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04 October 2010

You're Focused On All The Wrong Sort Of Details, Redux

I realized in the last entry that I failed to mention a couple of topics that definitely bear addressing.  As such, I thought I'd hit up this topic again, as their are too many people in the gym doing precisely the wrong fucking thing every time they enter the building, and the shit needs to stop.  I suppose I can't hold it against them- at a time when the state of California is bankrupt, San Francisco's moving to ban happy meals, while at the same time, people on the Biggest Loser are justifying their ridiculous obesity on mean parents and just about everyone else in the US watches some tv show about the lowest shitbags in the US- people in New Jersey.  Everyone appears to be focussed predominantly on shit that doesn't matter, rather than shit that does... but that silliness should not extend to the gym.  When you hit the gym, you should be focussed on the larger picture- hitting your goals, whatever they may be, and making everyone weep with fear when you stomp around the gym like a miniature Godzilla, not quibbling internally over nonsense that will have little to no bearing on achieving your goals.  Get focussed on the right details, and stop with the nonsense.


Prehab/Rehab
Believe it or not, a couple of years ago, T-Nation was a damn good website.  There were articles about esoteric or cutting-edge training systems, writeups on using shit like DNP that would either kill you or get you ripped, and training articles by guys like Chad Waterbury that were both functional and unconventional.  Unfortunately, those days are past, replaced with a preoccupation with bodybuilding and more prehab and rehab than one could ever have any interest in completing.
Really?

Are prehab and rehab useful?  Sure- if a muscle hurts, you should do self-massage.  Any fucking retard can figure this out.  There are many simple motherfuckers out there, however, who've never done a hard workout in their lives, and yet they think that without the proper prehab and rehab, they'll end up in a wheelchair inside of three weeks.  A kid I used to see at Iron Sport was a prime example of this- he'd warmup and prehab for an hour and a half, then lift for 20 minutes and go home.  It was patently ridiculous, especially given the fact that he weighed 130 lbs and always wore chucks and Inzer tshirts, and he actually recorded his disgrace religiously in a notebook.  From watching him, I learned something useful- foam rolling is by and large worthless.  If you need to grind out some knots, they can help, but a broomstick works far better.  No matter how fucked up you are, your ratio of prehab to training should never be more than 1:10.
What in the name of sweet breakfast meats is he doing?


As for self-massage, there are any number of ways to go about it.  A simple google search will yield plenty of methods, so I'm not going to try to reinvent the wheel- I either lay on a couple of tennis balls in a tubesock and use that to roll out knots, or I use a Theracane.  They're both effective methods to roll out knots.  Additionally, I've found soaking in the hottest bath I can tolerate, dosed with a liberal serving of Epsom Salts can work wonders in reducing soreness and relieving knotting.  Other than that, I'll use shit like the reverse hyper only if suffering from weird hip tightness or pain, of if my lower back is tight.  If it's not heading in the direction of injury, I'd rather spend my time doing something actually useful.
I don't know if masturbation aids recovery, but I intend to find out.

Stability
Paul Chek is the man in some regards- he's pointed out that microwaving your food can damage its integrity, promoted metabolic typing, and increased the awareness of the utility of wellness in the strength training community.  By the same token, however, he's promoted two objects so insidious and horrible that he could cure cancer and he'd still deserve to get some sort of horrible hemorrhagic fever.  Maybe not Ebola, but certainly Crimean-Congo or Hantavirus.  What'd he promote?  Swiss balls and BOSU balls.
This is what hell must look like.

The average person needs stability training like they need a hole in the fucking head.  The average heavy weight trainer needs no stability training at all- if you squat and deadlift heavy, and incorporate anything that even remotely resembles athletic movements like cleans, what the fuck could you possibly need this bullshit for?  Training your "core"?  People have trained their "core" for eons without this pathetic bullshit, and they did it by moving heavy things around and not worrying about how flat their back was while doing it.  Stability training is nonsense, and if you disagree, you're either a moron or some sort of huckster.  Either way, hemorrhagic fever for you.


Exercise Selection 
People are easily led astray on exercise selection, which is intriguing to me.  Why a person would choose the leg press over the squat is a mystery I cannot resolve, for instance, but it still happens.  People get all sorts of ridiculous ideas in their heads about what exercises they should be doing, and do them, rather than what works.  Here's a simple tip- if you find an exercise to be easy, it doesn't work.  Either add a shitload of weight or pick something else.  It's that simple.  Exercises that work are typically those found in competitions- powerlifts, strongman lifts, Olympic lifts... but if they involve anything made of chrome, they're generally nothing around which you want to base your training.  At best, they're window dressing, and at worst, they'll do little but fuck up your joints and prevent you from doing real lifting (leg extensions being the worst culprit).
Even kettlebells can be ok with the proper motivation and decent weight.  A hot Finnish chick being the only real valid motivation.

Now, stop dithering and go lift something heavy, repeatedly, and then go eat a massive amount of animal... live or dead.

62 comments:

  1. Good read.

    I'd like to see something on police strength training. A lot of LEOs are fucking obsessed with Crossfit and P90x. Fuck that.

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  2. Good points, Jaime. Nice write-up.

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  3. Jamie, I don't think I've seen you mention dynamic warm-ups since I started following the blog.

    Would you put them under 'prehab/rehab' or have different thoughts on them?

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  4. I have never foam rolled or done the goofy shit Diesel Crew recommends and my joints are fine.
    And I too find it amazing that so many people want to do things that aren't pulling, pushing or squatting barbells (or huge dumbbells.)
    There doesn't need to be anything else, ever, despite what Crossfit, Gym Jones, Diesel Crew, Zach Even Esh, Elliot Hulse, Joe Hashey, Josh Henkin or Tacfit-fag say.
    Nobody needs to use a rowing machine or do high rep kettlebell complexes.
    Sorry for the rant, but a lot of people fall right off the fucking boat, sometimes.

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  5. "A lot of LEOs are fucking obsessed with Crossfit and P90X."

    As is a growing percentage of the military. During my time with the Rangers, a bunch of them heard that the MUHREENS were doing this thing called "Crossfit". Next thing I know, the PT area is full of guys doing 300 powercleans followed by kipping pullups till they puke.

    It was hilarious, because they would say how they could do a thousand "pull ups" but if you asked them to try and pull themselves up over a wall, almost none could do it. I can only imagine how fucked these guys would be if they got in a "Mogadishu Mile" situation.

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  6. This article reminded me to go check Tnation.

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  7. Hey,
    Good column, but those Jersey Shore jerks are from NY and people don't like to work hard. Walk into any gym at any time at you see that most people just go through the motions. I gave up trying to help people in the gym unless they ask.

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  8. When you were a ranger, what did you do for PT? Was it heavy lifting? I've always been interested in what guys who would theoretically need a lot of endurance (Which is why crossfit nets a lot of them) would do to train? Is heavy the way to go, or was there some fancy bullshit you did?

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  9. That cross leg foam rolling is actually really useful. I would be for shit if it weren't for foam rolling my hips before each squat day.

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  10. "When you were a ranger, what did you do for PT? Was it heavy lifting?"

    Yeah, lots of heavy lifting, lots of bodyweight pullup/chinup stuff. Why these guys think crossfit is superior to doing obstacle courses in a flak vest is beyond me. Same thing with just plain fucking running. It's like they're trying to get the worst of both worlds.

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  11. Yeah I don't know why that is. LEOs and military should switch from crossfag to CnP. I can't imagine how much scarier our officers would look.

    The only cops I've seen at the gym powerlifting are the SWAT officers...take a hint!

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  12. "That cross leg foam rolling is actually really useful. I would be for shit if it weren't for foam rolling my hips before each squat day."

    Yeah I was going to say, sitting around at fuckin school screws with my hips sometimes, and that cross legged foam roll works great to loosen up the hips and glutes.

    The calf one is completely useless though.

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  13. To you faggots who obviously don't understand crossfit and how beneficial it is to military members should die of AIDS!

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  14. 'Next thing I know, the PT area is full of guys doing 300 powercleans followed by kipping pullups till they puke.

    It was hilarious, because they would say how they could do a thousand "pull ups" but if you asked them to try and pull themselves up over a wall, almost none could do it. I can only imagine how fucked these guys would be if they got in a "Mogadishu Mile" situation. '



    As far as I know, most forces tests are bullshit - the guys who come back from Afgan report that the best fitness is the '2 miler fitness' - i.e. the ability to leg it with a heavy weight on your back - most PT sessions 'till you puke' are designed to build up the mental ability to carry on working - soldiering is about being cold, wet, hungry, injured, blistered and generally pissed off - whilst still being crazy enough to do what your told (keep on going)-
    Also, I agree that anyone that calls himself an elite soldier (marines, rangers etc.) should be able to get through a window/over a wall, as well as have enough strength to carry an injured/dead mate

    Nice article jamie - to PCx - how would LOE strength training be any different to other types of strength training? - Increasing strength is increasing strength. period - to increase strength you need compound movements, practised regularly, with an emphasis on increasing poundage

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  15. "To you faggots who obviously don't understand crossfit and how beneficial it is to military members should die of AIDS!"

    Enlighten us, cuntbag.

    "Nice article jamie - to PCx - how would LOE strength training be any different to other types of strength training? - Increasing strength is increasing strength. period - to increase strength you need compound movements, practised regularly, with an emphasis on increasing poundage"

    You dumbass.

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  16. 'You dumbass'

    Please enlighten me. How is increasing max strength different to increasing max strength?

    - Surely max strength is max strength, if you can pull more than before, you can pull more than before. How the fuck would being a LEO change your genetic makeup/species to the extent that you need to employ different methods or tools to increase strength? Surely you would only change training variables dependant upon you current abilities relative to your needs

    In short, go fuck your sister and get rabies - then maybe you can post non-anonymously. You dumbass

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  17. Wrong information is the most common thing through internet and general bibliography.So i don't blame those who just do all the shit they read.They have lack of critical analysis and thought.People want the best results with the less effort..Heavy basic training means that you have to work hard and be consistent..
    Unfortunately,most people can't stand this.
    Great post Jamie, greetings from Greece..

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  18. I actually do dynamic warmups before heavy lifts if I'm feeling tight. I use the Russian warmup described by Zatsiorsky, which is 10 stiff leg high pulls/10 OH presses/10 OH squats back to back, and I'll generally do that triset a couple of times in a row with an unloaded bar.

    As to the cop training, I'd imagine it varies, but I'll see what I can dig up for the specops stuff and throw that in.

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  19. A lot of meathead crossfit bashing in the comments here! How the crap can you look at the crossfit program and not think it is one of the best programs for FF/Military/LEO when done properly? Im a Firefighter,been doing CF for 2 years...Ive seen the difference between a person who does CF and a person who doesnt on a working structure fire, or just in training...Ill take the guy who does CF any day over the strongest looking dude.

    For the Cameron dude up there who says "And I too find it amazing that so many people want to do things that aren't pulling, pushing or squatting barbells (or huge dumbbells.)
    There doesn't need to be anything else, ever, despite what Crossfit..."

    CF is based on constantly varied functional movements...ie, pushing, pulling,squating, deadlifts, pushing a prowler sled, pulling yourself up a 20ft rope, doing a muscle up (pulling yourself up on rings), lifting heavy shit off the ground to over your head..I think you get the point.

    Ill do crossfit for the rest of my life, but Im not saying crossfit is the ONLY effective way to workout but it definately doesnt deserved to be bashed like its some panzy ineffective workout, or "Crossfag" like some douche up there so nicely stated.

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  20. Cross-fit is no more beneficial than going into the weight room and doing heavy compound movements all the time. If you want to increase your cardio and conditioning then put down the fork and run more. If you want to lift more weight consistently, then eat more and lift more. This is not a science really... For some elite cross-fit member to come on a message board that promotes simplicity is fucked. Go back to your scheduled daily programming, whilst I go lift heavy weights then proceed to do dead-hang pull ups.

    Kipping = lazy...

    Bust your ass, fuckers.

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  21. Yo MacCharles....I saw from Ross Training, you are quite strong, but also super flexible & able to kick high etc. How do you maintain both high strength and flexibility? Almost everyone with high strenght (including Jamie) complain about tight hips, legs etc...

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  22. Bridget- You are right about CF doing the basics (I generalized in my comment) but sumo deadlift highpulls and wrist-crushing 'thursters' are a little too out there for me.
    Unlike many commenters, I'm not trying to cause a huge debate- CF just isn't for me.
    Whatever you're doing, it's better than doing nothing at all.

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  23. Army weak?

    http://startingstrength.com/articles/army_weak_long.pdf

    suck on that shit heads!

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  24. Cameron,

    My apologies if I came off like a 'bitch' with my comment. Reading all these anti-crossfit comments just set me off. I have respect for anybodys workout program if it involves hard work, sweat, dedication, and the desire to strive to be your best. Those who throw on a pair of those ridiculous Shape up shoes and consider that working out,eat crap, then bitch about being fat, I have no respect for. I dont think CF is the be all end all, but I think it should be respected as a very effective program, that does bust your ass, teach you to push past your limits, and make you mentally and physically stronger.
    I dont always agree with everything on this blog but I like reading it because of the no bullshit mentality he has. Ok...female rant over :)

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  25. In re to warm ups, I just do Specific warm ups with just the bar. Like before hitting OHP i'll press the bar until my shoulders feel good.

    I could see how crossfit is a useful tool to getting in shape and maintaining a level of personal fitness. As to gaining a certain level of mass and strength, that's where I would beg to differ. But then again everyone on here has a fucking opinion - and usually no one would could care less or give a fuck.

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  26. Women should do crossfit because they won't have to leave the kitchen

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  27. I think the reason a lot of people rag on crossfit is due to the fact that it's because some kind of gay fitness 'craze' and the majority of videos you see are full of retards giving the actual premise a bad name. It's not my own cup of tea but it's quite decent amidst the tide of dogshit that people call training these days.

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  28. Anonymous said...

    Yo MacCharles....I saw from Ross Training, you are quite strong, but also super flexible & able to kick high etc. How do you maintain both high strength and flexibility? Almost everyone with high strenght (including Jamie) complain about tight hips, legs etc...
    October 5, 2010 9:59 AM



    I've never had any trouble maintaining my flexibility. My body does what I tell it to. It's just a matter of training for what you want your body to do. If you train for it, you can have it. "High strength" is no excuse, some people just don't want to be that flexible. I'm not going to go into specifics about how I personally work on my flexibility because
    1. Stretching is so moronically simple that anyone with a triple digit IQ shouldn't need any instructions on how to do it.
    2. My own training routines are nobody else' business. These idiots don't deserve to be as awesome as I am.

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  29. C&P, it's time to get your head checked.

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  30. Glen, when you refer to yourself as "awesome", do you mean "dim witted retard"??

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  31. Yeah, Glen ain't awesome.

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  32. No, fuckface, I mean awesome. I've forgotten more about working out than you'll ever know and you probably look at 10 times as many lifting websites as I do. You'll never be strong and ripped like me. This isn't because I'm anything special, it's because you suck and you're a lower life form. I have more testosterone in my snot than you do in your whole body. I could probably get a woman pregnant by picking my nose and then fingering her.

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  33. Somebody better tell this guy that the more you carry on like this, the more you like like a complete ass.
    Glen, look up "insecurity complex", I think it has a picture of you next to the definition.

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  34. And what are the consequences of looking like a complete ass, "Anonymous?" I'm not going to get shit-talked on the Internet, am I???

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  35. sorry, numb-nuts, every time you open your mouth, you get shit-talked.
    Run a long and see if you can fail to beat up a homeless guy. again.

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  36. Glen, you are getting yanked on that string again!

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  37. Glen, how come your bench is weaker than Jamie's?

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  38. That's because you clowns can't get enough of me. That's why the comments section of every post ends up being about me. If pretending you're "pulling the string" justifies it for you, so be it.

    Spiderman didn't strike me as a homeless guy. Just another retard fucked up out of his mind on drugs. If we ever find out who he really was he should be featured as Badass of The Month.
    Shit-talking is all you're capable of. Can't lift, can't get laid, but you can run your mouth online. Good for you!

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  39. Rant, I wasted a few years not training my bench press at all because I considered it "non-functional." It was a mistake that I paid the price for in that it took me a long time to eventually make it to over 300 lbs on that lift. It was also a slow lift to progress for me in the beginning which is probably why I was so quick to dismiss it when I was young.
    It doesn't matter anyway. I've won more trophies and medals for lifting than I've even got shelf space for and if that hurts anybody's feelings... Good.

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  40. Hey Glen, I just added your wife on facebook.

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  41. I don't get the crossfit bashing. We should be glad people are making inroads to barbell lifting.

    Then again, I guess this site was never about diplomacy or niceties.

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  42. Crackhead Spiderman...did you put the fight up on youtube?

    P.S.
    Glen those plastic paperweights you call trophies are a poor substitute for the motherly love and approval you so desperately crave and will never get

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  43. To the anon that posted the starting strength military article, I fucking love you. I've been trying to argue that lifting brutal weight was the way to go in the military (infantry myself) but I am lost in a sea of officers who have us run and frolic for PT.

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  44. Added my wife on facebook, did you? Good luck with that. You've hit a new low as far as being a pussy goes.

    There was no youtube back when the Spiderman thing happened.

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  45. It's mildly amusing that Glen seems to think he is the only one that has made progress by lifting weights. Or he is the only one that gets laid.
    Congrats, Glen, we stand in awe at your accomplishments.
    At best, you are an amusing side show.

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  46. yep, Glen is the only one that figured out what hard work is all about. He's a pioneer.

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  47. Hey Glenny boy, answer me this. Why are you so insecure?

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  48. Your
    Prehab/Rehab post is a joke. Sure some people take the foam roller too far. But hindered ROM will ultimately hinder performance. What if spending 10-15 min on a roller or with a LAX ball would put more weight on your squat? I think that's well worth the effort. Don't dismiss solid practices that do much more than prevent or rehab injuries; they increase performance and that is what we're all after.

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  49. Crossfit the workouts and Crossfit the training methodology are two different things. Yes, high intensity circuits can be good for conditioning, which is why people have been doing them for decades (contraty to Couch's claim, there is nothing unique about CF workouts).

    Crossfit the methodology, a bunch of nonsensical randomized shit for time can fuck right off.

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  50. You see insecurity because you see what you need to see to make yourselves feel better. I'm not the one who needs to read books on how to approach women or scour the Internet for the ultimate combination of exercises, sets and reps. You know you're all useless. Mouthing off behind a phony screen name won't change that.

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  51. If my sex drive is anything to go by, calorie cycling seems to be maximising testosterone (and probably other anabolic hormones). No particular macronutrient ratio either. I wasn't this horny when I was just on the "see food" diet every day.

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  52. I love it when Jamie puts up a new post, because then I can read the comments that pertain to the post, it usually takes Mac-Asshole a while to start flapping his lips about how wonderful he is and that he got laid a few times when he was young.

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  53. If you don't want to read about me don't bring up my name.
    I get laid every fucking day, junior, and yes, it is wonderful.

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  54. Who's the lucky guy Glen?

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  55. Jamie, are you familiar with Bio-Feedback training? If so, what do you think of it?

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  56. "Exercises that work are typically those found in competitions- powerlifts, strongman lifts, Olympic lifts..."

    Great quote.
    I'm planning to use that one many many many times, with credit to C&P, of course.

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