227: Dr. Pat Davidson on Pressure-Based Principles for Elastic Power and Athleticism | Sponsored by SimpliFaster


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I’m happy to welcome Dr. Pat Davidson back to the podcast. Pat is an independent trainer, consultant, author, and lecturer in New York City. He is the author of MASS and MASS2 and is the developer of the “Rethinking the Big Patterns” lecture series, as well as an upcoming book on the same topic. Pat is one of the most intelligent individuals I know when it comes to human performance, and communicates his knowledge in a manner that makes it easy to understand difficult concepts. He has been a guest on episodes #88 and #122 of this show as well speaking on topics such as an educated approach to movement screens and re-evaluating the “big lifts” in light of athletic performance. That combination of intelligence and communication is paramount for the topic we’ll be tackling today, which is pressure systems and their correspondence to our movement patterns. That sounds kind of complicated, but in reality, it’s as simple as looking at the dynamics of a bouncing ball, or the lungs expanding with air. Pat has extensive experience learning from leading organizations and individuals in this area, such as the Postural Restoration Institute and Bill Hartman. The ability to look at the human body as a pressure system is important because it helps us link what is happening in various gym exercises, as well as what we see in particular athletic presentations (internal vs. external rotation for example), and then look at how that fits to an elastic (tendon and static spring) based strategy of movement, and a more muscular strategy. In addition to a discussion on pressure, Pat also discusses his take on having a “strength score” for athletes in the weight room that normalizes performance metrics based on things like limb length and height. He also gets into ideas on how to “de-compress” the athlete who is compressed in a manner that may be negative to their overall performance. This was a really smart show with some powerful principles for any athlete or coach who wants to navigate the weight room without harming elastic power outputs. Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more. View more podcast episodes at the podcast homepage Timestamps and Main Points 4:40 Pat’s history of athletics and his recent thoughts in regards to normalizing weight room outputs across a variety of athletes with different heights and levers 30:40 Implications of athletes who “over-lift” in dynamic outputs and what physiological elements are playing a role in diminished movement abilities 35:30 Expansion and compression rules in regards to the movement of the human body 44:30 From a rib-cage perspective, what happens when the body becomes too compressed from a front-to-back perspective that often happens from excessive bilateral lifting 51:00 My personal journey in barbell squatting and Pat’s analysis of my tendencies towards compressive forces that allowed me to retain my elasticity well (and how I ended up hurting that elasticity later on) 1:12.10 How to work with athletes with substantial anterio-posterior compression to get into becoming more elastic and robust “Who measures the distance (of a lift), nobody measures the distance. It’s half of the equation of work” “You get punished in many ways, in the reward system of the weight room. If you go full range, and have to use less weight, that’s a “punishment”. If you have to do less reps, that’s a “punishment”.” “You are going to want to make progress so much (in the weight room) you will lie to yourself (by subtly cheating lifts)” “You can recognize people that have done a tremendous amount of strength training; it’s visually obvious. Watch wrestlers or bodybuilders go out for a jog. The whole body turns like a refrigerator” “Movement goes older than biology, it’s pre-biological.

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