Monday, August 15, 2011

Maffetone on weight training

I've been a fan of Phil Maffetone for a while.  His philosophy of aerobic training is really useful and makes a lot of sense - moving around at a really easy pace so that you are buring fat not carbs.  I'd like to spice it up with some occaisional sprints, but for most people I think his overall philosophy of health as opposed to fitness is really important.

I also think he has been ahead of his time in his approach to things like stretching, shoes and diet. 

Anyway he has posted a couple of pieces recently on weight training:

Part 1
Part 2

you can go and read them yourself, but a few thoughts I had:

  • interesting how the paleo principle means different things to different folks
  • his idea of real function movement - pick things up and carry them has echos of some Dan John (The old Get Up idea:  Our mission? To teach everyone: 1. The Body is One Piece 2. There are three kinds of strength training: Putting weight overhead, Picking it off the ground & Carrying it for time or distance 3. All training is complementary)
  • the basic routine - squats and deadlifts done for low reps with no fatigue reminds me of Pavel's basic Power to the People routine or even Barry Ross, deadlift approach)
Anyway, they are interesting ideas, worth a read.


John D Wilson said...

Great post. Like you I've long been a Maffetone fan having devoured "In Fitness and In Health" maybe 20 year's ago.

I really like his approach. When I was a teenager (I'm now 71) I started weight lifting (actually bodybuilding) at Bruce Conner's gym in West Los Angeles - a lot of famous people worked out there.

I got the show muscles of a bodybuilder.

At the same time I had a small machine shop behind my parent's house. Work was easy to obtain from the active aircraft industry in 1950's Los Angeles. One of the by-products was scrap metal. I would periodically fill a small oil drum (about 30 inches high) with metal shavings from my work.

When it was full I'd call a japanese guy in the business to come pick it up free of charge.

I don't know how much the drum weighed but with all my show muscles it was a real feat to get that thing to the curb for the pickup. I had to get it down a few steps, then roll it on the rim to the curb.

When the japanese guy came (he was very short and lean, maybe 140 lbs.) he would simply tilt the drum and grab the lower rim, then rock it a few times and swing it into the back of his truck (about waist high).

Here was a Maffetone trained man.

Chad said...

Nice story above! Thanks! I have one of a gentleman in his 80's who worked at a golf course doing a hang clean and press to put baskets of golf balls over his head!

Health is not equal to fitness, or vice-versa. I've always employed the idea of fitness as being up to the individual client. "Fit" for what they want to, hike, HIT or HIIT, or simply pick up their grankids.

Interesting how Maffetone's ideas/concepts are not the crossfit method, yet both can be beneficial for the same person at different times of their life.

Stephen said...

Really interesting stuff. I have one acid test for whether I am happy with my fitness - can I still pick my kids up, hoist them on my shoulders and comfortably carry them a good distance without a) it being difficult at the time b) it causing me hip/back issues the next day. I've never seen this conceptualised as nicely as above. I find it an incredibly reliable barometer. I'm relatively good at maintaining my strength (purely by bodyweight means) but life regularly intervenes and I slip, and the difference in that simple test becomes apparent very, very quickly - and thus acts as a great wake up call to correct that slippage.