It’s PR Friday, so post your training updates and weekly PR’s to the comments.
Question of the Weekend: What is a piece of training information you learned recently outside of 70sBig.com? This can be from an external source or based on personal experience.
Weekly Reading List
Unfortunately I haven’t read many internet articles this week because I’ve started Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold. I actually started reading The Heroes, but realized BSC comes first. They are stand alone novels, but there are some characters and plot points from BSC in The Heroes, and I didn’t want to read them out of order. For those of you who don’t know who Abercrombie is, he wrote the amazing “First Law Trilogy”. If you have a vague interest in diabolical plots, dynamic characters, mild fantasy, or viking and barbarian violence, then you need to read that trilogy as soon as fucking possible.
Here are some articles that I’ve been linked in the last week. To be honest, I haven’t read them, but I think that they will either be good, or will spark some discussion. I’ll get to them and try to post my thoughts in these comments.
From Mike H.:
Interview with Dr. Stuart McGill
Eric Cressey on “lower back savers”
Eric Cressey and hip internal rotation
Cressey on ankle mobility
Cressey IR hip stretch
“What We Need Is A Smaller Government”
Stuff I found:
Joe Abercrombie on swearing in fantasy writing.
Do zombies poop?
After reading some of Rudy Nielsen and Louie Simmon’s observations on training using the Prilepin table, I’m wondering if you had any thoughts on the applicability of the table to conditioning. Would it make any sense at all to include the lower end of the table (55-65% of 1RM) into any continuous activity? For example, with a deadlift max of 500lbs, would a conditioning workout consisting of 6 continuous rounds of 4 reps of deadlift at 275lbs coupled with some other exercise (lets say pushups) make any sense, or would the lack of rest completely destroy any benefits of such a workout? I suspect it might, but does that mean that anything above 55% of 1RM is verboten for conditioning work?
Just got my copy of ‘Fit’ by the way, and will be using it to get my head screwed on straight after three years of CrossFit. Thanks for that!
CONTINUE READING THE Q&A
I don’t think I’ve ever seen “verboten” used in a sentence before. Regarding your question, I do not base conditioning stress on Prilepin’s table, but I suppose it could be used as a guideline. Prilepin’s table exists to serve as a guideline for strength training. “Conditioning” is a loose term; in FIT, we define it to mean:
(A) habituating structures to tolerate new activities,
(B) improving the cardiovascular and respiratory systems ability to supply energy to the
working muscles in order to sustain a task over time, and (C) developing the ability of the
muscle to take up and utilize the energy delivered.
In your case here, we’re specifically referring to the body’s ability to sustain work for an arbitrary time. When I program for a goal like this, it’s mutually exclusive from strength training. If I aim to condition, then I want the most efficient conditioning workout given the desired adaptation, so I’m not going to blend the two. There are some instances where the trainee only requires “light conditioning”, and this can be accomplished by performing the session’s assistance exercises in sequence (like circuit training) to get the heart rate up and create more of an endurance element. However, if the program aims to effectively condition the gained strength (whether that conditioning is very specific or general), then I will not fuse strength training into conditioning since, by definition, they are different things.
That being said, Prilepin’s table can give you an indication of what not to use in conditioning. Given that the maximum repetition range at 55% is 30 reps, it should tell you that if you go beyond this rep range with this percentage, you are applying too much of a stress. I will point out that these rep ranges are typically dependent on very fast bar speed to illicit a good strength training stress; by using these percentages for conditioning, the effect is entirely different. That means I would really creep into that range to begin with if strength training is the goal (since it will interfere with proper strength training recovery).
If your goals demand conditioning in addition to strength, then the ‘window’ is more ‘open’ on what percentages you use. If you are training for the CF Games, like most of Rudy’s trainees, then you will probably have to breach this percentage realm, albeit intelligently (he seems to do so). These are just my thoughts and what I would do given general S&C trainees. Rudy may have thoughts on whether he uses the table for his purposes.
TL;DR — Do not fuse conditioning with strength. Condition with lighter stuff. In FIT I give parameters on repetition ranges and percentages for conditioning. Prilepin’s table can provide a guideline of “don’t go above this percent”, but keep in mind it was designed for the sole purpose of building strength (and it’s lighter percentages are best used with very high bar speed).
I was just wondering what a “respectable” press to jerk ratio would be for someone that lifts weights to supplement other sports as opposed to someone that specifically trains Olympic lifts. For example, if I can press 150, what should my jerk be, without spending years specializing in the O-lifts?
I dig the site,
Dear Rob R.,
Thanks for diggin’ the site. I really don’t have an answer to this. CrossFit folk may have an answer given that they press and jerk enough to get some data points, but my opinion is that this isn’t easily summed up in an average. The jerk is a skill movement; if you suck at it, then you won’t jerk much. I know people with pretty good presses that jerk like shit. I also know of weightlifters who don’t press very much, but jerk quite a bit (I have heard that Caleb Ward pressed around 70k when he clean and jerked 203kg — even if he pressed 90 or 100k, that’s still huge).
Basically I don’t think it’s something you should worry about. Instead of comparing yourself to the average, or even comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to you. Rhetorically, what is your best jerk? Why is it not higher? Does your grip or foot position suck? Your dip/drive? Your foot-work? Aim to improve those things (among others), and your jerk will improve. The same goes for your press: if you’re pressing 150 lbs, do you want it to be higher? If so, what can you do to improve it? Who gives a shit about other people, just be the best that you can be, assuming you are wanting to do so. Let me know what you figure out.
I’m a long time reader of 70’s Big. I am finally competing in my first powerlifting meet on April 7. It’s an unequipped meet, but they alllow kneewraps and belts. I tried the kneewraps and I hated them, a lot.
I have however seen a lot of guys (including Chris in the video’s you posted) wearing blue knee sleeves. What exactly are these and what do they do? Should I look into getting some for my meet?
Thank you for being a long-time reader. You may remember this post that has some info on knee sleeves. I was going to chastise you for not searching the site, but there isn’t a whole lot of knee sleeve info here (though there is in that link above).
Neoprene knee sleeves encapsulate the entire knee joint in neoprene in order to provide some proprioceptive tightness and reflect the body’s heat back onto itself. The proprioception just “feels better” in that it provides a little bit of compression, but mostly just makes the lifter’s knee feel a little tighter and subsequently safer. The ‘body heat’ thing increases the temperature and pliability of the superficial structures of the knee. So the patellar tendon and ligaments along with the other connective tissue is warm, pliable, and less prone to experience pain.
I hear you on the knee wraps thing. Knee wraps will actually add assistance to the extension of the knees (not in my definition of “raw”). Knee sleeves will not provide much assistance, if any. But they will feel better and you may find that you perform better in them. I don’t think they are critical, but they can help keep the knees feeling good when lifting frequency is high.
Justin, I don’t know if this is slightly off topic but I am 6′ tall and have obtained pretty good growth in my hamstrings and glutes due to low bar squats I was doing for about a year. I see some growth in my quads but not much. I tried doing high bar squats to get more growth in my quads but my previously injured right lateral knee flares up. I am thinking this is due to the more forward knee potition in the high bar (the sme reason I injured it in the first place before I learned how to do squats properly). So I went back to low bar and no pain. Do you think I was doing high bar wrong, or is my knee doomed forver thus no quad development?
It’s a misconception that the high bar causes knee pain; if it did, then weightlifters everywhere would be rendered useless due to their ballistic high bar style. However, if you spend at least a year doing low bar, then you will require a progressive adaptation process to high bar or front squat techniques — even when you are doing the correctly. Again, even if you have good technique with high bar or front squats, and you have been doing low bar for a year or so, you will need to progress the vertical style stuff slowly to let your structures adapt. I was told at 23 or 24 years old that I wasn’t going to be able to improve the knee pain I had as I front squatted more (I had low barred for almost 2 years at this point). Bullocks. If you never do a movement, and then suddenly do it, then your structures and connective tissue won’t be adapted, plain and simple.
It’s possible your technique was crappy as most un-coached people have crappy technique, but it’s also possible you did too much too soon. Regardless of what your actual strategy was, if you attempted to do them again, you’ll have to do progress it slower than whatever you did before, because it didn’t work. There is hope for your quads, my friend. Just take time as you introduce high bar or front squats into your training.
So would the feet coming up off the ground and onto the lateral portion of the foot the main indicator of insufficient ankle flexibility?
My feet sometimes do this when I’m really pushing through a tough rep, but I never understood why. I have to squat with toes out about 30 deg., otherwise I get knee pain (but my mobility started off absolutely atrocious and is only now slowly improving).
If your feet are laterally shifting at all, including one side coming off the ground, during your squat, then that is not good. Figure out what is causing it and aim to fix it. You’ll never be as strong as you can be if you’re not stable, regardless of toe angle.
All right, folks, have a good weekend. I typically don’t get on the computer over the weekend, so Twatter is the easiest way to interact if you want to harass me.
P.S. Twatter can be typed entirely with the left hand.