Archive for the Strength Coach Podcast Category

Can You Gain Mass With Split Squats?

Posted in Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Uncategorized with tags on July 1, 2015 by mboyle1959

Got this question yesterday?

Q- With using split squats, RFE split squats, etc. instead of back squat or any bilateral lifts besides deadlift; can
you still put on mass successfully?

A- The answer to the question would be “why not”. Do you think the body knows how many legs it on?

One idea that is thrown around is that heavy weights produce an anabolic effect. Although this may be true, I don’t think there is any evidence that the heavy load needs to be applied bilaterally? Do you really think your hormones say “I’ll hold off here, he’s only using one leg”?

Also, hypertrophy in response to high volume bodyweight work can be seen in a number of examples. Distance runners tend to have unusually large calves. Speed skaters and cyclists tend to have large quads. Any female athlete that jumps or sprints tends to have great glute development.

The reality is that heavy loads are not a requirement for hypertrophy and, that light loads might actually work just as well.

In any case I don’t think the body knows whether each leg squatted 150 lbs or, both legs squatted 300. In fact, if we look at bilateral deficit, the average weight per limb might be heavier.

Thoughts?

Do Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats Cause Back Pain?

Posted in Core training, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females with tags , on June 30, 2015 by mboyle1959

I just got back from speaking at the Perform Better Summit in Chicago. In between my talks I took in Stuart McGill’s talk ( he is always one of my favorites and has greatly influenced me).

Recently Dr McGill has been vocal about Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats potentially causing back pain, particularly SI joint pain and as he calls it “pelvic ring” disruption.

We probably use the rear foot elevated split squat as much as anyone and, have not had any increase in SI joint pain or back pain in general. In fact, we switched to the split squat variations in response to back pain from heavy back and front squats.

My theory on why we don’t have back pain from the rear foot elevated split squat is three fold.

1- We use a relatively short stance. A lot of the videos I’ve seen have the rear leg quite extended.

2-  We rarely do more than 30 reps per week per leg. A big volume week for us would be three sets of 10.

3- We never put the bar in a back or front squat position. Positioning the bar this way causes a great deal of lumbar extension which could increase back stress and anterior hip stress. We always use dumbbells of kettle bells.

I think this “idea” is just that and has very little basis in fact. As much I’m reluctant to disagree with Dr McGill I have to one this one.

Early in the week I polled StrengthCoach.com members and couldn’t find one who thought that rear foot elevated split squats had resulted in either them or their athletes having an increase in back pain. Coincidence? I think not.

Thoughts?

A Great Programming Question

Posted in MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , on June 5, 2015 by mboyle1959

I received this via email yesterday and thought I’d share it. I’m in the process of writing a second edition of Functional Training for Sports ( my first book in 2004) and will clear stuff like this up…

Hey, Coach!- I’m designing my first strength program and had two questions for you:

Q 1) I am using your template for a 3-day strength program from Functional Training for Sports, and it calls for Double Leg Knee Dominant exercises on Day 1 and Day 3. I am much more in favor of single leg exercises, and there’s no shortage of Single Leg Knee Dominant exercises, so I wanted to know if substituting the double leg exercises for a Rear Foot Elevated Squat and a Split Stance Squat Progression would be okay? I remember reading that you were slowly progressing towards an ALL single leg training philosophy, but didn’t know if you had attempted it with any success yet. I am a track and field athlete, if that would make any difference in the matter.

A- We have not gone quite all the way yet with healthy athletes. Day 1 has Trap Bar Deadlift ( actually a hip dominant or hybrid) as our only bilateral strength exercise of the week.

Leading me into my second question…

Q 2) In your Advances in Functional Training, I recall you classifying Lunge-type exercises as Hip Dominant, although it can be confused with a Knee Dominant exercise very easily. If I were to use Lunge-type exercises as a Knee Dominant exercise in my program, would I risk under training a true Knee Movement, or would it not be an issue? (Didn’t quite know how to word that one )

A- Almost true. We would classify slideboard lunge as hip dominant but conventional lunges as knee dominant. I would not worry about being too hip dominant if you get Rear Foot Elevated One Leg Squats and true one leg squats once each.

Thoughts? Comments?

 

Great Piece on Foam Rolling from Thomas Myers

Posted in Guest Authors, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training with tags on May 21, 2015 by mboyle1959

Here’s a great post from Thomas Myers of Anatomy Trains fame ( courtesy of Kevin Carr, thanks for the email). I can only say READ THIS.

Myers On Foam Rolling

Upcoming Certified Functional Strength Coach Events

Posted in MBSC News, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on May 8, 2015 by mboyle1959

Our Certified Functional Strength Coach courses are really taking off. We have five courses coming up this summer. The reviews have been amazing:

Thank you everyone for an amazing workshop! Each MSBC coach had rave reviews, without exception. …. The students’ feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Many have said that it was their favorite continuing education experience/certification/workshop yet. We are definitely hoping to host another in Q2/Q3.

It means a lot to Crunch and lot to me to be able to have a relationship with MSBC and to be able to provide our trainers exposure to some of the best training methodologies in the field, as well as direct time in the trenches learning from 3 of the top coaches in the game. We are looking forward to our next opportunity to work with you all again.

Thank you.


Best Regards,

Mike Spiegel
District Fitness Manager
New York | Miami

_______________________________________________________________

I’m an official graduate of the latest Certified Functional Strength Coach class on April 11, 2015! It was an incredible day of hands on learning with the MBSC guys. They are brillant coaches with a great sense of humor, and they are clearly passionate about what they do. I’m looking forward to using what I learned on Saturday to take my personal training career to the next level. Thanks Marco Sanchez, Kevin Larrabee, and Kevin Carr!

Erika West

_______________________________________________________________

Next certification classes are June 7 in San Francisco:  to sign up go to: https://www.certifiedfsc.com/register?campid=26

June 20 in New York City: to sign up go to https://www.certifiedfsc.com/register?campid=25

We are also doing three CFSC courses, one at each Perform Better Summit on pre-con Thursday. To sign up for those go to : http://www.certifiedfsc.com/performbetter

Hope to see you at a CFSC this summer.

Stuff to Read

Posted in Random Thoughts, Seminars, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates with tags , on April 22, 2015 by mboyle1959

An attendee at the recent Perform Better 1 Day in Chicago asked for some reading recommendations so I thought I’d share them here.

The basic two for everyone in every field are:

How to Wins Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnagie
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen Covey

then from there work you way through:

Good to Great- Collins
Made to Stick – Collins
Goals- Brian Tracey
Slight Edge- Jeff Olsen
Never Eat Alone- Keith Ferrazanni
Creating Magic- Lee Cockrell
Start With Why- Simon Sinek

Hows that for a start?

Why We Don’t Squat?

Posted in Core training, Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Strength Coach Podcast, StrengthCoach.com Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , , on April 14, 2015 by mboyle1959

I’ve unfortunately become famous ( or infamous) on the internet for my views on lower body training. A friend asked me if I could briefly explain my thoughts so I wrote this up. The question of why we don’t squat has both simple and complex answers. The simple reason is that we found the back squat and front squat to be the primary causes of back pain in our athletic population. At any point, in any season, approximately 20% of our athletes would be dealing some kind of back pain that was either caused by squatting or exacerbated by squatting.

The problem was finding an alternative that would allow similar loads. The answer came in three steps.

Step one was actually a picture of one of Joe DeFrancos athletes doing really heavy rear foot elevated split squats ( I think it was with 120 lb dumbbells). That picture opened up my mind to the idea that we could use really heavy loads in unilateral exercises . My first thought was “wow, that would be 480 for reps with two legs”. As a result, I reevaluated and added heavy rear foot elevated split squats to our programs.

Step two was an article by sprint coach Barry Ross. In the article Ross talked about how deadlifts required the use of more muscle mass than squats and were in truth a better total body exercise. As I sat and pondered, I had to agree. Grip work and back work were certainly a feature of the deadlift absent from the squat? I disliked deadlifts because my memories of the deadlift were the ugly ones I did in 1980’s powerlifting meets. Again as a result we added Trap Bar Deadlifts to our program.

The last step was beginning to look into the concept of bilateral deficit. The bilateral deficit research ( actually not new) supported what we saw. What we saw in the split squat was that our athletes were using proportionally heavier loads than they had used in the squat. In fact after one year we saw that our athletes split squat and front squat were equal.

As we progressed in our always experimental programming we saw the change that we desired. We had more healthy athletes. As I have always said, healthy athletes are goal 1, better athletes come second. What we found is that deadlifting gave us a bilateral, more hip dominant choice that seemed to decrease back pain while rear foot elevated split squats actually gave us both higher loads and unilateral, sport specific loads.The only thing wrong was that we were rejecting the sacred cow of squatting.

My thoughts have always been controversial but, always rooted in what was best for the athlete. Unfortunately the detractors ( haters is the popular term now) don’t want to think. They simply want to do what they have always done.

This brings me to one of my favorite quotes from Lee Cockrell in his book Creating Magic:

“What if the way we had always done it was wrong?”

Food for thought and fodder for debate.

PS- We have added front squats back with our young athletes to teach the clean catch and we do some goblet squats with beginners but, you won’t see any athletes with big loads on their shoulders in our facilities unless they are required to do that for a college test.

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