It’s not as simple as you think and there’s lots we take for granted.
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Here’s a pretty interesting recent podcast interview.
Take a second and listen.
We are having more and more interest in coaches switching from front or back squats to rear foot elevated split squats ( Bulgarian Lunges, a name you’ll recognize and I hate).
The big question we get is the “how much weight to use question”. I just got an email from one of our former coaches asking just this question so. I thought Id share my answer.
” we found that the front squat ( 1 RM) and rear foot elevated split squat 1 RM with a bar in the back squat position were pretty close. ( +- 10 lbs). For front squats we did a 1 RM, for split squats we did a rep max and then calculated the 1 RM but, in any case they were close.
However I don’t like the back squat position for the rear foot elevated split squats. If you get in trouble and lose a bar it’s a disaster so we went to dumbbells.
We figure you can do 80% of what you can do with the bar with dumbbells. So, lets do the math.
Front Squat 1 RM = 190 therefore Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat =190
With dumbbells that would be 152 lbs ( .8 x 190) or, roughly 75 lb dumbbells for one rep.
We then calculate training loads from there. 80% x5 would be .8x 75 or 60’s x5
In other words, someone that could front squat 190 should use 60 lb db’s for sets of 5.
However there is a learning curve if they haven’t done the lift. I started with 50% x10 so in this case 35’s or 40’s x 10. “
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I love when I get questions from readers of New Functional Training for Sports.
It’s exciting to know that the book is making people think. I received a few questions about static stretching and, thought I’d answer them here.
Q- New studies are coming out about static stretching. Some say 30 sec and less is beneficial however over 60 sec is detrimental, please elaborate if you agree or disagree?
A- We rarely hold a stretch longer then 30 seconds so I’m not sure it matters in our case. One thing I know is that the research will keep changing. The other thing I know is that stretching helps to prevent injury.
Q- As a staff we are wondering how you incorporate static stretching and foam rolling prior to exercise into your program?
A- On pages 46 and 47 I outline it. Everybody rolls as a group first, then stretches, then performs a dynamic warm-up sequence.
Q- How long do you hold the static stretch?
A- Probably about 10-15 sec in each position. We try to think breathes these days so two to three breathes.
Q- Do you go after numerous muscle groups (static stretching, foam rolling) before each session? or just pick one major muscle group to go after that day?
A- We try to roll and stretch all the major muscles groups. Rolling tends to focus on the backside ( think about the creep concept discussed on page 41). Stretching focuses on lower body making sure we hit adductors, hip flexors, hip rotators, and lateral hamstrings. ( pg 47)
Q- Do you still static stretch and foam roll post exercise?
We don’t discourage it but, it’s not formal. Pre-workout is formal and mandatory.
Hope this helps. If you want to ask questions every day think about a Strengthcoach.com membership. I answer questions every day there.
I got a great series of questions from a former player who is now a strength and conditioning coach.
Q- Would you recommend a harder rolling surface over a normal foam roller? Especially for those who have been rolling for long periods of time? Think regular black foam roller vs. a pvc pipe.
A- The idea of “no pain no gain” is loosely based on the fact that we know that rolling will initially be uncomfortable. However, we can’t jump forward from “no pain, no gain” to the idea of “more pain, more gain”. PVC pipe etc. may be OK in certain areas for really large, muscular clients. In general, foam rolling is not a “harder is better” pursuit.
Q- Would you agree that if I were to use a normal foam roller that physiological change over time would take longer? Would the denser surface and increased compression equal faster change than a softer surface?
A- This goes back to point 1 above. Harder may lead to injury, bruising etc. The key is appropriate pressure for the client or athlete. My guideline is to match the density of the tool to the density of the client.
Q- Are you concerned at all that the aggressive rolling with a harder surface could actually cause more damage and risk acutely impairing performance?
A- Yes, see above
Q- Lastly, do you have any credible research that support any of your answers, or is it more subjective based on your experience with training and your practice?
A- I think it is a combination of subjective experience and, the subjective experience and research around massage therapy, ART, etc. If you think of rolling as “poor mans massage”, than you are on the right track. There is significant research in the physical therapy field about tissue change via manual techniques. That is why we have ART, MAT, Graston etc. I think we are then expanding this thought process to rollers and other self massage tools.
The bottom line is that it is always about appropriate pressure, not more pressure. Think about the strength training process. The weight that helps you get strong is one you can lift. If we doubled it, that would not help and probably hurt.
One of our coaches asked about why we don’t do step ups.
I realized that I had actually written an article for Strengthcoach.com about it.
A lot of confusion exists in the fields of strength and conditioning and physical therapy about single leg exercises. In fact we just had a well timed forum question on the StrengthCoach.com forums about using step-ups. I’ve written extensively in my all three of my books about single leg exercises and single leg progressions but, sometimes things are worth repeating. I often see the terms step-up, step down and 1 leg squat used almost interchangeably in the literature. I also think many coaches think these three exercises are similar. The truth is that all three share similar movement patterns yet the three are distinctly different. Lets look at all three: