T Nation

Prime Time With EC

I’m ready when you are…

A few questions that were left over from my Prime Time thread last week:

Football guys can get away with some short tempo runs to get the blood flowing, although it’s going to depend on the position. I wouldn’t use these as much with lineman, for instance.

Individual weaknesses are more of a deciding factor than actual sport-specificity (although the sport will typically dictate the weaknesses). For instance, if a player is really quad dominant, we?ll do some higher rep activation work for his posterior chain so that we can teach him to move properly. If he has poor frontal plane stability, we?ll do some body weight only single-leg exercises. A history of rotator cuff problems would warrant external rotation and scapular stability exercises.

[quote]buckeye75 wrote:
EC

I just thought of one more question and wanted to get it to you tonight. I recall you saying that when you put together a carido workout (per your cardio confusion article) that it needs to be specific for the sport. Could you give an example cardio workout for a football player using those parameters? [/quote]

EC,

When training athletes, do you have a critical drop-off point at which you will terminate the session/exercise?

If so, how do you go about determining it? Is it general or athlete specific.

For example, if training with 100 m sprints, will you terminate their session when their performance drops below a certain percentage of their pr?

Obviously the same question applies to weightlifting.

Any other thoughts on auto-regulatory type training you want to share?

Thanks in advance,

Pat Battaglia.

Also from last week:

Yes, you’ll still get some carryover. There’s going to be hip and knee extension with all variations. The quads aren’t emphasized as much as you might think; most powerlifters are so strong with their posterior chains that they can still manage to keep the quads out of the movement when they squat with a narrow stance.

Also, remember that your max effort exercise is aimed at improving the ability to strain and improve neuromuscular coordination while seeing where you stand on a weekly basis. If they were really concerned with grooving a particular movement pattern, they would just squat and pull all the time. Your accessory and supplemental lifts will bring up your max effort exercises, which are used to gauge progress.

[quote]bigTR wrote:
EC,
Will doing these ME squats with a close stance translate into a heavier squat(wide stance) and dead if they are working the quads much more than the posterior chain. In other words, would it be more worthwhile to just do GMs, deads, etc on ME day. Thanks again,
TR[/quote]

Last week:

All three - seriously! Generally, these issues are related. If one joint is out of whack from a postural standpoint, there are going to be compensations elsewhere.

[quote]Dboy wrote:
I know there are a lot of issues that come into play that could hinder one’s ability to properly perform an overhead squat. With that said, what is the one (or two) area that you most often see as the limiting factor in performing a proper overhead squat? (i.e. excessive tightness in the shoulder region, calfs, hip flexors etc.)

Thanks Eric!

Danny[/quote]

Last week:

Definitely go to NNM V. Your shoulder just isn’t ready for overhead work and approximation exercises, and the bent-over rows pain doesn’t surprise me; a lot of people have trouble with them in the early phases of rehab. Stick with seated row variations and you’ll be fine.

[quote]StrikeT wrote:
Eric,

I have finished the NNM IV. I had tremendous success with my lower back pain, yet I still have some lingering shoulder issues.

The front of my right shoulder still hurts whenever I do chin up, bent over rows, and bench presses. Damn that’s a lot of movements:(

Still, I am not totally discouraged because I feel that my shoulder pain has improved a bit.

I should say that I have really tight traps. My question is where should I go from here? Should I do NNM V? [/quote]

Last little tidbit:

Bracing and the valsalva maneuver are completely different things. Bracing is a good thing. Pick up McGill’s book, seriously.

[quote]bigpump23 wrote:
I assume it means bracing but is bracing a bad thing as well?In my mind bracing and valsalva are two different things
[/quote]

Hi Eric,

Okay, you horizontal pulling freak, I pose you a question…Lately, I’ve been focusing on harder lockouts and scapular retraction when doing stiff-leg and traditional deads. I generally do full body workouts, training the movement planes. All else remaining equal (consistent balance of pushing/pulling over a long time, decent posture, etc.), am I shorting myself by not doing any additional rowing and instead opting for vertical pulling given the amount of time I want to spend in the gym?

I do the different deads twice a week and have been doing rear delt flies/bent over laterals (whatever you want to call them) at least once a week for a year or more. Thanks in advance for your reply.

I see many people having split opinions on creatine, do you believe it is an essential supplement for bodybuilding?

What’s a good pre and post nutrition/supplementation consist of for a 20 minute HIIT cardio session?

Thanks

Hey Pat,

Good question. We do use auto-regulatory training a bit with our athletes. It can be very tricky when working with entire teams at once, as you really can’t have everyone finishing at different times.

With that said, when we get athletes in for individual sessions, we do use them. However, we don’t always adhere to certain drop-off points. Rather, as you get more and more experienced as a coach, you just know when they’ve had enough. Often, it comes when you see a noticeable drop-off from one set to the next. Likewise, you can make this determination if form goes down the crapper.

I’ve dabbled with it a bit with own training, but to be honest, I’m not sold on its value for powerlifters. Powerlifters typically don’t train with a lot of drop-offs on their heaviest work; it’s usually work up to a max single, triple, or keep the weight lighter and recover for a week. You just establish your max for the day and call it there; there isn’t anymore max effort work after that. This is often the case with accessory and supplemental work as well, as taking each exercise to an extensive drop-off isn’t conducive to the frequency of training many powerlifters count on.

[quote]Tags wrote:
EC,

When training athletes, do you have a critical drop-off point at which you will terminate the session/exercise?

If so, how do you go about determining it? Is it general or athlete specific.

For example, if training with 100 m sprints, will you terminate their session when their performance drops below a certain percentage of their pr?

Obviously the same question applies to weightlifting.

Any other thoughts on auto-regulatory type training you want to share?

Thanks in advance,

Pat Battaglia.[/quote]

[quote]retailboy wrote:
I see many people having split opinions on creatine, do you believe it is an essential supplement for bodybuilding? [/quote]

Yes, I think it’s essential. Probably the most researcher supplement in history; any athlete that isn’t using it is way behind the curve.

Pre/during: BCAAs and glutamine
Post: Surge (depending on the modality, you may need less or more than your weight training dose)

If performance was all that was in question (and not fat loss), you can drink the Surge during as well.

Thanks

I think that you are. To be honest, if I had to choose between rowing variations and rear-delt work, I’d opt for the former. You’ll get more bang for your training buck. Rowing will hit the posterior delts to some extent, while rear delt work won’t do much for the scapular retractors.

[quote]Norweige wrote:
Hi Eric,

Okay, you horizontal pulling freak, I pose you a question…Lately, I’ve been focusing on harder lockouts and scapular retraction when doing stiff-leg and traditional deads. I generally do full body workouts, training the movement planes. All else remaining equal (consistent balance of pushing/pulling over a long time, decent posture, etc.), am I shorting myself by not doing any additional rowing and instead opting for vertical pulling given the amount of time I want to spend in the gym?

I do the different deads twice a week and have been doing rear delt flies/bent over laterals (whatever you want to call them) at least once a week for a year or more. Thanks in advance for your reply.[/quote]

EC,

Thanks for the answer on the cardio for footbal players. I have been doing tempo runs on my off days from my lifting and sprints because I have read that it helps develop the aerobic system, which in turn will help shorten recovery time between strenous activity (like you, Charlie, and Buddy Morris have said). So, I am glad that I have been on the right track, sort of.

However, I am a linemen (although a light one, 260ish). What type of things would you recommend linemen doing for their “cardio” workouts on their off days from intense workouts?

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
Hey Pat,

Good question. We do use auto-regulatory training a bit with our athletes. It can be very tricky when working with entire teams at once, as you really can’t have everyone finishing at different times.

With that said, when we get athletes in for individual sessions, we do use them. However, we don’t always adhere to certain drop-off points. Rather, as you get more and more experienced as a coach, you just know when they’ve had enough. Often, it comes when you see a noticeable drop-off from one set to the next. Likewise, you can make this determination if form goes down the crapper.

I’ve dabbled with it a bit with own training, but to be honest, I’m not sold on its value for powerlifters. Powerlifters typically don’t train with a lot of drop-offs on their heaviest work; it’s usually work up to a max single, triple, or keep the weight lighter and recover for a week. You just establish your max for the day and call it there; there isn’t anymore max effort work after that. This is often the case with accessory and supplemental work as well, as taking each exercise to an extensive drop-off isn’t conducive to the frequency of training many powerlifters count on.

Tags wrote:
EC,

When training athletes, do you have a critical drop-off point at which you will terminate the session/exercise?

If so, how do you go about determining it? Is it general or athlete specific.

For example, if training with 100 m sprints, will you terminate their session when their performance drops below a certain percentage of their pr?

Obviously the same question applies to weightlifting.

Any other thoughts on auto-regulatory type training you want to share?

Thanks in advance,

Pat Battaglia.
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply.

Another question for you. I recently read an article entitled “your program sucks” by Dave Tate. In it he explains how before you can ask questions and apply answers, you need to have a philosophy which you go by, or else you won’t know what to do with the answer.

What would you say your philosophy summed up is? Is there a general philosophy you feel all good strength coaches should go by, or is it the application of their ideas that matter most?

Or, do you find your philosophy ever-changing?

Just curious about your thoughts on all this.

If you feel like your body can stand up to it, tempo runs would still be okay at your size. Just make sure they’re shorter (<40 yards), whereas wide receivers and defensive backs would do well with slightly longer ones.

Sled dragging would be a better bet, IMO, as linemen are more strength-speed than speed-strength. The most important thing is blood flow, though. It would be ideal to get in, do some sled dragging and incorporate some of the light resistance training exercises I noted in the article.

If you’re got a template typed up, feel free to email it to me; I’d be happy to take a look and send some comments your way.

[quote]buckeye75 wrote:
EC,

Thanks for the answer on the cardio for footbal players. I have been doing tempo runs on my off days from my lifting and sprints because I have read that it helps develop the aerobic system, which in turn will help shorten recovery time between strenous activity (like you, Charlie, and Buddy Morris have said). So, I am glad that I have been on the right track, sort of.

However, I am a linemen (although a light one, 260ish). What type of things would you recommend linemen doing for their “cardio” workouts on their off days from intense workouts? [/quote]

I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever established a philosophy per se, but I do have quite a few general guidelines to which I adhere. In a broad sense,

  1. Fit the program to the athlete and not the athlete to the program. This is one reason why I haven’t written many programs for T-Nation; it’s impossible to write something that will work well for everyone. I’m a big fan of individualization; it’s one of the reasons that I don’t take on a ton of clients at once.

  2. You have two ears, two eyes, two legs, and one mouth; use them in that order. I read a lot and listen to what those who have gone before me have to say. Then, I act on these principles with my own training, experiment, and learn accept/refute them in the process. Only then do I pass them on to others. Otherwise, I’m just a schmuck regurgitating others’ ideas.

  3. Always evolve. The second you stop, you’re nothing more than yesterday’s news. Surround yourself with smart people, great athletes, and plenty of good reading, and you’ll be set for life. Sadly, there are a lot of coaches who claim to be “old school” simply because they’re too lazy to continue their education.

[quote]Tags wrote:
Another question for you. I recently read an article entitled “your program sucks” by Dave Tate. In it he explains how before you can ask questions and apply answers, you need to have a philosophy which you go by, or else you won’t know what to do with the answer.

What would you say your philosophy summed up is? Is there a general philosophy you feel all good strength coaches should go by, or is it the application of their ideas that matter most?

Or, do you find your philosophy ever-changing?

Just curious about your thoughts on all this.

[/quote]

Thanks a lot for your reply’s Eric.

I’m off to the gym now so one more quick question. Do you do pin pulls against bands? If so, what tension do you use and how do you set them up?

Thanks

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:
I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever established a philosophy per se, but I do have quite a few general guidelines to which I adhere. In a broad sense,

  1. Fit the program to the athlete and not the athlete to the program. This is one reason why I haven’t written many programs for T-Nation; it’s impossible to write something that will work well for everyone. I’m a big fan of individualization; it’s one of the reasons that I don’t take on a ton of clients at once.

  2. You have two ears, two eyes, two legs, and one mouth; use them in that order. I read a lot and listen to what those who have gone before me have to say. Then, I act on these principles with my own training, experiment, and learn accept/refute them in the process. Only then do I pass them on to others. Otherwise, I’m just a schmuck regurgitating others’ ideas.

  3. Always evolve. The second you stop, you’re nothing more than yesterday’s news. Surround yourself with smart people, great athletes, and plenty of good reading, and you’ll be set for life. Sadly, there are a lot of coaches who claim to be “old school” simply because they’re too lazy to continue their education.

Tags wrote:
Another question for you. I recently read an article entitled “your program sucks” by Dave Tate. In it he explains how before you can ask questions and apply answers, you need to have a philosophy which you go by, or else you won’t know what to do with the answer.

What would you say your philosophy summed up is? Is there a general philosophy you feel all good strength coaches should go by, or is it the application of their ideas that matter most?

Or, do you find your philosophy ever-changing?

Just curious about your thoughts on all this.

[/quote]

Pin pulls, no. Speed pulls from the floor, yes.

With such a short range of motion, I can’t see it being too advantage to use a lot of accomodating resistance (unless you’re pulling from mid-shin, but even then, it would be a stretch).

I use a Jump Stretch platform and monster-mini bands.

[quote]Tags wrote:
Thanks a lot for your reply’s Eric.

I’m off to the gym now so one more quick question. Do you do pin pulls against bands? If so, what tension do you use and how do you set them up?

[/quote]

EC,

I don’t know your email address so I’ll just post what I have been doing here, if thats ok with you.

I’m bascially doing Defranco’s Westside routine as far as lifting/running goes. I was doing a Charlie Francis routines earlier, but I switched to this to focus on my conditioning level.

Day 1
ME Upper - 3Board
DB Bench
T-Bar Rows
1 Arm Scarecrows
Curls (just for fun)

Running

  1. Dyanmic Warmup: 10 or so exercises
  2. Hop & Sprint - 5x (30s rest)
  3. Pro Agility - 6x (same rest)
  4. L-Drill - 4x 45s rest
  5. 4 Corner Comeback - 4x 35s rest

Day 2 (tempo)

  1. Dynamic Warmup
  2. 8x100’s @ 19s, 45s rest
  3. GPP Circut - Burpees, Skywalkers, Mountain Climbers, 3Way Situps, Ali Shuffles (done 2x)
  4. 8x50s @8-9s 25s rest

Day 3

  1. ME Lower - Manta Ray Box Squat
  2. Lunges
  3. Snatch Grip RDL’s
  4. Speed Deads
  5. L-Raises

Running

  1. Dyanmic Warmup
  2. 4 10yd sprints with sled
  3. 4 20yd sprints with sled
  4. 4 20yd free sprints
  5. 3 30yd sprints
  6. 2 40’s

Day 4

  • Planning on around the same as Tuesday, but lesser volume

Day 5

  1. D/E Bench
  2. 4Board Bench with pauses
  3. Low Seated Rows
  4. Rear Delt Raise

Running
Planning on doing some stongman stuff but i havent quite decided what yet. Ive been doing med ball tosses, sled drags, farmers walks, and postion specficic stuff

For the sled dragging stuff, what stuff would you recommend? What type of parameters? What type of resitance exercises? I would think I could go with more shoulder/PC work since I don’t hit those especially hard on any of my days.

Looking forward to your input, EC.

Thanks alot.

EC,
In Jim Wendler’s new article about benching raw he said shoulder strength should be a priority and he says to do military presses, bradford presses, etc. I have read numerous times that overhead pressing causes shoulder problems. Do you agree with this statement and are there other effective ways to strengthen shoulders for benching reasons without doing overhead presses. Thanks a lot,
TR