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Thread: undulating and fiber type recovery

  1. #21
    markccj wrote:
    I don't want to impose and anticipate Mike's response, but this is something I often think about. I came to the conclusion that it's not exactly more power that that training protocol targets. It is more force production in the beginning of the lift. More first reps = less fatigue at commencement of each concentric = more force production at that point. I don't know if that equates to improved RFD, and I don't even know if my conclusion is correct.

    This brings to mind something else. I think a lot of us, myself in particular, could benefit from more starting strength in the deadlift. Is deficit and paused work the most effective protocol targeting this? I've been reading a bit of Zatsiorsky and Verkhoshansky and have been intrigued by their research on explosive isometrics and wonder if if anyone has any experience with the inclusion of this kind of work?

  2. #22
    Ben Burgess wrote:
    <<<it's not exactly more power that that training protocol targets. It is more force production in the beginning of the lift. More first reps = less fatigue at commencement of each concentric = more force production at that point.

    I take your point, but think about it this way - if all that was important was the highest force production at the bottom end of the lift, then x1@10 would be the best protocol - that would require you to produce more force at this (and every) position than any other protocol. You would be unfatigued from any previous reps and then have to generate Tfm levels (at least) of force in order to move the bar.

    Of course, you could make the counter argument that the overall volume possible with a x1@10 protocol will be low (you might get only one back-off set for 5% fatigue) and this negates the magnitude of the training effect BUT you'd get a few back-off sets if the protocol was (say) x1@9. It's also true that (theoretically) you could produce the same level of force on an @8 bar weight as on an @10 bar weight, using CAT, and the bar would just move much faster. But still, it'd be a less guaranteed method of producing maximum force at the bottom position.

    Neither x1@10 or @9 is the usually-recommended protocol - it's more like x2-3@8-8.5. I'm sure Mike has a good reason why this is and I know it works.

    <<<I don't know if that equates to improved RFD>>>

    Increasing absolute strength is strongly positively correlated with RFD (getting stronger improves RFD) but the reverse is not true - increasing RFD is very weakly correlated with absolute strength (it helps a little, but only up to a certain magnitude of strength IIRC...(I'm paraphrasing it's been a while since i read it). I.e. squatting will help your vertical jump much more than vertical jumping will help your squat.

    <<<explosive isometrics>>>

    Interesting idea. My issue with this solution would be a) that isometric work is very joint-angle specific and that the training effect drops off significantly as the joint angle alters and b) the explosive isometric (EI) protocols are specifically designed to increase RFD (not maximum force production).

    So, say you were trying to use EI to fix a mid-ROM sticking point in the bench. You'd have to set up the pins at exactly the correct joint angle (which can be hard to pinpoint, and could be limited by your equipment e.g. hole spacing in the rack) and even if you got that perfect, you'd only develop the rate at which you developed force at this position - not the total force you were able to generate on the bar. I'm not 100% sure that would be of very much benefit for this specific example although it could be ideal for some other sports.

  3. #23
    Oni wrote:
    Watched the DVD today, it's clear that I have a wedge curve and need to do paused sets of 3-5 reps at 9-10RPE

    Pretty simple really when it's explained well in person lol

  4. #24
    markccj wrote:
    <<<I take your point, but think about it this way - if all that was important was the highest force production at the bottom end of the lift, then x1@10 would be the best protocol - that would require you to produce more force at this (and every) position than any other protocol. You would be unfatigued from any previous reps and then have to generate Tfm levels (at least) of force in order to move the bar.

    Of course, you could make the counter argument that the overall volume possible with a x1@10 protocol will be low (you might get only one back-off set for 5% fatigue) and this negates the magnitude of the training effect BUT you'd get a few back-off sets if the protocol was (say) x1@9. It's also true that (theoretically) you could produce the same level of force on an @8 bar weight as on an @10 bar weight, using CAT, and the bar would just move much faster. But still, it'd be a less guaranteed method of producing maximum force at the bottom position.

    Neither x1@10 or @9 is the usually-recommended protocol - it's more like x2-3@8-8.5. I'm sure Mike has a good reason why this is and I know it works.>>>

    You present a compelling argument, which makes me more interested to hear Mike's explanation.

    The only thing I can think of would be decreased presynaptic inhibition due to the lighter intensity resulting in reduced fatigue, but I don't know if the fact that presynaptic inhibition increases with fatigue would apply to x1 @10 because it's only 1 rep, albeit maximal, but the decrease in presynaptic inhibition at the onset of contraction sort of counters this concept when talking about increased force production at the beginning of the lift and the most effective protocol to facilitate this, so I guess I agree with you.

    It might just be that given all motor units are recruited at >85-90% anyway, then velocity is what is targeted to increase doublet firing and decrease motor unit recruitment threshold while maintaining technique which is sometimes compromised in maximal efforts. In which case it is sort of an RFD thing. I don't know. It's good to know the protocol works, but I'm like you in the sense I want to know why.

    <<<Increasing absolute strength is strongly positively correlated with RFD (getting stronger improves RFD) but the reverse is not true - increasing RFD is very weakly correlated with absolute strength (it helps a little, but only up to a certain magnitude of strength IIRC...(I'm paraphrasing it's been a while since i read it). I.e. squatting will help your vertical jump much more than vertical jumping will help your squat.>>>

    I meant I don't know if the protocol worked because its intent was to improve RFD.

    <<<Interesting idea. My issue with this solution would be a) that isometric work is very joint-angle specific and that the training effect drops off significantly as the joint angle alters and b) the explosive isometric (EI) protocols are specifically designed to increase RFD (not maximum force production).>>>

    I've only recently read about this, but apparently some studies indicate that it does increase strength at up to 15 degrees of either side of the training angle. And considering the rather small window of deceleration in velocity during some lifts I thought it might be worthwhile.

    <<<So, say you were trying to use EI to fix a mid-ROM sticking point in the bench. You'd have to set up the pins at exactly the correct joint angle (which can be hard to pinpoint, and could be limited by your equipment e.g. hole spacing in the rack) and even if you got that perfect, you'd only develop the rate at which you developed force at this position - not the total force you were able to generate on the bar. I'm not 100% sure that would be of very much benefit for this specific example although it could be ideal for some other sports.>>>

    I can see the impracticality of this, but for the deadlift it might be easier and that was the one lift I thought of when reading about EI. Apparently Eric Cressey pulled against pins, I could be wrong though. And squatting from pins in the bottom position should be easier to setup. The authors I mentioned did seem to indicate that the preferred application was for more sport specific performance , not the competition lifts so I think you're right, but it just made me curious.

    I'm still a relatively new intermediate with poor form so I've got plenty of gains to make from just squatting, benching, and pulling but I enjoy reading about all this stuff and hope I'll be in a position one day where implementing it is necessary.

  5. #25
    Mike Tuchscherer wrote:
    <<Mike - in the past, IIRC you wrote that the efficacy of this training effect for flat force curves was because you get more "first reps" where you generate the most power. How does that sit with the discussion in this thread where we're talking about how power is relatively unimportant in PL as long as you complete the lift?>>
    I suppose I should be more careful with how I say thing. Yes, it helps because you get more first reps, but I think the first reps are important because there is high force production in the lower ranges of motion. Not necessarily power.

    <<I always assumed that (for flat FCDs) where you are weak at the bottom of a lift (e.g. out of the hole on squat) then the training effect of the x2@8-type work was that the body was learning to generate force quicker, but then earlier in this thread there was discussion of how the time taken to develop force was unimportant, so I was clearly wrong.>>
    Not necessarily quicker, just more force in the bottom.

    <<I came to the conclusion that it's not exactly more power that that training protocol targets. It is more force production in the beginning of the lift.>>
    Bingo. If I had read this first, I could have saved myself some time.

    <<I take your point, but think about it this way - if all that was important was the highest force production at the bottom end of the lift, then x1@10 would be the best protocol - that would require you to produce more force at this (and every) position than any other protocol. You would be unfatigued from any previous reps and then have to generate Tfm levels (at least) of force in order to move the bar.>>
    True, but working x1 @10 is also very low volume. If not for that, I believe you'd be correct.

    <<Neither x1@10 or @9 is the usually-recommended protocol - it's more like x2-3@8-8.5. I'm sure Mike has a good reason why this is and I know it works.>>
    x1 @10 and x1 @9 are equally good protocols for nearly all force curve types. They are definitely recommended, but since they are recommended for everyone I usually don't say much about it. Maybe that's my bad though.

  6. #26
    Ben Burgess wrote:
    Mike, thanks for the response.

    So, to summarise, flat FCD requires the athlete to train his ability to generate force at the start of the lift.

    I have to say I am struggling now to see the benefit of any lighter work (leaving 2 or 3 reps in the tank) at all UNLESS we're saying that there is also a correlation between volume and force curve shape. Bear with me I will try to explain:

    Flat FCDs

    More force would be generated at the start of a x1@10 lift than in any other protocol (or at least equal if we consider CAT). Therefore in theory, x1@10 would be the best way to train this element in terms of efficiacy and specificity per set - the intensity determines the type of training effect and the volume determines the magnitude of the training effect, right?

    So even though the intensity might be ideal, the magnitude of the training effect may be not necessarily be optimal, as the overall volume would be lower therefore reducing the efficacy of this protcol per session - you might only get one back off set after the initial. Example (e.g. a lifter with a 205kg 1RM bench and flat FCD):

    170x1@8

    185x1@9

    200x1@10

    190x1@10 (5% fatigue)

    Wedge FCDs

    But why is this lack of volume only considered problematic for flat FCDs? AFAIK the protocol generally proposed for wedge FCDs is 3-5@9-10. The effort per set would be equally high, and the likely amount of volume per session before reaching a fatigue %age would likely be correspondingly reduced. Example (e.g. a lifter with a 205kg 1RM bench and wedge FCD):

    145x5@8

    165x5@9

    170x5@10

    160x5@10 (5% fatigue)

    I.e. the volume in terms of number of sets would be more or less identical. If the lack of volume is perceived as a problem in the first example (flat FCD) then why is it not an issue in the 2nd example (wedge FCD)?

    Leaving 2-3 Reps

    It seems to me that you'd get a decent bit of volume in by using a x1@9 protocol (maybe 2 or 3 back off sets after the initial) and this would be the 2nd best protocol in terms of generating force at the start of the lift (for flat FCDs).

    Based on the theories discussed in this thread, @8 work is only beneficial in that it allows the lifter to get a lot of sets done (maybe 4, 5, 6 after the initial). So unless we're saying that flatter FCDs require more overall volume (in terms of number of sets per session) I'm struggling to see the mechanism by which it provides optimal benefit for any FCD (in practice it has worked very well for me on DL)?

    Note that i'm only talking in terms of training effect on FCDs...i can obviously see how low intensity protocols can be of benefit in deload/back-off sessions or for reinforcing technique etc.

  7. #27
    conquerorsquid wrote:
    Ben, I believe mike is talking about volume in terms of total tonnage instead of volume as in number of sets. So for your first example, the lifter racks up a total volume of 745 kg. In your second example, the lifter racks up 3200 kgs (he almost does as much volume in his first set alone as the first protocol). As you can see there's quite a difference even though both scenarios involved the same number of sets

  8. #28
    markccj wrote:
    <<<More force would be generated at the start of a x1@10 lift than in any other protocol (or at least equal if we consider CAT). Therefore in theory, x1@10 would be the best way to train this element in terms of efficiacy and specificity per set - the intensity determines the type of training effect and the volume determines the magnitude of the training effect, right?>>>

    I might be off the mark, but I don't know if this is entirely true.

    1. Journal of Physiology 230, p. 359-370: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1350367/

    2. Journal of Physiology 329, p. 113-128: http://jp.physoc.org/content/329/1/1...siol;329/1/113

    3. Journal of Physiology 422, p. 55-65: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1190120/

    4. Journal of Neurophysiology 93, p. 2449-2459: http://jn.physiology.org/content/93/5/2449

    The above references indicate that all motor units are recruited by 85% in larger muscles (x2-3 @8-9), and as low as 60% in smaller. So the primary differences in increasing intensities above these marks are going to be rate coding and synchronization as recruitment stays the same. More force is required to lift the heavier weight (x1 @10), but the same maximal force can be applied to the lighter weight (x2-3 @8-9), which I'm going to speculate results in different physiological responses pertaining to rate coding and synchronization (especially concerning high[er] threshold motor units) that are more, or as, conducive to improvement for lifters with a flat force curve as performing x1 @10 because lifters with a flat force curve really want some explosive force production at the beginning of the lift. I say this because if we decrease the recruitment threshold we allow more time for increasing the firing rate which results in more force production sooner. At the end of the day though all this really comes down to increasing RFD.



    <<<So even though the intensity might be ideal, the magnitude of the training effect may be not necessarily be optimal, as the overall volume would be lower therefore reducing the efficacy of this protcol per session - you might only get one back off set after the initial.>>>

    Adding what you state above to what I'm speculating might result in the training protocol of x2-3 @8-9 as being overall more productive than x1 @10. And I think you're on the money here because like Mike's example in an article, if x1 @10 for 3 sets nets you a 3lb increase, and we're applying the same force at the lighter intensity with x2-3 @8-9 for 5 sets well the latter protocol might net us a 5lb increase. <-Really crude example.



    <<<But why is this lack of volume only considered problematic for flat FCDs? AFAIK the protocol generally proposed for wedge FCDs is 3-5@9-10. The effort per set would be equally high, and the likely amount of volume per session before reaching a fatigue %age would likely be correspondingly reduced.>>>

    While the number of sets might be the same, total tonnage and number of lifts are going to be greater, so I don't know that we could call volume the same.

    But then like Mike said, x1 @9-10 is a great training protocol for any shaped curve. So I don't know I'm just throwing this out there.

  9. #29
    Ben Burgess wrote:
    <<<More force is required to lift the heavier weight (x1 @10), but the same maximal force can be applied to the lighter weight (x2-3 @8-9)>>>

    Yes, this is what i referred to as CAT in my previous posts - Compensatory Acceleration Training, a term used by Fred Hatfield to describe applying maximum force to sub-maximal weights - the bar simply moves faster with the submax weight. I am not stating that it is impossible to apply Tfm to submax loads, simply that >Tfm is guaranteed with maximal loads.

    <<<results in different physiological responses pertaining to rate coding and synchronization (especially concerning high[er] threshold motor units) that are more, or as, conducive to improvement for lifters with a flat force curve as performing x1 @10 because lifters with a flat force curve really want some explosive force production at the beginning of the lift>>>

    I'm sure there's some validity in the first part of this statement - if the motor unit recruitment is the same then the extra force required for x1@10 has to be related to the neural mechanism by which the units are innvenerated. However (in the context of this thread at least), the 2nd part doesnt add up. Its easy to get lost in semantics, but as far as I can see "explosive force production" is identical in meaning to "rate of force development" which is being discussed here as almost entirely UNIMPORTANT.

    <<<tonnage vs no. of sets>>>

    I appreciate the difference, and that the tonnage is lower in the 'Flat FCD' example above. But this is inescapable if you're using a set fatigue %age - in order to match the tonnage between the two examples, the number of sets for the flat FCD would have to be so extensive that the training effect of the later sets would be negligible and you'd WAAAY exceed your 5% fatigue.

    But, we all know (both theoretically and practically) that x1@10 is a very effective protocol for getting stronger. I doubt many of us ever get much total tonnage using that protocol compared to (say) x5@10 or whatever.

    However, taking a x3@8 type protocol and continuing the benching example above (205kg 1RM and flat FCD) i think the following might be likely:

    155x3@8

    155x3@8

    155x3@8

    155x3@8.5

    155x3@9 (5% fatigue)

    The tonnage of that is 2325, which is much more similar to the 3200 from the x5@10 protocol than the 745 from the x1@10 session. Perhaps this is the answer - that a x2@8 type protocol balances the chance to produce a lot of force at the start of the lift (using CAT) with a moderate overall tonnage (which contributes to magnitude of training effect).

    But this still leads back to the question in my previous post - is a requirement for tonnage (volume) tied in to force curve type? If 'yes' then the above "balance" point makes sense. If "no", then it still seems that x1@9-10 would be optimal THEORETICALLY - the @8 protocol has worked for me in practice!

  10. #30
    markccj wrote:
    <<<Yes, this is what i referred to as CAT in my previous posts - Compensatory Acceleration Training, a term used by Fred Hatfield to describe applying maximum force to sub-maximal weights>>>

    Okay. I wasn't sure what CAT meant.

    <<<However (in the context of this thread at least), the 2nd part doesnt add up. Its easy to get lost in semantics, but as far as I can see "explosive force production" is identical in meaning to "rate of force development" which is being discussed here as almost entirely UNIMPORTANT.>>>

    That's my point. I actually think that RFD is being developed through increased neural efficiency pertaining to rate coding and synchronization using the lighter protocol. As well as being indirectly increased through increased force development anyway. Which I sort of alluded to earlier in this thread. Whatever the intent the training protocol targets, I believe there is an element of improved RFD benefiting the flat force curve lifter. I don't know if that was Mike's intent, and I know it flies in the face of the statement Mike made that compelled you to start this discussion.

    <<<in order to match the tonnage between the two examples, the number of sets for the flat FCD would have to be so extensive that the training effect of the later sets would be negligible and you'd WAAAY exceed your 5% fatigue.>>>

    True. Hence why I think Mike has the lighter protocol to enable some extensiveness with a more intensive targeted protocol.

    <<<But, we all know (both theoretically and practically) that x1@10 is a very effective protocol for getting stronger. I doubt many of us ever get much total tonnage using that protocol compared to (say) x5@10 or whatever.>>>

    This made me think of Ed Coan. I won't go off on a tangent though.

    <<<However, taking a x3@8 type protocol and continuing the benching example above (205kg 1RM and flat FCD) i think the following might be likely

    The tonnage of that is 2325, which is much more similar to the 3200 from the x5@10 protocol than the 745 from the x1@10 session. Perhaps this is the answer - that a x2@8 type protocol balances the chance to produce a lot of force at the start of the lift (using CAT) with a moderate overall tonnage (which contributes to magnitude of training effect).>>>

    I think you've explained it well here and made a good comparison that really answers your question.

    <<<But this still leads back to the question in my previous post - is a requirement for tonnage (volume) tied in to force curve type? If 'yes' then the above "balance" point makes sense. If "no", then it still seems that x1@9-10 would be optimal THEORETICALLY - the @8 protocol has worked for me in practice!>>>

    I think there is. A friend linked me to Mike's overtraining article just recently, which I find relevant. Volume needs to be increased to facilitate continued progression, and this here is an example of it.

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