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The Stretching Roundtable 1

With Joe DeFranco, John Paul Catanzaro, and Don Alessi

This article originally appeared on www.T-nation.com

Stretching is a lot like flossing. We know we should do it, we know it's beneficial, but a lot of us don't do it very often or very well. But maybe that's because we can't decide how or when to stretch. It seems like every training expert out there has a different opinion about stretching. What's the real story?

I sat down with Joe DeFranco, John Paul Catanzaro and Don Alessi to find out the real scoop.

Chris Shugart: Let me start off by saying that I think many T-mag readers are experiencing a sort of "paralysis analysis" when it comes to stretching. They hear so many opposing opinions that many just say "screw it" and don't stretch at all. What do you guys think?

John Paul Catanzaro:

Stretching Techniques

Shugart: Interesting. Let's assume for now that most people need to stretch more. Okay, scare us into stretching. What's going to happen if we continue to pound the weights but pay very little attention to stretching?

DeFranco:

Shugart: Okay, JP, I didn't expect to hear that! Can you expound a little?

Catanzaro:

Stretching Techniques 2

Shugart: Okay, before we dig deeper here, let's get some definitions out of the way. John Paul, since you recently published an article on this, will you briefly lay the basic stretching vocab on us?

Catanzaro:

Shugart: Thanks! Now, I don't think most men paid attention to stretching until someone said it could make them more muscular. Can stretching really make a person bigger and stronger, or is that just a way to sex up a stretching article?

DeFranco:

Shugart: How about muscle size?

DeFranco:

Shugart: Okay, Don, you've written articles about stretching for size gains. How does that work?

Alessi:

Catanzaro:

Stretching Techniques

Shugart: What are biggest myths out there about stretching?

DeFranco:

Alessi:

Shugart: Yeah, I walked around with a couple of 45's hanging off my. well, never mind, long story. JP, what stretching myths have you heard?

Catanzaro:

Stretching Techniques

Stretching Techniques

Shugart: Let's take a closer look at one of the more controversial stretching debates: stretching before weight training will make you weaker. Agree or disagree?

DeFranco:

Alessi:

Catanzaro:

Stretching Techniques 1

Stretching Techniques 2

Stretching Techniques 3


Next week in Part II, the coaches will talk about pre-sport stretching and about how age and genetics affect flexibility. They'll also talk about stretching for sex, which is interesting yet faintly disturbing. Stay tuned!


About the Contributors

Don Alessi is the founder of Alessi Personal Fitness Inc. and the North American Training Certification Ltd. His clients include various professional athletes and a number of hotshot Fortune 500 executives. His specialties are mass development and body transformation. For information on a telephone consultation, e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit his site at AlessiFit.com.

Joe DeFranco's training techniques have become a hot topic worldwide. This did not happen by accident. The training programs Joe develops and the athletes he produces speak for themselves. You can learn more about Joe, his athletes, and his techniques at http://www.defrancostraining.com/.

John Paul Catanzaro, B.Sc., C.K., P.F.L.C., is a certified kinesiologist and professional fitness and lifestyle consultant with a specialized honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He owns and operates a private gym in Toronto, Ontario providing training and nutritional consulting services. For additional information, visit his website at http://www.bodyessence.ca/ or call 416-292-4356. John Paul also has a DVD available with demonstrations of many types of stretches. You can read more about it at his site.

4 Comments

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  1. Try Active Isolated Stretching, very safe and extremely effective. Utilizes a 2 second hold and reciprocal inhibition to help minimize the myotatic stretch reflex. Refer to stretchingusa.com!
  2. I love JP's contrarian point of view. While I imagine during the interview he was raising pulses with his outright contradictions, and while I am not qualified to adjudicate which point of view is more correct, there is tremendous value in seeing different sides of the issue. Loved it.
  3. Hey Joe, Great article, been a fan of your work for a very long time. With my athletic background in gymnastics, I can definitely understand the importance of flexibility. Thank you for including dispelling the myth of "Stretching makes you weaker" as I can't tell you how many trainers and physical therapists still believe this. Great work!!
  4. This was a very interesting article. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of more info on how to do the PNF, CRAC or ballistic methods and the best way to implement them in a workout for maximum benefit

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