EMS Max Strength Journal

Hey Rob, thanks for the questions. I’ve been battling this hip joint stiffness for years now. It’s only my left acetabular area and have had x-rays and CT scans that showed no signs of a torn labrum or any major injuries. It may very well be a structural issue as one Ortho said that my femoral neck on my left side is slightly longer than the right. It only hurts when I do an ATG squat with my feet turned out (which I’ve been doing for years). As of yesterday I started squatting pain free by using slightly higher heel height with my OL shoes (1.25") and with my feet pointing straight forwards. With this being said, I believe it is a structural issue for the most part since my right side has never had any issues for my entire life. There isn’t a single stretch that will give it relief. I even took 2 weeks off a month ago doing just stretching/rolling the area and I still couldn’t squat pain free.

As far as stretching goes I always do a 30min dynamic+static warm-up before my training sessions. Then throughout the day I lightly stretch my quads, tfl, psoas, hamstrings, glute medius, maximus, etc while I have spare time at work. I stopped doing foam rolling for a while, but am back on that as of last week. Also I’ve been using EMS massage mode on my Globus and that gives me some relief.

Overall I can’t say that I’ve neglected recovery but I also can’t say that I’ve spent as much time and effort as I have with my training.

Hey Roger,

With the Globus the massage mode is just continuous light pulsing, I’m guessing it’s somewhere between 10-15hz. The active recovery mode is 7 seconds of lower frequency (10hz) then over 7 seconds will speed up to higher frequency (20-30hz) then 7 seconds back down to the lower frequency of 10hz. So in summary it’s slow to fast to slow to fast, etc over an extended period of time. Is this anywhat similar to the compex?

I remember Tyrone telling me that Waldemar likes using EMS before massage. How many pads do you usually use when you do massage/active recovery work? Right now all I do is just using 2 bigger pads(50mmx90mm) over the entire muscle group.

Hi Ku2u,

How long do you hold a stretch for? Are you relaxed? If one side is tighter do you prioritise it? How progressive are you to reach your end of range?

Because personally I will hold an individual stretch for 10+ minutes sometimes…taking a long time to read my end of range and the outcome is very different to the typical textbook recommendation of 10-30 seconds.

The compex active recovery is a light and frequent pulsing for a few minutes, then it switches to deeper, less frequent as the program goes on. I don’t know the specifics of the pulses and frequencies. I think its about 6-7 minutes per cycle.

Waldemar’s unit has 12 leads. Mine has 8 (4+, 4-). When T Slow mentioned the first time about Waldemar’s use, I started doing each body part for a few minutes. So I would first connect the calves and let is go through for a few cycles, then discconent, and hook up the hamstrings while I then massaged the calves. I used this but it was quite a pain.

When I saw Waldemar, he used pads on the motor points on our backsides. One on the gastroc, one on the hamstrings (or more depending on what he felt was tight), one (or more) on gluteals, and several on the erectors. For areas he felt were really tight, he used Electro-acupunture, otherwise it was EMS pads.

Interestingly, (and I never asked why) he used an alternate + - connection. So the + would be on the gastroc and hamstrings, and negatives on glutes and back, as a basic example.

is there any chance of getting waldemar on this forum??

I don’t think he’d be interested as he has “no interest in promoting himself” and he is very busy, but as offered when we go up to visit next, I can try to get a couple of your questions answered. Another option might be to do a telephone consultation.


Rob, typically I never hold a stretch for longer than a minute at a time because I’ve heard of research saying that your tendons can get stretched if you hold a stretch past that duration. Not sure if I should listen to it or not, but sometimes a minute isn’t even long enough to help reach that end range! During that minute I will do some PNF or AIS.

I’m always relaxed when I stretch, breathing normally with relaxed face and chest. If one side is tighter I usually stretch that side 2x as much as the less tighter side. As far as the hip flexors go I’ve just worked my way to that end range position and immediately notice that I can deeper in my squats easier. My next goal is to work on my hamstring and glute end range.


This is some very good information. So when you used this type of approach on your own, did you have someone do palpation to your calves while your hams were being stimmed? Do you think this could be a good thing to experiment for an athlete who doesn’t have access to manual therapy to the point where they could use foam rolling instead with the EMS hooked up on them?

Ku2u, If Charlie had made his training decisions based on what research was/is saying do you think he would have developed the athletes to the level he did? He often commented in the past how research confirms years later what coaches have known for a long time. You answered your own question regarding if a minute is long enough for you. Learn from your training experiences instead of basing training decisions on research. :smiley:

I used to be right into stretching and I was frequently injured. other less fit individuals in my sporting club who never stretched remained largely injury free. when I stopped stretching the injuries reduced greatly. the research has confirmed my suspicions about stretching.

also, the jamaican sprint coaches are dead against long static stretches…

Just as a note, I had the chance to watch Jeremy Wariner and his Adidas teammates warm up at a meet last spring. The Clyde Hart warmup is full of long hold stretches. It is very “old school” but it seems to work fine. Static holds before a workout appear to be fine if there is enough of a break between the stretches and the sprint activity. Wariner and friends probably sat around for a good 35 to 40 minutes pre-race.

I think the recent obsession with dynamic stretches needs to be taken with a grain of salt as it is not clearly superior to static. I’d be careful of throwing out static stretches as a potential tool. I like them early in a warmup, especially in a northern climate where it takes longer to warm up. It’s safer than swinging your joints around at high velocity before you could possibly be warm like I see tons of kids doing at meets.

I allow static stretches for two reason. One is if a longer warm up is needed, Charlie in the basement tempo (I think) said use static stretching as a check. Two - mentally a lot of athletes feel more warmed up when they include static stretches.

Nearly 99% of the research protocols are very practically flawed. They had subjects go through a warm up and within minutes perform some type of test (sprint, jump etc). Only a few sports do athletes have the 10 minutes time to dynamically stretch before competing immediately after (soccer). The comparison studies also show that as long as dynamic movements are done after static, it is just as good, if not better, than dynamic alone.

I’m not sure what you are asking.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve trained for weightlifting and I’m about 75% back to normal I would say. It’s a long story why I’ve been out for a while but to say it simply, my hip muscles were in a huge mess to where it was causing a lot of stress on my hip capsules. Foam rolling just doesn’t cut it, especially when I’m invovled in a sport like weightlifting which involves a ton of flexibility. I can squat pain free with a narrow stance but the more I spread my feet out, the more of a chance I’ll have a getting a pinching sensation in my hip capsules because my hips are so tight. I have to squat deep wide because it’s the most stable position to catch the snatch in.

I’ve been doing a lot of upperbody work over the past year - benched 235 x 11, 260 x 5, weighted chin-ups - BW+70lbs x 5. Other than that, I’ve just recently started doing single leg stuff like leg press, lunges, etc. I’ve also done some bike sprints up to 20sec to get some lactate work even though it’s not necessary for weightlifting.

I plan on devoting the next month to achieving the goal of improving flexibility in a wider stance of a full squat. It’s the best way to help me stay consistent with a routine to reach a goal. I plan on using EMS as a tool to supplement my stretching routine to accomplish this goal. I also will try the best I can to getting deep tissue work at least once per week (found a local guy that charges $20 for 30min) and maybe drive down to Austin or Ft. Worth at least once a month and get some ART if necessary. I also plan on consulting with a physical therapist that I had good success with in the past. She’s able to help in a lot of ways in which I can’t improve on my own such as hip distraction, craig’s test, etc.

My stretching routine will involve a lot of self PNF work aiming for 1hr per day. I will also use a loaded stretch with a barbell to squat deeper as long as there is no pain (pinching). Any suggestions are more than welcome.

Bol - get well soon… Are you gonna do any iso lunges etc?

Thanks man, I’m going to need all the luck I can get to fix this issue. I’m going to still do SL/prehab work but in moderation so I don’t run the risk of getting my hip muscles too tight from overuse like I usually do. I’ll start to do more work when I feel more comfortable with managing the muscle tone, etc.

I’m going to talk more in detail with the issue I’ve been having with my left hip. I’ve had pinching sensations with my left hip when squatting for years (about 5 years IIRC) and I’ve had several people work on me to fix this issue. It literally feels like bone on bone in the front part of the hip at the bottom of a squat. It was always a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale so I always ignored it and trained through it. There was a summer where I worked with a Physiotherapist and she was able to reduce the pain to nothing by improving my internal rotation. When I started training seriously for the sport of Olympic weightlifting (1.5 years ago), it gradually started to pinch a little harder each time. It was 7-8 months ago when it really started hurting me and my performance as a lifter. I had just completed the smolov base cycle (tons of volume) and it wasn’t the same. I started noticing that it would pinch even during an RDL and couldn’t even snatch 94kgs during this time. It also hurt to even do lunges or single leg work. It was December (6 months ago) when I told myself I wasn’t going to train through this pain anymore. I then saw several chiros that did ART, etc. and never saw too much relief. I maybe had one massage session during this time which was a huge mistake come to find out later. None of these treatments did a whole lot of good so it was time for me to seek out medical help.

Here’s where it gets ugly… I had seen a sports orthopaedist about two years ago for this issue and he initially sent me to PT after seeing nothing wrong on the images (xray/ct scan) and made great improvement. They originally thought that I had femoral acetabular impingement syndrome (FAI) but I went to see him again in December and this time he finally decided to do an MRI and told me it was unnecessary to see the PT again. I get the MRI results on a T1 (which is kind of lower quality imaging) and he diagnoses me with Avascular Necrosis disease, the same disease that ended Bo Jackson’s career. It’s where the bone cells start dying due to a lack or blood supply. He starts telling me that I need to stop all activity so we can give it a chance to heal and if it doesn’t heal, he’s going to have to drill a whole into my femur or eventually perform a hip replacement. I was scared out of my mind at this point.

Over the past 4-5 months since that MRI, I’ve come to find out that the MRI report diagnosis wasn’t even 100% sure if I had this disease or not. I have also gotten a second opinion on this issue and was told that the MRI that was ordered wasn’t even a high enough resolution to detect this issue confidently. My hip still felt very badly during this time, so I had no choice but to believe the Orthopaedist. My training during this time was just bike work, core work, and upperbody.

It wasn’t until about a couple weeks ago when I started seeing the same chiros again, getting ART regularly, and deep tissue when I finally started seeing results. I can now do a full narrow stance squat with no pinching in my left hip. It still pinches a little bit with the wider stance but this tells me that my issue is purely muscular to where it’s causing my bone pinching symptoms.

I realize that this is a very complicated issue and it’s mostly my fault for not getting consistent massage and taking care of myself as well I should have. I won’t make this mistake again and will continue to carry out the plan for increasing my flexbility in the squat to where I won’t having any pinching symptoms anymore. I’m going to take the suggestion from T-Slow to start doing a microstretching routine 2x daily to achieve my goals. So far I’ve done two sessions and can already notice some good benefits.

If there’s anybody who’s going to train ridiculously hard and consistent reading this, I’d highly encourage them not to train through pain and pay whatever amount necessary to get consistent massage work. I’m told by many weightlifters that they don’t need therapy because they get a good enough stretch being the in the bottom of a squat all day to where they have no issues. It’s only a matter of time before they make the same mistake that I did.

You have had doctors confirm that you do not have Avascular Necrosis disease?

Rich, good point. The doctor who gave me a second opinion initially told me that he’s confident that I don’t have it. This upcoming week, I’m going to get the second MRI to officially confirm it though.