Recently I presented at University of Western States Chiropractic College on the topic of the bench press. I often get questions from the clinical community about the bench press. The deadlift and squat are discussed quite frequently as functional and corrective movement patterns, but the bench press is the dirty little step child that never gets covered in these environment, making it the most asked topic from this community. If it is covered, the posturally correct flat back or “sternal crunch” bench press is considered the most functional and preferred pattern.
Yet the question always remains: why can you bench more with an arch then? Correct patterns on the squat and deadlift help you lift more but the bench does not. Additionally, it’s easy to observe more shoulder deviation and control of shoulder centration/position with the flat back bench than an arched bench. Often times, people with lack of control of shoulder position can be corrected almost immediately by placing them into an arch. This is counter to what one would expect if you’re moving from a correct/functional position to an incorrect.
I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Shawn Sherman and Jonathan Loos of The Reset System. They visited our facility over the course of a couple days and used their method on a number of our athletes. We were able to see some immediate results in a number of them as well as observe them diagnose known issues (unknown to them) with several of them in a very quick fashion.
RESET is a revolutionary restorative movement system that pinpoints and eliminates the joint dysfunctions that cause us to compensate with our posture and movement. Over the course of our lives, stress causes our bodies to acquire joint dysfunctions which, in turn, causes us to compensate. In order to reap the full benefits of physical activity we need flawless posture and movement. RESET removes the flaws and restores natural posture and movement.
This article isn’t meant to attack anyone, or be inconsiderate of challenges others face. What it is meant to do is to challenge the thought process of those that assume they know the privileges bestowed on others. What sparked this brief piece is being asked to reflect on my white male privilege and my elite lifter privilege before posting on social media. Specifically the elite lifter privileges of being able to train in the best facilities with the best tools, that others don’t have the advantage to use. It is this latter portion that I will address.
For the record I do indeed have these privileges. And they go beyond the training tools. Privileges I use to my competitive advantage whenever I can. I am able to interact with the best lifters in the world and owners of successful companies in the field. From them I glean knowledge and tips not available to others. Being able to learn from the best of the best in each minor discipline is invaluable. I am also able to secure the best care when I am injured with the network I have developed because of these privileges.
Are you training in a void? I am a firm believer in goal setting. Without goals it becomes hard to establish action plans (in this case training plans) to drive improvement. In the world of business and athletics there is no such thing as standing still, there is only moving forwards or falling backwards. For this reason goal setting and action plans are essential in making sure you’re focused on improving yourself or your results and moving forward.
chris duffin, christopher duffin, kabuki warrior, elite performance centerThe interesting thing about goals is they often seem to get shifted around due to the normal happenings in life. Dates move, targets get revised, and life happens; examples include projects coming up at work or a vacation getting scheduled. Heck, even an unexpected sunny day can overcome that day’s motivation to train. This is where the value of competitive events comes in.
An athlete recently asked me how to achieve peak conditioning and peak strength levels simultaneously. To his disappointment I noted this realistically could not be achieved. It’s not the case, however, that one entirely negates the other. In fact the correct interplay of both conditioning and strength can maximize your performance in either.
Maximizing performance in your desired objective (either strength or conditioning) doesn’t mean simply incorporating the opposite and hoping for the best. Imagine an endurance runner tossing in a bunch of strength training leading into a running event or a large out of shape powerlifter slamming out a bunch of cardio leading into a meet. In both scenarios the athlete will likely reduce their performance. CrossFit has done an excellent job at incorporating training across the strength and conditioning spectrum (or broad modal domains in CF language), but at the same time its athletes are not in “peak” shape for any specific points within those spectrums.