Clinical Edge - Physio Edge 098 How to use strength training in your treatment with David Joyce Clinical Edge - Physio Edge 098 How to use strength training in your treatment with David Joyce

Physio Edge 098 How to use strength training in your treatment with David Joyce

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Dave: Why don't we dive straight into it and tell us a little bit about some of the recent developments that have been happening around S&C. What's been interesting and what grabbed your interest?

David Joyce: Well, it's an ever improving world I suppose, and this is largely on the back of, not because we're learning more about … the physiology of it, but I think that technology is allowing us to explore different paradigms of training. I suppose the thing that jumps out is there's more and more accessible technology that is able to track power. It's like that Moore's law, you know you can computer power and doubles and all that stuff.

We see that in S&C technology as well, particularly with respect to wearables and velocity measurement. I think the big shift in the last probably five years has been looking more and more towards velocity based training.

Basically what we're able to do now, is by seeing how fast someone can perform an action. It gives us ready feedback to be able to improve that quality, power being work over time. It allows us to be able to measure and therefore monitor it and manage that. It also gives us a way of being able to understand strength because if we can move a certain object, let's just say it's a 50 kilo bar at a given velocity and then with training over time that we can move it in a quicker velocity. That tells us that we're actually getting stronger, and our program is working.

Equally, it's a really nice way of being able to measure if someone is either getting weaker, less powerful or probably more personally, if they are fatiguing, and they've actually showing neuromuscular fatigue. I think that's been a big shift in S & C when particularly in the strength and power world over the last little while.

Dave: What areas are you intending to use these velocity meters with you using out on the field or in the gym or is there anything specific you tend to use it with?

David Joyce: We certainly use it more in the gym. We look at velocity with running, but in terms of strength indices, and the like, it's definitely more of a gym based thing. We can look at it with things like a bench throw, in a Smith machine, how quickly you can throw a loaded bar up. We're getting an indication of upper body horizontal push power, but we can also look at using things like GymAware and other brands that are available. Looking at bench throws and looking at horizontal, upper body pulling power. We can look at it in terms of squatting and dead lift. There are other measures out there now looking at Push Bands and the like so, we consider tracking how fast we can throw a med ball for example. We're getting more and more reliability and validity studies with this new equipment, which is meaning that we're pretty much, everything that we're doing in a gym should now be able to be calibrated and be able to be measured and therefore improved.

Dave: Let's just say you're assessing someone's squat or maybe their bench press, you got the velocity meters on the bar or where are they?

David Joyce: Yeah, exactly. If you're looking at something like a GymAware, it's basically you attach a wire to the bar, and it's light and it doesn't impede the movement. It gives a real time reading of just the velocity of the bar displacement.

If you're going from chest to full arm extension with a bench press for example, how quickly you can perform that movement with a given resistance. It's really easy. They're pretty portable, and they're certainly coming down in price. They're not inexpensive just at the moment, but they're certainly not eye-wateringly expensive like they were previously.

Dave: Yeah, right. You're intending to keep these on for most of the training, if people are... your place in a gym, would they be using this for most of their session or would it just be for some key tests? Like for instance, if you do a push press on the Smith machine like you mentioned?

David Joyce: Yeah. Certainly on the key metrics, the ones that you really keen to measure, like the big rocks of your program because they're the ones that tend to be a fixed to a bar. We use a lot of supplementary and auxiliary lifts as well. I think what we're saying now is, we'll be able to measure and monitor and manage those in a much more easy manner in the next five years as well. We can measure the velocity of someone sprinting with a little wire and things like that as well. This whole world is about to expand.

Dave: I look forward to seeing how that all develops then.

David Joyce: Yeah. Those things are really important because strength is good, but it's a fairly blunt measure, particularly in terms of sporting performance. There's not many sports that rely purely on an expression of strength. The game winning moments are usually an expression of power. Not only are we doing it to improve the performance, but we can also use it as benchmarks for someone coming back from injury. We're not just saying, "Oh well, he can now squat, one and a half times body weight." But he can do this in a powerful manner.

Dave: Yeah, and also I can see that, how that can apply to all your sports really?

David Joyce: Yeah, absolutely.

Dave: Yeah. Excellent. Any other developments around training methodology or what you're doing in the gym with your athletes over the last few years is different?

David Joyce: Oh, everything old is new again. Essentially, the basic tenants of strength training don't change that much. It's about lifting heavy things. There are so many different ways of skinning a cat in this sort of field. Everything that is new, it's just building on a concept that has been done in the past and then you look back, and you go, well the ancient Greeks were doing exactly the same things. I don't think anyone is truly discovering anything hugely groundbreaking, but certainly the technology is enabling us to give feedback and then increase buying and probably increase effort. For the same tasks, we are able to get a better outcome, if that makes sense.

Dave: You mentioned before, there's a couple of things about strength versus power. I think it's probably a great time to identify it for people. How would you compare strength to power?

David Joyce: Well, strength is your basic currency and power is being able to express it. It's an expression of force production over time. You can't be hugely powerful without having a decent background in strength. The only way that you can be relatively weak if you like and still be relatively powerful, is if you're extraordinarily quick. You'll see some sprinters are able to do that, but they're able to express that force really in a fast manner.

The best way to improve power is by improving strength. Once you've got a really good background of strength, then you can work on how quickly you express it, if that makes sense there. Strength is the basic currency, but power is what wins you matches.

Dave: If you could just lift say, a 100 kilo barbell slowly, that's identifying your strength with maybe not a lot of power, but if you're moving it in a quick fashion, then you're expressing more power.

David Joyce: Yeah, absolutely. There's not that many sports that rely purely on slow strength. Power lifting is probably one of them. Pretty much all the team sports are an expression of power. So how quickly you can express that strength.

Dave: I think it would be good to explore with you, how you might compare your development of your strength as you pair in your athletes in particularly different stages of the rehab as we go through this podcast. When we're looking at that strengthening & conditioning you're using with your athletes, tell us a little bit about in general, the set, and rep ranges you are to use with your athletes. When we're going through more of a rehab process, recovering from an injury, what will you tend to think about when you're looking at set and rep ranges?

David Joyce: It depends on what it is, what the injury is, what you're trying to get out of it. The general guidelines are that first for strength, you want lower reps and high resistance. Well, anything from ones to fives and sixes in terms of reps. You might be doing multiple sets of those, and you can arrange that into clusters. You might be doing four reps, but doing in clusters of two and the likes, cluster is basically like a mini set.

The key to strength, to really improve strength, is that you need to be in that high resistance range. So that 80 to 80 plus percent of what you can do on one rep, you will improve strength by lifting at lower resistance, but it's just not as effective.

For power, you tend to drop the resistance a little bit, but your focus is more on the velocity of that expression. If you think about how fast you can throw a tennis ball, it's obviously a lot faster than you can throw a shot put. That's just simply a function of the, the resistance involved.

If you really want to improve the power, you're looking at reduced resistance faster. Now, one of the things that's really worthwhile noting about power is that, there's different ranges of power. If you want to improve lower body power, you might be doing some unweighted, or some assisted jumping for example, but then you might serve curve, the force velocity curve and add a little bit of weights and there might be jumping with a barbell on their back or holding a medicine ball.

Then you might also look to increase the resistance still and do some more Olympic lifting variations. Each time it's getting slightly slower, but you're putting more resistance onto it. So the power itself might in fact be fairly similar, but you just achieving in different ways. Generally speaking, the rep ranges for power can be quite similar to strength. You might be doing one term, slightly high reps of five, six, something like that. It's your endurance…they're the reps that are much higher.

Traditionally, physios get slated for just prescribing three sets of eight. Three sets of eight of anything's not really gonna make you too strong. It might help with the mind-body connection, but it's not going to really make you too strong unless you are just incredibly weak to start with.

Dave: For strength, you're really looking at those lower rep ranges, that one to five to six and it's similar with your power training. You've also used the lower rep ranges but also lower weight because you're looking at more of that speed generation. You mentioned there a little bit about endurance, do you use high rep training at all them?

David Joyce: Yeah, look we do. I've got a slightly different take on endurance. I think endurance is just how many times you can express an element of strength. I mean people will talk about, "I've got it, I'm a cyclist, so I've got to do high rep ranges being twenties or something like that." But if you're a cyclist, you're doing thousands of repetitions.

So, 20 is just such a small fraction of that. I don't do a lot of endurance lifting as such. I might do a bit of work capacity, so 45 seconds of a circuit or something like that. I tend to steer away from those 8 to 20 repetitions unless what I'm trying to do is increase recruitment of a muscle.

As I said earlier, getting that they're real mind body connection and how to turn on certain muscles, and you're trying to see at what point they fatigue. An example of that might be calf strengthening for example. You might be doing heel raises for time over metronome, and you're looking at that whole calf-Achilles complex, and you're trying to improve its fatigability if you like. There's probably only a few examples where I would use those really relatively high rep ranges.

Dave: Let's take that example you mentioned there with calves. Would you use mostly in general, for say you rehabing something, would you tend to stick with you lower rep ranges there for that strength? Or would you combine it with your high rep ranges? Or just stick to your... You mentioned there the metronome stuff. What's your approach there for that sort of an area?

David Joyce: It depends on the issue I suppose. I think as a general rule, an athletic person should be able to do between 20 and 30 single leg heel raises full range, without having to stop. One second up, one second down in that metronomic rhythmical manner. I think that's a fairly good standard for athletic function. If I really want to improve their strengths, our team will do that with a Smith machine, weighted barbells and the like. If you're really trying to build strength in a traditional sense, you're doing much smaller reps.

Interestingly, the calf is something that is much more... It's much more important to work on the power and the stretch shortening cycle, I believe.

There are sometimes where it's a primary strength deficit, but usually it's not something that needs that really high single double clusters. Those really low rep ranges, the calves tend to need something a little bit higher. Again, if I'm using higher resistance, we'll drop the reps. If we're using just body weight, we'll increase the reps. It depends on what you're trying to get, and I don't think either of them are mutually exclusive. We might be doing using different methods on different days of the week. We did that with a guy coming back from Achilles tendon rupture. He was doing some form of calf work each day. Some days being high reps, low resistance. Some days would be high resistance, low reps. I don't think there's a one size fits all.

Dave: You mentioned there about the stretch short and cycle. We'll come back to that because I want to explore more of that power training stuff later on. We might check back in with some of that power training for the calves; how you might incorporate that there and incorporate that into people's schedule as well. That gives us a good idea. Generally, you've differentiated your sets and reps as you go through, and we want to stick with those lower reps for your power. If you've got different goals, like your endurance, you're more looking at may be your circuits, all those sort of things. It makes a lot of sense. Like you mentioned, whether you're running and you're doing 10,000 steps or cycling and doing 20,000 cycles with your legs, 20 reps in the gym isn't probably going to make a huge difference to your ability to do 20,000 reps on the bike. That makes a lot of sense. What about with your rehab patients? Do you tend to use different rep ranges? Are they okay to do one to fives from the start or how do you tend to approach your reps with some of your injured patients?

David Joyce: Well, I feel like a bit of a broken record because I keep saying it depends though. It really does depend on what the issue is.

Effectively, in a rehab setting, taking strength away from it, you're just trying to look at the ability of the muscle to function. You're absolutely are using higher reps, and you might be doing that. For example, we've got a guy coming back from an ACL reconstruction at the moment. To get his quads firing, he's got some quads wastage, which is inevitable after an ACL. We're using high reps along with the muscle stim just to get that hypertrophy response. That's a typical rehab exercise with a higher need for increased reps. A lot of times, I'll be using high reps if I'm trying to teach a movement.

You're trying to groove the pattern. In rehab, we'll often be trying to do that because we're trying to correct some biomechanics or improve a movement program and the likes. Those things tend to be higher reps. If I'm really trying to get strength, I'll be using low reps, higher load. You've got to remember that, what's highlight for someone going through rehab is going to be low load for when they're back in the rehab. It's not just what they're ultimately capable of but what they're capable of at that time. I don't see that it changes that much other than if I'm trying to groove the movement pattern.

Dave: What's an example of a movement that you might groove that movement pattern with?

David Joyce: Probably a pretty good example is, we would use high reps in a Pilates type session. If we're trying to be able to teach the ability to dissociate movement, if we're trying to teach the ability to stabilise or control lumber spine position when moving your arms and legs and those sorts of things, that's very much a high rep range. If we're trying to improve the ability for the hip to internally and externally rotate on the load, tend to again be higher rep ranges. Our emphasis there is not so much on building bulk strength of any particular muscle like glute max or anything like that. What we're trying to do is be able to improve coordination. Coordination is the thing which requires high reps, bulk training, those sorts of things.

Dave: It makes sense. Your brain wants that repetition to get those movement patterns, and the ability to isolate it or to control those movements really nicely. You're giving it plenty of practice with plenty of reps rather than focusing on the strength side of it at that time. When you want to develop that raw strength or power, then you're using more of those lower rep ranges in the movements that are more about that.

David Joyce: You've got a remarkable skill of being able to paraphrase the stuff that I'm saying Dave. You're spot on there.

Dave: Thanks mate. Thank you. Sometimes we think in terms of we have to work on just strength, but what you're describing is that we've got different aspects of people's rehab that we are going to approach. You're going to approach it differently depending on what your focus is at that time. Whether it is that that control or whether it is the strength that you're using. You're working through your reasoning process to identify what your goals are with each of the aspects there.

David Joyce: Yeah, you're spot on there. A lot of it gets down to what your end goal is. Rehab should always start with the end in mind. With that being the case, if you're trying to get someone back to sport, you need to really understand what the sport is and what the power profile, what the strength profile of that sport is. I don't think you can really expect to return someone to full performance, if you're just doing high reps, low resistance, or you're only doing high resistance, low reps, but at low speed.

You need to really dial down into what are the hallmarks of success in that sport. I work in Australian rules football as you know, it's predicated on an ability to run and run lots. But the game changing moments are the things that we love the sport for, the jumps, the tackles, all those sorts of things, they are power movements and as such, you need to really focus on improving them because if you don't, you're just not going to return to the level of performance. You might get to the start line, but you won't get to the finish line.

Dave: Yeah, for sure. So, you got to develop those abilities for the athletes, not just to be strong but also to be able to express it in a powerful away.

David Joyce: Exactly. Right.

Dave: Yeah, for sure. Looking at say, you've got your players in the gym, and you're working through your pre-session compared to in-session, would you think about your strength conditioning in a different way? Are you approaching it differently with different set and rep ranges? How would you tend to vary it based on that?

David Joyce: People do it differently. Some people look at a blocked type periodisation model where they'll try and groove a pattern. They'll do strengths then they'll do strength speed and then they'll do power, and the like and do it in that vertically integrated manner. I think it depends on your athlete.

You need to know your athlete before you set your sails on that particular program. There are some people that have got a really good baseline of strength. They can move into that power stuff really quite early and frequently we might do that. It's called an ascending descending method. You might start a session with really heavy, slow strength. Let's just use lower body to start with. It might be a really heavy squat, 90% of one rep max and doing two or three repetitions of it, something like that.

But in the same session you might do some Olympic lifting variants, which are lower weight but higher velocity. Then you might finish off with some jumps.

Some contrast type work. You're hitting every aspect of that force velocity curve. That tends to work I think really well with experienced athletes. With less experienced athletes and particularly those that can't control their body particularly well, I try not to add too much velocity early doors with them until I'm happy that they can control their body and that they've got the requisite strength levels to be able to do that. I think it's really important that you look not just at how fast or how much you can lift, but at what technical threshold that they break down.

Someone might be able to swim, for example, from blocks to touch. They might be able to do a 50 meter length in 39 seconds, but as soon as they try and drop that to 37 seconds, their technique goes out the window. Even though they're capable of going faster, I would keep them at the lower speeds just because I want to that groove, that technical proficiency. It's the same with a squat, they might be able to muscle up a heavier lift, but their technique goes out the window. I would keep them until they've grooved that technique. I think of resistance, not trying to build strength, but trying to stress the coordination of the movement.

Dave: You're interested in not in just how much they can lift or how quickly they can do it, but what the quality of that movement is like at the same time.

David Joyce: Absolutely. I think that was the thing that I worked quite a lot in China and that was the thing that I really learned from those guys was they were not after the physiological benefits. That wasn't the main reason for lifting, they were trying to put off their movement by adding more weight.

It shifted my philosophy from being a physiological pursuit to being resistance coordination training.

Dave: In what way were they trying to put off the movement by increasing the weight. In what way?

David Joyce: Let's just say you're doing a squat with a bar, and you've got a 100 kilos on your back, and you manage that really well. You've got good form when you do it. Okay, well, I'm going to put an extra five kilos on you. You might go two and a half kilos either side. At that point, if you then really break down, you can't control your spine, or you decrease your depth or whatever, it means that you've exceeded your technical threshold. I'd then go back to that level where you can actually maintain your good technique. You're not really doing huge, what we call limit lifts, it's just lifting ugly just for the purpose of being able to do it. Does that make sense?

Dave: It does. Yeah.

David Joyce: You're really trying to use that weight to find out at what point the technique breaks down.

Dave: Then using that as your threshold and then reassessing, I suppose as they progress through their training. Are they able to now handle 105 kilos but keep good form throughout the movement?

David Joyce: Spot on.

Dave: Yeah. Okay, fair enough. Rather than just using your pure objective measure of how much weight did you lift. It's that qualitative component to it as well.

David Joyce: This is why you need a coach. Physios and strength coaches are important members of the team for that reason because otherwise you'd have some loud motivating music and a program. But actually no, you do need people that have got trained eye to work out where your technical threshold is. You do see this all the time in gyms all around the world of people just loading up the bar and lifting ugly. To be honest, they'll probably put it in their training diary if they keep one, that I lifted 150 kilos today, which is good for the ego. But ultimately, they're the ones that keep physios in business because they're the ones that break down.

Dave: This will be a good time to explore maybe some of those qualitative aspects you'll tend to look at. Maybe some of the common things that you'll see in the gym with some of your exercises and the things that you are looking for within those.

David Joyce: Oh, that's a really broad topic because it gets down to the specific lift that you're after.

Dave: Yeah.

David Joyce: Commonly we'll look at lumbar spine mechanics, and I'm okay. If someone's doing a really heavy lift, I don't think you can maintain a neutral spine like a lot of the physios will tell you. I think you do have to fortify your whole spine with locking out a little bit. You shouldn't really shift from one side to the other too dramatically. You shouldn't decrease your depth too drastically if you've got an appropriately loaded bar. Broadly speaking, there should be some form of symmetry, particularly if you're doing a symmetrical task like squatting or bench pressing.

They're the common things that I'll look for, but then again it depends on their injury. If I'm looking at rehabbing injury, it will depend on that that I'm trying to understand as well. If we really don't want someone going into a lot of hip internal rotation because they've got groin issues or whatever and we're doing some rear foot elevated split squats, and as soon as we load them up too much, their knee drifts in there, their hip goes into internal rotation, clearly they've exceeded their technical threshold. I don't think there'd be too many people that would be listening to this podcast that wouldn't be able to have a pretty well trained eye on to the common biomechanical areas that we're trying to assess on this.

Dave: There's a little bit of discussion on social media, all that type of thing about do we need to keep a perfectly neutral spine, that you can see examples in power lifting mates of guys with really rounded backs doing deadlifts and that stuff. What's your thoughts there about what you're looking for optimal movement or what you consider optimal?

David Joyce: If you’re going really heavy, I just don't think you can maintain a neutral spine. You need to understand if the need to maintain a neutral spine is really important because of some sort of pathology, if you've got a spondylolisthesis, or you've got a lumbar disc herniation where you don't want to be compressing those posterior elements, and the like, maybe doing really heavy squatting is not the ideal lift for you. But, if you've got a healthy spine and that's not all you're doing, and you're taking moments to refresh, if you're always in a flexed position, you're taking moments to go into an extended position as well, those things I don't see an issue with it because you cannot lift super heavy with a really rounded spine.

As I say, it gets down to your value judgment on whether really heavy lifting in that regard, is beneficial for you. If that's your sport, that's your sport, that's what you got to do. If that's not your sport, and you're using that to get good at your sport, well maybe that's a separate question. We probably wouldn't be wanting guys doing really heavy squats with a rounded spine, simply because it's just too much risk for us. It's not going to be a performance, it's not going to improve them being a footballer to such an extent that it's worth the risk.

Dave: For sure. There's probably a range of what neutral spine is really…you're going to see examples that other end of the spectrum of people doing all sorts of things, but I guess what you're looking at is going okay.

If you want to continue training, what's the best likelihood of you being able to continue to lift good weights, being able to achieve sporting prowess and that stuff with lifting. What's the best position for you to be in optimally and probably squatting with a rounded lumbar spine might not be it. If you are capable of achieving more of a neutral spine throughout the movement?

David Joyce: Well, more of a neutral meaning less of an extreme locked out spine.

Dave: Yes.

David Joyce: It gets down to understanding that in a lot of sports, gym work is just so critical. It is so important. It is a means rather than an end. The best strength coaches, understand that by really maxing out to the point where there's an injury in the gym, meaning that someone actually can't perform their job on the sports field. That's not really acceptable. Certainly, as over the years I've become less limit focused particularly for compact complex lifts, if I think that the there is a risk that someone is not going to be able to train as a result.

Dave: Do you tend to use your pre-season versus in-season training different elective? Would you tend to use pre-season more to develop strength? Or are you still looking within the session to continue to develop their strength further or what's your approach there?

David Joyce: My approach and our approach is that you absolutely have to look to always push if you're in-season because there's what I call the veil of fatigue, is so strong because there's travel, there's games, there's knocks, there's bruises. If you don't look to push the envelope in-season, you actually get weaker. There's fewer opportunities to train. There's no question that pre-season is the time for the heavy investment.

That's where you're really putting money in the bank, but the in session is too long, it’s six to seven months. It's too long to just be looking to withdraw all the time. You do need to find windows to push.

Dave: If you're looking at comparing your strength versus your conditioning aspects, are you doing conditioning aspects in the gym as well as your strength stuff? Or what's your main focus? Are you looking at more of the conditioning stuff on the field? Or what's your focus within the gym side of it?

David Joyce: Certainly for us, it's a combination. Our conditioning, we'll try and get as much as we can from running and from drills but our guys run so much. It might be 15, 16, 17 and sometimes up to 18 kilometers that our guys will run in a match. If you're continually doing more and more work on feet conditioning, not only do you just reduce the quality and increasing the fatigue, you run the risk of getting overused stress injuries in their feet and shins and the like. We will tend to do quite a bit of offbeat conditioning, particularly with our high runners. There'll be bike and there'll be upper body cross training and all sorts of things. Understanding that it is not going to be quite as effective as just pure running, but also understanding that it's a more pragmatic way to improve the cardio respiratory system without running the risk of breaking down the musculoskeletal system.

Dave: Yeah, that makes sense. Because they're going to need some time for their legs to recover from all that running that they're doing. You're looking at doing other activities that they're going to improve their cardiovascular fitness, but they're not putting more of the same stress on their body. You're allowing that recovery time as well.

David Joyce: Absolutely. Right.

Dave: Do you tend to incorporate your strengths and your conditioning sessions in the same session? Do you tend to split them up or what's your sort of approach to that?

David Joyce: We tend to split them up. We find that if they're too close together and that certainly they do conditioning first, that the quality of the strength session is not as good. If you do the strength session first, you just don't get the quality out of the conditioning session. If I had to choose one to do in front of the other, I would do strength in front of condition. Generally speaking, what you'd like them to be able to do in an ideal world is to separate them to a certain extent. So there's an element of recovery and then they can do their second session with greater quality.

Dave: I just want to have a chat to you. There are a couple more of the specifics around the strength training in particular. Let's imagine that you've got them in the gym, they're doing their strength sessions. If you're doing strength exercise you mentioned before, you'll tend to use more of those lower rep ranges. Do you tend to use more of the one set, three sets, five sets of particular exercises? How do you tend to gauge that?

David Joyce: If we're trying to build strength, we will tend to use probably multiple sets but building up. We wouldn't do multiple sets of just one RM for example, commonly like we did do, but we wouldn't it commonly, but we might be building up to that. So you're getting working sets you might be doing a set of four, and then a set of three and then a set of two building up to the increasing resistance all the way along. I suppose in that way there's multiple sets, but we don't tend to do multiple sets of one or two RM if that makes sense. Bu I've seen that work as well.

It just gets down to our strength coach or Adelaide strength coaches has got his philosophy on how he likes to do it. He's a world class strength coach and that's how we tend to roll here.

But I've seen other methods work as well. What you want to do is if you're going really high resistance, you can't do high reps. If you're just doing one set of it, you probably don't tax the body to the same extent that you would really need to improve strength. You tend to use higher sets, lower reps with longer rest between them.

Dave: Yeah. If you've got higher weights and you're working at low reps, it's pretty hard to back up and do another heavyweight if you haven't got much rest in between your sets.

David Joyce: Well, there it becomes just an endurance set.

Dave: Yeah. Combining your conditioning with your strengthening, which limit your strength aspects.

David Joyce: That's exactly right.

Dave: Yeah. What rest periods do you tend to advise? Do you have a rest period? Or you tell them whenever you're ready to go again? Or what's your guidelines around that?

David Joyce: It varies. Strength coaches do it differently, but there are also pragmatics of you've got a certain workload that you need to be able to get through in a specified time period because other people need to train. The next group are coming into the gym or whatever. We tend to have our groups on 45 or one hour limits in our gym, probably because I think there's an engagement factor. It's hard to remain engaged for too much longer than that. If you're going really, really heavy, there might be a couple of minutes between sets. If you're doing really heavy squats, there might be two, three, four minutes between sets. In the meantime, you're doing an upper body set or something like that. Then I've also seen it work really well where the athlete lifts when they feel that they're physiologically ready to do that.

It's just that that's much harder to control in a team settings. It's a bit easier in a one on one or two on one setting. It gets down to how well you know the athletes. Sometimes the athlete just wants to get it over and done with so they won't actually take their prescribed rest period in. In actual fact, that is a really critical part of coaching. It's to get buy into, okay, let's just not get it done because we want to concentrate, we want to maximise our effort on every single rep. If you can bang out two RM and then have a 22nd break and then do another two and then do another two, well really, we need to be putting a bit more weight on the bar.

Dave: Yeah. You probably didn't actually use the two RM, if you could do it 20 seconds later.

David Joyce: Yeah. Spot on.

Dave: Yeah. Do you ask your athletes to perform their sets to failure if they're doing bench, or they're doing squats and that sort of things pretty hard to squat to failure without falling on the floor, but some of the others, what's your thoughts on going to failure, do you tend to go to it or stay a little bit shy of it?

David Joyce: I think for every piece of research, which says that you going to failure is not necessary. It's just multiple reps, but you don't necessarily need to go to failure. You then look at some of the world's most successful strength coaches, world's most successful strength clubs and power lifting clubs. They'll often go to failures. I think there's arguments for both. I tend not to go to failure if it really exceeds their technical thresholds. Sometimes failure can happen so quickly. I'm sure you've had the experience yourself where you're doing a bench press, and you feel fine for the first three reps and then you fall off a cliff.

Dave: That's right. Certainly…it's a sticking point you’re not going anywhere.

David Joyce: Yeah. Technically you're trying to fail you there and then you do multiple steps of that before you know it, you're doing pushups on your knees, and you're failing. There's an element to it that is probably quite helpful, but it goes into failure on every exercise on every set does come on a significant energy and hormonal cost. I think you've got to pick your battles wisely.

Dave: Definitely. I think that's a really nice place to wrap it up. What I'd like to do is get your back on the podcast. Talk about how you intend to change the exercises based on different pathologies. Maybe some of the heavy slow loading and progressing into your velocity. How you might incorporate velocity and power exercises and pliers and explosiveness. So really like to explore all of those with you. I think that might be the perfect place to wrap up this one. We'll get you back on if you're up for it on another podcast and have a chat about some of those things.

David Joyce: Yeah, that'd be good, Dave. And I hasten to add that I’m not setting myself up as being the authority in these topics. I'm pretty well experienced, and I've done a lot of it over a long period of time.

Certainly our program is guided by world-class strength coaches, and the like. I learn every day from those guys. I'd encourage all the physios out there to really connect with strength coaches and conditioning coaches because they've got such a vast range of experiences and skills and knowledge that I think it can really leverage what physios do. Equally, I think the strength coaches can really learn a lot from physios, the benefit of cohesive and integrated working, I reckon.

Dave: Definitely. Well, thank you very much for coming on and sharing all that on the podcast with us. It's been fantastic. You've got a book coming out soon. Is it out yet? Or when will the new book be out?

David Joyce: It's still in the writing process. Dan Lewindon and I wrote along with some world experts published a book called High Performance Training for Sports. Probably about 5 years ago, I reckon it was, Dave? That we don't become really successful around the world and we're just in the process of updating that writing, a second edition, which going to be a quantum leap forward from what the old one was. We'll put that in for printing at back end of the year. I reckon, hopefully on the shelves midway through next year.

Dave: Beautiful. You've got some other books as well that we'll link to in the show notes, which are awesome. I've got all those. That's great. Can you tell us where people can find yourself and what you've got going on?

David Joyce: Yes. I'm not hugely prolific on social media, but if people wanted to hit me up, I think everyone keeps telling me I need to get on Instagram. I've got the bandwidth to cope with Twitter at the moment that's @DavidGJoyce. If people wanted to email me, it's probably the best place to do it's

Dave: Great stuff. All right, well, thanks very much for coming on and sharing all that with us, David. I'm going to look forward to having a chat about more and some of those other things on another podcast. Thanks again, mate and you have an awesome day.

David Joyce: Good on you, Dave.

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