Part vs. The Whole

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Beer Jew
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Part vs. The Whole

Post by Beer Jew » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:41 pm

Interested to hear people's thoughts on this.

Take someone with moderate strength levels, but very inefficient form (myself for instance). Two, or perhaps three options.

The first option, is to identify the weak areas, and look to bring them up via targeted exercises. For example for myself, that's primarily glutes and hamstrings, and for lack of a better term, my "core". If I were to look to strengthen those areas for my particular squatting mechanics, I would perhaps look to spend some time doing controlled explosive box squats, 3/4 Good Mornings from the rack, hamstring curls, abdominal roll-outs etc. When I felt those were sufficiently strong and improved, I would look to re-learn my squat, utilising the added strength to create a more robust squat.

The second option, is to focus on the actual exercise itself; starting with the bar or 135 or such, practice hundreds of repetitions with the perfect form. Only add weight when I felt the form was efficient and perfect with that weight. The issue here of course, is that a weight that is "light" enough to re-teach efficient form, is likely to lead to a loss in strength, and..... I can squat perfectly now with light weight. It's the heavy stuff where the efficient form starts to break down.

The potential third option would be to do both together.

Thoughts?

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:51 pm

Beer Jew wrote:Interested to hear people's thoughts on this.

Take someone with moderate strength levels, but very inefficient form (myself for instance). Two, or perhaps three options.

The first option, is to identify the weak areas, and look to bring them up via targeted exercises. For example for myself, that's primarily glutes and hamstrings, and for lack of a better term, my "core". If I were to look to strengthen those areas for my particular squatting mechanics, I would perhaps look to spend some time doing controlled explosive box squats, 3/4 Good Mornings from the rack, hamstring curls, abdominal roll-outs etc. When I felt those were sufficiently strong and improved, I would look to re-learn my squat, utilising the added strength to create a more robust squat.

The second option, is to focus on the actual exercise itself; starting with the bar or 135 or such, practice hundreds of repetitions with the perfect form. Only add weight when I felt the form was efficient and perfect with that weight. The issue here of course, is that a weight that is "light" enough to re-teach efficient form, is likely to lead to a loss in strength, and..... I can squat perfectly now with light weight. It's the heavy stuff where the efficient form starts to break down.

The potential third option would be to do both together.

Thoughts?

I've chased this at a medium- high level, at a low level and at a pretty OK for a old dead person level.

I've tried every single one of those options and 5 you didn't mention.

Every single damn time I would take...DO THE WHOLE.

I'll save the whys for a seperate post. If I had it to do over again, I'd always do the reps, do the miles, practice the jumps, take the throws, hit the turns as a whole rather than doing "drills"

Drills have a very valuable place if the whole is 90% of the job, drills are the 10% intervention.

There is also one massive exception to this rubric, which is:

IF you are a very physically gifted learner, and
IF you are working with a very good coach, and
IF you have the chance to work with them as your first exposure to the movement...then go for it.

Then yes....I'd do whatever drills" they gave me. But it takes a borderline genius brilliant person to properly prescribe the right "drill" to improve the whole of the movement in real time for a broad range of people. I know of only 2 people I have EVER worked with who I would trust to do this.....one has an Olympic Silver medal, the other is a self taught physically untalented professional highland games athlete.
"He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." JS Mill

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by syaigh » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:57 pm

Strength is a skill. Practice the technique to get better. So, what he said.
Miss Piggy wrote:Never eat more than you can lift.

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Beer Jew
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Beer Jew » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:08 am

What about bringing up the strength of those body parts in certain positions, alongside practicing the skill with the actual movement?

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Shafpocalypse Now
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:18 am

This is complex, and there is no getting around the actual mastery of the lift itself...but, I have to ask this...how fucking hard is a bench, a squat, a deadlift? These are not highly skilled movements no matter what anyone says...form is important, performance is important...but these skills, these lifts are nowhere near as complex as the shot put, the 220 hurdles, the high jump, or the vast majority of field sports.

Jesse Norris is what, fucking 21? and he's already better than 99.9% of power lifters or more?

Sometimes, when getting strong, you have to step back and do the special exercises, ever if they are almost bio mechanically identical to the competition lift

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:22 am

I will say this: the further you are from the ideal physical parameters to do your sport, the harder and the weirder you will have to work.

Westside, Dynamo Club, Special Exercises.

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:24 am

Beer Jew wrote:What about bringing up the strength of those body parts in certain positions, alongside practicing the skill with the actual movement?

Great idea.

Couple things I've noticed.

People don't think good
People who think they understand biomechanics think even worse.
People who think they can prescribe the right movement in real time to fix an individual's particular weakness have not much better than 50/50 odds of getting it right. This includes present company...and everyone present company ever met.

It's very hard to know why a thing works.

It is not hard to know...doing the thing works
getting bigger works
getting mobile enough to be pain free works
Bodybuilding in general works
and doing the basic, near universally recognized hard as fuck versions of that thing works.
"He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." JS Mill

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Shafpocalypse Now
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:25 am

I will say that your third option is the closest you will come to a straight path, at least for powerlifting

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:28 am

Shaf is less absolutist about this than I am and I suspect he's about 12% more right.
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by stosh » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:07 am

Beer Jew wrote:very inefficient form
How in the world do you know this? If it's true, how do you know how much it matters? JMO, but Pareto and I say most lifters (and people in general) worry too much about details. Do the whole lifts.
A novice is someone who keeps asking himself if he is a novice. An intermediate is someone who is sick of training with weak people and an advanced person doesn't give a shit anymore. - Jim Wendler

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Sangoma » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:13 am

So, I have been told a few times that the reason squats fuck up my lower back is weak glutes and guads. What would be the solution then? Squat with light bar gradually increasing the load?

The question is not abstract. I like back squat and would like to be able to do it. Nothing extraordinary, just being able to handle between 1 - 1.5 times bodyweight. Just not sure what to do. For now I gave it up and switched to front squat.
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:24 am

First you must accept Louie Simmons as your personal savior. Then you have a crisis of faith, and struggle through assorted Westside agnosticisms. This loss of faith deepens, and you leave the faith entirely. You dabble with Juggy, 531, and other more esoteric barbell faiths. You lose your faith entirely, finding solace in the soft murmurs of the cattleball cults and indoor rowing apostatism. In the end, you, alone, stand on a precipice, the abyss black and bottomless, then throw yourself in, you hit the freezing, black River Hypertroph, and wake up on the far shore, but not too far from where you set foot upon the path, still not enlightened, but with the mantle of a true seeker. You wander along, realizing it's all just a problem solving, and even the mad St Louie speaks the truth if you have an ear to listen.

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:27 am

RDLs, GMs, Front Squats, weighted rear foot elevated split squats.

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by buckethead » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:38 am

Sangoma wrote:So, I have been told a few times that the reason squats fuck up my lower back is weak glutes and guads.
I learned something quite important this last year that really has solidified what I always felt, even though everyone said I was stupid:

At my fittest in the Marine Corps, 1000 years ago, I was excellent on deadlift (remember these are Marines in the 80's/90's most of which were not into heavy weights). I was excellent on pull-ups, ok on bench, and absolutely shitty on back squat.

This year, my 16 year old has been really getting into weightlifting with his friends. He can almost double the pull-ups most of them can do, better than most on deadlift, keeps up with them on bench, but gets made fun of in back squat.

I really believe there's a hugely significant anthropometric factor to back squat (at least) that no amount of training will overcome.

Then again, I have no idea.

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Sangoma » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:18 am

Shafpocalypse Now wrote:First you must accept Louie Simmons as your personal savior. Then you have a crisis of faith, and struggle through assorted Westside agnosticisms. This loss of faith deepens, and you leave the faith entirely. You dabble with Juggy, 531, and other more esoteric barbell faiths. You lose your faith entirely, finding solace in the soft murmurs of the cattleball cults and indoor rowing apostatism. In the end, you, alone, stand on a precipice, the abyss black and bottomless, then throw yourself in, you hit the freezing, black River Hypertroph, and wake up on the far shore, but not too far from where you set foot upon the path, still not enlightened, but with the mantle of a true seeker. You wander along, realizing it's all just a problem solving, and even the mad St Louie speaks the truth if you have an ear to listen.
My first response was "fuck you", but then I heard the sound of realization of the ultimate Truth. In the forest where nobody is. With one hand.
Last edited by Sangoma on Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Sangoma » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:18 am

Shafpocalypse Now wrote:RDLs, GMs, Front Squats, weighted rear foot elevated split squats.
Thanks very much.
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:25 am

Actually, maybe buy a EMS until like the compex and use it on the quads and flutes

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:46 am

Buckets,


I am built similar I would guess. The bloke Tom Martin in the DL video is built that way. It took me many years to barely overcome shite genetics and two totally reconstructed patella ....by back squatting a lot. a lot a lot. Now my squat and dead are about the same 600ish. Better than some, not freaky but I do ok.

Someone, I think it was that crusty malcontent Dan Martin, said it's not important to squat heavy, it's only important to squat. Working with a lot of older dudes, I can say beyond all doubt that the ones that can maintain the flexibilty to keep squatting seem to do very well for themselves. Could be correlation not causation but I lean towards squatting above all other lifts.
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by buckethead » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:53 am

I agree. It's just be careful of comparing your numbers to other lifts, relatively

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by TerryB » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:33 am

Beer Jew wrote:What about bringing up the strength of those body parts in certain positions, alongside practicing the skill with the actual movement?
This would just be doing the main lift followed by smart assistance work (GM's, board presses, pin pulls, etc.), which is very common.

Just my two cents, but I'm not sure 'bad form' means something is weak. It could very likely be neuromuscular or mobility or something inhibiting you from having efficient mechanics. You could have strong 'enough' hamstrings but simply not be hitting the right position to utilize them or they may not be firing properly. Fix that, maybe your form falls into place.

Sangoma: your back hurts when you squat bc your form is shit or most likely your core stability sucks. Weak butt or quads has nothing to do with it, most likely.
"Know that! & Know it deep you fucking loser!"

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:36 am

Sangima looked pretty Corey, but this could be the case. Aren't you kind of lanky, doc?

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by TerryB » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:37 am

I'm not a doctor.
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by TerryB » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:40 am

Did you ever see someone with weak glutes....and weak quads? I guess that means he has...strong hams?

Come on. This is presently a garbage in, garbage out situation.
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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:50 am

You are correct, I hate to admit.

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Re: Part vs. The Whole

Post by Sangoma » Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:48 am

I will make a video of my back squat over the weekend and post it here for everyone to ridicule.
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