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Ask me some stuff and you will be rewarded with answers and the Homer Simpson quote of my choice. How awesome is that?

"Lisa, Vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos."

-Homer Simpson


Boxers are an old school lot. They do push-ups like there's no tomorrow--the rationale being that the movement mimics a punch and therefore will help your punch. Also, a lot of them like to use cables and do punching movements.

This has always struck me as an ineffective way to train. However, there are plenty of champs that have trained this way... but maybe they were champs despite their inferior training methods.

Do you think there is any merit to this type of training for boxing? If not, what do you think does?


Eric, I would love to hear you thoughts on how to adapt the westside system to someone who also competes in the clean and jerk.


Hey Eric,

I asked this question in its own post, but didn't get any response so I thought I'd pass it on to you- afterall you are the massa!

I have been curious about something for a while. When doing a Westside type program or perhaps "Westside for Skinny Bastards," the trainee is usually performing exercises for the bench in a way lower rep range than is done for the pulling musculature.

My question is, since the pushing (benching) muscles are trained much more for strength and the pulling (back) muscles are trained at much higer rep ranges are musclular imbalances bound to occur in terms of strength and size? I'd really appreciate your input, thanks in advance.


Well, I think it's fair to say that there is considerable benefit to training for muscular endurance, as these guys may throw a thousand punches in a single fight.

However, just doing lots of push-ups is just traditionalist garbage; a lot of people get to where they are in spite of what they do, not because of what they do.

If you're going to do push-ups, they ought to be the ballistic/plyo version. Otherwise, these strenth qualities can best be trained with variations of the bench press, cable movements, and medicine ball throws - all of which are open-chain activities (just like throwing a punch).


You can clean on your DES/D day, and jerk and/or snatch on the DEB day.


Hey Matt - sorry I missed it. If it ever happens again, just shoot me an email to get my attention.

As a general rule of thumb, the pulling muscles need a lot more volume than the pushing muscles for several reasons, most notably the typical poor daily postural habits and the widespread tendency for trainees to always bench too much! These imbalances are best corrected with some extra pulling volume, but it's difficult to get sufficient volume if you're only training with lower reps. A good set-up to use would be to pair a benching movement with a rowing movement for the same number of sets, but just hitting the row for an extra 2-3 reps per set. Another option would be to perform the same number of reps, but add in another rowing set on the end of your superset.


Doh! I forgot Homer quotes for the past three responses, so I need to catch up. See what happens when I get distracted?

"Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try."

"I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman."

"I want to share something with you: The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here."


Hi Eric,

Regarding scapular retraction during the DL. Should focus on keeping them back throughout the whole movement? I find I can pull myself down into position, grip, squeeze the bar off the floor all with my chest nice and high and shoulder blades back. I get about half way up and my shoulders come forward a little, not so much to round my upper back rounds but enough to notice it. Shold just keep pulling or lower the weight alittle and work on keepin' my blades back? Thank You.



How would I know when I am ready to load a joint that I have been rehabing?


You're in good shape; it isn't as important as people think to have the scapulae completely retracted. A neutral position works best for "ordinary" folks, whereas you'll see almost all powerlifters with rounded shoulders on max attempts. If you look through the photos forum for the "Deadlifting Fun" thread, you'll find a pretty good discussion on this very topic.


Eric, I am interested in a little more clarifacation on the imbalance issue. Sorry to be picky, I'd just like to understand it well.

So you are saying that training the pulling muscles at a lower percent of 1RM is ok as long as there is greater volume in the pulling to make up for it? Hope that wasnt too confusing, thanks.



I know you train atheletes and that you are one yourself, but what kind of bodybuilding split do you prefef?

I heard you were a HIT guy:)


"Oh, so they have internet on computers now!"

-Homer (of course)


VERY subjective question. Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to test it out. Above all, it's important to gradually increase the loading, volume, and frequency. Don't just jump back in and try to hit 1RMs.

"Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such."


Correct - unless no imbalance is present. If that's the case (and it rarely is), I'll load them equally.

"Oh no! What have I done? I smashed open my little boy's piggy bank, and for what? A few measly cents, not even enough to buy one beer. Wait a minute, lemme count and make sure... not even close."


Typically, four times per week:

Heavy Upper
Rep Lower
Rep Upper
Heavy Lower

The rep vs. heavy stuff simply refers to the primary exercises; assistance and prehab exercises are done 5+ reps (even on heavy days). I'm a big fan of supersets, compound movements, and not messing around with trying to isolate muscles.

I think a lot of people overthink hypertrophy; diet and lifestyle factors are far more important than worrying about minutia in training programming. I'm all for appropriate use of different methods such as drop-sets, isometrics, and eccentrics, but I think many people get too caught up in flavor of the week stuff. Take a look at how great the results are with Chad's programs; you don't see him straying from what's worked in the past just to be different, do you?

"Bart, with $10,000, we'd be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like...love!"