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Messages - LanceSTS

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1
Old Journals / Re: Ahotzo's Training Journal
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:52:24 am »


  Your squat movement pattern looks pretty good except a small amount of lower lumbar play you have going on in the bottom of it.  I saw you have a back issue? so that may be the culprit of it.  With a short torso long legged type its usually not an issue, but with a longer torso it can cause significant pain over time.

  I have a football player with almost identical limb ratios as you look to have, he used to have this exact issue.  The key is learning to use the hip flexors to "pull" you into the squat, keeping the pelvis locked into position and not allowing that "tuck" at the bottom.

If you have access to bands, hip flexor squats are a great warm up for squatting, and really get the correct firing pattern turned on.  Ignore the wide stance/externally rotated feet in the video, this is the exercise though.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foaS0-PIL30" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foaS0-PIL30</a>

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 Good goal, also very doable IF you cut out that manic depressive phase you keep hitting right after you do something good in your training.   Increasing the frequency of front squat, which for you might simply mean replacing back squat with front squat.  Looks like most of your pains have come after back squats anyhow, so no need to keep messing with something less specific to your goals. 

 Getting to 2x bw front squat will do much more for your athleticism than anything youll gain from back squatting regardless.

3
ADARQ & LanceSTS - Q&A / Re: Injured Mid/Low Back on Cleans
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:36:06 am »
Hey Lance,

I was cleaning and feeling good, so after 135x3, 155x3, I went for 165x3, but as I lifted the bar off the ground druing the first rep, something went wrong on my back and I dropped the bar. Feeling like I was being a pussy, I tried repping 135 at lest, failed twice due to unstable feelings in my back.

Three days later, it's still pretty painful...sharp shooting pain all over back, like a grid - happens is certain positions, such as twisting back, bending down, etc. I would guess a strained muscle, but after initial pain, returning and staying at a normal position hurts a lot as well. All pains are SHARP, make me suck in breath and flex core.

Location is mid back, rightish side, next to spine. It isn't a bone for sure, and from what I've been reading, sound a lot like a herniated disk. Hurts like a B*TCH when sneezing, and walking downstairs.

Whats your diagnosis/treatment?

Thanks man, appreciate it.

How does it feel now?  When you feel the pain, is it only in the one specific spot or does it radiate up and down your back?

4
ADARQ & LanceSTS - Q&A / Re: Benefits of Trap-Bar Deadlift
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:33:11 am »
I have some amazon credit from selling back books and want to buy something for my home gym.  I can get a good trap-bar and am strongly considering it.  I have read before that the trap bar is good for people who have lower back issues.  I don't have lower back issues, but I also don't care about competing in the lifts, so if it is a safer alternative I would be all for it.  Anyway, just wondering what you guys think about it and its uses.

The trap bar is a good piece of equipment, its definitely enables a more "leg" driven deadlift when done with the hips starting low.  The nice thing about it is that you can start with high hips like an rdl or sldl, or get down low, even put plates under your feet and make it into a squat type movement with the load in your hands.

  I throw in trap bar work with athletes every now and then to give them a break from squatting for the week, and we also use it for jumps.  One little trick if you decide to get one and do explosives with it is to make sure and start with the bar at the TOP, and include the dip.  Having to stop and reverse the load quickly is key to getting more transfer to on court/field performance.

  Ive never used it as a "main" lift for long enough to say whether or not it could replace squatting, front squats and back squats always take priority here for us but defranco and others have and swear by it.  I think that if youre not doing much pulling, either power clean, power snatch, rdl, etc, then using the trap bar can fill that gap very nicely for athletes.

5
really good conversation, thanks lance in particular. problem is, now i don't know what to do. the next couple of weeks i'll be overseas, started a separate thread about that. but when i get back, what's my focus in the weight room? what about balance between sprint/bound/jump and weights?

 Ill get to this when I get back for lunch.

6

also, the goal is of course for everyone to squat the 405, and more, its simply getting there in a manner that will give you the most gains towards your goals in the process.  Nice snappy reps can get heavy, youll find that guys who train this way will either make or miss it FAST.  That kind of rep should be the mass of the TRAINING reps.  Its fine to go grind a few and see where you are, that shouldnt make up the bulk of your workload though, especially for an athlete. 

many of the higher level countries in weightlifting dont allow squats past a certain percentage of the clean.  They found they simply lose carryover as the speed dies down after that and the lift is less useful.  A snatch and clean are slower movements than a vertical is, so if those guys are losing carryover at SLOWER movements from grinding reps, speed and power athletes should take note.

Totally agree that grinding reps are essentially useless for their training effect.  The question then what is the best way for the athlete to train?  The original post by Raptor suggested to use bar speed to gauge improvement.   You have provided some really salient evidence into why some athletes really need to train explosively throughout the squat (because that's literally how they jump) but how do you favor doing it?

My issues with Raptors strategy was that it's really hard to gauge improvements in bar speed.  Clearly if you have a tendo unit you can do a better job at this.... But given both possibilities which do you think would be the better training style:

1) For some weight (285 for LBSS in Raptors example) stay at the weight and try to improve bar speed each training session.  Attempt to go from 285 in X m/s to X-k m/s which is surely an improvement.

2) Decide that bar speed is binary.  Either it's snappy and fast or it's not acceptable, if possible measure it and decide.  Choose a weight where you can squat with acceptable bar speed.  Use progressive overload to gradually increase the weight WITH the condition that a non-snappy rep is a failure.   

Obviously I favor #2 because I find that speed varies more day to day and improvement in bar speed is really hard to judge with the set-up most people have.  I also think that progressive overload is sort of the one advantage weight training has that jump-training doesn't have and cutting it out means that if the athlete practices jumping (essentially trying to move faster each session "bar speed") then the athlete is just working on bar speed with 0lbs and bar speed with X pounds and the advantage of weight training is kind of lost.  However, it could be that the difference in 0lbs and 285lbs is such that the stimulus is different enough so that 285lb bar speed can improve despite a "maxed out" speed in jumping which will then provide carryover to the jump...  Which would you favor with and without the tools to accurately measure bar speed?

ah, I probably should have been more clear, you are thinking of "speed squats", with a lighter percentage of 1rm used for the purpose of training speed in the squat.  I am not referring to this when I say squatting explosively, I am simply saying EVERY weight he squats, he needs to TRY and move it as explosively as possible.  Once reps slow to a grind, this is no longer a very effective training weight, but we are still speaking of weights at a higher percentage than the 60 ish percent used in speed squatting.

And yes, I wouldnt use m/s as the gauge, its as simple as not letting the lift have a definitive sticking point.  It really is that easy, if the lift constantly accelerates up and doesnt "stick", it was fast "enough".   I think that may explain my stance a little more clearly, I dont like speed squats in the traditional sense for athletes, I would use some type of plyo/explosive instead.

7
Bios / Re: Animals
« on: June 11, 2013, 02:43:07 am »


Davey having fun




and tearing up his couch. Luckily thats his room..



8
^ Hard to tell with still images... are they both at the bottom of their jump?  The top guy though... I simply don't understand how people can jump while squatting so low.... I mean you lose pretty much all your snap going down there and have to unfold sooooo much.  Just seems like it can't be optimal.

So you are telling me the only excuse for my uncoordinated looking dunks is a lack of practice?  I wanted a better excuse.

I have one question about your prescription for less reactive athletes to train explosively with weight.   They are supposed to train explosively despite the fact that there ground contacts and movement time is going to be much slower than the reactive athlete?  I had an old strength coach (who was kind of a fool) who used to frown on things like speed squats for the reasoning that:  "The best way to squat 225 faster is to squat 405".   Basically he was convinced increasing limit strength will increase bar speed at a lighter weight much faster than trying to squat the lighter weight faster and faster....   Obviously this is true for all true beginners.  But do you think this is somehow more or less true for less/more reactive athletes?

Yes, that is the reversal point in each vert.  Pause Kingfishs vert vid at the same point.  Those guys would never get anywhere close to the height they are now if they cut the depth.  They take more time to develop force, but it gets there.  I used to be against that style of vert simply due to the carryover to the court/field.  Its too deep a counter movement, and you will likely never get to use that in a game situation.  What I found though, especially with my football guys that are combine tested in the vert is, some guys simply go higher that way, and thats the way they will always be. 

ah the old squat 225 faster by squatting 400.  Here is the thing, that sounds good in theory, but in practice it doesnt pan out.  We have a tendo unit at my gym that measures bar speed in m/s, and we test this shit all the time.  The guys who have been training explosively destroy the others in bar velocity across the board, up to around 70 percent of their maximum. 

also, the goal is of course for everyone to squat the 405, and more, its simply getting there in a manner that will give you the most gains towards your goals in the process.  Nice snappy reps can get heavy, youll find that guys who train this way will either make or miss it FAST.  That kind of rep should be the mass of the TRAINING reps.  Its fine to go grind a few and see where you are, that shouldnt make up the bulk of your workload though, especially for an athlete. 

many of the higher level countries in weightlifting dont allow squats past a certain percentage of the clean.  They found they simply lose carryover as the speed dies down after that and the lift is less useful.  A snatch and clean are slower movements than a vertical is, so if those guys are losing carryover at SLOWER movements from grinding reps, speed and power athletes should take note.

9
also, check these out. each one is approx. 40 inches standing vert.  One is a much more "reactive" (tendon type dominant) athlete than the other. The first pic is a guy I would definitely suggest squat as explosively as humanly possible.  Not that it wouldnt help the second athlete as well, simply not to the same degree.







10
Guys like yourself will get more out of squatting explosively than naturally fast and explosive types.  There is a lot going on, but to put it simply you have to teach your nervous system to be fast and powerful under high stress/high loads and not shut down, its not as reactive or "natural" as some of the springy type athletes who have different genetic set ups. 

You can tell pretty easy who is which type of athlete by the speed of the run up they come in with.  Guys that get more out of squatting more explosively will be the ones that tend to "ease"  into the counter movement.  This stands for the standing vert as well.  You can find different opinions on why this is,  a solid theory is that one type of athlete is relying more on muscular contribution, while the other is more tendon/springy in nature.  The guy getting more out of his tendons is not going to get the same turn over from squatting explosively as the guy not as gifted in that area will.  It is extremely valuable to the second type of athlete.

This is really interesting. 

Does this mean that if you come into the counter movement fast that there is no benefit to squatting?   I haven't always measured my vertical but I could always jump at least 36 inches while squatting 205 or 405...  If anything I've found only that squatting directly helps my vertical jump from a low pause... something which isn't very good anyway.   Because I have never seen a direct correlation with myself or any of the sprinters I have worked with...  I've always figured the carryover was indirect general strength.  The only guys I have seen jump much higher after squatting are usually somewhat poor athletes to begin with; and there are so many variables (fat loss,etc) for beginners.   Personally I feel squatting helps the sprints moreso just because the ability to handle fatigue during multiple rep squat sets carries over well to sprinting.

Yea thats exactly what I was talking about, for you, squatting is so general that it could even be trap bar deadlifts, etc. and it wouldnt really matter all that much.  There is still a benefit, only not as pronounced and its so much more general than specific.  This wouldnt be the case for a guy like kingfish, if he used deadlifts, etc as his primary lower strength focus he almost certainly wouldnt be getting nearly as high as he is now.  These type of athletes tend to need a much more specific exercise to the movement pattern they are trying to improve, that works the same musculature in a similar manner to the athletic task they are focusing on.   If you watch his vert, it looks VERY similar to his squat.


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How much evidence is there that there are guys who use less tendon by nature?  I've just always assumed that guys who "ease" into the counter movement that you describe are just guys who are not yet coordinated at jumping correctly.  Give them practice and everyone will jump with similar optimal mechanics.   I mean you don't have sprinters who muscle up the track or long jumpers who approach the board slowly!  There is some difference in jumpers as far as how much slowing is done during the penultimate step.... but they are all storing a lot of energy.   I can't imagine someone really training the jumps and sticking with mechanics that don't look springy.  Even poor jumping decathletes don't appear to be jumping without building up a lot of energy.

First, it depends greatly on the level of track athletes youre referring to.  If youre talking post high school/collegiate and up, and they are competitive at that level in the power/speed events, then they almost certainly are the former type of athlete we are talking about. The other guys have dropped out by that point.   

You can for sure see an improvement in the counter movement and run up of anyone, the problem is it doesnt help after a while and can even hurt some guys to try and go faster than they "need" to go.   Not picking on kingfish at all here, but have you ever seen him from an approach?  Thats VERY common as well with those type guys, lbss will be the same.  The longest run up they will benefit from will be a couple of steps at MAX, and even then some will lose height that way.

There are very little studies or anything other than theories, experiences, and anecdotal evidence done on this type of thing at all, its simply not that common an interest.  Some claim that the more muscular dominated movement pattern requires more time for the actin and myosin cross bridges to develop force.  This is why you tend to see a very close standing vert to running, or even higher standing in these athletes.  Tendons dont work the same way.  More velocity, better output.  This may not be 100 percent accurate, but it tends to hold true if you study which type of athlete youre dealing with.     

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Perhaps being involved in basketball gives you a unique ability to study these kind of athletes in the two footed jumps.  I guess basketball has so much more to it than jumping that you will have high level players who aren't capable of jumping in an explosive manner?  And these athletes can make more gains by getting stronger than they can changing their mechanics to store more energy?  Never thought about it like that.

Well, with the springy, weaker type guys its easy to simply get them stronger in general and everything improves.  CNS output, fibre recruitment, strength and stability, the latter which will allow even more powerful output from an already "springy" and powerful tendon/muscle complex due to less golgi tendon inhibition.   The harder guys to improve speed/power in are the guys who are strong, already sprint/practice vert/plyos, and still dont test exceptionally well.  This is where things like half squats, etc. come into play.  You take a very similar movement pattern to what you want to improve, and strengthen the living fuck out of it.  The vert is a fairly slow movement, and strength is at least somewhat SPEED specific.  The stronger you make them at xxx mph, the more power they can express at xxxmph.  The very bottom of the vert is the one area that STRENGTH is actually expressed highly.  After that, acceleration has taken over and its not as dominant of a factor.  Thats why I like squatting explosively, with a specific focus on the reversal point for athletes.  You have a few inches range of motion there that are crucial to success for them.

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Also, if  LBSS can get more out of squatting because he is a more "deliberate" jumper, then would you argue that he will also be a better vertical jumper and dunker (where you need to be deliberate and controlled to coordinate the movement) then someone who jumps with more speed?

No, with someone like you, practicing that movement over and over and going all out when you do it will coordinate the movement on its own.  You can see this with the improvements on already massive verts of elite dunkers all the time.  Some guys cant create that type of overload on their own (without manual overload), and wont handle it if they do.  Whether or not its due to the deformation capability of tendons, which would produce much more force vs the need for time in a more "muscular" type effort or not, I dont know for sure.  It tends to hold true though, the second guy needs to TRAIN explosively with weights to improve. 

11

  The key to making a schedule like that work for you is not as much what you do on the road as it is preparing for the time away while youre at the gym.  Use volume accordingly, if youre going to be gone for a week at a time, make your squat workout prior to leaving account for that.  Plyos are easier since you can still get some work in there, but you can make a lower body workout done on monday take until the next monday to completely supercompensate from easily if you plan it that way.

 I like single leg pogos for max height in a situation like you describe, I feel like they can also maintain strength if done with enough intensity.  The other stuff you listed is fine, but I would make it a priority to figure out what kind of volume and loading you need so that you can plan to be recovering during your time away from the weight room until you can get back in.  This will apply more for the shorter trips obviously, but you can still have an effective plan for increasing your strength and athleticism if you plan for it ahead of time.

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i'm not sure what you're saying about what i'm doing, in that vid or more broadly; what would you recommend? i'm already trying to increase my emphasis on speed stuff through the bounding and sprinting. t0ddday's point about squatting to get strong and sprinting and jumping to get fast and...good at jumping makes sense to me but i'm wary of it because that sounds like a quick way back to focusing too much on the squat.


 Im talking about your focus on squatting explosively that I think Raptor mentioned was a good idea, it is.  For some athletes it really doesnt seem to matter much, the ones that are naturally more "reactive" and "springy".   For others, it helps a lot, this was explained in the contribution of muscles and tendons in my earlier quote.  Of course not at the expense of sprinting, plyos, etc., its simply a matter of when you squat, focus on being as explosive as humanly possible.  This will help YOU a lot more than it would help someone like todday.

13
Off Topic / Re: the lol thread
« on: June 10, 2013, 11:49:42 pm »

14
Pics, Videos, & Links / Re: Kingfush Unlisted Training Vids
« on: June 10, 2013, 11:48:12 pm »


  One thing you guys are overlooking, which is a HUGE factor in kingfishs ankle dorsi flexion is he is purposely squatting on the front of his feet.  Even with weightlifting shoes on his heels come off the floor at times. This will drastically alter the perception of dorsi flexion in a normal squat with the weight on mid foot/heel.   Hes obviously adapted to this and his knees are fine, but trying to copy that aspect of his squat will hurt a lot athletes who are not Kingfish and do not have his proportions nor time spent  building strength in that movement pattern.

15
Ghr looks pretty good, youre already doing them better than most.  Drive your toes into the pad HARD as you come up, drive your hips through the pad more.  Youre letting your hips come back a little on the way up taking some of the glute drive away.  A good cue to get the calves and glutes working correctly is to "pinch" the foot plate with the first toes, then drive holes in the plate with them.

Guys like yourself will get more out of squatting explosively than naturally fast and explosive types.  There is a lot going on, but to put it simply you have to teach your nervous system to be fast and powerful under high stress/high loads and not shut down, its not as reactive or "natural" as some of the springy type athletes who have different genetic set ups. 

You can tell pretty easy who is which type of athlete by the speed of the run up they come in with.  Guys that get more out of squatting more explosively will be the ones that tend to "ease"  into the counter movement.  This stands for the standing vert as well.  You can find different opinions on why this is,  a solid theory is that one type of athlete is relying more on muscular contribution, while the other is more tendon/springy in nature.  The guy getting more out of his tendons is not going to get the same turn over from squatting explosively as the guy not as gifted in that area will.  It is extremely valuable to the second type of athlete.

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