Friday, August 31, 2007

Catch Up

Just realized it's Friday and I haven't posted all week. Lots going on but very little "spare" time.

Here are some highlights:
  • Knees doing OK--definitely related to stress. Have squatted bodyweight pain free for 25 reps and done 60kg on FSQ and BSQ for multiple sets of 5 pain free, but with occasional discomfort.
  • Working with an amateur strongman--BIG--320lbs and strong. But he lacks mobility. He wanted to focus on KB lifting, but he's not weak, he just has to get out of his own way. Then he'll be able to express his strength.
  • "Diet:" Been using Biotest Surge post-workout. Works great. Leaning out already this week.
  • Getting bored with my workout plan. Screwing around last night I clean and push pressed my 130lbs KB like it was the 106. Thought about the 145 but decided I'd be better off not doing it.
  • Mobility: Discovering some severe ankle mobility deficiency, especially position specific--hip and knee flexion. Squatting anyone? Hmm...
  • Working on some online business ideas. Also came up with an outstanding "hard" business idea that I've bounced off a couple of people who thought it was awesome. It would be great if I could implement that but not really "work" it.
  • Constantly amazed with the human body and how smart it is: Worked with an RKC earlier this week who had medial epicondylitis (tennis elbow). It was a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale. He had done a lot of myofascial release and thumper work on the recommedation of a mutual friend. 60 minutes later--no pain. Never touched the elbow or the forearm or the upper arm.

That's all for now.


Blogger Tim Anderson said...

Geoff, that RKC you trained just got his R-phase DVD and manual tonight. Been practicing. Also, he did 100 snatches today. Admittedly a little too much, but at the time I couldn't help it. It just felt so good. Little soar later but I think I can fix that!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Outstanding, Tim! Just remember you have some habits/patterns to break. The best way to do that is to introduce new/positive patterns/movements and then add load. I totally understand the "couldn't help it" thing...

7:41 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

geoff, what is the z approach to a client that has limited dorsi flexion, say 5 degree or so of the 15 that is considered normal? No pain but limite ROM. will the drills themselves create full and normal ROM without any stretching whatsoever?
what about the same for limited hamstring/hip flexibility?

8:30 PM  
Blogger jake heke said...

Im Finish osteopath. Treating peoples for 18 years. Using mobilization too.I use kettlebells and z-health and Iam getting HEALT and fit.Even my old traumas melted.In patient, try allways treat cause ,not efect( in acute cases sometimes you have to). Find it, fix it, leave it alone. Remember that local strain makes distal pain.

3:50 AM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Rif, it is quite common to find individuals with limited/abnormal ROMs throughout the body. I was one of them--negative IR in both hips. I now have IR, and normal IR at that. And yes, the drills CAN create full and normal ROM with no stretching whatsoever. HOWEVER, the drills must be repeated to cement new movement patterns and destroy old ones. I have personally seen a client get full ankle dorsiflexion from a lack of 15-20 degrees from performing neck and hand mobility work. What does this mean? It means you have to know what questions to ask the body, and then how to interpret the answers. The CNS is so fast, many changes are literally instantaneous when you do. It saves a lot of time, energy, pain, and frustration.

I think Jake said it best, "treat the cause, not the effect." Z allows you to address those causes. Thanks for your great input, Jake.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

thanks geoff, so what you're saying is that z drill can create normal ROM where none existed before? a person with "short" hamstrings or limited shoulder flexion( tight lats) can get full ROM with the drill and no stretching? that is pretty amazing.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

You got it, Rif--that's exactly what I'm saying. Z is "just" a complete, but ever-evolving/adapting SYSTEM designed to elicit performance gains from the human body based on the body's ingrained potential. It is injury and "negative" adaptation which prevents us from expressing our fullest potential.

The most fortunate thing about Z in my opinion is that Dr. Cobb is the system's developer. It is a reflection of his relentless curiosity, passion, and study of the human body that makes the system so great. He has studied just about every "system" out "there" and has found the pros and cons for each and has adapted them to/grafted them into the Z-Health system, obviously with original work of his own based on his athletic and clinical experiences.

Some people may argue if Z is "worth it"--worth the price of "admittance" to the "secret club" when [supposedly] all the information is readily available to everyone in the form of books, research abstracts, etc. I would simply reply by asking how much time does an individual have to find the information, study it, experiment with it, and then apply his interpretation of the results? If you have that much time then Z may not be worth it for you. However, you couldn't ever duplicate Dr. Cobb's athletic and clinical experiences which were the catalyst to the creation of the system. So it is highly doubtful you could arrive at the exact same conclusions. So if you do not/cannot and want to "fast-track" your results, then you would have to apply the "time is money" argument/logic and pony up the cash so-to-speak.

So, getting back to your original comment, the symptoms you presented are all at a base level, neurological. Here's the neat thing about Z: It teaches you to truly view the body as a whole interdependent interconnected system. So you are able to "see" that tight lats may have nothing to do with latissimus dorsi tissue itself but perhaps something else such as an immobile foot, hip, hand, etc...

The more you study the system, and therefore the body as a system, the easier it is to "see" and the faster your results.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Brett Jones said...

Rif and Geoff,
A restricted motion is a programming problem and rarely a "length" problem. Just as the toe touch example from my level 2 presentation - It isn't tight hamstrings - it is a bad motor program/joint issue- neurosystem is king.
Z - should be fun.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

thanks geoff,it will be great to get bretts feedback,as well as John's when they get back.
So geoff what do you feel about massage and massage techniques to deal with DOMS and just high volume of work and the concommittant muscle tension?where does z stand on that?

2:16 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

so brett, is the assumption that if the neurological system is working properly people would be defacto in musculoskeltal balance and have 'normal' motor patterns and ROMs?
and if training were to create 'issues' in these patterns that more 'patterning'( for lack of a better term) would be the correct response, not a myo fascial one.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Frankie Faires said...


As you well know but everyone - Z trainers - included - often forget - is that there is NO way to ONLY access the NS. With movement and touch, you are accessing and altering ALL systems as all systems are interdependent and cooperative.

Bottlenecks can be in any system and can be addressed by movement or touch. The operative questions is which system or systems do I focus on to have the most leverage over the entire body?

Quite often, it is the governing system (NS) that has the most leverage...sometimes it isn't.

Fascial bottlenecks while affected by "NS" work, might be better addressed through fascial sensations in movement (as opposed to joint) or fascial manipulation through touch.

Z is a set of body principles. The most accessible approach is to apply these principles to movement. There are other applications. (Think Yoda talking about Leia in ESB)

3:30 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

got ya frankie, but how does z feel about the various modalities of massage to decrease surface muscle tension from heavy loading( my tour de france cyclist example)?

9:05 AM  
Blogger Frankie Faires said...

As long as the massage techniques do not put the person in discomfort, I don't see an issue.

For my own body, I do Z and manual work - why?

Fascia adapts slower than the NS. If I can propogate the fascial adaptation with touch, I have made the systemic adaptation that much mor efficient.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Rif--Frankie beat me to it. As long as that stuff doesn't cause pain/discomfort, it's fine. I've found that the DJM for most of my clients and even myself, works the majority of the time.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...


so if the pain reaction to the roller is a negative then why does the pain decrease each time I use it to the point where it doesnt create any pain at all in a short time? and the issues that the tight myofascia was causing get better?

2:59 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Rif, because 1) you have the pain tolerance of a martyr and 2) the patience of a saint. And, yes, the fascial work has some value--remember, the body adapts to everything. So, yours is obviously adapting to the use of the foam roller. Not only that, you are finally doing some sort of "regenerative" work that you obviously haven't done in the past--your powerlifting days, etc.

Here's the thing, dude: you can't possibly understand enough Z from the outside looking in. Heck, I've been staring at the world from inside Z for the last 18 mos. and I feel like I barely understand it sometimes. If you like the foam roller, keep using it. If you're getting results, keep using it. Cause it's better than heavy loading and doing nothing in your case. But here's the bottom line: pain invokes the startle reflex which in turn causes excessive tension. This tightens all your flexors and adductors (remember your tonic and phasic presentation...). So theoretically, you could really be chasing your tail with the foam roller--releasing the tension from one "set" of flexors and loading tension in another...

We'll have to do some work with Z when I see you the last week of this month...

3:33 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...


I understand that i can't 'grok' it from the outside in, I just like data and information especially when deciding to take on something fairly 'large' in scope.
I think more data that says what is is and what it isnt is a good thing.just more lay discussion. Too much 'take the course and see' isnt good for my approach.

see part of what you said I can't agree with
"pain invokes the startle reflex which in turn causes excessive tension. This tightens all your flexors and adductors "

well yes and no for me.first off what I interpret as 'pain' is highly variable.and I've found that some pain, as that on the roller reduces tension, not increases it.I have some flexors that are tight( hammies calves) and some that are not (psoas,rectus sterno cledio, etc)
so right away that doesnt make sense to me.
as I've released tension on one set of flexors( hammies) it seems to release others.

we'll do some work when you get here. I DO have an open mind to this dude, I really do.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Rif, I've got some killer demos for you. And yes, open one set of flexors you can open others: relax RF and increase length in hams. group for sure. There's only so much I can put on paper/blog. The rest has gotta be "felt."

9:27 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

thanks, looking forwards to it.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Mike T Nelson said...

Great discussion!

Just to add to the data, I do shoulder ROM on virtually everyone I see since many do not have a complete ROM or at best it is very tight near the top.

A vast majority of the time, their shoulder ROM is almost normal, or at min it is improved at the end of one session (typical time is 1 hour) I will actually start recording this going forward also.

In virtually all of these cases, I never touch their shoulder or do much work with it. Behold the power of the nervous system.

If you have "tight" hamstrings, what do you think is causing it? Some message in the NS is telling it to be tight for many reasons. As Frankie said, there are other components too, but many times some Z will allow the nervous system (and structure) to get back to a better state.

I will have a blog on foam rollers coming up soon, but as stated before you need to find the CAUSE and treat that.

Rock on
Mike N

10:49 PM  

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