Best of November 2016
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best new performance-related research, articles, podcasts, and videos that we found on the internet over the past month. By no means is this list exhaustive, just some of the things that we came across and liked from November 2016.
Here are a few of the big takeaways that we got from the info this month:
- Most injuries occur because of 3 main issues, each of which can be improved with strength/conditioning and movement training.
- Being fully present during training and focusing our attention on exactly what we’re trying to achieve can facilitate better training effects, and ultimately, better performances.
- “Butt wink” is an incredibly common issue that we see with squatting, and one that can be fixed by addressing mobility in targeted areas and retraining motor control.
- Taking our workouts (and leisure time) outside can have a huge impact on how we feel and over overall health and well-being.
- We need to stop arguing about what group of individuals are best at treating what conditions and instead focus on the idea that good practitioners from all backgrounds tend to share many of the same ideas/practices.
We hope that you enjoy this information as much as we did, and you’re able to learn some things that will be of benefit to yourself and/or the people that you work with. Here is our Best of November 2016!
- When are athletes too young to begin strength and conditioning? The consensus (now mostly debunked) was that athletes should wait until they are finished growing in order to avoid growth plate damage. More and more evidence however is showing that strength training is beneficial in younger athletes not only for reducing injuries, but also for increasing athletic performance:
A few years ago, it was widely believed that the big, compound exercises like squats and deadlifts would lead to "all over body" hypertrophy. This was thought to happen because of the substantial post-exercise release of hormones after workouts involving exercises that recruited large amounts of muscle mass, especially if those workouts were structured with high volumes and moderate loads. This idea became known as the "hormone hypothesis" of hypertrophy. In the last few years, the hormone hypothesis of hypertrophy has been more carefully tested. After a couple of high-quality studies produced negative results, it has now been rejected by many researchers. This new study resurrects the idea, by comparing the effects of two different lower body training programs on upper body gains. One training program used a high volume, moderate load routine intended to produce substantial hypertrophy, while the other used a low volume, heavy load routine for strength without the same increases in muscular size. Both programs also involved the same upper body workouts. Unexpectedly, the high volume, moderate load lower body training routine did produce greater gains in upper body strength and estimates of size. Whether this was because of the post-exercise hormones, or whether other factors (such as fatigue, or some sort of cross-over effect from the lower to the upper body) are involved is less clear.
- The last couple of months, we’ve been profiling some of Chris Beardsley‘s work with interpreting strength and conditioning/muscle physiology research. His Instagram is such a good resource, as it’s full of charts and graphs along with explanations of results and conclusions. This allows any to save tons of time and energy by not having to dissect and reread these articles over and over again to come up with a takeaway point. If you don’t already, follow him on Instagram by clicking on the link below:
- The longheld idea that a person should stand or walk around to rest in the middle of a workout as opposed to sitting, kneeling, or laying down is now being called into question. The idea was that by standing and moving we can “open up our lungs and breathe better” and “pump lactic acid out better” both seem to lack any real validity. This study shows that in fact, sitting down to rest may actually be best for improving overall work capacity:
- This month the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published an interesting double-blind, placebo-controlled study looking at the effect of low-level laser therapy on recovery and performance. The treatment group actually had significantly increased recovery and performance over the placebo group. This research could have significant implications for the way that we approach recovery modalities:
- A couple of interesting new research infographics this month from YLM Sports Science. He looked at why it may be beneficial to ingest protein before bed for enhanced muscle protein synthesis, and he also explored why fasted exercise may be beneficial for those looking to lose weight:
- Injuries are a part of the game for athletes. They happen to every different body type/level of athlete, and there are an almost infinite number of ways in which to sustain them. That being said, most injuries have at the core some of the same main issues. In this doozy of an article, Mike Robertson has expertly distilled it down to three main reasons why athletes suffer injuries, and what to do about each:
- Getting the most out of your training (for virtually anything) is dependent on our ability to be fully present and focused on what we’re doing. But in our modern world, this is also one of the toughest things for many people to achieve. Tony Bonvechio explores how we can break tasks (in this case lifting) down into 30-second focus windows, and why this practice can make all the difference:
- Recovery is one of the most important aspects of training. It allows us to get the most out of our workouts, to stay injury free, and to be able to train harder and more often. Oftentimes our recovery ends up being the difference between us looking/feeling/performing our best and simply being mediocre. While this brilliant article, from Alex Eriksson, specifically looks at maximizing recovery following an injury, most of these ideas can just as easily be applied to everyday recovery from training/competition:
- Optimal shoulder health goes so far beyond the rotator cuff and shoulder mobility. In almost every shoulder case, we should be looking at breathing patterns, the thoracic spine, ribs, and the scapulae. Dean Somerset explores all of these concepts well in this article, made complete with tons of useful diagrams and videos:
- The “butt wink” (a combo of lumbar flexion and posterior pelvic tilt that occurs during squatting) is an important issue to address. While it may or may not be an issue with the occasional bodyweight squat, it can very quickly become a problem once the load and/or volume goes up. Zach Long brilliantly deconstructs the butt wink and develops a game plan for tackling it that’ll work in almost any case:
- By simply imagining movement we can begin to train that movement. By focusing/looking at a specific muscle group we can actually train that muscle better. By training an uninjured limb, we can actually begin rehabbing an injured limb on the opposite side. While all of this may sound like metaphysical new-age BS, it’s actually all true, and backed by science. Dr. Jarod Hall brilliantly explores the science behind the mind-muscle connection and how it can be used to get the most out of our training and rehab. Fascinating stuff here:
- This article, by Pete Hitzeman, perfectly explores our modern culture surrounding weight loss and fitness. But even more than that, it also highlights the deeper issue of there being no easy road to self-transformation, with the actual path to getting there being much harder, much longer, and much more rewarding that we typically think:
- Yes the core matters. It matters for health/injury reduction and it matters for performing our best. Anyone who tells you different is a crazy person. Andrew Millet knocks it out of the park with this article exploring the difference between core stability and core strength, and why we absolutely need both. He includes tons of good exercises to build up all aspects of the core:
- Kevin Carr explores why perhaps the best thing that we can do for our health is to take the occasional break from the gym and go workout in nature. Nice to see that what humans have long understood about the nature/health connection is now irrefutably backed by science:
- We so often spend our time focusing on the physical and performance benefits of training, but rarely do we ever explore the ways in which our time in the gym develops our character and ability to succeed in all areas of life. T-Nation asked 14 of the best in the business what they learned about life from their time in the gym:
Excellent Podcasts & Videos
- Dr. Ryan DeBell sat down with Jason Shane looking at the differences in the way that a chiropractor and a physical therapist (or physio) would approach the same orthopedic problem. So much time is spent arguing over who is better, PT or chiro, and that’s why I love this podcast. As these two guys went through their approaches to some common issues, one thing became very apparent. They treat so similarly that the difference in title/side became moot. This podcast highlights the fact that chiro vs. PT isn’t the debate that we should be having, but instead we should be focusing on good ideas vs. bad ideas and how we can develop effective models for care, regardless of professional titles:
- We’ve been highlighting Dr. Quinn Henoch‘s new Youtube series “Mobility Myths” over the last few months. His videos not only dispel many of the , but they also serve as a blueprint for addressing common biomechanical issues that we may come across. This month he joined a number of others in looking at the butt wink. He addresses when and why it can become an issue, and what we can do to help correct it:
- The guys of Barbell Shrugged (along with a few cool new additions) take a look at some of the future trends in the fitness world. They discuss training based on genetics, the future role of coaches/physios in treating minor health/physical issues, the evolution of the scientific method, and turning the tide on sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy modern behaviors:
- Two of our favorite people, Joe Rogan and Steven Kotler (Rise of Superman, Flow Genome Project) sat down for an awesome conversation this month. They discussed flow states, priming yourself for performance/creativity, the mind-body connection and health, and a number of other fascinating topics:
- Gene Shirokobrod has one of our all-time favorite movement guys, Dr. Kelly Starrett, on the podcast to discuss the future of phyiscal therapy and fitness. They talk the role of the physio in movement training and athletic development, the difference between strength and skill development, reconciling what’s being taught in school with what works in the real world, and tons more. Whether you’re a physio, chiro, strength coach, or simply interested in movement training, this podcast is worth a listen:
- So often we see videos about the best mobility techniques or different ways to roll out an area. But is smashing/rolling always an acceptable course of action? Dr. Ryan DeBell explores five different areas that we should avoid rolling altogether:
That’s it folks. I hope you enjoyed our Best of November 2016 and can use this information to further your own (and the people you work with’s) pursuit of higher performance! As always, we appreciate your feedback and comments, so either comment below or hit the contact button up top and shoot us an email. If you enjoyed this edition of our Best of the Month, or any of our other awesome original content and compilations, please subscribe to our free email service below!
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