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Not Becoming A Supple Leopard

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A review of, "Becoming a Supple Leopard", by Kelly Starlet.

 

Quote

 

"This was one of the best examples of fear mongering and bad science that I have read. He is literally taking your hand and walking you back to the dark ages of physical therapy of the 1950’s, when we used to believe pain comes from joint, tissues, bad posture and movement."

 

The Author's Credentials

 

I have a Master’s in Exercise Physiology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and another Master’s in Human Performance from University of Florida Gainesville. I am also an American Council of Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer and NSCA Certifiied Strength & Conditioning Coach, executive committee member of NSCA PT, and also the NSCA Personal Trainer forum moderator.

 

Credit to Armi Legge of Impruvism for this contribution:

 

Improvements in hip flexibility do not transfer to mobility in functional movement patterns

 

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What a stupid review. In many instance I get the feeling his trying to refer to how Starretts instructions would work for all situations, few examples:

 

... If that’s the case, I would love to see what the blade runner (the double amputee, or any other amputees playing sports) has to say about his career.

...

I wouldn’t be bothered much if this was like another training method to make you bigger, faster, or stronger.

 

When he seems to have a small grasp at the people the book is directed to which I think is for athletes wanting to improve their performance and getting stronger and faster. He also seems to like the book. 

 

The majority of the stuff is nothing new and most lifters know this. He just lays it out in an organized manner which I like.

and the whole review is based on the false interpretation of what Starrett said:

 

According to Kelly Starret, 100% of all injuries and pain are due to movement dysfunction. Out of this 2% is due to pathology (cancer or something serious) and catastrophic injury, like being hit by a car and so forth. But 98% of the dysfunction is due to missing range of motion and moving in bad position, (like rounded back, and rounded shoulders, feet turned out and such).

When Starrett really said about the 100% in his book

 

- That which accounts for 2 percent of movement dysfunction in a typical gym

- That which accounts for 98 percent of all the dysfunction we see in the typical athlete

IMO this really points out who Starrett is trying to reach. A huge mistake on the reviewers part. He does go on saying that Starrett is also planning to write a book for the Average Joe. If that's the case I'm puzzled why he couldn't manage to consider that in all the other chapters he wrote.

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I expect many people who have been following Kelly Starrett for some time and have his book will feel the same way, however; whoever your guru, I think it is important to question their methods and be open to the possibility that some of what they teach might be wrong, or at least that there are legitimate and alternative views.

 

The crux of Anoop's criticism of Kelly's approach is that it's based on outdated and bad science, so it doesn't really matter who the intended audience is.  All that matters is whether the foundations of Kelly's work are correct.  If Anoop is right in saying that Kelly's work is based on outdated concepts, then perhaps not everything in Kelly's book is correct (albeit they may deliver results for some people some of the time).

 

Anoop highlights the original work (the outdated stuff) that sits behind Kelly's work.  It is a shame Kelly did not put references in his book.

 

I think that link to research I cited above is quite relevant too.

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Why not. I have to say it's really not about my feelings at all and I don't really see any problem in criticizing anyones work.

 

I think it does matter who the intended audience is. Whether it's someone who is trying to resolve pain after caused by a disease or someone trying to improve their athletic performance makes a huge difference. I cannot really judge if everything in the book is correct, but what seems to offend Anoop is the talk about pain or the lack thereof, not if the advices about prehab or performance work or are scientifically sound. He actually says they work and he also repeats what Starrett himself says in the book, that these things aren't anything new.

 

IMO he comes out bashing the whole book, at least he does a really bad job avoiding it, because of something that isn't really the main scope of the book. I think you took his words wrong if you think his saying that the scientific foundation of the whole book is false. When you say that the book might help people some of the time you don't really point out which parts of the book might help out people some of the time and which not. That's the problem with this review too.

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The difficulty in tackling Kelly's Starrett's book, or the legitimacy of the theory behind it, is that he fails to give one reference in support of the science behind his book.  Because of that, it is impossible to state objectively whether it founded on good science or not.  The author of the review points out the elements which are not well supported in his opinion.  He also, as you point out, gives credit to Kelly Starrett where his work is good.  So clearly he is not, "bashing the whole book", just certain aspects of it.

 

While you are discussing whether the author of the review has misconstrued the nature of Kelly's intended audience, you're neglecting to tackle the elephant in the room - the main point - that some of the principals of Kelly Starrett's work are based on outmoded science.  I think we could do with seeing a response to that point.

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Personally I dislike Kelly Starret's style and I can't stand the wording and nomenclature of his work. However, his methods have helped me to remove tendinitis in my elbows, fix faulty mechanics in my lifts, and understand that pain in a joint can teach me something: namely whether my form is breaking down/bad, or whether I have a restriction in my tissue/joints capsule somewhere (and some guidance on where to start looking).

 

The mobility drills and methods are the best part of the book.

 

I would pay the author again for his work, just for the relief I've finally started to get in my shoulder for pain I've had for decades. I paid a physical therapist at one stage to fix it, and he failed. I asked a Dr last year about it, who said there was nothing that could be done. But by fixing the mobility and position of my shoulder, the pain is diminishing.

 

This is all n=1 stuff, and I have no idea about the science behind the book (I get the impression that trigger point/manual therapy may be one of those areas that's not well understood in any case). All I can say is that if you use this book as a tool to diagnose form and mobility issues, then work the drills to increase ROM, you will notice an improvement in your performance. 

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The difficulty in tackling Kelly's Starrett's book, or the legitimacy of the theory behind it, is that he fails to give one reference in support of the science behind his book.  Because of that, it is impossible to state objectively whether it founded on good science or not.  The author of the review points out the elements which are not well supported in his opinion.  He also, as you point out, gives credit to Kelly Starrett where his work is good.  So clearly he is not, "bashing the whole book", just certain aspects of it.

Nice to see you truly understood what I was saying all the time. I would also like to point out (again) that he wasn't bashing the whole book, just that he wrote the review in such a way it didn't really give it much emphasis that he wasn't. Also when you talk whether "the foundations of Kelly's work are correct" one could easily understand that you are referring to his work, all of it, and not just the part of pain relieving.

 

While you are discussing whether the author of the review has misconstrued the nature of Kelly's intended audience, you're neglecting to tackle the elephant in the room - the main point - that some of the principals of Kelly Starrett's work are based on outmoded science.  I think we could do with seeing a response to that point.

Of course I'm discussing that, it's the only thing I said anything about besides pointing out that pain relieving isn't the main focus of the book. You are trying to imply that I was commenting on a thing I said nothing about. If you are capable of reviewing Starrett's work in scientific terms I would be happy to read it and I can understand he has made it hard. As resolving pain isn't the main focus of the book I would hardly think its "the main point" when discussing this book, it can be interesting nevertheless. I gave my opinion on the review on a bigger scale just giving a single quote which in my opinion left a rather incomplete picture the review or the book.

Can I ask if you edited the post responded to previously? If you didn't I missed the last two paragraphs completely last time. I don't have access to the full text version of that study and the abstract is pretty vague with defining the "functional movement patterns" it describes. Seems interesting anyway.

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Heino, I think you may feel that I am trying to undermine Kelly's book, and that Anoop is my preferred Guru.  That's not the case.  I only discovered Anoop this morning when I was following a discussion on Kelly's book between S&C Coaches.  I do not prefer one man's work over the other; I'm only interested in having a dispassionate discussion on the merits of one or the other point of view.  Also this is not an area I have extensively researched myself, but it is something I am becoming interested in.

 

Have you got anything to show that Kelly's work is not based on outmoded science?  The specific point that I think need to be addressed is whether Kelly's discussion on how to sit or stand are relevant.  This is where Anoop says Kelly's work is, "one of the best examples of fear mongering and bad science that I have read. He is literally taking your hand and walking you back to the dark ages of physical therapy of the 1950’s"  This is where the pain element comes into the criticism, as Anoop suggests that Kelly's belief is that poor posture is to blame.  He cites Patric Wall, Melzack, Moseley and Louis Gifford as more up to date authors on the subject who would disagree with Kelly.

 

There are another two elements of the book which Anoop covers.  Movements and systems and he gives pros and cons in his view for Kelly's work on each.  Do you take issue with anything Anoop has said in those?

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I wasn't really trying to saying that, it's not a fruitful way to talk about anything. I think this was already discussed in a nutrition topic on this board :P

 

I don't have anything to show whether Starrett's science is outmoded in any regard in any matter. I only had my opinion about how this review was written.

 

The movements and systems are covered pretty well in my opinion in Anoops review.

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I wasn't really trying to saying that, it's not a fruitful way to talk about anything. I think this was already discussed in a nutrition topic on this board :P

 

I don't have anything to show whether Starrett's science is outmoded in any regard in any matter. I only had my opinion about how this review was written.

 

The movements and systems are covered pretty well in my opinion in Anoops review.

 

So it's accurate apart of the point on pain and posture and you don't have any objective reason to think that Kelly is right and Anoop is wrong.  Where the problem then? :P

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Well I didn't really say Anoop wasn't accurate about the part of the pain, his argumentation about the book was inaccurate. I think we covered that already, but I think it gives a skewed idea about the content of the book.

 

If you're interested I do like the posture suggestions that are in the book, I use them when standing but they're too much for me when I'm sitting. In my own objective opinion Starrett has a lot of good things in his book about stability and position which have helped me to understand why I do certain things in lifts, for example how I keep my shoulders in the bench back. This has helped me to apply it to pull-ups and OHP too for example.

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All Anoop argued about the book is that the pain / posture side is out of date and based on bad or out of date science - I think you've taken that out of context and applied it to everything, but that is not what Anoop has said.  His criticism is singularly on the pain / posture part of Kelly's book, and it seems it may well be fair enough :)

 

He then goes on to list pros and cons about the movements and systems aspects of the book, but you seem to agree with those.

 

I am interested in the postural side of it - but I would like to know whether there are more up to date books I could be reading.

 

I'm not wishing to argue for the sake of arguing though :D

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I at least tried not to take it out of context and mention that I think Anoop took a small part of the book and made it seem like a big part. But I think that's covered already.

 

Yes, I agree with the later pros and cons pretty much.

 

Well you could maybe get better books if you're only interested in the posture part. Let us know what you get, I might be interested in some too!

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Today on the Robernaut and Heino show, the boys argued without actually disagreeing with each other, most of the time, I think.

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Mark, Heino and I had an intellectual discussion. It's ok if you didn't get it, that's understandable.

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oh thank god, cause most of that was way over my head  :lol:

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Mark, Heino and I had an intellectual discussion.

Shouldn't that be, 'Me, Mark and Heino'? I also think that you may have slightly over sold my part in proceedings...

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Today on the Robernaut and Heino show, the boys argued without actually disagreeing with each other, most of the time, I think.

 

Mark, Heino and I had an intellectual discussion. It's ok if you didn't get it, that's understandable.

 

What do you know, within the context of the discussion the sentence is grammatically correct and makes sense. :P

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What do you know, within the context of the discussion the sentence is grammatically correct and makes sense. :P

WHAT DOES THIS MEEEAAANNN!?  :lol:

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It means that Mark should put on his new shoes and go squat to put everyone out of their misery waiting for him to see what they're like and how he finds them.  That is all this thread was ever about; Mark, his shoes, and his trying of everyone's patience.

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He cites Patric Wall, Melzack, Moseley and Louis Gifford as more up to date authors on the subject who would disagree with Kelly.

 

Just to stir shit up, apart from Moseley, the contributions of those guys are from the mid 90s at best. To be honest, how acute pain becomes chronic pain is still very poorly understood.

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Shit stirrer.  Are you trolling, bro?

 

It's a bit like everything in this game then - try it and see if it works, if it does, happy days.  If not, move on and try then next thing.

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Personally i like some of his tips about posture, my posture is shit and my ass sticks 4 meters out behind me now it only sticks about 2

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Personally i like some of his tips about posture, my posture is shit and my ass sticks 4 meters out behind me now it only sticks about 2

The exaggeration is strong in this one. Unless you are a dinosaur?

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