Friday, November 5, 2010

The state of the art of Strength and Condtioning

Reading a round table discussion last night from a group of U.S. strength coaches.  Let me summarize  what I learned.

1.  Barbell squats of ANY type are BAD and should NEVER be done.
2.  There is an ANTERIOR and POSTERIOR chain that are separate entities, and need to be trained that way.
3.  The glutes are not activated by ground, gravity, and momentum like the other muscles of the body.  They need plenty of supine sagittal plane bridge work to fire properly.
4. Athletes must be trained on how to properly activate the lower extremity.
5.  Every athlete must static stretch/self myofascial release before every workout.
6.  Glutes and hamstrings MUST be emphasized over the quads.  Machines that isolate the "posterior chain" help.
7.  Use the FMS to evaluate physical competency to do a sport.

One of the things I love about the GAIN network is the diverse background of the group- geographically, culturally, and knowledge base.  While it's the Gambetta method that unites us, we definitely have a wide variety of opinions on how to get from point A to point B.  And understand there are many ways to get to Rome sort of speak.

At least in the U.S., I see a lot of intellectual isolationism going on in this profession.  You could easily be led to believe for instance that,
1.  Tom Myers fascial work from 10 years ago has never been expanded upon.
2.  The efficacy of the FMS has never been studied.
3.  Muscles function independently of modern motor control theory.
4.  Human tissue has the same mechanical properties as plastics and metals.

I know sometimes I come across as just saying things for the sake of being different.  And, I also understand that sports medicine is a discipline that has always been driven by the practitioner first.  But always remember I'm not just some internet guy- I make no money with this blog.  I earn my living being a real life ATC in the biggest high school in NJ.  The time I get to spend with each athlete is limited, and very precious to me.  Everything I do has to give me the "biggest bang for my buck". 

I can't afford to take wrong turns.


Jack Martin said...

Joe, off topic but check these two links. Alberto Salazar changing form of dathan Ritzenheim. Let me know what you think of the science in the video and how you can see us using it. Martin

Brian Green said...

Never say Never and never say Always...perhaps we should add Must to that list....
Would like to read this prior to commenting; however, I will briefly say this:
I could sort of agree with 1 if the athlete plays a sport requiring force to be produced in the horizontal direction compared to vertical....
Fascia connects all "separate entities" and they can't be separate if they cause movement in the transverse plane...
If the glutes are not activated by the ground then we as humans are no longer bipedal creatures...
What the hell is does number 4 mean?!
Some muscles and fascial structures should not be stretched while some should be strengthened but this should be part of the thought process and problem solving of an evaluation of the athletes needs and movement required in the sport....
Therefore, telling a swimmer to stretch their hamstrings or release their IT band because their overhead squat is abnormal does not make a whole lot of sense to me...

Joe Przytula said...

#4= their whole sequence is as follows:
Foam roll
Static stretch
Dynamic warmup

based on the premise, "The warmer the tissue the lower the probability of change. They might leave feeling good but, they will not improve."

they are speaking of the process that is known in physics as "plastic deformation". It is a laboratory term that is largely applied to metals & plastics. Bending or lengthening a material without breaking it. If the material is warm, it is more elastic & likely to go back to it's original length.

So you see what they mean when they say they have the science to back up their hypothesis.

However, it's obvious that while they share some qualities with plastics & metals; muscle, tendon, bone, blood vessels, fascia, & nerves behave very differently.

Brian Green said...

Joe you have referred to the behaviour of muscles, nerves, and tendons in previous posts...can you give the titles in order to search for them? Also, is there evidence to suggest that static stretching decreases one's ability to perform power activities such as vertical jumping and sprinting? I believe this has been investigated in JSCR a few times. Joe could you email me at I have a few questions regarding GAIN. Cheers...

continuingedofanatc said...

Joe -

Thanks for sharing what you learned from the roundtable. Couple of follow-up questions.
1)No barbell squats at all. Does this include single leg barbell squats? Front squats?What was the rationale behind eliminating barbell squats.
2)You discussed using the FMS as important to assess athletic competency. If I am not mistaken, in the past, your stance regarding the FMS has been more skeptical. Has your stance on this "device" changed and if so, what convinced you or what was the rationale/research behind using this? Please share your thoughts.


Joe Przytula said...

...according to this round table, traditional 2 legged squats, front or back are a no no; the FMS as a testing tool is their idea- not mine, my stance has not changed. As for why the traditional squat is contraindicated in all S&C programs; I have no idea.

Aaron Kellett said...

As an athletic development coach (my preferred title to S&C Coach) I am amazed at the ridiculous ideas that get perpetuated.
Where do these idiots get their ideas? Activation, firing, posterior chain, glute isolation - PLEASE! The body is a lot more interesting, complex and self organizing than that load of crap.
Okay, that is my soapbox moment for today...thanks Joe, really enjoy reading your posts.

Kevin Moody said...


Is this roundtable topic available in a specific journal?

Kevin Moody