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Q & A 19 Oct 20

by Shaun Kober
October 19th 2020

In this episode, I answer my listeners and followers questions.

1. How important is rest and recovery?

2. How do you balance working different training modalities like mobility, f... More

Yo what's up guys? Welcome to today's episode of the Leave train performed podcast. I'm your host, Sean koba. Last week I put a post out for a Q and a session ah and you guys responded with a number of questions which I'm going to be answering rapid fire style on today's episode. Now some of these Q and A sessions I do go quite deep and I might only answer 12, maybe three questions within an episode and I can go down the rabbit hole. So the whole idea of today's session is to try and answer um these questions fairly quickly. I'm not going to dive too deep into each one, but I will touch on each question and provide as much detail in the answer as I can. Let's get started. So the first question comes in from Swiss eight, which is a proactive mental health program designed by veterans to allow people to schedule in the most important things of their life. I'm an ambassador for Swiss eight and I love what those guys are doing and they are really changing the game when it comes to um interventions and you know, taking back control of your life when it comes to anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

So the question that they write is how important is recovery and having rest days? Excellent question. Because I see this all the time where people think that they need to hammer themselves at the gym and that is not the case. Okay, so most people think rest and work are opposites, they're actually synergistic. Okay, so the more that you rest, the harder you're able to work and the more that you work, the more rest becomes essential, rest equals quality work and quality work leads to needed rest. I've spoken about the autonomic nervous system in detail in another episode. Okay. But essentially the autonomic nervous system is the balance between the sympathetic state, fight or flight and the parasympathetic state which is rest and digest. Now when we go into the gym and we train we're putting our body into a sympathetic state which is fight or flight. Now there's a physiological response that occurs when you go into this stress state. You know your pupils dilate your heart rate increases, your respiratory rate increases, your body starts mobilizing energy fuel resources and pushing that away from the digestive system towards the limb so that you can essentially fight off or run away from a threat.

Now when we're training we push into this state. Now it's only when we recover by driving the parasympathetic nervous system that we get the results and we recover and we adapt. Okay, so when we drive the parasympathetic nervous system, our physiological um change goes the other way. Okay, so pupils constrict, our heart rate decreases respiratory rate decreases body starts mobilizing energy resources, et cetera back in towards the digestive system. So now when we drink water were able to rehydrate a lot better when we eat our food, our body is able To break down that food into its raw materials and then push those materials to the individual systems. 11 systems of the body. The individual systems that have been broken down. So if we look at some of those systems, okay, we've got the nervous system, we've got the muscular system, we've got the skeletal system, endocrine system etcetera etcetera. Those are primarily the systems that are being broken down and stressed out when we're training.

It's only when we allow our body to one recover through adequate nutrition um in the right amount of calories, the right macro nutrient ratios and micro nutrient ratios to support that recovery that we actually adapt. So think about it like this a good analogy that I like to use is if I have a cyclone hit my town my city. Okay if I get a category five cyclone hit my town then the council is not going to build that city back up to where it was. It's going to allocate resources and time and manpower to rebuilding that city bigger, stronger better so that it can withstand those forces again next time. Now think about it like this if I go into the gym and I hit a category five cyclone every single time and I break those systems down and I cause a fuss load of damage then what's going to happen is I need more resources. I need longer time. I need more manpower so that I can rebuild that city bigger, stronger better.

Okay, So if I have a category two cyclone hit my town. I don't need as many resources. I don't need as much manpower, I don't need as long to be able to one recover. But then to adapt and go above and beyond. So it's all about balance. And when I look at a period ice training program the goal is to elicit the most amount of response with the least amount of work and don't get me wrong I'm going to absolutely get after at some training sessions. I'm going to smash my clients. Okay but then I need to balance it out and I work at Tiger muay thai. So I work with high level fighters, professional athletes all the time and if they're hammering themselves in every other training session then I need to pull them back. Okay I need to focus on the other areas of mobility, flexibility, stability. Yes I'm going to get some strength speed, power, endurance, energy, system conditioning in etcetera. Okay but your ability to perform is predicated by your ability to recover and then adapt.

The next question comes in from Jacob turner on instagram how do you manage a good balance between mobility, flexibility, strength and functional training. First of all they are all interrelated and I'll give an example of what I mean in a moment. But first of all let's define what those words mean. Okay so mobility is your ability to take your joints through their fullest range of movement whilst maintaining control. Okay, flexibility refers to your muscles and how pliable those muscles are, which obviously affects mobility. Strength is your ability to produce force. And functional training is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot. Um but I don't think that people are using it correctly. So four functional training for me, I look at the primary movement patterns. All right, these are the movements that we do every single day. So we're looking at hinge squat lunge, push pull, twist and carry.

Okay, I like to keep it a little bit simpler. And I look at gate which is walk, run, ride, swim row, crawl, climb, jump, throw and carry. We pick things up. We put things down in multiple directions, multiple planes of movement and then we get up and we get down okay, whether that's getting up off the ground and then back down or sitting down into a seat, et cetera. So when I look at functional movement, I'm looking at all of the movements that I do on an everyday basis. Alright, So most people, when they go to the gym they focus on isolating specific areas Okay? And targeting specific muscles. All right, that is isolating the systems rather than integrating systems. So when I'm looking at training, particularly functional training, I'm looking at strengthening those movement patterns and movements that I'm doing on an everyday basis. Alright, so let's go back to all of those things being interrelated and the example that I'm gonna give here is I've got an old rugby injury on my left ankle.

So if I'm going into a strength based session and I'm hitting some heavy squats, I need to mobilize my calves, I need to mobilize my ankles. I need to do some soft tissue work on my left calves and my feet because if I drop down into a squat, trying to focus on building strength through a full range of movement, my mobility on my left ankle is off. I don't have the same range of movement as I do on the right side. So what's going to happen as I drop down into that deep squat position, That mobility issue and the flexibility issue with the left calf is going to affect my ability to maintain equal balance and equal strength through both legs because I'm dropping down into that squat position and I can't drive my knee forward because of my lack of mobility through my left ankle. My hips shift across the right. So that mobility issue on my left ankle then creates a strength discrepancy. So I'm making sure that I'm addressing that in my warm up. Okay now, what I want to talk about next is implementing these things into your day.

All right now, an example of how I do this is my flexibility work. I'm doing that in the sauna in the mornings or first thing when I wake up in the morning I'm going through a full body stretch and I'm addressing any areas of tension within my body and I'm paying attention to, you know, any discrepancies and paying attention to any muscular imbalances. I'm paying attention to where my body is tight so I can give it the love and the care that it needs. All right, then, when I go into my training session, let's say I'm doing a strength session, I'm then going to mobilize. I'm going to do some soft tissue work using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, etcetera. Okay, loosen up what's tight. And then I'm gonna do some activation work to strengthen what is weak. Okay, and that primes me to then go into my strength session that allows me to increase my train ability for that training session. Okay, I'm addressing those areas that I need to to allow me to get into good positions and connect to the muscles that I want to connect to. Again, strength and functional training is primarily working through the entire body.

Okay, so we want to integrate all of those systems and create muscular tension, not only through the specific muscles that we're targeting, but we also want to create interconnectedness between all of the muscles throughout the entire chain of the body. So what I recommend doing is going and listening to my period Ization um episode I think I released that episode maybe 4 to 6 weeks ago. So I go into quite a bit of detail. It's a 40 minute episode on period ization models what period Ization is and how you can get the most out of a period eyes training plan. So the next question comes in from Samuel Dare on instagram and his question is for those having issues with back squatting, what are your favorite exercises to build the quads for strength and muscles? So my first question here is what are you having issues with on the back squat? Is it a mobility issue through the ankles where you can't get down into that deep position without your lower back?

Rounding out, if that's the case, then you might simply elevate your heels so that you can take your lack of ankle mobility out of the equation. The second question is, is it a hip issue? Do you have tightness in the hips? Do you spend a lot of time sitting throughout the day and your hip flexes are tight and overactive? If that's the case, then you're going to need to do some soft tissue work. And I go through a heap of skills and drills on addressing that in my video on my Youtube channel, which is called addressing or simple skills to simple drills to address lower cross syndrome. So I recommend heading over there and having a look at that. My Youtube channel is at performance functional training. If that's the case, then you'll need to do some lengthening work where you do some soft tissue work, switch off the hip flexes and then do some activation work to switch on the hip extensive. Is uh is it a mobility issue in the thoracic spine which doesn't allow you to get into a good position to create tension through the upper body.

So yes, the squad is a lower body movement, but if you're lacking stability and mobility in the upper body, then that can affect your ability to get into a good deep squat position. So, um I've got another video on my Youtube channel called simple drills to address up across syndrome. And this is fairly common in Western society these days. Everything we do is and in front of us. So we are very anti, really dominant, meaning everything that we do is in front of us and all of those muscles in the front of the body. The flexes of the body become short and tight and overactive. So you can use those drills to address your mobility for the upper body as well. And the other thing is, is it a shoulder mobility issue? Is it a risk mobility issue? Um So there could be many, many things going on with the back squat here. It could be mobility issues. It might also be a strength imbalance, like if you're um not very strong through your glutes and your hamstrings and your hip um stabilizers and hip rotator is then you might get down into that deep bottom position and if your abductors for example the muscles on the inside of the leg that draw the legs in towards each other.

If they're tightened overactive then that could also lead to a what's called a butt wink which is basically where your tailbone tucks under. Um if you have had any lower body injuries then um you might have to address your recruitment patterns. So I gave the example before about my old rugby injury on my left ankle. Um When you have an injury, your body still needs to move. So it has a blueprint to create that movement and it's going to fire certain muscles at certain times in a specific order. And if you have an injury then your body's going to bypass those patterns because it still needs to complete that movement. So it's going to start firing other muscles to take that load. So it's a fairly loaded question. Um And I I don't know exactly what the problem is. So I'd need to see you squatting too, give a pretty detailed um fix to address the problems. But what I would say is that you need to do some activation work and this is where your warmup comes into play.

One of my recent episodes was on ramp which is raise activate mobilized and potentially eight. And this is basically what you should be doing throughout your warm up. This is the protocol that I used to prime the body for the training session that you've got coming up. So um address those areas of tension, get everything activated correctly so then you can hit a good back squat position now to add to that I won't give, I will give example exercises. But what I also want to say is that frequency is a great tool that is often underutilized. Most people um tend to push towards intensity where they're training really fucking hard or they're lifting really fucking heavy. Um but they don't really pay too much attention to frequency. So this is where you might go, hey I want to get some um activation, I want to get some growth in some specific muscles. So what I'd recommend here is looking at those muscles that you're targeting. And in my warm up in my ramp protocol for the training session, this is where I'm going to add in some frequency builders and add some extra volume.

If I want to target my quads for example, during my warm up, before I go into my heavier based work then I might do some activation work like sissy squats or I might do some unilateral training like some single leg Bulgarian split squats or split squats or lunges or step ups or something like that. I might even go into some leg extensions. If you're targeting quads then you might get some frequency and by hitting those exercise every single day and you're not smashing yourself, you're not lifting as heavy as you can, you're simply connecting to those areas And that might be a problem that comes up with your back squat. Maybe you're not connected to specific areas. So this is where you can use some isometrics to really target those muscles where you're creating a mind muscle connection and you're really trying to focus on activating specific muscles. Now I spoke earlier about integrating movements rather than isolating movements. Where I would isolate movements and isolate specific muscles is where I'm lacking some activation and some connection.

So let me give you guys an example of what I mean by lack of connection. If everyone stands up and they dragged their heel to their backside they keep their knees together. Use your hamstrings to drag your heel to your backside, drag that heel as high as you can. Okay that is your active range of movement. Now if you grab hold of your ankle and you drag your heel up to your backside, that's your passive range of movement. Okay? And if you let go of that foot and the ankle drops down a couple of inches, okay, that is where you're lacking connection and that is typically where injuries occur because you don't have connection there and this is something that I see a lot when I'm in the gym is people don't really pay attention to how they're moving and they don't pay attention to what muscles should be firing um creating stability um Using these different tempos and time under tension isometric contractions to create this strong connection and create this strong activation through the specific muscles that you're trying to target.

So um what I'd recommend doing here is adding some frequency and hitting those exercises uh every day basically. Um you're not smashing yourself, you're just trying to target and connect those specific muscle groups that you're trying to work on. Okay. And the other thing here is looking at the three muscle contractions. We've got three muscle primary muscle contractions which is concentric meaning muscles shorten. So this is where if you're doing a leg raise for example then or sorry, leg extension then you're extending the knee. Ok, focusing on the quads. That is a concentric contraction. The e centric contraction is when you're lowering under control. This is actually our strongest contraction. Our strongest muscular contraction. This is where I can use sn tricks to really focus on creating a really strong connection to specific areas and specific muscles through that full range of movement. So I might simply load up the leg extension machine or a sissy squat or something like that and lower under control as those muscles are lengthening.

Now the last contraction I'll talk about is which I've mentioned numerous times is the isometric contraction. This is where the muscle doesn't change length or shape but it's still working. So think about the leg extension machine again, if you go to the halfway position where your um knees basically out 45° and you hold that position and you think about squeezing those muscles as hard as you can? Okay, now what's going to happen here is you're going to connect to those muscles at that specific joint angle. So you might do um a concept, sorry, an isometric contraction in that top position, where you're squeezing those muscles as hard as possible and trying to create that mind muscle connection, then you might go to 45 degrees And do the same thing in that position and then you might go down to the bottom position where your knees flexed at 90° and do the same thing there. Another good one is using a wall, sit so sit up against the wall with your back against the wall, feet are going to be hit with hips, knees, shoulders, sorry, hips, knees, ankles all aligned.

Okay, use that wall set. And then what you're going to do is think about not moving your feet, but driving your back against the wall as hard as you can to fire up your quads. Okay, so use frequency, use mind muscle connection and work on different joint angles working through those three muscular contractions. I've been banging on for roughly 20 minutes so far, so I'm going to wind up the episode with a couple of fun questions and I'll continue this Q. And a session on thursday. The fun question first fun question comes in from the same man at Samuel Dare, and his question is, what is your favorite club or pub on Mitchell Street in Darwin? Or were you in Archie's versus the hub man in Palmerston? Um, I actually grew up in Darwin, so I, in Palmerston in particular and I spent quite a bit of time uh in Palmerston and you know, I would go to causally sports bar. One of my mates was a really good pool player, played for the state team represented nationally, I believe, and we would go to cause Elise.

Um, and you know, drink their gamble, play pool and have a lot of fun as I don't even know how we got in were underage, but we went up to cause a lease and had a good time there and then we'd sneak into arches as well and we had a lot of fun there. So some of those stories probably not relevant for this podcast, um, when I, before I joined the army, I didn't really go out in town too much. Uh, if I did go out in town, I'd go out with the rugby boys, I played, um, I played with the seniors when I was 16, 17 before I moved to Sydney. Um, and I'll just sneak in with those boys, they knew a lot of the lads on the doors and they would just get me in and had a lot of fun there. Once I got posted back up to, down with the army, the first couple of years, Discovery was the place to be uh that closed down I think a couple of years later, so we transitioned more towards the top bar Duck's nuts, the deck. Uh Cavanagh was also a good place for sunday sessions. Um Those last couple of years I was in Darlin I think it was like 2000 and 9, 10, 11, 12, I left in 2013, but Monsoon's was the place to be for us.

Uh They sponsored our rugby club and our rugby club, katarina Cougars went three years in a row, undefeated, won the premiership, um those, all of those years and I was the co captain of that club. So every time we go to monsoons, there'll be massive lineups there. Ah and I would just walk straight to the front of the line and you know, tell him my name, tell him who I was and take a heap of people in with me as well. So I had a lot of good fun nights out at monsoons. Um Discovery opened up again again in the last year or two that I was there I believe. And I remember going out one night, this was back when I first got back to Darwin with the army. So this is a pretty funny story. Um the boys went out to Discovery on a Tuesday night and it was a tits out Tuesday. So they'd have a competition where these girls would get up on stage and you know, they'd wear these white shirts and they'd hose them down and you know, you could see their boobs through the white shirts and all that type of stuff, and it was a good time for everyone, and particularly when we come back from being out Bush for a couple of weeks, we go out and get on the peace and have a good time, but I remember this one night we went to tits out Tuesday at Discovery and these girls got up on stage and one girl in particular took the top off and everyone was like you cheering her on and you know, the crowd went crazy and then she took her pants off and everyone was like you and went nuts, and then all of a sudden she started, you know, finger banging herself and we're just like, that's probably a little bit too far.

So um we had a little bit of a laugh at that, and we're like that she's going to regret that tomorrow. But uh yeah, we had some pretty wild times in Darwin and that story was probably actually one of the tamer story, so yeah, I'm not going to share any of the other stories on this podcast, but yeah, if you meet me in person ever, and you want to hear some funny stories, then hit me up. The next question comes in from keith EOC Gamboa on instagram, His question is what's harder a tool with packed social to Asia or a tour to Afghanistan. They both present their problems and they both require a particular mindset. Um So this time last year I was in Vietnam playing in a rugby tournament with these guys and I flew in on the friday night And my roommate didn't get back into the room to like 3:00 AM or something like that and we're up at about 6:30 AM to go to the grounds and kick off the rugby tournament, I think there's a tennis tournament and we were sitting at the front of this hotel that we're staying at and these boys started rolling in at like 6 37 o'clock, 7 30 in the morning from you know wherever they'd been the night before, so it was pretty loose, we all jumped on the bus headed to the grounds and we got I think we got to the grounds at like five past eight or something like that in our first game was like 20 past eight, everyone was fucked up, everyone was hung over um and it was just, we didn't win a game that tournament.

So anyway we went out that night, there was an after party um at the grounds that we're playing at and the boys decided that we're all going to get dressed up and I ended up wearing my pack budgie smugglers, Pakistan's for a pig athletic club. So I was wearing my pack budgie smugglers with just like fishnet shorts over the top of them and that was all um and that was a pretty wild night, we kicked on there and then headed out into town and then uh I'm pretty sure like I didn't even play the next day because I was so hungover and I was sleeping throughout the day, so yeah, whenever I'm going on tour with those boys, it's always a really good time, but it's always really hard to get myself into the right mindset of being able to balance, you know, switching on for rugby games and also, you know, enjoying the fun, enjoying the social, social side of the rugby. But yeah, I'm looking forward to the Borders opening back up again and getting to, you know, go out with those boys again and you just hang out with a good bunch of lads that enjoy their footy, but also enjoy um you know, getting on the pierce and having a good time together afterwards, that's it for today's session guys, tune in on thursday for my next Q and a session, I'll be answering some serious questions and also answer some fun questions piece

Q & A 19 Oct 20
Q & A 19 Oct 20
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