ab work

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KPj
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Post by KPj » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:31 am

Ironman wrote: So we have 4 possible answers to this. They are false, false, limited application or true because I missed something.
Out of curiousity, what would you class as 'improvement' ?

I think one of the main issues with this discussion is that I happen to think normal people should train more like real athletes. Where as, by the sounds of it, in your case , if "exercise X" doesn't lead to hypertrophy in "muscle Y", then improvement = Nil ??

If that's the case, which is fair enough, then if I were you, I wouldn't bother with any of it.

I'm not being critical there. It's like, my older brother is a bodybuilder type through and through. I told him i was learning the DB snatch. His first comment was, "what benefit does it give you? I can't think of any good that'll come out of it". Secretly, I think that's a stupid thing to say. However, how am I supposed to answer him? I can't tell him what muscles, if any, are going to have enhanced development from doing it. I could tell him its a 'full body exercise', that it makes you 'explosive' and that it 'really works your core'. But none of that would catch his interest. Incidentally, the one arm DB snatch is one o fMike Boyles favourite 'core' exercises.

I'm also coming from a perspective of previously having a really screwy posture. If i stop training my core (for stability), and stop stretching my hips, I go back into anterior tilt, for example. If I don't do much single leg stuff, and get too lazy to do my core stuff, I start to ache, and just generally feel crappy.

Another example, If I do a chop variation, and one side if much worse than the other, and over the next few weeks, I prioritise the weak side, and even them out. To me, that's good progress - i've found a weakness, and fixed it. To others, it would mean nothing. See what I mean ?

And this could be completely coincidental, but, my training partners been injured for the last 3-4 months. He's back now, but can't do certain movements yet (like squats and DL's). One thing he's never embraced from my training programs is the movement stuff i give him, the single leg stuff, and ''the core stuff'. One of his various issues it that his 'posterior core' is far stronger than his 'anterior core', and yes, he does front squats. When he does a standard Bar rollout, He falls on his face at rep 3-4 (i can elevate myself and do sets of 15 at the end of a session).

The fact that i'm still lifting the way I was 3 months ago and not having to alter things due to pain or injury, is progress, to me. People that aren't very injury prone will never understand that...

What i'm saying is, although we seem to largely agree on the main principles of training in general, I think we're both coming from a completely different perspective.

KPj


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Post by pdellorto » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:48 am

KPj wrote:Thought I would bump this back up, after reading this article on t-nation, Myth Busters Vol 2.

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... ters_vol_2

Mike Boyle discusses the "myth" that says - you only need squats and DL's for your 'core'. It's not really anything new, but, as always, he explains it very well (i think, anyway).
I saw that, but I didn't really feel like it added much to the discussion. Okay, athletes benefit from doing the right kinds of ab work, not from the wrong kind. Fine. I get that - heck, I train that way. But I didn't really feel like it was a decisive argument. What about powerlifters? Weightlifters? Bodybuilders? Is additional ab work required for everyone? Maybe deadlifting and squatting only helps bilateral trunk stability, but what about single-leg exercises like split squats and lunges and one-legged deadlifts?

I think it's worth doing a whole article on, if it's that important. It would be nice to contrast the goals of different populations and discus what's most likely to be useful for them.
KPj wrote: Also, not really related, but I personally had a huge smile on my face on the Box Squat one by Dave Tate, and again by Mike Boyle, the "don't static stretch before training" thing.

KPj
Actually, that whole article left me flat. The Dave Tate section was nice, but I'm not sure how it refuted Boyle and Poliquin. They train athletes and the general population and don't like to box squat them, and the response is that Dave Tate says they're great for powerlifters. Eeh...maybe getting Eric Cressey or Joe DeFranco, both of whom box squat athletes and everyone else who walked in the door, would have been better.

Could just be me. It just seemed like obvious stuff in the whole article. "X is bad" "No, it's not always bad." "Y is bad." "No, it's not always bad." Etc.

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Post by KPj » Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:22 am

pdellorto wrote:
I saw that, but I didn't really feel like it added much to the discussion. Okay, athletes benefit from doing the right kinds of ab work, not from the wrong kind.
The definition of 'the right kind of ab work' I believe is what's being debated. I think it added to the discussion nicely because it was a case of whether squats and DL's were enough for your 'core'. That article offered the opinion of a very well respected coach...

pdellorto wrote: I think it's worth doing a whole article on, if it's that important. It would be nice to contrast the goals of different populations and discus what's most likely to be useful for them.
I don't think it's a simple thing to quantify. That's what I meant in my last post - How do you define progress? I train 'that way', too. I have training logs for the past 2-ish years where you could see a strong correlation in doing all that 'core stuff' and 'single leg stuff' and me getting stronger. I have training logs for the past 2ish years before that where things went way up hill, then crashed and burned at the bottom of the hill, and one thing missing is 'all that core stuff' and 'single leg stuff'. But what does that prove? Frame of reference = 1. Proves nothing.

If someones never been injured, how would they know how good a job they're doing at avoiding it?

For every world class PL/BB/Coach/whatever that does one side of the arguement, you'll get another that utilises the opposing arguement.

I think you just need to get on one train of thought and see how it works for you. These coaches train real people all the time, so they also have that to form their opinion from.
pdellorto wrote: Actually, that whole article left me flat. The Dave Tate section was nice, but I'm not sure how it refuted Boyle and Poliquin. They train athletes and the general population and don't like to box squat them, and the response is that Dave Tate says they're great for powerlifters. Eeh...maybe getting Eric Cressey or Joe DeFranco, both of whom box squat athletes and everyone else who walked in the door, would have been better.
I have the same criticism from the other side. Poliquin and Boyle didn't criticise Box Squats, they criticised Box Squats performed incorrectly. To me, that's completely irrelevant, name me an exercise that's safe when you do it incorrectly? I think Tate said exactly what needed to be said.

Why should Tate or whoever else justify why they're not dangerous, when Poliquin and Boyle haven't justified why they are dangerous? So far, they're opinion is clearly based on preference i.e. Yeah I don't like the sound of them. That's fair enough, I actually have a lot of respect for that. If a few other coaches that I liked said the same thing, purely out of preference, I would probably stop doing them for 6 months or so and see what happened. Boyle, on his own saying that, and with no good reason is not enough, though. Yeah, he 'still has back pain today from doing them in the 80's" (rocking box squats, I should add). Well, you know what, I still get trouble with my shoulder from all the benching I done a few years ago. It's not a good enough of reason to say it's a dangerous exercise, especially since I benched like an idiot.

Again, though, I think a lot of debate in this thread is because I feel the general population should train more like athletes (which isn't my own philosophy, btw). So, whilst stuff that seemingly only applies to athletes makes sense, that's not enough for some people. I think it's good reason for the general population to do it, though. Those two perspectives will never agree on certain things simply because of that. What makes sense to one, makes no sense to the other.

Again, though, it's ok to disagree. It's what makes this game so interesting.

KPj

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Post by KPj » Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:33 am

Also, on the Box Squats. It's fair enough to assume that Dave Tate being into Powerlifting and training powerlifters voids his view point. But, you should consider the purpose of doing box squats in the first place - to improve your standard free squat. So, in that respect, how many coaches will use free squats on their athletes? The whole athletic carryover argument with box squats doesn't really work when consider their purpose, unless, of coursse, that same coach refutes the benefits of the free squat for athletes. If box squats don't carryover to performance, you're essentially saying free squats don't carryover. It's a much bigger arguement than people realise.

I'm also a fan of front box squats. Which would carry the same alleged dangers as Box Squats. But it makes my free front squat better, for quite obvious reasons. So again, your actually only left with the safety aspect, and again, we've not had an explanation on that yet. There was a roundtable where Boyle said he didn't like the idea of being stuck between a bar with load and an immovable object. I genuinely think it's fair enough for a guy like him to aavoid it, just because of that. Then Cressey said, "last time I checked, the ground was pretty immovable" (or something to that effect).

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Post by pdellorto » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:37 pm

I'm not saying it voids his point of view. I'm just saying it's tackling the argument from the wrong angle. Yeah, anything is bad done wrong. Charles Poliquin didn't say they're always bad, he did say he felt they didn't transfer well to sport.

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... ecember_06

Boyle made it specific he was talking about rocking box squats, and that his injuries are why he went to other exerices with his athletes. That seems fair, too. I train at a gym where you see very little O-lifting, and what you see is less-technical versions like log jerks and hang cleans...because the coach chooses to skip them for other power exercises. Everyone has their pet lifts and their stuff to avoid.

I think the "myth" was targeting the wrong people...it should have skipped Poliquin and Boyle and gone straight to the topic. Are box squats inherently dangerous? No, and here's why. That would have been more interesting to me.

The veer off into powerlifters and athletes made it seem off-topic. That's why the guys I suggested might have been better. If the myth is "box squats are dangerous" it should address their overall safety, not their utility for powerlifters vs. athletes, or which coaches don't do them with their clients. If the myth is "box squats are bad for athletes" then Cressey or Joe D. would be good commentators.


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Post by KPj » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:23 pm

pdellorto wrote: Boyle made it specific he was talking about rocking box squats, and that his injuries are why he went to other exerices with his athletes. That seems fair, too. I train at a gym where you see very little O-lifting, and what you see is less-technical versions like log jerks and hang cleans...because the coach chooses to skip them for other power exercises. Everyone has their pet lifts and their stuff to avoid.
I agree everyone has their pet lifts and what not. As i said, someone like Boyle saying, "I just don't like them" is valid reason in my book, simply because he's Mike Boyle. However, he did and has on 2-3 occasions spoke about normal box squats. He says he 'hates box squats'. I also commented on his "lifts I did...." article on it and he just said something about would I jam my hand between 400lbs and a peice of wood, or something to that effect. I wish I had these to post but don't right now, but it was also asked in an Injury Prevention Roundtable. (yeah, i've been searching hard for a valid reason they're dangerous)

pdellorto wrote: I think the "myth" was targeting the wrong people...it should have skipped Poliquin and Boyle and gone straight to the topic. Are box squats inherently dangerous? No, and here's why. That would have been more interesting to me.
That's fair enough, I personally just think it's the wrong way around. Give them a reason that they're bad first, so they can directly respond to it. For example, "squats are bad for your knees"- that was based on a study done years ago and interpretted wrong. But, atleast coaches could say, "yeah, people say that BECAUSE etc etc etc but that's not true because etc etc etc". Right now, as far as I can see, it's a case of, "they're dangerous because... um... well.. some coaches just don't like them. Well.. You know what, I do... So there...".
pdellorto wrote: The veer off into powerlifters and athletes made it seem off-topic. That's why the guys I suggested might have been better. If the myth is "box squats are dangerous" it should address their overall safety, not their utility for powerlifters vs. athletes, or which coaches don't do them with their clients. If the myth is "box squats are bad for athletes" then Cressey or Joe D. would be good commentators.
I admit I would of prefered a big in depth break down from the likes of Cressey explaining exactly why the exercise wasn't dangerous (although he would still have nothing to comment on specifically), but I think the opposing argument needs some substance first.

Plus, Tate did say,

"Same with the box squat: If you slam back on top of the box and then bounce off it, of course you're going to hurt yourself. But that's not a box squat. That's being an idiot."

That IS responding directly to why they're dangerous. This put a big grin on my face because anyone that trains box squats knows this - What's the hardest part of the lift? Getting off the box, right? So, if your bouncing off the thing, then it needs to be premeditated. "ok, this weight is too heavy, i'll just bounce off the box, make sure I get back up". The challenging part of box squats is simply not getting ON the box. It's getting OFF. So, 'being an idiot', made me smile for that reason.

No one to my knowledge has been able to give any reason other than doing it wrong. If they had, I would of commented on the blogs of Cressey, Robertson, Gentilcore, etc in the hope that they would respond, but there's nothing there. Like tate says, it's a personal opinion.

KPj

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Post by Ironman » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:54 am

I just want to know what it does. I think we have established it is not the best for hyp0ertrophy or strength as in more efficient muscle fiber recruitment. So is it simply the rewiring of the motor area of the brain? I would assume I didn't miss anything because nobody has pointed anything out. So we have the brain.That means if you aren't going to do that exact movement in a sport, it's not going to help.

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Post by KPj » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:57 am

I don't think there's anywhere we can meet in the middle of this one. Basically, the theory I go by in training is that you should work to improve your performance. Concentrate on that, and everything else will fall in to place. In that respect, 'singe leg and core stuff' is just common sense... As an example, if i'm crap at stabilising my torso whilst moving a load across my body (chops), then I want to improve that. That's how I train and that's how I would train others. I can see how those things don't seem relevant if overall performance isn't a goal, though.

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