The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Shouldering Through The Pain by Boris Bachmann - June 27th 2006

    Whether you’re a competitive athlete, an avid strength trainer, or someone involved in a power sport, you can be sure the shoulders will take a beating. Boris takes us through the precautions that should be taken to strengthen the shoulders, and how to fit them into your current program!

    http://www.wannabebig.com/article.php?articleid=265

    Enjoy!

    Daniel
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    If you couldn't tell from the pictures, that's me everybody.

    Thanks to Daniel and Maki for putting it on the site and, in all modesty, I think they added some much needed introductory and wrap-up text as well.

    Hope someone finds it useful!

    Boris

    edit: btw, here is a great tutorial site on the muscles of the shoulder girdle and their functions http://www.getbodysmart.com/ap/muscu...menu/menu.html
    Last edited by Sensei; 06-29-2006 at 11:17 PM.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  4. #3
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Borris, thanks for the article...

    Very informative and great pictures!
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    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Hypertrophy Cluster Training - HCT-12 - If you want big gains in size and strength, huge decreases in body fat, or both - check out HCT-12.

    Can I have some lean muscle & strength please? – My Training Journal

  5. #4
    Senior Member djreef's Avatar
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    Good job Sensei,

    This one gets printed for the archive.

    DJ

  6. #5
    Fatty Buck1115's Avatar
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    Great article, gave me some useful insight.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Here's a recent article by Mike Robertson about shoulders - a lot of stuff is not new, but it's a quick, easy read and informative: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do...26252&pageNo=0
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  8. #7

  9. #8
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Sensei, I'm just re-reading this excellent summary on the care and feeding of your shoulder.

    My rc problem stems from a broken greater tuberosity back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

    I manage the injury with ART and careful lifts, but scapular mobility is a huge concern for me, and something I always fight with.

    How often should I be doing scapular rotation work - and on which day(s)? I do two upper and two lower lifting days in my split. Would it be best to do this work on the off-days?

  10. #9
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    It's hard to give advice like "Do four sets of 10 reps w. shrugs, overhead shrugs, Kelso, shrugs, dip shrugs, bench press shrugs, and pulldown shrugs 3x/week and call me in a month" because what is reaggravating your shoulder might not be cured by simply doing a few exercises. You might be reaggravating your RC because of exercise selection, form and/or muscle recruitment/tension that has been hampered by trigger points, adhesions, limited range of motion, etc. Hell, you might have some hip issues to deal with that are affecting your RC.

    I remember one year, the swimmers were plagued by shoulder issues. Part of it was poor planning on the part of the swim coach, but some of it was that the swimmers had unaddresed form issues in the water that were compounded with knee and hip issues - it's kind of a chicken or the egg thing, but all of them were related and needed to be addressed.

    Before you start your "rehab", I would have some objective data that you can measure. Take some measurements of strength, range of motion, static stretch flexibility, distance (in med ball tosses, for example). I'll try to find or take some pictures of assessments you can use, but it might take a few days.

    In Gray Cook's words: "You would be amazed at how much basic information is dispensed at the collegiate and professional levels simply because athletes have lost training focus and have gone off on unnecessary tangents caused by information overload or training overanalysis. Find the weak link and fix it. Maintain strength, work on weaknesses, and have a system to assess and reassess progress. " (Ahtletic Body in Balance, pp.210-211)

    Anyway, here are some things to start with:
    *Have some quantifiable measurements and gauges of progress that you will use every two or three weeks. Understand that some improvement will be from test familiarity.
    *Select strengthening exercises, mobility drills, stretches, restorative measures that you think will address the underlying issues
    *Do more unilateral movements
    *Get off of the bench! Try to do variations where your back or chest isn't pinned to a bench and limiting your RC synergists' range of motion
    *Understand that significant improvement is probably going to take, at least 6-8 weeks after you find what works and how to properly program it.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  11. #10
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Wow - ask and ye shall receive!

    Thanks Sensei - I really appreciate this.

    I'm very carefully easing back into incline bench - but I keep my elbows in the plane of my back, as per physio's orders - basically an incline floor press. So far, so good.

    What chest work do you suggest doing that doesn't involve a bench? (cringes and waits to hear "Swiss Ball" ... )

  12. #11
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    If you're serious about getting the issue taken care of, bench press is going to take a back seat for a few weeks at least. Try to maintain your chest strength w. medicine ball work, rings, bands/tubing, and push-up variations. I think dips are ok, but be careful. The point is to relearn how to use your body the way it was intended to - as a unit, rather than a collection of isolated body parts.

    When you do go back to bench press, ideally you will bench more naturally and recruit more muscles into the movement, but more likely than not you're going to have to relearn the movement also. BUT, if you've shored up weaknesses, it should be a less painful process...

    Hopefully this makes sense.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  13. #12
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    I've already been through this part - I was off all pressing movements for about 6 months a few years ago - remember, this is an OLD injury, one I received about 6 years before I ever touched a weight. As I started lifting it wasn't a problem, but once I started working my bench up past 95 lbs, it flared up. In the last year I've been easing my way back into this lift, and only on an incline. Flat is a no-go for me. What I'm looking for is a way to continue to manage around what is a chronic condition that may ultimately require surgery - but I'd prefer to avoid it.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    I wouldn't lay off pressing movements completely - I think that's a mistake if you want to have any hope of maintaining strength. But, IMO, doing your pressing movements standing or prone (i.e. push-ups) will allow you to engage the synergist muscles more easily. Maybe it's just me, but I've always gotten back pump when I do push-ups - bench eventually got there too, but it took time and a lot of practice.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  15. #14
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    I actually work back and chest in antagonist pairs (with rest in between, not as supersets) - perhaps this gets at the same net effect?

  16. #15
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    No, I'm not talking about getting the work in for your back - I mean learning to use your back when you do pressing movements. I know that probably sounds counter-productive to a BBer ("Why would I want or need to use my back when I bench press?") who trains body parts, rather than movements, but, IMHO, people with injuries need exactly that.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  17. #16
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    No - it doesn't sound counter-productive at all. For one, the antagonist acts as a brake for the agonist. The stronger the brake, the harder and faster the agonist can fire. That's actually one of the reasons I train this way.

  18. #17
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Pairing antagonistic exercises is great, no doubt - working the antagonist will help the agonist recover between sets too. But when the synergists are potentially a weakness, I'm not sure prefatiguing them is the best idea.

    ...actually, I'm not really clear on what you're getting at. If scapular function is a problem, you're probably going to need to do some isolation work, at least for a while and then progress to more complex movement patterns, greater range of motion, increased speed, etc.

    I just think that foregoing the bench for a while would be in your best interest and allow more freedom of scapular movement while still, hopefully, maintaining strength.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  19. #18
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Well, I did give up bench a couple of years ago. Are you saying I should give it up again for a while so I can get the scapular mobility up before resuming this press?

  20. #19
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    IMHO, yes.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  21. #20

  22. #21
    Iron4Life
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    NO please don't take it to Sensei directly!!!
    This is a great conversation.. just look at how many views there have been...
    Built-you are asking the hard questions.. (with facts too..)
    And Sensei is answering them in a way that can be easily understood...
    I know I appreciate it!! thanks..

  23. #22
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Oh - okay. I'll stay! I just thought I was clogging up the thread with my stupid shoulder tricks.

    Alright. <pushes up sleeves>

    I'm currently cutting, and had been doing incline bench as 5x5 with 95 lbs, and low incline dumbbell press with 30-35 a side for 3x8-12. For shoulders, I usually do hammerstrength millies with 45-55 a side for the 5x5 work, and arnies ss with lateral raises for the 3x8-12 stuff. The pain is at a very manageable level at the moment, but I know my scapular mobility needs work.

    I've been doing scapular mobility stuff on non-chest/shoulder days - currently, prone with dumbbells on a low incline, I think they're called extermal rotations - with light dumbbells, arm at 90 degree abduction, dumbbell start pointing straight down, then up to the plane with my back/head, then back down.

    I do a few sets of 15 of these with the pink dumbbells on my non-upper-body days.

    They seem to feel good when I get them "right".

    What else?

  24. #23
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    I haven't had time to get pictures for you of some shoulder assessments you could do, but, IMHO, you really do need to do some first so that you will have some tangible things to compare before and after rather than "it feels better" or "it doesn't hurt as much". I'll try to get some pics, but here are a few off the top of my head (it's ok to practice them a little before taking a measurement). You don't have to do all of them, but you should do a couple:
    *lay face down on floor, forehead on the floor, both arms stretched out straight in front of you. Lift left arm as high as possible without lifting chest off the ground - measure distance from floor to fingers. Repeat w. right arm.
    *lay face down on floor, forehead on the floor, both arms stretched out to your sides at a 90 degree angle from body. Lift left arm as high as possible without lifting chest off the ground - measure distance from floor to fingers. Repeat w. right arm.
    *(I'll need a pic of this one to make it clear) Stand with heels aligned on the cross bar of a "T". The vertical line of the "T" should extend behind you and up a wall. Twist your upper body to the left without bending the knees significantly or lifting your heels off the line as far as possible and touch the wall behind you. Measure the distance from the vertical line of the "T". Repeat, rotating to the right.

    There are other more dynamic assessments you could do with a medicine ball or bands, but these could give you a baseline to start from.

    Like I said, I would drop any chest or shoulder work that involves a bench or sitting for a while. Do some more unilateral work too.

    I'm not really understanding what you're doing for scapular mobility work... When I think of traditional external rotation exercises, I think of this (or some variant):

    What you described, sounds like chest-supported bent-over laterals to me. Is that what you're doing? Either way, if you need to work on your scapular mobility, I would start with shrugs and shrug variations. I think I mention in the article that you really don't need to be using much weight for these in the beginning because just abducting, adducting, rotating, elevating and depressing the scapula through a full range of motion is going to be hard enough for a lot of people without any resistance at all.

    Kind of related, but not really - when I think of scapular mobility, I remember that scene in "The Chinese Connection" (I think) when Bruce Lee is getting warmed-up to fight a bad dude and he puts his hands in front of him and abducts his scaps and they, literally, pop out of his skin with loud bone cracking sounds... Pretty cool stuff. Edit - here it is:

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Sensei; 06-02-2007 at 11:21 AM.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  25. #24
    Senior Member Sleepy Guy's Avatar
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    This is a good one for me, snatches seem to be my down fall and I have had to change my work outs to increase arm hyperextension power.

    What is a Broom Shoulder Twist? I did not understand with the pic and notes how it is done.

  26. #25
    Wannabebig Member DARKKNIGHT's Avatar
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    I liked the article by Mike Robertson , I always liked pushups and always work them into my plan.

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