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The energy system you’re probably avoiding and the weakness holding you back

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The week on Barbell Shrugged, we talk about the energy system you’re probably avoiding and the weaknesses holding you back with movement specialist and StrongFit founder Julien Pineau.

As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” And sometimes, he’ll show up at your front door dragging a heavy sled and chains.

To be coachable – to learn, adapt and break old barriers – you must be willing to get outside of your comfort zone, far away from your preferred pace and cozy routines.

 

Start right now with what you cannot do, with what you’re afraid to do. Because sometimes, the only way to unveil true weakness and bust plateaus is to pull yourself through some pretty dark places.

All of your questions, your doubts and fears, it’s time to burn them down and rise again, renewed, alive and awakened.

Break out the heavy sleds!

Cheers,

Chris

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62 Responses to “The energy system you’re probably avoiding and the weakness holding you back”

  1. cab

    I think it would be great if you guys filmed some of the workouts you do with your guests pre-podcast. It would have been neat to see Julien working you guys to the point of puking without seeing a close-up of the actual puke :)

    Reply
    • Chris

      I agree. We’re grabbing more of that video now. I think you’ll see more and more of it. Thanks, Cab. Cheers

      Reply
  2. Hugo Germain

    I was not thrilled by the last few episodes but that one is solide gold. Thanks !

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hugo, we’re trying different things. Trying to tell different stories, in different ways. But we’re always working back to this core message…Finding ways to get better. New viewpoints. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  3. Lauren

    Great episode! Do you think you could do a technique WOD that goes over range of motion under tension for the hamstrings? Flexing at the spine once the BB goes past my knees during RDLs is an issue that I’ve been dealing with.

    Reply
    • Chris

      We should. But the thing is, it’s tough to do when Julien’s not there. So easy to pull back into movement, without really knowing it. We need to do more on this, as we all came up short.

      Reply
  4. Patrick

    Mind BLOWN right now! Great episode. Thank you!! It would be tremendously helpful if you guys could provide a technique wod or blog post on how to develop these weaknesses and imbalances that were discussed. You guys talked about a lot of very important problems but didn’t offer too many solutions/suggestions on how to correct.
    For example:
    1. What else can we do aside from rope prowler pulls to help supinated grip?
    2. How to develop Mid back besides just barbell rows
    3. Hamstring stretching exercises under tension like the barbell RDL. what does that look like? how to prescribe?
    4. any other anerobic threshold training exercises if we don’t have a prowler?
    5. Finally, where do we find a Julien to help us identify our imbalances?

    Reply
    • Chris

      Check out Strongfit.com for more from Julien. In terms of your questions, there will be a part 2 next week. But also consider…you don’t need many alternatives. The sled pull and push is great, but you can also use the rower, wingate, hill sprints, car pushes, etc to go there. No special equipment needed always. You can find a way. Also, if you row supinated, work rope climbs, heavy dumbell rows, supinated pull-ups….not sure how many other grip and back options you would require.

      For the RDL movement, you really need Julien to take you through it. It’s hard to get down.

      Reply
  5. Dylan Hines

    Absolutely awesome episode!! I definitely learned a lot!
    I just have one question and maybe he mentioned it and I missed it, but how often should the carry and the hold movements be performed during each week? I know it would depend on the individual but are there any general guidelines?

    Thanks a ton for bringing awesome info every week!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Just start with once a week. Little bit of a warm-up, then 1-2 hard sets. Scale up in time, slowly.

      Reply
  6. Aaron

    I’m not going to lie I enjoyed the quick glimpses of you guys working your asses off. great episode as usual.
    thanks

    Reply
  7. Stephen Caserta

    What would the benefits for a power lifter be for going to the anaerobic threshold ?

    Reply
    • Chris

      It doesn’t hold the same place as it does in Crossfit, for sure. That’s because specificity is still king in powerlifting. You have to drill the lifts first. But that said, going towards the threshold and beyond for your conditioning will reveal “deeper” source weaknesses. Things you can hide or compensate for when pacing, or when you’re lifting in your comfort zone. So, working this stuff will help you find the real thing to be working on. In my case, I realized that some shoulder issues were tied to a stubborn right lat. And THAT is capping my strength. There’s always something there. Also, this work will raise your overall capacity. Do this and sets of deadlifts or squats will just feel much easier in comparison. You’ll work harder, for longer, and thus will probably get much stronger just from the mindset and toughness shift. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  8. Daniel

    The stuff about the shoulder to lat to back to hip relation was AWSOME!!!

    Please do highlight how this is “fixed”. Work on the lat of the bad/weak shoulder side? or by someother trick?

    Best regards
    Daniel

    Reply
    • Chris

      Exactly. Focus on activating, strengthening,balancing the lats. The sled rope pulls. Supinated barbell rows. Some pulldowns. Etc. Julien was so cool. Refreshing when you get to meet a real strength Samurai.

      Reply
  9. Carl

    You guys are the best thing on the interweb! Thanks for consistently knowledgeable, entertaining and generally great stuff.

    Reply
  10. Alex B

    Normally I listen to the podcasts in my multi hour daily drives, but this one I had to rush home and watch as well! So much solid info in this episode. I’d love to hear/see some follow up interviews with Julian in the future. A wealth of knowledge with that man.

    Reply
  11. Barry

    Awesome episode. Barbell Shrugged Crew and Julien, can’t get any better than that. I love how you guys always provide entertaining content that I am able to learn something from. Keep it up. Gonna have to watch this one again. Can’t wait for part 2! Thanks again.

    Reply
  12. The Good Stuff #2 - KH Nutrition

    […] Barbell Shrugged Podcast Episode 190.  Yep, these guys are back on my list this week because they keep bringing the good great stuff on becoming a better athlete and breaking out of your comfort zone. […]

    Reply
  13. Tucker

    I am wanting to add the yoke carries into my programming but don’t have access to one. Is there a good substitute for that movement that still incorporates the multiple planes of movement that Julian describes?

    Reply
  14. Mike

    Awesome interview! Definitely turned on a few lightbulbs about my own training and injuries.

    Reply
  15. Julie

    Loved the techniqueWOD! Thanks for breaking down the rotator cuff! I get it now :)

    Reply
  16. MacNinja

    What an awesome episode! So much knowledge!!! Can’t wait for part 2. Best use of my time – apart from training 😉 – is to watch you guys with my coffee while doing mobility! Hoping to meet you all in Houston in November!!! 😀

    Reply
      • MacNinja

        Hope you’ll have a bunch of swag for me to buy! You guys need stickers, I’ll buy a ton!!! 😀

        Reply
        • Chris

          More and more stuff will be going up at Merch.BarbellShrugged.com all the time. Thanks! :)

          Reply
  17. Eric

    Around minute 27:00 Julien speaks on how muscle imbalances in your upper back can cause an athlete to favor their right or left side in their squat leading to pain in lower back, hip, knee etc. If one had such issues and wanted to work towards gaining balance in strength on both sides, would it be best to avoid (or at least do less) squatting/weightlifting until some strength symmetry is achieved? Julien said this could take up to 12 weeks for one side to catch up.

    I try not to self diagnose but I’ve known my left side to be significantly weaker and have done nothing about it (Shame one me. Blinded on getting bigger PR’s) and I always favor my right side when squatting or weightlifting (in the pulls as well) and its always those joints that are hurting when lifting. So I believe I could be having a similar issue like Julien is talking about.

    Really enjoyed this episode. Great stuff. Thanks guys.

    -Eric

    Reply
    • Chris

      You would allow yourself 12 weeks to adjust. By squatting, but knowing you cannot grind for a while. And of course, by adding in barbell rows/rear delt work and then giving yourself the chance to adapt. It will balance out. But just like most things, it takes a little time.

      Reply
  18. Patrick McKenna

    I’ve been following this site very closely for over 1.5 years and can safely say this is one of the best 5 episodes I’ve seen. Kudos to you guys for continuing to dig up useful and insightful information and interviewees that are otherwise lacking across the internet. Once again you guys shirk conventional wisdom about physical fitness, meet with a truly inspired professional, and leave us with much to ponder. Great, great job gents. Absolutely can not wait until the next episode.

    Reply
  19. traci

    So many “lightbulb” moments….Love Julien, he is truly a movement genius.
    Thank you for this episode. I first listened to the audio, but knew I would have to check out the vid….I have been having chronic elbow issues, and now I have some real solutions…Thanks to you all at Barbell Shrugged…I love you guys..
    (especially your Beevus n Butthead giggles)..

    Reply
  20. Katie

    Awesome episode! I listened to it in the car then went home and watched the video. So much knowledge. I think it might help to see muscle engagement without a shirt, it was hard to visualize what Doug was explaining in the technique WOD without seeing it. Keep up the great work guys, by far the best podcast!!

    Reply
  21. Tim

    Hey guys, loved the episode with Julien. Just wondering where if anywhere he posts his latest workouts. All the posts on Strongfit.com appear to be from 2013?

    Thanks for all the great work.

    Reply
    • Chris

      I don’t know. That said, you don’t need that. Just visit him once, at least, and let him assess you and introduce you to the principles. That’s so many levels above a blog.

      Reply
  22. Paul

    Hey Chris. Just reading your book ‘Progress’ at the minute – love it. Asking some serious questions of myself, and trying to set some solid goals to find direction in my training.

    So in relation to this episode with Julien (awesome work boys), do you have any numbers regarding critical mass? What should I bench vs row? What are the other related lifts and numbers for them?

    Cheers, and keep up the good work my friend

    Reply
    • Chris

      For bench, I would think at least 1.5* bodyweight is a good number, for balance. That would be strong. 2* would be very strong. Only about 1*…that would indicated undertrained arms, shoulders and chest. Apart from that, be careful with looking around for benchmarks. They are always just a guide, and never definitive. You’ll know rather quickly when you discover a true weakness.

      Reply
  23. Ryan Hanson

    Why is rowing being ignored as a pulling exercise? “People that Crossfit don’t do any pulling exercise s”. This episode is nothing more than another person trying to sell their “new thing that others have missed” . Instead of kissing ass, im calling bullshit on this one!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Heavy rowing isn’t very common in gyms. Barbell rows? Common in strength circles, but not in crossfit. They row on conditioning devices, yes. Pull-ups, yes. But not a lot of heavy rows at the moment.

      Reply
  24. Michael

    This is a fascinating episode, so much great information! As a beginner I really try to focus on balancing as much as possible, i.e push/pull, internal/external.

    Thanks for all of the great content!

    Reply
  25. Travis Seurattan

    I have watched these two episodes 3 times for just some of the best knowledge i’ve ever encountered anywhere. Thank you Barbell Shrugged – you stay educating and producing the type of shit that keeps motivating myself and my clients.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Thank you very much. We’ve got some big things planned. :) 200 and beyond will surprise you.

      Reply
  26. Craig

    Fantastic episode, thank you, had to watch both parts twice, will definitely be one of my reference episodes. If/when you guys do another episode with Julien can you try and get his coach on as well, I would pay to hear some of his pearls. I love listening to coaches like Julien who see everything in black and white, no frills or over complicating things. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Chris

      I wouldn’t say he makes it black and white, but he works with a principle driven efficiency that’s very impressive, for sure.

      Reply
  27. Luke

    Just making my way back to podcast and Barbell shrugged, loved this episode. Will support with merch puchases when I’m slightly less of a poor student. Hope this ‘barbellblackout’ thing is a myth or just to hype up the milestone or something!

    Reply
    • Chris

      We obviously have a plan, but I can’t say it’s myth. I will say that you’ll know more very soon.

      Reply
  28. dAVIDg

    This was long but so worth watching. CF almost 4 yrs, 4th place CF Games masters but the last 2 yrs one injury and MULTIPLE chronic problems, one after another. This explained it >> I’ve basically become physically unbalanced & unstable. Right knee was a mess, now left knee is a mess, quads just above knees always always tight, painfully tight. Right calf chronically cramps every several months so badly I can’t jump rope or run. Takes weeks to recover. Injured shoulder in 2014 took 9 months to recover. I was 4th at Games 2015, but hurts to walks half the time ? Something is NOT NOT NOT right. 2016 Crossfit Open starts in 11 days and right now can not do 10 double unders without calf cramping totally. I want to make it one more lap on this CF journey to the 2016 masters Games but warning lights are flashing caution signs at me. Priority to get things straightened out. Otherwise it’s over.

    Reply

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