During the last 8 weeks, my training has been amazing. What’s awesome about the smith machine and Glute Drive is that they allow me to go very deep. Any low back and knee pain has vanished, and my workouts have been highly productive. Over the past four weeks since performing this experiment, I’ve gone on to tie numerous squat and deadlift records despite just performing 1-2 hard sets of them per week and I’m still pain free. I hit a 405lb full squat and a 565lb sumo deadlift. This is a lot more repetitions than I’m used to, but my body responded well.
This experiment has taught me that hip thrusts are more effective than I ever could have imagined. I believe I likely could have hit a 425lb squat if I wanted, and I probably could have a hit 585lb deadlift if I allowed for more slop. There are a couple of papers showing incredible transfer from hip thrusts to squats, and one that will eventually be published showing great transfer from hip thrusts to deadlifts. I felt that going deeper would help me retain more squat and deadlift strength due to hip range of motion specificity. I look forward to hearing back from some of my followers to see if they experience similar results from this routine. This 8-week program can allow you to unload your body and heal up while retaining most of your strength and muscle mass (possibly even gaining muscle). My sets were in the 6-30 rep range, with the average reps per set being 10. Pain inhibits muscle activation, so you’ll never experience maximum muscular gains if your body isn’t feeling good. 4 sets of hip thrust for 6-30 reps (I did them on the smith machine or Nautilus Glute Drive), 4 sets of either Nordic ham curls (3-5 reps) or lying or seated leg curls (10-20 reps), Sports Science Topics & Research Guest Articles, Peer-Reviewed Articles (Journal Publications), Coaching, Personal Training, Programming, & Nutrition Topics, Coaching, Personal Training, Programming, & Nutrition Guest Articles. I get more hip flexion compared to when I use the Hip Thruster. Today, I tested my 1RM squat and deadlift strength.
Sometimes in training, we must take one step backwards in order to take two steps forwards. Avoid them for 8 weeks, let your body heal up, and then go back to the lifts – this time without the pain. Interestingly, the squat and deadlift movement patterns did feel unnatural. In fact, I felt very uncoordinated and awkward – similar to how I used to feel decades ago when I was first learning them, but my strength was still there. Having realized that the smith machine allowed me to hip thrust pain-free and recently having received the Glute Drive, which also feels good on my knees, I wanted to see what would happen to my leg and glute size in addition to my squat and deadlift strength if I just performed hip thrusts, leg extensions, and Nordic ham curls (or leg curls) twice per week (zero squats and deadlifts – not even single-leg patterns). This was surprising as I hadn’t performed a single rep of squats or deadlifts in 8 weeks, nor had I performed anything with a wide stance in that same amount of time. Update: I wrote this blogpost a month ago, but someone hacked my blog so I couldn’t post it. Bear in mind this is an n=1 experiment. Squats and deadlifts have been my bread and butter lifts for as long as I can remember. and receive my FREE Lower Body Progressions eBook! 4 sets of hip thrust for 6-30 reps (I did them on the smith machine or Nautilus Glute Drive) 4 sets of leg extensions for 10-20 reps; 4 sets of either Nordic ham curls (3-5 reps) or lying or seated leg curls (10-20 reps) Video Discussion of the Blogpost
I also reached all-time highs in leg extension strength, Nordic ham curl strength, and smith machine and Glute Drive hip thrust strength. If you are finding yourself in a lot of pain from squats and deadlifts, you can try this experiment too. These studies used beginner trainees as their subjects, however, not advanced lifters. For this reason, I decided to embark on an experiment. Twice per week, I would perform 4 sets of either smith machine or Glute Drive hip thrusts, 4 sets of leg extensions, and 4 sets of either lying or seated leg curls or Nordic ham curls. I don’t think leg extensions are tremendously helpful at retaining squat strength, but I do feel that Nordic ham curls are effective in helping retain deadlift strength.
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