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Old Forum "Rippetoe Throws Down"

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amdemarais

Level 5 Valued Member
Yes - pg. 184 in Easy Strength.  Also, Pavel mentioned Derek's achievements (in the DL) using eccentric swings and snatches last year at the St. Paul RKC.  I spoke personally with Derek and confirmed that he does very little pulling.  I think heavy barbell work is great and an amzing way to get really strong, but I think it's silly to limit ourselves to one weapon when there are many.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
Can a summary be given of page 184?

I have never heard of this and would like to know more. Any resources on eccentric snatches (I have trouble understanding how that works...as never thought of the snatch of involving much eccentric contraction at all) would be appreciated.

I have not had access to heavy barbell training in a while and I am most interested in this.
 

Brian Kotoka

First Post
A colleague of mine wrote this in response to this article:

 
"A thought for young trainers and strength coaches:

The Internet is filled with bits and pieces of information – none of which are particularly useful without a cohesive training philosophy.

Why did you get into this industry? What is the greatest value you can hope to impart? For some, it’s strength measured only by three or four lifts. For others, it’s the broadest possible array of competencies.

What is most important to you? WAIT! Don’t tell me! No, I’m not trying to guess – I just don’t want to hear about it.

If it’s important to you, it should be unshakable. And if you don’t have any beliefs that are unshakable, I want you to consider shifting over into the advertising industry.

Once you know what destination is most important to you, begin developing training systems to bring people there. That is the framework you need to create before information becomes useful."
There will always been people who try to challenge our training tools and methods. When I read the article I agreed with 85% of it. The rest was misguided.

We understand that StrongFirst means a lot more than just kettlebells and barbells.

Coach Rip is just late to the party.
 

Jeff

Level 6 Valued Member
This has been such an interesting thread that I almost hate to see the discussion run its course, but I guess every thread has to.  I believe Rippetoe when he says that proper programming of the basic barbell movements will result in the greatest overall strength.  I guess it comes down to what a person wants to achieve.  Pavel makes a strong case that athletes should achieve a certain level of Strong First.  But that is not to say that there are not other valuable attributes in addition to strength, which no doubt Pavel and the Strong First community would agree to. I wonder what Rippetoe would say about a program like the PM and ROP.  If a man had to choose between ETK and Starting Strength, what would be the better program?  I believe that Starting Strength would deliver the greater strength, but would ETK deliver better overall strength, plus conditioning, plus freedom of movement?  I am not a martial artist or spec ops operator, but like a lot of you I have what might be considered a normal job but want to live an active lifesyle.  I want to do physical work on my home, go kayak fishing, and in general be up to opportunities that come up in normal life.  I am 50 years old, and I hate to hear people talk about how they can't do things because they are over 30 or 40.  I want to be active until I am 80 or beyond.  So the question is, what is the best program to keep me in the game of life?  If I did the PM for the rest of my life, would that deliver a better preparedness for that hunting trip of a lifetime, or fishing the marshes, etc., etc., etc.?
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
We know what he would say about the PM and ROP:
“Kettlebells are a fad, and they will fall out of fashion as they have before. ”

“Kettlebell training is by definition endurance training, not strength training. You might add a kettlebell workout to your barbell training, but if you stop barbell training in favor of kettlebells your are completely changing the adaptive stimulus of your workouts. They aren’t very heavy, you know.”

I am 50 years old, and I hate to hear people talk about how they can’t do things because they are over 30 or 40.  I want to be active until I am 80 or beyond.  So the question is, what is the best program to keep me in the game of life?  If I did the PM for the rest of my life, would that deliver a better preparedness for that hunting trip of a lifetime, or fishing the marshes, etc., etc., etc.?
I do not think one can say there is the "best" program. Programs are what trainers devise. The program, to be sufficient for your goal, should provide a means of maintaining muscle mass and strength in your entire body, maintain and increase mobility and stability, maintain joint health, and keep your hearth healthy. I think the PM would deliver to the extent I understand the specifics of it (I do not do it).

I think the measure would be calisthenics and mobility drills. People who can't do things because of "age" are experiencing the accumulating effects of a continuing bad lifestyle. Age has some effect, but not that much. Physical ability is not an accident of youth.
 

Rif

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
I actually liked most of the article; particularly the basic differentiation between 'training' and exercising'. The idea of training being about creating an adaptation, i.e getting strong(er) at a later date by what you are doing NOW.

Of course I disagree about the kettlebell, he obviously doesn't know much about them or how to train with them. I wrote an article for the SFG manual that actually takes the basic kb swing and breaks it down as to how to train it for AS A LIFT.

the idea of course is to increase one's ability over a course of time, either in the weight of the bell swung, the number of total reps per workout and or the number of reps per set. Either way, it's about training the swing as a basic lift and not just 'exercising' with it.

Again, for the most part, liked the article.
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
@Joseph " I do not think that one can say there is " the best " program ", I agree."

" kettlebells training is by definition endurance training " ?  Very new ! Wonder if this " endurance " is muscular or cardiovascular ?

Barbells also can be used for muscular endurance. Now, it is clear that it is easier to get " strong " with barbells as techniques are quite easy. Perssonaly, I don't like " easy  ".

 
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
@mark reifkind The kettlebell aspect is just one where there is a problem. The article is good enough up until the "primary lifts" part, where he makes a good point about primary lifts involving the entire body, yet, then makes an excuse for the bench press. It does not meet the criteria he sets, but he cannot let go of it. He then in "assistance exercises"  puts chin-ups as an ancillary exercise and puts lower squats as assistance exercises, as if there is a magic physiological significance to the parallel squat in powerlifting.

But the most troublesome part is this:
Ancillary exercises ... anything done on one leg or with one hand, ... don't qualify as basic exercises, because they can't be Trained for long-term progress – they can only be Exercised.
And that is wrong. The body is not a mechanical device. Its limbs, its "Core", etc are important. The world is not a powerlifting platform.

And then later:
I think it's important to be able to fall down when you do a barbell exercise so that you have to make sure you don't. The balance aspects of the movement are critical to the training effect, and when this is removed you're left with a Glorified Exercise. Leg presses are a good example of a Glorified Exercise, but I'll admit that some bodybuilders have used them successfully to build massive legs.
But the bench press is excused from this, and chinups and one limb lifts are excluded.
Likewise, bodyweight-only exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, burpees, air squats, one-legged squats, handstand push-ups, bodyweight dips, exercises done on rings, and kettlebell exercises – any exercise whose loading variable is the number of reps or the length of the set, and which doesn't have a 1RM – can't drive a strength improvement.
And this is wrong. First, he overly simplified bodyweight only exercises and kettlebell exercises (bodyweight only exercises can be made progressively harder other than the length of the set or the number of reps), and he does not see the difference between a pushup and handstand pushup or a one legged squat and a burpee. They are all the same to him. Imagine what he would do if people repping out reverse curls on a barbell were seen as doing the same thing as people doing heavy barbell squatting...
This is because after about 10 reps, and depending on your bodyweight, they're not limited by your force production ability – they simply become endurance exercises. Their repetitive nature means they're inherently sub-maximal in terms of force production. They can't make you stronger unless you're very weak, and they can't continue to make you stronger for more than a couple of weeks even if you are.
 

That applies to a single variation of a single exercise. But calisthenics is far more than that. Speed is a factor to consider.
Can you swing a set of 5 with a 300-pound kettlebell? And if you can, what made you that strong, kettlebells or squats? Even very useful ancillary movements such as chin-ups have a limited ability to continue to strengthen for long periods of time. And none of them get you strong for as long as your squat does.
Just because he has not sought to continually improve the chin-up (all his squatters better be able to do weighted one arm chinups for reps, otherwise, his observation is merely "chinups are not for strength because we do not train them").

And the rest is along the same vein.

His article is not about strength itself, but a very particular sport specific requirement.

I personally find calisthenics and one limbed lifts to be the first tools in strength. Being competitive in powerlifting (or any other sport) comes second, and I do not think he sees that.

Maybe his perspective is from a very culturally valued aspect of strength training (in the USA, powerlifting and bodybuilding are big, and gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting are lesser at the moment) and his personal experiences and values as a powerlifter. But I think he is doing himself and anybody who listens to him a great disservice by dismissing  very valuable tools, and different measures of strength. I can easily find a more pure application of his own principles from that article. He is clearly having good ideas, but shoehorning his powerlifting into it. Strength does not require a barbell set and a squat rack and I bet those who mastered advanced calisthenics and one limbed lifts would be stronger in more tests than those who did only what he advocated.

 
 

BCman

Level 6 Valued Member
I remember back in the 80's We had a few power lifters and body builders come to karate to train.  For all thier strength, they would' gas out 'so fast it was amazing.  A couple minutes of sparring and the were fininshed.

That's why I like Strong First, if  you don't have enduring strength, you don't have much!
 

Rif

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Joseph

Sorry but I agree categorizing one arm/ hand lifts as exercises instead of lifts.at least coming from the bodybuilding/powerlifting world he inhabits. they of course can be trained, i.e. can be cycled and progresses to higher levels but they have less potential for "big numbers".

Of course one arm press, chin, bent press, etc. can certainly categorized as "lifts" and trained for, not just exercised.

Again, I don't agree with all of it by any means, and mostly if comes down to arguing how many angels fit on the head of a pin( the categorizing) BUT,and I see it every day in 'studio' I work in: trainers giving their students every variation of a squat, press, curl, etc EXCEPT the main lift! Crazy.

There is no way to progress these exercises with more loading very easily and people get bored.

The bench press may or may not fit his paradigm but again, the real question to me, to any athlete or student is " what do you want? what are you training for?" and then one goes about finding out what actually works, regardless of "why" or what category it fits into.

The proof of any pudding is in the eating. The proof of any program is it's results regardless of whether one knows WHY or not.

Everything has a use for somebody at some time for some goal. the art is knowing what tool to use when.:)
 

Pavel

Founder and Chairman
Certified Instructor
Ladies and gents, a smart person said: "If both of us agreed on everything, one of us would be redundant."  I have read the article and, even though he does not understand kettlebells, Rippetoe is obviously on our side.   The stronger side.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
Sorry but I agree categorizing one arm/ hand lifts as exercises instead of lifts.at least coming from the bodybuilding/powerlifting world he inhabits. they of course can be trained, i.e. can be cycled and progresses to higher levels but they have less potential for “big numbers”.
It makes sense in the bodybuilding and powerlifting aspect, and it would have been good to have that addressed only to such people.

The first part of the article is good, but the rest is a mix of advice for a very specific target (people following bodybuilding magazine workouts) and his personal goals in training.

His advice on main lifts is good. People should figure out what their main lifts are. For powerlifters, the main lifts are obvious: squat, bench press, deadlift. But not everybody has the same goals as a powerlifter.

I do not train barbell squats, but yet, I have strong legs, and I think if I were tested, it would show. It wouldn't be the highest number I could do, but the world is not a power cage. The general training I get is good for all sorts of situations. He says that good squatters can leg press a lot, but the reverse is not true, and that applies to many of his primary lifts. Are good barbell squatters good at one legged squats? Are people who are good at one legged squats good barbell squatters? If it takes 300 lbs of weights, a barbell, and a squat rack, to get any sort of stimulation of my legs for strength, yet, a one legged squat holding a 50 lb dumbbell gets more tension and more muscles involved, what would I be wiser to do? If I had the specific goal of powerlifting or big legs, then pumping up with the specific barbell training would be the course to take, but if I only wanted strong hips and legs...

 

 

 
 

Rif

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Joseph

the barbell squat is a test of back strength , not leg strength. The lower back always give out first in a true 100+% effort. One can be a generalist or a specialist. neither is right nor wrong. Just different.At the top levels, EVERYTHING becomes very specific.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
A lot of good points in that article.

I do not know much about physical therapy, so I usually leave that alone.

But the most efficient way to get strong is to lift heavy weights in a bilaterally symmetrical position, which allows the most weight to be lifted and therefore the most strength to be built.

That may be true in one sense, but I think his very specific focus on measuring strength (and training for it) does a disservice to other means. After all, powerlifters universally lift the heaviest weights, yet they are usually not particularly good at anything else because of that. Modern equipment makes that statement true, but with less technologically advanced equipment, it is common to be able to lift more weight with one hand than with two.

Arthur Saxon could one arm snatch his bodyweight, but a double bodyweight barbell snatch usually requires modern equipment.

But he does have a good point: develop strength first. He just continues it in one way. I think there is a point of diminishing returns in bilateral barbell lifting for things which do not involve bilateral lifting that he misses.
 

magus71

Level 1 Valued Member
I like Rippetoe, but he is wrong on kettlebells. As I stated in another post, my best deadlift ever came after two months of training heavy KBs, with no deads.  He also overlooks the practicality of the KB; a barbell and squat rack are not always available. A 53 lb KB is highly prortable, and using it provides a wide range of positive effects.  Also, what about grip strength? Even at my weakest, men whom outweigh me by 50-60 lbs and bench much more than me cannot beat me in arm wrestling, and much of that is owed to my use of KBs.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
To quote Dan John; "it depends"

 

What are the needs of the trainee? Or if you are training yourself, what are your needs??

 

SS is a great program but no The program. So is ETK. there is no one superior program but proper application of concepts and principles are superior
 

Rickard

Level 4 Valued Member
I like his underlying bias towards strenght. He is just a bit too extreme for my taste. If it is not tested with powerlifts its not strenght?
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
I like Rippetoe, but he is wrong on kettlebells. As I stated in another post, my best deadlift ever came after two months of training heavy KBs, with no deads.  He also overlooks the practicality of the KB; a barbell and squat rack are not always available.
It is more of a training method, than equipment, issue. The focus on bileteral barbell lifting is at the expense of unilateral training, bodyweight training, and other forms of training, all of which I think have shown themselves to be very valuable for strength training.

Kettlebells are hardly practical. They are becoming more common, but they are not the everyday hunks of iron they were at a particular time and place. The availability of kettlebells is not a given. Of course, if one has them, then one has them, but an adjustable dumbbell set is more ubiquitous and cheaper. A single piece of cast iron is still more expensive than machined, chromed, steel with knurling and multiple parts.
A 53 lb KB is highly prortable, and using it provides a wide range of positive effects.  Also, what about grip strength? Even at my weakest, men whom outweigh me by 50-60 lbs and bench much more than me cannot beat me in arm wrestling, and much of that is owed to my use of KBs.
The portability of kettlebells is a bit overrated, at least, as compared to adjustable weights and dumbbells. The fact that kettlebell training usually involves large increments and few weights is its advantage, not anything inherent with the kettlebell itself. They are actually awkward (having moved with some, I can attest to that).

But the people who do use kettlebells do show one thing very well usually. If you have a single tool, make the best of it. It is much better than jumping around and doing everything, make the best of only a few options. But, this does apply to any other training method. If all you have is a barbell set, your bodyweight, sandbags, etc.

Speaking of which, this may be the "ideal" military training...bodyweight and sandbags. I believe they are common in the military. They are cheap. They are adjustable. And they can give a very good strength based functional regime.

 
 
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