Mike Israetel: Proper Weight Lifting Techniques-Ep.80

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Proper Weight Lifting Techniques

Now, get your notebook, because this week’s guest, Dr. Mike Israetel, gets down and dirty with proper “weight lifting techniques“. First you’ll hear from host Rob and his wife Devon on how to prevent and deal with generic shoulder and knee pain. 

The Renaissance Diet Explained

Then you’ll listen to Dr. Mike, professor of Exercise Science at Temple University, Head Science Consultant at  RenaissancePeriodization.com, and coauthor of the the books, Scientific Principles of Strength Training and the Renaissance Diet.  He breaks down the specifics of a squat like you have never before heard.  You’ll learn how to bench press properly and hear why a weight lifting belt is a waste of money.

About Dr.  Mike Israetel

As a lover of science and learning in general, the only negative remark Mike received at his high school parent teacher conferences was that he had no idea how to properly weight lift.  It wasn’t until University that Mike started to look at the science behind weight lifting form.  Yet, he is thankful for doing the “dumb” versions through high school.  This knowledge of doing everything wrong gave him the experience and motivation to jump into the science and learn what is proper and why.

What you’ll hear on this week’s podcast

0:00      -Introduction
1:12        -Devon and Rob discuss how to
2:13        -Question and Answer: from Podcast Listener Roula
19:30     -Introduction to Dr. Mike Israetel
24:14     -Why being a terrible weight lifter can have it’s good points
26:16     -Why in person coaching is the best way to work on a squat
28:18     -Discussing weight lifting techniques of the squat
28:28    -Low back positioning
30:27    -Saving your knees during a squat
31:15     -How low should you go?
32:56     -Why foot positioning isn’t as important as you might have thought
33:39     -The butt wink versus rounding the back
35:20     -What causes a butt wink
36:30     -Why you should not use knee wraps use for a squat
41:52     -Weight belts are “dumb” for the normal weight lifter
44:58     -Why wrist wraps and straps can be effective
46:58     -3 tips on your bench press
51:33     -Drop Sets
54:04     -Example Chest Workout
55:00     -How many days a week should you work a muscle group?
57:30     -Weekly breakdown of workouts
1:07:22  -HIIT Training
1:09:51  -In order to see the body you want, you must “work”
1:10:10  -The biggest mistake when starting a workout program
1:19:38  -Mikes book, Scientific Principles of Strength Training
1:20:47  -First 3 Principles of strength training

  1. Specificity- Know what you are training for and train for the that.
  2. Overload- Work hard enough to stimulate adaptation and work hard over time
  3. Fatigue Management- Every now and again you need rest

1:23:46 -MRV, Maximum Recovery Volume, rest to training ratio
1:28:30 -How to find Dr. Mike

Pick up Mike’s Book: Scientific Principles of Strength Training at the websites:

RenaissancePeriodization.com or

Web In TEXT(1)

Example Workouts by Mike:

Example Chest Workout

Couple of sets of of Flat Barbell Chest Press (8 reps)
Couple of sets of Incline Dumbbell Press (10-12)
2-3 times per week
On those same days do other body parts

Weekly Breakdown of Workouts

Vary Upper and Lower Body
-Monday Upper Body
-Wednesday Lower Body
-Friday Upper Body
-Monday Lower Body

Whole Body Everyday.  
-Monday emphasizes pulling muscles
-Wednesday day emphasizes legs muscles

  • 6 sets for legs
  • 4 sets or back and biceps
  • 2 sets on chest

-Friday Emphasizes pushing muscles

  • 6 sets shoulders and triceps
  • 4 sets back and biceps
  • 2 sets legs

HIIT Training Workout

  • 2 minute jog 6-7 miles an hour
  • 1 minute walking 3 miles an hour
  • Repeat as many times as you need to burn 500-1000 calories

Listener Roula asks about shoulder and knee pain

Question:  Roula has constant shoulder and knee pain/injuries.  How do you get rid of shoulder and knee pain and prevent it from reoccurring in the future?

Answer:  While it’s hard to answer each person is different, Devon and Rob give a generic overview of the most common problems they see and different stretches and strengthening exercises to correct alignment as well as open and stabilize the joints.

Alignment:  First thing you need to do is look at the way your shoulder sits on your back.  Most commonly, people have shoulders that rotate forward and their upper backs round. If you try to lift weights in this alignment, you may experience a limited range of motion.  When you have a limited range of motion, your entire body cannot work the way it should to support you in lifting weights.  You might be putting much stress on some muscles and not working the ones that you should in the exercise. Thus you want to learn how to correct this alignment.  

To correct alignment, you need to look at where you are tight and where you are weak.  In the scenario mentioned above, with a person with shoulders rounded forward, you would want to open the front of the body and strengthen the back of the body.  We recommend a series of rolling either on different balls or on a foam roller. Check out Jill Miller’s book, The Roll Model, for a complete list of exercises.  We also recommend her Yoga Tune Up Balls or a Foam Roller.

Roll out the following with a ball or foam roller

  • Pectoralis major and minor (mentioned in podcast)
  • Biceps (mentioned in podcast)
  • Triceps
  • Lats

Strengthening Exercises

  • Cobras
  • Back Rows
  • Pull Ups
  • Pull Downs
  • Back Flies

Alignment:  When looking at your leg alignment check to make sure your hip, knees, and toes create one line.  This is especially important when running and going up stairs.  Similar to the shoulder, misalignment is do to tightness and weakness of different muscles.  For the knees we will focus on how to open the musculature.  We didn’t go into strengthening on the podcast, but keep an eye out for a future blog post.

Roll out the following with a ball or foam roller.

  • Inner thighs
  • IT Bands
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Tibialis


Pick up Mike’s Book: Scientific Principles of Strength Training at his websites:

RenaissancePeriodization.com or

Additional Contact for Dr. Mike

Facebook: facebook.com/michael.israetel
Instagram Name: @RPDrMike

Want to Ask Rob a Question or tell him what is working for you: Email Rob@OpenSkyFitness.com

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Thanks for listening/reading Episode 80: Mike Israetel: Proper “Weight Lifting Techniques“. We hope you have gained more knowledge on how to be a healthier you!

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