T Nation

EC: 7/12 and 7/14 Prime Time


Here we go...


Eric, what is your opinion about contribs who bump their old Prime Time thread (in order to look like they OWN, by having 2 active PT threads), rather than simply answering any "leftover" questions in the new Prime Time thread?



what exercises/drills would help me run a faster pro aqility? i have a good vertical and am also good at agility ladder exercises. Lateral change of direction seems to be my problem. Would lateral plyos, bb side side lunges help? Also, would widening my squat stance help? my feet currently are about shoulder width apart when i squat.


I'd say that such a practice just reaffirms one's status as dead-sexy, brilliant, and remarkably charming.


There are a lot of things that could be the problem. Personally, I'm not a fan of the majority of agility ladder drills; I prefer to use drills where foot placement is not dictated. Rather, the entire body moves to a set point (i.e. a cone or line) and the feet go to the natural position.

We use a variety of drills to improve overall agility, although from a specificity standpoint, the best way to run a better pro-agility is to practice that test and its components.

In terms of specific training recommendations, various plyos could definitely be of value to you if you tend to be more static on the static-spring continuum, whereas those with more spring proficiency will need more maximal strength work. I'd have to see a video of you running the drill to really see where your weaknesses are in order to really tell you what exercises could make the difference.


I think I read in one of your articles that you said hockey players should do a lot of single leg work in the off-season. I was wondering what the reason for this was considering that skating is done one leg at a time and things such as single leg squats kill me VMO and this is what I feel gets worked when I skate. Thanks,


Almost all athletes should do a lot of single-leg work throughout the year - both in the off-season and in-season periods.

You really answered your own question; it's just specificity of training. Improve unilateral strength and speed and you'll improve skating ability.

Moreover, hockey players are notorious for having strong hip abductors and weak adductors; it's one of the reasons that there are so many groin strains in the NHL. By doing single-leg exercises, you teach the abductors and adductors to fire evenly to maintain frontal plane stability.


EC, are you using any supplements right now?

What do you use when you're not prepping for a competition?




Fish Oil

Vitamin C/E



Alpha Male


Spike when desired, and I've also got some MD6 tucked away.

Psyllium Husk Powder

I try to keep things pretty consistent regardless of the time of year; the last thing I want to do is dramatically change things when competition time rolls around.


EC, In your D-tap you mention that sucking in the stomach is a bad idea. I remember reading some articles from Mel Siff that said it could actually cause faulty recruitment patterns. What are your thoughts about this? In the facility I work at all the other trainers run around and tell their clients "abs tight"( and i'm not talking on deadlifts, I'm talking on band movements and kickbacks), thoughts? response if you heard someone say that


I'll be on 8-10PM tonight; please post your questions here.



For a beginning lifter or someone just in the intermediate stage(not really sure where i fall) would you recommended a total body routine or a split routine.

Also could your NNM series be turned into an effective total body routine. I am currently experimenting with which methods works best for me but I would really like some guidance. I have always been fairly strong even without the use of weight training(multi all-state athlete in high school) and i only played around with weights from time to time, but now that college has started, and after about a year layoff from a car accident, i am trying to find my way so that i can gain back what i have lost.


A popular ab movement at my gym is to do straight leg crunches while someone is standing on your stomach (or, if you haven't worked up to that, just pumping their foot into your stomach during the concentric movement). I know from experience that it's intense, but I'm wondering if it's all that effective.


Eric, what do you think of this idea:

What do you think about incorporating a 4th workout into a 3-day full body split soley for rehab type exersises?

Stuff like rotator cuff work, scalpular retraction stuff, glute activation, etc. Basically all the common areas of muscular imbalances outlined in your many articles.

I find if I just tack this stuff onto the end of my workouts they end up getting short changed due to fatigue from heavy compound exersises.


Whenever I deadlift heavy (ie 5 or less rm), it takes my lower back about 4 days to recover its strength and not be super sore. I have been told that doing rack pulls/lockouts wouldnt give me this problem. Is this true? I would think that since I would be using even more weight than on full rom deads, it would be even worse!

also, what about doing say 5 sets of 3 or something on deads. In this case itd be more volume and less weight. Would I still have the recovery issue? I would think so as well, no?

Thanks for the answer. I realize I could test it, but if you happen to know the answer, I wouldnt have to go and mess up my routine :slight_smile:


Mr. Cressey -

You are very inspiring; in particular, your NNM series inspired me to focus on muscular balance and got me thinking about how years of lifting for football has taken its toll. With all the benching and little rowing, all the squating and little deadlifting or posterior chain work, and a million times as much vertical pressing (push press, jerks, jammer machine, shoulder and military presses) as vertical pulling, I realized am probably pretty f-ing imbalanced! So I am working hard to correct that; however, I have a few questions:

1) In NNM 5, you recommending racks pulls with scapular retraction. Dave Tate and the big boys over at EliteFTS say that you should always pull with your upper-back rounded, because the bar has to travel less distance. Now, I do this, but I figured that I could arch my upper back in all my training pulls, and just pull without scap. retrac. during testing. Is this a good idea?

2) Since I am not a competitive powerlifter, I was thinking about having my ME upper-body lift be a ROWING movement for a couple months, instead of a benching movement. Again, is this a good idea? (We only rep test bench anyway).

3) What is your opinion on the o-lifts... should I just hit cleans lightly in upcomming off seasons and focus more on power lifts?

Thank you for your time.


It could go either way. In most cases, people with whom I work are lifting four days per week. Some will go more often, some will only go 2-3 times. It depends on a number of factors, particularly scheduling and recovery issues. Generally, though, all beginners start with three times per week.

It could definitely be performed in that fashion; we use similar programs with athletes who can only train three times per week but need to correct similar problems.


Siff was right, and McGill has reaffirmed Siff's original assertion.

However, the phrase "abs tight" doesn't really say much; that could mean bracing for all we know.


It would depend on your form and definitely the height of the pins from which you pull. Anything in the mid-shin range is really going to hammer your lower back. If you're recovering that slowly, you either need to learn to use your glutes and hams more, or just focus on recovery approaches as outlined in my "Cardio Confusion" article.

If your form was still a problem, then yes. Honestly, if someone is struggling with form, the last thing I want them to do is pull consecutive reps. If you're going to do more than singles, just pause in between reps and step back from the bar before resetting.



I had heard a while back that you used to practice cross-dressing in the few days before a meet.

I was wondering if this is still an important part of your meet prep and what possible benefits you find in this type of practice?

On a more serious note... do you have any serious superstitions / practices before an important meet?