by Mike Tuchscherer
We all know that training is stressful. And most of us understand that it’s not the stress of training itself, but rather the recovery from that stress that produces the gains that we all work so hard to achieve.
Recent research is showing some very interesting trends. It seems that the more often a muscle is stressed, the greater the aggregate gain becomes. So do you want big gains quickly? Most of us do. Then research suggests that you train more frequently. Read more…
Gainz not Painz: Sacroiliac Dysfunction (low back, hip, inner thigh pain)
by Jake Noel
I usually hear one of two stories when I’m working with someone suffering from S/I dysfunction (Sacroiliac dysfunction). The first story goes something like this, “I went to rip a deadlift off the floor (or hit a heavy squat) and I felt my back round slightly. Then, my low back and butt cheek started to hurt.” I also hear of pain in the groin and sometimes hip flexors / front hip, either way something happens to the lifter that causes pain . The other story I often hear is “I have no clue what I did. I’ve just been getting more and more pain in my back and hips and groin and my numbers have stalled for, like, no reason.” In either case, the lifter is likely dealing with differing forms of S/I imbalance; the former being the acute case, the latter being the chronic, slow burn into imbalance caused by a slew of issues ranging from sleeping position to “overtraining”.
The reason my very first article for RTS is about S/I dysfunction is because 8 out of 10 of the lifters I work with have developed some form of S/I imbalance (in my anecdotal observation). Approximately 100% of lifters could benefit from this article assuming they’re going to encounter S/I imbalance at some point because in the sport of Powerlifting.. The S/I is really the whole boat when it comes to bearing load in the squat and deadlift (assuming you’re executing the movements with even the slightest technical proficiency). In fact, S/I imbalance is so common in the sport, that it is safe to treat yourself like you have it, even if you’re not expressing the symptoms yet.
A friend of mine used to tell me “health is cumulative.” What he meant was that you could think of your health like a bank account of sorts. Doing certain things added to your overall state of health. Other things subtracted from it. And if you work yourself into a hole, you’ve got to work yourself out of it again.
The same concept applies in the strength world. There are some things that you need to do to stay injury-free. You can neglect them for a while, but the longer you do, the more risk you take. Often, this comes in the form of neglected muscle groups, but can also include other aspects of overall fitness (flexibility / mobility, energy systems, etc).
Recently I was having a conversation about this with another coach. We were both remarking that high-specificity training (even extremely high specificity) undeniably gets good results in the short-to-mid term. But left unchecked for longer periods of time, lifters get injured. We know that a major key to long term progress is avoiding injury. So this very-high-specificity training cannot be a long term solution to your progress.