Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blame the exercise....

It is like a golfer blaming his/her clubs for a bad shot - people blame an exercise for a negative result. I was just catching up with Tom Furman's blog where he had some comments by Frank Zane on the squat and this attitude of "blame the exercise" came to mind.

Dan John has said - "Squats don't hurt your knees - The way you squat hurts you knees."

Zane says - to paraphrase - we worked up to 405 for sets of ten and my knees and back hurt after that. Well - you had no business cranking out sets of 10 at that weight and your form was probably questionable. (If Mr. Zane reads this I apologize in advance but would say this to anyone)

Don't blame the exercise - Yes I understand "risk" in certain exercises and we all have a "limit" to what we can accomplish in a certain exercise/load - BUT - good form combined with good sense is a great preventative strategy.

Rule #1 - If it hurts - don't do it.
Rule #2 - If it hurts afterward you didn't do it right or you have an asymmetry or restriction that needs addressed.
Rule #3 - Any answer other than No - is a yes (Thank you Mike Boyle for that one).
Rule #4 - When in doubt STOP what you are doing and go back through Rules 1-3 very carefully.

This also highlights the danger of the reps becoming the goal. In Starting Strength by Rippetoe and Kilgor there is an EMG readout showing degredation of form and stability beyond 5 reps.
Add bad form to degrading neurological control and it is a receipe for disaster.

Blaming the saw for a bad cut of wood, a golf club for a bad shot, and squats for bad knees are all examples of throwing the blame away from where it belongs.
Remember when you point your finger - three are pointing back at you.


Mark Reifkind said...

couldnt agree more. those guys were squatting with their feet about 6 inches apart and bending mainly from the knee, a knee destroyer(albeit a goodquad developer) if their ever was one. Score another one for leg "isolation" training.
plus arnold hurt his knee when he fell down when a stage collapsed under him when he was guest posing, NOT from squatting.
Zane was worried his glutes would grow a bit and his waist would resemble a girls anymore so he didnt like squats. oh well.
you and Mr John are totally right, dont blame the exericise. learn how to do it right.

Geoff Neupert said...


Brett Jones said...

The physique end of his argument I cannot comment on since I still have my girlish figure ;)
He is trying to sell his leg blaster - and great info on Arnold.
Thanks Geoff - sorry I missed your call yesterday.

Randy Hauer said...

So true. I have a good friend, a Senior USAW coach and a CSCS, who hates kettlebells because she tried to snatch one once and hurt her wrist. This "proved" to her they were a "dangerous fad". In our subsequent conversation it came out she had gotten no instruction and understood none of the basics (this is the same sort of pattern of malpractice and bad reasoning that drives me nuts about H.S. and College coaches who try and when someone hurts their back or cracks a chin open then abandon the the O-lifts because they are inherently "dangerous"...and here was an elite O-lifter and coach who should know better saying the same thing for the same reasons about KBs) I borrowed and modified DJ's line: "Snatching kettlebells isn't dangerous, how YOU snatch kettlebells is dangerous. If you took the time to get instruction..etc etc etc." But, to no avail...sometimes all I can do is shake my head and mutter to myself.."the horror, the horror".

Brett Jones said...

It is a scary world out there - a great saying - People have cement minds. They are all mixed up and set in place!

Randy check out the biomech articles above - very relevant to our squat/hip discussion.

Wil said...

Great quote, Brett... I've encountered this so often in my own experience!

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