Saturday Night Training Session
Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and Back Squat - Heavy Single Build-Ups
Saturday Night Training Session
Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and Back Squat - Heavy Single Build-Ups
It’s so much more than just being a coach. It’s about changing lives and leaving your mark.
If you were to go around and ask your everyday college/professional strength coach what they think about CrossFit, they’d probably turn the other cheek and shake their head at you. Trust me, I know because I was one of those coaches and refused to look outside the box on why CrossFit has and still is helping our profession and the weightlifting industry. Well, that has changed. I never would have thought I would be talking to my friends from high school about how much they can Clean & Jerk. It’s AWESOME! [pullquote align=”right”]I never would have thought I would be talking to my friends from high school about how much they can Clean & Jerk. It’s AWESOME! [/pullquote] CrossFit has brought the weightlifting world to the surface and may be just what we need in this country. It has helped bring in more coaches, athletes, gyms, bumpers, bars, weightlifting apparel, and everything else that helps improve this profession. For example, when I was coaching at Louisiana State University, we had athletes using the Nike Romaleos (weightlifting shoes) which were hard to come by and couldn’t be found anywhere, but now you seem them all over the place for sale. I personally believe this is why Nike and the United States of America Weightlifting Association teamed up; the USAW isn’t stupid and saw what is happening. A lot of other renowned coaches out there are starting to see the bigger picture as well.
If you aren’t convinced that these two sports are building a strong connection, I have collected a few examples and perspectives from other well-known coaches below. Gayle Hatch 2004 USA Olympic Weightlifting Coach is now offering classes and Olympic Weightlifting Seminars to a lot of CrossFit gyms to help better educate coaches and athletes on technique. The phrase “TEAM” Together Everyone Achieves More is playing a big part with what Coach Hatch is doing.
Follow Coach Gayle Hatch on Facebook __________________________________________________________
Glenn Pendlay, renowned Olympic Weightlifting coach, recently wrote this in a forum post:
As weightlifters, or those that use weightlifting movements in training, squat deep, and worry more about lifting more weight than about how defined our arms are (I would guess this describes most on this board)… what did we used to complain about? 1. No place to train with bumpers and chalk. 2. Getting hassled about dropping weight. 3. “Trainers” at the local globo gym telling us squatting deep was gonna ruin our knees. 4. Girlfriends not wanting to squat because she is afraid she will get “bulky.” 5. For the competitive weightlifters among us, getting asked “how much ya bench?” after telling someone you are a weightlifter. 6. Trying to explain what a snatch is to someone, usually ending with a pantomime then the words “you know, like they do in the Olympics.” 7. If you ever tell someone, hey you should try it it’s fun, being told “oh no, I could never do that.” 8. Being surrounded in any gym by folks that think eating red meat or fat is the enemy of good health or a good looking body. 9. Curls in the squat rack. 10. Pink dumbbells. So with CrossFit you get… 1. 2000 + more gyms around the country with bumpers and chalk. 2. Most Crossfitters would think you were weird if you DIDN’T drop weights. 3. They may debate where to put the bar on their backs, but they all squat deep. 4. CrossFit girls squat heavy and are proud of getting a rounder butt from it. 5. Most CrossFitters don’t bench press; they might ask you how much you squat instead. 6. Most CrossFitter’s snatch; those that dont certainly know what it is. 7. CrossFit is filled with people people who not only want to try new things, but are willing to work hard to learn and won’t be put off by falling on their butt a few times. 8. CrossFitters, as a whole, seem to be proud that they not only eat meat, but are able to eat GOOD (meaning eat a LOT) and still look good because they train so hard. A couple cookouts at CrossFit boxes remain the only two times I have seen women bragging about how many ribs they ate. And not fatties. Young, in shape women. 9. CrossFitters are the ones who will make fun of YOU, if YOU do curls in the squat rack. 10. CrossFitters only use pink kettlebells.
Coach Donnell Boucher – Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at The Citadel, also made some great points during a Facebook debate on this subject. He states (slightly edited):
“I always hear: Every CrossFit box I’ve been to I see all this god awful stuff” —— Well I must just be lucky, because every one I’ve been to (less than 10, in 2 different states) has been pretty solid. A matter of fact, the programs look more like what we do in College than most other facilities. On another note, I can’t seem to wrap my head around how people get tripped on CrossFit as a “method” and want to vilify it because “IT” has no place in real sports…Yet, we’ve got Strength Coaches who employ an “Olympic” program, or a “West Side” program. I can’t help but laugh because, NO you DON’T run an Olympic program, because if you did, your football players would C&J, Snatch, Back Squat, Front Squat 6 days/week, sometimes 2-3 times/day. And NO You DONT run “West Side” program because if you did, you’d Bench/Squat and you’d hit it so hard & heavy that your guys would get hurt within 10 minutes of agilities.”
As you can see, there are QUALITY strength coaches out there who are realizing the positive effects that CrossFit brings to the table. In case you need further support for this argument, however, even the National Strength and Conditioning Association (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research) published a recent article on how CrossFit-based high- intensity power training improves maximal aerobic fitness and body composition. Link below:
CrossFit obviously introduces weightlifting to thousands of non-athletes who have never played a sport before, or even athletes who have never had a strength and conditioning coach. People around the world are starting to see what coaching as a whole is all about and what it feels like to be trained properly. It’s no longer just about athletes or programming around a problem; rather, it’s about addressing and fixing the problem we see right in front of us. Sometimes at the collegiate and professional levels this can be hidden because of the freakish athleticism or lack of knowledge from the coach’s perspective, but eventually something has to give. With the average Joe wanting to do CrossFit, the movement dysfunctions come to the surface. It really lets the world see how bad we are underdeveloped as well as how much potential is out there for us. [pullquote align=”left”]The seeking of quality coaching is slowly but surely on the rise, and CrossFit is helping bring more of this to the profession.[/pullquote]The “GET BIG!” meathead mentality is great for some, but that doesn’t amount to shit if your athlete is broken. Relentless cueing and visual stimulus can only help to a certain degree. Every person is wired differently, moves differently, and is built differently, so this means our coaching style needs to be adjusted to the athletes’ specific needs. So what I am saying is that all the BAD we are seeing in CrossFit is turning out to be GOOD for coaches, athletes and the general population involved. The seeking of quality coaching is slowly but surely on the rise, and CrossFit is helping bring more of this to the profession.
Everyone knows that obesity is a BIG problem in the United States; a recent study showed that 35.7% of America is obese. Since CrossFit has started, there have been thousands of gyms that have opened to help people of all ages with the problem we face in our daily lives. I’ve seen videos and pictures of kids learning proper movement mechanics, Olympic technique with a stick or PVC pipe, and just staying active. Just look at these awesome photos, which all are from CrossFit gyms around the world.
Being a strength coach is all about doing the research and trying new things. We need to keep the stuff that works, trash the stuff that doesn’t, and always adapt to the athletes’ specific needs. Every profession has its flaws and boneheads that work in it, and most of the time these are the people who talk more than listen or don’t know enough to contribute to the matter. CrossFit has brought a fan base to the weightlifting world and I’m not complaining because this helps open up many other opportunities for the sport. Would we have ever thought we would see thousands of people watching two athletes compete literally face-to-face like this 5 years ago? (picture below) I don’t think so. Keep doing what you are doing, CrossFit World!
Photo Courtesy of The Crossfit Games Follow Coach Shelton Stevens
Jerk starts at :48
As strength coaches we have to deal with many types of different injuries. This is just the reality of the profession. Where we often run into problems is trying to get the athlete, coach, or even the athletic trainer to buy into the fact that YOU NEED TO KEEP TRAINING! The trust, motivation, and knowledge all must be in place before this can happen. So it’s very important to have a good working relationship with everyone involved.
WHY KEEP TRAINING THROUGH AN ACUTE INJURY?
Because you can
Just because you are injured, it doesn’t mean you have to go sit in timeout. It doesn’t preclude you from maintaining strength and speeding up the recovery process.
The Crossover Effect (Nueroendocrine Response)
Your body is smarter than you think, so why not let it take over. There is an amazing phenomenon that happens within the body where if you train the Non-Injured side or “unaffected limb” the “affected limb” will get stronger as well. This is caused by the nueroendocrine response, which helps increase growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin growth factor. This is basically like being on natural steroids which helps promote healing
It helps to keep the body intact
Ignoring the rest of your body during an injury will cause loss in mobility, posture, and of course overall strength. Now instead of just having some rehab to go through, now you have to fix the other problems that was caused because you were feeling sorry for yourself.
Do not isolate yourself from your team, workout partner, or your normal everyday surroundings. Strength Coaches play a key factor in this because we see the athletes the most. By not isolating yourself it will help to get your mind of the injury. It will also make you work harder and compete with yourself. There is always some element of depression with an injury, so its important to only give yourself a couple days rest after surgery, before you get your ass back in the gym. DO NOT LET AN INJURY STOP YOU! TRAIN THROUGH AND AROUND AN INJURY!
Decreases Compensatory Patterning
This is important because usually an injury affects the way we walk, stand, sit, and basically our everyday lives. What usually happens is that we start to feel nagging pain elsewhere within the body because of we are overcompensating for that injury. So it’s very important to maintain strength so that our body can handle the extra stress put on it. Again, DO NOT LET AN INJURY STOP YOU! TRAIN THROUGH AND AROUND AN INJURY!
I found this post a couple days ago and I had to share it with all my followers. It makes a lot of sense but is also a humorous read. Enjoy
In early January I was working on a year in review, it got scraped it as it seemed much of the same content regurgitated in humorous ways. So, I decided to offer a different format. These are the 42 things I have learned leading up to 2013.
1. Know what you are training for.
We often sat at the seminars and my gym, “What are you training?” This translate into, you need a goal, a destination for your journey. Without you are left to wander, and this site is not called Kung Fu and you are not Caine. Pick a goal, chart a course, keep your head down and don’t come up for air until you meet it.
2. The squat is the foundation of any good program.
A program that does not involve the squat is incomplete. Any coach that tells you, you shouldn’t squat as it is bad for your back and knees, but if it is done you should not squat below parallel needs to be punched. Email me and I will send someone out who specializes in punching people who need a punch. And when I say squat, I mean the one where you put a heavy bar on your back. If I were talking about the front squat or overhead squat, I would have said front squat or overhead squat.
3. Be a performance whore.
Your only mark for progress should be performance and success. Don’t get caught up in dogma, realize all that matters is performance. Don’t get married to one philosophy or stuck in one circle. Look to expand your training arsenal and realize your only master is getting better.
4. “Know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em.”
When you start hitting the weights, certain days you feel like the weights are made of foam and you could lift the gym. Other days, the weights seem to be made of adamantium. Realize on the days when the weights are light, go for broke and set a new personal record regardless of what the program says. On the days when the opposite is true, all you need to do is survive and realize the weights will be there tomorrow.
5. Don’t fall prey to the Secret Squirrel Program.
This is what happens when late at night while scanning the internet you decided to hybrid CrossFit Football’s strength WOD with CFE’s running 2 days a week with CrossFit’s hero WODs and Outlaw’s Olympic programming just for good measure. All the while doing 23 hours a day of ketogenic interment fasting. If you think this secret squirrel program will help you become the fittest man on the planet you are delusional. All that will happen is you become a massive ball of injury, end up doing nothing but Mobility WOD for 2 years with the testosterone levels of a 14-year-old eunuch.
6. You need to warm up.
Warming up is key to raising core temperature and getting the muscles, tendons and fascia warm. You are warming up because you are preparing to train. Take the old boxing proverb to heart. “If you go into the ring cold, you come out cold.”
7. Use Lacrosse balls
If rolling out with a soft foam roller is painful, you have led a life of luxury and share the energy expenditure with a veal. Real athletes roll out with two lacrosse balls and Kelly Starrett sitting on your body part adjacent to it.
8. Static Stretching is great way to cool down. Period.
9. The first movement at the beginning of your training week needs to involve a heavy bar on your back.
10. All the machines and praying in the world will not build a physique like the one crafted from lifting free weights over 85% of your 1 RM.
11. Weighted Pull Ups can cure world hunger.
12. Isometric holds build stability and strength.
13. It is better to live like a farmer than a bartender.
Farmers go to bed when the sun goes down and wake when the roosters crow. Bartenders hang out with drunks, don’t go to bed till 3 or 4 in the morning and sleep all day. Be a farmer.
14. Heavy prowler pushes cleanse the soul.
15. Sleeping 8 hours or more a day makes you bullet proof.
Yes, if you sleep more than 8 hours a day, bullets will not harm you and you will be able to control the minds of those around you.
16. Shower in ice-cold water in the morning. Hot shower before bed.
17. Vitamin D is the most important vitamin of all, so go outside and get a tan. As George Robert’s dad once said, “Georgie, even fat looks good tan.”
18. The only proteins that count are the ones with faces, souls and a mother. I do not care how you process hemp and peas…it is not real protein.
19. Earn your carbs.
Don’t get lulled into thinking a primal or Paleo diet is low carb diet. If you are a hard charging athlete that lifts heavy weights, sprints and moves, eat some carbs. Low carb diets are for fat people and sedentary people with metabolic disorders. If you are training for the CrossFit Games, playing football or trying to run a hundred miles you have earned your carbs.
20. I don’t care how far or often you run, running slow will never help you get fast. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and marathon runners. I am not impressed that you finished a marathon in 5 hours. I am more impressed that it took you 7 hours to sprint 421 100-meter repeats.
21. Percentages are a waste of time for beginners.
Why you ask, because to efficiently lift a true 1 RM you need an extremely well training central nervous system. And efficiency in the CNS comes from prolonged training. Hence, how could a beginner have enough control over their body or their CNS to put forth the ability to lift a true 1 RM? They can’t. So don’t do it.
22. Every man should own a slow cooker and a grill that uses lump wood charcoal.
23. Meat from grass-fed cows should make up the bulk of your daily food consumption.
24. Drink water.
Anyone who tells you they don’t like to drink water needs to grow the fuck up. How much…at least 1 ounce per 2 lbs of body weight.
25. Dont let fear be your limiting factor.
Louie Simmons told me, “To master kung fu, the training must be severe.” What Louie means is, don’t take the easy way out. Winners and champions are forged in the crucible of competition and hard work. Don’t let fear of not meeting your goals be your limiting factor when it comes to training or success.
26. Full Fat Greek Yogurt is an excellent source of protein and probiotics. Anyone that tells you dairy from pasture raised animals is bad, should be pushed in the mud.
27. Have the talent to rest.
If you think taking a rest day is weakness, you have never really trained hard. And you definitely have low testosterone levels.
28. The Second Amendment was put in place to guarantee the First Amendment. Problems arise when we allow our leaders to suspend the First Amendment and many other rights given to us in the Bill of Rights because of fear. When terrible things happen in society, we are so quick to give away our rights so the government can protect us and make it so it never happens again. It is impossible to stop bad people from doing bad things, but you can train and prepare for the day when good men are called upon to stop evil men. That is Edmund Burke.
29. Guns are inanimate objects that can be used to do harm. Much like cars, airplanes and knives, all these things can be turned into weapons if someone so chooses. Banning the sale, use or ownership of inanimate objects will no better cure the world of evil, and then eating low-fat food will cure a fat ass.
30. Lift heavy and awkward implements.
The power from picking up and lifting awkward and heavy objects creates a strength not found in a weight room. Anyone that grew up on a farm or wrestled or played football with farm kids knows what I am talking about. We also call this Field Strong.
31. Having kids puts everything into perspective.
My wife and I had twin girls in late 2011; I just came up for air in late 2012. Kids put things in perspective. The things that mattered so much, seem small and unimportant. What is important is raising your kids, providing a positive role model and keeping your wife happy and loved so she doesn’t drive the whole train off the tracks.
32. Learn to cook.
Even if it just involves adding meat, water, salt and root vegetables to a slow cooker or burning meat on a grill. Learn to cook. Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who cannot or will not learn.
33. Stop posting on message boards. If you have more than 100 posts on any message board, kick your own ass.
34. Twitter rocks.
If you can’t say it in a 140 characters, it doesn’t need to be said.
35. Training Vs. Testing.
Learn certain days are training days other days are testing days. Have a plan each day and realize professional athletes don’t compete everyday. They save that for when the money is on the line and the crowd is in the stands.
36. Read. Real. Books.
In this Internet age, digital books, periodicals, websites and blogs consume us. I feel something is missing, hard copy books.
I started eating bacon in the 70’s. I am not sure when many of you found bacon, but if it was last two years, I am sorry. Up until recently for many, bacon has been a mystery. But upon finding it, it is all they talk about. I am proud of you for finding bacon. I am sorry your dad didn’t make bacon on Saturdays when you were growing up. I believe it makes you feel primal and talking about bacon on social media is your way of thumbing your nose at society, but enough. Welcome to the party and guess what? We are serving bacon.
38. I don’t care that you are 100% Paleo; if a friend offers you a beer, drink it. Nothing says “FU” like not accepting a drink from a friend because of a diet. Grow the fuck up.
39. Work the tissue.
Active Release Therapy. Graston. Deep Tissue Massage. Mashing. Do something to mobilize tissue and speed recovery.
40. Move the bar as fast as possible.
When lifting weights, you should move the bar as fast as you can at all times. Think compensatory acceleration. If you have never head the term “compensatory acceleration”, go google it now. I will wait. Slow reps are akin to the splinters in your ass from sitting on the bench watching the explosive guys play. The only thing moving slow did, was make me slow. Fuck slow.
41. Don’t be a cartoon character.
In today’s age of social media and virtual existence, people are not held to the same standards they were so long ago. Individuals are more cartoon characters than real people. Be a real person that can be depended on and does not take every opportunity to take advantage of those around you. Being a man involves more than growing a beard and drinking whiskey…even those things do help.
42. High testosterone levels = nice guys.
I read a study a while back that related mental wellness and all around nice guys having higher testosterone levels than their male dick head counterparts. Next time you meet a douche bag, instead of cursing the day he was born, realize he is a lesser male and just has low testosterone levels. Pity him, because there is nothing worse for a man than having low testosterone levels. If you are reading this and think you might have low test levels, go see a doctor.
Technology is killing our posture and affecting the way we live our lives on a daily basis. Think about all the time we spend texting, typing, and just staring at the computer or TV screen. All of these things are contributing to our weight gain, back pain, and joint problems more than you think.
The average American spends 5 hours a day sitting on a chair or sofa, and this isn’t factoring in work hours. Also according to a study in a British Medical Journal, the more time you spend standing and reducing the time you spend sitting, you can increase overall life expectancy. This translates to another study where it showed people who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease. Sitting has actually joined smoking and obesity as an important risk factor for chronic disease.
So if you think about it our body is in the wrong position more than 75% of the day if you factor in our poor sleeping habits. Which will be discussed later in this post.
According to more research:
“Even if people meet the current recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity on most days each week, there may be significant adverse metabolic and health effects from prolonged sitting – the activity that dominates most people’s remaining ‘non-exercise’ waking hours.”
“After just an hour of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat in your body declines by as much as 90 percent. Extended sitting slows your body’s metabolism of glucose and decreases your HDL, which is the type of lipid you want MORE of, instead of less. This explains why those who sit habitually for extended periods of time have higher risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems.”
FIXING YOUR EVERYDAY POSTURE
Here is a link to a great video of Kelly Starrett demonstrating proper body alignment when standing, sitting, texting, and everyday tasks.
1. Stand up with your with feet pointing straight forward or slightly inward.
2. In the interview Kelly recommends that we realign the pelvis by simply squeezing your butt tightly, we would like to add that this will be more effective for the majority of people if also told to internally rotate their feet 10-15 degrees (big toes slightly towards each other), roll feet to the outside of the arch and then try to pull the back of the legs together without the heels moving. This will allow the thigh and butt muscles to work together; the squeeze alone is otherwise less effective.
3. Create some tension in your core by slightly tightening your abdominals (this is not an extreme tightening – just to 20 percent of your max)
4. Correct your shoulder position by externally rotating (think of unscrewing) your shoulders and arms (rolling your shoulders back), which brings your shoulder blades closer together, your chest up and forward, and your thumbs pointing away from your body
5. While keeping your shoulders externally rotated, turn your hands back to neutral, so that your thumbs are now facing forward
TRAIN YOUR POSTERIOR CHAIN
Athletes pay attention: Posture helps improve the distance throughout which the increased force production will travel (Sprinting, Hitting, Jumping, etc.) Proper posture and technique while walking, running, or lifting will improve overall health and performance as well
Paying more attention to and training our posterior chain can improve our posture. Your training regimen needs to have exercises that hit your glutes, hamstrings, and the spinal erectors. These muscles are often overlooked because you can’t see them. I always tell my athletes to train your GO MUSCLES not your SHOW MUSCLES. Another tip I tell my athletes is to use pull exercises twice or three times as much as push exercises.
YOUR TRAINING MAY BE COMPRIMISING YOUR GAINS
Just because you hit the gym 5 to 6 days a week doesn’t mean you’re helping yourself, or training correctly. Insufficient training could compromise excessively sedentary habits (ex. Sitting all day or the body in a bad position for a long period of time). If your training regiment consists of the recumbent bike, rower machine, or weight machines than I suggest you change something up. You want to be training for movement not muscles.
FIX YOUR SLEEPING HABITS
I personally find myself resting in every position possible but ultimately fall asleep on my side and wake up on my stomach (which is horrible). I’m constantly cussing my pillows because they are either to soft, where my head is basically hanging on my neck muscles, or too firm where it’s shoving my neck and head to far up. After a night or two of crappy sleep posture I often get headaches caused by trigger points in my neck, shoulders, and upper back. This makes me feel more run-down than usual because the quality of my sleep suffered. Here are a couple videos that talk about sleep positioning and using your pillows to help you.
Female athletes who have anorexia nervosa are similar to female non-athletes with that disorder, but there are some important additional factors at work also.
Athletics used to “legitimize” an eating disorder
The current climate in athletics includes an emphasis on low body fat and thinness. That emphasis, and the dedication and discipline required to comply, make it relatively easy for a female athlete to hide an eating disorder. Indeed, she may even receive praise and admiration for her self-control and denial of appetite.
An illusion of virtue
Emphasis on thinness and demands for self-discipline invite the female athlete to believe that she is being “good” when she restricts food. She also believes that if she is “good” for a long enough period of time, she will improve her performance, win more often, and achieve more glory. She equates weight loss with becoming quicker, faster, and stronger. Research indicates just the opposite, but she will not believe that dieting could make her weak and slow. Unfortunately, some coaches encourage the thinner-is-better delusion.
Denial of reality
Some female athletes with anorexia nervosa are able to compete remarkably well in spite of the disorder. They use their awards, medals, and personal best achievements to dispute the claims of worried friends and family members that they are in danger. How, they say, could I be sick and still do so well in my sport? Eventually performance will suffer, but the athlete, instead of admitting that undernourishment is to blame, will insist that she needs to lose even more weight to achieve previous levels of success.
Athletics used as an excuse not to eat
The female athlete has an extensive repertoire of excuses why she cannot eat: Because of all the competitions, her training schedule, practice sessions, skull sessions, and traveling, she does not have time to eat. Eating before practice or competition is impossible because she is nervous, because it will make her feel heavy and slow, because it will leave her bloated, because it will make her sick to her stomach. Eating afterwards leaves her nauseated. She cannot eat fat because she must lower her body fat percentage. With this last excuse, in one fell swoop, she removes many foods from her diet, including meat, which in moderate amounts is an excellent source of high quality protein.
Athletics used as an excuse to burn calories
The anorexic female athlete may be a compulsive exerciser and use workouts as one way of purging calories. She may believe that a serious athlete can never work too hard or too much, that “no pain, no gain” must be taken literally, to the point that pain is sought as a marker for achievement. When confronted about excessive workouts, she may insist that if she were easier on herself, she would gain weight and then lose her ranking or her position on the team. She believes that even the smallest omission from her exercise regimen will cause her to “blimp up.” In her mind, the gain of even a pound or two would cause her performance to suffer.
Athletics used to create or maintain a fragile identity
The anorexic female non-athlete wants to be thin but may not have a well-defined picture of how her life will be better if she manages to lose weight. She insists, somewhat vaguely, that, “I’ll feel better and be happier when I’m thinner.” In contrast, the anorexic female athlete, who may share this general sentiment, also believes that losing weight will help her achieve specific sports goals.
She uses her performance to define who she is, to create at least part of her identity. In too many cases, her role as an athlete is the only part of her life where she feels at least minimally competent and effective. If she is not able to participate in her sport, or if she is kept out of play by coaches who fear for her safety, she will feel diminished and experience great loss and distress.
Identity issues may be of primary importance when the athlete has trained for her sport since childhood. Gymnasts and ballet dancers have a higher incidence of eating disorders than that found in general populations. These individuals see themselves as gymnasts and dancers only, and anything, like weight gain, that is perceived to threaten performance is experienced with terror as a danger to a fragile and underdeveloped identity.
How Anorexia Nervosa effect the whole body
Brain and Nerves
Can’t think right, fear of gaining weight, sad, moody, irritable, bad memory, fainting, and changes in brain chemistry
Hair thins and gets brittle
Chance of severe teeth loss
Low blood pressure, slow heart rate, fluttering of the heart, heart failure
Anemia and other blood problems
Muscle, Joints, and Bones
Weak muscles, swollen joints, bone loss, fractures, osteoporosis
Kidney stones, Kidney failure
Low potassium, magnesium, and sodium
Periods stop, problems with growth, trouble getting pregnant, higher chance of miscarriage, having a baby with the dangers of low bodyweight
Bruise easily, dry skin, growth of fine hair all over body, get cold easily, yellow skin, nails get brittle
Millions of people complain about lower back pain, or tightness in their lower back. In this article I will point out some key facts and myths that I have read from Dr. Stuart McGill’s articles and videos. Dr. McGill is one of the world’s foremost experts on spine biomechanics. Enjoy!
More times than not people will tend to want to stretch their lower back if they fill pain or any sort of tightness. Many Physical Therapists, Doctors, and even Strength Coaches that are not educated in the manner tend to prescribe to the injured athlete or person to “STRETCH” as much as possible. What these people don’t see is what is causing the back pain, which every good strength coach knows there is always an underlying cause to why injuries occur. Rather that is bad posture, piss-poor lifting technique, and with the lower back it’s usually the hips causing the problem. The lumbar spine (lower back) will always compensate for movement limitations or activation issues.
Dr. McGill states that when they test their athletes that are complaining about lower back pain and who have been stretching a lot, many show that their problem is because of neurogenic tension, not tight muscles.
So, while stretching the back, and hamstrings may feel good as the stretch receptors are stimulated – the neural tissues are stretched causing more stiffness the next day. Worse yet are those who may have stiffness due to disc bulges, and stretching only makes the bulges larger.
1. The muscles of the legs, arms, shoulders, and hips are designed to create force throughout a range of motion resulting in movement
2. The muscles of the spine, core, and torso are designed to do precisely the opposite – they stop movement
The Importance of Core Training
“Training the Core is all about creating Proximal Stiffness to enhance Distal Mobility” – Dr. Stuart McGill
What Dr. McGill is saying is in order for the spine to be stabilized and for the body to be able to move with greater mobility in certain area, it must be supported by an orchestra of muscles. The interplay between the spine and core muscles allows for stability in bending, lifting, or whatever the individual needs to do. Research also shows that to focus on a single muscle or muscle group, through targeted exercises, will not provide overall stability. In fact, this approach will create patterns that result in decreased stability. For example just performing exercises such as the bicep curl, tricep pushdowns and other useless exercises isn’t getting the job done.
Power is the product of force and velocity. Spine power must remain low. This is achieved by keeping one of these two variables low. If the speed is high, such as in a golf swing, then the spine muscle forces must be low. Or if the spine muscle forces are high, as in lifting a heavy weight, then the velocity of spine movement must be low. Here, power is developed about the ball and socket joints – the hips and shoulders. The spine transfers the power as a stiffened link. We have measured this pattern in some of the most elite athletes in the world – it is a hallmark of high performance and injury resilience. So, the muscles of the torso are different than the muscles of the limbs – they are designed primarily to stop motion, while the limb muscles are designed create it. They need to be trained differently. Great athletes know this.
Dr. McGill uses a mixed martial arts athlete for his example. The athlete needs to build abdominal armour to survive in that sport. Tradition may suggest doing a thousand sit-ups or crunches per day. But this violates the spine power principle and reduces the volume of tolerable training. Replacing this with more isolated core exercises such as planks, side planks, stir the pot, land mine rotations, farmers’ walks, and many others that enhance tolerable training volume and builds an abdominal short-range stiffness to enhance performance and minimize the risk of injury.
The approach treats the stabilizing musculature as an orchestra.
You can find most of these core exercises on Youtube.
Rather you’re training for performance, athleticism, or just overall fitness. Core & Movement training should be the first important aspect of your program. The diagram below is from Coach Carlisle former University of Southern California strength coach, and now working for the Seattle Seahawks. I’ve used this diagram with my athletes for the past couple years to get them to understand why we do what we do and why it’s so important.
(The diagram shows the two most important aspects of a program The Core & Flexibility/Movement, which holds all the other also important attributes together Power, Strength, Speed, Agility, and Endurance or Conditioning as most may say. So to sum this up, the stronger your core is, the better you can move and exert power through greater ranges of motion, the better athlete you will become.
Now when you consider performance enhancement, the hips are the center of power production. But for hips to create power, the torso needs to be stiffened. Take for example a soccer player making a cut planting one leg in order to change directions. If the player’s hip on his/her non-supporting leg (the non-planting leg) drops, there will be a loss of energy which has “leaked” out due to the lack of torso stiffness created.
(Now lets compare the two figures above. Look at figure IV’s body position, this is an example of someone lacking torso stiffness and also the “leakage” of energy. Figure V shows good mechanics, a stiff torso and extension of the ankle, knee, hip). Figure V is not wasting any energy which allows him to exert the most force he can into the ground to propel him in the direction he is going fast than Figure IV.)
Now to stop leakage from occurring, one must consider training muscles like quadratus lumborum, latusimus dorsi and the full erector spinae.These muscles together work to create this stiffness and permit the hips to generate more power. If you can fixate the core, it will unleash the power in the hips to optimize performance.
This mechanism also can help protect the back. If the spine is stiffened in a neutral position, the safest position for the spine, it will be able to withstand much more loading than when in a poor posture position.
The Foundation for Power?…STRENGTH!
Strength is very simple: it’s the amount of force that someone can produce. Newton’s second law of motion teaches us that force is created when you accelerate a mass (mass x acceleration = force). When your body creates enough force it allows you to accelerate your body’s mass fast!
Your body cannot produce force if it has no force to produce. Force production is the foundation of all movement. I will use surfing for example because I appreciate the sport and the skill that it takes. To be able to perform a skilled maneuver such as the cutback, or an air maneuver (see videos below) one must generate incredible force and acceleration to perform these with POWER and EXPLOSIVENESS. If we train our muscles to be strong enough to produce a certain maximum force in a given athletic situation, that means we can accelerate our bodies or an external object similar in mass faster and with more power.
(Professional Surfer Kelly Slater- Top, Professional Surfer Gabriel Medina- Bottom)
For those of you who are more experienced with weight training, you’re probably thinking “many of those qualities are affected by different training stimuli,” and you’re definitely right. Explosive Strength (power) and Reactive Strength (plyometrics) are used to fine-tune your neuromuscular abilities by focusing the Maximum Strength that you have just built.
Explosive Strength focuses on increasing the Rate of Force Development (RFD), or how fast your muscles are able to produce force. This type of strength is especially important for power lifting, Olympic lifting, shot put, weight throw, baseball pitchers, javelin, and discus, as these sports are expressions of maximal explosiveness. If you can create the same maximal force that you have developed through your Maximal Strength phase faster, this will translate into performance. This is expressed through high-load speed strength (moving heavier loads, like a snatch) and low-load speed strength (moving your body weight, or lighter loads such as in discus).
Reactive Strength qualities are beneficial to athletes who are dynamic in their sport. This applies to most team sports and individual sports, including hockey, rugby, football, baseball, golf, tennis, squash, etc. Reactive Strength is the muscle’s ability to apply force quickly, after completing a Stretch Shortening Cycle (SSC). The SSC is the transition from, yep… you guessed it: being stretched, to being shortened. If you’re a soccer player running one direction and the ball zips by to your left, you want to get there as quickly as possible. Instead of stopping, turning left, and starting to run, we simply crossover and push off with our right foot, propelling our body to the left. We don’t do a full squat and jump to the left. We plant and push off, wasting no time at all. And if your SSC is faster and produces greater force than the defender, I think we can figure out who gets to the ball first.
References Hales, M (2011) Evaluating Common Weight Training Concepts Associated With Developing Muscular Strength: Truths or Myths? Strength and Conditioning Journal; February; 33 (1); pp. 91- 95.
Hori, N; Newton, R; Nosaka, K; Stone, M (2005). Weightlifting Exercises Enhance Athletic Performance That Requires High-Load Speed Strength. Strength and Conditioning Journal; August; 24 (4); pp. 50 – 55.
< Older posts Newer posts > Page 1 of 1