The Stretching Roundtable - Part 1

With Joe DeFranco, John Paul Catanzaro, and Don Alessi

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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!

06/07/04