Wednesday, March 9, 2011

All Aboard The Gravy Train

This time, we didn't forget the gravy...

I don't begrudge people having some success in the strength and conditioning industry, but I urge people to be wary of online gurus (or even well-intentioned wannabe gurus) whose coaching resumes consist almost entirely of advice dispensed on blogs and message boards. If this wasn't so rampant, it would be laughable really. Unfortunately, in the personal-performance-enhancement-strength-trainer-conditioning-specialist-therapist-teacher-coach field, it's not always "you get what you pay for". Sometimes, it's just "you get not much for a lot".

Seek out people that have coached and taught people in real life. Look for coaches that have coached the same people long enough to have impacted performance, health, and/or appearance. Find coaches that can tailor advice and programs to your needs.

Commonsense, I know. Just thought we could all use a reminder.


Anonymous said...

I have this problem with my front squats, and thought I'd ask you! Didn't know any better way than the comment section, hope it's ok.

I have done front squats weekly for 2 years or so now. I abandoned back squats for several reasons.

I havent had this problem earlier, but my knees are feeling a bit banged up at the moment.
They hurt at the bottom part of the lift, the turning part and the beginning of the concentric part.

During the last couple of workouts, I have noticed that my knees don't hurt when I dont go full depth. If I just go below paralell, and avoid the small bounce at rock bottom the pain goes away.
At the same time, my knees feel more stable and my glutes are more activated in the movement when doing so This has made me able to use a bit more weight with good technique

Since I always lift with weightlifters, my mindset has always been to go to maximum depth. But at the moment I think about giving it up, and just focusing on a bit below paralell. Whats your thoughts on this?

I'll still go deep, but not just as deep as before.

(goals: bigger and stronger squat. I am a athlete in the early twenties, currently off-season)

Great blog btw! Always nice insights.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Beware of relaxing at the bottom.

Tension on the tibia is created by the quadriceps (anteriorly) and the hamstrings (posteriorly). Although the hamstrings don't have much involvement in the front squat, allowing one-self to relax at the bottom causes a loss of tension in the hamstring and lower back, which will cause the knees to shift forward during the bounce,.. thus.. causing a shearing force on the knee resulting in discomfort for some.

If your not a weightlifter, shorting your depth up a little may be fine. If you get heckled by your training partners for not sitting your arse on the platform, do so trying to keep tighter and shoving your knees out when you bounce and see how the knees go.

Boris said...

To Anonymous,
I think Damien's assessment is certainly something to listen to. I don't know if this is the (only) issue, but if you are sacrificing tension to get depth, it's going to create problems. I wrote about the dangers of going loosey-goosey in the bottom of the hole here:

Keep in touch and let me/us know how things go.


Anonymous said...

Thanks guys! I think you hit the nail in the head with possible dangers of relaxing in the bottom and that I shouldn't sacrifice tension for depth. It feels like I've been doing just that.

I will keep this in mind!