Episode 119: The Foam Roller Debate

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Kevin Larrabee (Twitter), Jonathan Fass, Tony Gentilcore and Leigh Peele


FitCast News

  • Brian St. Pierre’s Nutrition info coming to TheFitCast.com
  • Video Database just about complete, will be up next week, promise.
  • Hold on the online clients
  • Tom Venuto’s New Book The Body Fat Solution
  • What happens next with the photoshop
  • Reply to e-mail sent to Jon and I


  • First off I LOVE this show and lately it has got me through some workout laughing my ass off. Kevin I just wanted to say that if we lived near each other I would l ove to cuddle up to Dr Who wi

    I had been overtraining and undereating for a long time now. The good thing I guess is I wasn’t aware of it. It isn’t as if I have any issues with eating, I am just a very busy and active person who trains a lot. Anyway I have no problem with taking a break and eating but I really am tight on cash at the moment and while your books are next on the list I would like to start now. Would the protocol that you listed be okay? Is there any tips you can give that wont give the book away?

    -Cindy UK (DR WHO FAN)

  • A friend of mine has just started training at a gym that offers BodyPump group fitness classes. I wanted to get your guys’ opinion on these classes because they are quite different from the strength workouts typically discussed on this show. A typical class has the participants crank out up to 100 reps for each major muscle group part: legs, chest, back, arms, legs again, shoulders and abs. Obviously, participants cannot lift a lot of weight due to the extremely high number of reps performed. The instructors are well trained and the classes are quite challenging and a lot of fun.My friend is female in her mid twenties, 35 inch waist, 45 inch hips, 195 pounds and has a goal of losing 30 pounds of body fat. Will BodyPump classes help her improve her body composition and reach her fitness goal?

    Thanks for answering my question and keep up the great work with the show.

    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  • Hey Guys,
    My dad is going in for a hip replacement in about 6 weeks and has asked me to help him loose a few pounds before the operation. He is 63 years old, about 5’9″ and 195lbs. He usually trains 4 days a week on a program a trainer at his gym gave him. It consists of stability ball crunches, reverse crunches, leg extensions, curls, push ups, shoulder press and lat pull downs. All exercises are done for 3 sets of 10. He does the same workout each day and has been on this program for about 6 months and is no longer getting results (Shocking I know).
    I was planning on getting him to do a full body workout 3 times a week (Bench, Pull ups, Rows, RDL’s, and Squats) changing the reps and sets for each day and varying the exercises (DB bench Monday, BB bench Wednesday) but need help with the lower body exercises. I think he will be able to do RDL’s but he can’t squat or lunge without significant pain. Any ideas on lower body exercises that he may be able to do or should he leave them out until after the surgery? Thanks for your help. I love the show, keep up the great work! -Troy
  • Question for the gang. I am a beginner. Usually when I start a new training plan, I am derailed by DOMS peaking at 48 to 72 hours after lifting. Usually it is pretty severe, not just sore but painful. This happens even when I try to start off with relatively light weights and limited sets. I would appreciate any advice for preventing DOMS and for treating it.Jason Hodges
  • I’ve just started listening to you podcast and I really enjoy it, lots of good information. If I can ask 1 question regarding creatine. I understand it has been studied and shown to be effective and safe. However , I’ve never seen anything written on the effects of creatine on cardiac muscle. Certainly increasing water levels in cardiac muscle (cells) would be devastating. I want to start taking creatine but without a good answer to this question I don’t feel comfortable adding it to my diet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work.Cheers,
    Michael Dowd
  • About four years ago I was 236lbs and 27% bodyfat. My blood pressure was pretty high and that got me scared. I got a personal trainer for 10 sessions, developed a workout and nutrition plan with him and 6 months later I was rockin’ 190lbs. I kept this up for over a year and got really skinny. I was close to 165lbs with very little muscle mass. Now I’m 27, 5’10, 179lbs, around 18% bodyfat and fairly comfortable with my body composition except one thing.  I’m becoming one of “those guys” at the gym. Generally in good shape all around, some definition but with a bulging belly. It’s starting to get to the point where I can’t hide it even if I suck in my gut. How do I get out of this?! How do I not become like Jim Neidhart (see attached pic if you didn’t follow late 80’s early 90’s WWF)? Is it diet? Am I not working out my abs enough? Not enough cardio? – Ish
  • Every now and then, I leave a note requesting a glute ham raise machine in the suggestion box at my university gym.  I realize this is not the best approach to get my college to buy one.  So, I will meet with the facility manager to discuss this amazing piece of equipment, and how it would be beneficial for the gym.  What could be some convincing arguments that a GHR machine would benefit the members of the gym? -Dale
  • I recently read a blog post by a popular Z-Health guy(don’t remember the name, but found his blog link diving off other blogs.  I think you guys will know who I am talking about) claiming that we should not be foam rolling, especially with pain.  I don’t want to speak for him, but I believe his point was that fixing the muscle tissue does not fix the impairment that caused the damage in the first place.  I believe he also mentions that the lessening of the pain from foam rolling (normally reserved for thinking we are progressing) could simply be our mental adaption.  Again, I don’t want to speak for him.  In a related note, in Alwyn Cosgroves T-nation article “5 Ah Ha Moments” he mentions something that he learned from Gray Cook.  He mentions that poor range of motion may be an issue of stability instead of mobility.  The pictures kind of tell the story(if you look the article up), but I was struck by the ending of that section in which he claims that the difference was that the mind was “shutting down the range of motion”.  These may be unrelated, but in my mind I linked them together.  Both seemed to be suggesting that the mind controls these muscular issues more then we believe.  What do you think about this view of foam rolling?  And/or the view of the mind being more of the hurdle then most people think? -Sean

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5 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    The link to episode 119 is linking to 118. I was able to fix it for myself, but others might not be as smart as I am…
    Looking forward to a great episode!

  2. Jake Patrick says:

    Yo homie,

    This is linking to episode 118.

    Just FYI.

  3. John says:

    It is Monday morning and just so you guys know the link goes to episode 118 instead of 119, I noticed this and changed the address, but I’m sure some people will have trouble accessing the page. Just an FYI. Keep up the great work you guys and gals!

  4. Fixed it guys via my iPhone at work. Sorry about that!

  5. Tarmo says:

    Great episode guys, loved it once again, keep it up. Really enjoy the goofing-off parts, makes it more real and fun.

    Couple of things that crossed my mind:

    1. Glute Ham Raises- Although I dont have an access to a specific machine, my coworkers (shoutout to Abel and Daniel) helped me out with a simple solution. Needed 2 boxes or a hightened flat sufsace, a Bosu Ball (half ball)and a friend (suggested ~200 lbs or at least decently strong if you are 200+ lbs like me) whom you can trust (does not let you fall on your face) to hold your feet.

    2. Foam rolling- love it, use it, but it is the small details (pressure, rolling speed) and certain angles of limbs and body position that really makes it a great tool to add to your workouts.

    Would like to hear more about the stuff Jonatan was talking about.

    Kevin, your podcast background music is bad A.