T Nation

Pick EC's Brain

I’m here. Ask me stuff so that I feel useful. :slight_smile:

EC, I’ve been checking out yours and Mike’s Neanderthal No More article and really want to give the program a shot.

I have a pretty bad leg imbalance due to a couple of surgeries on my left knee. This probably one of those can’t answer over the internet type questions but do you think there is enough unilateral work in the program if I where to add say 25% more reps to the left leg.

Maybe there is some kind of rule of thumb or easy way to test what the strength differential is between legs. I’m not sure how much more work the left leg should be getting.

I’ve been dying to ask you about a comment you made in one of your deadlift artciles…you labeled the quads “all show and no go”…forgive my ignorance but why do you say that?

I have a posteriorly protruding disk at L5-S1. What exercises should I avoid? I’ve worked my deadlift back up to 500, but doing leg raises while on my back kills me. Thanks.

Outside of prison, is there any benefit to sleeping on your back? I sleep on my tummy with arms under my pillow; when I try to switch, it’s too uncomfortable.
What about cracking your back, like when people “twist” in a chair and their hole back explodes, is that good?

Eric, I’m a Scottish Highland athlete. I was wondering what you thought would be a good in-season lifting program. Also for a thrower how much time should a person account for lifting vs. throwing.
Thank you in advance!!!

Hey Eric
Its Justin. Just letting you know I just sent you the email along with the programs.

Hi M. Cressey,

Do you have some recomendation for someone like me who has been diagnostiqued with patellofemoral pain last year. I have seen a physiotherapist for 3 months, but the results were very bad.
thanks

p.s. sorry for my bad english

I can grind out a heavy deadlift using conventional style. With sumo style, though, it’s either stapled to the floor or it comes up no problem. I read that the “all-or-nothing” thing is a peculiarity of the sumo style. Is this true or am just weak at something?

Is their any evidence proving the whole “1 gram of protein per pound of body weight” thing? I don’t see any real changes when changing up my intake, I’d like to know the science behind it.

What are your thoughts on detoxing and does Biotest offer any products for this?

I have a question regarding the order of my training and maybe even a crituque of my current routine. Right now I am using training density as means to lean out and drop about 5 percent body fat. I feel this will add in my summer baseball league.

I’m using some of Waterbury’s principles, especially the ones he laid out in OSC and Endurance Hypertrophy Paradox. I’m using a heavy load and short rest periods, then decreasing the amount of rest each week while keeping the load constant. I ll also throw in an endurance training day of 20-25 reps in order to speed recovery.

On the other days Im slowly increasing my cardio about two minutes each week until i hit 40 minutes a session(steady state 70% mhr)

These sessions are total body with 4 exercises a session with 5 sets each(except for endurance day). I was wondering what you thought of my plan and if it seemed sound, plus I wanted to enquire how one might fit in specific prehabilitation and rehabilitation work into such a program. I feel there are certain area’s I need to address and many of the exercises in NNM would seem to help, but how should I incoroprated them into my routine, or should I restructure in order to fix some weaknesses.

Current Stats and Program (just in case)
Maximal Strength Day 5RM 3reps
60 sec rest decrease by 5sec each week
Deadlift 5 sets
Bench 5 sets
Lunges 5 sets
Rows 5 sets

Max Srength II
Squat
Chinup
Good Mornings
Military Press

6’3 250 19% body fat

Endurance Day 20reps 24RM 2 sets
RDL
Seated Row
Incline Bench
Split Squat
Reverse Grip Tricep Pressdowns
Barbell Curls
Calf Raises

[quote]sam747 wrote:
EC, I’ve been checking out yours and Mike’s Neanderthal No More article and really want to give the program a shot.

I have a pretty bad leg imbalance due to a couple of surgeries on my left knee. This probably one of those can’t answer over the internet type questions but do you think there is enough unilateral work in the program if I where to add say 25% more reps to the left leg.

Maybe there is some kind of rule of thumb or easy way to test what the strength differential is between legs. I’m not sure how much more work the left leg should be getting. [/quote]

I’m not aware of a specific test other than comparing strength on single leg exercises and overall atrophy of the weakened leg to the size of the normal leg.

[quote]der Koning wrote:
I’ve been dying to ask you about a comment you made in one of your deadlift artciles…you labeled the quads “all show and no go”…forgive my ignorance but why do you say that?[/quote]

Fiber make-up. Your posterior chain has a lot more potential for maximal power and force, as the hamstrings and glutes are predominantly fast-twitch.

The quads are important, but I’d estimate that 75% of the athletes I encounter need to de-emphasize them in their training in order to give the posterior chain the attention it deserves.

[quote]doogie wrote:
I have a posteriorly protruding disk at L5-S1. What exercises should I avoid? I’ve worked my deadlift back up to 500, but doing leg raises while on my back kills me. Thanks.[/quote]

You actually answered your own question: avoid anything that hurts! If you’re pulling five bills, you’re past the clinical realm and need to start training instinctively to some extent (under the supervision of a qualified professional, that is). If it hurts, you’re only prolonging the recovery.

I would encourage you to:

  1. Stretch the psoas major as often as possible. It attaches directly on the lumbar spine and is likely pulling your vertebrae into the position of pain as you shorten it with leg raises. This is one of the reasons that L5-S1 is the most commonly injured disc.

  2. Strengthen the entire core, especially the rectus abdominus.

  3. Do glute activation work until you’re blue in the face.

  4. Avoid any loaded spinal flexion, and be careful with any spinal flexion period.

[quote]boonville410 wrote:
Outside of prison, is there any benefit to sleeping on your back? I sleep on my tummy with arms under my pillow; when I try to switch, it’s too uncomfortable.
What about cracking your back, like when people “twist” in a chair and their hole back explodes, is that good?[/quote]

There’s definitely benefit to sleeping on your back; it’s the position that is biomechanically “best” for you. When you’re on your side or face-down, you automatically internally rotate your shoulders and protract your scapulae. This contributes to the classic postural disorder. When you consider that you’re sleeping for 1/3 of your life, this is a pretty significant problem to undo!

Cracking of joints generally isn’t a bad thing unless you experience pain. It’s just the synovial gas escaping from joint capsules.

At some joints, it can be a sign of some problem with flexibility (e.g. snapping hip syndrome) or even arthritis.

EC

What kind of general nutrition guidelines do you recommend for strength athletes (powerlifters, strongmen, etc.). I’m not a big fan of traditional bodybuilding diets or food logs but diet is the one area where I can use some work and I’m prepared to make some changes. I’m sure my performance in the gym is suffering because of it. I do make sure I get enough protein and I don’t eat much junk food but other than that, I don’t really pay attention to what I eat. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

By the way, I really enjoyed your Cardio Confusion article.

[quote]Scottish 190 wrote:
Eric, I’m a Scottish Highland athlete. I was wondering what you thought would be a good in-season lifting program. Also for a thrower how much time should a person account for lifting vs. throwing.
Thank you in advance!!![/quote]

Wow; that’s a loaded question if I ever heard one!

It’s going to depend a lot on your technical proficiency, for starters. If you’ve been throwing for only two weeks, you’ll need a lot more practice than someone who has been throwing for years.

Likewise, I’d look at your explosive strength deficit. If you were very speed dominant, I’d do more work in the weight room. If you were crazy strong but unable to display force rapdidly, we’d do more speed work, which would certainly include more throwing of the implements.

In-season, your volume in the weight-room is going to be much lower. We’re basically going to look to prioritize prehabilitation and maintenance of maximal strength.

[quote]stiffy7 wrote:
Hey Eric
Its Justin. Just letting you know I just sent you the email along with the programs.[/quote]

Got it, Justin; thanks. I’ll catch up to you tomorrow and we’ll sort everything out.

[quote]CaLvA wrote:
Hi M. Cressey,

Do you have some recomendation for someone like me who has been diagnostiqued with patellofemoral pain last year. I have seen a physiotherapist for 3 months, but the results were very bad.
thanks

p.s. sorry for my bad english

[/quote]

Well, patellofemoral pain is basically a garbage term that encompasses dozens of problems relating to the PF joint. My best recommendation would be to do a ton of stretching of the muscles acting at the hips, knees, and ankles. Also, give the “Neanderthal No More” Series a read and see how your posture stacks up. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make sure that your PT is looking at the entire kinetic chain; these problems rarely originate at the knee itself. You’ll frequently see subtalar joint dysfunction, functional leg length discrepancy, and hip issues.