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Interesting.. thoughts?

Strength, Power, Reactivity, & Speed Discussion / belts are for pussies
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:13:27 am »
Should you wear a belt or not? Study write-up

A few notes about the study itself:

- It’s actually uses relatively strong subjects.  Not world champions, but the subjects had to meet one of two minimum criteria:  either an 8rm of 125.5kg (~277 pounds) or an 8rm of at least 1.6x body weight.  So these guys at least had a little experience under the bar, which means the results are more apt to translate to people who have been lifting for a few years than if the study had been done on untrained people.

They looked at a lot of different variables.  They used a force plate to examine force output, they used a camera system to gather kinematic data (joint angles and how the body moved, essentially), they measured intra-abdominal pressure, muscle activation via EMG, and time it took to complete each phase of the lift (bottom of the lift to 90 degree knee angle, 90 to 135 degrees knee angle, and 135 degrees to full extension).  This is good because it gives us a broad picture of how wearing a belt affected the movement as a whole, not just one variable.

What they found:

1. The “sticking point” became much more pronounced without a belt. 

2.  There were no significant differences between belted and beltless with regard to kinematic and force plate data. 

3.  Intraabdominal pressure was 25-40% higher in the belted group, as opposed to the beltless group.

4 a) no significant differences were observed for the spinal erectors in the belt vs. beltless set, and muscle activation in the eccentric and concentric phases was actually quite similar, indicating that it takes about the same amount of effort from the spinal erectors to keep the spine extended during both phases of the lift.


1.  In spite of the set with a belt being easier (since both sets were performed with the beltless 8rm), it still resulted in greater quad and hamstring activation, especially during the sticking point and as the set progressed, respectively.

(vag, raptor, acole, todday etc get reading, i want your thoughts on the whole thing thanks!)

Basketball / check out my bboy stance
« on: October 05, 2013, 12:32:09 pm »
Interesting discussion in the dunks thread, thought it was worth a decidated thread.
I don't get how people maintain such a vertical back when jumping off two... I always have to bend forward at the hips to jump, and almost look to the ground. That's why I'm thinking maybe it would be a good idea for me to do front squats/high bar squats with a more vertical back.

Is it just a matter of lack of quad strength?

Core strength and stability imo. Collapsing at the waist is wasted energy.

Core strength and stability imo. Collapsing at the waist is wasted energy.

I always thought it's a matter of weak quads, so the body wants to recruit the posterior chain more by bending foward and putting tension on the hamstrings/glutes more and relieve the tension off the quads. But it could be so many things.

Nutrition & Supplementation / Applied Nutrition for Mixed Sports
« on: October 01, 2013, 04:17:26 am »
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Probably the best resource on nutrition for people in this forum. It's a full video lecture thing with slides, the above is just an excerpt. I'd like to do a review sometime when I get a chance to re-watch it again.

also, fao raptor ^

Strength, Power, Reactivity, & Speed Discussion / analyse my squat bar path
« on: September 04, 2013, 09:55:49 am »
While experimenting trying to get the bar over midfoot I chanced upon doing bodyweight squats ON my toes (with heels off the ground maybe about 2-4"). In this way I can maintain a bar path over midfoot. And also it makes my knees point horizontally rather than at the sky (see pictures below). This suggests having a wedge under my heel might help a lot. But weighlifting shoes will only have a 0.75" heel. That might not be enough? I may need much more heel elevation than that to get horizontal  facing quads which will make my torso more upright. The best way to picture this is to look at Tommy Kono's graphic below.

Knees point ahead, the ideal position for an athletic squat, it means the brunt of the load is borne by the legs.

I use flat shoes to do the following squats. Pictured below is bar position at the bottom of both squats.

 As you can see the bar is over my toes instead of over midfoot. It's too far forward. What i'm trying to understand is WHY? It causes me all manner of problem manifesting in squatmorning my lifts with too much forward lean. I would like to be more upright.

In FS I sit down btw my legs, not thinking about bar path.

In BS I break first at knees to create space for my legs to fill so that my shins aren't vertical at the bottom of the squat. I don't have a problem with ankle mobility, as far as I know. So if it's a mobility issue preventing the bar being over midfoot id welcome suggestions as to what part of my body needs more moblity. I don't believe it's ankles because my knees are plenty forward I think.

All I want is a more upright torso. I think that would solve all my squat problems at once. Welcome any ideas or theories.

Pics, Videos, & Links / beautiful squats
« on: August 12, 2013, 09:53:27 am »
Suggested guidelines: Only pretty, technically and aesthetically pleasing squats. Please no grindy, ugly lifts, no PL squats, no DLs, bps, etc. Only squats (and  maybe snatches and c&js)
Kick it off with these two :-

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more to come later.

Article & Video Discussion / Dan Green Explains Knee Action in the Squat
« on: August 10, 2013, 02:44:53 am »
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Dan describes in the accompanying article why he started squatting this way

Quote from: Dan Green
7. Good Mornings…
The reason my squats would always top out around 600–for no less than 18 months—was that every time the weight got heavy enough, my butt would shoot up and I’d find myself doing good mornings! There was a simple fix: do more good mornings. I’d read Louie’s articles. In several instances he says that as many as 7 out of 10 Max Effort workouts would be good morning variations. All I had to do was start doing more good mornings! Where I’d gone wrong was identifying my back as the weak link. I’d assumed that my back wasn’t strong enough to squat heavier. I pretty much kept thinking that was the problem for the next 18 months!

8. Squatting is based on Posterior Chain Strength…Quads are just Ornaments!

I kept on training good mornings and I kept doing all the glute ham raises and posterior chain work that I could. But then something happened: I was fortunate enough in December 2010 to be invited to compete in Moscow. I squatted a respectable 617 in knee wraps, but then watched as Konstantin Pozdeev squatted 815…easily. I asked myself what it was that he had that I didn’t. He was a lighter 220 than me and outsquatted me by 200 pounds! But the difference was pretty obvious. He had nothing short of the most freakish quad development I’d ever seen!

Where I’d always squatted with a wide stance with my butt back, he stood more upright with a close stance and allowed his knees to travel way out in front of his feet. His knees would press inward as he reversed out of the hole—a major red flag for anybody who’d modeled their technique around the Westside technique. But again I was tempted. His quads draped themselves generously down over his kneecaps. Mine tapered off embarrassingly into the knee even though the upper portion was well developed. He had huge tear drop quads and I just had tears of sadness! His technique and quad development may have been freakish, but his astronomical squat world record spoke for itself! I had to make a change. If I kept squatting with my knees out and back and sitting my hips way back I was only going to scratch away and make modest PRs but I would never add 200 pounds if I didn’t overhaul my squat. I kept hearing Louie preach that quads were for bodybuilders. But then I couldn’t block the thought that: nope, Louie, quads were for world record squats!

No more than two months later I competed for the first time at the Raw Unity Meet and met some truly phenomenal raw lifters: Sam Byrd, Jeremy Hamilton and Jay Nera. What I was able to learn from these guys only went on to reinforce what I was starting to learn. And both Nera and Byrd had great squats, trained lots of front squats and seldom trained with maximal weights. They both had their own training styles, but both involved a lot of squatting!

Article & Video Discussion / chinese weightlifting system
« on: July 30, 2013, 08:58:00 am »
We talked about 6 very important things.

Fulcrum/Leverage (I’m still arguing with him to change the word fulcrum to leverage)
Feelings when training
The focus on perfection in technique

Balance is the idea where you want to have all the load, directly in the middle of the foot. Only when it’s at the middle of the foot, will you minimize the muscular work required to keep the bar balanced. When we are able to achieve this, we will be able to minimize the stress on the body and yet still hit solid numbers in our training.

The idea of fulcrum, is, how can we possible use the least amount of effort to lift the maximum amount of weight? This all revolves around the basic idea of keeping the weight centered on the body and not have it shift back or forward. Any anterior, posterior, lateral (okay, fine. Those were big words. Any front back side movement) is a waste and what can we do to achieve maximum weight with least amount of effort.  He always told me, if you can lift well, you will lift 100KG with only 95KG of force. You let your body hold on to positions that are necessary to minimize the feeling of the weight on your body.

Why coordination is important when wanting to have good tempo

The importance of not rushing and cutting the pull short and diving under the bar. Why it’s far more important to have a good consistent and solid tempo, regardless of weight (meaning all loads are lifted with the same sort of speed). This is rather neural.

When I say feeling, I don’t mean emotionally how you feel. I couldn’t be less bothered about how you feel emotionally when training. What I’m interested in is the feeling your body is providing you when you’re training. What is weak and what isn’t what is strong and what is imbalanced. How would you go about fixing all these little issues. You can’t do this without being able to feel because there’s this small problem.
The coach has the experience and can see what’s happening. But athletes are experts in hiding the real pain and imbalance so even experienced coaches can sometimes miss it. Most of the times, the athlete doesn’t even know they’re doing it. The athlete however, doesn’t have the knowledge nor the experience to tell what’s going wrong. So they need to rely on the coaches. That’s why I always stress coach and athlete relationship. If the athlete doesn’t respond to what the coaches are trying to convey, the coach will have a real hard time trying to get to the root of the issue.

The focus of perfection in technique

In order to tie up all the above things that we’ve discussed, there’s a need to have perfect technique. All the time. Regardless of weight. 20KG must look the same as 160KG that sort of idea. The same speed, the same everything. Only then can your brains and muscles coordinate and get the movement to be more and more efficient and you become “stronger and stronger”.
We then move to the practical side of training and he sends them back to do these weird exercises.
First, what I think the breakdancing community knows as “the worm”

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Something I like to call, the “panda pull”

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And then the boys go and do their homework.
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Now before you ask me how many reps and sets at what weight should I do it, let’s ….let’s walk away from that way of thinking momentarily. Remember at the previous article, I spoke about how Liao Hui’s coach generally allows him to do his own thing? And when the coach gets pissed at him, he starts to smarten up and train properly?
I’ll repeat, “Coach usually allows me to do my own thing. If I get too playful, he starts to get pissed at me and I smarten up”
Points out something yet? Remember, the Chinese weightlifting methods finds its roots in the gymnastics training. Gymnasts are the strongest people per pound of bodyweight, in the world. Try asking a gymnast, how many reps and sets to do for their muscle-ups or backflips. I’m not sure if they’ll even know what you’re trying to ask.
Anyway, practice practice practice. Hopefully, as my brains begin to work back into writing, I’ll be able to churn out better writing. I’m a bit dissatisfied by the lack of creativity in my writing today. Must be the Saturday night beers I tell ya.

Basketball / pat mendez jumping
« on: July 27, 2013, 12:08:38 pm »
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and front squatting 188kg


Take a good basketball guard and watch him move and you'll notice someone who moves fluidly with smooth acceleration. Is that quality trainable? Take someone who is naturally unathleletic or at best barely average, you can increase his strength and vertical jump. But is it possible to reduce the jerkiness and sluggishness in such a person's movement and make him more fluid? HOW?


Strength, Power, Reactivity, & Speed Discussion / my jump training
« on: February 28, 2013, 08:55:41 am »
Background: 6'3", 75kg/165lb, 29 years old, current ATG front squat 120kg, best full backsquat 130kg (no belt).

Through training & diet i've taken my SVJ up from 20" to over 30" which i'm happy with. I can dunk SVJ with one hand, both hands and almost there with a reverse SVJ dunk.

I now have a decent SVJ and three step jump. I jump much less from RVJ. Always has been the case for as long as I can remember.

Training hasn't done much if anything for my quicker RVJ, it's remained pretty much constant as far as I can tell.

I would like to get my RVJ moving up now. It's more useful to me than SVJ is, SVJ is nice and all but RVJ is sexier and more applicable to sport. To get a good SVJ I dip down quite a bit, approaching the positions and angles of a deep squat but for RVJ where the knee angle is much smaller, I don't get much VJ out of my gym training.

I've never done any jump specific exercises before but I think it's time I started.

Which basic exercises, movements or drills should I add to improve my RVJ in particular?.

Thanks for your time.

First up a one armed bodyweight chinup. Who is down?

Nutrition & Supplementation / same bodyfat for different bodyweights
« on: October 10, 2012, 09:53:02 am »

The gist of the table above is that a person who weighs 10 pounds more but is at the same bodyfat percentage will carry only 1lb more of fat. I haven't seen this discussed or emphasised anywhere else but I think a table like this is most illuminating in establishing a realistic idea of bodyfat.

Lets look at some examples. A striking comparison can be made of two people with the same bodyfat, one 160 and the other 190. There is 30 pounds of difference in bodyweight and the heavier guy only carries an extra 3lb of fat. A lean 200 pounder would only carry one more pound of bodyfat than his 190 brah.

For our kilogram brothers it's instructive to compare bodyfats for 60-70-80-90-100kg at 10% bodyfat. They are respectively 6,7,8,9,10kg. So guys 10kg heavier only carrry an extra kilo of bodyweight.

A lean 220 pounder or 100kg brah is carrying only a few kilo or pounds of bodyfat than a ripped 70kg guy.
If you can pinch a good amount of fat on your gut or back than would be the difference between a lean 170 and 200 then you are probably too heavy for your amount of lean mass. Most people underestimate their bodyfat (and thus overestimate lean mass). A reality check is a good idea by cutting to 10% to shed the extra fat and get an accurate idea of how much lean mass you have. Subsequent bulks go more efficiently starting from a low bodyfat too which is a nice bonus.

Nutrition & Supplementation / lets talk hydration
« on: September 24, 2012, 01:06:12 pm »
I'm having trouble getting hydration right. I don't eat a lot of salt and minerals compared to the average person and if I was just to pour down a gallon of water daily i'd probably do more harm than good since the water will just erode away all the nutrients and minerals and stuff which would suck from a health and performance point of view. So in lieu of better hydration, what are your recommendations and advice?

I take stimulants around training sometimes, like some of you, which act as a diuretic. So I often have bad workouts because of poor hydration and i'll find my lips dry at the end of the longer workout even though the stimulants are supposed to help performance. I know some guys like Kingfisher take a lot of caffeine so i'm interested in how he'd keep himself hydrated thru the day in particular

tldr: is there a nice easy, hopefully low/zero calorie way to hydrate short of drinking a shitload of water (which i don't want to do). a recipe or something would be good..

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