Friday, August 22, 2014

Fitness Friday - Fitness News You Can Use

Another Fitness Friday to read while you should be working. This week:
  • Zach Even-Esh interviews Chad Waterbury
  • A cool 2 exercise, 4 set strength and muscle program
  • How to do myofascial release on yourself
  • 9 tips for lifters from Dan John
  • Eric Cressey on bear crawl vs. crab walk
  • Excellent lower body kettlebell exercises from Mike Boyle
First up, from Zach Even-Esh, an interview with strength and fitness coach Chad Waterbury, one of the really smart guys in this field.

STRONG Life 31: Chad Waterbury and Bodyweight Volume Training


Chad Waterbury and I “met” about 12 years ago through the interwebs. Back then he had long flowing locks and wrote for T Nation on the regular while I was testing his encouragement of following his popular program of 10 sets of 3 reps.

In 12 years, a LOT can change.

Since then Chad has been living in Santa Monica, Ca. He has immersed himself in bodyweight training by getting coaching from a Russian Gymnastics Olympic Coach, is about to embark on his PhD journey and he no longer has the hair of The Mighty Thor.

In this episode of The STRONG Life Podcast we don’t discuss hair, sorry to disappoint.

Chad Waterbury and I discuss the power of bodyweight exercise and how you should be using bodyweight training to add muscle with out spending excess time in the gym. In addition to training, we also discuss life and what it takes to achieve those lofty goals you have running through your head, likely collecting “dust”.
- How does Chad organize each training session from the warm up to the workout?
- Do his workouts change when working with someone who wants greater fitness vs training a pro MMA fighter?
- Why doesn’t Chad go to the gym anymore?
- What was the BIG takeaway Chad picked up while working with a Russian Olympic Gymnastics Coach?
- Everyone says they want to “live the dream”. Chad packed up and moved to Santa Monica and is living his dreams. It wasn’t easy, so listen to his advice for you…..

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A few pieces from T-Nation:

Primer 4: Big, Bad, Basic Workouts 

by Paul Carter | 8.22.2014 

Here's what you need to know...
  • Everyone knows what a single, double, or triple is, but when it gets to "four," people suddenly develop weight training amnesia.
  • You can build a solid foundation of strength and mass with a program based around sets of four. And it only requires four days a week of training.
  • One of the biggest reasons people get stuck in a training rut is because they start implementing more exercises and more set and rep schemes. Their training starts to resemble that of a buffet more than a basic meal of steak and potatoes.
  • Any time you find yourself frustrated by a plateau, the best thing you can do is eliminate all of the BS you've been doing and reel it back into simplicity. That's where the Primer 4 Program comes in.
The number four is the lonely, bastard child of the strength rep scheme. Everyone knows what a single, double, or triple is, but when it gets to "four" people suddenly develop weight training amnesia.

No one talks about their best "quad" rep set. They skip right over ugly number four and talk about "fives" like four never even existed. Why that is, I don't know. John Kuc, the first man to squat 900 pounds and who deadlifted a ridiculous 870 at a bodyweight of 242 pounds, did lots of sets of four in his training. Shieko, the Russian powerlifting system that's produced solid lifters, also uses sets of four throughout the programming.

So let's clear the air here. Four is not an ugly number for strength training. It's more or less the intellectual hot sister that never gets a date because she's misunderstood and doesn't get used up like her slutty sisters, the triple and "fives." The point is, sets of four have merit and you can build a solid foundation of strength and mass with a program based around them. The way we're going to use sets of four in my "Primer 4" program is to "prime" you for the last set of four in the volume sequence.

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Do-It-Yourself Myofascial Release 

by John Rusin | 08/20/14 
Here's what you need to know...
  • Why are we still treating our soft tissues with techniques and implements that are decades old? You are better than your foam roller.
  • For every deadlift session, do one session of soft tissue work to counteract the damage. Every time you hit up the bench, perform two concentrated sessions of soft tissue work. Don't worry, you can do it watching TV. And it's free.
  • Just as the tennis ball provides a smaller surface area as compared to the foam roller, your fingertips provide an even more acute area with which to exert forces into your tissues. This high level of proprioception allows you to distinguish how painful trigger points feel, along with the tissue's texture and tone.
  • With only your hands and the ability to optimally position your body for force and leverage, your shoulders can be bullet-proofed by tacking on as little as 5 minutes to the end of your training.
The foam roller has become one of the most notorious time wasters in any type of training center. The tennis ball kept us sane for a while, but that too has left us less than ecstatic every time we wedge it under our shoulder blades. With all the advancements in our industry, why are we still treating our soft tissues with techniques and tools that are decades old?

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9 Tips for Dedicated Lifters 

by Dan John | 08/19/14 

Here's what you need to know...
  • The only real secret to adding muscle to your whole body is this: do high rep squats.
  • If you can perfectly follow all those fancy lifting tempo recommendations, you just aren't lifting enough.
  • Conditioning has value, but if you're doing a bunch of junk for no rhyme or reason, cut it back or cut it out.
  • If you can't pull double bodyweight off the ground, press bodyweight overhead, and carry bodyweight for about 100 yards, work on that stuff first.
  • Sometimes the best way to get better is to take some time off. Do it before your body forces you to do it.
  • Every workout should build, in some way, upon the previous session. If you keep leaping from idiotic program to idiotic program, you might never learn this lesson.
I started lifting in 1965. I've been employed as a strength coach since 1979. I've seen a lot come and go, but I'm fairly confident that the following nine tips will still be around fifty years from now.
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Here is a brief but useful article from Eric Cressey.

Bear Crawls vs. Crab Walks

Written on August 19, 2014, by Eric Cressey

Yesterday, I posted on Twitter that I was a big fan of bear crawls because they get you great serratus anterior recruitment, more scapular upward rotation, improved anterior core function, tri-planar stability, and some awesome reciprocal arm/leg activity. They're one of my favorite warm-up and end-of-workout low-level core activation drills.

For some reason, though, every time you mention bear crawls, someone asks about crab walks. Candidly, I don't think so highly of crab walks. In fact, I have never used them - and that's why I didn't have a video on hand of them.

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Finally, here is Michael Boyle on kettlebells for the lower body.

Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: The Best Lower-Body Kettlebell Exercises

August 4, 2014

In this episode of STACK Elite Performance, Mike Boyle demonstrates the four best lower-body kettlebell exercises for athletes.

Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: The Best Lower-Body Kettlebell Exercises 

In this episode of STACK Elite Performance, Mike Boyle shows you how to perform four lower-body kettlebell exercises, which he explains are ordered in increasing difficulty, so you can easily progress through each variation as your strength and technique improve.  

Coaching Points Kettlebell 
  • Goblet Squat - Hold the kettlebell in front of your chest. - Lower until your elbows touch your knees.  
  • Single-Arm Goblet Squat - Hold the kettlebell in the rack position. - Keep your core tight to prevent upper-body rotation.  
  • Double-Kettlebell Front Squat - Hold two kettlebells in the rack position.  
  • Single-Leg, Straight-Leg Deadlift - Maintain a 10-degree knee bend. - Pull your shoulders down and back. 
  • Sets/Reps: 3 x 5-10 each variation 
Click here to see more Elite Performance tips with Mike Boyle.

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