Episode 7 – Tony Gentilcore Pt. 2 – Go the F*#& to Sleep: Why Recovery is Easier Than You Think

Tony Gentilcore

Tony Gentilcore is an accomplished Blogger, Writer, Fitness Professional, an aspiring mid-world & Jedi master, who has a soft spot for kittens, and  deadlifting.

In part 2 of our conversation Tony and I get into recovery, why most endurance athletes tend to struggle with the mentality needed to see long term success in the weight room for their sport, and much, much more!

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In this Episode:

  • Introduction
  • Yellow Flags in Strength Training
  • Earn the Right to Increase Weight
  • Go Through a Session Without Increasing Weight
  • (De)hydration, Blood Volume, and Performance
  • Slow Down!
  • Deadlifts
  • Conclusion

Apple Podcast




Show Notes:

0:41 –


  • Just go to sleep!
  • Recovery: why it’s so important and much easier than you think it is
  • Deadlifting for endurance athletes
  • Why strength training is very different, and why most endurance athletes struggle with it


2:28 –

Yellow Flags in Strength Training

  • Lack of motivation to train
    • You’re not being overtrained
      • You’re tired – just go the fuck to sleep
      • No Netflix!
  • Dr. Quinn Henoch and Dan Pope
    • Both talk about training volume and how that needs to be better monitored as far as injuries, motivation to train, etc.
    • If you’re doing too much volume of what you can handle of certain movements or load, then you’ll get hurt
    • If you have a client or athlete getting hurt a lot, audit your program – your training might be too aggressive


5:07 –

Earn the Right to Increase Weight

  • “I do think people need to kinda stay put for more than a week – to kinda earn the right to increase the quota on the bar” – Tony
    • People don’t get this
  • Each week we either add reps, time under tension, or we’ll go up a weight
  • “Training is not linear” – Menachem
  • Cyclists that are commonly injured are working too hard in the weight room or too hard on the bike
    • Working on breathing patterns is essential
  • “It’s not just going up in load every week, but it’s also the recovery in between” – Menachem


8:06 –

Go Through a Session Without Increasing Weight

  • Add time under tension or add reps
  • People need to be more cognizant of how they feel
  • “Recovery – the time in between workouts – is just as important as the actual workout”  – Tony
  • “I’m very minimalist when it comes to supplements” – Tony
    • He likes protein powder, fish oil, vitamin D, creatine, and that’s about it
      • You don’t need any of this – just go to sleep!
        • It might be unsexy, but it is that simple!
  • “Sleep is important. Eating adequate calories is important. Drinking adequate water.” – Tony
    • All of this will affect how your workouts are
    • “If you’re dehydrated x amount, your performance in the weight room is going to be compromised” – Tony
  • As far as training related stuff, it’s a matter of writing things down and tracking it
    • What gets tracked gets managed, and it gives you accountability
  • With injury, you have to tinker with that pain threshold a little bit
    • People tend to power/plow through pain threshold
    • We have to produce a training effect, so let’s do what doesn’t hurt
    • Dan Pope says the magic number is a 3 in a pain scale
      • 0 = nothing
      • 10 = excruciating pain
      • During the workout, immediately after, and the day after, you don’t want to be above a 3 as far as dealing with injury
      • Mechanotransduction – you have to elicit a little bit of discomfort, but don’t surpass that 3
        • Ideally you should move the pain threshold line up, so then you can progress pain-free


17:08 –

(De)hydration, Blood Volume, and Performance

  • Decrease in performance with drop in blood volume (in relation to hydration)
  • Dr. Stacy Sims said a 2% drop in blood plasma volume will lead to a 8-12% decrease in power for cyclists
  • Gatorade and Powerade have very complex carbohydrates
    • You want glucose and sucrose in a 3-4% carbohydrate concentrate solution
    • You need to water down those drinks because if not it can upset your stomach
  • Different types of sodium:
    • Sodium chloride (table salt)
    • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
    • Sodium citrate
      • Sodium bicarbonate and citrate will be better absorbed
      • Add a teaspoon of baking soda to your sports drink, and it’ll act as a cotransporter to help you bring the water into your system
        • Same thing with when you take creatine, you have to drink water, and it’s best absorbed with carbohydrates
  • Pain and breathing patterns
    • Poor breathing patterns increase ischemia and thus increase pain
      • Ischemia = lack of blood flow
    • We don’t want to be hard men and women when it comes to the weight room, we want to be smart
      • Minimal effective dose
      • “Hybrid Athlete” – Alex Viada
      • You have to be pretty lazy in the weight room
        • You don’t want the intensity of your training to match the intensity of all times that you’re in the weight room
          • You have to separate the two
        • It’s easy to maintain strength once you get to a certain level
          • Balance the body: hinging, rows, obliques, shoulder
          • Brad Schoenfeld – muscle hypertrophy study


22:15 –

Slow Down!

  • Get endurance athletes to appreciate the rest periods
  • Repetition
  • Common thread: strength training helps and it’ll improve your running economy
  • Understand that the intensities don’t always have to match
    • You don’t always have to go full throttle the whole time
    • “That’s why I’m a big fan of fillers” – Tony
      • Filler exercises would be some time of corrective exercises to do during the rest break that won’t affect the subsequent sets
        • Low threshold, low effort
        • Helps them slow down
  • 4 major pillars for athletic progression:
  1. Hormonal
  2. Neuromuscular
  3. Cardio-respiratory
  4. Metabolic
  • Rest periods focus on all of these pillars, which is where strength training can have a great impact
  • It’s just repetition – I just hope they follow the program


31:06 –


  • Do you have everyone who comes into your studio deadlift off the floor? Why, or why not?
    • Nope!
    • “Because they’re not all competitive powerlifters” – Tony
    • I think it’s a narrow-minded view of the deadlift
    • Tony’s job is to figure out what the best way for you is to perform a deadlift
      • You must be able to maintain a neutral spine
    • Some people do it off box, trap bar or straight bar, sumo stance or conventional stance, kettlebell or landline 
    • “They have to earn it” – Tony
    • “I wanna train the hip hinge, not necessarily the deadlift” – Tony
      • Reduce lumbar extension with minimal knee flexion – essentially what a deadlift is
        • It’s not a squat
        • There is a squatty hinge
    • “My initial progression or introduction to the deadlift is typically the trap bar” – Tony
      • A more back-friendly way to introduce a loaded hinge
    • Stark beginners will sometimes start off with a kettlebell
    • Elevating the bar makes it easier as well so that they don’t injure the back and they’re still focusing on the posterior chain
  • Cycling back injuries
    • A number of these injuries happen in the weight room and are perpetuated from the riding position
    • Cyclists have very low bone density if they don’t consistently strength train
      • Tissue needs to adapt, which takes so much time
      • You need to earn the right to move the weight


38:14 –


  • 2 or 3 big things for listeners to remember:
    • Train the position that you’re not in
      • As far as the bike, training should be in extension not flexion
    • Intensity of exercise
      • You don’t need to kill yourself in the gym
      • It’s more of the 80% effect
        • With consistency
  • We still need to talk about overhead motion for triathletes
  • 2 or 3 movements for cyclists to be focused on in the gym:
    • Deadlifts
    • Improve T-spine extension
      • Gets them access to more shoulder flexion
  • Where can people find you?
    • The Complete Shoulder and Hip Blueprint
    • The Complete Trainers’ Toolbox
      • Geared more toward coaches and trainers
      • 9 fitness professionals
      • Video and webinar format
      • 17 hours of content
      • CEU credits
    • Instagram and Facebook: tonygentilcore
    • Twitter: tonygentilcore1
  • Tonygentilcore.com – website
    • Social media, articles, blogs, etc.
      • “Stuff to read while you’re pretending to be working” – really good


Picture of Menachem Brodie

Menachem Brodie

Coaching since 2000, Menachem Brodie has been working with athletes in a number of settings, and a broad variety of sports.


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