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Steve Shafley
08-14-2007, 09:26 AM
Kelly gets a lot of love for his no-nonsense, no-hype materials. I found this bit on Eric Cressey's newletter.

http://www.ericcressey.com/newsletter67.html

Most folks here will find his comments on insulin sensitivity to be interesting. We've talked about this in some other thread, as well. The bit about pronation and supination is something I hadn't read before though.

1. It's been said that your muscles don't know how much weight you're lifting; they only know tension. This is true. I can also assure you that your joints DO know how much weight you're lifting and will eventually let you know about it if you train heavy enough for long enough. The large majority of people over the age of 65 have some degree of "wear and tear" arthritis. That's without subjecting their joints to 45 years of heavy weights. Keep that in mind if you want to be just as active at 75 as you are now. For optimal long-term joint health, not only should you pay close attention to structural balance, but in my opinion, the majority of the time you shouldn't be lifting anything that you can't lift with a two-second pause at the hardest part of the movement. This will ensure you're directing tension to the muscles instead of the connective tissue.

2. Anterior pelvic tilt is not necessarily the bad guy most people think. From an athletic standpoint, you won't find many fast and explosive athletes without a propensity to have some degree of anterior pelvic tilt because it puts the hamstrings at a leverage advantage. In contrast, you probably won't find ANY top-flight athletes with posterior pelvic tilt. You rarely hear anyone talk about posterior pelvic tilt and weak hip flexors but it is common enough, particularly in women. Posterior pelvic tilt (also called flat back posture) results in weak or lengthened hip flexors and can also be caused by tight abs and glutes. Don't assume you need lots of psoas hip flexor stretching until you've verified that you do in fact need it. Here's what flat back posture with posterior pelvic tilt looks like:

http://www.ericcressey.com/i/images/posterior_pelvic_tilt.JPG

3. Insulin sensitivity is kind of overrated for fat loss and a lean body. A certain degree of insulin sensitivity is desirable, but, from a body composition perspective, being overly sensitive to insulin is just as bad as being insensitive to insulin. As a "storage" hormone, improved insulin sensitivity allows the body to better store ingested nutrients both in muscle AND fat cells. Insulin sensitivity improves as one gets leaner and leaner. That's one of the reasons it gets harder to shed fat when one is much leaner.

In a given group of people, you can predict future fat gain by measuring both the sensitivity to insulin and the amount of insulin produced in response to a given amount of carbohydrates. The fattest populations of people and the fattest adults will be very sensitive to insulin at an early age. In contrast, insulin resistance could be looked at as a way the body tries to rid itself of excess nutrition. The body senses nutrient excess and inhibits storage. Providing they exercise, an insulin resistant person will tend to have an easy time shedding fat and building muscle because the exercise increases storage capacity in the muscles at the expense of fat cells. That's one reason why people with more fast twitch muscle fibers have an easier time getting and staying lean, even though they are naturally more insulin resistant than those with more slow twitch fibers.

The take-home point? When trying to drop fat, it's not a bad idea to intentionally manipulate insulin sensitivity...in a NEGATIVE direction. You can do this by ingesting caffeine and other stimulants and by following a low carb diet.

4. There is actually less stress absorbed into the foot WITHOUT shoes than with shoes. Remember that the next time you decide to treat your feet to a huge pair of cinder blocks – otherwise known as basketball shoes. One of the easiest ways to improve movement efficiency and coordination is to get a hold of a pair of Nike Frees and/or train barefoot on grass.

5. Look at the wear on your shoes. If they're worn more to the inside you probably have pronated feet (you walk on the insides of them). If they're worn more to the outside you probably have supinated feet (you walk on the outsides of them).

Stand with your feet about 12 inches apart and look straight ahead. Hold this position for a few seconds while you take note of how your weight is distributed over the soles of your feet. Now tip your pelvis forward slowly so that you assume a Donald Duck-type posture with your chest up and backside stuck out behind you. Note how your weight shifts forward and toward the insides of your feet. Now slowly roll the pelvis backward until your rear end is tucked underneath you. You should notice that your weight moves backward and toward the outside of your feet.

What you have just proved is that anterior pelvic tilt (rear stuck out) will produce pronation and posterior pelvic tilt (rear tucked under) will produce supination (rolling outward of the foot). If you have pronated feet it's usually a good idea to stretch the hip flexors and strengthen the glutes. If you have supinated feet it's often a good idea to strengthen the hip flexors and lower back while stretching the glutes.

Allen Yeh
08-14-2007, 09:39 AM
#4 is interesting, after reading tons of articles on running the first part is what they say about the shoes. Though I haven't seen anything about this test, I'll have to try that out when I get back to my hotel room, doing it in the lobby might just seem a bit odd.

Greg Everett
08-14-2007, 09:42 AM
well... he says to influence insulin sensitivity in a negative way, then recommends a low-carb diet and stimulants, both of which should increase (which I would call influencing in a positive way) insulin sensitvity.

Mike ODonnell
08-14-2007, 10:25 AM
The take-home point? When trying to drop fat, it's not a bad idea to intentionally manipulate insulin sensitivity...in a NEGATIVE direction. You can do this by ingesting caffeine and other stimulants and by following a low carb diet.


Possibly the most confusing thing I have ever read....I think he meant to say that when taking large carb and protein pwo shakes it is better to be more carb resistant...which shows in his recommendations of a low carb diet? Otherwise you are telling me that high carb diets increase insulin sensitivity? Huh? People are very liberal with the implied meaning of insulin sensitivity and it's counterpart carb tolerance...or is it carb sensitivity. Take home message....go low carb. Done.

Chris Forbis
08-14-2007, 10:51 AM
#4 makes me wonder if it might be better for me to get a pair of Nike Free 7.0s to serve as my basketball shoes...

#5 really hits home. After 3 years of teaching, both pairs of shoes I have worn for work have worn through the soles on the inside by the big toe.

Take home message: stretch hip flexors and strengthen glutes. Hello Samson stretch, back squats, and deadlifts!

Steve Shafley
08-14-2007, 12:11 PM
The combination of glute bridging with my weight belt around my knees really activates the glutes. Add hip flexor stretches to that, and my squat was messed up for the first few times I did it. I guess something was out of sequence.

It's a good warm up combo, since hip flexor stretching before squats is almost always a good idea.

Chris Forbis
08-14-2007, 01:05 PM
The combination of glute bridging with my weight belt around my knees really activates the glutes. Add hip flexor stretches to that, and my squat was messed up for the first few times I did it.

Care to elaborate a bit on that?

It seems like you are saying that stuff got stretched out and activated such that it fundamentally changed the act of squatting for you. A change for the better?

Steve Shafley
08-14-2007, 02:11 PM
Yeah, taught me to use my glutes more fully when squatting...bad habit accumulation, I reckon.

William Hunter
08-14-2007, 04:40 PM
As a chiro I found #1 interesting. Kinda flies in the face of O-lifting though, doesn't it? However, I've noticed that after a cycle of heavy singles or ladders it is nice to drop the weight and grind out some reps in the 8-12 range. Feels kinda like flossing.

Jeremy Shepard
08-14-2007, 06:34 PM
Haven't read through it, but he's probably talking about muscle retention through insulin resistance.

Stimulants increase catecholamine concentrations = increased insulin resistance. Low carb diet = Increased catecholamine concentrations and increased blood FFA levels = increased insulin resistance.

Allen Yeh
08-15-2007, 07:39 AM
More Bullets from Kelly Bagget

6. Improving performance is not that complicated. When looking to improve our own athletic performance or that of the people we’re training or coaching, what most people fail to understand is that the basics are responsible for 90% of the results and way more people screw up due to over-complication, or improper application of the basics, than those that screw up due to lack of cutting-edge material to insert into their routines, diet, or recovery protocols. All the fancified mumbo-jumbo offered by the countless gurus of the profession usually exists to:

A. Make them sound smart

B. Separate people from their money

or

C. Appeal to the curiosity of readers who like to delve into the 10% that isn't covered by the basics. (note: A lot of stuff I'm writing here falls into that 10%)

If athletes are somewhat coordinated on their feet, have decent posture, flexibility, and muscular balance, are lean, relatively strong throughout their body, and can accelerate a lot of weight through either a clean or weighted squat variation, they're going to be good athletes. It shouldn't take long to learn "general" concepts related to proper flexibility, coordination, injury prevention, body composition, strength, explosiveness, reactivity, and conditioning.

7. Acid Buffers are a very useful and under-rated supplement when it comes to increasing work capacity and tolerance to high intensity activity. If you're trying to avoid or improve "neural fatigue," this is where it is. The body will maintain its PH range in a narrow range regardless of how you eat, but the important thing is what your body has to do to maintain that proper PH. Sub-clinical low-grade acidosis increases cortisol and occurs in most people due to the increased consumption of grains and reduced consumption of veggies and fruits. It also tends to naturally occur in response to stress of any kind. This includes: caloric restriction, intensive activity, and lack of sleep.

Low-grade acidosis is, in my opinion, one reason why people dieting are more prone to lose strength. So how do you fix it? Eat your veggies and fruits. One pound of green veggies per 50 pounds of bodyweight per day is ideal. Vegetable juicing is a good idea. Additionally, a couple of extra grams of sodium and potassium bicarbonate (baking soda or Alka-Seltzer) can be useful, as can extra magnesium, glutamine (a teaspoon with each meal), and l-carnosine. If you pay attention to how you feel, you can eventually get to a point where you know when to supplement with extra buffers. The acidic state is associated with a “wired out” anxious stressed out type energy. The alkaline state is associated with relaxation. If you're feeling too relaxed, lay off the buffers. If you're feeling stressed, add them in.

8. Genetic variants in the RAS/Angiotensin/ACE gene have a lot to do with individual differences in body-fat distribution patterns, insulin sensitivity, muscle fiber type, and health. Variants in the ACE gene cause some people to produce more or less ACE than others. The high ACE variant makes some people naturally strong with a lot of fast twitch fiber. They tend to respond to weight training with great strength increases. On the other hand, it also tends to make those same people more susceptible to high blood pressure, depression, visceral fat accumulation, and heart disease. Having the lower ACE genotype makes some people have a propensity to be scrawny and better at endurance activities with soft looking muscles and subcutaneous fat storage patterns. Here's a high-ACE poster child - lots of visceral fat.

/i/images/ACE.jpg

9. Studies showing that anabolic steroids don’t increase aggressiveness and other abnormal psychological characteristics are nearly always university studies using typical college males as subjects. Steroids are known to amplify existing psychology. If you're naturally happy, you get more happy. If you're aggressive, you get more aggressive. If you're prone to mood swings, you get more moody. The problem is, there are probably quite a few baseline psychological differences between a typical university student and a typical bodybuilder. I'd like to see a steroid study using prison inmates as subjects. Bottom line: Despite how steroid users like to point to this and that study showing steroids don't have any effect whatsoever on the “asshole meter,” in the real world, I have my doubts. People who derive enjoyment from self-inflicted torture (a.k.a.- lifting weights) aren't always exactly normal in the first place!

10. I get a lot of questions from athletes writing me asking what to do to improve their unilateral jumping. Some people simply can't jump off one foot worth a darn. As I discuss in my Vertical Jump Development Bible, although strength qualities and bodyweight do play a factor, based on my observations and experience, a lot of this is due to structural balance and posture.

Basically, it has to do with your style of gait and how that impacts your natural leverages and muscle recruitment. Some people walk and run with a tendency to pull their center of gravity. They take big steps forward and tend to walk (and run) way back on their heels. Other people have a tendency to chase their center of gravity. When they walk and run, their feet stay more under their body. There will still be some heel strike, but not to the same extent. This style of gait lends itself to better use of the hip extensors and better top running speed and unilateral jumping. If you sit in a mall or other busy place and just observe people walking it's pretty easy to see the difference in gait patterns. The point is that if you struggle with your unilateral jump you also probably do not to move well on your forefoot and activity in your hip extensors is minimized in your daily activities due to your posture.

A good way to cue correct posture is to stand on a stair step, place both heels off the edge and lower the heels, like doing a calf stretch. Push the heels fairly hard and tighten the thighs and keep them tight. Keep contact with the rail for balance. Make sure you stand up straight and you will line up in "perfect posture." What it does is bring the center of gravity where it belongs and forces the body to align itself correctly. Additionally, it never hurts to get in the habit of contracting your glutes at heel strike whenever you walk around.

11. Everyone is aware of the importance foam rolling and stretching for soft tissue health, but few people are aware of the impact of nutrition. I challenge anyone with multiple chronic adhesions, trigger points, or tendonitis to give up all wheat (gluten), corn, legumes, and dairy products for a week. Eat as many whole meats and veggies as you like and make rice-based foods your only source of starchy carbs. See if your tissues don't feel better.

Our consumption of Agricultural era foods is still relatively new for humans. We can't fully digest and assimilate many of the proteins, lectins, and other components of these foods unless they are processed and cooked beforehand. If a food has to be highly processed and cooked before we can eat it, it's logical that it might not fully agree with us. Thus, many of us will have some degree of subclinical inflammatory reaction to these foods. These reactions are generally "hidden" allergies that cause symptoms like muscle pain, joint pain, tendonitis, fatigue, gas, and moodiness. If you eliminate the aforementioned foods and feel like crap with hardcore cravings for the first few days, you're on the right track (note how many people literally feel sick when going from a standard "eat whatever ain't nailed down" powerlifting diet to a clean diet). The withdrawal symptoms prove that you are "food addicted." Ninety percent of the time an addictive food is a reactive food. Fortunately, the craving will pass after a few days and you'll feel much better.

Allen Yeh
08-15-2007, 07:46 AM
#4 makes me wonder if it might be better for me to get a pair of Nike Free 7.0s to serve as my basketball shoes...


I would recommend the Nike Free Trainers 7.0v1 and not the v2. I have the 1's and tried on a pair of v2's recently to see the difference, I much prefer the v1's.

Allen Yeh
08-15-2007, 07:56 AM
Low-grade acidosis is, in my opinion, one reason why people dieting are more prone to lose strength. So how do you fix it? Eat your veggies and fruits. One pound of green veggies per 50 pounds of bodyweight per day is ideal. Vegetable juicing is a good idea. Additionally, a couple of extra grams of sodium and potassium bicarbonate (baking soda or Alka-Seltzer) can be useful, as can extra magnesium, glutamine (a teaspoon with each meal), and l-carnosine. If you pay attention to how you feel, you can eventually get to a point where you know when to supplement with extra buffers. The acidic state is associated with a “wired out” anxious stressed out type energy. The alkaline state is associated with relaxation. If you're feeling too relaxed, lay off the buffers. If you're feeling stressed, add them in.

While I agree in principal for some reason I feel like 4 pounds of green vegetables is an insane amount of food per day?

I think I might try the baking soda trick, anyone else do this?

Allen Yeh
08-15-2007, 07:59 AM
#11 is right on the PM manifesto practically. (Well if they had a manifesto that is).

Robert Allison
08-15-2007, 08:16 AM
I think I might try the baking soda trick, anyone else do this?

I am not sure that you can really accurately gauge your pH level based on what kind of energy you are experiencing. To know with any certainty what your pH level is, you would probably need to use test strips.

Having said that, I will sometimes use a little baking soda or some apple cider vinegar, if I have been consuming a lot of acid-producing foods. A little AVC in water actually taste pretty good, and it can't really hurt.

Chris Forbis
08-15-2007, 10:01 AM
While I agree in principal for some reason I feel like 4 pounds of green vegetables is an insane amount of food per day?

Yeah, that's an absurd amount of green veggies. I'm pretty happy with eating 4 pounds in a week... which is probably more than the average American eats in a month.

Chris Forbis
08-15-2007, 10:21 AM
I would recommend the Nike Free Trainers 7.0v1 and not the v2. I have the 1's and tried on a pair of v2's recently to see the difference, I much prefer the v1's.

Thanks for the advice. I just bought online a pair of 3.0s for running. I'll probably get some 7.0 trainers in a couple of months to serve for anything requiring sudden stops/starts and cuts. My 5.0s have almost fallen apart.

Ale Dileo
08-15-2007, 11:25 AM
While I agree in principal for some reason I feel like 4 pounds of green vegetables is an insane amount of food per day?

I think I might try the baking soda trick, anyone else do this?

My last evening meal :

Huge salad (400 gr lattuce, 300gr green tomatoes,200 gr cucumber, 100 gr onions, 100 gr red pepper)

900 gr cauliflower (raw!)
300 gr apples
200 gr pears

..call me insane! ;)

Robb Wolf
08-15-2007, 03:50 PM
My last evening meal :

Huge salad (400 gr lattuce, 300gr green tomatoes,200 gr cucumber, 100 gr onions, 100 gr red pepper)

900 gr cauliflower (raw!)
300 gr apples
200 gr pears

..call me insane! ;)

I'll call you some home delivery toilet paper!

Derek Simonds
08-15-2007, 04:12 PM
Don't let Garrett hear about the tomato's!

Robert Allison
08-15-2007, 05:36 PM
Don't let Garrett hear about the tomato's!

Red peppers are also a nightshade...

Scott Kustes
08-16-2007, 07:01 AM
I'll call you some home delivery toilet paper!
You better make sure that's 3-ply. Gotta call in the heavy duty stuff after that meal. It might be best to just go with canvas.

Chris Forbis
08-16-2007, 09:44 AM
The combination of glute bridging with my weight belt around my knees really activates the glutes. Add hip flexor stretches to that, and my squat was messed up for the first few times I did it. I guess something was out of sequence.

It's a good warm up combo, since hip flexor stretching before squats is almost always a good idea.

I tried this out today. Squats felt different as I was warming up, so I pulled the weight back a bit (~15%). That warm up combo is a winner. I was able to get full depth a lot easier and things just felt right. We'll see if I can ramp the weight back up over the next few weeks.

John Alston
08-16-2007, 10:53 AM
My last evening meal :

Huge salad (400 gr lattuce, 300gr green tomatoes,200 gr cucumber, 100 gr onions, 100 gr red pepper)

900 gr cauliflower (raw!)
300 gr apples
200 gr pears

..call me insane! ;)

Yer insane cause there's no meat in it!

Ale Dileo
08-16-2007, 12:59 PM
Yer insane cause there's no meat in it!

I've mentioned only the vegs, ... had some canned tuna & two eggs in the salad, 400 gr steamed cod fillets, 60 gr ev olive oil, 10 gr fish-oil,30 gr walnuts and some other stuff ... no digestive issues.

Allen Yeh
08-16-2007, 01:01 PM
I've mentioned only the vegs, ... had some canned tuna & two eggs in the salad, 400 gr steamed cod fillets, 60 gr ev olive oil, 10 gr fish-oil,30 gr walnuts and some other stuff ... no digestive issues.

Wow that seems like a heck of a lot of food!

Ale Dileo
08-16-2007, 01:17 PM
Wow that seems like a heck of a lot of food!

no more than 2500 cals or so, ... had an eventful day.

Steve Shafley
08-17-2007, 08:13 AM
Yeah, it caught me by surprise too, Chris. It took maybe 3-4 sessions of squatting while using that as a warm up for things to feel "right" again. Things didn't feel wrong in the initial sessions, just really different than usual, and I was loose in odd ways. Normally I do stretch hip flexors before any pulling or squatting, it was the addition of the glute bridges with my belt around the knees that made things loopy.

Scott Kustes
08-19-2007, 11:34 AM
Hey Shaf,
Can you give us one of your YouTube tutorials on this glute bridge thing? I tried Google, but there are about 10 different people calling 10 different glute bridges the same thing? Or you could just point me to the correct image...whatever tickles your pickle.

Allen Yeh
08-19-2007, 11:38 AM
A regular Glute Bridge:

http://www.coreperformance.com/exercise.php?p=1&s=3&id=52&o=eod

Steve Shafley
08-19-2007, 05:31 PM
It's just like that, except I put my weight belt around my knees and I push out while I do them. I seem to be very nice activation doing that.

Scott Kustes
08-20-2007, 05:37 AM
Thanks Allen and Steve. Sounds easy enough. I'll be trying this today, although I can't do any back squats yet (shoulder doesn't appreciate that position just yet), I can do moderate weight front squats.

Derek Simonds
08-20-2007, 05:48 AM
I did them just like the video this morning in my warm up and it did feel like I had good glute activation. I did pistols and felt good.

Allen Yeh
08-20-2007, 05:56 AM
A note about glute bridges:

While not hard, I for one was doing them incorrectly for a while. If you feel it in your hamstrings or lower back at all then you are doing it wrong. Mark Vestergen had a cue where you touch your glute with your hand at the top of the motion to ensure it's not "flabby."

Mike ODonnell
08-20-2007, 07:48 AM
A note about glute bridges:

While not hard, I for one was doing them incorrectly for a while. If you feel it in your hamstrings or lower back at all then you are doing it wrong. Mark Vestergen had a cue where you touch your glute with your hand at the top of the motion to ensure it's not "flabby."

Keep your toes off the ground and push through the heels...that will drive more glutes.

Derek Simonds
08-20-2007, 08:06 AM
Have done them wrong in the past and would have again if not for the video and cues in the link Allen posted.

Scott Kustes
08-20-2007, 11:54 AM
I did these before doing the 7x3 front squat workout. I could feel the glutes working, but didn't notice any funkiness in my squat. Granted I was only squatting 145 (max of around 250 a few months back), but should this exercise make things feel different?