T Nation

MR's Prime Time Fun House!



I'll be on from 7-9 EST tonight; feel free to leave questions here and I'll answer them all ASAP!

(I'll probably answer them sooner, since I have quite a bit of computer work to do today!)

Stay strong


Mike, I think you once said you could write a book on knee injuries so here is a question for you.

Earlier in the year, I was diagnosed by an ortho with jumper's knee. He gave me some (painful) injections and told me to keep away from workouts and running for several weeks. After I was given the go ahead, I slowly started doing some work (bodyweight squats and lunges and some light jogging, not on the same day). I would use a brace and ice after the excercise just to help in case there was any inflammation from the re-introduction of stimulus.

Now, a couple of months later, I am starting to develop some soreness near the area (actually on the inside part of the knee instead of the outside like before). This time though, the pain is more of an ache rather than something really painful. I have been icing after workouts but keeping the actual work light.

Any suggestions? Keep icing and doing light work (with proper rest) or go back for more injections?


2 things:

I know that barbell benches don't carry over well to dumbbells, but do dumbbell bench presses carry over to the barbell? From what I can tell they really don't. Do you have any evidence or studies to show me otherwise?

Also, I've been getting lots of pain around my lowest lumbar erectors from squatting deep. Am I emphasizing the arch in my back too much and sticking my butt out too far? One thing I can tell you is that my spinal erectors are way stronger than my abs right now. Could this be it? It hurts my lower back to squat deep and pulling on anything even slightly in front of me hurts (ie. unracking dumbbell off lower rack). My squat won't go anywhere until I fix this.

BTW, I love the new articles you and EC put together. I am the prototypical long limbed lifter you speak of - sure is great for deads!



Hi Mike:

I have a question about sprinting, warmups and hamstrings.

I presently walk, jog, run, skip, jump, kick, accelerate (briefly), you-name-it for three laps as part of my warmup to doing 400m sprints. The one thing I DON'T do is static stretching, because I have it in my mind that that's not a good thing to do before sprinting (and to say the least, information on the web is conflicting and confusing). My first question is: should I do static stretches?

(I do static stretches as part of the cool-down, by the way).

In spite of what I do (or don't do), as a warm-up, I have recently started to suffer a hamstring issue in my right leg: it gets sore later during the day I sprint (no pain or stiffness during sprinting). The soreness (which limits range of motion - it gets quite painful to stretch the hamstring) can stick around for several days.

I stopped doing 100m all-out sprints, and instead started doing 400m sprints - in the hope that the peak intensity (and thus stress) would make it easier for my legs and such. It hasn't.

I went to see a Chiro about this (one who allegedly has 30% athetes as patients). He found my knee a little compacted, and my pelvis a little out of alignment. He straightened me out - I "responded well" to treatment. He said it should fix the hamstring issue and also hopefully improve a "click" in my right knee, which I've had for coming on for a year now, but which has never hurt to date anyway. The Chiro's work has apparently made no difference - my hamstring still gets sore at the top of my right leg, and my right knee still clicks, especially when I straighten the leg when standing and turning to my left.

I would really like to continue doing sprints - 100m, 400m - pretty much any ind really, as I just love doing them, but I also don't want to screw myself up.

My second question is thus: do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to imrpve any aspect of my situation on hamstring and/or clicking knee?



Jumper's Knee is also known as patellar tendonitis. How's your flexibility in your quads/hip flexors?

First off, I would focus on improving length/tension in both these muscle groups; ART, massage, foam rolling, and stretching of all varities should help. Next, focus your strength training on your glutes and posterior chain.

As well, you might have to fix flawed motor patterns when squatting, lunging, etc.

Injections may help, but they only mask the pain. Find the real culprit and fix the problem itself.

Stay strong


If you have a long-limbed body type, your sticking point probably isn't off the chest, so you most likely won't see a ton of carryover from db benches.

It's impossible to tell what you're doing wrong without seeing pics or videos. However, you could very well be too tight in the gluteals and/or posterior fascia, which causes you to go into lumbar flexion deep in the hole. This could definitely explain any pain you get.

Stay strong



The only static stretch I'll do before working out is a hip flexor stretch to enhance gluteal function. I discussed this extensively in my "Hardcore Stretching, Part I" article.

With regards to the hammie, it could be a number of things. You could have some gluteal dormance, which is causing over-reliance on the hammies. You could have an excessive anterior tilting of the pelvis, which is lengthening the hammie from the get-go. As well, you could just have some scar tissue built up in their that needs to be addressed.

In the meantime, I would focus on glute activation work, stretching the hip flexors, and getting ART/massage and doing some foam rolling on the hammies. Finally, be smart with your training until things feel good again. Once they do, progressively get back into things; start off slow and feel things out until you get back in the groove.

Stay strong


Thank you!

Can you please explain what ART is?

I intend to try everything you've suggested. I was reading tonight about how deep squats are better for glute activation than parallel. Guess what, I've been doing "box squats" and my box (my bench, actually) doesn't quite go down to parallel. I never gave it a second thought. There's at least one thing to fix - and I will also address all the other ideas. I sincerely appreciate your reply!




Thought I'd give a quick rundown of the training session today, since I've answered every question that people have for me :wink:

5 minutes treadmill

Spinal flossing

Dynamic flex/movement prep movements
(I'm really working at this stuff harder than ever before; I've always included it in my workouts, but I've added new movements to really work on improving/optimizing flexibility and function)

Glute activation stuff

Squats, 3x8
BB Reverse Lunge, 3x8 each leg
DB RDL'S, 3x8
BB Step-ups, 3x8 each leg
DB Dorsiflexion, 3x20

Pillar Bridges, 30 sec.

A pretty simple workout, really. My primary goals are getting back into "training" shape, working on unilateral movements, improving recruitment/strength of the gluteals, and strengthening the connective tissue with the high reps (for me) and short rest periods.

Stay strong


Find a practitioner near you; here's the site:


Stay strong


MR, the hip flexors are a tad bit tight but I have been working on those. The quads seem to be doing well.

Glute and posterior chain is an area I'm working on (thanks to T-nation) and I'm seeing really good improvement.

I'll start adding in the foam rolling and some massage to see how that helps.

Thanks for the advice.



Coach Robertson -

Thank you and EC for writing these latest articles. They have helped me, for the first time, feel confident in choosing which ME and DE movements to use, and well as what assistance movements will make me stronger.

However, I am a little confused, as I feel that I do not fit into either of the two body types described in the article. I am 5'10" (70 inches) with a wingspan of 72". I feel I do have long arms for my body... I know my legs are short however, and that I squat in a short-limbed style... ie. high arch, if I stick it is in the hole. So, am I correct in assuming that I should train as a long-limbed bencher and a short-limbed squatter?

Now, for me, I am really confused about deadlifting. I am a very strong lower-body lifter in. My dead is very close to my squat as well (I played football the past two years in college, I am new to powerlifting and testing max lifts, we always tested for reps, but I can squat 405 for at least five as well as pull it for the same in the conventional stance) and I believe this is why my squat, dead, clean #'s are so much better than my upper body numbers.

Now, I am a good squatter/deadlifter and a bad bencher (I have never benched over 300) who should stop trying to boost his bench with chest/shoulder work and focus on tri's? Or I am wrong in assuming I have long arms? Should I switch to a sumo stance for deads for better use of my short legs (never worked it that much)?

Thank for you all your help.


Not a problem, bro. Keep us posted on how things are coming!

Stay strong


First off, thanks for the kind words!

Now, let's get to those questions:

Yes, you are correct.

Where do you miss when you bench? This will tell you what your weaknesses are.

With regards to the deadlift, try out the sumo style and see how it works for you. If you have long arms and short legs, I would think you'd be able to pull really well and would fit more into the long-limbed, short torso category. Where do you typically miss when pulling?

If you give me a little more info I'm sure we can figure this out!

Stay strong


Mike i have been working on my strength, for athletic purposes regarding becoming a better basketball player. So trying to increase vertical leap, speed, agility, and quickness. Im 6'7" have a 6'11" wingspan 17 years old, i weight 220lbs, and i havent really been able to add mass on my body yet the vertical leap and strength gains are coming along great, ive only had about 3 weeks of real offseason training due to summer league bball and i already gained 20lbs on my deadlift, and 15lbs on bench,.

What are some good weightroom numbers for someone with my body type to have before hitting power type stuff. Rite know im benching 170lbs for 6 reps, and my snatch deadlift is 175lbs for 6 reps. Ive noticed that once my strength numbers go up so does my vert especially during weekands ive gained 1 inch on my vert every weekand, so what kinda of weight room numbers would be decent for someone like myself



I hate giving people numbers on which to base themselves; either they focus too much on the fact that they aren't strong enough, or sometimes they even short-change themselves and hit those specific numbers, when in fact they could achieve even more.

I will tell you this, though: At your current weight, the more you focus on basic strength, the more your vertical leap numbers are going to go up. Remember that strength is the basis for a lot of other strength qualities, so I would really focus on bringing that up before adding in more advanced forms of training.

Stay strong


There's no way I'm in flexion, I was thinking if anything I'm sticking my butt out too much and there's too much lumbar extension. Is that even possible? Is there such a thing as going too deep for a longer legged guy?


Mikey, which parts of your warm up do you keep consistent, no matter what you're training?

BTW-Regarding your listed workout today, what's "anal flossing"?


As long as you are keeping your lordosis in the hole, I have no idea what could be happening unless you are bouncing and causing some sort of compressive force.

Stay strong


I'm 160lbs currently. I'm 15 years of age, turning 16 in 2 months. I wanna eventually get up to 185lbs. My nutrition is solid, so no worries about that. MY question here is. I have good relative strength for my age/weight. Now I wanna be 185lbs, but I want it ALL to be functional hypertrophy. And I want to keep that my strength levels when I reach 185 also, basically meaning I still want to be able to squat and dead more than double my bodyweight. I'm going to lay off MMA for a while so my primary concern now is getting to 185lbs and increasing my strength with that weight. Now when doing this is it okay if I still do 2 HARD G.P.P sessions. These include anything from sandbags, sledgehammers, dumbell snatches, bodyweight type circuits etc etc.

Also I am going to start working on flexbility. So what would you recommend for me a program that will make me weight train 4x a week. Add me to 185lbs and make my strength levels go through the roof some more?? Also if I do 3-5 rep max (work sets) how many sets should I do?. Oh and if I'm doing ME I like to wave it sorta like..90%, 95%, 92.5% and then 97%. I liek to test my PR's after either a 4 week cycle is done...or after 8 weeks. Anyways what kinda program will do this for me. I'm guessing westside, but then wonder if I should get the beginners manual or not. Please give me some insight to this, It'd be much appreciated. Oh and if anything is confusing, I can clear it up for you if you'd like.