Dan John's "Big Three"

TravisDirks

More than 300 posts
Coffee talk.jpg
I'm feeling a little verklempt....mmm.... Talk amongst your selves... Here.... I'll give you a topic:
...you train squats to strengthen all the muscles and structures that a squat improves. ... for example, if you ruck march, you're using muscles and structures that squatting will strengthen.
Makes sense (not sure many would argue about it) but then, shouldn't we spend much more time overloading the quarter squat and above? This is where life happens. Rucking, running, jumping, punching, planting and direction changes. These all happen in the range of motion where we are strongest, yet almost no one spends time doing heavy partials to actually build strength in this range... discuss. o_O:D
 

Rambro1*

Double-Digit Post Count
I do. I think the kb swing is in that range, and that is why it has the wth effect for performance.
 

tangozero

Double-Digit Post Count
View attachment 1186
I'm feeling a little verklempt....mmm.... Talk amongst your selves... Here.... I'll give you a topic:

Makes sense (not sure many would argue about it) but then, shouldn't we spend much more time overloading the quarter squat and above? This is where life happens. Rucking, running, jumping, punching, planting and direction changes. These all happen in the range of motion where we are strongest, yet almost no one spends time doing heavy partials to actually build strength in this range... discuss. o_O:D
It's the exact same thing. Replicating movement isn't the goal of strength training. Much of the population spends time sitting and getting up from a chair. With this logic they should throw on a weight vest and practice sitting and getting up from the chair because that's the movement they do the most. Whereas if the desk-dweller did barbell squats instead, he'd automatically improve his sitting and standing ability by improving the strength of the structures the barbell squat develops.

Strength training develops the overall system; muscle, cns, connective tissue strength,etc. Other activities transfer or convert that quality into useable skill. A boxer might bench or squat to develop strength to increase his power threshold for striking. But he converts that new found strength through skill work (pads, heavy bag, striking drills). That strength then expresses itself through punches or strikes that are more powerful.

Get strong overall using the most efficient methods and tools, then express or convert that strength through practice or training your specific skill set (be it rucking, basketball, or boxing).
 

Rambro1*

Double-Digit Post Count
I understand your reasoning, and don't disagree. I'm just curious if there isn't more to it. I will give you an example of why I think there is more to it than that, or at least why I'm still not sure what is most important. I'm 6'1" 230. Not big, but not small. Grew up bucking hay, carrying drywall, and doing other forms of manual labor my whole life. I would consider myself very weak in the weight room with numbers on the big lifts, I mean really weak. In fact, I never touch a barbell anymore, but wasn't really strong when I did. I was definitely not as athletic as I am now. The heaviest weights I lift now in training are kb, yet I can lift an engine block off the ground, hike all day with weight, or carry a washer by myself. I also regularly outperform guys much stronger than me (weightlifters) when applying it to the real world (grappling, moving odd objects, work performance, etc.). I have come to the conclusion that my practice and improved performance with proper bracing and use of tension techniques as why, but I don't know that for sure. I have tried the type of strength training mentioned on this thread, but it never made me more athletic like S&S seems to. I honestly don't know why, other than my theory mentioned above. I don't write this as a "look at how great I am" post. I'm just throwing data out for everyone else to help me analyze. I will conclude this by saying that I think all the strength training mentioned in this thread is useful and effective, but not as important as learning how to brace and transfer strength/power. Just my belief. Don't hate me for it.
 

Kyle Schuant

Double-Digit Post Count
You have done manual labour tasks all your life, and find that you are quite good at doing manual labour tasks. You feel this is a mystery?

As for your weight room numbers, remember that "weak" and "strong" are relative only. Like I always tell my lifters, even if you are one of the 10 or so guys in the world who has squatted 1,000lbs, well Kirk Karwowski did it for a double. On the other hand... I work with newbies, and trust me, they're weak.

Only around 1 in 6 of the population are members of a gym or sports team. Of the 4,000 people in my last gym, around 80 did a below parallel squat - with or without any load. So that's 1/6 x 1/50 = 1 in 300 people in the general population. Many more can do it, I'm just talking about those who choose to - because if you keep choosing not to, then eventually you can't do it.

Probably twice this number have never been gym members, but do something else that means they can squat below parallel, like your hay-baling; so that's another 2 in 300. Altogether 3 in 300, or 1 in 100.

So if you put the empty bar on your back, squat down below parallel and stand up again once, congratulations, you're in the top 1% of the population.
 
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Rambro1*

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I misspoke earlier. I did a lot of manual labor growing up, but haven't done it consistently as a job for the past 14 years. Maybe there was some carryover from then. I think it was learning how to brace against a load, but anyway...

Do I think people can get stronger by dedicating themselves to a solid strength and conditioning program? Absolutely. The more you invest, the more you get out of it. Should people strive to get stronger? Absolutely. Regardless of priorities or purpose, strength fixes everything.

Do I think someone can be strong and athletic by doing a modified S&S, or something similar, without doing anything else? Absolutely. My personal experience has convinced me of that.

The takeaway is that there are a lot of valid ways to get stronger and/or athletic, and the Strongfirst community seems to be a driving force for showing people how. That is appreciated.
 

Toma

First Timer
First of all, this is my first post here so greetings everybody. Thought this discussion was so interesting I wanted to add something to it (or to the Squat "vs." Deadlift part).

Whilst I think that overall the hinge movement is probably the most useful movement to get stronger in, I'm a bit surprised about how few "points" squatting gets here (I understand that nobody here hates squatting, or is telling us to completely ignore it).

Few months ago I was tasked with moving some stones around that are on our yard. They weren't the biggest stones (I'd guess the heavies ones were maybe 25-30 or so kilos), but as always, they were awkward in shape which meant they were very difficult to grab (especially since my hands are a bit on the smaller side, and some of the stones were partly in the ground instead of just conveniently on it). So how did I pick them up? I squatted down, grabbed a hold of them and sort of zercher squatted them up, carried them to their new spot and dropped them. And I'm sure nobody in their right mind would've spent few minutes per stone trying to figure out how to deadlift them just for the sake of being able to hinge them off the ground.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make, is that whilst I do use the hinge patter several times a day, it's not like I need to be able to deadlift my bodyweight x2 in order to be able to do whatever it is that I'm doing. Not saying I wouldn't like to be able to do that, but it wouldn't really come in handy in my life that often. And if there comes a time when I would need more strength than what a "modern man" might have, there is a chance that being strong in the squat will be very useful.
 

Rambro1*

Double-Digit Post Count
Welcome to the community, of which I am also new. In assessing this thread, and my own experiences, I would say that a variation or combination of the sumo deadlift and zercher squat are most used in my day to day life. I theorize that is probably across the board. Where I think the debate and differences of opinion lies, is how one can/should train for performance in sport/life. I think there is no "right" answer, except that training to get stronger is a worthwhile goal. I don't disagree with anyone in this thread, but I am a very big believer in developing good bracing ability and use of the tension techniques. Really think that is where the "magic" is at for training and performance whether you are on one side of the discussion or the other.
 

TravisDirks

More than 300 posts
It's the exact same thing. Replicating movement isn't the goal of strength training. Much of the population spends time sitting and getting up from a chair. With this logic they should throw on a weight vest and practice sitting and getting up from the chair because that's the movement they do the most. Whereas if the desk-dweller did barbell squats instead, he'd automatically improve his sitting and standing ability by improving the strength of the structures the barbell squat develops.

Strength training develops the overall system; muscle, cns, connective tissue strength,etc. Other activities transfer or convert that quality into useable skill. A boxer might bench or squat to develop strength to increase his power threshold for striking. But he converts that new found strength through skill work (pads, heavy bag, striking drills). That strength then expresses itself through punches or strikes that are more powerful.

Get strong overall using the most efficient methods and tools, then express or convert that strength through practice or training your specific skill set (be it rucking, basketball, or boxing).
To clarify my understanding of what you are saying, I'm curious where you'd have a different understanding of the following:

I've gone from 315 lbs in a quarter squat (my first work with this partial) to 585 in the past 2 month.

1) Clearly this is too fast to be purly or even mostly structural improvement.

2) I think it's reasonable to believe that this increase in strength has more to do with the body learning to use more of the strength it has in a range of motion that it's never needed it before, since I'm usually loaded for the worst leverage in the ROM.

3) this is real strength of the same sort that is developed on other non-hypertrophy focused strength training.

4) this real strength in the 1/4 squat range of motion would take much longer to develop using only full range of motion( what ever that is for the squat :p) lifts.

5) This strength is now available to me in life for things like jumping, punching, etc.
 

banzaiengr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
If I had some sort of a tactical job that required me to be in very good shape to perform yet had limited time to workout, I would do Mr. Ciampa's snatch protocol along with one or two long, slow distance sessions at MAF per week. If I had more time I would add deadlifts or altarnate the snatch session with S&S.

That's it, of course if you love to train and/or have few other responsibities to take care of, then you could add more.

Then due to my limited workout time I would insure my diet was dialed in. JMHO
 
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TravisDirks

More than 300 posts
I'm just throwing data out for everyone else to help me analyze. I will conclude this by saying that I think all the strength training mentioned in this thread is useful and effective, but not as important as learning how to brace and transfer strength/power. Just my belief. Don't hate me for it.
Using the words squat and deadlift in the same post can sometime bring out absurd ardour and ghosts of conversation past. Don't let if fool you. First hand observation and learning is always greatly appreciated here.
 

banzaiengr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Funny how the bench press or curls never come up in these threads. Yet, walk into most gyms and that's all you see being done.
 

Rambro1*

Double-Digit Post Count
Banzaiengr,

I have a job some would consider tactical, and am a big fan of Al Ciampa and his work. I would describe my regular training as being mostly derived from his manual, which is absolutely excellent. I am surprised it has not become a bigger deal than it has, and I have told him as much. That being said, I don't recall ever seeing or hearing about his snatch protocol. Although I try not to bounce around too much, I am always interested in learning and improving. Last time I exchanged emails with him, he did hint at a clean & jerk program, and possibly a snatch program, but I never heard back. Where might I find this information. Thanks in advance.

Rambro
 

Rambro1*

Double-Digit Post Count
Using the words squat and deadlift in the same post can sometime bring out absurd ardour and ghosts of conversation past. Don't let if fool you. First hand observation and learning is always greatly appreciated here.
Thank you
 

JonS

More than 500 posts
Banzaiengr,

I have a job some would consider tactical, and am a big fan of Al Ciampa and his work. I would describe my regular training as being mostly derived from his manual, which is absolutely excellent. I am surprised it has not become a bigger deal than it has, and I have told him as much. That being said, I don't recall ever seeing or hearing about his snatch protocol. Although I try not to bounce around too much, I am always interested in learning and improving. Last time I exchanged emails with him, he did hint at a clean & jerk program, and possibly a snatch program, but I never heard back. Where might I find this information. Thanks in advance.

Rambro
@aciampa
 

Bro Mo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
For me, I have noticed that swings and snatches do improve my VO2 and heart conditioning greatly. However, long weighted hikes uphill or running long hills has actually gotten more difficult. My legs have not been performing a deeper squat movement in high volume. Hinge movements are phenomenal for generating power - more specifically ballistic hinge movements; but I think they lack in their ability to improve lower body strength endurance and lactic threshold. With deadlifts, the back is weaker than the legs and gets fatigued before the legs which doesn't allow most to improve their leg endurance like they can with most forms of squats.

I watched Steve Austin's show Broken Skull Ranch last night. The guy that won was a firefighter. Second place was an amateur strongman. Next were the crossfit disciples. Last was the body builder and average Joes. That loaded carry stamina was the key performance indicator to me. However, the record time was set and is still maintained by a crossfit competitor. At least we don't have any contention as a group to the validity of the farmer carry or TGU being critical to functional performance.

Side note, I think curls are an underrated movement for strength. Many strongman competitors get torn biceps. When it comes to picking up heavy stuff or catching falling stuff, the biceps and connective tissue are really important. Unfortunately, that's not why most gym goers do them. The bench press does help a lot for general upper body strength and should absolutely be used to improve, what I see as, the more functional overhead press. But again, not the reason most gym goers do it either.
 

Rambro1*

Double-Digit Post Count
Yes. Carry strength is "business" strength.

I seem to recall Pavel saying curls were awesome exercise if performed using all the proper tension techniques...
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I have a job some would consider tactical, and am a big fan of Al Ciampa and his work. I would describe my regular training as being mostly derived from his manual, which is absolutely excellent. I am surprised it has not become a bigger deal than it has, and I have told him as much. That being said, I don't recall ever seeing or hearing about his snatch protocol. Although I try not to bounce around too much, I am always interested in learning and improving.
+1 about the manual! And I agree, the snatch protocols might be a great match for you. I just finished my 2nd 6-week run through one and I'm quite impressed with the results all around, in how I feel, how I function, and what I can do in snatches and pretty much across the board in everything else. It is simple, but not easy; this seems to provide for a great learning experience (much like S&S journey) along with all the physical benefits. I see Al is tagged above, so he can get you more details.

When it comes to picking up heavy stuff or catching falling stuff, the biceps and connective tissue are really important.
I can second that, too.... My biceps were lagging behind the rest of me when I started with the heavy snatches because I didn't target them for any work, and I suffered a couple of minor strains because of it. I was used to heavy one-arm swings, but the biceps don't really PULL with the swing, and I overworked them quickly with the snatch. I think some prep work with chin-ups or heavy cleans might have done the trick, or just working into the snatch weight more slowly.
 

tangozero

Double-Digit Post Count
I understand your reasoning, and don't disagree. I'm just curious if there isn't more to it. I will give you an example of why I think there is more to it than that, or at least why I'm still not sure what is most important. I'm 6'1" 230. Not big, but not small. Grew up bucking hay, carrying drywall, and doing other forms of manual labor my whole life. I would consider myself very weak in the weight room with numbers on the big lifts, I mean really weak. In fact, I never touch a barbell anymore, but wasn't really strong when I did. I was definitely not as athletic as I am now. The heaviest weights I lift now in training are kb, yet I can lift an engine block off the ground, hike all day with weight, or carry a washer by myself. I also regularly outperform guys much stronger than me (weightlifters) when applying it to the real world (grappling, moving odd objects, work performance, etc.). I have come to the conclusion that my practice and improved performance with proper bracing and use of tension techniques as why, but I don't know that for sure. I have tried the type of strength training mentioned on this thread, but it never made me more athletic like S&S seems to. I honestly don't know why, other than my theory mentioned above. I don't write this as a "look at how great I am" post. I'm just throwing data out for everyone else to help me analyze. I will conclude this by saying that I think all the strength training mentioned in this thread is useful and effective, but not as important as learning how to brace and transfer strength/power. Just my belief. Don't hate me for it.
I think we're talking about different kinds of strength here, not to mention energy systems. What you're describing is a high level of strength-endurance and possibly some work capacity thrown in. Whereas using barbells are an efficient way to increase maximal or limit strength (like increasing a 1 rep max). Now, Max-strength does convert to strength-endurance with the right transitional training.

A very general example here, but if you have a big bench and you practice high rep push-ups, you will have greater push-up numbers than someone that can barely bench the bar that practices push-ups same as you.

So you were a strong guy, and your labour-type work fell into the category of strengt-Endurance (sub-maximal and high frequency). So you effectively trained/transitioned max-strength to a higher level of strength-endurance. Now if you doubled your squat, bench, deadlift or what have you, and continued with your farm labour, your work capacity would increase even more. Your labour acted as effective transitional training between your existing limit-strength and strength-endurance.


There are studies on this, so if anyone's interested I'll dig them up and post.
 

tangozero

Double-Digit Post Count
To clarify my understanding of what you are saying, I'm curious where you'd have a different understanding of the following:

I've gone from 315 lbs in a quarter squat (my first work with this partial) to 585 in the past 2 month.

1) Clearly this is too fast to be purly or even mostly structural improvement.

2) I think it's reasonable to believe that this increase in strength has more to do with the body learning to use more of the strength it has in a range of motion that it's never needed it before, since I'm usually loaded for the worst leverage in the ROM.

3) this is real strength of the same sort that is developed on other non-hypertrophy focused strength training.

4) this real strength in the 1/4 squat range of motion would take much longer to develop using only full range of motion( what ever that is for the squat :p) lifts.

5) This strength is now available to me in life for things like jumping, punching, etc.
There is no doubt this is real strength. That's why minimalist programs are so effective. Most people that squat regularly tend to have a respectable deadlift while deadlifting very infrequently or not at all, and vice versa.

Here's a question, now that you've developed a 500lb+ partial squat, what's your regular full squat 1rm?

If you develop a 500+ regular squat, that automatically carries over to a partial squat. But, if it doesn't work the other way around (ie your full squat doesn't improve much or stays the same) then you have to question; which movement is more effective and efficient?

The other thing is people overestimate how much max-strength they need. You don't need extreme levels of max-strength to punch, fight, jump or ruck. It can certainly help but there's a point of diminishing return. There are many boxers, MMA fighters and special operations personnel that barely do any weight training at all.

So if you're benefitting from increasing partial squats, and full range squats give you more negatives than positives, then is there really a need to do full squats in your situation?

I guess the question I'd ask myself is do I really need a 500lb full range of motion squat, if I'm getting the life benefits I need from a 500lbs 3/4 squat?
 
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