the last 10 years doing nothing but sitting at a computer and sitting in front of a tv should be doing squats on a Bosu?……Can he even do a squat without the Bosu? ………………psssst, I’m guessing no…………….

Unfortunately these beginners never learn a core truism…the basics are the basics for a reason. Mastery of the basic concepts of training will hold true until the end of time.

“Methods are many, principles are few. Methods always change principles NEVER do” -Alwyn Cosgrove by way of Bruce Lee

And that my friends is the problem. Beginners come to the gym and are never given proper instruction and introduction to and in the basics. Too often they are given an overwhelming number of options (methods) but never taught how to push, pull, pack a shoulder, hinge a  hip, squat, lunge. We skip the most important part to put them on a series of high Intensity Plyometrics followed by circuit training or some other looks cool but inappropriate crap…

WTF?

ohh, don’t worry, it’s cool, we did a very scientific dynamic warmup first…..I guess that makes it right.

So think about it, go into almost any gym and you have 2 thirds of the “trainers” ie knowledgeable, “expert” staff doing mind-numbingly stupid things with people and the other third doing that not very sexy, learning to master a split squat thing.

If you’re a beginner you’re screwed from the minute you walk in.

You see:

  • Trainer A: Client Standing on Bosu ball doing bicep curls
  • Trainer B: Teaching a hip hinge pattern
  • Trainer A: Client doing box jumps
  • Trainer B: Teaching how to open the hips and push the knees out during a squat
  • Trainer A: Client doing bench presses on a stability ball
  • Trainer B: Client learning how to do an elevated pushup on a smith machine

Which one would you go with? Obviously trainer A!!!!! That shit looks hard, and they must obviously be very good or they would not have been about to teach someone to do those things right away…right? Any way I saw that stuff on TV and it looked like fun….plus I did pushups in high school 10 years ago and they were waaaay easy.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOpe.

There is NO DAMN reason for a dead beginner to do that stuff day 1…it doesn’t make sense on any level at all….except, shhhhhhh, you’re bad at what you do and cover up your deficiencies with cool looking but stupid/ inappropriate tricks….shhhhhhhhh.

So what does the beginner do? What all beginners do everywhere, they mimic what looks cool, what looks like fun. Let’s face it people, often incorrectly, equate complexity with effectiveness. Remember, they don’t have the education and knowledge to understand why it’s stupid. They can’t, that’s why they came in here and watched what you were having your client do in the first place…they were trying to learn……….great job teaching prof.

If you’re a beginner and you want to become good at this whole exercise thing stick with the basics, buy books like Starting Strength, Core Performance, The New Rules of Lifting, and Maximum Strength….any of those programs and some dedication will get you a hell of a lot further than the tv-infomercial, I saw a trainer at the gym do this trick one day BS that is constantly thrown your way. Learn how to move your body and lift a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell correctly.

Think  about it, the really strong guy at the gym who squats 400lbs easy….yeah, he got that way by squatting, twice a week for the last 5 years….not changing programs every month, and buying into fads and tools every other month for the last 5 years. He got really good at the basics, while the functional training guru got really good at….the fad of the minute be it standing on a stability ball while juggling, P90X, ropes whatever…….all nice tricks I suppose, but is that really where you want to be 5 years from now?

Not an overnight success.

I guarantee the guy or girl who starts training focusing on the basics will be feeling better, looking better, moving better and way more motivated to come to the gym and smash PR’s than the poor soul who is trying to learn the new training  fad of the minute every other week.

Hat tip: Tony Gentilcore

It’s a Pullup….pretty damn basic

Who works on the weekend? Not me, I read!

January 21, 2012 Leave a comment

My morning perusal of the interwebs left me with a bounty of good articles…so good you should read them too.

Some Thoughts on Louie and Westside– Charlie Weingroff 

Mr. Weingroff is super smart and his thoughts on neck packing really influenced my training the last year. I know, it’s like ummm “packing your neck” made a difference?

Yeah, yeah it did..

This article is awesome, covers several misconceptions and arguments against the Westside Philosophy. Plus the videos range from informative to down right cool..Best part is in the first video when Louie says he has physicists and engineers come out to evaluate training. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Physics rules the weight room.” You might be strong, fast, quick etc. and have the latest training gadget gizmo or thing-a-ma-jig but ultimately, physics determines the performance and outcomes of exercises.

Everybody used to hang on Lou’s nuts, now it’s popular to bash him. While I don’t think you should be a nut hanger for anybody…If I wanted to get really strong I would go to Lou and do EVERYTHING he says….maybe not forever but for right now, definitely. Know why? Because every one of his lifters are waaaaaaaaay stronger than me and that’s gotta be worth something.

7 Ways to Ease Pain and Avoid Injury– Sue Falsone

Awesome, short to the point article about how…..ease pain and avoid injuries…..If people just did number 2 (no, not that number two)

not this one either…

but, spent 5 minutes a day with prehab it would go a looooooooong way.

20 Best Fitness Tips of All Time– Susy Sedano

Truth

Brace your core, shoulders down and back, hip hinge, lift heavy weights, grip the weights HARD

Do Squats Damage Young Spines– Charles Poliquin

The study this article is talking about is not out in print yet, will be soon, everyone will read it and nothing will come of it except negative no-nothing media driven BS….(think steroids, that’s whats gonna happen here).

I’m going out on a limb here (read: not really): Squatting, we’re assuming proper squatting, is perfectly acceptable and safe. Like Poliquin points out Mel Siff went over this long ago,

It is extremely misleading to focus on the alleged risks of weight training on children when biomechanical research shows that simple daily activities such as running, jumping striking or catching can impose far greater forces on the musculoskeletal system than very heavy weight training“- Mel Siff, Facts and Fallacies of Fitness

Crossfit Endurance, Tabata sprints and why people just don’t get it– Steve Magness

This is a really good article on the pitfalls of CrossFit Endurance. The take home message is this,

#8 Periodization matters:

It seems simple enough that people would know that how you plan and periodize training matters.  Training isn’t a random collection of hard exercises or workoutsThere has to be some sort of logical sequence and progression.  If there’s not, then you can expect to get exactly what you trained for, random results.
 
The bottom line is that so called high intensity interval training (HIIT) which is the new fad word with strength coaches is good.  But for endurance performance it’s even better when it is supported!  You have to support it with something.  Endurance work of various kinds and even pure speed work (with lots of recovery) serves as support for the intense stuff.

Sounds an awful lot like Charlie Francis, Dan Pfaff, Mel Siff, Yuri Verhkoshansky, Mark McLaughlin, James Smith, Buddy Morris ie coaches who know their shit and don’t just make stuff up because it sounds cool or to sell their “certification”……

As far as I’m concerned Steve hits the nail on the head when it comes to CrossFit,

Crossfit exploits a couple different natural reactions people have to get people on their bandwagon.  First, they create a straw man “us vs. them” mentality.  We’ll go over this straw man tactic a bit later, but they try and cultivate this idea that just because it’s different and new means its got to be better.  They throw in some pseudoscience or misinterpretation of science and they’ve bolstered their selling point.  Further exploiting peoples natural habits, they promise better results with less time commitment, which in today’s “busy” world is probably the number one selling point for many products or ideas. If you’ve ever watched late night infomercials, you might start to see some similarities…

Lastly, once you’re in they do something pretty creative.  They first created their own new performance metric on which you’re judged.  Because being good at all the other methods of establishing performance isn’t good enough, so now you’re judged based on some criteria that crossfit develops.  Being a specialist at something is apparently bad?  Additionally, they really go after this hard work/pain = improvement and results idea.  This is also known as the Rocky effect.  But if you’ve been in the coaching business long enough you know that hard stupid work doesn’t get you anywhere.  You can’t just do work that is painful just because it hurts and expect to get better.
 
Jump For Stronger Bones– Caitlin Carlson, Womens Health mag.com 
 
This kinda goes in the no crap category. I’ve never understood why “fitness professionals”, I use that term loosely, always advocate low or no impact training. Obviously some, very few, absolutely need this but the vast majority of people NEED impact. It makes our bones grow…you learn that in anatomy and phys class, think osteoblast, they respond to FORCE on the bone
 
“ohh, like compressive forces? The only type of forces that have been shown to increase bone formation?”
 
Yeah, Just like that…
 
You know what causes compressive forces? Well among other things…IMPACT…ie the result from jumping (it’s called landing) ……so why do we start telling people that they shouldn’t have impact once we get certified? Elliptical machine anyone?
 
 
Tug Toners for everyone!
 
 

Dave Tate on Human Potential/ Drugs in Sports/ Passion etc..

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Dave Tate speaks the TRUTH about human potential and drugs in sports….

He makes the point I was talking about here: Achievement, 10,000 hours, Grit and why you’re not a pro athlete…