It's not always a good idea to do deep squats, overhead presses, or dips, and why is it that fat-bastard bicyclists wear Spandex shorts anyhow? The answers to these mysteries and more in today's article.
Q: I've heard about people using a "repetition day - upper body" instead of the "dynamic effort day - upper body." What are the differences? How come you use the dynamic effort day instead of a repetition day in your Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual? Is a repetition day more CNS-intensive?
A: Who says you can't do both?
Throw a medicine ball, and then do rep work on the bench. Or, do jump squats before you deadlift. Oh no! Heresy!
Most inexperienced athletes need both. Dynamic work usually encompasses drills that help teach deceleration/landing, change-of-direction, and acceleration while improving reactive ability. Repetition work helps strengthen connective tissue and groove appropriate movement patterns. You can do both!
I'd generally say that the dynamic stuff is more CNS intensive, particularly when it involves a lot of jumping/sprinting (due to ground reaction forces, or GRF). For instance, with sprinting, ground reaction forces can anywhere from 4-6 times an athlete’s body weight; the better the technique, the lower the stress from the GRF.
Conversely, if you’re a 1,000 pound squatter who is doing “speed” work with six plates a side, it’s still going to be considerably easier than jumping in and doing four sets of six reps at 750 pounds or so.
The point is that there really isn’t a right answer. It’s influenced by your training age, overall strength, the stimuli to which your body has already been exposed – and the areas in which you need to improve the most.
The Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual
Here is a quote from a Venezuelan researcher in this article:
"Most weight loss studies have determined that a very low carbohydrate diet is not a good method to reduce weight. It exacerbates the craving for carbohydrates and slows metabolism. As a result, after a short period of weight loss, there is a quick return to obesity."
I’m sorry, but are you kidding me? Does Pubmed not exist in South America? There are dozens of studies out there verifying the incredible value of carbohydrate-restricted diets in improving body composition. And, this is a classic example of a researcher manipulating study design to achieve a desired end. Frankly, I’m amazed that a U.S. university would allow such a poor study design to even be carried out.
They claim that the results show that low-fat, higher carb diets outperform low-carb, higher fat diets when both diets are low in fat and total calories. In other words, the implication is that they are calorically equal – when in fact, the higher carb group received 155 calories more per day (14.3% higher caloric intake). Over the course of the four month study, the low-carb group averaged five pounds more (28 vs. 23) in body weight reductions. At eight months, however, they had regained 18 pounds while the low-fat, higher-carb group had continued to lose weight. It must be the carbs, right? Wrong!
The high-carb group was on a less severe diet calorically, so the rebound should be less. Additionally, the breakdown of their meals during the four-month intervention was different. Most notably, the higher-carb group received 610 calories at breakfast to the low-carb group’s 290 calories. The higher-carb group was also allowed almost twice as much protein (93g vs. 51g) than the low-carb group. I don’t care if it keeps you out of ketosis; protein is satisfying, has a higher thermic effect of food, and has marked benefits on
So, they’ve taken two groups:
Group A: low-carb (lower fiber, as a result), lower-calorie, low-protein, small breakfast, large dinner, and more severe restriction
Group B: higher-carb, higher calorie, higher-protein, large breakfast, small dinner, and less severe restriction
So, we have six factors that are markedly different, yet we can ascertain that one factor (high-carb vs. low-carb) is the reason that some dieters were more successful than others? Bogus research – and the worst part is that since Reuters picked it up, it’ll get more press than all of the peer-reviewed, legitimate research that only appears on Pubmed.
Repeat this study with the same caloric content over the course of the day and at each meal, identical protein consumption, and a zero calorie fiber supplement, and I’ll guarantee that the lower carbohydrate group “wins” 90% of the time.
"In Maximum Strength Eric Cressey outlines a system of scientific and user-friendly principles that will build a body that's strong, muscular, mobile and healthy. That's a tough combination to pull off, but this book does it. Whether you're an athlete or weekend warrior, you need this book."
With the 4th of July falling on a Friday, we won't have any Random Friday Thoughts this weekend. However, that's not to say that we can't bump up my senseless digressions to Thursday just this once...
1. I made my ESPN.com debut this week – but it’s not for the reason you might think! Check out DJ Gallo's column. I'm actually pretty honored that he even gave me the mention, as I've been reading Page 2 for quite some time now.
2. I am headed to Maine (my old stomping grounds) with Tony Gentilcore and our girlfriends for the 4th of July. Geek that I am, I am taking about 15 journal articles on shoulder dysfunction with me to read on the beach. I'll be at Cressey Performance on Sunday night, and then it's off to Delaware for four days for some more continuing education with respect to the overhead throwing athlete. Dr. Craig Morgan and his colleagues at the Morgan-Kalman Clinic have been gracious enough to extend an invitation to see them in action. To say that I am excited would be an understatement, as these guys have worked with a lot of messed-up arms - many of them worth millions of dollars. I'll also spend some time in the clinic with Shon Grosse, a great PT in Philadelphia. So, it'll be seven days of shoulders.
3. Congratulations to Dave Robertson on his Major League Debut. Dave spent some time with us at Cressey Performance this past-offseason, and he made an appearance at Shea Stadium on Sunday for the Yankees. Dave is a great guy and a really hard worker; he deserves all the success that comes his way.
4. Worst. Sign. Ever.
5. Here is a simple, yet effective stretch for those of you who are locked in hip external rotation. This is really common in soccer, hockey, and powerlifting athletes. When performed correctly, you should feel it in your glutes. It's also a common problem spot for people who over-pronate, as subtalar pronation leads to more tibial and femoral internal rotation - which causes the lateral rotators to work overtime with respect to deceleration. Soft tissue work on these areas works best, but some basic stretching can help as well.
5. DId a 545x3 deadlift and hit a 32.5-inch vertical jump today. Not a bad day at the office...
Have a great holiday!
I've had a few questions about specifically what we do with the foam roller with our athletes, so figured I'd just video it for you with a voice-over.
You can pick up a Foam Roller Plus like this at Perform Better.
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