MB Madaera
Lost 31.7 lbs fat
Built 11.7 lbs muscle


Chris Madaera
Built 9 lbs muscle


Keelan Parham
Lost 30 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle


Bob Marchesello
Lost 23.55 lbs fat
Built 8.55 lbs muscle


Jeff Turner
Lost 25.5 lbs fat


Jeanenne Darden
Lost 26 lbs fat
Built 3 lbs muscle


Ted Tucker
Lost 41 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle

 
 

Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


ARCHIVES >>

"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

Mission Statement

H.I.T. Acceptable Use Policy

Privacy Policy

Credits

LOG IN FORUM MAIN REGISTER SEARCH
Lack of Variation, Skill, & Bracing...
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Next | Last
Author
Rating
Options

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

...and Perceptions of Progress


AShortt wrote:
With variation the point isn't about breaking form. The point is that there is no way to avoid learning to get the job done better with bracing, coordinating etc...etc. HITters get the side effect the worst because we try so hard to keep going. We do the number one thing to build skill in moving very heavy loads...we keep going and forcing.

Much learning and skill acquisition is very tough to see because it is smooth bracing and handing work around and across the bone structure. Breaking form is just cheating and that is not what we're talking about. In fact what we are really on about tends to look just fine form wise.

Regards,
Andrew


I just got back from a trip out of town and caught-up on the entertaining but circus-like thread on X-Force. Sorry to see if got so de-railed (and yes, I was part of that too).

However, within the nonsense, I saw the post above which has many really great points about why Variation is so important IMO.

My apologies to Andrew for 'reprinting w/o his permission'[underlines mine], but thought the ideas he presented were a really good springboard for this discussion, with separation from the XForce thread.

I may add something later myself after I rest up.

Best Regards and Happy Debating,
Scott
Open User Options Menu

Tomislav

New York, USA

AShortt wrote:
skill acquisition is very tough to see because it is smooth bracing and handing work around and across the bone structure.


What?

Open User Options Menu

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

AShortt wrote:
skill acquisition is very tough to see because it is smooth bracing and handing work around and across the bone structure.


Tomislav wrote:
What?


Et tu, Tome?

As one tries to better and better previous performances on a lift you've been doing over and over for weeks or months in a row, the body will find ways to make that happen...

...that DON'T have anything to do with bettering the 'target' musculature.
Open User Options Menu

Mr. Strong

This again, its breaking form, call it what you like, create a false rationale for why you do it, but its still breaking form. Increasing reps and weight will only work if form remains consistent, no altering of the performance of an exercise to allow for more weight or reps.

It seems that the variation guys who claimed to have not got anything from load and rep progressions was not because it doesn't work, but actually a result of their poor training practices, such as breaking form to get more weight and reps and thinking this was progression.

Open User Options Menu

Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Tomislav wrote:
AShortt wrote:
skill acquisition is very tough to see because it is smooth bracing and handing work around and across the bone structure.


What?



Intra- and Extra-muscular coordination. Much has been written about the topic for decades... books exist on the subject.
Open User Options Menu

Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

The development of muscles is proof that the body is adapting. You want to adapt by way of growth. But that growth is the body's ability to resist further change (just like a tan resists further change to the Sun). The more 'routine' your routine becomes, the more accommodating will be the body's resistance to change.

And this is why those of us who experiment and try different things are maintaining a much more youthful appearance in the muscles (full and tighter) as opposed to those getting soft and sagging, no matter the intensity of effort.

That is why when a person attempts something new (if it is effective and challenging) that an effect can be felt and seen in the physique. Even those who went from SS to SB felt it initially for a short while, but can only conclude that it was because of more loading, while ignoring the alteration in the overall demands of the application (how the reps were performed, the lower TUT, etc.).

And now for the perfect shit storm to begin.
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

I'll come out throwing elbows lol.

Too many old school 2nd Gen Slow HITters like Fred H seem completely oblivious to this one major side effect of minimal sets to failure. The harder you try to stay stiff with super form and the harder you try to keep moving the weight as you fatigue the more cheating (motor learning for metabolic efficiency and to avoid pain) is encouraged.

Volume guys don't tend to take advantage of the intensity but most often they do keep tension fairly locally focused. That is because they don't tend to allow themselves to stall, they keep more tension in the target muscle(s). This is why so many borderline HITters will report better results stopping just shy of failure...but they miss out on the intensity.

The RenX guys appear to be trying to address the issue of outroading but in their closed system they will ultimately encourage it. Variation goes a long way to help stop all this wasted effort. Because as a HITter I hate wasted effort (that is where AJ resonates with me the most) I tend to be very interested in variation.

The issue isn't whether variation is important because where there is significant muscle growth you will always find significant variation, denying its inclusion to the total demands is short sighted. So called scientific types like Fred think so one dimensional about a fluid, dynamic multi dimensional system (the human body) they miss out. They want science to be exacting and somewhat 'finalized' rather than a learning process of continual unfolding. They want something solid to cling to to make them feel grounded and ok with what they have and what they have not achieved. BDJ explained to me a long time ago that what we are doing is best likened to being a Sherlock Homes. Uncovering, discovering - watching for patterns and spotting connections and interactions.

The interesting thing to me about HIT is finding ways to apply variety so muscles respond with a lack of grooved motor control. To find 'appropriate' variety which sees muscles react more like they do in the early months of training. This matters to me because I have piss poor muscle building genetics, it matters because in rehab my clients have huge difficulty building real transferable strength. I can't stand to see them suffer rehabbing for piss poor results. It matters because I think the foundation of fitness and health depends on building and maintaining max lean mass.

Johnston has provided amazing methods like zoning and triangular training to boost ones ability
Improve muscle targeting and add effective variety while keeping the stimulus appropriate. The key being he keeps his systems 'open source'. This way you can add as needed and as creativity and ability to monitor patterns emerge for the individual under individual conditions.

The only time I have seen anyone make significant changes to their physique past the novice stage...is when they tried something different. Something different doesn't always work but when it is appropriate to the individual the muscles respond almost immediately.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Mr. Strong wrote:
This again, its breaking form, call it what you like, create a false rationale for why you do it, but its still breaking form. Increasing reps and weight will only work if form remains consistent, no altering of the performance of an exercise to allow for more weight or reps.

It seems that the variation guys who claimed to have not got anything from load and rep progressions was not because it doesn't work, but actually a result of their poor training practices, such as breaking form to get more weight and reps and thinking this was progression.


I won't argue that breaking form is bad, but that's NOT what Andrew is talking about. There's quite a difference between bracing and breaking form.

Bracing can be taking place, but to the observing eye no "break" in form occurs. Only the honest observee can perceive just how much this is occuring during the all-out squeeze for additional reps.

Let's use your own vernacular, shall we:

It seems that the non-variation guys who claimed to have got everything from load and rep progressions was not because it works, but actually a result of their poor cognition. This accounts for their inability to realize their bodies were using bracing and similar methods to get more weight and reps and thinking this was muscular progression, though no additional hypertrophy was occuring.

Scott
Open User Options Menu

Mr. Strong

simon-hecubus wrote:
Mr. Strong wrote:
This again, its breaking form, call it what you like, create a false rationale for why you do it, but its still breaking form. Increasing reps and weight will only work if form remains consistent, no altering of the performance of an exercise to allow for more weight or reps.

It seems that the variation guys who claimed to have not got anything from load and rep progressions was not because it doesn't work, but actually a result of their poor training practices, such as breaking form to get more weight and reps and thinking this was progression.

I won't argue that breaking form is bad, but that's NOT what Andrew is talking about.

Bracing can be taking place, but to the observing eye no "break" in form occurs.

There's quite a difference between bracing and breaking form.

Let's use your own venacular, shall we:

It seems that the non-variation guys who claimed to have got everything from load and rep progressions was not because it works, but actually a result of their poor cognition. This accounts for their inability to realize their bodies were using bracing and similar methods to get more weight and reps and thinking this was muscular progression, though no additional hypertrophy was occuring.

Scott



Are you not aware of your own body? How can you not be aware when you are breaking form? Call it bracing if you want. If you are altering the exercise in any way to get more reps or weight or for whatever reason then you are breaking form.

Why make the exercise easier on the musculature?

Show me someone who has a well developed physique without increasing load or reps.
Open User Options Menu

Tomislav

New York, USA

Mr. Strong wrote:
This again, its breaking form, call it what you like, create a false rationale for why you do it, but its still breaking form. Increasing reps and weight will only work if form remains consistent, no altering of the performance of an exercise to allow for more weight or reps.
It seems that the variation guys who claimed to have not got anything from load and rep progressions was not because it doesn't work, but actually a result of their poor training practices, such as breaking form to get more weight and reps and thinking this was progression.


Bingo - Mr Strong understand this perfectly.

Plenty of athletes have derided my skull crushers seemingly unaware that my elbows and upper arms are locked in place - no elbow flaring or turning the movement into a pullover despite that I could use much more weight doing so.

Why do them with precise form for so many years? Because form is the construct through which the target musculature is developed.

Scott if you read the other thread you would see that Brian and Andrew are now indeed advocating breaking form - sticking out your butt to offload the weight during squats when you fatigue; doubtless they would have me flare my elbows and make the french press a pullover for the same reason but that is not the way.

Machines are designed to keep an athlete locked in place and prevent gross changes in form, there is only so much an athlete can do with subtle shifting and bracing in a well designed machine so that argument too is a red herring - let me see someone turn the Nautilus triceps extension into a pullover or flare their elbows - not going to happen.

And athletes doing these kind of things with the french press or the squat (to go deeper, lift greater poundages or continue as they fatigue) are inviting injury just so they can lift more weight or do more reps.

Andrew,
your pursuit of "those same increases as during the first few months of lifting" are a desire for neurological adaptation and that's what you get from switching it up all the time.

Open User Options Menu

coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

I think that certainly one can achieve some very good results without much "variety" in one's routine. As Jone's used to say, get brutally strong on pullups, overhead presses, squats and other basic movements and you'll likely have a decent physique compared to most.

But having said that...like MANY HIT'ers, I have found that such an approach does not seem to work so well for reaching more ADVANCED levels of bodybuilding. Not a problem for those who could care less about looking like a bodybuilder (Which is MOST people)...but would be a problem for someone wanting to be a full-on bodybuilder.

Seems to me that it's mostly natural mesomorphs who proper on extremely basic HIT routines with little variety.

I think variety can be good for the following reasons...

- Prevention of pattern overuse injuries

- Keeps workouts more interesting...and yeah, I know the HIT party-line is that exercise is NOT "recreation"...but I'm sorry, keeping one's workouts interesting is a good thing IMO.

- When you "go stale" on one exercise for a given muscle-group, you can then cycle in another exercise (This is what Doggcrapp does)

- And lastly..and this is going to get me flamed probably, but what the heck...I no longer believe the HIT party line that you absolutely can NOT hit different muscle fibers with different exercises for the same muscle.

For instance, HIT advocates assert that since all three heads of the triceps share a common tendon, there is ZERO benefit to doing a variety of exercises for triceps. Simply pick the best one or two exercises for triceps and do them into infinity, right?

Well perhaps...but perhaps not.

Now I'm NOT making the "Joe Weider" type argument that you can selectively work the outer, inner, etc part of a muscle either with some kind of laser like precision. If that were the case, everyone would have high, peaked biceps like Boyer Coe or Arnold. NOT talking about "shaping" the muscle.

But I do think perhaps variety will help in you building a muscle to it's ultimate potential SIZE. ("Shape" being genetically determined)

I will quote this guy to make my case on that idea.

Jaci VanHeest, World reknown Exercise Physiologist, US Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs Colorado:

"Muscles contract when tiny levers on myosin, a muscle protein, fit into grooves on actin, another protein, and push it forward exactly like a ratchet wrench. But myosin can latch onto actin in any of several positions, not all of them ideal. Only when the myosin heads are in the right register can the muscle have the optimal tension. But optimizing every actin-myosin pairing is less an achievable goal than a Platonic idea.

Essentially, that means almost every exercise optimizes a different configuration of actin-myosin pairings. While there's some overlap, you have to exercise a muscle in a number of positions to optimize as many of the actin-myosin pairings as possible"
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Mr. Strong wrote:
simon-hecubus wrote:
Mr. Strong wrote:
This again, its breaking form, call it what you like, create a false rationale for why you do it, but its still breaking form. Increasing reps and weight will only work if form remains consistent, no altering of the performance of an exercise to allow for more weight or reps.

It seems that the variation guys who claimed to have not got anything from load and rep progressions was not because it doesn't work, but actually a result of their poor training practices, such as breaking form to get more weight and reps and thinking this was progression.

I won't argue that breaking form is bad, but that's NOT what Andrew is talking about.

Bracing can be taking place, but to the observing eye no "break" in form occurs.

There's quite a difference between bracing and breaking form.

Let's use your own venacular, shall we:

It seems that the non-variation guys who claimed to have got everything from load and rep progressions was not because it works, but actually a result of their poor cognition. This accounts for their inability to realize their bodies were using bracing and similar methods to get more weight and reps and thinking this was muscular progression, though no additional hypertrophy was occuring.

Scott


Are you not aware of your own body? How can you not be aware when you are breaking form? Call it bracing if you want. If you are altering the exercise in any way to get more reps or weight or for whatever reason then you are breaking form.

Why make the exercise easier on the musculature?

Show me someone who has a well developed physique without increasing load or reps.


Of course increasing load and reps matters...that's adding variation as much as adding tension. However, as with micro loading, the less reps and weight you add each time the less variation. The result of micro loading is actually encouraging cheating just like training to failure can be.

You do not understand the concept of bracing in this situation. I will try and simplify the context to clarify.

Here we talk of bracing in the sense of leaning on something while you switch hands with the weight...not literally but as an illustration. We also mean pushing off of a more stable structure to gain a bit of spring and momentum using stored torque..torque which YOU have learned to store as you go like a pinball bouncing off bumpers but very slowly with very little perceivable movement.
You can even hand down and across your bones as they flex and vibrate, sort of like how you can here a tap at the opposite end of a piece of metal or wood when you strike the opposite end on something.

Example:

I was killing myself the other day trying to get the cam rod back in the bearing of my 2ST LP frame. I had to brace against myself and wiggle but very small wiggles, almost a slow motion vibration if that makes sense...this is what I mean. As I braced and made extremely small adjustments to angle I levered (in a tiny ROM) the rod of the sides of the channel, as I worked a groove and rhythm the lil b**ch went from seeming impossible to move to shimmying through. That read far more funny than it was to complete lol.

Guys who are good at bracing and learning to coordinate can lift massive loads. My brother in law who never worked out and wasn't at all strong when I trained him could lift huge car parts, blocks engines etc. when we were wrenching as he called it together cracking bolts and such he made me look like a wuss...in the nautilus room I made him look like a child. We were both 'good' at what we did.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

jitterbug

Mr. Strong wrote:
This again, its breaking form, call it what you like, create a false rationale for why you do it, but its still breaking form. Increasing reps and weight will only work if form remains consistent, no altering of the performance of an exercise to allow for more weight or reps.

It seems that the variation guys who claimed to have not got anything from load and rep progressions was not because it doesn't work, but actually a result of their poor training practices, such as breaking form to get more weight and reps and thinking this was progression.




Mr.Strong,

This is perfect.

Ed
Open User Options Menu

backtrack

I agree with coach jeff in a fashion...

For the triceps in particular, resistance with the arms above the head lends itself to the medial and inner head. Resistance below the head ie triceps press down lends itself to the lateral head. There are lots of examples across all muscle groups...

The counter argument to this is that if you do heavy compound movements such as bench presses for chest, squats for legs etc, you will produce greater overall stimulation of muscle fibres and bring all to account.

Most trainees almost always invariably comprimise between isolation and compound work.

At the moment I am experimenting more with isolation focused routines. So far I have found that I can recover more quickly. I can add more variety and arguably produce greater stimulation in the targeted muscle. I can use a lot less weight and with it achieve a greater sensation of mind muscle connection. The risk with isolation work is using too much resistance, leveraging the weight and in effect turning a given exercise into a compound movement.

Every approach has a pro and con and finding a sweet spot is not always easy, especially as once it is found another has to be found and so on...






Open User Options Menu

Hitit

I have a question....

Does is really matter if you are bracing or not? If you are using maximum effort won't that overcome what ever other effects bracing is giving you?

Meaning if you maybe bracing you simply need more weight, but while still using maximum force. If you are still focused on the targeted muscle why does it take away from that?

Does the extra energy for bracing really take away from the targeted muscle?

I understand the effects of this when I feel and it may take away at times depending on whether my weight is on target or not. But there are times when I feel it may help to enhance my form more to be on target in the muscle.

For ex. Seated OH press. Doesn't pressing the feet firm to the floor help to maintain a more forceful upward press? Is this bad? Should I dangle my feel over the edge of the seat instead without touching the floor?

Seated chest press same thing. Feet stable on the floor helps a solid foundation.

I suppose if someone is using too much bracing by flexing the legs and not focusing on the press movements examples could be the factor. I guess maybe I don't do that so don't feel that much effect(?).

When the weight is too heavy I see bad form and then bracing to compensate but otherwise when the weight is right can't it enhance the form and targeted muscle more?

I'm not suggesting the above is true or not I'm just considering the topic. Just some thoughts...

Brian
Open User Options Menu

st3

Don't know if this is on topic but I'll ask anyway.

What's the difference between Slow Burn, Super Slow and Renex as far as protocols go (not equipment)?

Steve
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

jitterbug wrote:
Mr. Strong wrote:
This again, its breaking form, call it what you like, create a false rationale for why you do it, but its still breaking form. Increasing reps and weight will only work if form remains consistent, no altering of the performance of an exercise to allow for more weight or reps.

It seems that the variation guys who claimed to have not got anything from load and rep progressions was not because it doesn't work, but actually a result of their poor training practices, such as breaking form to get more weight and reps and thinking this was progression.


Mr.Strong,

This is perfect.

Ed


I have very bad news for you. I am saying bad news because I know you are serious. You also know I would not say something if I hadn't checked and rechecked and checked again. I may tease and have some fun but ultimately I can prove my base point.

So to the bad news. This above statement is wrong. The type of so called cheating which increases skill and circumvents real strength gain is almost imperceptible. Furthermore, we have performed perfect form reps at length with all forms and cadences...and the perfect machine argument wont cover it.

You are both wrong and if you have built anything serious into a commitment to this wrong notion cut your losses now...it is nothing more than a house of cards and will...given time - fall. This is basic scientific rigor at work. Paint yourself into a corner and the system with implode...every single time.

The reason no one but drug users builds massive muscle is the body is usually smarter than the stimulus and quicker to adjust than the individual. After tens of thousands of reps, hundreds of thousands of pounds and decades of lifting, natural folks build very little muscle. It isn't simply genetics because then simple steroids wouldn't allow for much...it is evolution and our sophisticated system of checks and balances towards homeostasis. Our inhibitions develop to protect the organism short term.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Hitit wrote:
I have a question....

Does is really matter if you are bracing or not? If you are using maximum effort won't that overcome what ever other effects bracing is giving you?

Meaning if you maybe bracing you simply need more weight, but while still using maximum force. If you are still focused on the targeted muscle why does it take away from that?

Does the extra energy for bracing really take away from the targeted muscle?

I understand the effects of this when I feel and it may take away at times depending on whether my weight is on target or not. But there are times when I feel it may help to enhance my form more to be on target in the muscle.

For ex. Seated OH press. Doesn't pressing the feet firm to the floor help to maintain a more forceful upward press? Is this bad? Should I dangle my feel over the edge of the seat instead without touching the floor?

Seated chest press same thing. Feet stable on the floor helps a solid foundation.

I suppose if someone is using too much bracing by flexing the legs and not focusing on the press movements examples could be the factor. I guess maybe I don't do that so don't feel that much effect(?).

When the weight is too heavy I see bad form and then bracing to compensate but otherwise when the weight is right can't it enhance the form and targeted muscle more?

I'm not suggesting the above is true or not I'm just considering the topic. Just some thoughts...

Brian


It isn't the unloading by cheating which matters, even strip sets can be a reasonable add on at times.

The point is being missed here. The point is that such things as bracing are ways your body earns to avoid a stressor which it must respond to by building metabolically costly lean mass. It is a survival mechanism just like building muscle is.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

Hitit

AShortt wrote:

It isn't the unloading by cheating which matters, even strip sets can be a reasonable add on at times.

The point is being missed here. The point is that such things as bracing are ways your body earns to avoid a stressor which it must respond to by building metabolically costly lean mass. It is a survival mechanism just like building muscle is.

Regards,
Andrew


So what do we do to overcome it? Like I said I seem to "feel" that a slight bracing helps to stabilize to achieve good form.

Can't it just be a problem only when we shift from the focus on the target muscles to the bracing that we detract from our set?

Another example: I need to hold the handles in the Leg Ext to brace, if I don't need them then the weight would simply be too light. Or I could not keep myself in the seat. I do maintain more focus on my legs and try and keep a light hold on the handles but never the less I need to hold them.

Brian
Open User Options Menu

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Brian,

Bracing as Andrew is talking about (skeletal --- correct me if I'm wrong AS), makes it easy on the target muscles.

Bracing, as I get concerned about it, is where surrounding muscles are pulled into the fight as you strive to get those last 1-2 reps. This:

1) Also takes stress off the target musculature
BUT ALSO
2) Creates greater fatigue overall and digs a bigger hole in your body's reserves.
*** Bracing in this fashion, can turn an iso movement into a compound one!

Come to think of it, this may be what Strong is talking about when he says 'breaking form', though he hasn't articulated that well enough for me to be sure.

Scott
Open User Options Menu

Mr. Strong

simon-hecubus wrote:
Brian,

Bracing as Andrew is talking about (skeletal --- correct me if I'm wrong AS), makes it easy on the target muscles.

Bracing, as I get concerned about it, is where surrounding muscles are pulled into the fight as you strive to get those last 1-2 reps. This:

1) Also takes stress off the target musculature
BUT ALSO
2) Creates greater fatigue overall and digs a bigger hole in your body's reserves.
*** Bracing in this fashion, can turn an iso movement into a compound one!

Come to think of it, this may be what Strong is talking about when he says 'breaking form', though he hasn't articulated that well enough for me to be sure.

Scott



Breaking form results in the exercise becoming easier on the targeted musculature. The exercise is altered in such a way as to allow more reps or weight, but the focus has been shifted from working the musculature to getting a few more reps. But these extra reps are almost meaningless as they are performed in a different manner.

Breaking form to increase reps/weight is not progress.
Open User Options Menu

Hitit

simon-hecubus wrote:
Brian,

Bracing as Andrew is talking about (skeletal --- correct me if I'm wrong AS), makes it easy on the target muscles.

Bracing, as I get concerned about it, is where surrounding muscles are pulled into the fight as you strive to get those last 1-2 reps. This:

1) Also takes stress off the target musculature
BUT ALSO
2) Creates greater fatigue overall and digs a bigger hole in your body's reserves.
*** Bracing in this fashion, can turn an iso movement into a compound one!

Come to think of it, this may be what Strong is talking about when he says 'breaking form', though he hasn't articulated that well enough for me to be sure.

Scott


So an example could be tricep press-downs:

When you are reaching the fatigue point you now may use chest and shoulders to lean in to get those final reps rather than stopping when the triceps are already exhausted?
Open User Options Menu

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Hitit wrote:
So an example could be tricep press-downs:

When you are reaching the fatigue point you now may use chest and shoulders to lean in to get those final reps rather than stopping when the triceps are already exhausted?


Sure, or shoulders and upper back with BB Curls.
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

simon-hecubus wrote:
Brian,

Bracing as Andrew is talking about (skeletal --- correct me if I'm wrong AS), makes it easy on the target muscles.

Bracing, as I get concerned about it, is where surrounding muscles are pulled into the fight as you strive to get those last 1-2 reps. This:

1) Also takes stress off the target musculature
BUT ALSO
2) Creates greater fatigue overall and digs a bigger hole in your body's reserves.
*** Bracing in this fashion, can turn an iso movement into a compound one!

Come to think of it, this may be what Strong is talking about when he says 'breaking form', though he hasn't articulated that well enough for me to be sure.

Scott


Yes and that's only scratching the surface. Beyond static continual bracing (which as a persons structure begins to shiver/vibrate we can spot)there is the much more useful and elusive 'handing around of work'. This can be likened to leaning on something while you transfer a heavy item from one hand to the other. The body learns to do this AND every time you hit the same ROM. So it is subtle dynamic bracing and it gets better and better over time and practice. The more you try hard and add just a few pounds, the better your body gets at it. The ability is at the heart of most 'real' serious martial arts techniques which allow for great speed and power under less than optimal conditions (huge punching power with no wind up or sizable swing).

What happens over time is the body uses the dynamic bracing even during the first easy reps of the set...in order to make the work less metabolically costly. You not only lose targeting (as AJ said muscles never work in isolation) and waste energy but the stimulus itself becomes one to gain skill (which is task specific) and not a stimulus for lean mass gain.

A break in form like what is commonly considered cheating has nothing to do with this. ***In fact, with slow rep protocols this form of cheating the stimulus takes on the look of improved almost robotic like form.***

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Hitit wrote:
AShortt wrote:

It isn't the unloading by cheating which matters, even strip sets can be a reasonable add on at times.

The point is being missed here. The point is that such things as bracing are ways your body earns to avoid a stressor which it must respond to by building metabolically costly lean mass. It is a survival mechanism just like building muscle is.

Regards,
Andrew

So what do we do to overcome it? Like I said I seem to "feel" that a slight bracing helps to stabilize to achieve good form.

Can't it just be a problem only when we shift from the focus on the target muscles to the bracing that we detract from our set?

Another example: I need to hold the handles in the Leg Ext to brace, if I don't need them then the weight would simply be too light. Or I could not keep myself in the seat. I do maintain more focus on my legs and try and keep a light hold on the handles but never the less I need to hold them.

Brian


You may just need better restraints on that Leg Ext ;n)

Yes the conundrum is where to draw the line...but in the end the rule of thumb is vary the protocol and use benchmark 'non drilled/practiced' exercises to test strength every month or so. Also use photographs and measurements, body comp devices and just plain old outside objective good judgement from one who knows you and sees you against a similar backdrop from time to time. AND vary that is past the novice stage of lifting, variation is built in at first.

Don't get caught in the pump and isolate trap that even I have done. This is where you isolate so much you forget to challenge the tissues with something tougher to isolate and uncomfortable in feel...awkward even...but not unsafe. Tension and fatigue is best imposed by the load and exercise ROM not the trainee. That's tough to clarify by I can try if need be.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Next | Last
Administrators Online: Mod Jump'n Jack
H.I.T. Acceptable Use Policy