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Old 12-01-2009, 12:11 PM   #1
Ryan Kenny
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Leg Press Machine?

I am biased towards CrossFit. I see the higher orders of fitness that CrossFit lends itself to. I am also in a position where I occasionally have to deal with a population in the S & C/fitness realm that, for one reason or another, has failed to take a look at the complete message that is being offered up through CF. This being stated, I find myself in a minor debate about the efficacy of CF when it comes to training in the strength/power domains (which is, frankly, beyond me when you take the time to look at all of the max load WOD's on the main site ).

A particular indiviual is making the arguement that they "tried" CF and lost too much weight, thus too much strength, which is "why they train" in the first place. As I am working to supplant "pure" CF as the training program for a group of young athletes that we both work with, I am met with some resistance in the form of, "some CF stuff is okay, but we need more strength and power"... Hence, we need to keep the leg press machine in our limited space, rather than removing it, in lieu of an extra power rack.

The pillar of the counterpart's arguement seemed to be, "well, the U. of Florida, and Nebraska, etc,etc,etc....use leg presses for power/strength development...." The context of this arguement is so far off from the one that we are discussing, in my opinion, that I was only left to stand there doing this:

I know where I stand here, but am curious to hear what you think....
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:36 PM   #2
Jared Ashley
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Re: Leg Press Machine?

Here's what I think: you're using the wrong model of fitness for your target audience.

if you tell somebody "Crossfit says you'll get better results squatting than doing leg presses" and that person already thinks CF leads to being skinny and weak, they'll think you're an idiot.

if you tell the same person "mark rippetoe (or dave tate, or some other guy who's focused on strength) says you'll get better results squatting than doing leg presses" they're much more likley to ditch the leg press.

By invoking other people who use effective training, you can sneakily use CF methods without naming CF. For metcon type work, you can say you're modeling workouts after an MMA or boxing gym, rather than modeling after CF. They'll picture a huge ripped MMA fighter in their mind, and then go attack a metcon. It's all about marketing. The best part is every word you say will still be true.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
Mike Mallory
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Re: Leg Press Machine?

Of course it'll make people stronger.......get bigger muscles,etc.........What it doesn't do is make poeple functionally stronger

There have been studies on this in the past, showing that vertical jump is NOT helped with the leg press, where it IS helped with the squat.

Just cause some idiot wants to put 'em in a training program doesn't make it right.

That machine is great at putting a huge shearing force right through the lower lumbar spine, I've worked with some pretty damn strong people who have trashed their backs on that thing......It doesn't belong anywhere.
Foam rollers suck!
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:40 PM   #4
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Leg Press Machine?

What group of athletes are you training? THey may very well not benefit from CF as much as they would from a more focused training programm. (John Welborne seems to think this holds true for football players)

Regardless of their goals (unless you are training them for a leg press competition), a power rack will do them much more good than a leg press machine.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
Ryan Kenny
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Re: Leg Press Machine?

the group of athletes are all in high school. the goal (in my mind) is to get them competent across broad time and modal domains before we get into all the philosophical jargon and theories and biases that people seem to love to debate so darn much. to me, training is about as mysterious as you want it to be. push/pull a bunch of weight, run a sub 20 min 5k with a sub 12 100m dash, do 50+ pullups at a clip, do linda as prescribed & survive murph in a vest. at least once in your life run a marathon and/or a triathalon. young kids being introduced to fitness are done a disservice by being exposed to someone who stubbornly adheres to half-informed biases.

on the tactful side of things, i see your point, jared. people who are threatened by the word "crossfit" (god forbid somebody put a good idea out there that doesn't belong to them) may be more easily won over by presenting the package with different wrapping paper.

until you find a level where you can do main site wods as prescribed, or at least reasonably close...specializing is totally selling you short.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
James Rios
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Re: Leg Press Machine?

whenever i hear about leg press i think of this video

Mark Rippetoe:
"So we just call it the press. You could leg press... but thats ***..."

edit: seriously? that got "*ed"?
ok whatever...

Last edited by James Rios : 12-01-2009 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:48 PM   #7
Troy Becker
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Re: Leg Press Machine?

Write this down for those dissenters you encounter:

The simple truth is that leg pressing improves your squat a little, but squatting improves your leg press a lot.

Squatting requires more muscle contraction, and more stabilization is required, than in the leg press.

Athletically, having more muscles stronger, and having more ability to stabilize oneself under a load, are both superior than having less muscles get stronger with less ability to stabilize oneself under a load.

You can't deny those three statements, so the conclusion is obvious.

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Old 12-01-2009, 08:20 PM   #8
Donald Lee
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Re: Leg Press Machine? (WFS)
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
Brad Davis
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Re: Leg Press Machine?

Lyle is writing strictly about how to get bigger legs, not how to become a stronger person overall.

He is right about one thing in the article, though. We have all seen lots of people doing very poor, light, non-progressive half-squats and keeping their small legs. OTOH, we've all seen some pretty big legged people doing leg presses. Obviously a good answer for someone who wants to get stronger is to learn how to squat correctly and do it a lot.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:12 PM   #10
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Leg Press Machine?

Squats and BS put more stress on the body than leg pressing. There is also the gains from learning to balance a bar or body.

If you are training athletes, what does size matter. Well, actually it can regarding other's opinions if such an individual is big(strong) enough for their sport but too often the leg press is an ego machine. I was guilty of this.

Besides, it just takes too long load and de-load of a leg press. You can get around this by doing 1-leg presses but 10 plates is still a pain in the ***. It can be cumbersome when some leg press machines only have one rail per side. Besides the fact, it means you're having to hog all the plates (not that they were being used anyways by most people).

Ryan, for that athlete, show them something like MEBB or CFWF or CFFB. Either too much metcon or too little food was their issue with weight loss.
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