ME Lower – 5.19.10

Me, Tom, JB, David Silver from 90210, Zuck

Warmup: Foot MFR, Toe Pulls, Press-ups, Segmental Rolling

SSB Box Squat (barefoot)
495+mini x1+pinned (high box)
495 x4 (high box)
–This is a back-off week on Pavel’s program, so I tried barefoot.  Haven’t done it in a while.  Got the work sets that I needed, and I didn’t notice that I curled my toes.  If I did, I could’t feel it.
JB took video, so maybe I will be able to post them at some point.  I was pleased to see how low this box really is as I am easily below parallel.  I was suprised how low it was.
Adding a mini was a lot heavier than I thought it would be.   I will definitely use it the next 2 weeks when we go back to the Spider Bar, which is a much easier lift for me than the SSB.
David got better @ spreading the floor.  Both him and Zucker are a work in progress squatting high @ around 2 wheels + some change.

Rack Pull (mid-shin, double overhand with straps)
Singles up to 500
–Felt like Kirk Nowak.
Haven’t DL’d in a while and missing another Saturday this week, I wanted to get it in.

Armbar – 53kg 3×5/5
Thick Grip Inverted Row – +40#vest 2×10, +vestx7+BWx8
GHR – +vest 2×5, BWx5
Ab Roller – x10, 2×15

–off to Chicago and Boston this week for NBA PreDraft and presenting @ Art’s seminar@ Northeastern

  • May 19, 2010

Leave a Reply 6 comments

Keats Snideman Reply

You mentioned training barefoot and not curling the toes; is this a mistake then? Should people try to keep the toes straighter and push for the met-heads instead to create the “short-foot” posture? I think I curl my toes too much when I lift in my Vibrams…

Charlie Reply

Keats-Yes, I think scrunching the toes is high threshold. The short foot has pressure @ the lateral calcaneus and sesamoid of the 1st MTP. i might suggest your feet are not ready for training in Vibrams if you are scrunching your toes when you go big. You need more support to go big. You are robbing mobility from the toes to make up for limited midfoot stability. Warmup barefoot to technical failure of the short foot, then go Chucks.

Bruce Willoughby Reply


Would you consider extending the toes at the MTP Joints when performing lifts like box squats or deadlifts to be a mistake as well or would that be acceptable in some instances. While I don’t consciously attempt to do so when I work up in weight, there are times when I extend at those joints in order to focus on accentuating pushing through my heels. Perhaps this was misguided on my part?

Charlie Reply

Bruce, yes, I would consider that an error. If you are up on your toes, I would suggest that is too much sitting back.
If the attempt to load the posterior chain even more, try the negative shin angle.

Roy Donaldson Reply


relative to some of the comments above, I wanted to ask about the following two movements, and small tweaks I’ve seen posed and if you feel these were recommendations that seemed innocuous and even potentially useful upon first glance but ultimately falter upon closer inspection.

In Pavel’s “Beyond Bodybuilding” Book, he displays an example of RDL’s with a lift under the forefoot area (if I recall the picture in the book had the demonstrator using 10-pound plates, which were most likely used more out of proximity than anything else). Would the same comments you made above to Bruce apply here?

In a similar vein, I have seen coaches recommend extending the toes of the non-working leg during step-up exercises in order to further limit any tendency to “assist” with the down leg during the movement. (similarly I have also seen it suggested to slightly externally rotate that down leg, again to limit any potential contribution as much as possible). Do you feel that both are unnecessary cues/suggestions that should simply be replaced by disciplining yourself to keep the down leg pointing forward without and manipulation of toe position and then being conscious of not using tht leg to provide to much assistance to the leg performing the step-up?

Charlie Reply

Roy – Putting a plate underneath the foot is quite different than what I was discussing in the post and with Bruce. Basically using the plate as an orthotic, changing the proprioceptive input to the foot could/should improve some level of core and/or hip mechanics in any level change movement.
I would be cautious in whipping out any 1 particular proprioceptive tool as a corrective input with every single person.
I think it’s also very individual to decide how long you leave the corrective piece in with the movement. For my dollar, and I have not read that Beyond Bodybuilding, I would like to use what I needed to get what I wanted to see, and then dispose of it when it was no longer needed. Elevated the front side could be a very productive teaching tool for the RDL as you say.
The big difference is the foot contact to the plate vs. the elevated position. I think we still need some palmar input.

The 2nd choice is very reasonable. If you DF the ankle and toes on the down-leg, you will increase distance and TUT for the “stepping” leg. If you touch down with a compliant foot, you will definitely take something away from the challenge of the move.

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