Thursday, July 8, 2010

Training The Invisible

Squatting is just one movement...granted it is the king of all movements if we are talking about training effect in the organic and nueromuscular sense, but how does squatting everyday effect other strength movements? For the past 42 days I really have not deadlifted at all. My hypothesis is that by increasing my capacity in the squat, most of my other strength numbers should shoot up...and guess what, THEY DID!
I pr'd my dealift the other day by over 50lbs, I pr'd my press by 15bs and my bench by 25lbs. How is this possible? The skills we train in the squat are very transferable. Elements such as posterior chain engagenment, range of motion, and midline stability are essential when squatting heavy. If I don't start a line of action back and down with my hip, if I don't stay through my heels, if I don't stabilize my midline and lock in my lumbar curve that 475lb squat will be very laborous if not impossible to execute. Another key aspect of these gains is the horomonal responses to lifting heavy load. Production of testosterone and insulin-like growth factor has been proven to increase with the introduction of frequent heavy lifting. Here is a snapshot of some of my strength numbers and a slice of my cardio capacity before and after I started this challenge: I'm not saying try this program...I just think the results are interesting.

Before / After

Bench 350 / 378

Press 215 / 231

Deadlift 600 / 650

2k Row 6:31 / 6:28

Day 43


25 wallball
25 ctb
25 deadlifts 225
25 calories on a rower
25 box jumps
25 40lb db push press
25 situps
25 ring dips
100 du

12:42 (I hate double unders!!)

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Senator Schumer Continues to Make Unfounded Sunscreen Allegations

Senator Charles Schumer is at it again. He is putting people at significant risk of skin cancer with his allegations that there is a relationship between vitamin A in sunscreen and increased risk of melanoma. These claims are not supported by published scientific evidence. After reviewing the recently released report from The Environmental Working Group, The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee, a group of renowned experts in the study of the interaction of ultraviolet radiation and the skin, have come to the conclusion that there is no scientific evidence to support claims that retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) is a photocarcinogen in humans. Our photobiologists are unaware of any evidence that supports the relationship between the use of sunscreen containing retinyl palmitate and an increased risk of skin cancer.

“When used as directed, sunscreen products are safe and effective. Since our inception, The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher as one important part of a complete sun protection regimen which includes seeking the shade and covering up with clothing,” said Warwick Morison, MD, Chair, The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee.


  1. Fantastic results Dave! Never would have thought your bench and press would have improved from squatting. Evidently, regular heavy loading from squats also provides a good stimulus for the muscles acting as support and not just for those that are actively involved in raising and lowering the load.

    I've been so inspired by your challenge that I have decided to challenge myself in a similar way. I am nowhere near as big and buff as you so it will be much less impressive. I wondered if I might be able to manage at least a 365 lb squat single each day for at least 365 days - melanoma permitting.

    I'm keeping a log over on the HST/ThinkMuscle forum:

    The scary thing about melanoma is the speed tumours can appear. I have a new one on my elbow today that was not there last weekend. It's been growing rapidly all week. It hasn't been tested yet but I know what it is. My PET scan this week will show up any other new tumours that I don't know about yet.

    I will have to take time off from my challenge for any surgery and healing time but I can still aim to make it to 365 days of squatting (and, I hope, beyond!).

    Thanks again for helping to raise awareness of melanoma.

  2. Good luck
    Glory and I will pray for you. Stay positive. Try 75-80% of your 1rm for the squat. It is somewhat manageable with the ups and downs you feel day to day. I hope your elbow is healed with a limited ordeal.

  3. Cheers Dave. Staying positive is a big part of fighting this thing.

    365lb is around 85% of my PR. Maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew but I figured that less than 90% should be doable for a daily single if I keep volume as low as possible on most days. I have been through the Smolov base cycle so I know how tough regular heavy squatting can get. However, this is an entirely different kettle of fish. Time will tell. :0)

  4. Dave, are you doing low bar or olympic squats?

  5. I'm low barring it although my squat does not have the same degree of forward inclination as a Rippitoe style squat, I'm somewhere between that and an olympic style squat.