High Octane Corrective Exercise and Performance Enhancement | www.RobertsonTrainingSystems.com

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More random thoughts...

With all this low carb dieting I'm having some issues putting together coherent thoughts. Anyway, here are some more random musings from the past couple of days.

- I'm REALLY looking forward to the Indy Seminar. Obviously I love speaking/presenting, but I'm also really looking forward to Bill's presentations. We discussed a lot of his material the other day, and I think it's really going to shed some light on how best to apply various assessment and flexibility methods.

- We've got some really great interviewees lined up for the newsletter. These include Bill, Eric Cressey, bench press specialist Scott Lade, nutrition expert Cassandra Forsythe and a host of others. Stay tuned!

- I've been working really hard with my soccer guys at University, and they are starting to come around. Technique is getting better, weights are going up, the works. I'm even doing something different this time - I had them box squat for ~2 months to initate with the hips, keep the chest up, etc. This week, we've taken the box out to try and get better depth overall.

I must admit, they did REALLY well with it the other day. I'll be interested to see how it holds up over time, but this may be the way I do things going forward. We'll see....

Stay strong

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Continuing Education

Last night I was reviewing an old SWIS DVD that featured Mark Phillipi and Ed Coan. Needless to say, these guys know their stuff!

A few interesting nuggets from the presentation (I'm about 1/2 way through):

- Mark is a big believer in both single-leg lifts, AND not missing lifts. It always feels good to have your own beliefs validated by someone stronger and more knowledgable than you. I think everyone who strength trains should be doing single-leg lifts in their programming. As well, I've long advocated not missing reps - I think it's very hard on the body and the mind as well.

- Who did I see in the background? The one and only Michael Boyle. If arguably the greatest strength coach in the world can attend seminars year round, why can't you?

If you haven't signed up already, be sure to check out Bill and I's Indy Seminar in May. Should be a great time!

Stay strong

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Testimonial - Knee health advice

A young gentleman by the name of Antoine wrote me a few weeks ago with serious knee pain. I gave him some advice to try and help him out; here's the e-mail I got from him two days ago. Enjoy!

Stay strong

Here is some follow-up after a month or so:

I've been doing the eccentric, single-leg squats on a decline board for a few weeks as you suggested. It doesn't hurt but it is a bit uncomfortable. This being said, I can now do, without any weight, squats and lunges pain free.

I recently tried light deadlifts and front squats (ATG) and it seems to be fine.

So..... this stuff works!

I'll now add some glutes exercises (SLDL, hip abduction, step-up, etc)

Thanks again!

If you're interested, be sure to check out my Bulletproof Knees DVD and manual to help with your long-term approach to knee health.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Loaded spinal flexion is GREAT!

After reading Eric Cressey's latest article at T-Nation, I decided to scroll through the questions and see what people wanted more information about. As always, there's a guy on there purporting the benefits of loaded spinal flexion training (i.e. round back deads, stiff-leg deads, etc.)

Now, before people flake out on me, understand that I'm a realist here. I understand that spinal flexion does occur at some points in time. On a maximal deadlift, there might be some loss of your arch, neutral spine, or even a slight movement into flexion. This isn't the goal though! I believe the research clear states that elite level powerlifters kinesteically know and understand to stay out of end-range flexion (the last 2-3 degrees).

So why, when leading researchers and even coaches tell you to stay out of loaded flexion, do some people continue to purport it? I'd imagine the key here is that they've probably never been injured before. I've often met people who claim to have a "strong back" and they get away with all the no-no's of lifting.

My question then becomes, so what happens when you DO get injured? Did your back all of a sudden become weak?

Whether it's an acute thing or something more chronic, I'm not willing to take that risk with my body. After all, poor strength training may not catch up to you for years - but when it does I'd imagine you'll wish you had trained a little bit smarter.

Stay strong

Friday, March 14, 2008


A little training motivation for the weekend - you've got to respect Captain Kirk!

Stay strong

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The new site is up!

I know, I know - I've been slacking on the blog. But I HAVEN'T been slacking on other things. Check it out:

The NEW Robertson Training Systems website

The new material includes:
- A training blog which I'll be trying to update a few times per week.
- A video clips page for my online clients and others who want to improve upon their exercise technique
- A schedule page that isn't buried!
- A resources page that will keep you up to date with what I'm reading and recommending

It's obviously a work in progress, but hopefully you see where I'm going with this. It will take time, but I want this site to be the best that it can be.


Stay strong

Monday, March 10, 2008

Q&A with Geoff Neupert

Below is a Q&A question from Geoff's interview that we didn't receive in time to make the newsletter. If you want to post questions to our interviewees, make sure to send them in early!

Q: As an olympic lifter, it is taken for granted that you will go to the deepest squatting level possible, ie calves touching hamstrings. (Q) How do you feel about holding that position unloaded to rest, as is a popular pose in asia, instead of sitting as we westerners are notorious for?

...I have read some information that advises against this because of the levering effect the knees are subjected to in the bottom position. Of course I have also read articles that suggest that this is a great pose to regularly assume, and given that olympic lifters do get in this position while heavily loaded would suggest that it is safe.

A: I have two questions in response to your question:

"Why do you want to hold this position as those in Asia do--what is your expected outcome for doing so?"

Do you intend to assume this position in order to increase your OL mobility?

As an OL myself, I taught myself to transition from a PL style-squat to an OL squat by doing the very same thing you are suggesting, in a "grease-the-groove" style program (see Pavel's "Naked Warrior" for more info on GTG), so I think it's an outstanding idea. However, there are some major caveats here:

As OL's, we do not sit in the bottom position--we drop into it and explode out of it and under load. The governing rule of physiological adaptation is the SAID Principle--Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. Which means you will ALWAYS get EXACTLY what you train for. So, if you want to be good at sitting in the hole, then sit in the hole for a long period of time. I personally don't want to be good at sitting in the hole--I want to be great at exploding out of the hole with as much weight as possible.

Upon closer inspection, position wise, the Asian "squat sit" is different from the OL Squat. The Asians sit with their tales tucked under them and their chests collapsed--EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of the position we need to maintain in the hole with weight over our heads or across our shoulders. Refering back to point number 1, if you practice this squat for extended periods of time, then it is very likely that this will interfere with your OL technique.

So, your best bet to increase your OL squat mobility is to do what I did--short, fatigue-free sessions of bodyweight squatting, concentrating on awareness in that position. Mike and I wrote an article for T-Nation awhile back, "Olympic v. Powerlifting Squats." Check out the "Prying" we discuss.