January 15, 2022
Stan Efferding is known for being one of the strongest bodybuilders to ever live. He recently dropped by EliteFTS gym in Ohio to showcase his warmup for leg day. You don’t want to miss this short but sweet video that could save you countless hours in the gym.
This is the first time Stan Efferding has collaborated with the EliteFTS Youtube channel. EliteFTS is a top name in everything fitness, from products to training programs, founded by Dave Tate, an elite powerlifter.
Stan Efferding, AKA “The White Rhino” or “The World’s Strongest Bodybuilder,” is one impressive human specimen. Originally from Portland, Oregon, he won his first bodybuilding competition in 1991 as Mr. Oregon. Efferding is a double threat, being both an IFBB Pro Bodybuilder and a World Record holder in powerlifting. He’s one of ten men who posted a raw total of over 2,300lbs at the 275 lb weight class. In addition, he held numerous world records, including the 275 lb class Raw World Powerlifting total, and squatted 854 lbs without knee wraps. The man is almost in his mid 50's and he's still squatting well over 600 lbs!
Stan opens the video with a short intro of some of the guys. One in particular he mentions is Matt Wiedemer, a professional strength and conditioning coach. He had put up impressive numbers in his powerlifting days, achieving the elite status at 198lb weight class. He also helps to train top MMA fighter, Jon Jones.
They get right into the meat of the subject, saying they’ll be doing some sled pulls as a warmup before their quad and hamstring-focused leg workout. Efferding mentions that he doesn’t believe in 30 minutes of warming up.
Rather he likes to get the blood flowing with some movements that target the muscles he will be working on instead of spending time rolling out on a foam roller.
He says, “ there’s no evidence to suggest foam rolling is superior to simple movement, just mobility .” Then Weidemer interjects to add, “ plus it builds work capacity because it’s a strength training, but it’s all concentric, every time you drag the sled you’re getting lower body hip work, glutes, hams, quads without taxing the muscles, so it’s a great way to add volume.” They say volume is the king and describe sled walks as a good stimulus to fatigue ratio.
Next, they walk up to the weighted sleds to hook up to start their warmup.
After hooking up the sleds, they speak about the direction in how they’ll walk. Starting with big powerful strides, Wiedemer speaks about the legend Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. Simmons is a big proponent of sled walks as a warmup. Pro-tip from Simmons “treat every step as a first step .” This strategy is excellent for athletes as it improves explosiveness because every step starts from zero.
The video shows Efferding and Wiedemer pacing up and down the turf dragging the sleds with some lengths walking forward and others backpedaling. They’re not using crazy heavy weights with this warmup with 1 or 2 x 45 lb plates at the most as it’s not meant to fatigue you; it’s just to get the muscles ready to perform.
Once again, the guys speak about sled walks as being a purely concentric movement without any eccentric loading. An important concept to understand in weight training is concentric vs eccentric contraction and how to use both to gain muscle and strength. It’s a good stimulus fatigue ratio to get the heart rate up. This makes it an ideal exercise to recover from or prepare for your next workout.
Efferding realizes that not everyone will have access to sleds at their local gym. In that case, he advises setting a treadmill at 15 degrees and a speed of 2 miles per hour. After walking on the treadmill for a few minutes in a forward-facing direction, switch it up, so you take backward steps for an equal amount of time to hit the anterior muscles, especially the quads.
Sled walks or walks on an incline treadmill are the perfect exercise as a warmup for both new and elite-level athletes. For experienced athletes, this simple movement can be a great way to bring them down, while it’s also excellent to bring beginners up. Although there aren’t many one size fits all approaches in fitness, this might be as close as you can get.
Give this warmup a try before your next leg workout. If it’s good enough for the likes of Stan Efferding and Louie Simmons, then it should be good enough for you!
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