Not too long ago I was talking with a buddy about his low back pain. We were discussing the back issues he's been experiencing.
As I was talking with him to understand a little more about his situation, I recommended a book that I had recently read titled "Back Mechanic" by Dr. Stuart McGill.
Interestingly enough, I had seen my friend a few months later and asked him if he had picked up the book on my recommendation to take control of his low back pain (LBP).
He didn't get the book and I thought that was extremely unfortunate because I knew how much the book could have helped him.
That leads me to this book review, which is now long overdue.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to chat with top weightlifting coach and multi-book author, Greg Everett.
Greg is the mastermind behind Catalyst Athletics and I'm a huge fan of his work - and his books.
I had 2 important training questions for Greg.
Of course, these questions are specific to weightlifting, but I think his answers could be extrapolated to other areas of strength and performance training, as well.
Here are the questions.
Mobility, mobility, mobility.
We hear about it all the time and we all need more mobility, right?
Mobility is very important and I'm even working on a new program right now to improve mobility (although it actually addresses much more than that).
But what about stability and how important is stability in strength and performance training? Is mobility more important or is it stability that really matters most?
First, let's get a clear definition of each. Both mobility and stability have to do with our joints and this is important to understand.
I don't know about you, but when I think about training I think about being a high performer over a long period of time.
Take a minute to think about what I just said - being a high performer over a long period.
Isn't that the real goal of what we should be training for?
For me, this is a radical shift in thinking over the years when I look at my training.
A high performer is anyone that performs at high level in everyday life. It's anyone that operates closer to their physical potential on a consistent basis.
What does it take to be successful in your training? What does it take to get the absolute best results from a program or training regimen?
I've thought a lot about these questions and have also been fortunate to have had countless discussions with world-class authorities and experts all over the world in the fitness industry.
To be highly successful in health, fitness, and athletics, I think it comes down to the 8 Pillars of High Performance.
What's important to know is that when you have all of these pillars working for you - you can become unstoppable.
There's a brand new study comparing muscle activation and power with the straight bar versus the hex bar deadlift.
Is one style or variation better than the other?
This study definitely sheds some light on that question.
And it’s also a really interesting and exciting study, so let's take a look.
The new study comes from the May 2016 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
The title of the study is An Examination of Muscle Activation and Power Characteristics While Performing The Deadlift Exercise With Straight and Hexagonal Barbells.
There's no doubt that one the biggest training mistakes when I started out was that I wasn't training to improve my performance. I was training for other reasons. Honestly, I never understood the importance of technique or pursuing the path to mastery.
Today, it's a completely different story and I want to share with you a lesson I wish I knew years ago.
The greatest thing about chasing excellence is that you can perpetually improve yourself, your skills, your results, and your life in so many ways.
In today's world, the truth is that people mostly live without developing themselves physically anywhere near their full potential.
I vividly remember my first "official" kettlebell snatch test with Pavel (and the previous RKC) back in 2010.
Many times before I had performed a snatch test, but not when it counted - as it did at the certification.
I'll be honest, I had some jitters before stepping up to snatch that bell.
No doubt, there's pressure when you're being timed (and judged) to snatch 100 reps with a 24 kilo kettlebell in 5 minutes.
The backstory was that I had been well prepared and had nailed the snatch test countless times prior to doing it at the RKC.
No doubt, I was ready to go.
Yet, why was I anxious about it? Why do so many others seem to get "freaked out” when it comes time for the vaunted snatch test?
Well, there’s a stigma to it - even though it’s only a very small part of the kettlebell certification experience.
Is it just me or does the the rounded back deadlift seem to be getting a lot attention these days? Does this technique have any unique advantages or is this a disaster waiting to happen?
In this article I'll share my perspective on the rounded back deadlift and I think there are 2 scenarios here (I'll discuss them in a minute) with the technique, so make sure to read this through if you're infestered in the health of your back.
Spine biomechanics is something I'm extremely passionate since I had such a crushing injury to my low back many years ago. While my back is in wonderful health today, it's a topic and an area of training that I will always have extreme commit to because of my unique situation and all that I had to go through to get back to the level I train at today.