Monday, September 24, 2007

Gotta Watch That Low Ceiling On the Snatch!

(And the trophy case!)

Trained with Rif today over at his place. His garage gym is smaller than I remembered it and it has a very low ceiling. It's a sharp contrast to the 20+ foot ceilings of my warehouse. This changed my snatch a little: I was cutting my pull and throwing my head. But I still had a good training session. He has an old York bar which reminded me of Rutgers and the bars I had in the strength room--rust and all. And he has the old York training bumpers--about 8" in width, like tires. Man, those bring back great memories!

My wife actually helped Rif out with his Z more than I did: I had a long training session and they both had short ones. She was in her element--interupting me left and right--it was great to see her so alive. Normally she would've deferred to me. I was glad she didn't. She was busting Rif's chops pretty good too. Anyway, Rif said his right shoulder felt the best to date on the snatches. He performed hip circles on the same side. That was actually for his left shoulder--SC joint but it helped his right shoulder too.

Wednesday will probably be a shorter training session for me and a longer one for him, so we'll get more Z in together. It's fun watching him "get it." He's damn smart and very intuitive with his body and his training despite being so beat up. Z is right up his alley.

A. Power Snatch, Above Knee: 60kg/3 x2; 70kg/3; 80kg/2 x7; 90/2, 90/1 + X, 90kg/2; 100kg/2 x2.
Banged my head on Rif's trophy case on the second rep of the second set of snatches with 90kg. I was lifting a little too close...

B. Overhead Squat: 60kg/5 x 5 sets. All felt awkward, but relatively discomfort free.

C. Press: 60kg/5 x2; 70kg/5; 80kg/5

Felt tired after the snatches so took the OSQs light. Shoulders tightened up after the snatches so did some hip work and some camshafts in a side lunge. Presses felt good.

Gotta run--being rude to my extended family and got to finish the details for my trip to LA tomorrow.

16 Comments:

Blogger Frankie Faires said...

There is not a more beautiful sight than a self limiting belief system being destroyed.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Anthony Springman said...

Nice work Geoff. Great vid on Rif's site of your 100kg HPS. Have fun at Venice Beach.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Sara Cheatham M.S., RKC II & Team Leader, Z-Health R-Phase said...

I messaged Rif first thing about him needing to attend Z. I told him I'm crashing his pad if they go up his way for I phase! :p Great seeing you for a minute here and there last week. thanks for letting us throw your bells around, too!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

hey hey hey frankie,I was still stretching and foam rollering this morning! I try not to throw things out but incorporate them in.Many paths to the same goal.

geoff, it was great having you at the gym and working with you and courtney. so much to learn. the work she did with my right metacarpal for my right shoulder was surreal. still trying to figure out how to do that myself during the front raise. totally removed the biceps impingement.
been playing around as well with different moves and their effect on the shoulder.
see you wednesday for more fun.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Frankie Faires said...

Rif,

Maybe that wasn't the self limiting belief system I was referring to....

Adhesions, scar tissue and fascial issues often need to be addressed in ways other than R-Phase.

That doesn't mean that I recommend static stretching and spending time on a foam roller.

My bet is you'll find a more effective and efficient way of addressing your tissue issues...maybe not at light speed, though.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

Frankie,

sorry if that wasnt directed to me.It wasnt clear what other self limiting system it might have referred to.
one of the things that bug me is when people who have not had serious joint injuries infer what will or won't work with that serious injury.
My knee has been destroyed for 32 years and although I havent helped things training so hard on it( although I WAS following the Dr's advice 'get the muscles around the knee as strong as possible to take up the slack of the destroyed joint')I do what works so I can walk.
being a slave to theory just doesnt work for me anymore, no matter what the theory is. I HAVE to adjust for what allows me to walk and get out of pain. I really dont care what the theory says as long as it works.
when you have high tension in the muscles and hypermobile joints things just 'rattle' around alot and even moving things in the 'right' way can put things out.
I like stretching and my yoga poses and to me isnt a contadiction to what I see as Z.It's another exercise/movement system and is for more than just lengthening muscles.
Its another way of getting into balance and utilizing the body.
I might find another way of addressing this messed up joint although so far no one I've talked to with Z stuff has any really 'fast' things that have worked for the knee and calves.
good stuff to be sure but when my IT band and posterior tib locks up its the thumper and roller and downward dog. Why, cause I know they work.
Perhaps I will figure it out Z style at some point( geoff and i worked on it for quite some time monday to no avail) but I should have a new knee by then,lol.

its the same problem I have with people who look at Elite athletes who are setting records and say "if only they did it right they could be so much better'. I find that arrogant.
Many many record holders do very weird things with their personal style that works only for them. Inferring they could be better if they were 'fixed' is naive,imho. They are the best because they are doing things seriously right.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Frankie Faires said...

Mark,

To clarify my original statement, I was referring to the disbelief many people have to shed when practicing Z - how could this little movement make such a big difference? I'm sure you have experienced that.

It would be really stupid to stop what is getting you out of pain or improving the quality of your movement....and you aren't letting your practices get in the way of being open to other practices.

If the structure is permanently changed - the rules are going to change, too. This may take some thinking outside the box - even if that box is Z. Sometimes only Eric can do that. Face it bud, you are a hard case.

As to your last line of argument, let me offer this - I think it only makes sense to change the best of the best's training IF you can comprehend what it is that is allowing that person to set PR's. I guarantee you it isn't ALL their training. If you can understand the catalyst, you can make the catalyst better.

I've taken way too many people out of pain and instantly improved performance to ignore how everyone has the potential to be better than what they are. It isn't arrogance. It is experience.

There are problems in Randy Couture's movement. There are problems in Roger Federer's movement. I could keep going but I generally only watch Tennis and MMA.

For many, performance enhancement is as simple as cleaning up motor patterns. Everyone could use a little work on that.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

frankie,

thanks for claryifying your statement. I agree as well that it takes thinking outside the box when a joint structure is permantly changed; that is exactly what I feel I have been doing for many years, especially the last 7 since I really hit the wall,physically. and that is what has allowed me to regain so much mobility and decrease pain.
it's general statements about how z or any other modality is " the one true way" and all others are 'wrong' that get me.
everything has it use in it's proper place and time ,imo.

as far as the elite, I agree that everyone can improve their motor habits to a certain degree or another but saying that elite performers could be even better if they changed their unique way of( fill in the blank, squatting, pulling etc) when that is not known is a bit disingenuous imo.
unless this is regularly done it is very hard to extrapolate. I am refering to elite and record holders in this case.
I would be loateh to mess with ferers movemements, at least as long as he is winning. wouldnt want to be the one responsible for messing his streak up and it's going to be hard to improve it.
gotta jet, more later.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Franz Snideman said...

Yikes..this is getting good!

Rif, Frankie,

there are benefits to almost any type of movement therapy system. I think when people get so dogmatic about one particular system that often they tend to get arrogant and put down other systems. Z is great. Foam rollers are great! Neuromuscular therapy is great. Feldenkrais is great. Alexander technique is great.

Rather than looking at the differences between them, perhaps we should find underlying commonalities that link effective therapies together. I have used Z to completely fix people in one session where in other cases 10 session did nothing. That is where having many tools in your toolbox is the key.

How sad it would be if everyone only did Z health, of everyone only did Feldenkrais.

My thinking is that there are certain people who will "GET IT" and really understand the complexities of Z and be able to help people better. Other people will not so easily "GET IT" or be good at teaching it and those people may be better off using a different modality. Not every system will be a "glove like fit" for individuals which is great because there are many effective "systems" and therapies out there.

I say if you like Z and are getting results with people, AMEN! Then you have found something that will benefit people. If you are good at NMT and get people results, AWESOME!

I have been in this industry long enough to know you must keep an opened mind and continue to learn. I have also learned that there is not HOLY GRAIL and no MAGIC BULLET. It is not so black or white as getting someone healthy requires such a comprehensive look into other areas, nutrition, mental thoughts, emotional health and spiritual health.

Either way, it is nice to be able to discuss these things and progress the industry forward.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Frankie Faires said...

Franz
To your comments.

"there are benefits to almost any type of movement therapy system."

--uh, yeah.


"Z is great. Foam rollers are great! Neuromuscular therapy is great. Feldenkrais is great. Alexander technique is great."

--No. There are PARTS of all of these systems that are great - except maybe for foam rollers ;> - systems, as a whole, are generally incomplete.


"Rather than looking at the differences between them, perhaps we should find underlying commonalities that link effective therapies together. I have used Z to completely fix people in one session where in other cases 10 session did nothing. That is where having many tools in your toolbox is the key."

--I have never really liked the "tools in the toolbox" metaphor. It connotes a trial and error approach. Trial and error ensues when someone doesn't understand the nature of the issue they are dealing with. Education should be "tooled" towards conceptual based learning with multiple applications. Unfortunately, most us learn a bunch of applications/techniques without learning the foundational concepts.

--The commonality in all of these is simply one thing - THE HUMAN BODY. The more the system is congruent with the workings of the body, the better the system will work.


"I think when people get so dogmatic about one particular system that often they tend to get arrogant and put down other systems."

--Sure...but let's face it some systems are better than others.

"How sad it would be if everyone only did Z health, of everyone only did Feldenkrais."

--I agree. If a system isn't built to evolve, the only way to continue education is outside of the system.


"My thinking is that there are certain people who will "GET IT" and really understand the complexities of Z and be able to help people better. Other people will not so easily "GET IT" or be good at teaching it and those people may be better off using a different modality. Not every system will be a "glove like fit" for individuals which is great because there are many effective "systems" and therapies out there."

--hmm. Not sure how to respond to this. I think it is incumbent upon every one of us to get over our own BS to find the best approach - not for our own personality - but for the human bodies we work on.


"I say if you like Z and are getting results with people, AMEN! Then you have found something that will benefit people. If you are good at NMT and get people results, AWESOME!"

--Hard to argue with results. Crazy not to try to get better ones.


"I have been in this industry long enough to know you must keep an opened mind and continue to learn. I have also learned that there is not HOLY GRAIL and no MAGIC BULLET. It is not so black or white as getting someone healthy requires such a comprehensive look into other areas, nutrition, mental thoughts, emotional health and spiritual health."

--The only MAGIC resides within the body. A comprehensive approach includes leveraging the body from a particular system (or systems - fascial, neurological, biochemical, etc.)


"Either way, it is nice to be able to discuss these things and progress the industry forward."

--Discussions are only fun when there is some new data or a new way to look at the same data. Otherwise, it gets really tedious really fast.

Franz, I have seen you write something very similar to this before...but nothing with this is resonating with me. Is it that we have dissonant belief systems or is there a miscommunication?

I think if we focused our collective cognitive efforts on the question,
"HOW DOES THE BODY REALLY WORK?"
we would all be better off - God knows our clients would be.

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOT Z
If an R-Phase trainer were to go to one of Dr. Cobb's "hard case" sessions, it would be unrecognizable.

"What is this - this isn't Z?"

Z is just a name. What makes Eric (or any therapist effective) is that he puts the human body above all techniques.

He is addressing the human body NOT implementing a technique. Eric applies elements of chiropractice, aplpied kinesiology, craniosacral, traditional chinese medicine, bodywork (energetic work), nutrition, supplementation, western medicine, movement re-education, joint mobility, active fascial work, tissue stretching....the list goes on.

Eric didn't create hardly any of the techniques he uses. He figured out how to make them better because he has educated himself to the WHY of things. There is no end to the WHAT of techniques.

I want to go to the school where there is no sacred technique, no sacred system. The only thing that is approached as sacred is the body. Everything serves the body. Z is about learning more about the body.

In my experience with the Z SYSTEM (I am really starting to hate the word),

R-Phase practice
takes 70-75% of people out of pain

I-Phase practice
takes another 10-15%

S-Phase practice
takes another 5%

T-Phase practice (that I know of)
takes another 5%

Somewhere in there, there are people that Dr. Cobb cannot help because of the nature of their issues.

While I have a rare neurology, my education doesn't rival anyone posting here and my percentages of pain relief are over 90% of the people I "treat." There are other Z trainers with that success rate, as well.

That has occurred because of my application of the CONCEPTS and techniques I hace been taught.

For me - what it comes down to is-
There is just a much better way to learn than to collect certs or systems of techniques.

Instead -
Understand the human body concepts from any source. Innovate existing techniques and create new ones.

Franz - am I saying anything new here? I hate to be boring and repeat myself.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Franz Snideman said...

Frankie,

Amen. I think I to am getting tired of hearing about the Z-Health system, Z this...Z that........Z cures cancer ..........Z for president?

No..really! You are right. Z is just a term that Eric Cobb chose for his business,period. But that is the name and that is what we must call it for now if we are to agree that we are talking about the same subject matter.

Frankie, I guess what bothers me about Z is not really Z, but the attitude and tone of some of the Z practioners. I have nothing, abosoutely NOTHING bad to say about any of the Z practioners I have met as human beings, they are all good people, but some of the things they say and write about sounds like psycho babble to me. Foam Roller are not effective? Talk to many of my clients and ask them if foam rollers are not effective! Again, I guess it's some of the blanket statements that have rubbed me the wrong way because from my experience many of the things, like foam rollers, soft tissue work, static stretching, have been the only thing that have worked. So am I supposed to believe some personal trainers who took a Z-health seminar that suddenly all of the things I have been doing effectively for years are not worth while?


What we do agree upon is that we must treat the body, the person, with whatever is appropriate and going to get them the fastest results, period.

Like you said Frankie, "Z health is a collection" of other therapies..............Eric applies elements of chiropractice, aplpied kinesiology, craniosacral, traditional chinese medicine, bodywork (energetic work), nutrition, supplementation, western medicine, movement re-education, joint mobility, active fascial work, tissue stretching....the list goes on."

So in essence, Z is really Eric Cobb. A brilliant and talented therapist that is teaching others what has worked for him. Z is a collection of other therapies. So how could applying those other systems in therapy be wrong, yet under the guidance of a Z practioner it's okay. It's the mindset that bothers me.

If you truly believe in the effectiveness and validity in Z you have the right to evangelize others all you want... I am not hear to stop you.

I use Z (r-phase to be specific)and I like it. However I have found that it is not always the most productive use of my time with clients. So rather than spin my wheels hoping Z is the answer for everyone, I use NMT, ART, Muscle energy techniques, PNF Stretching, foam rollers and more.

Again, this is not a personal attack on Z practioners, it is a rebuttal to blanket generalizations that other modalities are not effective, even though many of them serve as the foundation for Z-health.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Hi Guys.
Forgive me if I may be saying something that is rather obvious or redundant from a past discussion. . .
I'd just like to comment on the discussion regarding use of other modalities within Z. Simply put - Dr. Cobb teaches Z as a system based on known principles of neurophysiology which then allows application of any technique if those principles are understood and respected. He has a great way of simplifying the complex so that these principles can be immediately applied within the context of a living human being. Because Z is in essence a framework - it does sometimes appear to be a collection of various modalities/techniques - but the difference lies in the goals/precision/awareness as the said technique is utilized.

Hope that helps the discussion a bit :)

6:55 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

good post franz, I agree.I dont think Z wants to come across as the only "one true way". that will put off people rather than bring them in.but its easy to feel that way when you think you have found a "truth". and it might be so. but as you said, z is a collection of many methods, concepts and ideas that came before. respect to what came before is important, I think.

z requires a lot of concentration and body conciousness just to begin and not all have that, and, like you said its not the best way for all to spend their time in the training hall. I just breaking into this stuff and I like it and so do my clients but one has to be careful with "totality" statements that not only proclaim the superiority of a specific method but the inferiority of everything else.
there is room for lots of things in my toolbox and I do like that concept. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.even if it's the biggest hammer in town.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Mike T Nelson said...

Very interesting comments!

I think that a whole "system" (as much as that word is getting overused) based on respecting the neurophysiology of the body is what makes Z so different.

There are many effective tools out there and many effective trainers/therapists, etc that get results. I think the keys are to understand WHY it worked and have a sound way (gait assessment, pain reduction etc) to assess what worked. Without those two things, it becomes more of an educated trial and error--which can work but it is not very efficient.

Rock on
Mike N

12:24 PM  
Blogger Keats Snideman CSCS said...

Funny thing about "Z," is that NOBODY on this blog would have ever heard about it if it weren't for my good friend Josh Henkin.

He single-handedly built Eric's business in my opinion. Funny thing is, Josh doesn't hardly do ANY Z with any of his clients anymore. And Josh is no dummy; he's one of the brigthest coaches that I know. He mostly deals with general population and it's hard enough just to get them to focus on squatting right let alone doing
toe pulls, etc...

Josh personally does some of the Z drills that work best for him along with stretching and other joint mobility work that is not "Z" in particular. Josh has simply absorbed what is useful in Z and has disregarded the rest. Isn't this what all of us should do with any information we get.

I also wonder if there isn't some sort of placebo effect when working with passionate Z-practitioners that creates some of dramatic and almost circus-like results when someone is initially exposed to some of the drills. This kind of reminds of the latest research on acupuncture that shows it really doesn't matter where you put the needles; you still get the endorphin and pain killing responses in the brain!

1:13 AM  
Blogger Josh Henkin said...

Just a few thoughts seem my name was brought up (completely unaware of that this discussion was occurring). I would not say that I am solely responsible for Z-health being where it is. Obviously a lot of hard work went in on the part of the staff of Z-health. If opened doors for them that is because I thought it possessed valuable information that could benefit a lot of people. I know I have had people open doors for me that has allowed me to progress to places that normally would not have been available

As far as the issue of whether or not I use Z-health with my clients...it really depends. It depends on the client and situation. If a client does not have the personality or the desire to perform the drills as would be required why try to "force" them to do it when time could be better served doing other work?

Also, if someone has not fixed their eating habits, lifestyle, and other issues that will impact their nervous system I am not sure if I would prioritize Z-health. As the system requires a great deal of discipline and focus and you can't "half-ass" the drills if you are expecting to get the results you expect.

Does this mean there aren't other means that could benefit these people? No! I think many of the people that have written here work everyday to improve people's lives and to a large extent have done a great job of accomplishing this goal.

We all look through scewed glasses. Our beliefs and biases of course dictate how we work with people. To completely write off a technique or methodology seems to be somewhat brash. Especially when many of these techiques are just as proven as Z-health. In fact, in many of my discussions with Eric (yes, I have been there pretty much since he started doing seminars) he likes many of the techniques discussed. As many have said here it is more of an issue of when a method is used and by whom. I have had soft-tissue work done on me by him in conjunction with Z-health. I have had nutritional discussions and the impact of movement with him. Yes, he will even tell you stretching has a role.

For those of us that have been in the industry for some time and done many different programs and systems I think we have all come to the conclusion that every program has pros and cons and needs to be experimented with to find the most effective aspects that may fit your individual situation.

I expect Eric to stand completely behind his system, why? Because he believes in it and it works for him. I think many of us would just as strongly stand behind our own because of the same reasons. More importantly I truly do not believe that Z-health is as black and white as the internet information would imply.

I think Z may fall into the same trap as many other programs and systems. That is many passionate participants may run with parts of the program or ideas from it as gospel. I doubt that was ever intended and I know many want something very black and white to believe in. However, as we all know it is never that easy

11:30 AM  

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