#491– 25 World Records, Weight Training, Sports Psychology, Overcoming Pain, and more with Dr. Stefi Cohen on the Tim Ferriss Show with Tim Ferriss

Check out the episode page and show notes

Key Takeaways

  • Progressive Training for Weight Lifting includes:
    • Block 1 – General Physical Preparedness (GPP) – accumulating volume and improving aerobic capacity
    • Block 2 – Decreasing cardio and increasing the frequency of all the main lifts: squatting, benching, and deadlifting
    • Block 3 – Increasing lift intensity to 100% capacity
    • Block 4 – Reducing weight loads by 50% just before a competition
  • Injuries happen when the load that lifters put on their tissues exceeds their tolerance
  • To decrease symptoms of pain, determine if your body has a directional preference and find out what action increases pain
  • Back endurance helps to add resilience against injuries
  • When you encounter bad training days, stay positive – don’t bring yesterday’s baggage to the gym today
  • Six things that you should be doing after any injury:
    • Stop doing what hurts – don’t be afraid of taking some time off
    • Find movements that feel good and don’t exacerbate your pain
    • Increase the amount of aerobic activity – “motion is lotion”
    • Use pain to inform your training decisions
    • Turn off the pain alarm -expose yourself to tolerable ranges of motion
  • Understand that tissue adaptation takes time- don’t rush the process

Intro

Stefi Cohen (@steficohen) is a 25x world-record-holding powerlifter and the first woman in the history of the sport to deadlift 4.4x her body weight. She is a doctor of physical therapy, author, co-host of the Hybrid Unlimited podcast, is also the co-author (with Ian Kaplan) of Back in Motion.

Tim Ferriss (t:@tferriss) is an entrepreneur, investor, author, and podcaster.

Stefi’s Weight Lifting Records

  • Stefi is the first woman in the history to deadlift 4.4x her body weight
  • She weighed 120 lbs and deadlifted 545 lbs and broke 25 world records in lifting
  • Her best squat was 510 lbs. and she can bench 240 lbs

Ed Coan and His Approach to Lifting

  • Ed is considered one of the greatest lifters of all times having lifted for over twenty years
  • He had a top-down approach – he decided what he’d lift then figure out what he had to do to get there
  • He specialized in the deadlift = 902 lbs at a weight of 240 lbs

The Ultimate Test of Strength

  • The Dead Lift is considered the ultimate test of strength
  • In a basic deadlift, you start with a bar on the floor and lift until your knees and hips are locked out all the way
  • There are two styles of deadlifting:
    • Conventional – place your hands outside of your feet at hip distance
    • Summa – hands are placed inside of the feet which are much further apart

How to Increase Your Dead Weight Lifting to 4x Your Body Weight

  • Look at your form including the placement of your feet, hand position, angle of your torso, and starting position
  • Look at your training program – implement progressive overloads
  • The physics of your body proportions matter = good leverage
    • Long arms, short torso, and huge hands help
  • Genetics are helpful, too especially with muscle composition

Competition Training Steps

  • Block 1 – General Physical Preparedness (GPP) – In this step, you accumulate volume and improve aerobic capacity
  • Block 2 – Decrease cardio and increase the frequency of all the main lifts: squatting, benching, and deadlifting
  • Block 3 – Increase lift intensity to 100% capacity
  • Block 4 – This is the period where you cut weight loads by 50%

Injury in Weight-Lifting

  • Injury happens but it’s not easy to understand or as simple as people think
  • Injuries happen when the load that lifters put on their tissues exceeds their tolerance
  • Weight-lifters need to manage external forces
    • Figure out what’s irritating your body then do corrective exercises to spare that tissue
  • Increase your tolerance by reducing weight load to allow tissue the time to repair

Stefi’s Injury

  • Stefi had a chronic lower back injury
  • She tried to ignore the pain thinking, no pain, no gain – but that was wrong!
  • Increasing pain killers, Stefi kept pushing herself at weight lifting
  • The pain became excruciating until she felt a snap in her back
  • Stefi only took one week off and bombed out at an international competition
  • She mistrusted much of the medical advice she got, did research, and wrote a book – Back in Motion – a hybrid approach to pain
    • Medical studies are not foolproof – watch their sources

Weight-Training After Injury

  • Pain science has shown pain isn’t necessarily tied to damage
  • 95% of pain cases don’t know the source of the pain
  • To decrease symptoms of pain, do an assessment:
    • Determine if there is a directional preference -Does it hurt when you bend forward or backward, turn left or right?
    • Do a compression test to find your intolerance level
    • Find out what action increases pain- standing, walking, running or sitting

Best Way to Prevent Back Injury

  • Back endurance helps to add resilience against back injuries
  • Make sure that there’s an appropriate progression in what you’re doing, and do movements that are safe for you
  • When it comes to modifying the way that you lift things, you need to move like yourself
  • There’s nothing wrong with rounding when you deadlift – your spinal segments are at about 60 to 70 percent inflection even when you’re not seeing any flexion happening

Stay Positive

  • When you encounter bad training days, stay positive – don’t bring yesterday’s baggage to the gym today
  • Let go of disappointment – don’t overthink a particular session
  • “Each fresh crisis is an opportunity in disguise.” I can’t remember where I first read it, but it resonated with me so much, because honestly every single time I’ve failed at something it’s been the best, worst thing that has ever happened to me. It’s opened so many doors and so many new opportunities.” – Stefi Cohen

Books Stephi Recommends

Six Things You Should Do After Any Injury

  • Stop doing what hurts – don’t be afraid of taking some time off
  • Find movements that feel good and don’t exacerbate your pain
  • Increase the amount of aerobic activity like walking and moving more in general – “motion is lotion”
    • Bed rest and immobilization are all outdated – move as much as you can
  • Use pain to inform your training decisions and the movements that you do
  • Turn off the pain alarm -expose yourself to tolerable ranges of motion and tolerable movements that don’t make your pain worse
  • Understand that tissue adaptation takes time- don’t rush the process and understand everyone experiences pain and injuries at a different speed
Tim Ferriss Show : , , ,
Notes By EWerbitsky

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 12,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks