Tag: strength

Master of the Basics

Squats! Everyone knows how to do it right? Just load the bar on your shoulders and start going up and down with your legs. Deadlifts are just picking the bar off the floor. Its so easy that anyone can do it! Its also functional for strength and muscle mass building, surely everyone should do them!

Are Squat and Deadlift All That Simple?

This person was lifting the bar in a bad form while being coached by a bad trainer

Fact is, improper technique for either squat and deadlift will cause injury when its not done properly. Back when I only had an NASM personal training certification, I didn’t realize that my poor squat and deadlift form was harmful to my back. My knee dominant squat movement was damaging my knee. Now that I have properly applied the McGill techniques described in Ultimate Back Fitness and cleaned up my techniques, none of the old injuries became problematic anymore.

Can Anyone Do Standard Squat and Deadlift?

You have probably heard the news floating around on the internet. Some old grandma was having problem simply climbing up the stairs, started deadlifting, and ended up having no problems climbing up the stairs while being super strong in the process. If a grandma can do it, surely anyone can do it too right?

What is the problem with this line of thinking?

There’s a reason why femur head replacement came in different sizes and shapes. Source: The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group

Different hips and spine angle results in different movement range. This is something determined by your DNA and training will not change it. Depending on the depth of your hip socket and your lumbar spine curvature, you might not be able to pick the bar off the floor without flexing your back. Same thing can be said about achieving a deep squat. Hence not everyone can do the standard squat and deadlift movements without high risk of injury. This may sound contradictory to my post on why you should try powerlifting. Just because you can’t do standard deadlift with a perfect form doesn’t mean that you can’t reap the benefits of deadlift exercise.

How You Should Train

Move Well

You must first learn how to move properly. When I was young, the ligaments and spine disks still have the capacity to perform even with faulty movement. But as I age, those injuries pile up and causes pain. Even if you are not in pain now, its not an excuse for you not to learn how to move properly. If your back hurts the day after every leg day, your leg day is definitely breaking your back. If you are unsure, get a proper trainer that actually knows how to coach proper movement.

Move Accordingly

If you are born with hips that will not allow you to pick the bar off the floor with a straight back, you could try using a trap bar or by lifting from a higher position. You won’t be able to compete in a powerlifting meet but you can still reap the benefit of lower body posterior chain strengthening from modified deadlifts. Having said this, it could also be a movement engram i.e. software issue but this is a topic for another day.

Ultimately these “basic moves” are not as simple as it seems and unless you want to experience spine and knee injuries by your mid 30’s (like the author of this article), you should focus on the right way to move for your body. Just like in martial arts, mastering the basics is no simple matter.

The Latest is Always The Greatest?

We always prefer the best for ourselves and our loved ones.  The best money can buy!  Think about the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.  Or perhaps the latest car, TV, or sneakers.  Surely the latest, with the best advances in technology, will always be the better option for us.  But what about nutrition and exercise?

Latest in Supplements and Nutrition

Here’s something interesting.  If something has been available and consumed for generations, then you cannot patent it.  So in the field of Nutrition, just like in any other business, you need to create a “barrier of entry” to prevent others from eating your market share.  The easiest way to create a barrier of entry is simply to incorporate a patented new compound in the product and claim this new compound will help you become leaner, stronger or more muscular.

Why You Should Not Get The Latest

The human body is incredibly complicated.  What might show up as something positive in the near term could be negative in the long term.  Think of steroids and how it was commonly used throughout the 1960’s through 1970’s legally by professional athletes.  The drug makes you leaner, stronger and more muscular.  However, google search on the fate of the top 10 bodybuilders in that era and you will find that over 50% of them later developed coronary heart diseases.  We only know of steroid’s side effect on artery plaque build up many years after it became popular.

The same can be said about soybean oil, once hailed as a wonderful healthy oil over three decades ago, only to recently been discovered as being incredibly bad for your waistline.  Beta-Alanine first came out over a decade ago and is still being marketed to this day as bodybuilding supplement, despite the fact that its a proven Taurine inhibitor, another supplement we commonly see in energy drinks.  Hence consuming a new compound that has not been available on the market over the past 3 decades simply means being part of the said compound’s test experiment.

The Best Type of Supplements

The difference between supplements and medicine is that supplements are not used to heal any disease.  Another thing is that supplements are meant to be taken continually over a long period of time, unlike medicine that is only taken over very a short period.  People take supplements to become better version of themselves.  Unless you are a professional athlete that must be better than the competition to earn an income, it is simply best to use supplements that has been proven to have no harmful side effects over long term consumption.  This is why Magnus Whey only uses ingredients that have been proven to be beneficial at the proven dosage.

Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance

Get the latest scientific evidence on back exercise – what helps and what hurts, and why from world most renowned authority. Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance provides professionals with the evidence based to design and prescribe the best exercise programs for the back. Professor McGill’s unique approach is based on years of scientific research into back function of injured people through to elite athletes. His expertise is sought by governments, corporations, professional sports teams and athletes.

HKD 640 + Handling 45 (Local HK Only!)

IDR 1,100,000.- plus IDR 20,000.- handling fee for Indonesia. email magnus.performance@gmail.com  for Indonesian order and Inquiries for shipping to other Asian Countries

A complete description of a 5 stage program is provided. Many examples illustrate each stage within a bad back rehabilitation program together with a performance enhancement for athletes. Beginning with recognizing and re-pattering perturbed motor programs and progressing to the enhancement of stability, then endurance, the final stage continue with strength, power and agility training. Each step is well illustrated and instructive. Added to this are general approaches to assess the demands of individual activities and sports and how to identify the critical components that need specific focus in an individual’s back. Dr. MGill’s style makes for easy read of this thorough and rich resource.

Be prepared for a new approach. Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance is a myth buster!

Back Mechanic: Step by Step McGill Method to fix Back Pain

In an age where a seemingly endless amount of gimmicky back products are in circulation, a definitive guide to self-assessment and rehabilitation is more essential than ever. Back Mechanic guides you through a self-assessment of your pain triggers, then shows you how to avoid these roadblocks to recovery. Then effective exercises are coached in a step by step progressive plan. Spine expert, Prof. McGill used his 30 years of research findings and clinical investigations to create this evidence-based guide that has helped thousands reclaim their lives. This knowledge is now available to you in this richly illustrated book. You will become your own best Back Mechanic and advocate.

HKD 330 Book Only

HKD 700 Book + Video Modules

email magnus.performance@gmail.com  for order and inquiries

Praise for the “Back Mechanic”:

“Dr. McGill is Men’s Health’s go-to expert for back pain issues. His cutting-edge but practical advice has not only benefited our readers for more than a decade, but even helped my own father avoid surgery and experience lasting relief. Dr. McGill is truly the Jedi master of spine rehab.” – Adam Campbell, Editor-in-Chief, MensHealth.com

“There is no one better than professor Stuart McGill to advice on how to avoid and treat low back injuries. He has created a scientific foundation of what causes back pain that has guided clinicians around the world.” – Chris Riddoch, Professor of Sports & Exercise Science, Bath University, UK.

“Dr. McGill’s work is making a huge impact on the health of pilots and airmen. In the USAF, if you don’t know about the teachings of Stuart McGill, well let’s just say you don’t know.” – Philip Hardinger, Combat Medic, USAF

“He figured out my back and salvaged my Olympic career. The approach is in these pages with many clear and helpful illustrations.” – Bethany Hart, USA Olympian

“Dr. McGill is the most widely recognized spine researcher in the world. This book brings his knowledge straight to the people who need it most.” – William Morgan, DC Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Consultant to the White House

“He is the Dr’s back doctor, and in these pages guides the reader through the essential steps to become pain-free.’ – Dr. Clayton Skaggs, Injury Prevention and Performance coordinator, St. Louis Baseball Cardinals, and, Medical Director, Central Institute of Human Performance, St. Luis, USA.

“Since implementing Dr. McGill’s treatment protocols, our worker compensation patients have returned to their job sooner. In this book he explains back pain, and provides the reader with practical steps toward recovery. Distinctly readable.” – John Repac OTR/L and Rada Lorenz, RN, Montana Health Network, USA

“Dr. McGill’s unique approach restored a pain free back following a major back injury despite other experts telling me that my powerlifting career was finished. Once pain-free, I came back even STRONGER, and set records in powerlifting.” – Brian Carroll, Champion Powerlifter