Hangover Mondays 10/22/12


4th quarter Eli Manning does it again!  Despite the Giants defense not being able to stop the running game of the Redskins Big Blue still came out on top and now have a 2 game lead in the NFC east.  Not bad for week 7!

-Had a discussion today with a Pro Baseball player at my gym (plays for an independent league in the midwest during the summer, so it’s semi-pro at best, Flint Michigan Tropics anyone?)  

But seriously this kid had a good head on his shoulders, and works out hard and does it right (from what I have watched).  We were talking about some of the equipment choices the average gym-goer makes (in the commercial gym setting).

We stared with what would most of the members do if we removed most of the machine equipment (by that I mean the Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Seated Chest Press, and so on).  Do you think most of the members would leave the gym, because they don’t know how to exercise any other way?  Or would they reach out for help and ask for assistance on different exercises?

Because most of the members of a typical gym aren’t usually taught to do exercises properly and are just thrown to the wolves, I don’t blame them for using the circuit machines.  The problem is that those machines simply isolate the muscles to strengthen them, and yes it will do just that.  The problem is though that your body does not move in isolation in a real life setting.  Your body moves in movement patterns and in order to get stronger in real life (which is why people come to the gym in the first place, second only to staring at girls wearing yoga pants), you need to train those specific patterns.  This is one of the many flaws of the commercial gym setting, most members think that by doing the 25 minute circuit, that is all they need to get stronger.  


– Next topic:  Why are people with shoulder pain/problems still Benching?

A member came up to me and asked me why his shoulders hurt when he was bench pressing today.  First I asked him how often he benches.  Not surprisingly he said at least 3 times per week.  I then asked him how often he does Standing Overhead Presses.  Again not surprisingly he said almost never.  When I asked him why he never does them he could not give me a good reason.  He said he does seated shoulder presses in the Smith Machine, and I had to force myself not to get angry with him.  

I told him he should lay off the benching for a little bit and focus more on Overhead Presses and Horizontal/Vertical Pulls.  By the look on his face you would have guessed that I just murdered a dozen puppies right in front of him.  

Have we placed the Bench Press on such a high pedestal that speaking of such things is considered blasphemy?  Doing a quick shoulder assessment showed me that he had no impingements in either of his shoulders and he scored a 2 on the Shoulder Mobility FMS, so where is the problem?  I told him the main reason for his shoulder pain was most likely too much Horizontal Pressing (bench type movements).

So I made it simple for him.  For every Horizontal Press exercise that he does he should do at least one Overhead Press (1:1 ratio), and should do at least 2 Pulling exercises (Horizontal or Vertical, in a 2:1 ratio of Pulls to Presses).  His “injury” is most likely overuse of the Gleno-Humeral Joint (Shoulder) in the Horizontal motion, and the best way to get rid of his pain is to stop benching.  

Those ratio’s of Push and Pulls don’t apply to just him.  The book Starting Strength Vol. 3 by Mark Rippetoe goes in great depth on how this ratio’s will greatly develop your strength properly, as well as keep you from getting injured.  I highly recommend any person in the Fitness industry to read this book.


This Sunday I will be traveling to Hudson, Ma to attend Cressey Performance’s First Annual Fall Seminar (www.CresseyPerformance.com).  I am really excited because I’ve briefly spoken to Co-Owners Eric Cressey (www.EricCressey.com) and Tony Gentilcore (www.TonyGentilcore.com) through email and I am looking forward to meeting them in person and hearing them speak.  I will share some of my learnings in next Monday’s post.  I highly recommend that any of you reading check out their websites, they are both incredibly gifted individuals of the fitness industry.


Happy Monday!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s