## The Mathematical Strength and Muscle Building Secret - The Fibonacci Sequence

09/22/2011

Here is our twist on the awesome Dan John Fibonacci sequence.

You may remember (or more likely not remember at all...) from your math years that the fibonacci sequence is simply a sequence of numbers where the sum of the former TWO numbers equal the latter.

Example?

Sure.

1,2,3,5,8

Notice that 1+2 = 3, 2 + 3 = 5, 3+5 = 8, and so on and so forth.

So, the real question is, how do we use this mathematical gibberish to make us strong?

Simple - we are going to use it as our set and rep scheme.

There are a few routes that you can follow. First off, you can either ladder up or ladder down. Meaning you can start heavy with 2 reps, and work your way up to a hypertrophy/strength endurance effort of eight reps. Or you can flip Mr. Fibonacci on his numerical capitulum and start with the hypertrophy effort and work your way down while adding wheels to the bar.

The second choice to make is whether or not you want to make this a high volume hypertrophy type of training session or low volume strength based day. The low volume day is elementary. You perform only four sets - a set of two reps, three reps, five reps, and eights reps. You adjust the weight to ensure an appropriate challenge for each rep range.

The high volume day is substantially more taxing and more centered around putting some beef on your bones. You will now cycle through the entire fibonacci sequence three times, only changing the weight between cycles, rather than sets.

Allow me to further illustrate. For our purposes, we will be pairing the deadlift and the double clean and press. Here is what the low volume day might look like.

Set 1 - Deadlift @ 85% x 2 reps + Double Clean and Press @ 85% x 2 reps
Set 2 - Deadlift @ 75-80% x 3 reps + Double Clean and Press @ 70-85% x 3 reps
Set 3 - Deadlift @ 65% x 5 reps + Double Clean and Press @ 65% x 5 reps
Set 4 - Deadlift x @ 50-60% x 8 reps + Double Clean and Press @ 50-60% x 8 reps

Remember, you can reverse this and start at the higher rep end of the spectrum and work down towards the strength efforts as well. Experiment and see which you prefer.

Now for the higher volume/hypertrophy day. The first cycle is to perform sets 1-4 with anywhere between 50-60% of your 1 rep max weight on both the deadlfit and double clean and press. Keep the weight constant throughout the sets even as you add reps (or subtract if you are de-laddering). On the next cycle bump the weight up and perform sets 1 - 4 again. On the third cycle bump the weight up as much as you possible can, but are still able to perform the entire sequence - meaning go heavy, butt you still probably won't be pushing weight anywhere close toy our one rep max.

To further the differentiation, the low volume strength day will have you lifting closer to your 1 rep max weight, where as the higher/volume hypertrophy day will have you lifting more cumulative weight.

Here's a video of me performing the top of the Fibo Sequence

09/19/2011

The FVT eBook is in the final stages of production. The lack of COS updates has been due to the immense amount of blood, sweat, and tears that I have been pouring into finalizing this ridiculously awesome product.

So with the imminent launch of my Force Velocity Training eBook at hand. It's time to offer some taste testing.

Until next time, wage an unconstitutional and wholly unethical war on your quads with this sample knee dominant routine from my FVT eBook.

Best of luck,

Pat

## The "Flynn - Fran"

09/14/2011

Fran is an infamous Crossfit workout performed for time. It is often heraled as the "benchmark" Crossfit workout.

It consists of three rounds of "thrusters" (barbell front squat to overhead press) and kipping pull ups. The first round is 21 reps of each, the second round is 15 reps of each, and the last round is 9 reps of each.

But do they make "Fran" for men?

I'm kidding of course... Well, sort of...

Not to discredit the high intensity nature and the overall misery associated with Fran, but if you ask me (obviously a bit biased), I would say kipping pull ups and manhood are mutually exclusive. Ok, actually I wouldn't go that far, as there are some real beasts out there that practice kipping pull ups. But I would say you are better off investing your time in dead hang pull ups, and here is why...

1. Will kipping pull ups help to increase your pull up limit strength and strict pull up endurance? Not really... And if so, the marginal returns are far less than that of performing strict dead hang pull ups.

2. Will dead-hang, specifically weighted pull ups help to increase your pull up limit strength and strict pull up strength endurance? Absolutely. And will they also help to increase your kipping pull up numbers? I would certainly say so.

3. Furthermore, if you find yourself hanging off the side of a building for dear life, do you really have any room to kip?

So I have taken the liberty to modify our friend "Fran". I call it the "Flynn-Fran"

I took out thrusters and have appropriately replaced them with the double kettlebell clean and press. So we have gone from a knee dominant grinding movement to a hip dominant explosive movement, and taken the momentum out of the vertical press.

Kipping pull ups are also out. Strict, dead hang pull ups are in.

Weight

Light men (120-159lbs)  are to use 2 x 16 kettlebells

Moderate size men (160-189lbs) are to use 2 x 20kg kettlebells

Heavier men (190lbs +) are to use 2 x 24kg kettlebells

Light women (I'm not going to make the huge mistake of giving women weight classes... use your best judgment...) are to use 2 x 8kg kettlebells

Moderate size women are to use 2 x 12kg kettlebells

Heavier women are to use 2 x 16kg kettlebells

"Flynn-Fran":

Round 1: Double Clean and Press x 21 Reps + Strict Pull Ups x 21 Reps
Round 2: Double Clean and Press x 15 Reps + Strict Pull Ups x 15 Reps
Round 3: Double Clean and Press x 9 Reps + Strict Pull Ups x 9 Reps

Here are the rules:

1. Complete "Flynn-Fran" in the shortest amount of time possible or in the fewest amount of sets possible.

2. Stop your set immediately when there is a material (accounting term for significant) change in rep speed.

Post your times/videos over at The Colloquium

## Squat Reformation: Motivate Those Lazy Abductors To Do Something

09/09/2011

Strength Minions,

Sometimes muscles just don't fire like they should. Maybe they just don't make them like they used to. Either way your hip abductors, often times that especially lazy glute medius, aid in the prevention of adduction, preventing that dreaded valgus collapse, and saving your knees from sure destruction. This is the first part in a new series entitled "The Reformation Project".

## The Architechture of a "Better" Deadlift

09/02/2011

The deadlift. Semantics have always prevailed in the past when attempting to define the perfect deadlift. So let’s take this from a dissimilar line of attack shall we?

To avoid paralysis by analysis – I will systematically dissect the deadlift, focusing on what is justly important, and weeding out the immaterial and insignificant nuances.

Let’s get right down to it, by clearing up what I make out to be frequently recurring topics of debate when it comes to the deadlift.

1. Is the deadlift a hinge or a squat?

It took me a while to finally come around and say this, but who the hell cares! There is clearly both a knee dominant and a hip dominant component to the deadlift.

How do YOU define a squat? Personally, I would say any hip hinging and knee flexion movement coupled with an angled tibia (ankle flexion) is a squat, but that’s just me. There is no accurately defined set of standards as to what is a squat and what is a deadlift. And being a guy who believes there should be a set of clear standards for everything, I have found this to be quite frustrating – but at the end of the day, does the classification really matter? No, execution does.

2. Ok, fair enough. So how low should you set your hips?

Somewhere above your knees but below your shoulders – everyone is an individual (mechanically speaking), therefore everyone’s set up will look slightly different.

3. Shins against the bar?

Not initially. The bar should be set up so that it roughly dissects your foot in half, allowing for an ample amount of dorsiflexion in order for you to “wedge” yourself between the weight.

4. Look up, down, or at the horizon?

No. This is particularly important, and I will tell you why shortly

5. Chest over or behind the bar?

Bar should be under your scapula/shoulder blades – so yes, shoulders/chest may be over the bar.

Those are five, but undoubtedly not all, of the most universally debated topics in regards to the king of primitive movements. If you have any other questions that I don’t directly address in the next section, please post them in the comment section or over at the Colloquium. Now let’s get down to what really matters when deadlifting…

Before I get into why that’s “less than optimal”, I then had to reprogram myself to fix my gaze on the horizon when I became an RKC. While I unquestionably felt this helped resolved a lot of low back pain and neck stiffness that I was dealing with, it did not completely alleviate all my symptoms.

Then I met Dr. Charlie Weingroff, who introduced me to the concept of “packing in the neck”. Now before I go on to tell you why this practice is “right”, I’m going to provide you with some soft science as to why the practice of cervical extension is “wrong” (quotation marks for CYA purposes)…

1. What happens in the C-spine, trickles down the rest of the spine. Whereas, cervical extension will lead to excessive extension throughout the rest of your spine – most importantly your lumbar spine (resulting in hyperlordosis). Now why is this a dilemma? Because one of the primary benefits of a good deadlift is the development of authentic lumbar stability – now this is achieved when pulling from, well… a position of authentic stability (neutral spine – maintaining natural lordotic and kyphotic curvature of the spine), rather than a position of structural stability (hyperlordosis/bony approximity). Who would have guessed?

2. As renown PT and strength coach Dr. Charlie Weingroff has stated, hyperlordosis and an anterior pelvic tilt results in bony approximity (bones moving closer together), which in turn inhibits your inner core stabilizers (transverse abdominus, multifidus, diaphram, etc) because your body has the hold up it needs from structural bony support.

3. Cervical extension loads the neck and inhibits deep neck flexors. This was exactly why I was experiencing such an annoying amount of tightness and discomfort in my neck after my heavy deadlift days. When pulling or swinging with cervical extension, the neck is now put under load- which leads to the inhibition of your deep neck flexors (sternocleidomastoid and scalenes). These muscles are designed for rapid changes in head position, not for supporting large amounts of weight. So unless you want weighty masses hanging off your C-4/C-5 region, which from experience I find to be quite discomforting, then cease to lift with C-spine extension.

To learn how to properly pack your neck in, head over to this page to review Dr. Weingroff’s extensive post on this subject.

Foot position – We started at the head, now let’s take a look at the feet, then work our way up to the middle. And just to clarify, I am talking about the conventional deadlift, not sumo, or any other style.

So, for just about everyone, feet should be placed no wider than shoulder width apart and pointed straight ahead. That’s right, no duck stance. Poor mobility is not an excuse. The deadlift is a lift requiring an ample amount of requisite mobility. If you do not have the requisite mobility, then do not deadlift. Work on your mobility.

Knee issues are often a result of poor hip mobility, specifically internal hip rotation. As you descend into a squat pattern, your femur is designed to internally/medial rotate in order to maintain pelvis position. When lacking internal hip rotation mobility, the compensatory action is often a valgus and/or arch collapse and the (bowing in) destruction of your knee joint. Pulling from a wider stance/external rotation is only avoiding the problem. Work instead to correct/improve your restrictions before proceeding to the deadlift.

Further more, feet pointed straight ahead will help to pre-stretch abductors and get them beautiful gluteals firing a bit more.

Back Position – I would like to confidently assume that the most important aspect in regards to back position for the deadlift is to maintain our natural lordotic and kyphotic curvature of the spine. But you know what they say about those who assume…

Let’s take this one form the T-spine (specifically the scapulo-throacic joint). Aside from alignment neutrality, we want scapular abduction and depression before we initiate our pull. Meaning we want to pull our shoulder blades down and together, and to employ our lats (imagine trying to pinching something between your arm pits. This will assist with the transfer of force and to help prevent the bar from getting away from us as we pull. As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon for one to bloody up their shins when deadlifting. Now I personally think that is taking things a little too far, but you it gives you an idea that you should visualize pulling the bar up and towards you, rather than just up.

Heading down to the lumbar – again we want neutrality. No flexion or hyperlordosis (excessive arching). This is the region where stability is of the utmost significance.

Pelvis – I hate when I sound like a broken record, but the magnitude of this subject matter demands reiteration. Neutral, neutral, neutral. No anterior or posterior pelvic tilt please.

Breathing – Diaphramatic.

Requisite Mobility – As I stated beforehand, the deadlift requires a requisite amount of mobility in order to be performed properly.

1. Ankle Mobility – You need a sufficient amount of dorsiflexion in order to wedge yourself into position. Poor ankle mobility is often inappropriately compensated for by either elevating the heels/leaning forward, or relying too heavily on hip extension.

2. Hip Mobility – This is a biggie. Poor hip mobility leads to some rather tragic compensatory actions, the most dangerous being lumbar flexion. Your body is not stupid, it knows what it needs to do, and it will do what it has to in ordr to get the job done. So if hip mobility (flexion) is restricted, your body will mimic that pattern often times through lumbar flexion.

Requisite Stability – Mobility and stability are two sides of the same coin. Both are required in plentiful amounts in order to perform a safe, strong deadlift.

1. Hip Stability – Yes, your hips need to be stable as well as mobile! Add to my point above about how hip immobility can destroy your knees, hip instability is by the same token just as dangerous. Your hip needs to be able to prevent adduction in order to prevent stress on the knees. If your abductors and external hip rotators are too weak/unstable, then this must be corrected before ever attempting to engage in a heavy deadlift. Spend plenty time strengthening your glute medius. Don’t wait until after reconstructive surgery to pay attention to this…

2. Lumbar Stability – I’m done beating a dead horse… Long. Tall. Spine.

Enough talk. Here’s a video of a “better” deadlift. I know that the title says perfect – but that’s because I like catchy youtube titles. Perfect is just not going to happen. You can only work on being better.

PS – I covered a lot, but not everything. Post your questions below or over at the Colloquium

## Chris Foehl Snatch Test

Chris has been prepping for his Philly RKC with me for about 2 months. This is his first attempt at the snatch test.

A few tweaks regarding hip snap and lock out and he's golden, but overall, not too shabby for an old man ;p and I'm incredibly proud of his progress.

## Circadian Counsel - Ep 5 - Mimic the Best

09/02/2011

1 Comment

Been a hectic week with putting the finishing touching on the FVT eBook - which if everything goes according to plan - is less than 3 weeks away from launch! Until then, expect some cool new mobility routines and punishing metcon work either today or tomorrow.

Stay Awesome.

- pat

## Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn is a very special person.

Proof - v -

"Son, you're special" - mom