Strength & Barbells: The Foundations of Fitness Strength & Barbells: The Foundations of Fitness

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Thread: Strength & Barbells: The Foundations of Fitness

  1. #1
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    Default Strength & Barbells: The Foundations of Fitness

    • phoenix arizona seminar date
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    by Michael Wolf

    “If I had a dollar for every time a client or athlete has asked me why they have to do heavy squats and can’t they just do lunges instead, or the same question phrased slightly differently and with a different alternative exercise, I’d probably have enough money to equip the black iron gym I’ve been trying to open. If I added to that the number of times I’ve seen similar questions asked in the forums, I could probably even afford the rent.”

    Article

  2. #2
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    I've been waiting for that article for months. It will be very useful the next time I have to persuade a "cardiovascular" friend that physical weakness is not an option for the "healthy" lifestyle they pretend to pursue. Thanks for writing that.

  3. #3
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    Awesome Article. Great explanation to all those cardio airheads.

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    My son was reading it intently last night. He's been asking about training for speed. Excellent article!

  5. #5
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    Great article.

    "When running, as in performing the lifts, a rigid back transmits force efficiently through the segment – in this case, from each foot to the other through the back as it anchors each hip extension. This allows more of the force produced by the ‘engines’ of the hips and legs to propel the entire body forward."

    I'm reasonably ignorant in such matters, but thought some might be be able to comment, is the above comment a good explanation of why Michael Johnson was so fast? If I recall correctly, that was one rigid back.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Longley View Post
    I'm reasonably ignorant in such matters, but thought some might be be able to comment, is the above comment a good explanation of why Michael Johnson was so fast? If I recall correctly, that was one rigid back.
    Johnson did appear to be ramrod straight when he sprinted, but I don't know if that was merely a function of his posture or if he actually was holding his back in more rigid extension that anyone else, thereby creating a more efficient transmission. The latter is an interesting possibility.

  7. #7
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    I remember some old Nautilus Bulletin from the Arch Priest of one set to failure, Arthur Jones, talking about how the lower back was so essential for efficient transmission of strength from the lower body to the upper body. It made sense no matter how much of the rest of his stuff turned out to be horseradish.

    Then there was one of the old time guys Alan Calvert, saying how critical the lower back was for strength. Hey guess what? I even found where he said it! Ain't the internet grand? http://www34.brinkster.com/superstrength/2.htm

    But you are the only other person I've come across to talk about it in quite this way. Good read Wolf. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    What a great article. Whether a lifter belongs in the Rip camp, or Pendlay camp; a high back squatter, or a low back squatter; a follower of the triple extension or the Bulgarian batwing catapult, or whether a lifter is a competitive powerlifter or a bro-builder, one thing is certain. That all of us iron athletes can freakin’ agree that strength is king, bitches. Perhaps world peace is possible after all.


    At any rate, I can attest to the following excerpt:


    “Most healthy untrained people can produce enough force to perform basic activities of daily living without needing assistance. One of the most important things we can do, however, is give an older person her quality of life back. Training force production can allow her to get up off her chair, or use the bathroom, unassisted. It can allow her to walk with enough strength to maintain her balance, not fall over, and avoid the broken hips that so often mean the end of an independent existence for seniors.”


    True story. I once saw a 90-plus relative crap herself because she was not strong enough to get off her chair, and she was not fast enough to walk to the restroom. So when nature called, she was too slow and weak and nature ended up on her lap…. and the couch.

  9. #9
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    Brilliant article! Thanks very much for this Michael. I was trying to write down some of my own thoughts on this and your article is perfect.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by philip.h View Post
    I was trying to write down some of my own thoughts on this and your article is perfect.
    That's actually how this article got started, too. I had read the books several (or more) times, attended the seminar, passed, and joined the staff. So the information was all there in my head, but I realized that I still could not quite articulate it all on a moment's notice.

    Some of the people I train come to me because they're specifically looking for barbell training, and that's great. But some are simply looking for a 'good personal trainer,' and have some initial reservations when we begin training and it all involves the barbell lifts. Their idea of a general population fitness program may have looked more like 'elliptical + light dumbbells + stability ball + trainer stretches you at the end' than barbell squats, presses, and deadlifts for 5s. Especially if everyone around us is doing something that looks more like the former than the latter.

    I thought it would be useful for my own business practices to have a very clear and succinct way to explain why this type of training is the most useful, and gain their buy-in early on. Those notes got longer and longer, and evolved into the article.

    The fully fleshed out article is a bit long to use exactly for the purpose that my notes were originally intended to fill, but we wanted to be thorough for the purpose of the article. Practically speaking, I don't need to go over the whole thing word-by-word to gain buy in from new clients - the ones who don't come to me specifically for barbell training - but I do use parts of it over the first session or two, then direct them to read the whole thing on their own time. They usually come back with questions or comments, but so far, all have bought in after being presented with the information.

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