Monday, August 20, 2012

Train smart, and hard and then recover.

The title of this post is a quote from a post on James Fisher's blog where he is reporting on a recent article that he has had published:

A randomized trial to consider the effect of Romanian deadlift exercise on the development of lumbar extension strength

There are some very interesting implications to the study:

  • Deadlifts are not a lower back exercise....but strengthening the lower back can improve the deadlift
  • Once a week training is enough for most major muscle groups
  • If you want a stronger lumbar extension....then train lumbar extension, not deadlifts


Anonymous said...

Does it also call into question the utility of a loaded static contraction, which the lumbar extensors perform in the romanian deadlift, for strengthening muscles through its associated joints range of motion?

Frankwa said...

I think the conclusion is "don't neglect dynamic core exercises as their effect on motor control is important".

BTW 1: pretty good weights for RDL!

BTW 2: it would be nice to know if the "male trained subject" were already using DL (or even squat) and lumbar extension in the training.

JamesSteeleII said...


To my knowledge all the trained subjects were recruited on the basis that they could demonstrate adequate RDL technique and thus had performed it before. This was in order to try to mitigate learning effect and skill development as much as possible. Whether they were using it as a regular exercise in their training I don't know. If they were then the increases are even more impressive.

I can however confirm that the participants were not training using the MedX Lumbar Extension Machine nor had they ever been training using it prior to the study.

nada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

So he says that he prefers resistance machines over free weights?It also indicates that exercises specific to muscle groups might be better than general exercises. This kind of goes in the face of everything I know? I thought general exercises/free weights were what you should be aiming for. Thoughts?

nada said...

Interesting post, Chris.
Slightly off topic ,this is regarding TSC for legs.
If you have access to a staircase ,the space below it could be used to do TSC for legs. With your back against the backside of the stairs - provided it's not shaped like inverted steps- one could perform TSC for quads with feet on floor of course.
If it is shaped like inverted stairs behind the staircase, a plain surface with cushioning could be fixed to it.
One could move forward or backward to attain 90 degree knee position to get the maximum moment arm for the quads.
But cannot change hip angle here,since that would depend on the angle of staircase slope to the floor. Steeper the staircase, larger the angle I guess.

Hope I made some sense.
If I did, please let me know what you think.
Also, do you think an increase in degree of hip flexion would have any benefit while doing TSC for legs this way?


Chris said...


As I've got older I have developed my own thinking. you need to develop strength safely and then learn the appropriate skills to apply it. Safe exercise can well mean the use of decent machines and sometimes even isolation exercises. "Functional" training is a mistaken concept because skills do not transfer. Free weights have value but things are not always as simple as we think. Keep it safe is key to me now

Chris said...


Thanks - I see what you mean. I would have to think re hip flexion.