ME Lower – 5.12.10

Me, Tom, Matt, David Silver from 90210, JB
–JB is falling into a nice program of showing up late and leaving early.

Warmup: Foot MFR, Toe Pulls, Z-Drills, Pressups, Frog Squat-24kg

SSB Box Squat
490×4 (high box)
505×4 (high box, 1/8″ lower)
–Came back very big after last time getting buried by the SSB.  Got every rep and had more in the tank, but not much.  I think I wasn’t leading enough with the chest a few weeks ago, and I focused on starting the rock off the box with head and shoulders.  Every rep was big.  After 420 I told Tom the weights don’t feel that heavy, my face feels heavy.  The SSB is a big challenge to my upper half and keeping tight, much more than blasting off.
–David figured out what it was like to split the floor and squat wide which was exciting.  He doesn’t always come on Wednesdays with us, so he winds up DLing and other lifts that are with more of a straight foot.  He is very strong, but he was awkward because he was knee-ing the squat with a fairly narrow, toes straight stance.  He grinded out his lifts when he just let his toes glide out to 10-15 degrees.  He felt it in his butt, and he knew it right off the bat.  He was confused a little bit because the weight was harder when he was using the right muscles/form, but that is motor learning.  He has the juice; he just doesn’t know how to get into that gear yet.  He will.
–Everybody was strong today.  4 and 5 PR with the SSB easily.
–Rehbands and briefs do nothing.  I would get dumped if I didn’t break with my knees as early as I have to with these nothing briefs.

Buffalo Bar GM (barefoot, no belt)
–Totally gassed from squatting.  Breakfast was 3 egg whites, apple, and half a Bang.  182.25 BW this morning.

Decline TRX Inverted Rows – 3×10
Armbar 20kg 3×3/3
GHR BW 3×10
Indian Clubs – Prep Technique 3×3/3, 10s each swing
–Going to follow Gray and Bret’s program here.  Own each move like it’s a waste of time before even thinking about going to the next one.

Tom got a Reverse Hyper that will be ready for the weekend.  I am presenting Saturday, so I won’t use it probably until next week.  I am no fan of the Reverse Hyper with big weight.  It rounds the spine and hyperextends the way it’s utilized most often.  But like the Pavelizer or maybe other things, I’ll give it a try.
Back in 2006 at the greatest powerlifting meet of all time in Lake George, Louie saw Bill Crawford’s version of the reverse hyper where the fulcrum is not at the edge of the pad but rather underneath it.  The fulcrum’s forward setup doesn’t let you round underneath the pad because your thighs smack into the pad before hand.  The lever is also longer on the way back, so there is a push to keep the weights lower.  Louie was impressed with it, and it was very gratifying to hear him say that if anybody was rounding under the reverse hyper, they are doing it wrong.  Quote Louie, nevermore.

  • May 12, 2010

Leave a Reply 5 comments

Ray Eades Reply


Just to be clear, the issue with the reverse hyper is when people get sloppy with it and not so much the movement itself? I have had one for some time now, but whenever I use it, I am very strict with the movement, and literally perform it like a reverse back/hip extension, with no hyperextension up top and no rounding at all down low (I essentially stop in an “L” position, or more precisely just make sure the movement is occurring at the hips and not the spine.

On the Indian Club front, I picked up a set of 1-3 pounders about 2 years ago. Since there are many other ways to train for actual strength and where the clubs shine is likely in opportunities not had via others means and when focusing on the techniques and mehanics and allowing speed of movement to be a key means of progression over time, do you see any reason why someone would need to go above 2 or 3 pounders at any point unless specifically looking to compete in some type of old-time Persian Wrestler competition or something obscure that might warrant larger clubs?

I only ask this because I purchased my clubs from Atomic Athletic, and the proprietor of that website is a club aficionado and both uses and offers some rather sizable clubs (not to mention some rather beautiful classic-looking pieces, which is strictly a random observation on my part, and not speaking to whether or not I think many people would derive much out of them or not).

Al Reply

I just got an image of Louie with big black raven’s wings perched on a dark window sill. It was terrifying.

Charlie Reply

Ray – My first information on the Reverse Hyper was the classic Louie article, and I must say that any notion of “opening the disc space to allow fluid to enter” is completely ridiculous. I’ll start there.
It is well documented that I follow Louie very closely, train myself with his influence and direction, and I have spent time with him personally.
But any joint space creation in the prone position is a potential disc problem, and doing it with load makes it even worse.

That being said, when you see some of the monsters doing it, it does look like they are keeping their spine right. Now these are the Cartwrights and Chucks, guys we should not necessarily be modelling after as they are the elite of the elite.

So I think with light weight, I think I might be okay with it. Tom got the Westside Rogue Reverse Hyper, so I am going to try very light weight and slow and keep the lumbar from moving. I am also going to evaluate if my poor height has something to do with it, which I suspect it might.

Overall right now, I can not recommend the reverse hyper for anyone not an advanced lifter or without personally watching form.

Louie was crystal clear in front of me, Bill C, Sebastian, and a host of the Elite guys in Lake George that if you are letting your back round out in the reverse hypers, you are doing it wrong.

Roy Donaldson Reply


I am a bit late to the party commenting on this post, but as far as the reverse hyper is concerned, is the problem literally with most models of the machine itself. While you sound like you’re still very much in the formulation stage as opposed to any rock solid final conclusion, you seemed to indicate that when the loading is not excessive and a very strict and specific form is used that it might be a legitimate movement.

We have one at my gym, and I have always used it in very strict form (basically always starting from a dead stop well before the legs are remotely close to going under the table top) and without letting the spine round or hyperextend during the movement. I’d hate to think that I was engaging in a foolish or potentially dangerous practice, all the while being blissfully ignorant of my foolishness. I suppose it’s doubly troubling because I fancied myself as having at least half a clue in the gym, but when I read pieces written by sharp minds like yours, I begin to feel like quite dunce who ends up second guessing a lot of things I used to think were entirely acceptable based upon previous knowledge.

Charlie Reply

Roy – I think the problem can be both. Set-up and technique. With a good setup like the Rogue Reverse Hyper we have @ Fit For Life, you can still initiate the movement with the lower back, which I think is a big mistake.
It is a very legitimate movement when done correctly. Like the GHR, I’m not sure many folks are really doing it correctly.

It sounds like your technique would pass in my book. You might even be able to be a little more aggressive getting it going.

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