Massively different levels of ability/biomechanics........ Massively different levels of ability/biomechanics........

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Thread: Massively different levels of ability/biomechanics........

  1. #1
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Massively different levels of ability/biomechanics........

    Dear Mark,

    I run a small, bespoke fitness studio in the UK and I have recently come across your videos on youtube - which I think are great!

    Your training philosophy and attention to detail during movements are what I am working towards at my own place.

    However, I have one query........

    Almost every person that come to me has some form of chronic tightness, either in the hips or calves, which prevents them from squatting for example, safely!

    To work with these people is much more time consuming and fixing these problems is a very lengthy process.

    In an ideal world everyone would respond quickly to cues and master the big movements in a relatively short space of time.

    May I ask how you incorporate these types of people onto your program?

    I understand regression and progression but I think these people need daily stretching and release but I believe you're not a fan!

    Hope I make sense and I hope you can answer.

    **When you coming to the UK??!!**

    Thanks,

    Kevin.

  2. #2
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    The lifts coached as we teach them require no stretching. Except for possibly the lockout position of the press, flexibility -- "mobility" in the modern faddish terminology -- is not the limiting factor in squat depth or starting position for the pulls. Over the 10 years we have been holding our seminar, there have been a total of 5 people who could not squat below parallel on Saturday morning after 8 correctly-coached sets of 5.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    The lifts coached as we teach them require no stretching. Except for possibly the lockout position of the press, flexibility -- "mobility" in the modern faddish terminology -- is not the limiting factor in squat depth or starting position for the pulls. Over the 10 years we have been holding our seminar, there have been a total of 5 people who could not squat below parallel on Saturday morning after 8 correctly-coached sets of 5.
    I must be the slowest learner in the history of Starting Strength. I've met with a coach twice and have been trying to learn how to squat for 6 months, but still can't do it correctly.

  4. #4
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    PM me the name of the SSC.

  5. #5
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    I've noticed that a much higher % of the people who seek me out for coaching for technique help in the lifts are, to put it kindly, on the less physically talented side of the bell curve than in the general population or even than the average SS Training Camp or Seminar attendee. Sure, we have some at every seminar and training camp too, but at a much lower rate than those who specifically seek me out for coaching.

    My guess is that a higher % of people like this come to see me specifically because they've either failed hard at doing it on their own, or are too intimidated or aware of their own limitations to even try. Most people of even average ability would not fail so hard or be too worried to even try it on their own.

    Now I don't mean to say everyone I work with falls into this category; not by a long shot. But a higher % of people than the general population. After working with thousands of people, I can often identify these people before they even touch a barbell, and certainly within the first couple minutes of a session. Once I see that, my expectations change. It's not that I become a cheerleader instead of a coach, but I recognize that someone like this has to work harder, for longer, to make a lift 'passable' compared to the average person for whom less time and effort is required to make a lift not only passable but 'good.' And often form regression will happen much more quickly without regularly recurring coaching feedback. Most of the time, someone like this will have numbers at the end of their LP that would make almost everyone here assume they DNDTP.

    I'm not saying this is definitely the case here, but I have observed it in my own practice quite a bit. However, OP, you should know that generally stretching isn't the issue. Tight hamstrings or hip flexors aren't preventing these people from squatting. Weakness, and possibly physical idiocy, are. A good coach knows how to deal with these things, and understands that people like this won't progress as quickly and will take longer to have consistently good technique (and may have things they constantly struggle with), but can still do an awful lot to help them get an awful lot better than they would on their own.
    YT * IG * FB

  6. #6
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    Not sure what impressed me more, Wolf, your well thought out and worded answer or that you did it with one hand. That has to be some sort of typing PR

    Hope your mending quickly

  7. #7
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    Oh, right. The shoulder surgery.

  8. #8
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    Since this has already turned into a Hurling-esque thread derailment, I'll comment. The above was my first post since the surgery, and first time attempting to use my laptop. After this wonderful experience, I am going to take another painkiller and don't intend to attempt posting again for about a week.

    That said, OP: Get really familiar with the source text: SSBBT3. Read and understand it thoroughly, which requires that you also do it yourself and complete an LP, as written. Read the articles and watch the videos here that address dealing with people and issues out of the ordinary. Start with the leg press, but Baker has plenty of stuff on this too, IIRC. I suspect the Sully/Baker collaboration on training for the older population will also be a tremendously valuable resource, when it comes out.

    But the germ is that you still apply the Stress --> Recovery --> Adaptation model, using the mechanics and coaching tools we have been talking about here for years. Older people, people with certain issues, and physical idiots will need some regressions and deviations from the norm, will progress more slowly, and might need more creative cueing than the average person. But the same basic principles still apply. They're not magical creatures for whom tight hamstrings prevent squatting.

    And, I'm out. Everyone feel free to send me food.
    YT * IG * FB

  9. #9
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    Flexing at the hips with extended knees, my wife could only reach mid shin before she started the program. She could squat below parallel on the first couple try's with low bar squat taught in the book. The seminar was in November 2015 and she can now touch her toes with straight knees. We do no stretching at all, just the program. Literally walk straight to the squat rack, air squat a couple times, the bar a couple times and then plates. No need to waste time with useless isolation stretches.

  10. #10
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    May 2013
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    I'd like to provide one more example. My mother is 56 and completely untrained. She had a number of severe injuries in her youth that resulted in a compressed spinal column, rotated pelvis and a severely arthritic ankle. Doctors have recommended replacing the ankle but she's holding out until she's older. Dorsiflexsion in that ankle is limited but she can flex it just enough to squat with her knee out to her toes while wearing Olympic lifting shoes. She also has tight calves, hips and hamstrings.

    Despite those pretty significant structural limitations she was able to squat below parallel with the bar in her first training session with a little coaching from me. It wasn't comfortable but it was possible. If she can manage it then so can the vast majority of the general population.


    Sent from my iPad using my assmunch app.

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