Good Reads for the Week

As if you weren’t already busy enough, here are 45 good reads for the week!

1. For those of you who missed my interview with Cedric Unholz, this is my best yet (I know I say that every time but I really mean that). Great questions from Cedric. Some controversial topics in here…

2. In this article Bryan Chung discusses a study comparing the effects of rest periods on hypertrophy. Rest periods had no effect on hypertrophy!

3. In this article Robbie Bourke discusses practical considerations in preventing valgus collapse.

4. In this article Eric Cressey offers a hypothesis as to why pitching speed is inconsistent amongst younger and faster pitchers.

5. In this article Carson Boddicker discusses the importance of plyometrics and drop jumps in speed and jumping performance. This is a great read.

6. In this blog Jason Ferruggia talks about maturing and the importance of finding a like-minded partner. This was a very heart-felt blog and I commend Jason for writing it.

7. In this blog Patrick Ward writes about the importance of straying from the schedule when an athlete needs a recovery day.

8. In this blog Jeff Cubos asks an important question, “Does quality of movement matter?” I say hell yeah! Strength coaches know this more than anyone in the world.

9. This Men’s Health article contains everything you need to know about your penis (junk, package, cock and balls, whatever you like to call it). Seriously, it’s 8 pages long.

10. In this blog Mike Young emphasizes keeping things general in the general prep phase.

11. This guy is an absolute animal! His name is Ben Rice. I’d prefer he use slightly less weight and go a little higher but who am I to judge?

12. In this blog Charlie Weingroff discusses the benefits of the slideboard.

13. In this blog Charlie Weingroff shows a rarely used exercise called the tall kneeling flexion/extension with step which he learned from Gray Cook.

14. In this blog Danny McLarty talks about the coaches who have influenced him the most. It’s all about the new breed baby!!!

15. In this interview Smitty references the movie Colors and applies it to strength training.

16. In this blog Patrick Ward discusses the lumbar flexion and MMA athlete debate.

17. In this blog Mike Davis discusses functional training and what it means.

18. In this blog Mike Nelson links two recent Arnold videos for motivational purposes. Three words: Arnold Fucking Rules!

19. In this article Eric Cressey offers advice for want-to-be strength coaches and personal trainers.

20. In this blog Carl Valle acknowledges that Arizona trainers are bigger, better, and badder than our East Coast counterparts and the “Four Phoenix Phantoms” could probably whoop over a dozen East Coast trainers without half trying. It’s sure great to be recognized. I guess it’s just something in the water out here. Maybe I embellished slightly…

21. In this blog Kevin Neeld discusses injury prevention as it relates to training stress and competition stress.

22. In this blog Carson Boddicker discusses the length of stability holds.

23. In this blog JCD discusses hypertrophy training and includes links to various hypertrophy-related systems.

24. In this blog Mark Young provides another great discussion about science.

25. This is an awesome article on SB Coaches College that lists programming questions that every good strength coach should consider (the list is from the late Verkhoshansky).

26. This is an AWESOME blog by Mike Robertson on sleeping. This is a must-read. He pretty much summed up my thoughts on sleeping. It’s not your typical boring sleep article; there’s some good stuff in there. Read it!

27. This is a Men’s Health article that shows a really cool circuit created by Joe Dowdell. I really like the circuits Joe creates and I appreciate that Adam Bornstein travels all around the country visiting good gyms and filming videos. Check it out it’s good stuff!

28. In this article Chase Karnes gives us a no-gym-warrior-workout.

29. Here is the latest Fitcast Interview with Jim “Smitty” Smith.

30. Holy shit!!! This is a high-powered interview with Juan Carlos Santana. I must confess, I can relate to some of the stuff that pisses JC off.

31. Here is a cool newsletter from Franz Snideman with a video that demonstrates pull up power and how to focus on end-range contraction for improved total range strength and stamina.

32. In this blog Howard Gray talks about “how strong is strong enough?”

33. In this blog Mike Young reminds us about the common denominators of good training.

34. In this blog Mike Reinhold has a shitload of experts chiming in offering students career advice. Some of these cats have some serious credentials behind their names!

36. In this blog Patrick Ward advises to not stay in one place too long when looking for answers.

37. In this blog Carson Boddicker answers some questions about breathing patterns.

38. In this blog Mike Young discusses the problem with developing endurance with speed/power athletes. This is one of the biggest problems I see as well. Great, quick read. Check it out.

39. Here is a great interview with Jason Ferruggia by Craig Ballantyne. Jason knows his stuff when it comes to getting athletes strong.

40. Alli McKee is fitness, hear her roar!

41. In this blog Eric Cressey demonstrates why he’s “The Man.” He gets a client far along his journey to postural restoration in a single session.

42. In this blog John Izzo talks about different types of pain during exercise and why it’s sometimes important to push through pain.

43. In this blog Mike Young discusses training density in program design.

44. Here’s part XI of Dave Tate’s “So You Think You Can Bench” series:

45. In this blog Leigh Peele promises her readers that she created the perfect diet which will allow you to lose 10 lbs of fat in 10 days. (okay maybe I’m kidding, she dispels this b.s.)

30 Comments

  • PolyisTCOandbanned says:

    11 is crappy form. He’s not even doing the exercise. Lot of back and quads.

    • This brings up a good point. Many powerlifters find that they can use more weight when they round their upper backs. As long as they control the rounding in their low back then it’s okay to round the upper back. It may not look pretty, but guys like Matt are interested in using as much weight as possible. I’m sure that Matt could knock the weight back to 375 and bang out pretty reps. But his anthropometry is better suited for ub rounding. I think that this is hard for people who have good “levers” and are “natural deadlifters” to comprehend. If Matt were a competitive athlete, he’d probably avoid the deadlift and stick to power cleans just out of safety pre-cautions.

      • Shit I just realized that I answered this question off my blog dashboard without looking at which post it came from. I assumed it came from the interview with Matt Perryman which had a video of him deadlifting. Duh!!!

    • Hes doing 605LBS! I’d shut the hell up with your un-needed criticism and give respect where it’s due.

      • PolyisTCOandbanned says:

        He should do 500 and squeeze his ass and get that nice HYPER-extension at the end. That’s the whole point of the exercise. Or 450. Or whatever he can really do.

        I actually respect a squat that doesn’t go all the way down more than a hip extension that doesn’t go all the way.

        That’s the best part of the exercise! That walnut-cracking part.

        P.s. I’m doing the barbell. But doing it right. I’m a little guy that gets banned a lot.

        P.s.s. If the dude is a powerlifter, he’s not even HITTING the position of the deadlift lockout. He needs to practice HYPER.

        • Poly, good thoughts. I work with my clients in teaching them hip hyperextension but I’ve found that it’s much easier with unilateral exercises (single leg hip thrust and pendulum donkey kick) as there is only a slight ROM past neutral in bilateral (textbooks say 10 degrees with bent legs and 20 degrees with straight legs) but under heavy load it’s pretty slight. At any rate, after you do these exercises for a substantial period you learn the right “feel.” My clients (and me) always know if they go too heavy as they don’t use as much ROM and don’t feel the glutes working to their full effect.

    • The ONLY person in the world that knows whether he’s squeezing his ass is Ben Rice. You just cannot tell from the video. Not you and not me. Yes, his hip didn’t goto lock out, but I’m sitting here on my chair, with a 90 degree bend at my hips and I can still squeeze my ass. Nice and hard.

      So if I can do it in this position, then Ben (who is almost at lockout) with 605 freaking pounds, is most probably doing it as well. And that will certainly transition over to helping him deadlift godly amounts of weight. Period.

      So my case stands. STFU, and respect his effort.

      • Fitjerk, I’m going to have to side with Poly on this one. What I love about the deadlift is that there’s a natural start and end point (bar on ground, stand up with it). As you know, with the squat many people think they go to parallel when in fact they don’t. I’ve found that gym-goer self-perception is terrible when it comes to squat-depth. Similarly, when people hip thrust, they often “think” they’re coming up high enough when they’re not. Now, I’d be the first to congratulate Ben Rice as he is one strong son of a bitch! However, I’d tell him to his face (which is my right as the inventor of the exercise) to lighten the load a bit and use a little more ROM up top. This is the range where the gluteus maximus can contract the hardest (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11767248) and it builds good habits. As you know, in efforts to continue to rise in poundage, if you allow less then full ROM and “wiggle room” it keeps shortening over time until eventually the ROM is greatly diminished. You see this in the gym when guys do squats, dips, military press, etc. So I always advise full ROM and going to lockout with healthy individuals. This is why I like box squats (to ensure depth) and I make people touch the bar to their chest when they bench, incline, bent over row, etc. In cases of sprinting transfer, the neutral hip position is associated with ground contact where hip torque and gluteus maximus activation is highest. It may seem like I’m being nit-picky but that’s often what separates the best trainers from average ones. I believe that you’re right in that he is squeezing his ass and using a lot of glute, and that the way he does it would still transfer to his deadlift. However, I’d still prefer slightly more ROM for reasons mentioned above. Thoughts?

      • PolyisTCOandbanned says:

        (joke) If I were Mark Rippetoe, I would just hold onto the ass and see if it tightens. (/joke)Actually maybe it’s not a joke since, Bret says he feels buttocks to see what is going on. Yeah, he might be squeezing, but I really find the squeese at the end is different than the squeezze halfway.

        (technical point) here’s what Mr. Rice comments at his youtube video about the exercise:

        ” I added these back in specifically to address my lockout that was an issue in my last meet… I mean seriously, 723 was RIGHT there, the bar didn’t even need to move! I just couldn’t push my hips through… and so now these are back to remedy the problem.”

        In this video he never hit neutral. If his problem with the deadlift is hitting neutral, he ought to make sure he does it within the exercise. He might need the hyper more than anyone. [I mean if a general fitness person does the exercise halfway, well, maybe no big deal…some kind of muscles are getting worked and they need them all over anyhow.] But Mr. Rice has a very technical need to get his hips to neutral to make 723. The bar was there! He just needed to push his hips through. If this is the assistance exercise to get the hips through…well…get em through!

        P.s. And I shouldn’t have to defend myself for “hating” on the guy. I don’t hate on people with low strength or high strength. this stuff is hard enough. I just respect the time being put in. He’s my weightlifting brotha, not my enemy. So are you, man.

    • “This is the range where the gluteus maximus can contract the hardest…”

      No arguments there Bret, and you’re also bang on with the depth perception of the squat. While I’m no personal fan of the box squat, I do see the value in it as far as reaching the desired depth is concerned. There’s been plenty of times where I’d squat heavy as hell… then my training partner would be like “dude, you didn’t go parallel”, and im like REALLY? God damn it.

      Back to Ben. It obviously would be GOOD to see him hip thrust all the way to the top but at that weight a slight dip is, IMO, acceptable. And you know what, after a few weeks I’m pretty sure he reached full hip lockout assuming he kept using 605. My intention was not to get too technical or debate that it’s not beneficial to lock out, but at Poly’s un-needed commentary on a feat that is pretty damn challenging.

      If Ben was pushing 135 and his form sucked… sure, criticize. But at 605 it’s like gimme a break man, it’s obviously some heavy ass shit. Anyone with half a brain and a minor amount of weight training experience knows the inverse relationship between technique and this thing called weight. And seeing a guy push 605 on this exercise, it should be obvious that this weight factor would affect the technique a bit… and that’s fine in my books. (check my recent blog post on this, its got a pretty graph and everything)

      On top of this, Ben seems like a smart guy who knows what the fuck he’s doing. Who isn’t to say that he didn’t do another set with 500 after or 400? Know what I mean?

      Anywhoo, this has gotten wordy so I’ll stop there as I believe I’ve made my point.

      On a different note, this was a kick ass list. Spent like an hour just going through shit on here and I’m still only half way. I know JC was bragging about how he got on here haha. Good stuff dude. I’ll see you around Fitmarker 😉

      • Fitjerk – If he stuck with 605 and worked on completing the range over time then I’m completely fine with that. What I fear as that two months from now he’ll be using 655 and using even less ROM. But obviously this cat is a smart dude so I’m sure he’ll figure it out. One of my strengths as a trainer is that I’m not “enamored” by feats of strength and still try to stick to the rules. This does not mean that I think a 1RM should look the same as a 5RM. I fully realize that form breaks down when going heavy. If your form never breaks down whatsoever then you aren’t training heavy enough (at least by powerlifting standards…the same argument may not hold true when training athletes for sport preparation). But I believe that we’re both on the same page here. Tell JC to get on twitter or facebook and to post his articles as newsfeeds. That’s how I read all my stuff. I landed on his site after a friend Roger Law posted a link on Facebook.

    • True, I think enamored is a big word, and in my mind it showcases a dropped jaw in “awe”. That’s not what I was getting at… It was just merely more of a “that’s impressive, respect”. Still, good point, he did go heavier.

      I believe JC is on Twitter, but I’m not sure how often he uses it. He’s a Twitter slacker.

      But I’ll let him know. Btw I’m following you as of right now, looking forward to seeing what you’ve got to share. Hit me up sometime, @FitJerk

      Cheers.

      • I think we’re on the same page…I can always appreciate brute strength. I remember Jim Wendler saying something about guys who are strong with crappy technique are even more impressive because they are actually stronger than the guy who lifts the same weight but has better technique. But in the case of a hip thrust; I’m worried a little about his form. If you round your low back on deadilfts you will eventually get injured. Similarly, if you hyperextend your low back on hip thrusts you will eventually get injured. Sure he’s probably using his glutes a ton; but if he just backed off in weight he’d be able to control the lumbar spine and not risk injury. See how much more “flow” I have…my upper back is lower on the bench creating a longer lever (making it harder), my low back doesn’t arch (freeze the top of his lift and my lift), I raise my hips higher, and I control the weight better. Now, Ben is much stronger than me and I’m very impressed but if I were his trainer I’d have him back off in weight so he doesn’t injure the posterior elements of his lumbar spine. Hindsight is always 20/20.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVlQhlKf-5Q

  • joe says:

    Bret,

    I wanted to ask you a couple of questions regarding your experience on the hip thrust.

    Is it an exercise where you would benefit more on using real heavy weights for low reps, or moderate weight for higher reps.

    Also, would you consider it an exercise you could use for max effort or dynamic effort or is it better as an assistance exercise to squats &/or deadlift. If it is the latter, which is it better for squat or deadlift, considering it hits the quads, hamstings, hips and glutes well (per your emg article).

    Another thing I’ve been struggling to understanding is what you meant in your Inside the Muscles Leg article by half squat and quarter squat. Is the half squat the same as parallel squat?

    • Joe, I like going really heavy for sets of 3-5 reps. I do it after squats and deads but I have a different way of looking at it. Squats are my best quad exercise, deads are my best hamstring exercise, and hip thrusts are my best glute exercise. I need all three for an optimal physique. In addition, the three lifts are synergistic with one another. 1 + 1 + 1 = 5 It’s definitely better for the deadlift than the squat, and more specifically for the deadlift lockout. No, the half squat wasn’t quite to parallel. Probably six inches higher than parallel. More than a quarter squat but less than a parallel squat. Great questions!!!

      • PolyisTCOandbanned says:

        Do you keep your heels on the floor or let them come up?

        And do you worry about exactly ho far your heels are from the bench and/or how high your shoulders are on the bench (iow the exact positioning?)

        I’ve just been kinda doing it, concentrating on the but squeeze like in your video. But wondered if I should be very technical about positioning.

        • Great questions! Yes, I keep my heels on the floor. Some times you’ll see people’s feet shift during the first rep as they’re trying to get stable and reposition, which isn’t that big of a deal. I like a right angle at the knee joint at the top of the movement. People usually figure out the proper heel distance to allow for this naturally. As for shoulders on the bench, there’s a “sweet spot” that feels comfortable. Some will try to make the exercise easier by positioning their backs low on the bench to reduce the lever arm and make the exercise easier. I don’t allow for this and tell them to place their backs against the bench in the same place as the barbell rests against the bench when they squat.

      • PolyisTCOandbanned says:

        Awesome feedback!

  • Daniel says:

    I will be watching the Arnold video over and over again. What a great motivation to listen to him speak on succes!

  • joe says:

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Looking at it the way you mentioned squats best quad exercise, deads best hamstring exercise, and hip thrusts best glute exercise makes good sense in building an optimal lower body workout.

  • Thanks for the shout out for the Arnold videos. ARNOLD RULES.

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
    http://www.ExtremeHumanPerformance.com

  • Christian says:

    Good god man, do you realise how dangerous it is to find this awesome site so close to exam period?

    From what I have read so far your articles are highly amusing in the sense that they are mentally stimulating, funny, and very interesting.

    Keep up the great writing Bret!

  • PolyisTCOandbanned says:

    Here’s some glute discussion wrt girl’s gymnastics:

    http://www.gymnastike.org/video/351304-Buttocks-gluteal-muscles-explained

    • Ugh! I dispelled some of those myths in my fitcast interview. That video contained anatomical errors, physiological errors, and gramatical errors! Maybe I’ll use it as my an “oh really?” post.

      • PolyisTCOandbanned says:

        That’s cool, man. I wasn’t sure if it would be the same stuff you talk about or if you have a bunch of corrections. Rip it, should be interesting!

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