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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
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must be done . . . and quickly."
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Ciccio

hi there,

one thing I never see adressed but is very important from my point of view, is how the choice of exercises in any given workout affects your recovery ability.
Given that I have a very poor one (and I know many others have too), it is for example impossible for me to gain size with a programme consisting/including the four major HIT-exercises (Squats, Deadlifts, Chin ups, Dips).
If doing so, I have to workout so infreqeuntly (7-9days) that until my CNS is recovered my muscles had atrophied already again.
For me it's even difficult to come away with two of this four.
So, 1set of squats + 1set of chin ups is to much for me!
1Set of squats + 1set of lat pull downs is okay and if the squats are substituted with leg press it's even better.
Note: Besides this 2 I do 8 other exercises/workout too. Not that you think I'm speaking about consolidation.

I just wanted to point out that everybody not getting "stair step progress" should not only consider to change frequency and/or volume but consider to implement as well exercises which are placing less stress on the cns(and perhaps more on the muscle) to be able to workout more frequently.
The so called "hardgainers"(in other words: people with bad genetics for bb) are in my opinion people with a bad recovery ability and to advice them to do squats, dips and so on, is just completely wrong.
Comments?

Franco
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Dustin Jordan

Florida, USA

Franco,

I found your last sentance very interesting. Taken as a cardinal rule for "Hardgainers" is the guidline of sticking to the big, basic, multi-joint exercises, and skipping isolation exercises. I found your suggestion almost coincides nicely with one of Dr.D's recent posts. In it he stated AJ's latest opinion on reaching one's genetic potential utilizing only isolation movements.

-Dustin
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crazeeJZ

Ciccio,

If it takes your CNS up to 9 days to recover, you can benefit from Not-To-Failure training between your failure workouts to optimize muscle growth and not have your muscles atrophy. NTF training is doing your sets with the same weight as your previous failure workout, but stopping a few reps short of failure. You can do a failure workout, 4 days later do an NTF workout, 4 days later do a failure workout, and so on, continuing to alternate between the two. This allows your CNS to recover, while still giving you enough stimulation to prevent atrophy and optimize muscle growth.
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Ciccio

Dustin Jordan wrote:
Franco,

I found your last sentance very interesting. Taken as a cardinal rule for "Hardgainers" is the guidline of sticking to the big, basic, multi-joint exercises, and skipping isolation exercises. I found your suggestion almost coincides nicely with one of Dr.D's recent posts. In it he stated AJ's latest opinion on reaching one's genetic potential utilizing only isolation movements.

-Dustin



Yes, and exactly this advice I found to be wrong for me and others I discussed with about exercise since I got interrested in this field.

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Ciccio

crazeeJZ wrote:
Ciccio,

If it takes your CNS up to 9 days to recover, you can benefit from Not-To-Failure training between your failure workouts to optimize muscle growth and not have your muscles atrophy...


I understand the NTF concept perfectly and even experimented some years ago with it and will do so in future again.
Please understand:
My main point was NOT to say to skip all compound exercises and do only iso's or everybody should substitute Dips with decline bench presses for example.
The point is, especially if you're not genetically blessed, to consider the type of exercises you're doing in a workout carefully and balance them to get best results (for yourself).
And I found this equally important to volume/frequency/intensity/form.

Regards,

Franco
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HeavyHitter32

"I found your suggestion almost coincides nicely with one of Dr.D's recent posts. In it he stated AJ's latest opinion on reaching one's genetic potential utilizing only isolation movements. "

Can someone paste the link to this Darden post?
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cmg

Franco,

What you state about too many compound exercises is exactly what I think I am having problems with. Years ago - no real problem - however around 40 yrs. a problem for me. However it is hard to balance getting the major exercises in. If you could workout 2x a week and can put 1 of 4 or the major exercises in each time - you would be working each 2x per month. That frequency doesn't help me gain strength - can you gain with that frequency?

Ron
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crazeeJZ

Ciccio wrote:
crazeeJZ wrote:
Ciccio,

If it takes your CNS up to 9 days to recover, you can benefit from Not-To-Failure training between your failure workouts to optimize muscle growth and not have your muscles atrophy...

I understand the NTF concept perfectly and even experimented some years ago with it and will do so in future again.
Please understand:
My main point was NOT to say to skip all compound exercises and do only iso's or everybody should substitute Dips with decline bench presses for example.
The point is, especially if you're not genetically blessed, to consider the type of exercises you're doing in a workout carefully and balance them to get best results (for yourself).
And I found this equally important to volume/frequency/intensity/form.

Regards,

Franco


True, if those with weak recoveries prefer including several compound movements in their routine, they should really limit the isolation movements in the routine. Conversely, if they prefer a good amount of isolation movements in their routine, they should really limit the compound movements in it. A lot compound movements and a lot of isolation movements in the same workout routine is a recipe for overtraining.
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Dustin Jordan

Florida, USA

HeavyHitter32,
Sorry, the post must've been written prior to 10/22, because it's no longer in the archives. In it, Dr.D simply stated he visited,or spoke to AJ that day, and asked him is latest opinion on the multi-joint movements vs. single-joint movements. AJ stated he believed one could reach thier genetic potential utilizing iso exercises only. Now, I may have misunderstood the post, and I hope I'm not passing on inacurate info. Maybe Dr.Darden can provide you with more details.

-Dustin
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Ciccio

cmg wrote:
Franco,

What you state about too many compound exercises is exactly what I think I am having problems with. Years ago - no real problem - however around 40 yrs. a problem for me. However it is hard to balance getting the major exercises in. If you could workout 2x a week and can put 1 of 4 or the major exercises in each time - you would be working each 2x per month. That frequency doesn't help me gain strength - can you gain with that frequency?

Ron


Ron,

I will try to make my point more clear:

1.exercises where you move your torso(squat, chin up, Dip) are taxing your CNS more then exercises where you?re moving your limbs(leg press, lat pulldown, bench press).

2.multiple joint(compound) exercises(bench press) are taxing your CNS more then single joint(isolation) exercises(dumbbell fly).

3.free weights(dumbbell fly) are taxing your CNS more then machines(machine fly).


That said, you should carefully select what type of multiple/single joint movements you?re using if you feel your CNS needs more time to recover then your muscles.
I don?t say to dismiss multiple joints completely! They have great potential for stimulating overall growth. But great dangers (overtraining) for the genetically not so blessed too!

To give an example, I will list my B-workout here:

1.stiff-legged deadlift
2.leg extension
3.leg curl
4.lat pulldown, underhand grip
5.decline bench press
6.Reverse Machine Fly
7.Machine Fly
8.Barbell Curl
9.Trizeps extension with dumbbell
10.Wrist Curl

You see, there are still 3 multiple joint exercises(as well in my A-workout).
The important point is: Because I do the deadlift, I don?t do the chin up but still do the pulldown.
And please, nobody tell me now that you can?t develop your lat without chin ups or your legs without squats!

Regards,

Franco
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Ciccio

crazeeJZ wrote:

True, if those with weak recoveries prefer including several compound movements in their routine, they should really limit the isolation movements in the routine. Conversely, if they prefer a good amount of isolation movements in their routine, they should really limit the compound movements in it. A lot compound movements and a lot of isolation movements in the same workout routine is a recipe for overtraining.


please read my post above.

It should be obvious that a workout with 8 sets which includes all 4 "major lifts" for 2 sets is far more stress for your CNS then a workout which has still 8 exercises but consists of 8 different single joint machine exercises, just to name the extremes.
This is not about single vs. multiple joint!
It's about carefully balancing your muscle recovery rate with your CNS one via selection of exercise, taking into consideration the all over stress placed on your metabolism.

Franco


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crazeeJZ

I guess I have a different take on it. It's not about single vs. multiple joint exercises, but for those with bad recovery ability, it is about less stressful predominantly single-joint exercise routines vs. more stressful predominantly multiple-joint exercise routines, since there is a stress difference between the two.

On a side note, I've never really been a fan of compound movements except for the squat, so I prefer the predominantly single-joint exercise routines.
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Ciccio

crazeeJZ wrote:
I guess I have a different take on it. It's not about single vs. multiple joint exercises, but for those with bad recovery ability, it is about less stressful predominantly single-joint exercise routines vs. more stressful predominantly multiple-joint exercise routines, since there is a stress difference between the two.


Now you just simplified my post in one sentence.
So, I think your take is not all that different;)




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dra

Franco,

Have you tried experimenting with lower rep schemes?

As documented in Arthur's "The Future Of Exercise" if you have predominately fast twitch fibers in a muscle group, using too little weight and doing the "normal" range of reps (7-10) could wipe you out ... Actually cause a loss of strength if carried to extremes.

I've used lower reps (4-7) with great success in recent times for some bodyparts (namely legs, biceps and back.)

Maybe you should give it a try - it couldn't hurt...

Let me know if you would like to see some more information on the subject.

Regards,

Daniel
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Ciccio

Daniel,

actually I'm implementing already asomewhat lower rep-schemes(7-10, speed 3/3 or 2/1/3 equals max.TUT 60 sec.) for my trizeps, harms, lower back, shoulders/neck as opposed to the rest where I use the classical 8-12 with a somewhat slower speed(4/4 or 3/1/4 equals max.TUT 96 sec.).

To test which muscles are pred.fast twitch I did a breakdown set single-joint exercise, for example:

1 set of single-joint exercise(8-12Reps) until MMF, reduce weight for 30%, continue until you reach again MMF.

Approx. same rep-number after the breakdown equals mixed fibre type (my bizeps).
Higher rep-number after breakdown equals pred.slow twitch fibre (my quads).
Lower rep-number equals pred.fast twitch (my trizeps).

Hope this makes sense!

That said, I'm happy with my approach to HIT at the moment and make good progress every workout and feel only drained for 1-2hours afterwards (as opposed to hours and days like it used to be when I tried programmes like "the BIG Routine" way back).

Regards,

Franco
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dra

Franco,

I think I intially misunderstood your first post... But now I understand!

Yes, I think you're right, perhaps some more isolation exercises in place of a lot of compound exercises would be easier on the CNS, especially for "hard gainers."

I've had good success alternating between compound exercises and isolation exercises from workout to workout (for a given bodypart or muscle group.)

I don't feel as "taxed" after a workout (compared to just using the big basic exercises) and it also adds a bit of variety. Progress has been excellent too.

Regards,

Daniel
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HeavyHitter32

Ellington,

Do you mind elaborating more about your conversation with Jones about isolation movements and reaching one's ultimate potential?
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dra

I think the main reason that isolation exercises may be required to reach one's ultimate potential is because only isolation movements can provide full range resistance.

Compound exercises by definition use more than one muscle group and there is always a position of "lockout" where there is next to no resistance placed upon the target muscles, so there can be no development of the muscle's strength at the important part of the muscle's range of motion (at least for most people.)

I think that is why it is often recommended that one does not "lockout" in exercises like the Leg Press, because the stress is taken off the muscle at the end of range of motion.

Daniel
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crazeeJZ

dra wrote:
I think the main reason that isolation exercises may be required to reach one's ultimate potential is because only isolation movements can provide full range resistance.

Compound exercises by definition use more than one muscle group and there is always a position of "lockout" where there is next to no resistance placed upon the target muscles, so there can be no development of the muscle's strength at the important part of the muscle's range of motion (at least for most people.)

I think that is why it is often recommended that one does not "lockout" in exercises like the Leg Press, because the stress is taken off the muscle at the end of range of motion.

Daniel


I think it's because you're applying direct resistance to the muscle with isolation exercises. The deadlift stimulates every muscle in the body, so it should be enough, but it isn't because some muscles are stimulated more than others.
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dra

crazeeJZ wrote:
I think it's because you're applying direct resistance to the muscle with isolation exercises. The deadlift stimulates every muscle in the body, so it should be enough, but it isn't because some muscles are stimulated more than others.


You are of course correct (with a far simpler explanation to boot.) I think my argument still stands, only "full range" development can come from isolation exercises. But I think I was answering a question that no one asked :-)

Daniel
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stuartbkr777

Great article.Awesome,i mean,this way it will be lesser time consuming exercises and a

well-toned body.Thanks
========================================
frank

http://www.trainwithmeonline.c...
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overfiftylifter

I think this may relate to the conversation. If it doesn't, I am sorry. This study may relate to the need or use of larger levels of stimulation and its effects on smaller muscle groups.

J Appl Physiol. 2009 Nov 12.
Elevations in ostensibly anabolic hormones with resistance exercise enhance neither training-induced muscle hypertrophy nor strength of the elbow flexors.
West DW, Burd NA, Tang JE, Moore DR, Staples AW, Holwerda AM, Baker SK, Phillips SM.

McMaster University.

The aim of our study was to determine whether resistance exercise-induced elevations in endogenous hormones enhance muscle strength and hypertrophy with training. Twelve healthy young men (21.8 +/- 1.2 y, BMI = 23.1 +/- 0.6 kg(.)m(-2)) independently trained their elbow flexors for 15 weeks on separate days and under different hormonal milieu. In one training condition, participants performed isolated arm curl exercise designed to maintain basal hormone concentrations (low hormone, LH); in the other training condition, participants performed identical arm exercise to the LH condition followed immediately by a high volume of leg resistance exercise to elicit a large increase in endogenous hormones (High Hormone, HH). There was no elevation in serum growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) or testosterone after the LH protocol, but significant (P < 0.001) elevations in these hormones immediately and 15 and 30 min after the HH protocol. The hormone responses elicited by each respective exercise protocol late in the training period were similar to the response elicited early in the training period indicating that a divergent post-exercise hormone response was maintained over the training period. Muscle cross-sectional area increased by 12% in LH and 10% in HH (P < 0.001) with no difference between conditions (condition x training interaction, P = 0.25). Similarly, type I (P < 0.01) and type II (P < 0.001) muscle fiber CSA increased with training with no effect of hormone elevation in the HH condition. Strength increased in both arms but the increase was not different between the LH and HH conditions. We conclude that exposure of loaded muscle to acute exercise-induced elevations in endogenous anabolic hormones enhances neither muscle hypertrophy nor strength with resistance training in young men. Key words: testosterone, growth hormone, IGF-1, anabolism.

If I understand this study, the theory that you can get a better hypertrophy response doing general compound movements with their inherent rise in general hormone effects(if you perform squats then you have a greater chance of upper arm growth) may not be true. The growth effects of exercise may be a more local phenomenon than a general gross event. The change in local tissue chemistry may have more bearing on growth than general hormonal effects.

Overfiftylifter
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

The issue is how much muscle you are mobilizing in a workout. Then for how much TUT then how often. This is why for full body it is recommended to go either almost all iso or just a handful of compounds.

Recently I have been doing a few big heavy compounds and a body part (or 2) specialization - F-ing brutal drain on recovery. Even now as I am eating as much as I want it is sucking the life from me quick. I had to fall back to only 2 big compounds for 2 of my 3 workouts in the week. I do 3 only on Monday after 2 days rest. Yes I could cut back to 2 days per week heck even 1 but I have done that before and it didn't work with this scheme. I will just tough it out then take a week off.
How much muscle is used per workout is paramount and keep in mind iso moves do not load much muscle relative to compounds, there are lots of help going on in heavy compounds.

Regards,
Andrew
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coomo

AShortt wrote:
The issue is how much muscle you are mobilizing in a workout. Then for how much TUT then how often. This is why for full body it is recommended to go either almost all iso or just a handful of compounds.

Recently I have been doing a few big heavy compounds and a body part (or 2) specialization - F-ing brutal drain on recovery. Even now as I am eating as much as I want it is sucking the life from me quick. I had to fall back to only 2 big compounds for 2 of my 3 workouts in the week. I do 3 only on Monday after 2 days rest. Yes I could cut back to 2 days per week heck even 1 but I have done that before and it didn't work with this scheme. I will just tough it out then take a week off.
How much muscle is used per workout is paramount and keep in mind iso moves do not load much muscle relative to compounds, there are lots of help going on in heavy compounds.

Regards,
Andrew

Wasnt it Liestner, who said you cant train more than three compound movements in a w/o if your training at the required intensity?

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SteveHIT

Ciccio wrote:
hi there,

one thing I never see adressed but is very important from my point of view, is how the choice of exercises in any given workout affects your recovery ability.
Given that I have a very poor one (and I know many others have too), it is for example impossible for me to gain size with a programme consisting/including the four major HIT-exercises (Squats, Deadlifts, Chin ups, Dips).
If doing so, I have to workout so infreqeuntly (7-9days) that until my CNS is recovered my muscles had atrophied already again.
For me it's even difficult to come away with two of this four.
So, 1set of squats + 1set of chin ups is to much for me!
1Set of squats + 1set of lat pull downs is okay and if the squats are substituted with leg press it's even better.
Note: Besides this 2 I do 8 other exercises/workout too. Not that you think I'm speaking about consolidation.

I just wanted to point out that everybody not getting "stair step progress" should not only consider to change frequency and/or volume but consider to implement as well exercises which are placing less stress on the cns(and perhaps more on the muscle) to be able to workout more frequently.
The so called "hardgainers"(in other words: people with bad genetics for bb) are in my opinion people with a bad recovery ability and to advice them to do squats, dips and so on, is just completely wrong.
Comments?

Franco


Whats your nutrition like? how much protein do you get per day? How much sleep do you get per night? Is your job manual labour or an office type job? Do you do other sports?

Thanks.
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