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16 Aug

https://youtu.be/P3_2jlOHmAY was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your video to text in 2019.

Mark Wulfe:
From The Aasgaard Company studios in beautiful Wichita Falls, Texas… From the finest mind in the modern fitness industry… The one true voice in the strength and conditioning profession… The most important podcast on the internet… Ladies and gentlemen… Starting Strength Radio.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thank you, Mark Wulfe. Welcome to Starting Strength Radio, where extremely important shit gets discussed.

Mark Rippetoe:
Comments from the Haters!.

Mark Rippetoe:
“Good points, well-elucidated from a couple of fat fucks.”

[off-camera]:
Which one is that on? You and Abeel?

Me and Abeel. Yeah, me and a heart surgeon. Oh, yeah. Here we go: “Smelly, brown Indian.”

Mark Rippetoe:
No, no, no. We’re going to… This is from a guy named N-A-U-O…”nauo.”.

[off-camera]:
He’s a less smelly version.

Mark Rippetoe:
That sounds like an awfully brown name. Sounds like a very brown name to me.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. “Rip has always… always has to expose his ignorance on nutrition. Friend of… friend in the meat industry told him to eat a minimum of 300 grams of protein a day. What a fat retard he is. And Santana is too scared to correct him like all Starting Strength sycophants. Also tired of his bitch-tit-having-ass pretending he is anything less than 30 percent bodyfat. His gut hangs a good three to four inches over his belt. Fucking slob. I went to a seminar once and all Rip did was snort and grunt the whole time. I never heard anyone as unhealthy sounding as him. I thought he was gonna have a heart attack any minute. He looked horrible.”

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Here’s a good one. “Jesus Christ.” This is Frank Hoodacheck: “Jesus Christ, stop worrying about what YouTube comments say. Or at least stop bringing it up every 90 seconds. Goddamn, I’m a jacked metrosexual.” No, you’re not.

Mark Rippetoe:
“I had a boyfriend for a year once and he put his penis inside of my anal orifice. Twice. Twice. And it was not protected sex. Oh, so I’m getting hard just thinking about it.” This is Frank Hoodacheck.

Mark Rippetoe:
Look, I’m just reading the goddamn things. Bre, printed it out. I read it. But there’s a thing at the bottom of this that says “show less.” I’m thinking maybe that would have been good to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let’s see, “When will a segment of Starting Strength Radio come out with a segment on icing your testicles?” It might be a while, we’ll try to get around that though. We gotta find a volunteer first. Would you like to? No, this is BRoberts42115. Give us a call B.

Mark Rippetoe:
Do you see why you people are the bottom 3 percent? Maybe the bottom 2 percent? Maybe the percentage has shrunk.

Mark Rippetoe:
Okay, one more. NoFapGamerG. This is our favorite. We always read this. “Why are Mark’s nipples hard? Is he some kind of pervert?”

Mark Rippetoe:
He? “Is he some kind of pervert?”

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, fuck. Oh, that’s so much fun. We’re got to keep doing this. This is the greatest goddamn thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Joining me this week is our friend Jay Livsey. Jay is from Denver. Jay is the owner of Starting Strength Denver. This was a free shirt. That’s why I’ve got it on. No other reason.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, Jay, what the hell happenin’, man? How far along are you?

Mark Rippetoe:
And we’re recording this on July the 20. What is it? 3rd? July 23rd. So when this runs, it may… Hey, by the time this runs the damn thing, may be open.

Jay Livsey:
Doubtful.

Mark Rippetoe:
Probably not.

Jay Livsey:
Doubtful.

Mark Rippetoe:
Probably not. You know why? Because commercial real estate people are involved.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah, I hate to go that far, but yes. So actually, I just got an update right before we got on here. We’re… the drawings are complete minus the MEP portion.

Mark Rippetoe:
What is the MEP?

Jay Livsey:
I don’t know. They need some engineer… they need some engineers involved. They need the information…

Mark Rippetoe:
Mechanical, electrical. and plumbing.

Jay Livsey:
And they need the HVAC information. And they need an HVAC in there before we get that information.

Mark Rippetoe:
So the landlord has to install the the unit before anything can… Oh, God, this may take another couple years.

Jay Livsey:
The scare… the scary part was we might get a bid back by the end of the week.

Mark Rippetoe:
Might.

Mark Rippetoe:
It’s been our common experience, boys and girls, that when you try to go around the country and open small businesses like we’re trying to do the primary problem is commercial real estate.

Mark Rippetoe:
So in Jay’s case, how long has that place been available? Sitting there empty. Just air in it. Right.

Jay Livsey:
Oh, yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
For what? Years? How long was it vacant?

Jay Livsey:
I mean they’re vacant a long time.

Mark Rippetoe:
Months and months and months. Didn’t you tell me it’d been a couple years since anything had been in there?

Jay Livsey:
No, that other place that we thought we had lined up had been always vacant since being built in 2006.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Two thousand six – so it had been vacant for 13 years.

Jay Livsey:
The city told me that. Went down there and said, “Oh, there’s nothing’s ever been in there. So the property should be fine.”

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. So he goes in and says, “Here… here’s a check. I want to rent this space.” And they go, “Hold on!” [Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.] “I kind of think we might just like to just leave it empty.

Jay Livsey:
Let’s just slow down.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let’s slow down now because empty is… you know, if if it’s empty, then we don’t have to try to find the key.

Jay Livsey:
I mean, it’s still it’s empty.

Mark Rippetoe:
It’s still…

Jay Livsey:
Still empty. Yeah. They were… I mean, it is a shell ready to go. It was… it was bizarre.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, well, it’s… it’s usually bizarre. Yeah. These things are. This is universally the case that we have found.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ah… like that deal in Dallas that we were looking at. We were… we looked at that place. What was it, Nick? June of last year? It was June of 2018. We found a location in Dallas. This is when we were thinking about having a company own one of the gyms.

Jay Livsey:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And we identified the location. They said it was for rent. We said we wanted to lease it and we fucked around with these people until the middle of December. And and they came back… they came back in the middle of December and said, “Well, you know, all this other… these hoops we’ve made you jump through are all well and good, but we’ve decided we want another ninety-five thousand dollar deposit from you because you guys don’t seem to have any W-2 income.

Mark Rippetoe:
At that point. We… you know, our real estate broker said, look, I’m not even going to present that to these guys. You guys are not actually serious about this. So we just blew that whole idea off because it was just too goddamn frustrating. But it’s been the same way virtually everywhere.

Jay Livsey:
I mean, these guys we finally found and have… when we signed the lease and they’ve been really good to work with, but like little stuff like this, like the HVAC. We got three people involved. You know, when it’s gonna happen? It’s like, you know…

Mark Rippetoe:
Always on vacation.

Jay Livsey:
Everybody’s yeah… oh, very busy. Very, very busy.

Mark Rippetoe:
These are busy people.

Jay Livsey:
Everybody’s very busy.

Mark Rippetoe:
And their primary deal, you know, like leasing commercial real estate space.

Jay Livsey:
Yes.

Mark Rippetoe:
Is not part of why they’re busy. Apparently. God almighty.

Mark Rippetoe:
So well, that’s a little update. So, you know, at some point here this year, this thing’s going to get done. And those of you in Denver who are – a lot of you are in communication with Jay already – just need to just kind of… we’ll get it done as fast as we can. If it was up to us, it would have been open last month. But it’s not up to us. We’re pushing on it as hard as you can. So your patience is appreciated.

Now, we brought Jay down here today and I’ve asked Jay to come in and and talk to us about about golf. We are… this is second in a series of podcasts about the two-factor model of sports performance. And the two factors are training and practice.

Mark Rippetoe:
Training is – to recap briefly – training is the… is the thing that produces a a an accumulation of physiologic adaptation and makes you better capable of performing the skills that are necessary for the performance in the sport in question. And practice is the… is the thing that allows for the repetitive execution of movement patterns that are dependent on accuracy and precision.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the difference really between the two is that practice is exquisitely specific to the sport itself. And training is extremely general in terms of its acquisition – strength is a generally-acquired thing. And and practice – skill – is an extremely specific to the performance-acquired adaptation.

Mark Rippetoe:
And we came up with this distinction three or four years ago, and it is a very useful way to think about sports preparation.

Mark Rippetoe:
Golf is probably one of the most popular outdoor pastimes in the country. Would you say? What do you think the golf market is? In terms of number of people participating.

Jay Livsey:
Golf transcends business outings, social outings, and competitive environments. So it makes it kind of unique compared to… nobody’s going out and joining a basketball club. You know, when they get a job there. They join golf clubs or tennis clubs. That’s kind of the way these things work. And so you get these results of popularity. I’d be curious if they could find it. What the…

[off-camera]:
One hundred and seven million. Six and up a year.

Mark Rippetoe:
Age six and up play golf. Hundred and seven million individual participants or golf games or what’s the…?

[off-camera]:
All on course or off course, watches or on television or read about in 2018. So there’s one hundred and seven active people that are involved in golf.

Mark Rippetoe:
Involved in golf. Now, that doesn’t mean there are 170 million.. hundred seven million golfers. But let’s say there are a third that many. Let’s say there are… Let’s say there are 40 billion golfers. Would that surprise you? Would that number be…

Jay Livsey:
40 billion would be a lot.

Mark Rippetoe:
40 million million million million.

Jay Livsey:
No, they wouldn’t… that wouldn’t surprise me. Forty million? No.

Mark Rippetoe:
That’s a hell of a lot of people.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah, there’s a lot of golf clubs out there.

Mark Rippetoe:
That’s a hell of a lot of people. Population of the country’s 330 million. And that would mean that, what? That’s 15 percent.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah. I mean, think how many people own a set of golf clubs. They probably don’t play three times a week, but once every other month is pretty doable for most people. If you’re considering that a golfer.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know I had no idea that the market was that big. What is an average set of golf clubs worth? Entry-level set of golf clubs.

Jay Livsey:
I mean, depends on what you want to pay. I mean, could you get a set of used clubs? Maybe 200 bucks?

Mark Rippetoe:
Or you can pay, what, five grand? Probably for the highest.

Jay Livsey:
Them I think are like five grand right now. Yeah. And I mean you can get a you can get a driver for a thousand dollars. Just one club. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well that’s that’s interesting. So there’s a lot of money in this market.

Jay Livsey:
There’s a lot of money in golf. Yes.

Mark Rippetoe:
And golf being as popular as it is, is a is a segment of the recreational market that is being underserved by the fitness industry and. And the service that it does receive from the fitness industry is ninety-nine percent bullshit.

Jay Livsey:
Because it’s yoga.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yoga.

Jay Livsey:
Some pilates, they do pilates.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that weighted swinging thing…

Jay Livsey:
They take the ball and swing it like this. Yeah. Not sure what they’re doing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, they’re wasting a bunch of time. Yes.

Jay Livsey:
They stretch too. Lot of stretching.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the and the two-factor model is is interesting in that it explains a lot of that. It explains that what people should be doing. But it also explains why it’s not being done correctly.

Jay Livsey:
Everybody’s doing yoga and pilates. It’s disgusting.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. And once again, the two-factor model is helpful to us here. The two-factor model of sports performance – and golf approached correctly shouldn’t be a sport. The problem with golf is that most people who play golf approach it as a game, which means that the only thing involved in it is practice.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that there’s not any training component, there’s no attempt to obtain an accumulation of physiologic adaptation that would make the game of golf into a sport.

Mark Rippetoe:
See, I think this is…

Jay Livsey:
That’s interesting. I never thought about in those terms. You’re right. People do approach it like it’s a game.

Mark Rippetoe:
It’s a game. They approach it like it’s billiards. They approach it as if it’s billiards. And I think the the vast majority – and there are some notable exceptions, couple of guys around bench press and do some stuff. You know, Tiger benched. Tiger is supposed to have a 300 bench at one time. Which is cool. No, it’s not astonishing. But it’s cool. You know, fit, young man ought to be able to bench 300, but I don’t think he deadlifted and don’t think he squatted.

Mark Rippetoe:
And and game…

Jay Livsey:
They squat now.

Mark Rippetoe:
Who squats?

Jay Livsey:
Lot of these guys on tour will squat. But with Smith… Smith machine.

Mark Rippetoe:
Smith Machine, quarter-squats.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah, that stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
Suboptimal.

Jay Livsey:
Don’t see a lot of deadlifts though, which is crazy.

Mark Rippetoe:
No probably not. That… that’s odd.

Jay Livsey:
That is odd.

Mark Rippetoe:
That’s very odd to me that they’re not deadlifting. There’s not a better connection between hands and an implement, a way to prepare for that than the deadlift. You know, it’s just it’s kind of it’s kind of strange to me that it hadn’t occurred to them that… just get your deadlift up to just talking about 315. You know, I’m not talking about a powerlifting specialization.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you know, and then let me preempt you… what you’re typing right now on the YouTube comments is that “Rippetoe thinks everybody needs to be a powerlifter. These guys are professional golfers. They don’t need a seven hundred and fifty pound deadlift to be a golfer. Rippetoe, you fat, stupid fuck.”

Mark Rippetoe:
See?

Jay Livsey:
No. No, you can’t beat off to this, can you? I’m sorry.

Mark Rippetoe:
But that’s… I think it’s a useful distinction. But, but but because of the definitions that that fall out of the two-factor model, you can look at something as a game if there’s not a training component. If all you do is practice the the performance, you practice the performance. You go to the driving range, you play nine holes, you play 18 holes, you you drive, you do stuff like that. And and and if that’s all you’re doing, then you’re approaching it as a game.

Mark Rippetoe:
And for you know, I’m not I don’t have a problem with that for most people, it is a game and it should be approached as a game. You know, it’s recreation. It’s what you do after work. You know, you take a Wednesday off and go play golf. It’s a game. I don’t understand why, you know, it’s it’s so controversial that it’s it’s not a sport. It’s a game for people that do it like that.

Mark Rippetoe:
But for a subset of golfers, it should be approached as a sport, which means that in addition to practice, there should be a training component to it.

Jay Livsey:
Well, do you feel that the training component approached appropriately would allow them to practice more? That was kind of the guy that I sent you that you tried to get in contact with. Whose back is shot. Doctors can’t figure it out. And had a good result.

Mark Rippetoe:
Never heard back from.

Jay Livsey:
Right. Never heard back from him. But he wanted to. His big complaint is, you know, I can only hit balls for 30 minutes a day. All these other guys are out here, these 25 year olds are out three, four hours a day.

Mark Rippetoe:
If your back hurts…

Jay Livsey:
Right. And he’s a skinny guy.

Mark Rippetoe:
Limit your practice and you’re a skinny guy. I understand that it’s a leap to think that deadlifts. Which to you look like a blunt object – I understand that – will improve your ability to practice highly technical golf by keeping your back from hurting. If you have a glass back and your glass back is limiting your practice and you start training, your back will become less glass-like and you’ll be able to practice more.

Jay Livsey:
And that’s universal with recreational and professional. How many people that I’ve talked to even this year that “I’ll throw my back at work” and then they can’t play golf. And that’s kind of their recreation. Like they’re not doing a whole lot of their stuff. That’s their… their downtime is playing golf. Now, all of a sudden, they can’t do it.

Mark Rippetoe:
It’s the only fun they have.

Jay Livsey:
Right. And so they get back into “Well, I heard I should do some yoga.” That’ll get you back out there.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Right.

Jay Livsey:
And never does it. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, no. Here’s the… All right. Yoga is not training. Yoga is stretching. And pilates is not training. Pilates is whatever the hell pilates is and the difference between those types of activities and training is that training is the accumulation of a physiologic adaptation.

Mark Rippetoe:
In other words, training means that you don’t go into the gym and do the same damn thing every time you’re there with the same weights in in the same way. You start here and then you go this way [mimes going up higher with hands]. And you don’t do that with yoga, at least not in a way that is beneficial to golf.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, looking at the game of golf, it is not aerobic. It is a stroke occasionally, and the stroke is designed to deliver the ball down range. Now, looked at from a physics perspective – which is a useful thing to always do – if you hit the ball harder, it will go further down range. And if you can take a stroke off of the hole, that’s helpful. And if you take a stroke off of the hole, you’ve hit the ball further. To hit the ball further, you must hit the ball harder. In order to hit the ball, you accelerate the club and transmit force from the accelerated club to the ball on the tee.

Mark Rippetoe:
And to do that, you accelerate the club by applying force to the club. Force is applied to the club by the whole body. A golf swing is a full body movement. OK, now, it doesn’t matter what the what the golf swing looks like, it’s necessary to understand that the kinetic chain of a golf swing is between the hands and the feet. And everything in between the hands and the feet is in the kinetic chain of the golf swing. Therefore, if we strengthen the kinetic chain involved in the golf swing, which is the whole body, then the whole body can contribute to force production during the golf swing. Accelerating the club more rapidly.

Mark Rippetoe:
And since now, we are stronger each one of those clubs swings represents a submaximal effort that can be more precisely controlled because of the excess of force production capacity.

Jay Livsey:
So yes, listening to you explain that it sounds so stupid. But the new thing in golf is adding miles per hour to your club head speed. It’s pretty quantifiable now. They have these machines. Oh, easy. They have these machines and they say, “Oh, you just picked up 10 miles an hour with this new driver” or whatever. So common sense would tell you what?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, that anything else you could do to add club head speed would also affect the speed of the club hit.

Jay Livsey:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And yoga. I mean, this is a tautology. I mean, this is not this is not complicated material. You know, if you can hit the ball harder by applying more force to hit it, then matter if the club is new or not.

Jay Livsey:
No.

Mark Rippetoe:
I mean, and see, in the hilarious part of this whole thing is if you just think about it from of… from a perspective of a first cause and just look at the the physics of the swing, we have a kinetic chain that is producing more force when it is stronger. And if you can produce more force, you can take the club and hit the ball harder with it and make the ball go further down range.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, we’re not suggesting that strength rating improves your putt.

Jay Livsey:
No, but that’s not…

Mark Rippetoe:
That’s not that’s how you pick up the stroke.

Jay Livsey:
That’s not. No. And it’s been quantified that that is not. It’s actually off the tee.

Mark Rippetoe:
Off the tee.

Jay Livsey:
Strokes gained off the tee. And that’s why these guys are so obsessed with how far they hit the ball. And a side note here is how blind golfers are to it.

Jay Livsey:
My wife has been playing a lot of golf this summer and she’s been doing some, you know, grab ass version of the program since we don’t have a coach yet, but she’s been hitting some tee balls. Like where other people are like, whoa. I mean, you know, she’s, what, 128 pounds? Maybe, you know, maybe slender, you know, physique. Like she’s not gonna produce a lot of power.

Jay Livsey:
And she came home one day. It was like, “Jeeze did you see how far I hit that ball.” And I hadn’t seen you hit. You know, I haven’t seen that before. And then it both dawned on us. I was like well, “Geez, you been in there lifting for like the last three, four months. You know, you’ve been making gains.” Not huge, but nonetheless. It’s so common sense.

Mark Rippetoe:
Hold on just a second, because we should have done this earlier. Now, what exactly gives you the right to have an opinion about golf? I mean, after all, you know, and YouTubers fill in the blank, after all.

Jay Livsey:
Everybody’s got an opinion about golf.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Sure they do.

Jay Livsey:
I’ve played at a relatively high level. I played some mini tours, golf after college and currently play. And I mean, in amateur events. It’s kind of the outlet for that now. So just like anybody else, do I know everything? No. But I’m… if I was put in a room of golfers, I don’t think anybody would argue my competence when it comes to the game.

Mark Rippetoe:
You’ve been playing golf how many years?

Jay Livsey:
How many? Since I was little, you know, and competing for at least the last 20 years. So, that’s a big, big difference. Playing, you know, tournament, competitive golf and playing club golf and playing once a year at a resort or something.

Mark Rippetoe:
Entrance fees are involved, that sort of thing.

Jay Livsey:
Money is put down. Money is lost more often than not. And so, yeah, you learn you know, you learn how good you are pretty quick when you start putting money down, which I did. And strangely enough, you know, when I started, I was I was following the age old, you know, “Well Tiger is running three miles. And, you know, you got to run and do these circuits.”

Mark Rippetoe:
You got to do what the greatest golfers in the world are doing right? Now, who’s that fat guy that shows that’s real popular right now? What’s that guy’s name?

Jay Livsey:
Daley.

Mark Rippetoe:
John.

Jay Livsey:
John Daley.

Mark Rippetoe:
Do what he does and be a good golfer. Right.

Jay Livsey:
Drink, smoke and gamble.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. It works for John, right? Yeah. Yeah. It works for John.

Jay Livsey:
It works for John.

Mark Rippetoe:
And John’s good.

Jay Livsey:
Right? He’s… that’s what that’s how you should do it.

Mark Rippetoe:
That’s the logic.

Jay Livsey:
Right? That’s the logic. He’s doing it. Yeah.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah and unfortunately for me, you know, I didn’t know about Starting Strength back then. I’m thinking, jeez, how big a difference could that have made?

Jay Livsey:
Because it’s very obvious when I’m lifting and how far I’m hitting ball. And I don’t … I’m pro I don’t have a whole lot to gain, but you can see, though. You can hear all the club head.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh really.

Jay Livsey:
Oh, yeah. But it’s like but it’s being being around like my wife and these amateur golfers who are recreational at best. The… they have the biggest room.

Mark Rippetoe:
Sure. That’s this is the novice effect. It’s absolutely the same thing.

Jay Livsey:
I’m topped out, but these guys aren’t.

Mark Rippetoe:
The the further along you are on the curve, the less you obtain. The more the beginner you are, the more the easy factors are going to contribute to your improvement.

Mark Rippetoe:
So in in terms of yards, you take a club golfer and go from no deadlift whatsoever to 365 – what happens to his drive off the tee?

Jay Livsey:
I mean, honestly, three, you know, we even just said 365. I’m thinking, jeez, that’s big. I know, I know, I know, you know, I know. I know. If that 40 year old male is not hinting at 20 yards further, I would be shocked.

Mark Rippetoe:
And is that significant?

Jay Livsey:
They would. It would be… They’d… Nobody believes it. Nobody believes what you just said.

Jay Livsey:
They’re gonna believe it because we’re gonna quantify it here in a few months when this gym opens, because the beauty of… what’s where we hit this at the right times, they have these machines that will quantify it. Period.

Jay Livsey:
You started at this. Your swing speed is this. You’re hitting it this far.

Mark Rippetoe:
So in other words, these these these metrics machines, measure machines, actually calculate the physics of the speed…

Jay Livsey:
All of it.

Mark Rippetoe:
…Ball weight and project that down range.

Jay Livsey:
Yep, absolutely. I don’t know how it works, some little lasers. I don’t know, but they work.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ah, it’s computer shit.

Jay Livsey:
That’s computer shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
So no it’s just it’s just a physical relationship between the club and the ball. .

Jay Livsey:
Right. And every you know, any, you know, 60 plus male. It’s the only thing they want to talk about. “If only I could hit it a little further off the tee.”

Mark Rippetoe:
And the reason I want to talk about it is because when they go from 40 to 60, if they’re not training, their strength goes down.

Jay Livsey:
Right. And they can’t play as much.

Mark Rippetoe:
Power is directly proportional to strength.

Jay Livsey:
Well, think about it. If if you’re hitting your your tee ball and you’re hitting six irons and all the greens compared to if you start training, then all of a sudden you can hit eight or nine irons in greens. I mean, it’s common sense. Where you going to be more accurate? With a short club or a long club? The shorter one. That’s why everybody is obsessed with it.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you get the driver to work for you. And and go from a five or six island ad to an eight or nine iron or pitching wedge, right? You know.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah. That’s what that’s the game that the pros are playing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Those shots are shorter and you get closer with your putt.

Jay Livsey:
Absolutely. It seems so stupid when you’re saying it. Yeah, that’s what.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it’s it’s it’s hard to understand why they don’t understand this.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I’ll blame it squarely on the modern strength and conditioning fad that’s called functional training. Functional training has wasted a lot of time and a lot of money for a whole lot of people at all levels of athletic development and all little levels of athletic potential.

Mark Rippetoe:
Functional training has a major fallacy. And that fallacy is explained by the two-factor model. If you are going to strengthen the kinetic chain – and in the case of golf and lots and lots of other sports – the kinetic chain is hands to feet. The whole body is in the kinetic chain. You have to strengthen that with an exercise that allows you the greatest amount of potential to move progressively heavier weights.And if you move progressively heavier weights, then the kinetic chain strengthens. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
For hands to feet there is no better example of the kinetic chain being strengthened than the deadlift going from you’re not deadlifting to deadlifting three hundred and sixty five pounds. And this is not a strength specialization. 365 is not a strength specialization. It’s not remarkable at all. For most men, that’s not a remarkable deadlift. But it’s something that we can easily do, let’s say 315, let’s say 275.

Mark Rippetoe:
Pick a number. From zero to there is a strength increase. Now, I use the deadlift because it allows me to lift the heaviest weights and it allows me to load that entire kinetic chain in a progressive way to make the whole damn thing stronger. Now a deadlift does not look like a golf swing, and a golf swing is a progressive… a golf swing is a full kinetic chain movement.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if I load the golf swing. Let’s say I make the mistake of not understanding the difference between training and practice, and I load the golf swing by loading the golf club. Does that full kinetic chain movement have the same potential for progressive increases in load that a deadlift does? And the answer is obviously no.

Jay Livsey:
No, it would be a heavy golf club.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because that’s gonna be a heavy golf club if it gets heavier and heavier. What happens to the swing? It gets slower and slower. Timing is a factor in golf, right?

Mark Rippetoe:
But the way the kinetic chain in the golf swing is used, it’s a sequential movement that that is not a terribly full range of motion movement for the hips and knees. And the back stays at roughly the same angle, it’s a rotational movement. It uses the kinetic chain in little ways, whereas the deadlift uses the kinetic chain in big ways. And the bigger the way that the kinetic chain is loaded over the fullest range of motion of all the joints and the kinetic chain, then the more potential that movement has to cause an increase in force production over all of those ranges of motion.

Mark Rippetoe:
What functional training people don’t understand is that, A) if we strengthen in a way that’s the most efficient way to strengthen, then we’re stronger and then we practice. With the expression of strength we’re going to use in this case on the course. If you take your deadlift from zero to 365, you’re stronger. You’re not only stronger for the deadlift, you’re stronger on the course too, because you were practicing the whole time.

And B), if your back was hurting while all this was taking place and now your back is strong enough to support itself more effectively and it is no longer hurting. And this is a common report. After about two weeks of deadlifts your back quits hurting. Thousands and thousands and thousands of people told us chronic back pain is gone. After two weeks of starting to deadlift and squat. Then, as Jay mentioned earlier, your ability to practice is enhanced because you’re not limited by the pain.

Jay Livsey:
I was sit here thinking golf, your stationary. You know, it’s the only… I’m trying to think maybe a tennis serve you kind of coil up, you know, you’re loading and unloading. You’re not moving around like these other sports. So there’s really no reason to ever, you know, bound around on one foot, do these different things because you’re loading and unloading. That’s all you’re doing. You’re stationary.

Jay Livsey:
It’s the only… I’m blanking on what other sport. Maybe a baseball swing, but the ball’s coming at you. So you’re having to allow for, the pick up the ball out from the pitcher’s hand and here the ball’s sitting there.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Yeah, but in the case of both baseball swing and a golf swing, you are hitting a ball with an implement. You don’t look at the implement, you look at the ball. And in one case, the ball is moving. The other case it’s stationary on the tee. But you are making an implement go to the ball and both your feet are in contact with the ground when you do it right. A tennis serve most people leave the ground.

Jay Livsey:
Right. That’s the only one I was thinking…

Mark Rippetoe:
Most of both feet when they’re…

Jay Livsey:
And I can’t think of another. What’s another? I mean, all the other ones you’re moving, right?

Mark Rippetoe:
Pretty much. You’re headed toward an implement or doing something else, but a golf swing and a baseball swing are there… there’s a lot of analogy there. There’s a lot of analogy there in that the eye directs the implement in the hands that you’re not looking at.

Mark Rippetoe:
But in the case of comparing a golf swing to a deadlift, for example, the the only similarity is the kinetic chain is the same. It’s used in a different way, but the whole body is the kinetic chain. A deadlift, a heavy deadlift, might for a guy at this level might take four seconds. And a golf swing takes how long?

Jay Livsey:
Not that long. It’s like a minute, 30.

Mark Rippetoe:
Actually, the swing.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah. In an 18 holes of golf.

Mark Rippetoe:
I’m. No, I mean, one swing.

Jay Livsey:
Right. I’m doing the math.

Mark Rippetoe:
Three quarters of a second.

Jay Livsey:
Maybe if it’s a minute and a half total in four hours that you’re actually swinging. Break that out. So, yeah, something second or two. It’s nothing.

Mark Rippetoe:
In the vicinity of 1000 is the swing.

Jay Livsey:
Quick.

Mark Rippetoe:
From the top to the ball is is very quick and it’s expressed. And the hips don’t move in anything except a rotational way. The leg, the knees barely unlock.

Mark Rippetoe:
So there are no similarities. And this is what confuses simple people. All right. There are no similarities in the way the two movements look. But it doesn’t matter that there’s no similarity in the way the two movements look. The thing that matters is what gets strengthened, because we’re trying to strengthen. We’re not trying to strengthen the golf swing. We’re trying to strengthen the golfer.

Mark Rippetoe:
Try to wrap your head around this. A stronger golfer hits the ball harder because the golfer then makes the golf swing. And the golf swing is practiced. The golfer is trained. This is probably a concise way to summarize this. It doesn’t matter… you don’t intentionally trying to make your training look like practice. Because if you do, then then activity becomes neither training nor practice.

Jay Livsey:
Right. And one of the main exercises you’ll see golfers do, which you kind of alluding to, is they realize that you can only get a golf club so heavy. So that’s not gonna work. So what do they start doing? The medicine ball, you know, swinging a golf club with a medicine ball or maybe grabbing the cable and making that move [rotational move demonstrated], making the cable.

Mark Rippetoe:
You’ve seen these parabolic looking frames and hook up took a cable. What… so since that ends up being the default thing that most golfers are fed as strength and conditioning for golf. What’s wrong with that? How heavy can you get a rotational golf swing looking movement with a with a medicine ball? Heavy enough to make you stronger? No. That’s the problem with it.

[off-camera]:
Jay, have you had experience doing those kind of exercises versus strength training?

Jay Livsey:
Oh, I’ve done them all. Yeah.

[off-camera]:
Could you talk about that?

Jay Livsey:
Yeah. And I’ve I’ve done, you know, through the magazines, I’ve tried everything. And the biggest thing I’ve noticed from squatting and dead lifting is in my hips and rear and core area. I mean, just no question. It’s just not even… It’s two different people. And tighter. I can create more force. I mean, it’s just…

Mark Rippetoe:
Snap through the swing.

Jay Livsey:
I keep repeating it sounds stupid. Keep repeating it. But I mean, that’s what you’re doing. And and doing, you know, 30 reps of, you know, with a with a band and whatever, you know what I doing. In hindsight, I’m like, OK, I see why that was so not good at that time.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because there’s no carry over.

Jay Livsey:
No carry over.

Mark Rippetoe:
There’s no carry over at all. It’ll superficially looks the same, but let’s look at the… there’s a phenomenon that that must be examined when looking at movement patterns and their similarity toward each other. If you have got… and this is a good golf example. Do you swing a driver the same way you swing a nine iron?

Jay Livsey:
No.

Mark Rippetoe:
It’s a different swing, isn’t it?

Jay Livsey:
Yeah. One’s flatter. One’s more up and down.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. So in other words, swinging a driver does not constitute practice for swinging a nine iron.

Jay Livsey:
No.

Mark Rippetoe:
You have to do both.

Jay Livsey:
You got to do both.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because the movement patterns are superficially, to a layperson, they look kind of the same, but they’re different enough to where one does not constitute practice for another. Once again, practice is exquisitely specific to the movement pattern going that’s going to be used in the performance. And if the move-… there are several different movement patterns in each performance, then each one of them has to be practiced separately because movement patterns that are that specific do not carry over to each other.

Jay Livsey:
No, that’s right. That’s a very common… This guy is a good driver of the golf ball, but he’s not much of a wedge player.

Mark Rippetoe:
So now let’s go back in the weight room and do the little rotational swing looking thing with the cable. It’s not similar to anything you’ve done. It’s not heavy enough to make you stronger. Certainly not in comparison to a 365 deadlift. And therefore, it is not capable of making you stronger while at the same time being absolutely incapable of constituting practice.

Jay Livsey:
It’s interesting because you’ll see a lot of these guys that are that are good iron players, good wedge players, but they struggle off the tee because they know they’re not hitting it as far as some of these other guys. And they’re at a disadvantage, period. And going from being a good wedge player, an iron player to getting some more yards off the tee would be…

Mark Rippetoe:
Two different skills.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah, but you would be able to do it a lot easier than the other way.

Mark Rippetoe:
Two different skills, but training prepares for both because training is not specific to either one. Do you guys begin to see what I’m talking about here? I don’t think this is that complicated. I think that if you if you understand that a stronger golfer has the potential to be a better golfer because he is merely stronger and he is also practicing the game of golf, which is multifactorial. That he is using his now stronger body in ways that he’s familiar with. Because he’s done the strength, he’s applied the strength to the various aspects of the game. And that strength is now dovetailed into the skill. Okay.

Mark Rippetoe:
And, you know, I think… I don’t think this is that hard to understand.

Jay Livsey:
The narrative of the narratives been lost somewhere. I mean, I was out there, I was playing an event yesterday and they had a long drive -celebrity out there. What do you think this guy lookd like? 6′ 5″. He’s huge.

Mark Rippetoe:
Big, long arms. Big, long swing. Long linear arc.

Jay Livsey:
What do you think happened in that golf ball?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, guess it went way down…

Jay Livsey:
Way down there.

Mark Rippetoe:
Way down there. And it went down there because the guy right at six five 250 – because he’s stronger than your wife.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah. Stronger than me. And that’s what. I can’t figure. I think that the narrative has been lost, that though the average guy who leaves work everyday and wants to play golf, who cannot… he can’t even think about getting anywhere near as strong as this guy. So I better go do yoga.

Because he doesn’t have the physical potential that this guy who’s accidentally stronger than he is. Who’s accidentally stronger than he is and who can take that strength and display it in the skill. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I think everybody knows when this came up in our discussion with Nick about fighting. I think everybody understands that a stronger guy is more of a problem in a fight than a weaker guy. And I think everybody also understands that the stronger guy is a better golfer than a weaker guy.

Mark Rippetoe:
What they can’t wrap their heads around is the idea that the best way to get stronger is the deadlift and not to do silly ass golf specific rotational bullshit in the weight room that lacks the potential to make you stronger. What’s the best way to get stronger? This is the only question. If you understand the physics of a golf swing, what’s the best way to get stronger for the golf swing is to get stronger all over because we’re using the whole kinetic chain and that question is answered. What’s the best way to get stronger?

Mark Rippetoe:
By barbell training. And that’s all there is to it. Now, I don’t have anything to sell. Barbells are cheap, barbells are way cheaper. I don’t sell barbells anyway. Barbells are cheaper than golf clubs. You know, coaching on the barbell exercises is cheaper than golf clubs. It’s cheaper than a golf club membership.

Jay Livsey:
It’s cheaper than golf lessons.

Mark Rippetoe:
It’s cheaper than golf lessons, you know. But they have you guys believing that in order to get stronger, you have to do something that superficially looks like golf. For it to apply to golf. And that’s just not true. And I think our discussion here has his illuminated that a little bit.

Mark Rippetoe:
How many guys have you coached that play golf?

Jay Livsey:
I coached high school golf for a few years and at the time I knew that we needed these – these are high school kids, boys, you know, get them in the weight room. I mean they are skinny little guys. And I had to give up because it was almost impossible, as you could figure, to get time in the weight room. And then at that point everybody’s jacking around. So it’s kind of… it’s just difficult.

Mark Rippetoe:
Two weeks of strength training will make a difference off the tee.

Jay Livsey:
Yes.

Mark Rippetoe:
To everybody.

Jay Livsey:
To everybody, yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
To everybody.

Jay Livsey:
Oh, yeah, absolutely. No, I mean, I can’t imagine if if the base if… If the average recreational golfer had even 50 percent of what you think baseline, you know, numbers should be. I mean, that would be it would change the activity for everybody. There’s plenty different activity.

Jay Livsey:
Hit the ball further, I mean, they’re hitting with shorter clubs and they’re just more accurate. Scores get lower than… they and they can, they’ll be less… they won’t be as injured.

Jay Livsey:
I said the back injury piece of it is enough. It’s like, jeez, you know, you want to do is play golf. And yet you got to protect your back… by doing yoga.

Mark Rippetoe:
You have to use your back playing golf and you think that yoga is going to make your back stronger.

Jay Livsey:
Right. Protected.

Mark Rippetoe:
Protected because it’s been stretched that day.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don’t know is is the idea that a stronger set of muscles around the back such an arcane concept that that people don’t understand how a deadlift would make your back healthier, quieter, pain… more pain free.

Jay Livsey:
Deadlift are bad. I don’t know…

Mark Rippetoe:
More able to transmit force.

Jay Livsey:
I don’t know where that…

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh because deadlifts hurt your back.

Jay Livsey:
It hurts your back. It hurts your back real bad.

Mark Rippetoe:
And we’ve got it… We’ve got a long way to go.

Jay Livsey:
You’re going to hurt your back.

Mark Rippetoe:
Got a long way to go, man. Might hurt your back picking something heavy yet. Because, you know, I guess the assumption is, is that I’m going to load the bar to 365 and take a guy off the street and say, “Hey, pick that up.”.

Jay Livsey:
Right. Yeah, what is the assumption?

Mark Rippetoe:
I think that’s the assumption.

Jay Livsey:
Go pick that up. Oh you did it wrong.

Mark Rippetoe:
They don’t see the process.. See the process. This thing right here [mimes escalating ability]. That process is what they’re missing, They don’t understand that there is…. we don’t start you off… we find where you are today. And then we add 10 pounds next time and then we add 10 pounds after that and in ten pounds after that. And then five pounds after that. And over time, we accumulate a strength adaptation.

Mark Rippetoe:
It’s a cumulative process. It starts where you are now. Where you are now defines where we start. And then we’re going to force you to get stronger by adding a little weight to the bar every time you come into gym. And it doesn’t take very long to get you up to that 275 315, 365 lb deadlift. It doesn’t take that long. It doesn’t take six months.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you can put together six months of training, your deadlift’s over 300. And if you’re a if you’re a woman, you put together six months of training your deadlifts over one eighty five. And this is these are just baseline numbers. If your trainer, your coach, your strength coach doesn’t know how to do that, then he’s not qualified to charge you money for it.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. This is not an astonishing accomplishment. And, you know, people in this industry thrive off of the ignorance of their client base.

Jay Livsey:
They do. I see I see it. I see a lot. And it’s just private training session. You’re thinking “What are you paying for? What exactly just happened here?” Can’t quantify any of it. Maybe you feel good when you’re finished because you did something. You had to talk to somebody. But what’s your endgame?

Jay Livsey:
Nothing changed.

Jay Livsey:
Right, nothing changed. No no body transformations.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. You didn’t make anything improve.

[off-camera]:
The novice effect though…

Mark Rippetoe:
The novice effect explains a lot of it. Yes, it does. If a guy goes from not doing anything at all to taking a five pound dumbbell and waving it around in the air while standing on a bosu ball while another guy throws a golf ball at him. You know, that’s okay. Yeah. You know, for a couple of weeks, that’s going to make you feel like you accomplished something, but does it have the potential to continue to accumulate an adaptation over years or even weeks.

Jay Livsey:
I wonder if people even appreciate what being strong really means. You just threw out the number three sixty five for a deadlift. Should just be that -Jay, come on. That’s easy. And if you… I mean people I’m around would think you’re crazy.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah I know. And that’s I think that is it’s just they come from a different right level of experience and I disagree with it. And it’s been our experience that 365 is not remarkable.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, especially for a younger guy. You know, if you can’t take a 19 year old kid and get him to three 365 pound deadlift in six months. We… we’re not doing our job. Because that’s not heavy.

Jay Livsey:
Or you’re going to be 400 pounds, you know, by the time you’re able to lift that much. They just… I don’t know what, somewhere the narrative got off. I don’t know how…

Mark Rippetoe:
It got off intentionally, because people that don’t want to bother to learn how to do these… how to learn how to coach these movements have talked about their little bullshit rotational things that they do in their functional training. And there’s a bunch of money in functional training. Whole bunch of money in functional training because it’s superficially looks logical. But if you’ll think about it from the from the standpoint of the two factor model, it’s not logical at all.

Jay Livsey:
Well, yeah, it looks complicated.

Mark Rippetoe:
It does look complicated.

Jay Livsey:
You must be smart to figure that out.

Mark Rippetoe:
And complexity appeals to stupid people.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I’ve said that before. And I can’t apologize for it because it’s certainly true. And by stupid, I don’t mean just, you know, an imbecile. I’m talking about someone who hasn’t thought about it.

Jay Livsey:
They aren’t thought of it, right. They haven’t thought through it.

Mark Rippetoe:
They’re really they’re ignorant. What stupidity appeals… complexity appeals to ignorant people and stupid people too. Two different things.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if you think about it for just a minute now in terms of how the body adapts over time to stress and what the body is doing when it applies its physical capacity to a specific activity, you’ll understand that practice and training are two completely different things. They must both be undertaken in order to get the most out of a performance.

Mark Rippetoe:
Anything else, Jay?

Jay Livsey:
No.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I think we’ve pretty much nailed it. I think that’s a pretty cogent explanation.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah, I honestly, it’s frustrating to sit here and rehash this conversation because it does seem like such common sense. And the bummer is we don’t have the data to quantify it and we will within six months easily.

Mark Rippetoe:
What we need. I’ll tell you what we need. And this is this is what will break us through. We need a guy with a name that’s on the tour, you know, to just try this for three months. That’s all we need is one guy, one guy that’s willing to listen to what we’re trying to telling. If if what we’re talking about is complete and utter bullshit it should be apparent, right? In three months…

Jay Livsey:
You would think that those guys are incentivized enough to try anything.

Mark Rippetoe:
You would think.

Jay Livsey:
And they’re like that Argen Atwall that you tred to reach out to. Like, ike that guy. You can’t play as much anymore. Your back’s busted. Doctors can’t do anything for you. What would you be trying? Everything.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, you would think. But right. One might be mistaken. No. You don’t really know how deep a guy like that’s interest is in moving out of his comfort zone. You know, if you’re going to try something completely new, something that would be regarded as so completely outside the norm as deadlifts and squats and overhead presses for golf. RYou’re going to have a guy that’s that’s not, you know, that’s comfortable being uncomfortable. And a lot of people are just not. You know, and I don’t know.

Jay Livsey:
And as as these guys, you know, a guy like that who is looking to transition to the Champions Tour in the 50 plus tour, you know, logic would tell you, how am I going to strengthen my body to maintain another eight years of travel, competitive golf. Seems logical.

Mark Rippetoe:
It does seem logical. Now, there’s no better way to strengthen the body than with barbell strength training, more and more people are understanding that. But why not him.

Jay Livsey:
Right? Why not? Yeah.

Well, I don’t understand it.

Jay Livsey:
Yeah. And you know, that is it. That’s golf is a tough sport because it is very, you know, any type of outside perspective. That guy, Bryson de Shambo on tour right now, he’s kind of an outsider as he does things a little differently. You know, nobody likes that, you know. Especially when you get to when you get to the name level with what these people doing. But you know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Everybody’s supposed to act the same way.

Jay Livsey:
Everybody’s supposed to do the same way. And, you know, who are you to do it differently.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. I can think a politician that’s kind of made everybody uncomfortable the same way.

[off-camera]:
Bernie Sanders?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, Bernie. Who won’t pay his own staff 15 dollars an hour…

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, God. Yes, Bernie.

So. So anyway. Well, Jay, thanks for coming down. Appreciate your your your being here today with us to talk about this important topic. I hope that what we can do when your gym gets open and we get this thing off the ground, we get the data, we can start convincing people in golf and other sports that are that are suffering from this archaic mindset in terms of how to prepare for a performance. I hope we can get some some progress made.

Mark Rippetoe:
And let’s get people who are willing to do the work. To get onboard with us and get everybody strong and and move them along down them down their career path to do the pro level.

Jay Livsey:
I’m excited to do it. Let’s get that HVAC. Get it. Get it up there and running.

Mark Rippetoe:
Absolutely. If I was an air conditioner guy… I promise I’d help.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thank you for joining us today on Starting Strength Radio. We’ll see you next time.

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12 Aug

August 12, 2019


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  • Weights & Plates is the newest Starting Strength Affiliate Gym, a place for getting strong both “Under the Bar and in the Kitchen.” They offer coaching in their new facility as well as online to serve a broad population. Join the gym, attend seminars and other events, or get started with a nutritional plan tailored for you today.

In the Trenches

garvin deadlifting at wichita falls starting strength campgarvin deadlifting at wichita falls starting strength camp
Garvin rode a motorcycle from Canada to WFAC for a squat and deadlift camp held last weekend. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
rip coaches eric in the squatrip coaches eric in the squat
Rip coaches Eric during the squat portion of the training camp. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
delise deadlift pr set of fivedelise deadlift pr set of five
Delise PRs her set of 5 deadlift. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]


Best of the Week

THANK YOU
Flying_tiger

My first post to Starting Strength forums!

No questions, just a sincere THANK YOU to Coach Mark Rippetoe and all of the Starting Strength / Aasgaard Company staff (past, current, and future). Ten years ago I was hit by a distracted driver so hard that my F150 rolled over four times. Four. Times.

My neck and back will never be the same BUT with Starting Strength, some excellent medical care, and some perseverance I’m back in the fight.

Now I’m a Master’s Class lifter (aka old guy). No dramatic PRs. No super cool videos. Just “functional” (insert Rippetoe air quote movement here) strength so I can watch my kids grow up and be the best husband I can be (well maybe not the best but you get the idea

Fives? “E tan e epi tas!”

Mark Rippetoe

Four times? Do you remember the last one?

Flying_tiger

I remember all of them. We had just left the dump/recycling center on the way to a Cub Scout event. I had all four kids in the car (at that time 8, 6, 5, and 3). It was a beautiful October day so the windows were down… we were not the first car through the intersection… not the second or third. FOURTH car through intersection and this (expletive) distracted driver hit us full speed (45 mph? 55 mph? higher?) missing my oldest son’s legs by about 4 inches. His car slammed into our front axle therefore fully transferring force.

Then I moved into super slow motion. I made a conscious decision to twist around and check on the kids… I was worried they had taken off their safety belts OR had an arm out the window (neither happened thankfully). I knew I was setting myself up for failure by twisting around but I didn’t care: as a parent, my only thought was are they OK?

I remember thinking “when the hell are we going to stop rolling over?” I kept talking to the kids throughout trying to keep them focused inside the car and on me. Amazingly we landed on our wheels. First responders were amazed… witnesses thought we were dead. All my issues relate to soft tissue and nerve impingement, no broken bones. I have “permanent” tinnitus in my left ear, and had disabling pain in back and other extremities (like can’t breathe can’t move) UNTIL I went through some excellent chiropractic care that decompressed my neck and most of my back AND discovered YOU on Art of Manliness (thanks internet search!).

Low Bar squats and Deadlifts made my body stronger… bye bye back pain! (sorry I guess I need to move this to testimonials). I had never Pressed before and low and behold I could do it and make progress.

I guess my point is 1) THANK YOU and 2) the Starting Strength focus on “regular people” not D1 or pro athletes is changing peoples’ lives for the better.


Best of the Forum

Physical Therapy Fraud
IanMcArdle

I work as a Strength & Conditioning Coach at a High School and the worst part of my job is having to witness the absolute bullshit that the Physical Therapists prescribe when they enter my gym floor. Yesterday I watched 3 Physical Therapists stand around to “teach” a box jump to a highschool kid coming off ACL reconstruction. Today I was surprised to see them take the same kid to the Squat Rack… but I wasn’t surprised to see all 3 of the same PT’s stand around “spotting” the kid through a quarter squat, and then proceed to teach him some ambiguous deadlift like movement where the bar never touched the floor, but the knees bent, and emphasize a vertical back angle. I want to feel bad for these people, but I can’t when I think about the salaries they collect for teaching people terribly incorrect technique on the most basic of barbell movements.So very frustrating. “Ohh you have Patellar Tendonitis? Let’s do Pistol Squats for that!” Where did all this bullshit come from and why won’t it go away?

Mark Rippetoe

Is Physical Therapy Fraud?

Excellent question. Where did it come from? How do nominally intelligent people come up with this shit, and then remain convinced of its value?

jbackos

One of my wife’s friends had her left hip replaced in August. She has been in “therapy” to this day. She still has pain. I suggested the Barbell Prescription. She would have none of it.

It appears that a lab coat and/or a framed certificate on the wall counts more than reality.

eric86

IanMcArdle, as a practicing physical therapist I am sorry you have to witness this bullshit. I practice in an outpatient facility in a hospital using starting strength barbell/compound movements as well the principles of the strength, recovery and adaptation cycle. I almost feel obligated to repossess the tens of thousands of dollars I paid to the university I obtained my degrees from, and give it to the Aasgaard Company as I have learned more about rehabbing injuries from Starting Strength and it’s content. I receive a great deal of weird looks from my co-workers having patients squat, press, and deadlift, or perform some variant of these movements for their rehab. Bottom line is there is no education in the physical therapy curriculum regarding the benefits of barbell/compound movements or the stress, recovery, adaptation cycle. Also as Rip has stated on many occasions, it’s easier to teach a theraband shoulder external rotation exercise instead of a properly executed overhead press, so therapists opt for the former. They haven’t learned this stuff and from what I have seen so far in my department most are not interested in learning it or scoff at it. The thing that irritates me the most is for years the therapists in this department have created a culture of hot packs, ice, massage, easy exercises, and passive treatment modalities that the word has gotten out and patient’s expect it. They are so confused and almost mad when I have them actually perform some taxing exercises. It may take a while before this bullshit changes.

Tucker Benjamin

In not a PT (ATC) but in my own personal experience in my initial practice I felt the need to complicate to validate the time spent in my education. I am now coming around to doing the simple things right but a lot of my peers will continue to insist that their special methodology that is “evidence based” (and we all know if you read it in a study it must be true).


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11 Aug

The New York Times has a vested interest in maintaining the narrative – not just in politics and popular culture, but in the current medical dogma as well. The Received Wisdom must be defended, even if it’s plainly wrong. The latest wrong thing: the poisonous nature of dietary protein.

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10 Aug

When I prescribe strength training for my depressed patients, they are often surprised. They have never heard of the relationship between physical strength and psychological well-being.
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08 Aug

In this excerpt from the Starting Strength Coach Development Prep Course, Mark Rippetoe discusses the concept of longest effective range of motion. The longest effective ROM is one of the 3 criteria used for exercise selection for getting strong.

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07 Aug

The production of force against an external resistance is the way all living creatures interact with their physical environment. Even plants do this, albeit very slowly. This ability has been in development for at least 3 billion years, and it’s time to embrace it as a unifying characteristic of life. Even the tiniest scrap of your successful physical existence (your tenure in Hospice does not constitute any aspect of this) is predicated upon your ability to move, and this ability is predicated on the production of force by your muscles. I’m sorry to be so blatantly reductionist, but there it is.

As we have observed rather incessantly, strength is the ability to produce force against an external resistance. In the simplest physical science terms, force is the quantity that produces acceleration – a change in velocity from, for example, zero to any positive number. It is merely a measure of the efficiency with which we can interact with our physical environment over a broad range of circumstances. Note that a strong man can play the piano, while a weak man cannot move the piano.

Athletes and lesser men have something in common: they both depend on strength, whether they know it or not. Athletes depend on it completely, whether they know it or not. Lists of the physical traits of athletes have been produced over the years, but they have been based on the observations of elite athletes in the absence of any attempt to explain why they possess these characteristics. A few moments thought reveals that strength is the basis for athletic prowess. More important, strength is the basis for your ability to interact effectively with your physical environment, be you athlete or insurance salesmen, scholarship candidate or retiree, grandson or grandmother.

It is useful to understand the various ways in which physical strength are manifested. Leaving plants aside (since their time frames are quite dissimilar to ours), humans (and animals too!) benefit from an improved capacity for force production. Some of these manifestations are due to the acquisition of greater strength itself – the physiological consequences to the body of the stress/recovery/adaptation response that increases the ability to produce force. And some are functions of the ability to produce the force.

Strength Acquired

First, lots of important things happen when we get stronger. Our body’s systemic integrity increases. Basically, if you apply an environmental stress to a living system that requires an adaptation, i.e. one it is not already adapted to and one that must be adapted to, the organism generates the changes that are within its capacity to make the new environment unstressful. For us, strength training is that environmental stress, carefully designed to be both currently unadapted to, yet able to be adapted to. We respond by getting stronger. Most obviously, our muscles grow larger, because that is one of the primary adaptations that facilitates an increase in strength. The force-transmission structure operated by the muscles – the skeletal system – adapts as well, because it has too; if it didn’t, it would break under the increasing force it has to transmit, and 3 billion years has given the system plenty of time to ensure that it won’t.

All of the other mechanical parts of the system adapt as well, because they have to. Ligaments, tendons, fascia, cartilage, bursae, synovial components – everything subjected to the load adapts to the load by rendering the load normal to the system. It’s still heavy, but it doesn’t exceed your capacity when you’re exposed to it again, and it improves your ability to perform at a level higher than before. Men have deadlifted well over 900 pounds – more than just their muscles are strong enough to do that.

The neuromuscular system adapts too, early in the process, to the limit of its limited ability. Motor pathways are quickly established that make movement patterns more efficient. Motor units become easier to recruit into contraction. This is why physically active people and those who have previously trained have an advantage over sedentary people. The nerves that operate the muscles also become more efficient, although this is not a robust feature of nervous systems. Nerves are highly specialized terminally-differentiated tissues, and they don’t adapt (or heal) nearly as well as the less-specialized structural tissues that happily grow stronger under correctly-programmed training. This is why programs that attempt to focus the majority of attention on neuromuscular efficiency (“rate of force development” training) are largely a waste of time and potential. Strength training focuses on the parts of the system that can actually adapt productively and show a far larger return on the time invested.

All of the parts of the system that support the stress/recovery/adaptation response also adapt, even though this is not immediately apparent. Hormone and immune systems, the autonomic nervous system that controls these functions, energy systems, and even the psychological framework in which all these systems are embedded adapt to strength training by getting better at performing all the functions required of a stronger organism.

starting strength poster topstarting strength poster top

A stronger person is harder to kill, is more resistant to injury, is less affected by injury, and is less susceptible to the psychological effects of pain, fatigue, discomfort, emotional stress, deprivation, heat, cold, and shitty days. And you can write your own prescription for it.

1. Strength Displayed as Endurance

If you get stronger, your ability to lift a maximum load improves: the stronger you are, the more weight you can lift. This is always true, for everybody every time. Improved strength means only one thing, Dr. Siff’s Supertraining notwithstanding, because strength is the ability to produce force. Strength training is therefore the systematic process of increasing the amount of weight you can lift. This means that calisthenics, kettlebell swings for 5 minutes, running, playing with the dumbbells on the balance balls, suspension training, Navy SEAL swimming, yoga, Pilates, P90X, Fight Gone Bad, and anything that confuses your muscles is not strength training. Strength training is simply the process by which you enable yourself to lift heavier weights than you can now. If the activity doesn’t force you – and thereby enable you – to lift heavier weights, it may be fun and it may burn calories and make you hot, sweaty, and tired, but it isn’t strength training.

When you are stronger, everything lighter than the heaviest weight you can lift is by definition submaximal. Movements that are performed with bodyweight, that are repetitive, done for a period of time, or assessed with a stopwatch/clock/calendar are inherently submaximal. And the stronger you are, the more sub-maximal they are. Performances that last longer than a couple of minutes are endurance activities, such as distance running and cycling. Even sprints of any type represent submaximal force production, since they are accumulations of submaximal repetitions.

A 1-rep max squat (1RM) is a maximum effort. So a 100m sprint is a 45RM, a mile is a 2250RM, and a marathon is a 55,000RM. Getting stronger benefits all of these submaximal strength expressions by making each component repetition a smaller percentage of 1RM, thus enabling either more force production per rep and greater total velocity, or a less fatiguing performance at the same velocity. Endurance is therefore an expression of strength.

2. Strength Displayed Technically

Balance is a submaximal expression of strength as well. Balance is the ability to control the body’s position in space, specifically the ability to keep the center of mass (COM) over the feet by either 1.) controlling moment arms created between the COM and the balance point with isometric strength, or 2.) shifting the feet rapidly enough that moment arms between the COM and the mid-foot to do not become unmanageable. That this is strength-related should be apparent from the statistics of people suffering injury during a fall: the severity of injuries sustained during a fall vary directly with age. Older people are not as strong as younger people, so they are both more prone to falling and more prone to injury upon contact due to lower systemic integrity.

Coordination is the ability to control complex movement patterns. Sports like tennis, hockey, basketball, downhill skiing, hurdles, and everyday activities like juggling the groceries, dodging 3 dogs lying in the floor while juggling the groceries, climbing a ladder with a full paint can and brush, and running through the airport are examples of coordination-dependent activities. All of these activities are dependent upon force production in complex ways. A stronger athlete is more coordinated on the ice than that same weaker athlete, since positional control is a function of force production between your body’s mass and the ground and the implements you are using. If the groceries or the paint can are heavy for you, your coordination will suffer. This also gets worse as you age out of your strength.

Accuracy and precision may be a little harder to understand as strength-dependent qualities, and the use of these terms in this context is not the same as it would be in common speech. In sports, the concept of accuracy is best described as the ability to perform as closely as possible to the described standards of the performance. For example, throwing a baseball at the catcher’s mitt in the desired path at the exact position necessary, or hitting that pitch with the position and timing that produces the best hit. Precision is the ability to execute accuracy repeatedly and dependably.

Strength is involved in that each expression of accuracy depends on exquisite control of the movement, to the extent that congruence with the desired pattern is hard to maintain at very high intensities. A surplus of strength is necessary for fine motor control: Olympic weightlifting, the hammer throw, discus, javelin, the shot put – moving heavy things in ways that demand technical perfection are dependent on strength levels far above that which is merely necessary to move the implement. This applies to lighter implements as well, since repeated efforts under accumulating fatigue are even more dependent on the submaximal nature of the movement. Since stronger makes things more submaximal, strength benefits movement patterns that are dependent on accuracy and precision.

Mobility is a popular term, and actually means “able to be mobile” – it should not be used when what is meant is “flexibility,” meaning the ability to stretch a joint into an extended ROM. More time has been wasted in the gym by stretching than by looking at yourself in the mirror. If you are flexible enough to perform your sport and to use full ROM barbell exercises, you are sufficiently flexible. Most people who train already possess sufficient range of motion around their joints, and for them intentional efforts to create additional ROM are counterproductive in terms of both time and performance.

Training for strength improves mobility as a side-effect of full-ROM barbell exercise, and benefits people who need it without their having to waste time stretching while not getting stronger. (In the event that the ROM is limited by osteoarthritis, stretching is both ineffective and dangerous.) Older people – the demographic that displays a limited ROM most frequently – are almost always limited in their displayed ROM by their strength: they will not use a ROM they cannot control, because their bodies know not to fall. For these people, strength training improves ROM without stretching, because strength training uses a full ROM in the exercises, developing strength and familiarity with the positions simultaneously. For everybody else, hypermobility and the stretching that produces it causes injuries and reduces power production. Tight joints are stable joints. Just train and quit wasting time. 

3. Strength Displayed Quickly

Power is best understood as “strength displayed quickly.” The ability to explode is power, and it is the common denominator for the vast majority of sports, with several other characteristics derived from this aspect of strength. Yet the ability to explode – a neuromuscular efficiency-dependent characteristic – is not very trainable, as evidenced by the lack of marked improvement in the Standing Vertical Jump test over time. The ability to recruit large numbers of motor units into contraction instantly is largely a function of genetic endowment. The NFL tests power capacity with the SVJ test, because they are looking for explosive athletes who have highly efficient neuromuscular systems. If you’re going to pay a guy several million dollars to play your explosive sport, it’s reasonable to try to find the most naturally explosive athletes you can – especially if your S&C staff doesn’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing.

But power is in fact trainable by competent strength coaches, because it is defined by three variables:

P = (F x d)/t

where F is force, d is the distance over which the force is applied, and t is the time of the force application. The distance is largely determined by the test and the dimensions of the athlete: a punch is as long as the boxer’s reach, and a snatch ROM is limited by the lifter’s height. Time is the “explosion” variable, the one you can’t control very well since it is dependent on genetic neuromuscular endowment, and F is force. Force is strength

The value of P goes up if the value of t goes down or the value of F goes up. The algebra shows us that if strength goes up, even for a person of average SVJ capacity, power has gone up too, in the complete absence of any improvement in explosive capacity. As we have seen, it is hard to significantly affect explosive ability, but it is possible to improve strength for years, and an average man can double his deadlift in a relatively short period of time. A kid with a very-average 24-inch vertical can hit you harder with a 405 squat than the same kid with a 185 squat, and a 405 squat is just not that hard to train in a kid of normal size and ability.

Speed is power displayed repeatedly, the ability to move at a high velocity. It obviously requires a high level of force production, since velocity is the result of acceleration and force is the quantity that produces acceleration. Speed is tested by the 40-meter sprint in the NFL Combine. Sports which require speed are dependent upon strength, one way or another, and getting stronger improves performances in speed-dependent sports. If this seems rather obvious, good, it should be. It is amazing that people who should understand this often do not.

Agility is the ability to rapidly accelerate, decelerate, and change the direction of your body’s own mass. The NFL tests this with the cone drill, and there is no more obvious an example of strength than an athlete’s ability to accelerate for 5 yards, decelerate and change directions, in absolute control of his body’s 255 pounds. It has elements of coordination, power, speed, and balance.

Field Strength is a term I first heard from my friend John Welbourn. I would describe it as derivative of and related to agility. Field strength is the ability to apply force effectively from a position that is technically off-balance – where your COM is not over your feet, a position encountered in every field and court sport where your shoes provide traction against the surface. Agility is your control of your position as it changes rapidly, whereas field strength is your ability to be effective even in a position where your control has deteriorated. A field athlete must be effective in every position he encounters during performance, and the stronger he is, the more force he can still use in a compromised balance position.

Too strong?

In an apparently automatic reaction to the suggestion that athletes and other humans should get stronger, the same straw man is always trotted out: Not everybody needs to squat 600 pounds. Not everybody needs to be a powerlifter, Rippetoe, you moron.

1. I never said that. But that won’t stop you from saying I did. Enjoy your typing.

2. Getting stronger does not require a specialization in competitive powerlifting. However, it does require more than playing in the floor with dumbbells on balance balls and skipping around the gym. It requires very few progressively loaded basic barbell exercises that use the whole skeletal system and which contain a balance component. If you are performing more than about 6 exercises, you are substituting exercise variety for strength acquisition. This is not productive.

3. If you can’t take an untrained 18-year-old kid from his first workout to a double-bodyweight deadlift in 6 months, you are not a Strength Coach, even if that’s what your shirt says. And if you can’t take an older person from her first deadlift workout to double that weight in 6 months, you are not a Strength Coach. This is not a remarkable achievement – it is merely baseline competence in this profession. Up your game, or Learn To Code.

4. Increased strength should be acquired as a general part of all human physical preparation. Athlete or not, it is your responsibility to yourself to treat your training as part of your work day. Most people will understand how to appropriately prioritize it within their schedules as they become more familiar with the process. Effective strength training does not replace other activities – it enhances them. It cannot be allowed to interfere with other priorities, but it must be a priority, an important part of the schedule of a responsible person.

To summarize: We are physical beings: physical existence is the basis of everything we experience. Strength is the ability to produce force, and is the foundation of human physical existence. The production of force is the basis of our interaction with the environment. The improvement of our capacity to produce force improves the systemic integrity of our bodies, and improves the quality of our lives. And since strength is the basis of endurance, balance, coordination, accuracy and precision, mobility, power, speed, agility, and field strength, improving strength improves all these characteristics of good athletes and effective humans.


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05 Aug

August 05, 2019


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Best of the Week

Home Gym maintenance
AndreiDecker

Do you think about doing a gym maintenance, tricks of the trade, series in the future? The videos about applying oil to the bar and finding out if it is bent are very useful. I would love to see more general tips from a decade long gym owner like you.

Also, do you have some advice for home gym owners who live in places with very high humidity? I live in front of a beach, in a tropical climate city, and things are starting to get rusty. The iron plates coating paint is starting to fall off and they are getting rusty spots, I don’t know if I should apply oil to them because I’m worried about safety.

Mark Rippetoe

Barbell Basics – Starting Strength Equipment

AndrewLewis

Rust isn’t a safety issue, it’s a long term degradation and aesthetic issue. Read Rip’s article on barbell basics and then buy a $10 wire brush and some spray paint. Paint is an excellent way to seal a surface against the air and, by extension, moisture.

Corrie

I interpreted this as him wondering if there would be any safety issues associated with applying oil to the plates. Other than the risk of dropping a plate on your toes I’m not sure it would present a safety issue.

Mark Rippetoe

Oil to the plates??? Why would anyone do this?

Corrie

Sounded like he was considering applying oil to the plates to prevent rust. Maybe he can season them like a cast iron pan!

AndrewLewis

Please don’t do this.

Mark Rippetoe

Why not, Andrew? This will be fun!!

David Kirkham

Next post: “Hey Coach, what is the Starr Protocol for rehabbing a broken foot?”

Holy hell. I get mad at guys who are lazy and put big plates on top of little plates, hiding the little plates. Next thing you know someone doesn’t see the small plate, removes the big plate and BOOM!

Time to see the orthopedic surgeon. Talk about messing up your training. I recommend oiling the bar so you can work on your grip strength.


Best of the Forum

Arnold-Chriari syndrome
Alec Ross

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations or clarification on training a client with Arnold-Chiari syndrome. If I’m not mistaken, this is where a portion of the cerebellum is extended into the spinal cord and causes extreme migraines. My cousin, who was diagnosed, was told by her doctor that lifting anything heavy was out of the question. Now, I know that is the stupidest advice any doctor has ever given, but I would like to know if there is any real risk to putting her on the starting strength program as she wants to get stronger and out of her sedentary lifestyle.

Mark Rippetoe

No experience with this obviously rare condition. We’ll axe.

Will Morris

Would obviously depend on the severity of the herniation and the patient’s symptoms. Most people found to have arnold-chiari malformations were found as an incidental finding on advanced imaging.

dfclark68

Find out whether there actually is an Arnold-Chiari malformation. There should be measurements of how low the cerebellum goes and whether other associated malformations are present as well. Half of the “Arnold-Chiari” patients I see just have migraines and the A-C diagnosis is BS. Some people’s cerebellums just ride low. That being said, valsalva is a problem for legitimate A-C.

MattJ.D.

My aunt just had an operation for this in the past year. This whole time they thought she had MS, the fluids been dripping down her spine and causing nerve damage. Must have had it her entire life apparently.

Winston1156

After an MRI I was told I have this condition. I do tend to get a lot of headaches. On the other hand, I have never had it impact me to a significant degree beyond the pain of the headache. Bottom line: took Tylenol, aspirin, or nsaid and kept going. On a few occasions, I had to stop doing something because of the pain but that is more rare. In other words, I let pain be my guide for the activity.

khopkinsIM

I have Arnold Chiari malformation syndrome Type 1. Type 2 is the more serious version, so ask first which version your client has. Anecdotally, I’ve been training with weights since I was 16 (now 49)–all basic barbell movements. I have no balance issues (a common occurrence with Arnold Chiari) and feel very athletic for my age…so basically no symptoms. By comparison, my mother has the same diagnosis, has never exercised and at age 74 has significant balance issues to the point that she has trouble navigating stairs, etc.

tbennett

Chalk up another vote from someone with one – I had one discovered a few years ago when I got an MRI to rule out any weird tumors or such after I started losing my hearing. As noted above, there are multiple types, and I have the most benign (Type I) – have nasty migraines on occasion, though I was told since age 5 that it was a result of nasty spinal meningitis way back in the day. Who knows.

Anyway, never stopped me from getting my squat to the mid 300s and deadlift awful close to 400 when I hit my mid-40s…

Jonathon Sullivan

Well, that’s two data points I didn’t have before. Very interesting.


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04 Aug

Translated by Nicu Foalea

[Romanian translation of The Novice Effect]

Avem un membru aici la WFAC ( Wichita Falls Athletic Club ) care a castigat in greutate 25 de kilograme in 11 luni de zile. Si vorbesc prostii.

Zach Evetts a inceput aici cu noi in August 2009, iar pana in 12 Noiembrie cand l-am cantarit si i-am masurat grasimea corporala, a pus pe el 25 kilograme greutate corporala si putin peste 14 kg de musculatura (Lean body mass) . Asta insemnand 1.3 kg de muschi( LBM ) pe saptamana, aproximativ rata de crestere observata in tinerele animale crescute la ferma. Multi purcei cresc atat de repede, si multi oameni fac bani crescand purcei.

Nu, Zack nu a luat/nu ia streroizi, fiind un student de 20 de ani extrem de sarac, de abia permitandu-si “Galonul” de lapte pe zi.Si da, a pus pe el aproximativ 11 kilograme de grasime, dar nici un kg pe care sa il puteti vedea prea bine sau pe care un adolescent nu il poate da jos cand doreste. Esentialul este ca a obtinut 60% din greutatea corporala constituita din muschi ( lean body mass ), si este mult mai usor pentru un tanar atletic sa piarda grasime decat este sa acumuleze musculatura.

Si-a ridicat genoflexiunea ( Squat ) de la  65 kg x 5 repetari x 3 seturi la 142,5 kg x 5 x 3 in aceeasi perioada de 11 saptamani.

 Aici este foarte important sa intelegem, ca in acest lucru se regaseste mecanismul de crestere. Zach a venit la sala 3 zile/saptamana, nu a lipsit la niciun antrenament, si a adaugat 5 kilograme la cele 3 Workset-uri de fiecare data, timp de 2 saptamani, iar apoi a adaugat cate 2,5 kg  la fiecare Workset pana cand a inceput sa stagneze la 142,5 kg. A mancat mai mult de 6000 kalorii/zi, tinand cont si de faptul ca baut un galon de lapte/zi, cu toate acestea recuperandu-se dupa antrenament si avand suficient timp de refacere pentru cresterea musculara. Si-a daruit corpului un motiv pentru a fi mai masiv, iar apoi i-a oferit resursele pentru a obtine acest lucru. Antrenamentul a condus cresterea musculara , iar cresterea a facilitat marirea greutatilor utilizate in antrenament. Ultima oara cand am verificat, Zach cantarea 100 Kg si facea Squat-ul cu 150 kg x 5 x 3.

Acesta nu este un caz izolat, mai degraba un exemplu primar  al unui program bun/ programul bun fiind o adeziune a convergentei. ( ??? ).  Cliff Swanson, un tip putin mai mare, la 27 de ani, a pus 20 de kg in 12 saptamani, cu cresteri similare in musculatura si grasime corporala. Nici unul dintre ei nu a fost ingrijorat de grasimea corporala, amandoi fiind incantati pentru progresele facute in materie de putere/forta. Am mai avut mai multe persoane care au dobandit numere impresionante in  musculatura, lean body mass, si forta anul acesta, iar sala mea are o istorie lunga in care a lucrat cu tineri care au devenit mult mai masivi si puternici decat au fost cand au inceput sa se antreneze.Zach chiar a obtinut ceva mult mai important in ceea ce a facut, ceea ce multi “profesionisti” in educatie sportiva si personal training au fost invatati ca nu se poate obtine, dogma intalnita fiind ca in primele luni de pregatire fizica, cresterea in forta este facilitata in principal de cesterea in eficienta neuromusculara. Probabil este adevarat in multe dintre programele “evidence based” periodizate si design-ul acestora fiind facut de Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in cadrul NSCA. Lucrul important aici este faptul ca: optimizand recuperarea si odihna si oferind indeajust cumul caloric si proteic, acest progres poate fi sustinut in decursul a luni de zile, rezultand in cresteri importante in forta si masa musculara.

Zach este un exemplu extraordinar pentru ceea ce  se poate intampla cu forta unui copil de 20 de ani care este pregatita sa creasca. Bryan Fox, alt tanar membru, este un exemplu pentru ceea ce se poate intampla cand un talent innascut genetic incepe o progresie Liniara de Novice. Bryan a venit in programul nostru la data de 12 August cantarind 90 de Kg executand Genoflexiunea ( Squat ) cu 165 kg, neexecutand nicioadata o progresie liniara a unui program de forta. Astazi ( 29 Decembrie ) a facut Squat-l cu 233 Kg la o greutate corporala de 98 kg. Denumirea de Novice ( Incepator ), cum am discutat-o de nenumarate ori, nu are nimic de a face cu cat esti de puternic, dar mai mult cu cat esti de departe in procesul de a atinge limita proprie a adaptabilitatii, vezi Practical Programming for Strength Training ( PPST3, The Aasgaard Company, 2014) pentru mai multe. Recunoscand faptul ca Bryan era inca capabil sa foloseasca programming-ul de novice, trebuie creditat ochiul bine format a lui Justin Lascek, asociatul meu aici la WFAC; a fost o alegere buna pentru un client care nu se incadra in prototipul standard “Zach”. Trebuie notat faptul ca Bryan si-a facut progresia liniara executand doar de 2 ori/saptamana Squat-ul si de 2 ori pe saptmana Olympic Weightifting si 2 antrenamente de fotbal american in fiecare saptamana. ( Nu este o progresie liniara de novice facuta ca si la carte ), dar este progesia care a facilitat dorinta unui atlet de a fi competitiv in 2 sporturi si in acelasi timp facand tot posibilul pentru a deveni mai puternic.

Citesc zilnc postari ale oamenilor care pretind ca au urmat programul de antrenament, dar acestia plangandu-se in acelasi timp ca nu au reusit sa dobandeasca masa musculara sau crestere in forta. In acest program, daca nu castigi 5 kg in greutate,stim ca nu ai facut programul in felul in care este menit a fi facut, si acest lucru este general valabil pentru orice barbat sub varsta de 40 de ani fara ca acesta sa aiba un istoric in antrenamente fizice. Este adevarat din cauza fenomenului numit “efectul novice / novice effect “ in cartea PPST si discutat in detaliu in cartea Starting Strength 3rd edition.

Efectul novice, descris simplu, este ceea ce se intampla atunci cand o persoana neantrenata incepe sa ridice greutati – devine mai puternica foarte repede in faza de inceput, iar apoi progresele devenind tot mai lente cu cat aceasta persoana devine tot mai puternica. Nu este nimic mai mult decat principiul observat comun al diminuarii randamentului aplicat in fiziologia adaptiva. Cartea PPST descrie in detaliu progresia care se produce in faza de novice, asadar nu o vom recapitula aici.

Scopul meu in acest articol este sa explorez implicatiile faptului ca acest fenomen se intampla mereu daca programul ii permite acest lucru, iar potentialul ca acesta sa se intample se regaseste tot timpul chiar daca programul faciliteaza acest lucru sau nu.

Primul lucru pe care trebuie sa il scoatem din ecuatie: forta ( strength ) este baza abilitatilor atletice. Daca esti un sportiv bun, esti mai puternic decat sportivul mai putin bun. Daca doresti sa devii un sportiv si mai bun, devii mai puternic. Daca esti deja foarte puternic, este loc oricum pentru imbunatatirea antrenamentelor si performantei. Dar exista o mare sansa de a nu fi chiar atat de puternic precum crezi, din moment ce majoritatea oamenilor nu sunt. Te poti gandi ca esti foarte puternic, dar in realitate stii ca poti deveni si mai puternic de atat, nu e asa ? Sigur ca poti. Probabil i-ai convins pe cei din jur ca esti indeajuns de puternic, probabil te-ai convins chiar si pe tine. Acest lucru nu este unul productiv, deoarece daca poti deveni mai puternic, ar trebui sa o faci, iar o lipsa de forta s-ar putea sa fie motivul din cauza caruia nu performezi la nivelul la care ar trebui. Functioneaza de fiecare data cand este aplicat, de aceea stiu ca este adevarat.

Spui ca esti alergator, ca nu ai nevoie sa fii puternic. Devino mai puternic si vezi ce se intampla cu timpi tai de alergare. Sau esti un jucator de tenis: devino mai puternic si priveste-ti jocurile imbunatatindu-se. Chiar si in sporturile care nu sunt caracterizate printr-un display de forta, sportivii mai puternici sunt cei mai buni. S-ar putea sa nu iti placa deoarece conceptele intiparite in mintea ta in legatura cu antrenamentele “ functionale “ sau exercitii de echilibru pe mingi bossu ti se par bune. Dar oricare sportiv care se antreneaza cu o simpla bara olimpica ( barbell ) intr-un program de forta si isi imbunatateste Genoflexiunea ( Squat ) ,Impinsul deasupra capului ( Press ) si Indreptarea ( Deadlift )  va deveni mai bun la sportul pe care il practica decat reusesti tu sa il faci prin exercitii cu gantere de 1 kilogram asezat pe o minge Swiss impingand gantera deasupra capului ( Press ).

Forta ( strength ) poate fii cladita in decursul a ani de zile, un timp mult mai indelungat decat timpul in care se poate perfectiona capacitatea neuromusculara. Acest lucru se intampla deoarece adaptarea pentru cresterea in forta implica mai mult decat adaptarea neurologica. Arhitectura sistemului musculoscheletal se adapteaza la stres pe toata durata vietii. Cresterea incetineste odata cu atingerea capacitatii genetice de a te dezvolta, dar cresterea in forta continua pe tot parcursul vietii daca design-ul antrenamentului este facut sa faciliteze acest lucru. “Dad strength” este explicat prin acest fenomen, abilitatea powerlifter-ilor care ajung in cariera sa fie in forma de top la mijlocul anilor 30 si pana in 40 de ani, dupa 20-25 de ani de la inceperea sportului.

Deoarece forta ( strength ) este atat de importanta, cea mai eficienta metoda de a acumula forta este automat si cea mai eficienta cale de a imbunatati performantele in ateletii mai putin eficienti. Si cea mai eficienta din punct de vedere matematic pentru a imbunatati orice cantitate dea-a lungul timpului este sa adaugam acestei cantitati intr-un mod care permite acumularea pentru un timp cat mai indelungat. In cazul antrenamentului fizic, o crestere incrementala a greutatii ridicate in cadrul fiecarui antrenament produce cele mai rapide rezultate. Este evident faptul ca trebuie executata intr-un mod care permite acestor cresteri sa continue, ceea ce inseamna ca fiecare crestere in greutatile ridicate trebuie sa fie recuperate si adaptate fizic inainte de fiecare antrenament, capacitatea fiziologica care se regaseste in abilitate novicelui neantrenat in trecut. Dar cand este facuta corect, o crestere “liniara” de acest tip, aduce dupa ea cea mai mare crestere in forta in cel mai scurt timp, asadar fiind cea mai eficienta metoda de a imbunatati performanta.

Cand o persoana neantrenata incepe un program de exercitii, subiectul devine mai puternic. Ei devin mai puternici, indiferent de program. Acest lucru se datoreaza faptului ca orice ar face care este putin mai greu fizic decat ceea ce au facut pana acum  constituie un stres la care se va produce adaptarea organismului. Am spus si in trecut, la acest rank de client novice, mersul pe bicicleta va face impinsul la piept ( bench press ) sa creasca –pentru putin timp. Acest lucru, bineinteles, nu inseamna ca mersul pe bicicleta este un program bun pentru impinsul la piept pentru nimeni. Inseamna doar faptul ca pentru persoanele neadaptate efortului fizic, mersul pe bicicleta a servit drept un stimul de adaptare. Un novice raspunde fiecarei expuneri in fata unui stres impus in acelasi fel – se adapteaza. Asadar, fiecare antrenament pentru un novice ( incepator ) poate fi un stimul pentru adaptare. Problema cu mersul pe bicicleta pentru un novice care impinge la piept este faptul ca ciclismul isi pierde repede abilitatea de a se comporta indeajuns de eficient pentru a induce un stres sistemic care are puterea sa aduca imbunatiri impinsului, deoarece nu produce un stres specific Impinsului la piept.

Lucrul care diferentiaza un program bun fata de unul mai putin bun, este abilitatea de a continua stimularea catre adaptare. Acest lucru pare extrem de simplu, nu e asa ? Deci, prin definitie, un program care are ca si cerinta o crestere in aspectul stresului indus este un program eficient pentru un novice, iar unul care nu indeplineste aceasta cerinta,nu este eficient – sau cel putin nu este atat de eficient precum un program care face lucrul acesta.

Din nou, pentru un novice, orice program este mai bun decat statul in fund, asadar toate programele functioneaza la un oarecare nivel de eficienta. Acesta este motivul pentru care toata lumea crede ca programul “lor” functioneaza. Dar nimic nu functioneaza mai bine ca si o crestere matematica la scara in parametrii de incarcare, atat timp cat continua sa apara o adaptare la crestere.

strength training novice progressionstrength training novice progression

Din moment ce, metoda cea mai buna pentru a produce imbunatatiri atletice in incepatori este cresterea in forta ( Strength ), un program care creste forta in intreg corpul intr-o maniera liniara, este cel mai bun mod pentru un incepator sa isi foloseasca cat mai eficient timpul de antrenament, avand efectul cel mai bun asupra performantei sale in cel mai scurt timp posibil. Discutii in contracdictoriu s-ar putea sa existe in privita a caror exercitii se produce acest efect, dar este clar faptul ca exista o singura cale eficienta  pentru a programa aceste exercitii pentru un incepator ( novice ). – o cresterea liniara in producerea fortei ( force-production)  atat timp cat poate fi sustinuta de recuperare ( recovery ) produce o crestere liniara in putere/forta ( strength ).

Un “best care scenario” este a lui Zach – se prezinta la sala uscat ( skinny ) si slab, se antreneaza la potential maxim, se recupereaza in aceeasi maniera, prin urmare, isi exprima capacitatea optima de crestere si forta. Daca Zach este in cel mai bun caz, faptul ca nu iti vine sa crezi ca s-a intamplat in felul in care am descris ( chiar nu crezi, asa-i ? ) inseamna ca se intampla destul de rar. Statistic, sper ca acest lucru face sens. Vasta majoritate a programelor de antrenament nu se folosesc de efectul de incepator ( efectul novice ) la potentialul maxim. CrossFit-ul este un exemplu de metoda de atrenament care neglijeaza sa foloseasca faptul ca forta ( strength ) va creste repede daca asta ii ceri, asadar cresterea in forta determina ca toti ceilalti parametri ai fitness-ului sa se imbunatateasca intr-o persoana neantrenata. Totusi functioneza bine avand in vedere faptul ca este in general prima expunere a oamenilor la un protocol de exercitii care se presupune a fi greu, iar experienta tuturor celor neexperimentati in sport este pozitiva. P90X functioneaza bine din acelasi motiv, la fel si HIT, Turbo-Jam, prima saptamana de fotbal, precum toate participarile in prima faza la orice sport care este cat de cat greu din punct de vedere fizic. Un efort fizic intens – indiferent despre ce sport este vorba actioneaza ca si un stimul pentru adaptare, pana in momentul in care adaptarea se produce, iar programul esueaza in abilitatea sa de a fi incarcat progresiv in viitor.

Acest esec poate fi inerent in programe de genul, HIT-Type Nautilus sau Hammer Strength, care isi epuizeaza potentialul unui set sau doua de aproximativ 10 repetari pana la epuizare ( reps to failure ).  sau aparatele  ( machines ) care folosesc musculatura izolat sau implica utilizare unei singure articulatii in miscare pentru a continua sa produca suficient stres sistemic pentru a conduce la o adaptare. Sau ar putea fi o functie a incapacitatii “programatorilor de exercitii “ in utilizarea corecta a uneltelor ( echipamentului ) din sala. Din moment ce CrossFit-ul imbratiseaza cu siguranta conceptele de antrenament cu miscarile importante care afecteaza corpul in mod sistematic.

Dar in masura in care aceste programe functioneaza, acestea depind de efectul novice – indiferent daca este exploatat eficient sau nu – pentru a oferi rezultate. Antrenamentul greu, aplicat pe un individ neadaptat efortului fizic va functiona o perioada, chiar daca antrenamentul are logica sau nu pe termen lung. Cu cat sunt mai bune exercitiile din program, cu atat sunt mai eficiente in modul in care ele streseaza sistemul intr-un mod care este capabil sa produca o adaptare care rezulta in cresterea in forta care mai apoi poate fi aplicata in sport sau la munca.

Am vazut in documentatii scrise de catre un presupus inteligent din aria academica, afirmatia fiind uimitor de stupida:” Chiar daca s-ar putea produce o cresterea liniara a puterii/fortei ( strength ), asta nu inseamna neaparat ca este cel mai bun mod de a deveni puternic.“ Ei bine, care naiba ar fi cel mai bun mod de a deveni puternic ? Deveniti la fel de puternic in 6 luni precum un program optim conceput si implementat va poate aduce in 3 saptamani. Timpul este pretios, prietenii mei, iar irosirea lui este rea, deoarece nu il mai primim inapoi niciodata.


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30 Jul

My Cues are Not the Same as Your Cues

by Carl Raghavan, SSC | July 30, 2019

Carl Raghavan coaching the deadlift at a Starting Strength Training Camp in London. [photo by Pete Troupos]

A client of mine inspired me to write about this topic after we discussed it during a recent training session. The gist of our discussion? My cues are not the same as your cues. If you’re just starting out, what’s going through your mind as you lift will be very different from what’s going through the mind of a veteran. From a coaching perspective, this means recognizing that you will have to translate and simplify for your client, adapting the wide-ranging store of knowledge in your head to the specific needs of the individual.

Take the squat, for instance. The fifty-page chapter on squats in Starting Strength 3rd edition is an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the movement that we teach as Starting Strength coaches. It’s great to have that information, but it doesn’t mean that every single detail will apply to your squat, or that you have to run through every single cue known to mankind every time you get under the bar. That’s impossible – and it won’t actually help with your particular issues. Here’s where the coach’s eye comes into play. It’s the difference between learning from a book and learning from an experienced veteran in real time. I can see what needs to be improved – and, crucially, I can prioritize. Think of it as triage. You’re trying to make the most effective changes to improve a lifter’s squat, and this means that not everything is equally important.

A lot of new clients are obsessed with being perfect before they add their next increment, and I have to break it to them that that’s not how it works. Many of them come to me having read Starting Strength or watched the videos on YouTube. There’s nothing wrong with that: the internet is an incredible source of material, especially when it comes to fitness. More and more coaches and industry pioneers have made videos, articles, and seminars available online, many of which are free. It is a double-edged sword, however, because as important as this information is, overload can lead to massive paralysis by analysis and an over-emphasis on perfection. At some point you do need to get your ass under a barbell and strain – you need to get real-life experience, and this means you’ll make mistakes.

The harsh truth is, perfectionism is not your friend. If you try to absorb and implement everything at once, you’ll only end up overwhelmed. We do want consistent improvement, of course, but the approach is more like a water tap dripping slowly into a bucket: at first the water is shallow, barely noticeable, then over the course of several days or weeks it will have risen significantly. This new level represents experience, strength, kinetic awareness, and knowledge. And this bucket is infinite. It will never be full. Frustrating, I know. It’s the barbell version of Zeno’s paradox: patience and persistence will bring you closer to your goal, but you’ll never actually reach it.

This is why cues are so important: they’re a means of condensing all this overwhelming information into a few key points that can be implemented practically in a short span of time. This holds true whether you’re a novice or an advanced lifter, but the cues themselves – the specific pieces of information you need to recall in the moment – will change. In working with my clients, I’ve found that the differences between my cues and theirs usually follow a familiar pattern. This makes sense. After all, cues are there to address particular problems, and some problems are much more common in the early stages than others.

Squat

My cues: Keep the shoulder blades squeezed and stay mid-foot.

Their cues: Concentrate on hip drive and leaning forward.

The problem: One common issue I encounter while teaching the squat is the client complaining about his shoulders. In most cases the lifter has never placed a bar on the spine of the scapulae, so he experiences a huge stretch through the shoulders and chest, especially at the bottom of the squat. It’s such a deep, intense feeling that it creates a white noise all its own. Half the time, all the lifter can think  of is, “When can I get this fucking barbell off my back?” He doesn’t have much brain space left over for cues, so I pare it right back to the basics: hip drive and back angle.

Press

My cues: Use a Kung Fu grip and double-tap the hips forward.

Their cues: Stay confident when leaning back to utilize the hips, and keep the bar path over mid-foot as you press the bar to lockout. In other words, as Rip says, “Aim for your nose”.

The problem: If a lifter has already done a variation of the movement – like a strict press or a dumbbell press – he’s usually thinking more about shoving the bar upward than about his hips, because that’s the part he knows well. As a coach, I have to correct for this. Often the client will completely drop the ball when it comes to using the correct 2.0 hip motion before he presses, so this is usually the cue I emphasize.

Deadlift

My cues: Stay over the barbell for longer than you think at the bottom and keep pulling for five seconds.

Their cues: Concentrate on being tight, pulling out all the slack at the start of the lift during the set up, and arch the lower back hard throughout.

The problem: One hugely common trait I observe is the lifter wanting to drop his hips very low, like he’s Dmitry Klokov going for a traditionally taught Olympic-style clean. In fact, I want the lifter’s hips quite high, so that the back angle stays consistent from the starting position to the moment the barbell breaks contact with the floor (side benefit: this will also mean the person locks out the bar more quickly). This is why my usual cues emphasize the importance of good lumbar extension throughout.

Bench

My cues: Drive hard through the legs and squeeze the lats throughout.

Their cues: Concentrate on the bar path and keeping the shoulder blades pinched throughout the whole press, especially at lockout.

The problem: Lifters often want to watch the barbell for the entire rep instead of focusing on a spot on the ceiling. They also frequently don’t realize that the correct bar path isn’t a straight line: if that were the case, the bar would touch the throat, which for several reasons – including death and shoulder impingement – is not a good idea. It’s actually more like a smooth arc, touching the chest then moving back over the shoulders. Pinching the shoulder blades and focusing on the bar path help encourage this.

Although my cues are different than theirs, I understand where my clients are coming from. Their mistakes are familiar from my own journey towards achieving strength. I read the previous edition of Starting Strength in the late 2000s and have been lifting in the Starting Strength style ever since. The cues and form corrections I needed for my squat back then are vastly different to those I use today, ten years and a hundred kilos down the line. Back in the day, my cues were hit depth and knees out. I’m glad to say that things have changed somewhat since then, but my squat still isn’t perfect. It never will be – and that’s okay. My cues will continue to change as I continue to learn and improve. The bucket will never be full.

I always try to bear this in mind when I’m with my clients – to walk the walk and lead by example. I tell them that if they really want to better their knowledge and gain a full, rich experience in the barbell game, they have to let go of perfectionism and learn to prioritize – and this cannot be learned from a book or T-Nation’s latest post. There is no substitute for the grind.



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26 Jul

Mark Rippetoe and Nick Delgadillo discuss the two-factor model of sports performance​​ and why strength training should be a priority for people who train for fighting.​
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