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Old 06-04-2008, 04:47 PM   #41
David Wood
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Re: Hybrid programs

Gant, Joey: this kind of thread is what makes the hassles of moderation worth it. Awesome discussion, thank you.

I'm still not ready to give up my BW-based playground work, but I'm close!
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:52 PM   #42
Steven Low
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Re: Hybrid programs

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Originally Posted by Joey Powell View Post

Reps in the MET-CON. Since the weight must move quickly, then the weight must move quickly for up to 15 reps. This implies that the weight may, perhaps, need to be selected such that the athlete could execute a 25-30RM (if not more) with that weight as an independent event. This may help the athlete select a proper weight in order to keep with the intent of your RX. Follow?

As a side note I agree with your RX, of more weight with less reps still executed quickly. I just have the opposite problem, I move weight just fine (and people), but I just don't move quickly, so that my focus is more Speed-Strength/Explosiveness.

I am renound for grinding through moderate weights closer to my 1RM and have nothing to show for it, but a lot of extra muscle mass and fast twitch fibers which have dampened over the years, due mostly to inappropriate training methods based from lack of knowledge.

Since maximal strength and strength endurance are not an issue for me, but speed is, that is my reasoning for keeping the weight light and fast. So anything that might lead to me pushing into the weight range that will slow down the movement, I avoid. If it does not possitively effect my Fast Twitch and CNS, I ain't doing it.Either HEAVY or FAST only, and it is paying off.

My questions were based off of my understanding that you were saying keep the RX weight and push through the 21 reps and damn the bar speed or the sets it took to accomplish that number of reps. This I know does not work effectively and gets people overuse injuries if their minds are well stronger than their bodies. Common experience in my line of work.

Thanks for clarifying.
Metcons BY DEFINITION utilize every fiber in the muscle. As we start hitting aerobic engine utilization, every single fiber is being used to help provide force to our movements. Heavy weights (1-3 RM) themselves don't necessarily recruit all high threshold motor units either so it's not really an issue of going heavy to recruit fast twitch.

If we were planning on biasing towards type IIb fast twitch fibers we'd all terminate our sets RIGHT when we started to slow down. With 40-50% 1 RM that's probably around 5-8 reps or so assuming trying to produce maximal speed through all reps. I don't think this is what we are looking for.

As I said before in my post that got glossed over apparently:

Quote:
To maximize intensity (or power rather) with bar speed we need a weight of approximately 40-50% 1 RM. IF we use a moderately heavier weight 60-80%, there is a tendency for "more" strength gains as opposed to the broad spectrum fitness gains you would get from scaling it down to the 40-50%. However, as Joey said there is also a tendency for sarco hypertrophy; however, this effect should be mitigated by the extra strength and skill work outside of the short metcons. Sarco has the ability to be converted into myofib hypertrophy fairly easily -- probably cause there is space to put more myofibrils instead of having to grow myofibrils AND expand the muscle to accomodate them (this is along the lines of why stretching tends to help increase muscle mass via fascia stretching).

Based on Gant's results with his lean muscle gain, I'd say overall it tends to promote good muscle gain and definitely faster strength gains to help do the metcons faster. Well, I have been one of the proponents that strength carries over VERY well into metcon. The conditioning aspect is very easy to develop, but the strength is harder which is why I tend to recommend that. So in accordance with the above "black box" (well, I tried to explain it some), that's why I would recommend it over dropping the weights down to maximize fitness... if the person does NOT need fitness of course.
Let's ALSO not forget bar speed is NOT the only way to judge intensity. That is specifically judging intensity by repetition. We can also judge intensity over the whole workout. And yes, these are separate characteristics. Most of the time CF is trying to maximize the latter.. not specifically the former although the former does somewhat contribute.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:27 PM   #43
Jonathan Edwards
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Re: Hybrid programs

I've been thinking I may throw on a weighted vest and do metcon type workouts(Oly workouts as well), while alternating tabata workouts every week. Sounds like a mix of your two experiments . Glad to know you're getting positive results!
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:12 PM   #44
Joey Powell
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Re: Hybrid programs

Steve, I did not gloss over your post, I just did not find it necessarily relevant to my discussion.

I am not interested in type IIB/X fibers in the Met-Cons. I am interested in the Type IIA which are best suited for fast, repetitive, low intensity movement. Which in my case, is used for augmenting my LACK of type IIB/X development (or inheritance). Coupled together and you are using what you have in the fast department to move the weight.

I am also concerned with hybrid fibers that contain mixture of slow and fast myosin isoforms. I was tested as a older teen ager to be split down the middle of ST/FT fibers as executed by a isolated hip extension strength endurance test used by University of North Texas football team. Interestingly I moved a larger load over 2 minutes test duration at the time as a 180lb, 17 year than any of the university's football players. The computed results at the time was more accurate than anything other than actual biopsy, which highly is a localized procedure. Since it is clear to me that I am in the middle of the road, other outside influences have accentuated this. Mostly the time under a heavy rucksack. Many ground performing service members become this way, due to historic training and load carrying.

Well these hybrid fibers increase dramatically over aging to the point that they become the dominant fiber type, and begin to transition between the two fiber types it contain based on the the protein isoforms being produced from day in - day out movement/training.

So in an effort to prevent the hybrids and type IIA fibers dampening their fast twitch capabilities, I say go slightly faster with slightly lighter weights in MET-CONS in order to avoid the 65-85% 1RM range that typifies Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and the accompanying muscle mass if you go to heavy and have to break up the set.

As far as Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy, in my case it is NOT mitigated by strength gain outside of Met-Cons anytime soon, as I am a case study of the results of large musculature and underdeveloped connective tissue. This leaves me not very quick, prone to injury and, since I am now more likely to need to be carried off the battlefield because of the first two reasons, more of a burden on my fellow warriors.

General Fitness is also not an issue, as I regularly move medium to long distances with the equivalent of you on my back and normally get in the highest ranking classification in what is the hardest standardized PFT in the military.

Quote:
Heavy weights (1-3 RM) themselves don't necessarily recruit all high threshold motor units either so it's not really an issue of going heavy to recruit fast twitch.
Compared to what? Washing your car?

It is very much an issue, in so much as maximum strength is concerned for developing Type IIB/X fibers and the effected connective tissue. Why are power lifters and Olympic lifters be so much stronger than if they did not do this. Perhaps jogging is in order then? It is also an issue in that type IIB/X are suited for high power output and are usually only recruited where very RAPID or INTENSE effort is required. Since dynamic efforts <60% 1RM for 1-3 reps and various forms of plyometric exercises currently answer the call for RAPID. Maximal Efforts of >90% answer the call for INTENSE.

Many studies show that bodybuilders display a smaller percentage of IIB/X fibers than untrained individuals and even endurance athletes. Since the range they are generally looking for is the 65-85% range to get the hypertrophy in order to put on muscle mass, excuse me if I avoid that range, or the movement speed (contractile rate and intensity) that accompanies it, in an effort to minimize its' increasingly unwanted effects on my livelihood.

Though you may see the need for more muscle mass, I don't if the muscle mass did not arrive from sarcomere hypertrophy or myofibrillar-mitochondral hyperplasia. I have plenty muscle mass and tend to increase it rapidly through moderate load/ moderate intensity training, though it does not help my performance. So it is useless other than as dead weight.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:16 PM   #45
Steven Low
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Re: Hybrid programs

Hmm, okay I knew most of that on IIA but that's a good refresher.

Quote:
So in an effort to prevent the hybrids and type IIA fibers dampening their fast twitch capabilities, I say go slightly faster with slightly lighter weights in MET-CONS in order to avoid the 65-85% 1RM range that typifies Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and the accompanying muscle mass if you go to heavy and have to break up the set.

As far as Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy, in my case it is NOT mitigated by strength gain outside of Met-Cons anytime soon, as I am a case study of the results of large musculature and underdeveloped connective tissue. This leaves me not very quick, prone to injury and, since I am now more likely to need to be carried off the battlefield because of the first two reasons, more of a burden on my fellow warriors.

General Fitness is also not an issue, as I regularly move medium to long distances with the equivalent of you on my back and normally get in the highest ranking classification in what is the hardest standardized PFT in the military.
Have you read the studies that say it's the intent to move the weight fast that stimulates high threshold motor units and speed adaptation? I'm not quite sure it's that simple, but it may be to some extent at least.

Interesting little bit about sarco though. So if you did 3 RM training with metcons mixed with 65-85% 1 RM loads, it would be mostly sarco hypertrophy? That's very odd honestly and I don't think most people would respond that way. Well, namely because the adaptations are going to be biased towards strength protocol and moving heavier weight which is increases in myofibrils. It might depend on bodytype though. As a solid "ecto" I know that anything with any high intensity tends to add myofibrils while anything sarco range + high(er) rest times adds on the sarco. Even lower rest times with sarco range tends when combined with strength training adds on myofibrils to me.

In any case, I do think fitness is an important component here. If we need the fitness, obviously we want to hit the 40-50% range to maximize power output both in repetitions and probably over the whole workout. This cannot be denied. But I don't think Gant is worried about this at all which makes it a moot point here. I mean, this is the whole reason why I'd recommend SS to people who are weak coming in who DON'T need the fitness right away (like police, firefighters, military). They will gain the strength faster which is necessary towards working towards rx. At least that's the intent of Gant's program to a large extent.

Quote:
Compared to what? Washing your car?

It is very much an issue, in so much as maximum strength is concerned for developing Type IIB/X fibers and the effected connective tissue. Why are power lifters and Olympic lifters be so much stronger than if they did not do this. Perhaps jogging is in order then? It is also an issue in that type IIB/X are suited for high power output and are usually only recruited where very RAPID or INTENSE effort is required. Since dynamic efforts <60% 1RM for 1-3 reps and various forms of plyometric exercises currently answer the call for RAPID. Maximal Efforts of >90% answer the call for INTENSE.

Many studies show that bodybuilders display a smaller percentage of IIB/X fibers than untrained individuals and even endurance athletes. Since the range they are generally looking for is the 65-85% range to get the hypertrophy in order to put on muscle mass, excuse me if I avoid that range, or the movement speed (contractile rate and intensity) that accompanies it, in an effort to minimize its' increasingly unwanted effects on my livelihood.

Though you may see the need for more muscle mass, I don't if the muscle mass did not arrive from sarcomere hypertrophy or myofibrillar-mitochondral hyperplasia. I have plenty muscle mass and tend to increase it rapidly through moderate load/ moderate intensity training, though it does not help my performance. So it is useless other than as dead weight.
Okay so these things are happening when we lift weights:

1. Lifting at the maximum speed preferentially recruits high threshold motor units (IIB, IIA, then IA). This depends on the given load, however, as doing squats as fast as possible is not enough speed/intensity to fully recruit the higher threshold motor units.

2. Weights greater than ~90% 1 RM or 1-3 RM recruit all available motor units for contraction within a muscle.

3. IF we are lifting a weight slowly and not at maximal speed according to our 1 RM then:

I. type I fibers are recruited approximately thresholds below 33%
II. Type IIA are recruited at about 33-67%
III. Type IIB are recruited at 67-100%.

So IF we are not aiming for speed and if we ignore the intent studies, moving weights at 65-85% is basically going to recruit your type I and type IIA fibers anyway for the most part. Since, however, we are aiming for speed then to increase force generation, the type IIB and type IIA fibers are recruited preferentially. As we start to slow down, it's the type I fibers that are recruited in conjunction with the non-resting type IIB and type IIA fibers. And obviously, when we cannot complete a rep, we don't have enough fibres in the pool to move the weight for that specific exercise.

On the point of heavy weights not recruiting all fibers is that with heavy weights not at 1 RM there are high threshold motor units that are NOT recruited preferentially unless the speed of the lift is high enough. Some are only recruited at that 98%+ threshold limit if the weight is moved sub-maximal speed even if it's heavy.

In any case, I don't know why you got away from talking about type IIA fibers and went solely into type IIB because you said before that you weren't interested in type IIB for metcons anyway which is what we were discussing. However, I am going to comment anyway namely that:

1. Hyperplasia studies are fairly inconclusive with humans. From what I've seen hyperplasia only tends to occur when there's fairly high muscle damage. Sarco hypertrophy in the 65-85% range tends to maximize weight load volume (with "adequate" rest) and therefore microtears/damage in the muscle. There seems to be probable satellite cell donation occurring which (1) helps increase muscle fiber sarcoplasm to repair damage and (2) satellite cells have the option of differentiating into new muscle fibers somehow which occurs extensively with destruction of muscle tissue like in rhabdo. This is, therefore, my opinion (couldn't really give you any studies but it fits) on how hyperplasia may relate to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

This has really nothing to do with the topic on hand though.

2. With our 65-85% as stated before if lifted as fast as possible we are going to be recruiting type IIB and type IIA along the threshold scale just like if the weight as at 40-50%. However, heavier weight tends to equal more strength gains especially as it more closely approaches 1 RM. The only issue then it SEEMS is the sarco hypertrophy that you may want to avoid. I really think it does "convert" to myofibrillar hypertrophy with the additional strength work that Gant was doing.. at least going from his results. This is obviously different for different people though; it may not work best for you who is trying to avoid muscle mass like the plague, but I think the majority of people wouldn't be disappointed with it. Well, since overall with some strength work you can get said "worthless" muscle to be "useful" muscle.

P.S. my bad if there's some spelling mistakes or cohesiveness issues. Didn't really proof read.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:17 PM   #46
David Meverden
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Re: Hybrid programs

Side stepping the Joey Steven discussion/debate . . .

Gant, great stuff, but a quick question: Did you test your 5K after finishing your experiment? You said you'd only run 2.5 miles in 08 so might not have a time to compare to but I'm more curious in how the workouts that you absolutely did NOT train for changed (like your improved murph time I would find an improved 5k time very fascinating, though that improvement seems unlikely).
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:59 AM   #47
Brandon Oto
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Re: Hybrid programs

Yeah, I think we should be careful not to forget about that if we're still talking about GPP -- we shouldn't get too overboard in emphasizing fast-twitch demands and short-duration metcons, if we're still interested in being able to perform over longer periods.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:37 AM   #48
Joey Powell
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Re: Hybrid programs

Steven, it is not the involvement of Type I that is my concern. It is the sacroplasmic hypertrophy and the resulting useless muscle mass and its effect on athletic prowess that is my concern.

Basic ME and DE work do not cause this. What has happened in the past is the urge to increase the weights in a MET-CON so that they fall into that range causing a quick increase in "pump", DOMS, and growth.

Example: If I want to gain 5 lbs quicky I can do this workout every few days:

For time-3 rounds:
21 Squats @185
21 Press @ 95
21 Deadlift at 225
3-2-1 go!

The sets tend to get broken up and I turn into i"ron man" from the pump.

in about 2 weeks viola: 5lbs heavier with no descrenable increase in maximum strength or body fat and a slow down in all running/reactive ability.

This effect works into every MET-CON I go into heavy. How do I avoid it? Go light and fast to retrain retrain the Type IIAs and hybrids to move fast again. I get my heavy work in with ME workouts with <90% and have started incorporating depth jumps into this stuff as well to get the Type IIBs.

So what does this have to do with Gant's RX? nothing cotradictory as far as I can tell. He just recommends a slightly higher weight but for fewer reps on the MET-CONs. Valid enough in my book, since it still does not approach 65-85% range because bar speed and mostly unbroken sets are the indicator that you are staying below that %60 range, thus away from the prime target for sarco hypertrophy.

We are on two ends of the spectrum, so we view the available information slightly askew from the others perspective.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:13 AM   #49
Steven Low
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Re: Hybrid programs

Well solid mass doesn't come on withouut subsequent change in diet. However, I realize that not everyone is on a regular diet.

What would you say about Linda then? This, for an overwhelming majority of the people, seems to be like the pump and grind out the reps style you would be talking about with a heavy metcon except significantly longer than a sub 10 min style workout this way.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, it doesn't matter too much (in the end). You obviously want to avoid any excessive sarco. I think the sarco is useful because it can be converted into myofib if the person needs extra muscle. It's definitely useless in your case because you want to avoid that. There's tons of people here that are looking for increased muscle mass (and well don't eat enough for it anyway but that's besides the point), in so much that the greater strength bias you get from heavier weights tends to help out beyond looking at the sarco.

Anyway, as for intended bar speed you may or may have read them. I don't feel like pulling up the studes (some are referenced in this link) but here's the latest thing I've read that talks about them.

(may or may not be wfs):
http://www.t-nation.com/article/body...ximal_strength


Quote:
Bar Speed: Actual vs. Intended

Speed of movement is one of the most important factors related to strength gains. Actually, intended speed of movement is the real key. What's the difference? We've established that maximal strength training should be done above 85%, while including sets over 90% for best results. Those of you who have moved a weight above 90% understand that no matter what your intentions are, the bar isn't going to move quickly. The actual bar speed doesn't matter — the intended bar speed does.
squatting

The bar might not be going anywhere fast, but that's okay.

Not only does maximizing the intended concentric (positive) phase of the lift maximize intramuscular tension, it also leads to unique neural adaptations. Specifically, maximizing intended contraction speeds leads to an increased rate of force development, increased doublet firing, and decreased motor unit recruitment threshold.(10) This is true of dynamic and isometric contractions.(10, 18-20)

The fact that these adaptations occur with isometric contractions is further evidence that the actual bar speed isn't as important as the intended bar speed, as there's no change in total muscle length in isometric contractions.

Decreasing the recruitment threshold may have positive implications on force production due to a maximal firing rate ceiling effect. If a high-threshold unit is recruited late in the contraction, it only has a small amount of time to increase its firing rate and therefore increase force production. If the high-threshold unit is recruited sooner in the contraction, as it would be with an intended high velocity contraction, it has more time to increase its firing rate and increase the amount of force produced.
He's only talking about it in terms of very heavy weights, but it applies with attempted fast lifting speed with anything above which you can maximally generate power at that 40-50% 1 RM zone. So it it's totally true.. which it at least partially is bar speed isn't absolute in meaning as long as you are maximally developing force and speed behind the bar as you are capable which definitely applies to the 60%+ 1 RM and higher weights.


P.S. I don't really think we're going to agree on everything here so shrug. More or less *should* depend on individual CFers goals if they want to attempt something like this since your personal experience and mine different fairly greatly seeing as we are on opposite ends of the spectrum as you noted.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:43 AM   #50
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Re: Hybrid programs

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