Episode 142. Live Q&A with JC Santana

Mar 18, 2019 | 0 comments

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Show Notes

Scott and JC host a Live Q&A session, fielding audience questions about exercise methods, biomechanics, the pros and cons of combining training methods, and the importance of recovery.


If you’re not taking care of your body, your body can’t take care of you.

Some opening questions from the audience:
    • Safety bar squats? They’re great for people with shoulder issues.
    • Trap bar squats?They have similar kinetic chain expression as the dumbbell squats but with different balance demands.
    • Ball slams? More of a power generator than a core exercise.
  • Why is not training to failure better? The right amount of fatigue is the question. There’s technical failure and “fatigue” [volitional] failure. Olympic lifters have shown that they get better when they don’t train to failure.
  • Recovery requires energy:
    • Training to complete failure saps the body of energy needed to recover.
    • Training to complete failure taps into the immune system.
    • Training hard and training smart can co-exist.

Volume, frequency and intensity dictate how often to train.

  • Some muscles were meant to work more, like calves, because they’re locomotive and used all the time. You could probably train calves every day, but not chest, because it’s not locomotive.
  • Jiu-Jitsu is for “gumby people.” It requires tremendous flexibility that few have.
  • Bodybuilding combined with MMA training can lead to joint issues. The training styles are incompatible.
  • JC prefers the leg press over squats for hypertrophy, especially for the hardgainer.
  • Resistance training tips for women:
    • Functional training is great for women who want to get toned without getting big because those exercises (like stability ball bridges) distribute load over many muscles.
    • Strength training—low reps greater weight—work well for women who want to work on bone density. The reps stay low enough not to encourage too much hypertrophy.

No one can out-train a bad diet. A great physique is diet-mediated.

  • The only two places to rest a barbell for squat are the traps for back squats or the clavicular shelf for front squats. The more vertical orientation of the front squat places additional demands on knees and hips.
  • External rotation of the hip is required to squat deep. They also place rotational demands on the knees.
  • Three carries for the dumbbell squats: overhead, shoulder, and hang.
  • The hang carry for dumbbells creates form problems when using heavy weight, which is why JC prefers trap bar squat to dumbbell squats.
JC’s take on yoga:
  • Same take as on Olympic weightlifting: great for some, not for others. It depends on its application.
  • All training benefits are predicated on specificity. Lengthening a muscle doesn’t make it appropriate [for all applications.]
  • The flexibility involved in yoga doesn’t transfer to the flexibility needed for pitchers, sprinters or MMA fighters, for example.
  • It’s good for centering and stress-relief. JC might agree to it for calming a fighter preparing for competition.
  • Yoga should honor the individual’s anatomy and range of motion and should be the right style of yoga.
  • Yoga can’t prevent injuries that result from [traumatic] overload that are not the result of inflexibility, but that are often blamed on muscle length and tightness.


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


Special offer for SSP listeners!

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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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