Hi Fitness Brothers and Sisters! Here are 10 random thoughts/things for you.
1. Being Anatomically Jacked Up Isn’t Automatically a Life-Sentence
Check out Lamar Gant in 1988 deadlifting 672 lbs at 132 lbs bodyweight. This is still an all-time record to my knowledge.
He also hit 634 lbs at 123 lbs, which you can see HERE.
Here’s what’s crazy – see HERE for an article discussing how Gant’s 74-80 degree scoliotic spine would compress and bend to a 90-100 degree curvature which would cause him to shrink 3 inches before the bar left the ground. His scoliosis already makes him 3-4 inches shorter due to the curvature, and the compression from the lift causes him to lose another 3 inches, which is why he locks out the deadlift at his kneecaps. See the pictures below.
Now check out Stuart Jamison.
Last week he pulled 628 lbs at 132 lbs bodyweight. Click HERE to see the video.
Stuart’s story is incredible – click HERE to read about it. He has half a rib cage, scoliosis, kyphosis, spina bifida, and diastematomyelia (a split in the spinal column). He wasn’t supposed to live past the age of 2 yrs old. But now he’s a deadlifting machine. See the pics below – he also locks out his pulls at his knees just like Lamar.
What’s the moral of the story?
Don’t let your disabilities define you. Rise above. Figure out ways around them. Prevail.
And if their spines can tolerate deadlifting, chances are your body can tolerate more than you think. I see so many people fall victim to Nocebo effects because their doctor or physical therapist or chiropractor told them that they have a leg length discrepancy, or their SI joint was jacked, or their glutes don’t activate, or they have an imbalance.
Trust me, your imbalance isn’t as bad as Lamar’s or Stu’s. I’m not saying that everyone should squat heavy or deadlift heavy (see an article HERE I wrote for a good counterbalance to this post), I’m just saying that you’re probably not as jacked up as you think.
2. Lightbulb Moment – Valgus Collapse and Quadriceps Contractions
I’ve written like five different detailed articles on knee valgus and I’ve scoured the research and racked my brain trying to come up with the responsible mechanisms. Long ago, I realized that it’s not often weak glutes that are responsible for knee valgus since many Olympic lifters and powerlifters cave inwards at the knees. Hell, I cave sometimes and I can hip thrust 725 lbs. Many of my clients with the strongest glutes still cave. Last year, I speculated that it could be quadriceps moment arms that are responsible, but I couldn’t find any literature on it. However, all you have to do is check out the video below to see what happens to the knees when you contract the quadriceps.
You will notice hip internal rotation and inward foot flare!
In contrast, check out what happens when you contract the glutes.
You will notice hip external rotation and outward foot flare!
This realization is a VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY big deal for biomechanics and indicates that knee valgus is natural and not necessarily due to weak glutes.
So why didn’t I write this up in a separate article and dedicate a big amount of attention to it rather than just toss it into a random thoughts post? Good question – I’m too busy getting my shit together for Norway.
3. Norway Bound
Tomorrow I leave for Oslo, Norway, I’ll be speaking at the AFPT Convention. I have 24 hours of flying, layovers, and driving until I reach the destination, so tomorrow is going to fucking suck. I’m 6’4″ which makes traveling even more unpleasant as the seats are always highly uncomfortable. But our itinerary is legit and it’s going to be a fun trip – I just have to make it there without losing my mind. I’m very excited to meet and present to Norwegian coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts. One thing I’ve realized over the past couple of years is that Norway is big on glute training!
4. Barcelona Bound Later in the Month
On the 23rd of this month I’ll be heading to Barcelona, Spain to speak at the Planeta Barcelona convention.
5. Bropocalypse in Sydney, June 2016
Next June, I’ll be presenting with my buddies Brad Schoenfeld, James Krieger, and Alan Aragon in Sydney, Australia for the Bropocalypse: Evidence-Based Nutrition and Training Summit 2016. Prepare to get rocked! HERE is how Urban Dictionary defines Bropocalypse, so make sure you bring your A-game.
6. Recent PRs
I had a great week of training this week. I’m hovering at 230 lbs. Below you’ll see Thursday’s workout:
Front squat 285 x 3, 315 x 1 (I’m aware of my elbows dropping)
Incline press 260 x 3, 275 x 1
Hip thrust 635 x 3, 725 x 1
HS row 360 x 8, 360 x 10
And below is Friday’s workout:
Full squat 385 x 3, 405 x 1 (I’m aware of serious forward lean/good morning)
Bench press 305 x 1, 275 x 3
Deadlift 525 x 5
Underhand grip lat pulldown 245 x 6
Sorry for the video formatting – I filmed with the iPhone on its side and this always happens when I embed into my blog (doesn’t happen on YouTube or Instagram though). Many of these lifts were personal bests at this new weight (I was 250 lbs for much of the last 2 years), but the deadlift was an all-time 5RM PR and the hip thrust was an all-time 1RM PR.
7. Glute Lab & Office
The Glute Lab is thriving lately. My Glute Squad currently consists of over 10 ladies. It’s challenging training them all at once but what’s cool is that the experienced members are taking leadership roles and helping out the newer members, which makes things ten times easier on my end.
In addition, this week I outfitted my very first office. I’m very proud of it and have been working away with a smile on my face. A grown man needs his own man cave.
Check this out – I converter my upstairs attic room into an office. This is actually the first office I've ever had so I'm proud of it. Couch, TV, leather recliner with ottoman, desk, mini-fridge, mini-table, beef jerky stash, and bathroom – not much more a grown man could need to be productive. #gluteoffice #mancave
8. Chris Beardsley’s Recent Squat, Deadlift, and Split Squat Pages
Chris Beardley’s recent Research Reviews have been a huge success. Click on the links below to see all the biomechanical reseearch pertaining to the:
9. Basketball Anatomy
Check this out! Rob Panariello, frequent contributor on BretContreras.com, recently co-authored a book with Brian Cole called Basketball Anatomy.
I just started watching Narcos on Netflix – it’s based on Pablo Esobar. Holy shit, what a story! He was pulling in 60 million dollars per day and had to bury his money as he couldn’t launder it or bribe or spend it quickly enough. Obviously I don’t support dealing drugs, but these stories fascinate me nevertheless.