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More Random Thoughts

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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  East on Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:32 am

You do realize that you didn't have to post your email address for that link to be valid
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Iago on Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:27 am

I did not realize that it was in the URL. I must have been logged in. Gone now -- thanks!
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Seamaster on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:37 pm

Your email address is still present. Hover your cursor over the link with your mouse and check out the http: address in the rollover to see what I mean.

I've never bought bands and so have never bothered to work out with them. Suppose they might be good for travelling. Do they provide sufficient resistance when working legs?
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Iago on Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:04 am

If you do them right, yes. I have an "adjustable" band set with one set of handles and bands that clip to them, so you can add multiple bands. If you look at the suggested programs, they had some long sets like 50 reps. Throw two or three bands on, and two sets of 50 really burns!


Fixed the link again. They had my email embedded in the url twice. Weird.
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Seamaster on Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:06 pm

Hmmm. Not sure I like the idea of 50 reps of anything, unless I'm doing a reverse-pyramid giant set. For legs, I prefer squatting heavy weight (for me, that's about 400 pounds, so maybe not heavy for everyone) and doing four to eight reps. I'll up the reps for lunges and other exercises, and will run hills or stairs for a burn.
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Iago on Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:51 am

Well, all heavy weights alone makes Jack and unbalanced boy. I do heavy weights/low reps as well, but mix that up with lighter weights. For instance, currently I am doing a four-week routine with the first two weeks of heavy weights in the 6-8 rep range, focusing on more compound exercises and less isolation exercises. In weeks three and four, I do lighter weights and 10-12 reps, with a bit less compound exercises and a bit more isolation.

50 reps are good variety once in a while. I would not do them long term, but they make a break in routine. By the way, one of the most personally effective routines that I have done lately combined plyometrics, compound heavy weights/lower reps, isolation lower weight/higher reps, and finally compound pump sets. For example, on chest day I would do 2 sets of 8-10 "power" pushups, followed by 3 sets of 6 bench presses, 3 sets of 10 dumbell flyes, 3 sets of 15 cable crossovers, and finally 2 sets of 50 bench presses. Major burn at the end of that last set!
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Seamaster on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:07 pm

Interesting routine. I have no doubt it burns, but do you find it builds strength? I'm wondering about muscle memory, which basically remembers the last thing done or the last failed thing. Generally, if you want to build strength and size, you need to end on heavy sets. For example, I have completed workouts similar to what you described, but in reverse, so that I do higher reps and isolation exercises before finishing on a heavy compound set. Since my muscles are pre-exhausted, I can't lift as much, so my muscles burn out quicker. But I find that builds strength and muscle quite effectively.

The other problem I find with light weight is that is doesn't activate the fast-twitch fibres in muscles (as you do with power push-ups), and that's a big part of building functional strength. Of course, I wouldn't suggest doing solely heavy weights with two- to three- minute break periods in-between, but there are ways to hit the muscles with heavy weights and still keep your heart rate up. For example, I sometimes do a two-part routine, where for the first six weeks I do heavy weights. On one day, I work chest and back. My routine consists of five circuits of the following (with no rest in-between circuits):

1. Incline press (5 reps, with a 4-0-2-1 tempo)
2. Weighted chin ups (5 reps, with a 4-0-2-1 tempo)
3. 30-second sprint
4. Ball pike (5 reps, with a 6-0-2-1 tempo)
5. Weighted dip (5 reps, with a 4-0-2-1 tempo)
6. Bent-over rows (5 reps, with a 4-0-2-1 tempo)

Given that tempo, with heavy weights and no rest between circuits, the workout is grueling. On the first time out, you will be sweating buckets by the end of the second set and wishing it would end by the end of the third. As the weeks go on, things get easier. It is actually a fun workout. I have similar routines for the rest of the body.

I find a workout like this does wonders for building lean muscle (I promise you won't bulk up to strongman proportions) and strength.

For weeks six through twelve, I move to a higher-rep workout, but with a similar idea of no rest.


Last edited by Seamaster on Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Iago on Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:40 am

To build mass and strength, you have to move heavy weights, and there is no way around that. But you still have to balance it with some lighter weights. Even the Olympians do that. By the way, fast twitch fibers are also activated by speed. When doing lighter weights and more reps, I often do the exertions phase (up or out) with force and speed. Here is the full version of the routine that I mentioned (hopefully with a clean link):

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/training/mf-trainer/mint-condition-workout

To pre-exhaust or not pre-exhaust is an old debate. There are proponents and opponents. I find that generally I am better moving the heavier weights first, but I do change that up once in a while. I also picked up an ECO routine from M&F that is one of my favorite "change ups." I do it for one or two weeks tops between other longer programs:

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/training/other/exercise-utility

I usually can make some great gains doing that routine for a week to shock my muscles out of complacency and make some great gains the following weeks on whatever program I start afterward.
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Seamaster on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:08 pm

That is the first I've seen of the ECO training, though I have come up with very similar routines and practiced similar principles. I like it.

I think you and I are probably doing a lot of the same things (even if we appear to be disagreeing), only I can't be bothered with overly light weight outside of my warm up sets. Part of that rational, though, is I do employ supersets and giant sets, which get me into the higher reps. I also like to sprint and work on the heavy bag, or get back to basics and chop wood. I find those functional exercises provide adequate light-weight, high-rep training and a far more beneficial than curling, say, a 40-pound barbbell for three sets of 20 reps. I do, however, often end on the 40 pound barbell, after starting at 90 pounds and working my way down the rack.

Of course, despite all of the literature out there, training is a personal thing. While there are basic theories of what works, each individual must find what works best for them.

I had to laugh at the opening of the ECO training article: "What guy, outside of perhaps a competitive cyclist or wrestler struggling to drop weight, wants to be strong but not big? " I wrestled through high school and university. I guess I'm that guy. I've always gotten a kick out of maximizing strength relative to my size. As an example, I'm impressed with what Bruce Lee was able to achieve through his diminutive and highly functional frame. He could hold a heavy dumbbell out in front him, parallel to the ground, longer than professional bodybuilders. That's power.


Last edited by Seamaster on Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Iago on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:38 pm

Well, excepting the 25-50 rep "pump" sets, which do have an advantage at the end as they force more blood into the muscles and expand them, I do not do sets that high. We may be talking cross purposes -- other than the pump sets, I tend to go into three groups: 6-8 reps, 10-12, and 15s. The latter is much less frequent. While the low-rep high-weight sets are necessary to add strength, the 10-12 rep sets are sort of the sweet spot for muscle hypertrophy and are important for adding mass. Of course, if you are trying to avoid that, there you go. Remember that in the case of Bruce Lee, though, there is a definite "What the gods can do the cows can't" factor there!

That ECO system really surprised me. You are only doing three exercises per body part per workout, and since the overall volume is lower it repeats the two routines so that you are working the same body part twice in the same week. But boy, does it work -- if you do it right, you really feel it after one week, and feel even stronger when you start doing something different the next week.
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Seamaster on Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:27 pm

I think part of the reason that the ECO training is so effective is because it only comprises three exercises per body part (a similar advantage to the routine I posted). Many people, despite their best intentions, over train. To follow on your Bruce Lee comment, what works for professional bodybuilders and power lifters doesn't necessarily work for the rest of us. Many programs published in exercise magazines are too much for the average person. Generally speaking, I rarely go beyond 12 exercises for a big body part (like legs or back).
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Iago on Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:48 am

I certainly agree that commoners such as will not benefit from overtraining like olympians do, but that does not change the fact that both the olympians and the cows can benefit from mixing up reps and weights. I keep my active lifiting time to under an hour, but I do need to do a fair amount of total exercies for a given body part to get real benefits (especially with muscles like the biceps, which are my most difficult musles to add mass to.) That I is why I was surprised at how effective the ECO routine was for me, even after only working the one group once. (Though the routine definitely works better if you do it twice in a week, so you are doing 6 total exercises per body part.)
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Seamaster on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:08 am

Ironically, I find that I can get away with not working my arms so long as I'm properly training my primary upper body muscle groups in my back, chest and shoulders. It makes sense to some degree, since our biceps and triceps are supporting muscle groups during many other exercises (e.g., triceps during bench press and dips and biceps during rows and chin-ups). I do enjoy working arms, though, and regularly work them into my routine, but if I'm pressed for time, I'm willing to forgo working arms. That said, it's not like I have massive arms, so maybe they do need more attention.

I try to keep the anabolic part of my workouts to under 45 minutes, as that's the point for most people where our growth-producing hormone drops to nil. Might as well focus on fat-burning and cardio exercises after the 45-minute mark.
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Iago on Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:04 am

On that note, doing complementary muscle groups is generally more effective for me. That is similar to pre-exhaust in that you are already working the small group like the biceps while you are working the large group like the back. But even that can quickly become a rut for me, so I change it up periodically and work opposites.
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Seamaster on Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:20 pm

Yeah, I mix that up too. There are some weeks where I don't know what I'll be doing until I get to the gym. And then there are other periods where I have everything planned and imagine the workouts hours before they happen. Variety is a good thing.
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Iago on Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:23 am

That is why I like the four-week split that I am doing now. Complementary muscle grours with heavy weights and 6-8 reps the first two weeks, with opposing groups and 10-12 reps (with a drop set on the last set for each exercise). It does not take much more than a couple of weeks for me to start getting into a rut.
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  East on Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:58 pm

I am just a bit confused why mr. blur locked the thread after he replied but ok...
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  mrblur on Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:29 pm

because I can.... hi everyone just lurking for now.....


affraid
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Re: More Random Thoughts

Post  Seamaster on Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:04 pm

The lurking and locking mrblur . . .
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