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In this podcast, I chat with Stan Efferding all about speed training.
If you’re not familiar with speed training, it’s based on the concept of lifting lighter weights with maximum velocity in order to increase your speed when using heavier weights. Basically, it boils do to doing lighter work as fast as possible (while still using proper form, of course).
Speed training is particularly useful for powerlifters looking to increase their totals. However, it’s also useful for people looking to try new things in the gym or maybe even squeeze out a bit more muscle and strength gain if they’ve already achieved the majority of their natural potential. And because I haven’t done speed training myself, I wanted to get an expert like Stan onto the podcast to help people who are interested in this type of training.
In case you’re not familiar with Stan, he’s held two all-time raw world powerlifting records and is colloquially known as the “world’s strongest bodybuilder.” He’s more than just super-strong, though. He also knows how to help other people get results, which is why he’s worked with Hafthor Bjornsson, Ed Coan, Ben Smith, Flex Wheeler, and most recently, Jon Jones, a former UFC champion who holds many UFC records.
In our discussion, Stan and I discuss what bar speed can tell you about muscle failure, the biggest things that can help your bar speed, the benefits of bodybuilding-style training and cardio on increasing bar speed, the concept of “overspeed,” and a whole lot more.
So if you want to learn all about what bar speed is, why it matters, and practical tips for how you can boost yours, check out this interview!
Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!
6:14 – Why is speed training important? What has helped your speed training most?
9:33 – How does bar speed affect muscular failure?
15:59 – How can you increase the reps or sets you can do at a particular speed?
16:55 – What is general physical preparedness?
27:01 – How can you measure your bar speed without buying a bar speed device?
29:25 – At what point does the bar slow down in terms of reps in reserve?
35:31 – How can you incorporate speed training in your training program?
Mentioned on the Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello there and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I am Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today, and I have a quick favorite to ask. Could you subscribe to the show in whatever app you’re listening to me in? Two reasons. One, that’ll make sure you don’t miss any new episodes. They will be automatically queued up for you.
And two, it will help boost the rankings of the show. In the various charts, and that helps me a lot. Okay, so this interview is a chat I had with my buddy, Stan Efforting, big, strong, smart guy. And we talk all about speed training, which was a fun conversation for me because it is something that I haven’t spoken or written much about at all over the years.
And in case you are wondering what that is, speed training is based on the concept. Of lifting lighter weights with maximum velocity in order to increase your speed when you are using heavier weights, so you use lower loads and you try to move the bar, you’re usually doing this with barbell exercises.
You’re trying to move the bar as quickly as you can, and by training that movement pattern, you can then have it carry over. Heavier weights and it can help you lift heavier weights better. And this type of training is particularly useful for power lifters. You’ll see power lifters at least more advanced power lifters include this type of work and their programming because it helps them increase their totals.
But it’s also useful for. People like us who like to try new things in the gym and who want to see if we can squeeze out a little bit more muscle and strength gain and who like to experiment with time proven and science based techniques for making our training a little bit more effective or maybe just a little bit more interesting.
Sometimes it’s worth incorporating something like speed training into a training block simply because it sounds like fun. And so that is the topic of two today’s discussion. And in case you’re not familiar with my guest, Stan, he has two all time raw world power lifting records. He is colloquially known as the world’s strongest bodybuilder, big dude, strong dude.
And as I mentioned, A smart dude who also has a lot of experience working with high level bodybuilders and athletes. He’s worked with half Thor Bjornsen, Ed Cone, Ben Smith, Flex Wheeler. Most recently he has been working with John Jones, the former UFC champion, and so it’s always a pleasure to have Stan on the show to share his.
Wisdom. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world, Bigger, leaner, stronger, and. Thinner, leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the Shredded Chef.
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Hey Stan, thanks for taking the time to come and talk to me.
Stan: Thanks for having me, Mike.
Mike: I appreciate it. Yeah. Yeah. I enjoyed our first, our first discussion, so I’ve been looking forward to. Yeah, this will
Stan: be great. See what we can delve into this time. I’ll try not to be too long winded. ,
Mike: I have the same bra.
My I tend to talk a lot and I try to rein that in when I’m certainly as a host, but even as a guest I’ll, if I don’t watch it. I’ll get asked a question and I’ve been talking for 10 minutes straight. You know what I mean? ,
Stan: it’s hard because there’s so much nuance and your a is has all different needs and it’s, you wanna address everyone and it’s difficult.
Mike: Totally. But what I wanted to talk to you about and is speed training. And this is something that I don’t get asked about all that often because a lot of the people in my orbit are relatively new to proper strength training and proper dieting. But this is something I do get asked about from people who are more advanced, especially people who have achieved, let’s say, most of the muscle and.
That’s genetically available to them. And so they’re looking for ways to just try different things to keep their training interesting and maybe to squeeze out a little bit more muscle and strength gain. And so that’s that’s what I thought that I could bring you on the show to talk about because, quite frankly Sure I could talk about it in a way that makes me sound like I know more than I do because I.
I haven’t really done that firsthand. For example, similar to power lifting, it’s, I’ve done a little bit of power lifting, but not enough to, I’d rather get somebody on who knows more than I do. You.
Stan: Yeah obviously speed is important. You’ve gotta break through plateaus or break through sticking points in your lift.
Breaking inertia obviously is critical for when you reach full range of motion for the lift as it’s required in power lifting. If that’s, if we’re gonna be specific pausing at the chest or he 90 degrees at the bottom of the squat. But once you’re able to break inert.
The sticking point is slightly above that. It varies for different lifters. And you wanna develop as much speed as you can. The tricep lockout is a good example on the bench where a lot of people fail locking the weight out. And so the faster you can get that bar moving, of course the better opportunity you have to lock that.
There’s a few good ways to train that obviously. First and foremost, strength, ease, a byproduct of strength. A stronger person’s gonna be able to move the weight faster the same weight faster but for that stronger person to lift a heavier weight through the range of motion, they still wanna train with some explosive speed.
It’s also a good way to. Train below your, say your 90% rep max, which can be extremely fatiguing, but still be able to judge whether or not you’re in the ballpark for top end strength by measuring, velocity. And you can use a variety of different mechanisms for that. Put those measuring devices on the bar.
And that’ll give you, a good idea of when you’re at 85 or 70% of a one rep max load, whether or not you’re moving it fast enough so that it will translate relatively into your top lift. So I think it’s really important to include some of that moving the weight fast, mostly for breaking through sticking points.
I found the number one thing that helped me with speed other than getting very strong was using bands. And again, probably not to exceed 20% of the total load. Forces you to lift the weight heavy. Cuz once you try and lift a band slowly, you’ll discover how hard it is. But when you move really exclusively, then all of a sudden that load seems lighter.
It trains you to, to fire and explode. I used to do a touch and go off a box with bas just so I could learn
Mike: how to be as explosive as possible.
Stan: And that, it really helped. I think people recognize me as being a very explosive lifter. A lot of speed outta the hole of a squat and out of out of a bench press.
And I think that was probably one of the key components was the fact that I did a lot of I did some, a decent amount of band work, but I also moved the bar very quickly in my hypertrophy training. Rather than grinding out slow, deliberate repetitions I would I would even some lifters suggest even bouncing at the bottom of a bench press, just moving the bar as fast as you can through those repetitions.
Just get your body used to being explosive.
Mike: Yeah. There, there are a couple of things that I want, I wanna follow up on there and get your thoughts on. First is, and is this relationship between bar speed and muscular failure and something I’ve found as I have. Continued in my weightlifting journey.
I’ve never gotten nearly as strong as you. I’m closing in on the 3, 4, 5, three plates on the bench, four on the squad, five on the deadlift. However, I’ll say that an anatomically and physiologically I was not built to be very strong. That’s probably a, an excuse that has some validity to it.
However, what I have noticed is, That my perception, even if I question myself, like from a reps and reserve standpoint, right? As I’m getting deeper into a set, how many good reps do I have left? And my instinctive answer is it has been trained. To a certain level of accuracy. Now, however, I do rep max tests once every four months, so I load heavy weight on the bar.
It’s systematic. It’s not random, just heavy weight, but I’m putting heavy weight on the bar. Weight that was, I, hopefully it was, it felt heavier at the early, at the beginning of training block rather than the end. And then I go for as many reps as I can. I push to, my, my goal is to get to one rep in reserve and stop there.
I’m not gonna go to, or maybe zero reps, good reps left, but I’m not going to failure on a deadlift. I think that’s unnecessarily dangerous. I’m not gonna go to absolute failure on the squat. But what I’ve noticed is, That sometimes my perception of what, how many reps I have left is not entirely accurate.
That I actually, if I had to. I could actually get one or two more than I think that I could. And I just saw that actually because I just did some rep max testing. So on the safety bar squat I look at my training log and a couple of weeks ago I had 2 55 on the bar for, I was doing sets of two or three.
And I marked it as like a two or three, I think reps in reserve. Maybe a three or four. I’d have to look at my spreadsheet. But then I just put two 60 on the bar and got eight with what I would say is probably one good rep left. And so if I would’ve had a device to measure bar speed, that is something that it probably would’ve been reflected that.
But I had that 2 55 on the bar, and even though I thought maybe I had two or three reps left, the bar speed would’ve indicated. Now you probably have more. It’s just hard with those big exercises when you have a lot of muscle mass that’s in, that’s involved and then. Your perception of the effort relating that to what it is going to take to get a couple of more reps.
And so just wanted to comment on that and get your follow up thoughts because for people listening who do have a bit of weightlifting experience, I think it’s helpful to think with that, that sometimes, especially with the bigger exercises, we can actually do a bit more than we think we can if we really have to.
Stan: Let me unpack a few things. You mentioned that that potentially going to failure would be dangerous. think it’s unnecessary and not necessarily beneficial. It’s probably not dangerous. I don’t think really you think
Mike: on a deadlift with a lot of weight to go to Absolute.
I’ve, I don’t know if I’ve ever done that where I’ve just, maybe I’ve done it accidentally. Yeah.
Stan: Meaning missing the last rep. Yeah. Missing it. Missing it. Yeah. As long as you maintain a neutral spine, you’re fine. I would just suggest that it wouldn’t provide you any additional benefit for the fatigue that you would in, in incur. Yeah. I do the idea That you’re talking about every four months. I think people try and lift too heavy too often. Even Micka Kle have seminar, he talked about how he really quote unquote maxed out only four times a year. And that was the two qualifiers for Worlds and Nationals.
And that was the two competitions, worlds and nationals. Going north of say 90, 95% probably shouldn’t occur as an elite lifter when you get up to your, reaching pretty close to your potential. Beginners and intermediates of course, have a lot more wiggle room. But I just think people tend to max out too often and that’s why the, like you said, little lighter.
Maybe 85% in using the bar speed to determine what you have in terms of reps and reserve is a better avenue to pursue. The bar speed can tell you, whether or not you’re dropping off. You can use it as an indicator of when you’re almost should be finished with your workout.
We use this in speed training for sprinters. Anything that is less than 90% of your max is not for speed. And so if say you’re deadlifting, 400 pounds, And you deadlift that at a certain velocity at a certain bar speed. When that bar speed drops more than 10%, you’re probably done for the day.
That would be a good time to wrap up. But if you can continue to maintain that bar speed within 10% of your max velocity, then you can put more sets of
Mike: reps. And that would be for speed training in particular? That would be for speed training in particular. Yeah. And the idea is to stay fast, stay
Exactly. And say if you wanna a ten second hundred once, once you’re, if you’re practicing and that exceeds 11 seconds or 10% slower than your max. Then you’re probably done for the day. You can run a bunch of 10 eights and 10 sevens and 10 nines and but then you’re, once you get to an 11 two, you’re fatigued and you’re probably not actually training speed at that point.
It’s more endurance and not a good place to be. It’s a lactate endurance zone. I don’t mean to switch gears and talk about sprinting, but it’s just an example that, that I think people can relate to in terms of when your workout’s done now, How can you increase the number of repetitions or sets that you can do at a particular bar speed.
That is gonna be your gpp and this is what is your general physical preparedness. And this is what I, where I think a lot of power lifters fall short and don’t really understand. Say maybe Louis Simmons program at Westside Barbell I don’t think they realize how much. Quote unquote cardio how much training how much volume these folks do outside of their max effort days.
And I of course benefited, purely by accident from being both a bodybuilder and a power lifter, from going through extensive body building prep where I did a ton of volume and reps and sets from all different angles, two a day trainings with short rest periods. So I had an extraordinary amount.
We’ll call it cardiovascular fitness or gpp, General physical preparedness. So when I went in and started power lifting, And
Mike: Can you define that term just for people who haven’t heard it before? It’s, you could say the definition is implicit, but sometimes it’s a little bit different than what.
You might, Yeah.
Stan: It’s just the ability to handle work. Your general physical preparedness is your ability to handle a lot of volume and sets and reps and recover and maintain your speed. Like we were just talking about your bar speed without fatiguing too quickly. And then, That foundation the more work you do, the more work you’re able to do that foundation when then directed towards specific physical preparedness or your actual lifts, your actual power lifts.
In this case, in any sport, it would be a foundation of work that allowed you to perform your sport. At a greater intensity for longer periods of time, so you become more competitive. And so that GPP can include, just any lift that supports strength. Cardiovascular fitness could be things like sled drags and lap pull downs and farmers walks, maybe all kinds of stuff like that.
Yeah, just the ability for you. To get your heart rate back down, to recover within a reasonable timeframe to do an X set. I used bodybuilding training. I remember CLO co talked about how he was a, an excellent Olympic lifter. He talked about how his dad always made him do a lot of cardio in the off season, and you hated it because his strength would decline.
But when he came back into strength training to prep for the Olympics, let’s say he would recover so much faster that he could do more volume and he would catch up much quicker and then surpass those people who didn’t have the same cardiovascular base. And I experienced the same thing when I transitioned from a body building prep into power lifting.
I was very weak. I’d lost, well over a hundred pounds on each lift. A lot of that’s from the dieting of course, and being at the low body fat. But a lot of it is just not lifting heavy for a period of time. But I had extraordinary level of GDP, of cardiovascular fitness from all the volume and sets and reps and frequency and the variety that allowed me to shore up any weaknesses.
And then when I went in and I started specifically doing squat, bench and deadlift I could lift, I would, my weights would. Would would go up very quickly and I would recover very fast from those workouts so I could train with a little more frequency. And I’ve
Mike: noticed a similar effect in doing cardio more regularly.
So before covid, I was doing two cardio sessions per week, 30 minutes per session moderate intensity. And then, Covid, we are not going into the office. And I’m working out at home for a bit and I’m like, Yeah, I’ll say I’m not driving. I’ll just hop on the bike and do a bit more cardio. I usually have work calls I have to make.
I’ll just do the work calls when I’m on the bike. And so I just made that a thing and I lost, I just kept eating the same way and I was like, I’ll use it as an excuse to get leaner too. Why not? And so I lost eight pounds or so. And and then I kept it in and I’ve kept it in. I now do cardio five to seven days a week.
It depends, like some days if I go out on the golf course and I’m on the range beating balls and walking around, I’m like, All right, I don’t need to do that, plus the cardio. But and then every once in a while I’ll take one day off for one reason or another, but I’ve noticed that just 30. Of, again I’m keeping it a moderate intensity.
I can take calls. I’m a little bit winded. I tell people if they know, I’m like, I’m on a upright bike, just so you know. That’s why I’m gonna be breathing a little bit. I wouldn’t do a podcast, but I still could have a conversation. So I’m not it’s not high intensity stuff. And I’ve continued though to increase the resistance on the bike or just increase my speed.
To keep it at that level of intensity. So the work capacity has gone up and I haven’t pushed it. I’ve just Oh, this feels easy now I’m gonna make it a little bit harder to keep it at that that four to five out of 10 maybe. And what I’ve noticed is that recovery element in the gym and in between sets in particular I recover faster and my heart rate comes down faster.
And I feel like with that two and a half minutes that I get, or three and a half minutes that I get three, three and a half on the bigger lifts. I’m coming more prepared into each set and I’ve. I’ve made really good progress for me since incorporating the cardio. That’s not the only thing, That’s probably not the only reason, but I would suspect that’s contributing to it in a significant way.
Stan: You said a couple really important things there that I think the audience should understand. When I talk about cardio, I’m not talking about walking on a treadmill necessarily. I used to think, back when I was trying to gain weight to power lift that you don’t run. If you can walk, don’t stand if you can sit and don’t stay awake if you can sleep and stuff.
And that was my mantra. But I wasn’t terribly fit when I was power lifting at that time. If not for the body building periods and alternating back and forth I would’ve been in the same situation that I see a lot of powerlifters in that I work with more recently. That they just, they don’t have the level of fitness and not just for health reasons, but for performance reasons.
It doesn’t help them long term. So you said a couple important things that I like to include. One is that you used the bike so you could measure the tension and the pace, so you could progress that over time. Those things are important. Plus it is a concentric movement so you’re not loading yourself eccentrically and breaking down muscle tissue.
It becomes restorative for both to recover from and prepare for the next workout. I’ll. Sleds for the same reason. It’s all concentric. I can load them differently, take them for different distances at different speeds with different rest periods, and so I can see that progress over time. We like sleds preferentially over pushing prowlers again because the prowler will have some eccentric.
Loading, you’re going through your upper body. We just find that it’s you can do more of it more often. It’s more restorative. You don’t feel tired afterwards. You feel fresh when you’re doing pulling sleds. And then after you, even on your max effort day the days that you’re lifting heavy, it really helps to go in and start doing some volume afterwards to pump a ton of blood into the area that you just worked.
It it’s restorative so you’re not aching when you get home. It adds some volume. Again, some gpp gets your heart rate up. I think it just immediately starts the rectory process by pumping a bunch of blood in there that’s not cardio per se, but has some resistance component. So it it swings the pendulum towards not a, what we would call.
Mike: interference. Yeah, interference. Yeah. Yeah.
Stan: So that’s I’m cautious when I use the word cardio that people think, I’m out jogging and that’s just not the case. I want it to have some resistance, be progressable measurable. For
Mike: all those reasons we just discussed. Yeah.
Yeah I like the I just use an upright bike outside biking. It would be preferable for obvious reasons, but I like the multitasking of, I gotta, I have to do these calls anyway, so I might as well just hop on the bike and do them. And like you said, I like that it doesn’t get in the way of the recovery in my lower body in particular.
And there’s research that indicates it’s probably helping actually with recovery. And it may even be helping a little bit with muscle and strength gain because it, it mimics the squat movement a little bit. A little bit. My biking would, is my top pick. If I weren’t biking, I probably would get a rowing machine is what I would.
Stan: Rower’s great. And alternatively you could use a treadmill and walk backwards on it, and now you can adjust the angle and the speed and the time that you’re on it and do repetitions there, sets of 40 seconds or so with the 22nd rest. Those can be adjustable over time, but we really like walking backwards in the treadmill.
You see us do that a lot with John Jones. Those are restorative workout. And then maybe even just marching on an ATP to really help pump a ton of blood into the hips and get that kind of decompression effect for the spine. Because the belt is on your, on your below your lumbar,
Mike: I’m sorry, a atp, the acronym is not coming to me.
Stan: Oh athletic training platform is a name that I think Louis Simmons
Mike: coined for. The belt squat is Oh, belt, okay, good. Yeah,
Stan: and just hook that belt up just low on the hips below lumbar and just stand there and walk back and forth. And it really gets the hips moving and pumps a ton of blood in there without much fatigue.
Mike: minimal. Yeah, the belt squat is a great squat alternative as well for anybody who if you’re having back issues in particular, a lot of gyms don’t have it but if your gym does have it it’s, I think a worthwhile exercise to include. It could even be a follow up, I think too, even if you are barbell squatting.
So like these days I’m alternating between the barbell back squat, the barbell front squat and the safety bar squat. And so the belt might be something that I would follow up with instead of a leg press or something, yeah, hundred percent. If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world.
Bigger, leaner, stronger, and thinner. Leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the shredded. Something else that I wanted to just highlight is, Oh, actually highlight, and I wanted to ask your your thoughts on it. So for people who are thinking about this bar speed, what we were talking about, how bar speed relates to how close to failure you are and who are not gonna buy.
Device to measure the bar speed. They’re just not gonna do that. What are your thoughts on this? Is something that’s been useful for me is to record myself doing an exercise and see how it goes. And I’m always asking myself as I get deeper into a set, how many good reps do I have left? And then comparing that to what I see on video where.
Again, sometimes I’ll think that I was one rep shy of failure two, and then I look at the bar speed and I was like, if you can’t know exactly, but it didn’t slow down much. Even that final rep still looked pretty snappy, which can help. It has helped me just better calibrate my understanding of how close to failure I am on these bigger exercises.
It’s easy on the biceps curl, obviously, but it’s a bit harder to tell when you’re squatting, deadlift. . Yeah, a hundred
Stan: percent not gonna be as accurate, but it certainly, it can help you. Judge speed or even better than that is to look and see whether or not you are coming out of your traditional form.
Which often happens as the weight gets heavier, you start to change your form a little bit. You might start ask squatting and. Not get your shoulders and hips going at the same rate. And that can be one thing. Generally speaking, you can feel, at least an intermediate lifter can certainly feel the difference between the two repetitions.
One at normal speed and the one following that might. Have slowed down slightly. That is maximum muscle fiber recruitment with a drop off of fibers because you’ve pretty much reached max muscle fiber recruitment. And so I use that as a marker for bar speed on the bench. Even for, reps and reserve or just especially with hypertrophy in telling people when you’ve done enough repetitions and when that bar speed slows down you, you’ve probably provided adequate stimulus to to benefit hypertrophy, benefit from the
Mike: training and.
When in relation to reps in reserve, when do you usually start to see that bar slowing down? Would you say when you get into the range of like maybe two good reps? Good reps left three. Two to
Stan: three. Okay. And different people, women, of course they’ll do three reps and look like they’re at, a 10.
Yep. And then they’ll do five more. Yep. It’s crazy. Their muscular occurrence is so much better than men. And some people have slower TWI or fast twitch. I tend to peter out pretty quick. I’m a one rep. And then, training with Eric Spotto, he could knock out, 30 reps with the 4 0 5.
So it was crazy to watch him have both that top end strength and that
Mike: muscular endurance. Yeah I a buddy of mine is somebody who’s just been. Big and strong his entire life. And he’s similar in that bar moves fast fast, dead. Like it’s interesting to see, whereas for me I’m somewhere in between where, it starts to get a little bit grindy and it’s a little bit grindier.
It is interesting to see. And something else that you had commented on, and this is coming back to this speed training is. That you’re training specificity here, right? So you want to be able to move that bar faster than you train for that specific element of the exercise or of the strength training.
And, it makes me think of. In golf. I play a little bit of golf. I don’t follow it too much, but I know there’s one golfer in particular named Bryson de Shambo, and he does this speed training, he calls it, I believe, and he does these sessions where he’s swinging as hard as he possibly. Can, he does some weightlifting as well, some goofy stuff.
He could do a lot better there, but he follows some guru who says he has the magic machines and the magic methods and whatever. Silly. But Bryson does these speed training sessions where, He’s swinging as hard as he possibly can to try to push up, try to hit prs in terms of swing speed. So then his 80% is just a bit higher than it was, and it’s worked really well for him.
And some people think that’s mind blowing. But to the point of what you’d mentioned with sprinting and just other athletic activities that of course, that makes sense, right? You’re training sp specifically. To swing faster. Okay? If you can break through and then swing the fastest you’ve ever swung the club you’ve now unlocked a little bit more potential there.
So then when you dial it back, that’s also a bit faster. And so it’s a similar kind of principle, but with weights, right?
Stan: Yeah. There’s a lot of things there. I wouldn’t know how to apply that to golf. Speed is a byproduct of strength. If like a baseball player would want to get stronger, particularly relationally if they wanna swing that bat harder, and that would be obviously getting a lot stronger in the hips at squats and dead lifts, of course.
But then also relationally maybe throwing the medicine ball. But what you find is that once you’ve developed the strength, that’s the foundation. Now over speed becomes the way I think the primary way to develop the specific skillset. The swinging a bat. They used to put a bunch of what were those on the bats?
Those big weights, The little donuts or what? Yeah. And they found that wasn’t ideal. That actually slowed down the swing. And so you would rather use a wiffle ball bat
Mike: to, And the idea is in to swing really fast. Like
Stan: really fast. Yeah. Swinging a bat with donuts on it isn’t gonna make you stronger and swing faster.
Squatting and deadlifting will and the medicine ball work, but actually practicing the overs speed is, for the nervous system you’d wanna practice overs speed. That’s what we’re doing with John on the treadmill as well. He sprints in an overs speed treadmill and it not only helps with top end speed, but it helps with velocity.
It helps with how fast he accelerates. Yep. And so it does translate neurologically into a faster fighter in the ring. Although it’s not specific we build his strength, we build his speed, and then when he goes into the ring and starts practicing, we can actually measure
Mike: his speed and see that it’s improved.
Stan: So for a lifter, you have to remember that when you’re lifting. Doing on speed day and lifting very fast you do want to lift much faster than you would normally deadlift a 95% deadline. And that’s an important
Mike: point, right? Don’t now constrict yourself to that normal rep tempo that you use.
Stan: Train slow. You’ll always be slow train fast, but when you get up to 95% you’re still gonna pull slow . Yeah. Since your nervous system is now been educated on how to try to pull as fast as you can, pulling fast is general, even though it’s the specific movement, it not until you get up north of 85.
Plus percent are you doing a specific, a deadlift power lifting specific movement? If you’re at 70% doing speed reps that’s general preparedness. Even though it’s the same exact lift. It doesn’t teach you, to grind through a raw strength, 95% deadlift. You still have to practice those.
We’ve seen people make this mistake in the past, and I won’t mention their names because it’s a some of ’em have been injured as a result. But a lot of people for a while there, 10 years ago or so, were talking about never lifting over 70% of your one rep max, but lifting very fast. Then when they loaded 95% of their one rep max on the bar, their body gave out.
Yep. You need both. And it’s the same thing with over speed treadmills. You still have to get on the track or get in, practice your specific sport to see if that, that general preparedness can be
Mike: specific for you and how can people listening inc. Speed training into their training.
So let’s assume you’re speaking to people who are training probably three to five days per week and they are doing a hybrid between strength training and body building. So they’re gonna be doing some squatting and deadlifting and bench pressing and overhead pressing, as well as some isolation accessory exercises for a lot of the smaller, more stubborn muscle groups.
What would be an example of a way that you could beneficially include speed training into your kind of basic again, strength training, body building hybrid approach.
Stan: If it’s for competing in, in power lifting then you’re gonna want to use the little bit of lighter weight and test bar speed and pull the lighter weights faster.
Mike: And what if it’s just for people who are just, they’re just looking to get fitter. They just, they’re always trying to get a little bit better in their training.
Stan: Yeah. Now you’re talking about maybe adding some additional exercises. I love the medicine ball throws. Those are great. And ps that’s the next GPP exercise that I think is very good.
But not just jumping up on the box, but slowly and gradually developing the strength and the I guess you would. The durability, I think is the right word. You don’t wanna just be jumping down off of a box and bouncing back up in the air if it’s not anything you’ve ever done before. That’s a very dynamic movement that needs progressed over time.
I can remember when I had my son up at the high school here and the coach, he’s 300 pounds and he uses, he’s simonean, his mom’s Simone. Oh. He’s 300 pounds and they had them jumping over jumping over little hurdles on concrete and landing on the other side. And he comes home after the first day of practice, is my knee hurt?
And I’m like, Go, What did you do? And he told me, I’m like, you don’t have 300 pound kids jumping up and down on concrete. It’s just idiotic biometrics box jumps, but jumping down off of the box and then rebounding up onto another box. That’s really what a biometric is. Getting that, that stretch reflex going very explosive.
That kind of thing translates very well to any sport. We do some of those with John as well. But it’s the kind of thing that you have to very gradually build into. That’s an extremely I think transferable. Movement for any
Mike: sport. Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. Something else I just keep in mind.
So in my training, a training block starts with sets of 10 on the primary, on the bigger exercises with seven or 75% on the bar. I don’t remember, I’d have to look at the spreadsheet and then 10 to 12 on accessories. But I just consciously try to lift quickly. especially. When I’m doing those higher reps on the squat, on the deadlift bench overhead, and then I’m progressing over the course of four months into heavier.
Eventually I’m doing twos, for example, and I probably am not lifting the bar as quickly, but I do try to consciously lift quickly when the weights are lighter, when I feel like I can, at least for the first half of the set on something like a deadlift really explode off of the ground. You.
Stan: Yeah, and that kind of sounded like you were describing a bit of a linear progression.
That’s what acomb his career I found. And this is the foundation of the West Side program is it helps to cycle some of those exercise rather than sticking with one major lift. Through an entire four month period that you usually top out on those lifts within three to four weeks.
And then you’d wanna cycle in a slight variation of that and keep working on your weaknesses as well. Because those top end max effort lifts will start to drain you very quickly and then you’ll just. You’ll just plateau and maybe even start to decline in the case of the deadlift. That’s generally what happens if you don’t start using maybe blocks or maybe some belt squat, assisted deadlifts and maybe some chain good mornings, just a variety.
And you do chain good mornings for three plus weeks until you, you feel as though your progression is slowed and then you’d switch to a different accessory exercise that was very similar to. Assist your deadlift. And if you do that and you go back and test your deadlift and your deadlift hasn’t gone up, then that accessory probably isn’t helping you and you might wanna pick a different one and that you just keep going back and testing the lift.
And anything you do outside of the competition lift should make that lift stronger. And if not, pick a different accessory. Eventually you’ll find one that works for you, but even then you’re only gonna be able to run it for three or four weeks before you have to switch to a different one and come back.
And so you have to be patient. Meka, Coley, I’ve talked about a five year plan that the Russians would go on, they were very patient, they would spend years developing weaknesses and strategizing and periodizing their training so that they would have a kind of a long. Benefit rather than trying to like we do here.
I got a competition in four months, so I’m gonna grind, and then you turn around and I got another competition in four months, I’m gonna grind long term. I think we plateau that way. I, not because I’m a genius, but strictly because I enjoyed both sports. I really benefited from those periods in which I mentioned that I was body building it.
I think it, it contributed in so many different ways to my power lifting success.
Mike: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And if I were training for maximum strength, if I were competing as a strength athlete of any kind I almost certainly would be training differently as I’m not and I am still able to make progress and again, I’m not very strong in the scheme of things.
I’m strong ish, relative to my body weight. And, but my would say my. My primary goal is at this point I understand there’s not much muscle left that I can gain. And of course that means there’s just not that much strength left that I can gain. If I can’t get that much bigger, I’m not gonna get that much stronger.
So I get in for my programming. I’m, I am just as interested in enjoying my workouts and. Being able to make slow but steady progress as I am trying to change my, my, my physique much or my performance much. And but that makes a lot of sense. Yes. What you said that that you’d be switching those main exercises at every month or so if you are training for.
Maximum strength on those big lifts. And if also you’re at that point, you’re probably an elite lifter, and by, by any standards, I’m not an elite lifter for what it’s worth. .
Stan: Yeah. Even for, I think for just keeping this, keeping the workouts fun. Yeah. The variety helps in that as well.
Mike: I find it fun so long as I. Keep progressing. And so I notice it, for example, at my training blocks, what I notice is that my reps in reserve will go up with those. So what was so it’s a weekly undulating periodization where so I’m gonna start with tens on the week one, and then I’m gonna do eight, then I’m gonna do sixes, and then I’m gonna deload, and then I’m gonna do 8 6 4 D load.
And as I, as. Go through the, those waves of loading. I’ll find that as I get into a training block, what was once maybe a one or two reps in reserve for that weight and that many reps is now a three to four. And that’s progress. And that to me is fun. So as long as I can make some progress, I’m having fun.
Stan: that’s kinda how Dorian went through his career. He would pick an exercise and he would progress it over the course of a number. Of weeks or a couple of months, and then pick a different exercise and do the same thing. So we often do that. We’ll pick a leg press, and then we’ll pick a hack squat, and then we’ll pick a, a Smith machine squat and maybe even a high bar angle plate SSB squat for a while with a.
Vertical torso and obviously what the first couple of weeks is just gonna be neural adaptation and coordination that just trying a new exercise and then you settle in and grind and try and see how you can grow that. Last week I did eight reps here this week I’m gonna do 10.
Next week I’m gonna add a quarter or blade. And and once that starts to plateau, which inevitably will time to pick another exercise
Mike: and start over. Yeah. Yeah. That I totally agree. That makes perfect sense. This was a great discussion. I know you have to run soon cuz you’re gonna be working on your next book, which Yeah.
Maybe you wanna let everybody know about as well as anything else that they may be interested. Yeah.
Stan: We just released this one. The Vertical Diet is now in paperback. It’s a beautiful. Whole color pictures. It’s an awesome book. This is the number one new release on Amazon for three weeks running now.
So I’m excited to see. We’re up to number 25 on Amazon in in diet books already amongst all the big sellers. So really happy with that release. And I’m working on a book called Vertical Kids Now.
Mike: It’s gonna be
Stan: from conception to college how to maximize your kids’ genetic potential. And it’s gonna be a step by step of nutrition and training a lot of the stuff that we talked about and much, much more.
And so my writer is coming by here shortly, and we’re gonna start to get the table of contents together and. And get this thing developed and get it out there. So everything you can find on me [email protected] That’s my website at Stan Efforting is my Instagram and Stan efforting on YouTube has all of my rhinos rants and other content that’s easy to to watch.
Has a lot of free information out there. So if you have any interest in anything that that I’m doing, that’s how you find
Mike: me stand effort. Awesome. Thanks again, Dan. Congrats on the book launch. That’s exciting. I can appreciate that. As somebody who’s done a few books myself and great idea with the kids’ book as well, it’s something that I get asked about fairly often and I’ve produced a little bit of content specifically for teenagers.
That’s what I, that the questions that. Most get asked from parents or parents of kids in the range of 12 to 16, and they want to know what’s appropriate and what’s not. But I don’t know of any book out there that is the go-to guide for raising healthy and strong and athletic kids.
And so I look forward to checking that out myself. Great.
Stan: Thanks brother. Thanks for having me on again. Good co. Good talk. Yeah.
Mike: I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
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