Episode 138. Biomechanics with JC Santana

Feb 11, 2019 | 0 comments

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Show Notes

Functional fitness trailblazer and biomechanics expert JC Santana joins Scott for a spirited conversation about biomechanics, training methodology, and the challenges of marketing real expertise in today’s fitness environment.


“The race is not in the gym.” – JC Santana

  • Can you do more with less? Is the question doing better in the gym, or performing better in a given activity?
  • What’s the minimum that can be done to achieve maximum results?
  • Performance metrics during a workout are [relatively] unimportant. “The race is not in the gym”.
  • Coaching takes a person to “how they want to feel” when they achieve their goal.
  • What does balance mean in practical application and what does balance training achieve?
  • Mel Siff changed JC’s thinking about balance training.
  • Base of support influences amount of force that can be generated.
  • You don’t need static balance training, unless you’re a Cirque de Soleil performer.
  • Momentum and base of support influence balance. Try riding a bicycle very slowly. It’s more difficult to stay upright.
  • Power generation is dependent on support. Fred Hatfield once used the analogy of changing a car tire by placing the jack in the sand.
  • Don’t train someone out of a natural condition, such as making a left hander a right hander.
  • JC trains unilaterally: lunges, alternating curls, etc.
  • Science should inform, not dictate. – Scott
    Science attempts to explain what we have known for many years. – JC
  • Bodybuilding training is best for building muscle.
  • Tirelessly coach the basics.

Training isn’t meant to be entertaining.” – JC

  • JC doesn’t allow cell phone use at IHP. He runs a serious ship because [IHP] has serious clientele.
  • The mechanics of a training maneuver should approximate the movement it attempts to train. JC discusses how poorly single-arm kettlebell snatches trains Olympic barbell lifts.
  • A karate master doesn’t get certified in individual kicks and punches. So why are certifications needed for specific training tools, like kettlebells, for instance?
  • Surviving in today’s world of promotion via social media doesn’t require selling out, but it does require adapting.
  • Is it better to be right, or happy? To JC, effective is happy.
  • Optimal strength is the [training load] that, when exceeded, does not result in a performance gain.
  • Scott and JC discuss reinventing themselves as they age.


More about JC

  • JC Santana is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with distinction (CSCS,* D) and a Fellow (FNSCA) of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
  • He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Exercise Science from Florida Atlantic University.
  • For eight years, he was the sport-specific conditioning editor for the NSCA Journal. He has served as NSCA’s vice president, chairman of the NSCA Coaches Conference, a member of the NSCA Conference Committee, and NSCA state director for Florida.
  • His IHP certification system has certified 10,000 trainers and-counting worldwide in over 15 countries, including more than 200 Olympic coaches in China and South America.
  • His Institute of Human Performance was voted among the Top Ten Gyms in the US.
  • JC’s authored 17 books and manuals and produced over 70 DVDs. He has published more than 300 articles, many in peer-reviewed journals such as the NSCA’s Strength and Conditioning Journal.

JC’s Institute, Books and Products

Check out JC’s NEW release!

…and also

Functional Training

The Essence of Program Design

The Institute of Human Performance (voted to the Top Ten gym in the nation)

IHPU (Institute of Human Performance University)


Visit The IHP Pro Shop for all of JC’s educational materials, equipment, and programs

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