Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bill DeSimone video.....

Anthony (Dream) Johnson introduces Bill DeSimone to talk about the Leg Press and Squat......we are not built to barbell squat......  UPDATE - 13 January - Check out Bill's new manual, with an extract here

You will remember that I did an interview with Bill here, and I have something special coming from him shortly......


Anonymous said...

Good video, I'm a leg press guy myself. I'm 48 and still have good knees and a good back and I guard them like the US Treasury guards Fort Knox, though the squat is all the rage these days it has always struck me as an unnecessary risk ... odds of still having good knees and a good back in ten years are better without it.

Jamie Scott said...

I squat and very much enjoy it - no knee issues here despite 17 or so years of it. However, I don't bury myself with the squat, I alternate between squats and lunges in my training blocks, and ODL's are always my goto exercise of choice. I load the ODL and maintain my squat.

Anonymous said...

More power to this guy for finding something he can do to pay his bills, but I don't buy this stuff. You have people like Tommy Suggs who is 72 and and still squat 315, sounds like his knees still work and that is after years of being a competive lifter who taught himself. This smells like BS.

Anonymous said...

I looked at some of this guy's videos on Youtube to see if the preview nature of this video made him look bad. Nope. In one video he's curled himself in a ball like a monkey with all his weight on his curved thoracic spine. I guess that's "funtional" but a barbell will make your back resemble the roof of the Metrodome. It's science.

Also in that same video he overhead press 95 lbs (at most) for 5 reps. (How his body stayed erect wasn't explained.) Skinny chefs, weak exercise gurus ...

Anonymous said...

The exceptional few who thrive on otherwise unhealthy activities shouldn't be used to skew reality, whether it's a 72 year old who still squats 315, or a 90 year old who smoked, drank, over-ate & never exercised his whole life. Exercise is a life-long requirement for a fully-realized life. You think you can squat heavy every week for 60 years? Go for it.

Hans said...

Our head is basically the table built on top of the pyramid. Also if you read Esther Gokhale's book you see pictures of women carrying kgs of weight on their head. When I was in India I saw the same thing, sometimes the packages would weigh near 100lbs. However I do have much respect for Bill and will take his ideas into consideration. Thanks for the video.

Chuck said...

i came away from that with one glaring question. is he advocating no ground based movements with weight held by the hands?

Anthony said...

Chuck, from memory, no. I believe he actually gets into why that is different from directly loading the upper body with something like a squat. Ill have to watch the speech again and verify though, unless Bill chimes in.

Bill DeSimone said...

Thanks for the interest.
Hans: Interesting. Are the women carrying on their head muscular? I think something else is in play, more in the balancing side. And, is it known how their necks and backs do later in life? My general point being, doing something once or for years and getting away with it, doesn't erase wear and tear.
Chuck: I'm pretty careful not to "advocate" anything, other than more awareness of actual, not muscle magazine, biomechanics. If I remember correctly, later in the presentation, I say, "if you are going to squat, be aware of these aspects" with regard to the knees, spine, etc. You may have to buy Anthony's videos to find out;)

Another general comment, if it's not clear in the video. I explain what I do and the reasons behind it. If that works for you, great. If you think it's BS or that I don't have enough muscle, "apparently the material doesn't work for you, best of luck with your training".
I also think it's perfectly valid to take the attitude "if it's not a problem, it's not a problem." I.e. if you like to squat or deadlift, and you are having no problems, by all means, continue. If at some point problems develop, the answer might be in the biomechanics. I've had a number of people rip me major holes over the years, who came back to me months later to say, whoops, I see your point.
Thanks to Anthony for providing so much video, free, I might add.

Anonymous said...

Bill D. is one of the more likable fellows out there. Regardless of what you think of his stuff (I personally think he's on to something), he's genuine and lacks the huge ego of many others out there.


Anonymous said...

Bill, this is 9:55 guy. First, I (nor anyone else) didn't say you don't have enough muscle. I don't care about anyone's yoke. I said you are weak, a condition that exercise is supposed to fix.

Also, you keep saying "biomechanics" the why psychics talk about "quantum mechanics." I'm open to actual mechanical arguments that the leg press produces less compressive and/or shear force on the spine. But you didn't even begin to address the solid mechanics of the rigid spine in either exercise. I then went elsewhere to find more and I didn't. I'm sure you do somewhere, but I don't cross paywalls without some indication of what's on the other side. Any links that go deeper into the subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Bill DeSimone said...

Anonymous 9:55:
Thanks for clearing that up.

"I don't cross paywalls" is a great line. Almost as good as "I don't feed the trolls".

Anonymous said...

Bill, you don't feed anybody that can't survive off purple kool aid.

BTW, you didn't answer Chuck's question. And you didn't backup your young Jedi who fell asleep or something during a speech by the "world's leader in biomechanics."

Chris said...

How about all the anonymous commenters give a name so that we can answer more accurately without confusion.

Chris said...

Bill did answer Chuck's queston by the way.

There is plenty more material out there in the public domain form Bill if you want to investigate further:




Also check the comments on those posts.....

Anonymous said...

Chris, this is my third comment. I think you can figure out my other two (hint: they're both on this post). I've had your blog, which is excellent btw, bookmarked long enough to see those posts. I skim all the HIT stuff because I think it's goofy, but sets/reps/programming is so individualized that it doesn't bother me in the least. However, what he's proposing in the video is a testable (to some extent) scientific hypothesis that I assume is based on a biomechanical theory. There's many much-more-established experts that make themselves available to answer questions like this out of thin-air. Here he's hocking a video while refusing to give anyone the slightest indication what's on it while obviously contradicting himself in other videos. The whole thing reeks of "muscle confusion" type nonsense.

Regarding Chuck's question, Bill answered by saying he doesn't advocate anything. Really? because I'm pretty sure in the video he said the leg press was as effective as the squat and less dangerous. If that isn't advocacy, I don't know what is. Also, Anthony understood the question and thought he remembered Bill addressing it. Then Bill dodged it. The whole thing is just bizarre.

Christian said...

Just as a general question, how would the spinal stress change as the form of the squat changes? For instance Front Squat, squatting with two dumbells, kettlebell squats, smith macing, etc.

Bill DeSimone said...

Good one. Two kinds of stress, one from the lean over, one from the vertical loading ("axial loading"). Leaning over, if you don't control your back perfectly, would pinch a disc in front, and bulge it toward the rear. This is the one that physical therapists, spine docs refer to when they advise against loading the spine in flexion. Axial loading, i.e. the weight on the shoulders, just pushes straight down on the spine. Theoretically, if there's no scoliosis or disruption in the curves, the pressure on the discs would be even.
So, fitting exercises into those two categories, I would suggest least stress to most: Nitro leg press, hip belt squat, then all the others, depending on how much lean there is, more lean = more stress.

Anonymous said...

Christian, a few points:

1) More lean doesn't necessarily mean more stress. Compare a front and back squat. The back squatters lean more because the bar is closer to the sacrum, but that closer distance may be enough to make the moment arm (horizontal distance between the bar and sacrum) shorter despite the more acute angle. Of course all of this is highly individualized based on the lifter's relative abilities in the different squats, anthropometry etc.

2) Spinal stress is a good thing (to a point) IF you can maintain your arch. The ability to resist flexion is important for everyone. It's not like all the fashionable "core" exercises don't stress the spine.

3) Unilateral squats (I assume that's what you meant by "two dumbbells") will always be low stress just because the weight is so much lower, assuming something close to good form.

4) I assume kettlebell squats are similar to goblet squats. These are basically just front squats with less weight. If you're talking about doing them one-handed like a snatch, that seems like a horrible idea.

5) The smith machine should be renamed the really expensive inverted row bar. The only reason to use one is to make up for bad form. I've heard these are the top lawsuit generator in gyms, and that would certainly make sense.

6) Dr. Hatfield (Dr. Squat) believes the safety squat is the safest, possibly because he invented it IIRC. I think Stuart McGill is also a fan. They're especially good if your shoulders are immobile or often sore/injured/at-risk because of baseball, golf, etc.

Bill DeSimone said...

1. Completely disagree. There are still moments around each individual vertabrae, and the heavier weight more than makes up for the reduced moment arms.
2. Ability to resist flexion, yes...just not with hundreds of pounds on top. The core exercises have you doing that with bodyweight.
3&4&5&6. Agree.
5. Horror stories, ie accidents causing quadriplegia, when bottom stops aren't used. If this is your only option, you have to set the bottom stops and make sure it is sturdy.

Anonymous said...

1) I don't know what you mean by "still moments around each individual verterbrae." Are you saying I should have have mentioned a specific vertebra instead of the sacrum? I don't see what that accomplishes since the ratio will be the same.

Well high bar and low bar squats have the same torque despite the different back angle and different weights. With regard to front squats, I used that as an easy visual to make a broader point. You're correct in general, but have you ever seen a weightlifter transition to powerlifting?

2) I said "up to a point." The musculature supports much of the weight, but at some point you're playing with fire because of the compression even with perfect form, which nobody has on really heavy maxes. Living up to your potential at anything involves sacrifice, and I'd argue that there's very few gym goers who will ever have to worry about crossing that line.

5) Yes. Use the bottom stops (or better yet, a power rack) and don't collar the weights. It's amazing how reckless some people are with weights on their back or above their neck.

Bill DeSimone said...

"High bar and low bar have the same torque..." no, I think that is incorrect. Any engineers out there with better explanation skills than me?
If the bar is high, more individual vertabrae will have moment arms to the weight, when the lean over happens. If the bar is low, fewer will have moment arms, but there are still axes and moments created between the bar and each vertabrae. If the weight is heavier in the low bar, more torque is placed on fewer discs.
Not like a femur, which is a single beam to the hip joint; the spine is multiple joints to the hip joint.
What do you mean by "don't collar the weights"? assume you mean on a smith. So someone else can slide them off quickly?

Dream said...

Fell asleep?... This anonymous commenter is a real dick.

Anonymous said...

"Any engineers out there with better explanation skills than me?"

My BS is in mechanical engineering.

"If the bar is high, more individual vertabrae will have moment arms to the weight"

The moment arm at the top of the thoracic is too small to be meaningful. This is why almost nobody has upper back pain.

"If the bar is low, fewer will have moment arms, but there are still axes and moments created between the bar and each vertabrae."

Well of course there's moments (and axes, huh?) around each vertebra. I don't know what your point is.

"If the weight is heavier in the low bar, more torque is placed on fewer discs."

You're just assuming a conclusion. There's isn't more torque if the shorter moment arm makes up for the weight (which it does).

"Not like a femur, which is a single beam to the hip joint; the spine is multiple joints to the hip joint."

As long as they're both static, it doesn't matter if one if is made of jello and the other of Chuck Norris. Couples in static equilibrium are what they are.

Don't collar the weights means don't put a collar on the weights. There's 10 or so stories every year about some guy dying while benching alone that could have been prevented if he had been a little lazier with the collars. Why many globos encourage this is beyond me.

Bill DeSimone said...

Then you are probably good at training machines, because you certainly don't train clients.

Anonymous said...

Bill, my comments in this thread have been in-artfully expressed. I don't have much experience in explaining basic mechanical concepts to laymen. For example, I haven't explained how an arched spine means there's zero torque on the spine itself because the discs are squishy (low Young's modulus), so if there were shear stress the spine must curved. I now understand that even self-professed experts might not be capable of understanding such basic concepts. I also should have explained that "almost nobody" meant "almost nobody who lifts weights." I'm sure that your clients have thoracic problems. This might be because you appeal to people who could buy, for one second, that the Olympic press was scrapped because it's impossible to press overhead while seeing you press behind your scapula, placing a large moment (hey, your favorite word you don't understand) on your rotator cuff.

I finally watched the video. You're comparison to a table top is beyond stupid. Have you seen a crane? They're more "like a pyramid" than the spine. If you had even a basic understanding of static mechanics, the reason would be obvious. But you don't so you think of moments as finite objects to be counted and ... axes, seriously WTF?

As to the machine stuff, you're shilling a multi-thousand dollar machine in the thread where you advocate leg pressing over squatting, and you have the nerve to say that I'm only good at training machines. Hey, I'm all about free enterprise. Leech every dollar you can off the HIT faithful, but be aware of what's going to happen when you wander outside the Amway, I mean HIT, community.

Bill DeSimone said...

I'm going to let you have the last word...after this.
It must be very gratifying sniping anonymously. Even if you were right...and the engineering faculty who reviewed this would disagree (yes, I know, you'll have some insult coming)...are you serious? You have all the answers, yet you hide behind a keyboard and don't even use a name? You don't put material of your own out? Congratulations on contributing to Chris' board. You've added a lot.
Feel free to add a final condescending speech to finish the thread off.