A grunt is deep sound produced when air is forcibly released through the throat. In the context of weight training, grunts are common on the gym floor as an increased level of exertion is produced during a lift. The key component to many safe and properly executed lifts is to hold your breath or inhale deeply on the eccentric portion of a lift, and exhale during the concentric portion.
Further examination into the mechanics of a heavy lift will also help clarify the grunt. When you take your deep breath before a lift, you are adding pressure in the stomach which essentially assists with the lift. Much like how a belt is utilized on heavy squats and deadlifts, the stomach pressure adds more stability and support, allowing for a greater amount of force to be produced to complete the lift. As the heavy movement is performed, this pressure has to be released. Under the conditions that are created when a heavy deadlift or squat is performed, it is unlikely that a calm and slow release of the air is going to be the primary focus of the lifter.
Many will argue that without the uninhibited release of a resounding grunt, the chances of the heavy lifting being successful are lessened. To put this theory to the test, in 1999 the Hardin-Simmons University, in Abilene, Texas took 15 college athletes and 16 non-athletes and had them perform six dead-lifts. Three sets were performed while grunting, and three without, the order of which was randomly assigned. The results? Grunting did not appear to increase maximum force production significantly during a large muscle group.
So why is it that many will swear by the practice of a loud grunt? It could very well be psychological,. since the grunt is a vocalization of your effort. It is my experience that a small grunt is inevitable. I believe it is a natural reaction, and the suppression of this reaction is likely to result in poor performance or an injury. I’m not saying that a grunt helps complete a lift, but I am suggesting that it is a natural part of the lift. The suppression of a natural grunt is like attempting to change the fundamental movement of the bicep curl.
2011 ABA Natural Illinois Bodybuilding, Fitness, and Figure Championships
2nd Place Novice Short Class
3rd Place Open Short Class
2011 NGA Heart of America Natural Classic
1st Place Novice Lightweight
1st Place Open Lightweight
1st Place OVERALL NOVICE
2011 NANBF Probody Solutions Natural
1st Place Open Short Class
2011 NGA Titan Classic
OVERALL OPEN MEN WINNER – PRO CARD AWARDED
2012 NGA Heart of America Natural Classic
3rd Place Professional
Jon-Carlo Astorina is a Team JBT Athlete
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JC was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. He now resides in Bloomington, IL and works as a private detective for a prominent PI firm out of Chicago. JC studied Criminal Justice at Illinois State University. He is married with four children. Besides his family, JC’s greatest passion in life is bodybuilding and fitness – a hobby he picked up in college.
JC has been bodybuilding for roughly four years and started competing in 2011. He has a short but impressive competitive resume. To date he has competed in five drug tested bodybuilding competitions, earning his Pro Card in August, 2011. He is recognized as a Professional Natural Bodybuilder by the National Gym Association (NGA).
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