Happy 2021! Welcome to the InForm Fitness Podcast series REWIND, a listen back to the classic interviews we’ve had with the high intensity gurus & master trainers. Adam kicks it off with biomechanics expert Bill DeSimone. In part 1 of 4, Bill explains all about being “Joint Friendly”.
Now listened to in 100 countries, The InForm Fitness Podcast with Adam Zickerman is a presentation of InForm Fitness Studios, specializing in safe, efficient, High Intensity strength training.
Adam discusses the latest findings in the areas of exercise, nutrition and recovery with leading experts and scientists. We aim to debunk the popular misconceptions and urban myths that are so prevalent in the fields of health and fitness and to replace those sacred cows with scientific-based, up-to-the-minute information on a variety of subjects. The topics covered include exercise protocols and techniques, nutrition, sleep, recovery, the role of genetics in the response to exercise, and much more.
The inform fitness podcast with Adam Zickerman is a presentation of inform fitness studios specializing in safe, efficient, personal high intensity strength training, and each episode Adam discusses the latest findings in the areas of exercise nutrition and recovery, the three pillars of his New York Times best selling book, The Power of 10. He aims to debunk the popular misconceptions and urban myths that are so prevalent in the fields of health and fitness. And with the opinions of leading experts and scientists, you'll hear scientific based up to the minute information on a variety of subjects. We cover the exercise protocols and techniques of Adoms 20 minute once a week workout, as well as sleep recovery, nutrition, the role of genetics in the response to exercise, and much more.
Greetings everyone, Adam here. Welcome to our first Inform Fitness Podcast Rewind, it's a listen back to the classic interviews that we've had with high intensity gurus, scientists, and master trainers. Names like Martin Gibala, Doug Brignole, Simon Shawcross, Ryan Hall, Dr. Doug McGuff. And of course, Gary Taubes. This is part one of four with author, personal trainer and biomechanics expert, Bill De Simone. In 2012. Bill penned the book congruent exercise, how to make weight training easier on your joints. Bill is well known for his approach to weightlifting which focuses on correct biomechanics to build strength without undue collateral damage to the connective tissue and the rest of the body. So here's part one, where Bill will explain all about being joint friendly.
Let's explain first and foremost, you wrote something called moment arm exercise. Yeah, so the name itself shows you how technical it probably is inside. Right. So moment am is a very technical term, very specific term in physics, but then you now you're calling a joint friendly exercise. And you will recall that also congruent exercise at 1.0, all synonymous with each other. So please explain what is joint friendly, exercise or fitness
Bill DeSimone 2:14
Its based more on anatomy and biomechanics than sports performance. Unlike, you know, a lot of the fitness fads that the attitude and the verbiage comes out of say, you know, football practice or a competitive sport, what I'm doing is I'm filtering all my exercise instruction through the anatomy and biomechanics books, to try to avoid the vulnerable, putting the joints in vulnerable positions. And that's so complicated, which is why I struggled so much to make it clear. So I started with moment arm exercise. And then I wrote congruent exercise, which was a little broader. But obviously, the title still requires some explanation. Now, as it happened, in my personal training in the studio, I would use all this stuff, but I wouldn't explain it because I was only dealing with clients, I wasn't dealing with peers. Since it's a private studio, not a big gym, I don't have to explain the differences between what I'm doing and what somebody else is doing. But in effect, I do. I've been doing this every day for 15 years
You know, I have to say, when you say that, that you didn't explain to clients, I actually use this information as a selling point, I actually explain to my clients, why we're doing it this way, as opposed to the conventional way, because this is joint friendly. I don't get too technical, necessarily, but I let them know there is a difference of why we're doing it this way versus the conventional way. So they understand that we actually are cut above everybody else and how we apply exercise so they don't feel you know, they feel very secure in the fact that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing but
Bill DeSimone 3:47
but you know, what I do is Oh, is any any signage, I have business card, website, Facebook presence, all lays out joint friendly and defines it and kind of explains itself, I would say most of the clients I have aren't coming from being heavily engaged in another form of fitness. There are people who started and drop out of programs or, you know, they joined a health club in January in a drop out. It's not like I'm getting somebody who is like really intensely into CrossFit or intensely into
Zumba or bodybuilding. And now they're banged up, and now they need to do something different. The joint friendly phrasing is what connects me with people that need that. I just find they don't need to. They don't need a technical explanation as to why we're not over stretching the joint capsule in the shoulder.
Bill DeSimone 4:37
why we're not getting that extra range of motion on the benchpress because because again, there's nobody they haven't seen anybody doing otherwise. So I don't have to explain it this one.
Yeah, but they might have had experience doing it themselves. It just take an overhead press for example. Having your arms externally rotated and abducted versus having him in front of you. Yeah, there's an easy explanation right to a client
Why we won't do one versus the other.
Bill DeSimone 5:02
But I have to say, I do not get people who even know what behind the neck presses now in Manhattan was a little different, you know, I guess more dense.
So so for this conversation, let's assume some people know what an overhead press Okay, they they understand in a way what the conventional is, but we can kind of get into it what is conventional, what's not conventional? So as join friendly, so how was it join friendly? What are you actually doing to make it joint friendly?
Bill DeSimone 5:23
Well, the short answer is I use a lot less range of motion than we got accustomed to, when we used to use an extreme range of motion. You know, if bodybuilders in the 60s were doing pumping motions, and then you want to expand that range of motion, for good reason. And then that gets bastardized. And now we take more of a range of motion, and we turn to an extreme range of motion. Just because going from partial motions to a normal range of motion was good doesn't make a normal ratio range of motion to an extreme ratio, range of motion better.
So what's what's what's wrong with extreme range of motion? Well, because you want to, they'll say that you want to improve flexibility.
Bill DeSimone 6:04
So the hit guys who would say you got to improve flexibility by using by little guys means the high intensity training sector of our business said, the line about, you're going to use the extreme range of motion with a weight training exercise to increase flexibility. Well, first of all, either flexibility is important or it's not. And that's when those things were hit has a little bit of an inconsistency. And they'll argue that it's not important than analog you but you can get it with the weights. That's number one. Number two, a lot of the joint positions that machines and conventional three would exercise put us in or can put us in a very vulnerable to the joints. And if you go to an anatomy and biomechanics textbook, that is painfully obvious what those vulnerable positions are. And just because we walk into a gym or a studio and call it call it exercise instead of manual labor, or instead of, instead of, instead of calling it submission, wrestling, and putting our joints or an opponent's joints in an externally rotated abducting extended position, we call it a pec fly. It's still the same shoulder. It's still a vulnerable position, whether it's a pec fly, stretching your back there, or a jujitsu guy putting you in a paintbrush. And the feedback I've gotten from experience, guys, like when that or guys we know personally, even McGuff said that I never associated the joint stuff with the exercise stuff.
Let's talk about these vulnerabilities. They told me on the extremes arranged into motion, right, so you have to understand a bit about muscle anatomy to understand what we mean by the dangers of these extreme ranges of motion, right? I mean, so muscles are weaker in certain positions. And they're stronger in other positions, maybe talk about that, because that's where you start getting into why we do what we do like understanding that muscles don't generate the same amount of force through a range of motion, they have different torque potentials.
Bill DeSimone 7:52
The easiest way to show it to a client who may not understand what muscle torque is, is to have them lock out in an exercise. Say, Let's take the safe exercise of barbell curl. We're clearly if you allow your elbows to come forward and be vertically under the weight at the top of the reputation. Clearly, all of a sudden the efforts gone. There's no There's no resistance. But if you pull it, let your elbows drop back to rib height. If you pin your elbows to your sides through the whole curl, now all of a sudden you f it feels even seven feeling like instead of having effort and then a lockout letter. Now it just feels like effort
or chest press where your arms your your elbows are straight and the weight just sitting on those elbows, you're not really working too hard there.
Bill DeSimone 8:39
Same thing, right? If you have a lockout, what's easy to demonstrate is when the resistance torque that the machine or exercise provides doesn't match your muscle torque. So if your muscle torque pattern changes in the course of a movement, if you feel a lockout or a sticking point, then it's not aligned. If all you feel is effort, now it matches pretty evenly. Now Now here's the thing, all that really means and part of why I got away from moment arm, all that really means is that that sets going to be very efficient. So like for instance, the whole length of the repetition you're working, it's not like you work and then lock out and rest. Well, that means it's gonna be a very efficient set, you can change the muscle torque curve. So if you were to just to do some kind of weird angled exercise, you wouldn't get stronger in that angle, all you would do is use a relatively lower weight, like a Scott bench curl, nobody curls more than standard curl. You can't change the muscle torque curve, you might change the angle, which means the amount of weight in your hand has to change to accommodate the different torque at that joint angle. But you're not changing where you're strongest. If you could, you would never know you had a bad camp. If your muscle torque pattern could change with a good cam. It would also change into the bed cam. And then you would never know. But take a dumbbell sideraise. Everybody on the planet knows it's hard as when your arms are horizontal, your muscle torque curve can never change to accommodate what the resistance is asking. Now, if you go from a machine side raise, like where the those two curves match, that set feels harder because you don't have the break. Okay, so you do a set of side raises with dumbbells to failure. If it feels, if it's a difficulty level, attend a force at a 10. And then you go to a machine side raise and go to failure. It's like a 10. Because you didn't have that break built into into the actual rep when it comes to so that's so the moment arms knowing knowing how to match the resistance required by the exercise and the muscle torque expressed by your limbs. That makes for a more efficient exercise.
In terms of safety, it's all about knowing what the vulnerable positions of the joints are and cutting the exercise short so that you're not loading the joint into an impingement or into like an overstretch position.
Okay, well that was part one of Bill DeSimone's interview on theInform fitness podcast rewind. Now coming up in part two, Bill and I will continue to discuss the importance of using safe limited ranges of motion during exercise. There are some athletes that while they think they should because their sport brings them to the limits of their range of motion, that they should be training to the limits of their range of motion. We're going to discuss if that's true or not.
This has been the Inform fitness podcast with Adam Zickerman for over 20 years infor fitness has been providing clients of all ages with customized personal training, designed to build strength fast, and now Adam and his staff would be delighted to train you virtually. Just visit informfitness.com for testimonials, blogs and videos on the three pillars exercise nutrition and recovery.