Podcast #8: Grant Fowler (Fowler Fitness)

Fowler Fitness Principles:

  • “That’s the biggest thing that I preach all the time… if you have the principles down, everything pretty much comes easy after that.”
  • Holistic: “Accounting for everything in training that needs to be accounted for to be successful.”
  • “There is a time and place for anecdotes and personal experience… but ultimately, you need to start with science.”

Where we get it wrong in S&C:

Wasting time with low stimulus training.

  • “Athletes have a limited amount of time to spend in the gym.”
  • “Most people’s training is an opportunity cost… most of the things that people are doing in their training shouldn’t be in there.”
  • Snap Downs. “How is that a good use of your time?”
  • Pallof Press. “The stimulus that you’re getting from that probably doesn’t even remotely compare to something like a heavy wood chop or a flywheel rotation.”
  • Speed Ladders. “It trains the neuromuscular system, the stretch shortening cycle… and I could name probably 20 other things that train those systems 10 times more effectively.”
  • “As long as it involves some type of movement, you’ll find somebody trying to justify it.”

We’re not holding people accountable.

  • People getting away with guru-ism.
  • Injury Prevention as a catch phrase. “Nobody ever says anything about it… We’re not accurate. We just throws things out there arbitrarily.”
  • Asymmetries or left-right imbalances. “It’s not really injury predictive.”

Ideas on Specificity:

  • Too much volume of specific tasks. “Maybe sometimes we need anti-specificity.” “We need to be feeding them what they’re not getting.”
  • How long can general training work? “It can work a lot longer than most people think that it can. Most people haven’t pushed general development or strength to the level that they need to yet.”
  • “Sometimes we focus on specifics too much.” We don’t get the full general development.

Exercise Selection:

  • Rear Delt Exercise. “You only have time for one exercise.” “I’m not gonna do a band pull apart.” “We’re gonna be doing a side lying delt raise.” Strength curve will stimulate the most amount of muscle possible with the least amount of volume.
  • “You can do a lot less by choosing exercises that are stimulating what you want a little more effectively.”

The need for Variation:

  • You develop skills smoother. “Nervous system fills in those grey areas where technique starts to break down.”
  • Monotony. “The more I practice something, the more it grows stale, and the more I burnout.”
  • Minimum Effective Dose. “Variation is a good segue into that.”
  • Using Variation but staying Specific. “We’re always varying the times, intensity ranges, the volume… but we’re always doing something similar.”

Health before Performance:

  • Determining health without Tests/Assessments. “I kinda base on observation and what they’re telling me.
  • Keep quality of performance high to maintain long-term health. “What’s the heaviest you can go with very little breakdown.”
  • “One of the biggest killers of progress is just being beat up.”

Why we should use isolation exercises:

  • “You’re never fully isolating something.” Bicep curl gets the wrist flexors, fingers, and shoulders (isometrically to stabilize).
  • “Isolation exercises as more of emphasizing something rather than fully isolating it.”
  • The argument against isolation doesn’t really make sense. “You’re fundamentally doing that (isolation) by being in a gym and by engaging in forms of exercise other than your sport.”

Reducing injuries:

  • “Holistic.”
  • “It’s never gonna come down to one specific thing.”
  • “You always have to zoom in and then you have to zoom back out.”

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