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mccoy

Exercise optimization

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Hi all,

there have been previous threads on the subject but recently I came across some interesting references.

 

Particularly, Dr Doug McGuff's Super slow Hi intensity training. References:

 

  • MCGuff, John Little book: body by science
  • McGuff's interview in stemtalk podcast
  • Interweb reviews.

The concept is interesting, in that it implies very limited time, allegedly recruits fast twitch 2B fibers, takes to failure muscles allowing to stimulate mTOR phosphorylation hence muscle protein synthesis, all in an injury-less fashion. Sounds too good to be true.

 

The basic original workout needs gym machines, lasts 10-15 minutes (/only once per week) and is illustrated by McGuff himself.

 

  • PROS: mTOR activation, enhanced MPS, extremely short time required, very simple routine 5 exercises
  • CONS: machines required, gym membership for very little time

The concept includes adopting a vaible weight and executing the exercise in a very slow fashion, 5 to 12 second per lift. Weight lifted is irrilevant, whereas we count TUL=Time under load. Only one set of 5 different exercises.

 

The physical concept sounds correct, that is, slow acceleration and little mass means slow force or mechanical stress applied on muscles and skeleton (F=ma) hence probability of injury is greatly decreased.

Whereas the boost to mTOR phosphorylation remains.

 

I tried super-slow in squats, and it really burns after a few reps.

 

I find though that in bench press for example, super slow decreases mechanical stress but increases time under stress and that may not be a favourable aspect for some other effects. On the other side, an optimal, light weight should be chosen. MAchines are also inherently safer.

 

TUL should be in the region of 60-90 seconds.

 

I'm going to investigate further on other possible ways to adopt super slow training without gym machines.

Edited by mccoy

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Another cons I find is that some people, like myself, like the high provided by exercise. It's like a drug, maybe related to the NBDF produced and the subsequent brain effects. So, little exercise maybe a disadvantage in this sense.

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More on super slow training, which was made known by the bodybuilder mike mentzer.

 

Drew Baye is a coach who has developed further the concept, which has even been applied to free-body exercise.

 

http://baye.com/

 

I found very interesting that this free-body method includes 30-minutes workout sessions 2-3 times a week. No gym, just a pullup bar, a row bar, a mat, parallel bars for the more advanced programs. Bodyweight exercises usually minimize the probability of injuries.

pkh-print.jpg

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Now another very interesting protocol, which involves resistance training at 60% 1MR (one max-rep), which is what is suggested by Valter Longo in his book.

60% 1MR is a weigh you can lift about 20 times.

 

GVT= German Volume Training is a technique which has recently been made popular by the renowned coach Charles Poliquin. Using 60% of maximum liftable tends to avoid injuries and unduly stress on joints and ligaments. 10 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest and 4/0/2 seconds lowering-rest-lifting. 

 

Today I tried GVT with the bench press, it was good in that it is clear that  mTOR activation is pursued by metabolic fatigue without excessive mechanical stress. Literature also foudn that negatives tend to stimulate mTOR more than positives. 

 

I got a good pump and I believe I'm going to continue with this, applied to the few exercises I can carry out now.

 

post-7347-0-48884100-1517866656_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by mccoy

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Again on GVT. Today I have sore triceps, pecs not so much since I do a relatively narrow grip, not to stress the shoulder joint and tendons.

 

Pls note that the muscle groups are taken to failure by 10 sets of 10 reps with adequate weight. Taken to failure means that mTOR in muscle tissues is activated by the mechanoreceptors plus by metabolic stress (phosphatidic acid??). Tipe 2B fibers are allegedly not activated if weights are not substantial, but fatigue may trigger their activation as well. (this allegedely happens in super slow training).

 

The goal of the German Volume Training method is to complete ten sets of ten reps with the same weight for each exercise. You want to begin with a weight you could lift for 20 reps to failure if you had to. For most people, on most exercises, that would represent 60% of their 1RM load. Therefore, if you can bench press 300 pounds for 1 rep, you would use 180 pounds for this exercise.
est Intervals: When bodybuilders start with this method, they often question its value for the first several sets because the weight won't feel heavy enough. However, there is minimal rest between sets (about 60 seconds when performed in sequence and 90-120 seconds when performed as a superset), which incurs cumulative fatigue. (Interestingly enough, you might find you get stronger again during the eighth and ninth sets. This is because of a short-term neural adaptation.) Because of the importance of the rest intervals, you should use a stopwatch to keep the rest intervals constant. This is important, as it becomes tempting to lengthen the rest time as you fatigue.

Tempo: For long-range movements such as squats, dips and chins, use a 4-0-2 tempo; this means you would lower the weight in four seconds and immediately change direction and lift for two seconds. For movements such as curls and triceps extensions, use a 3-0-2 tempo.

Number of Exercises: One, and only one, exercise per body part should be performed. Therefore, select exercises that recruit a lot of muscle mass. Triceps kickbacks and leg extensions are definitely out; squats and bench presses are definitely in. For supplementary work for individual body parts (like triceps and biceps), you can do 3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Training Frequency: Because this is such an intense program, it'll take you longer to recover. In fact, if you're familiar with the writings of Peter Sisco and John Little, you'll find that the average "Power Factor Rating" of the 10-sets method is about 8 billion. Consequently, one training session every four to five days per body part is plenty.

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Yesterday I tried the GVT with 10X10 squats, lifting two 5-kg dumbbells together with my own weight. A non-existing load.

 

Fact is that, unbelievably the workout nearly killed my legs, sore all around today.

 

The effect is leveraged by keeping perfect form, a slow descent (4 seconds) and zero rest after descent and lift. 

 

Plus the little rest (60 secs) between sets.

 

No joints pain, no knees, no other naggin pains. One body part requires 20 minutes of training. To be repeated only after 5 days.

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5-6 days after i repeated the GVT with the light-loaded squat, with more attention on form, slow descent times and mere 60'' pauses between sets.

 

Again, the effect is that of an incredible leverage of the small weight lifted (besides the upper bodyweight). My quadriceps are killed again, no knees pains although a little aches from a 3-years old surgical wound I have in my abdomen.

 

This effect belies a powerful mTOR activation in skeletal muscle (and bone as well I reckon), again, with virtually no risk of injury. Tiem requested: about 20 minutes plus warmup.

 

I also repeated the bench press, I soon had to drop my reps at 8 instead of 10 and even had to drop 2 kg of barbell weights. My triceps were agonizing the day after (narrow grip).

 

This is more than the effect I had with a weight 8-10 kg heavier but with much longer pauses.

 

A schedule like this only requires, warmup included, no more than 30 minutes every 5 or 6 days for every muscle group. Let's say we train pectorals, back. legs, that's 1.5 hours per week or slightly more, the rest we can dedicate to cardio-activities, abdominals and so on.

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I'm getting on with this thread since I saw that it got not a few clicks, although it's more of a monologue than a discussion.

 

I've been reasoning about the physics of GVT. The old, basic equation F=ma shows that this technique tends to minimize F, the force applied on the skeleton, skeletal muscles, joints, ligaments and cartilages, by adopting a relatively modest mass (60% 1 max rep) and little acceleration, since the movements are slow, especially in the descending phase, called eccentric contraction or negative phase.

 

Modest applied force means little mechanical stress to all the system, with all the ensuing benefits, especially in the lowering of the probability of injuries and ligaments inflammation.

 

To those who are over 50 and who haven't been training all life in a wise and cautios fashion, this is an invaluable benefit.

 

But what it is which makes this technique, with relatively ligjt weights, so effective in boosting mass and strenght? Pls note that this technique is suggested to bodybuilders, including the competitive ones, to ovecome plateaus in mass and strenght building, so it's a powerfule one.

 

The critical factors I believe are three:

 

  1. Time under load: a complete set of 10 reps lasts 60 seconds, of which 100% is with muscles under stress. In a complete muscle group workout (10X10), the muscles are under stress for a total of 10 effective minutes. Time under load is evidently a factor in the activation of mTOR in muscle tissue, which leads to muscle growth. Maybe it is synergistic to minimal rest to boost metabolic stress.
  2. Emphasys on the eccentric phase: the negative, or eccentric phase (descending movement for msot exercises) has been found to stimulate better the mechanoreceptors in the muscle cells rather than the positive, or concentric phase. In thistechnique, the eccentric phase lasts twice as much as the concentric phase (4 vs 2 seconds). More stimulus to the mechanoreceptors means better mTOR activations in muscles (+ligaments + bones). 
  3. Minimal rest: the method calls for 60 seconds rest between sets (90 secs if supersets). This probably is an efficient trigger of metabolic stress in muscles, which again leads to the activation of mTOR, by an intersting cascade which is summarized in the previous link and involves the mediation of ROS and IGF-1 (an example where ROS are used as signalling in cells metabolism, an issue underlined by the researcher Navdeep Chandler)

The above partly explains the amazing results of GVT, which was previously unexplainable to me. How can you grow in mass and strength by lifting smaller weight? Simply by adjusting the parameters in such a way to trigger mTOR activation, in a different though parallel fashion to the lifting of large weights.

 

Another benefit is the relatively modest time necessary. GVT requests about 30 minutes fo muscle group, so in an hour we can train for example chest and back and train again 5 days after. Legs on another day, training 5 days after. Plus 30 more minutes in small muscles training like biceps for example. It means 2 hours every 5 days = about 12 hours per month or 3 hours per week. If we have more time at disposal we can do running or jogging, eccentric bike, threadmill or other chores like gardening, householding and so on. 

Edited by mccoy

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Hi Gordo, I realized that presently there are quite a few super-slow methods, of which the McGuff's Superslow method is a registered trademark and needs gym machinery, possibly a specific one.

 

Other super slow methods are the classic Mike Mentzer's, Drewe Baye and surely others which I don't know.

 

The slow, deliberate pace of lifting weights, especially in the negative part of the movement,  has sometimes been adopted in negative training for decades.

 

 

In GVT the negative time (4 seconds) is standardized, as well as the positive time (2 secs).

 

I remained amazed since I never trained like that. It seems to work and I apparently found what I was looking for, less stress on joints and ligaments, similar activation of mTOR in muscle tissues as in heavy, quick lifting. At least, the muscle soreness after the workout is very similar.

 

To be fair, people might object that 2B fast-twitch fibers are only activated by lifting 70% or more of 1MR (relatively heavy weights) but it's surely no use to have overactivated 2B fibers if that will make us prone to injury or pains which will eventually compel us to quit training for a long time.

Edited by mccoy

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It seems that 2B fast-twitch fibers in GVT are actually recruited at near-to-failure, when the slow fibers are totally fatigued, that's how GVT constitutes a complete training for skeletal muscles.

According to Poliquin, maybe the best paid strength coach in the world, GVT improves not only mass but even strenght, probably by the above mechanism. 

 

My present schedule is very minimal, due to forced prolonged rehab: 

  • Day one: bench press 10x10 plus dumbell bicep curls 6x10,total time including warmups 50 minutes 
  • Day two: dumbell front squat 10x10, total time including warmups 30 minutes

I workout the two groups every 5 days, so it makes 6*(30+50)= 480 minutes per month = about 2 hours per week.

 

Like I already said, this training leverages the lifted weights in an amazing way.

 

Notwithstanding the small weights and short time requested, I can feel the benefits of conventional workouts sans the joint and tendon pains.

 

Today, after the squats, I felt destroyed and could barely ascend the home stairway.

Edited by mccoy

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GVT keeps being good. I'm still at 20 kg bench press (nothing really), but every time I'm devising ways to achieve extreme control of the weight, so increasing the metabolic stress on muscles/ligaments, even bones maybe.

This after a workout with a tiny 20 kg narrow grip bench press and a mere 5 kg dumbell curls.  The weights are such that no trouble is practically possible. The arms got an impressive pump though. And sarcopenia should be avoided, even if the pump peters out after a while. I've still got wintery belly fat, hope to get rid of it in the summer.

I'm not using any workout supplements, but a moderate amount of pea protein powder (5-10 gr per day on average) and the adaptogen siberian ginseng. All protein I eat (and all other nutrients) is plant-based.

 

post-7347-0-96208000-1523482258_thumb.jpg  post-7347-0-32216400-1524430261_thumb.jpg

Edited by mccoy

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I'm using this thread to check the developments in the results of my schedule. This is a couple of days after my latest FMD and then a couple of weeks after refeeding, which is the time I needed to repelenish muscle tissue. Different conditions of light of course are tricky, but after the FMD muslces seemed to have difficulties in getting the usual post-exercise pump.

 

Left: 3 days after FMD; right: 2 weeks after FMD. Maybe the difference ain't so huge.

 

post-7347-0-41511100-1530612770_thumb.jpg   post-7347-0-74935800-1530612783_thumb.jpg

Edited by mccoy

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I'm keeping experimenting hi-intensity workouts, right now German Volume Training plus Brian Johnstone's Zone Training, a mix of the two. My total training time is maximum 2 hours per week, often 90 minutes, very few exercises, very moderate loads but leveraged by appropriate technique.  As already discussed, for longevity issues it's important to minimize risk of injury and maximize stimulus to the mechanoreceptors which are part of the mTOR activation. After a workout I seem big but bodyweight is not increasing much. The following pics after today's pecs workout. I increased my protein intake to allow for muscle protein synthesis, but am not able to forcefeed myself. When no more hungry I just stop and I keep eating lots of fruit and vegetables. The moderate weights and the moderate calories may constitute a growth threshold.

Capture.PNG.54ff32038b7bb3fc3cafa9971efa4854.PNG

Edited by mccoy

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