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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

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"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.

 

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Dyspraxia
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garethit

I am currently working with a young man with autism and dyspraxia. He's a very intelligent, bright young man, 23 years of age.

I support him at the gym 3 days a week and at the moment we are training together on a three way split.

The issue I'm finding is that as he starts to get anywhere near failure his coordination goes out of the window and his form breaks down badly.

Does anyone have any experience training anyone with dyspraxia? If so what do you think would be the best overall approach?

At the moment I'm torn between encouraging him to perform more complex movements which will challenge his coordination more or sticking to simple machine movements that he can handle a lot easier.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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BennyAnthonyOfKC

Missouri, USA

I've experience with working with children & young-adults (no older than 18-19) that were autistic. I have three suggestions.

(1) Read an article about autism that is more comprehensive than what would typically found in a newspaper; and, even if you've read such an article or have an academic background that included autism in your studies, re-reading such overview articles is tantamount to an actor re-reading a script they already know by heart, because "practice makes perfect".

(2) Work such a trainee with as many, what I'm phrasing, "guided movements" as possible without causing boredom in the person, especially avoiding even approaching what unofficially are called MELTDOWNS, which are sensory-overloads that cause autistic persons to feel fight-or-flight in an extreme way. However, "guided movements" may not be possible, because this requires manual-assistance, and touching someone with autism may be nearly impossible and/or requires much time to gain trust, along with learning the limits of a person with autism.

(3) While training to failure might be an impossibility, probably for the aforementioned reason of fight-or-flight is induced even in so-called "neuro typicals" that means non-autistics..... anyway, if there is going to be a possibility of training an autistic to "momentary muscular failure", then the only chance is utilizing my protocol of T.S.E.C., or TIMED-STATIC-EMPHASIZED-PROTOCOL, because the teaching of it is minimal and it may be guided in the aforementioned sense.

What is T.S.E.C.? First, it is a protocol that is best when utilizing only exercises that are single-joint. Take a biceps-curl, for example, either the trainee raises, or the trainee guides, the barbell to mid-point in the range-of-motion and renders their elbow-joint immobile, which if a trainee is standing or seated upright will have their forearms parallel to the floor. The weight chosen for such exercises depends upon the fiber-profile of each individual, along with each muscle-group that, of course, can vary with arms needing longer time during sets than legs, or more likely vice-versa of that.

As to time, the measure of TIME-UNDER-LOAD (TUL) is during the self-rendering of immobility with, in the example of the biceps-curl, the lowering of the weight only significant to be slow to leave the set in such a way that the biceps aren't snapped like a rubber-band, which is to say this is a measure of safety. Any further resisting against the load after immobility has been lost will cause harm to the ability to recover in many, if not most, trainees.

If some degree of proficiency is achieved in such exercises, then a trainer could advance the trainee to exercising in different ranges-of-motion to affect, perhaps, different resistance-curves over the course of several sets or in near-future sessions.

PHOTO: "...a Towson University junior majoring in exercise science, mentors Harris Littman of Ellicott City, who is in a fitness class for adults with autism."

((((( The attached photo is to merely demonstrate that autistics are exercising with strength-training, and with exercises that are single-joint. My information is from my experience, not from any particular source. )))))


RESOURCE:
https://www.autismspeaks.org/.../glossary-terms
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garethit

Hi Benny,

Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify the man in question has a diagnosis of high functioning autism or Asberger's. (in the UK the term Asberger's is currently being used less). Although I'm not aware of his IQ my guess is that he is above average in this regard.

If you were to meet him in the street for the first time the only indication you would get would be that of slight social awkwardness and he can speak very intelligently on various subjects.

The degree of his condition affects him makes this a non issue in terms of his training. The real issue is the physical and motor control side of things caused by the dyspraxia that accompanies his autism. Having had a good think about it I've decided on the following measures;

1. Stop his sets as soon as form begins to break down even slightly to avoid developing bad form habits.

2.Increase volume due to the reduced intensity and to help ingrain correct form on exercises through repetition.

3.Introduce more challenging (in terms of coordination and motor control) exercises at the beginning of his workout when he is less fatigued. These will be done with minimal weight with the focus being on nailing correct form and performance.

4.Have him stick to movements that require less motor control for the actual strength part of his workout. This would consist of mainly machine based movements.

Again, thanks for the input.

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BennyAnthonyOfKC

Missouri, USA

I had a feeling that you were talking about someone with Asberger's, since of those with Autism, they are the individuals that, as you allude, can enter (and interact with) society more easily.

I still, nevertheless, stand by my suggestion of T.S.E.C. for the reason of teaching about the value of muscular-failure without having to be concerned about losing form, since there is essentially no form in remaining still. My point is that you can use T.S.E.C. as a connecting-point to marrying dynamic-repetitions of more traditional repetitions to momentary-muscular-failure. However, besides me endorsing the very protocol of T.S.E.C. that I designed, in the long-run, T.S.E.C., as with all other static-repetitions, become detrimental to training.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Timed statics in various point in the ROM. Being stronger on the neg you can always spot him as he lowers the weight down from the hold as he nears failure. Raise him to each new spot and make it 10 second hold. Make it heavy but only cumulative where he only hits failure on a fifth hold in a fifth position.

Regards,
Andrew
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BennyAnthonyOfKC

Missouri, USA

AShortt wrote:
Timed statics in various point in the ROM. Being stronger on the neg you can always spot him as he lowers the weight down from the hold as he nears failure. Raise him to each new spot and make it 10 second hold. Make it heavy but only cumulative where he only hits failure on a fifth hold in a fifth position.

Regards,
Andrew


_______________________________
_______________________________
TO: GARETHIT & ANDREW
_______________________________
_______________________________

The reason that I designed T.S.E.C. to use mostly exercises that are single-joint is because they are conducive to self-spotting, which translates to people with AUTISM as exercises that affords these individuals that tend to already have issues with "PERSONAL SPACE" with many having tendencies to feeling claustrophobic that would only be magnified when feeling the pressure of muscular-failure onsetting that triggers "fight or flight" in the most skilled of trainees, let alone those with autism that itself magnifies a feeling to flee or.....

About NEGATIVES, not only do these induce "fight or flight" more than most forms of exercise, but in static-protocols they mostly result in eroding already fragile recovery-systems, especially in those with chronic-conditions, such as autism & dyspraxia. While a few "surprise negative repetitions" at the end of a set might be helpful in learning muscular-failure, and even as another method to defeat homeostasis, except individuals with probably all of THE AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDERS respond harshly to surprises.

One last thing, particularly about SURPRISES, while I have observed children with A.S.D.'s rebelling against what teachers claim about schedules being deviated from causing frustration, even meltdowns, in autistics, which I firmly believe is overblown by teachers, because change-of-pace (aka surprises) also cause JOY in children, whether in mainstream classrooms or "special education" classes..... NEVERTHELESS, during strength-training, "surprise negatives" at the end of a set is what I would predict as being TOO INTENSE for individuals with AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDERS.

Like a teacher once famously said, "...maybe your best course would be to tread lightly." :)

_______________________________
_______________________________
TO: GARETHIT & ANDREW
_______________________________
_______________________________

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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

I've had several Autistic clients. Both teenagers. Both very overweight.

They both had a VERY hard time picking up anything other than very simple movement patterns. I lean towards machine-only training with this type client, for safety.

As a side-note, I once took the Wired magazine online test for Autism/Asperger spectrum tendencies. Apparently computer geeks are often within this spectrum, though do not have a full-blown clinical case of either.

My wife also took the test.

According to the test I am well within that spectrum. I HATE sudden noise, noise in general, large deviations form my normal routines, biting into a fuzzy peach, excess light, clutter, crowds, or other sources of "sensory overload" for ME.

I come across as mostly "normal" to people...at least I think I do...but I do have more than my fair-share of idiosyncrasies. Which makes me somewhat empathetic to those who have full-blown Autism.

My wife is the exact opposite. A raging extrovert, thrill seeker.

I believe a lot if "HIT nerds" are also within this spectrum. Nerds in general. And lets face it, many of us here are very nerdy.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

BennyAnthonyOfKC wrote:
AShortt wrote:
Timed statics in various point in the ROM. Being stronger on the neg you can always spot him as he lowers the weight down from the hold as he nears failure. Raise him to each new spot and make it 10 second hold. Make it heavy but only cumulative where he only hits failure on a fifth hold in a fifth position.

Regards,
Andrew

_______________________________
_______________________________
TO: GARETHIT & ANDREW
_______________________________
_______________________________

The reason that I designed T.S.E.C. to use mostly exercises that are single-joint is because they are conducive to self-spotting, which translates to people with AUTISM as exercises that affords these individuals that tend to already have issues with "PERSONAL SPACE" with many having tendencies to feeling claustrophobic that would only be magnified when feeling the pressure of muscular-failure onsetting that triggers "fight or flight" in the most skilled of trainees, let alone those with autism that itself magnifies a feeling to flee or.....

About NEGATIVES, not only do these induce "fight or flight" more than most forms of exercise, but in static-protocols they mostly result in eroding already fragile recovery-systems, especially in those with chronic-conditions, such as autism & dyspraxia. While a few "surprise negative repetitions" at the end of a set might be helpful in learning muscular-failure, and even as another method to defeat homeostasis, except individuals with probably all of THE AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDERS respond harshly to surprises.

One last thing, particularly about SURPRISES, while I have observed children with A.S.D.'s rebelling against what teachers claim about schedules being deviated from causing frustration, even meltdowns, in autistics, which I firmly believe is overblown by teachers, because change-of-pace (aka surprises) also cause JOY in children, whether in mainstream classrooms or "special education" classes..... NEVERTHELESS, during strength-training, "surprise negatives" at the end of a set is what I would predict as being TOO INTENSE for individuals with AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDERS.

Like a teacher once famously said, "...maybe your best course would be to tread lightly." :)

_______________________________
_______________________________
TO: GARETHIT & ANDREW
_______________________________
_______________________________



In this case the statics are short lived and make the exercise feel easier, the negative isn't a surprise but allows a feeling of control as in you don't fail you just allow the weight to return to the start as fatigue over takes. The pump is less so visual change is impeded but strength increases are good while vol/freq is kept low.

Regards,
Andrew
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HeavyHitter32

coach-jeff wrote:
I've had several Autistic clients. Both teenagers. Both very overweight.

They both had a VERY hard time picking up anything other than very simple movement patterns. I lean towards machine-only training with this type client, for safety.

As a side-note, I once took the Wired magazine online test for Autism/Asperger spectrum tendencies. Apparently computer geeks are often within this spectrum, though do not have a full-blown clinical case of either.

My wife also took the test.

According to the test I am well within that spectrum. I HATE sudden noise, noise in general, large deviations form my normal routines, biting into a fuzzy peach, excess light, clutter, crowds, or other sources of "sensory overload" for ME.

I come across as mostly "normal" to people...at least I think I do...but I do have more than my fair-share of idiosyncrasies. Which makes me somewhat empathetic to those who have full-blown Autism.

My wife is the exact opposite. A raging extrovert, thrill seeker.

I believe a lot if "HIT nerds" are also within this spectrum. Nerds in general. And lets face it, many of us here are very nerdy.


I guess it just depends. I work in IT actually and lean more introvert, but I like bright lights, don't mind crowds, nor fuzzy peaches, and and some clutter here and there at home, don't follow strict routines all of the time either in my training or work...as I am a consultant sometimes having 2-3 different projects/roles per year depending on which company I am working for. I don't like loud noise but I have some mild hearing loss and suffer from Tinnitus so I have to be cautious, but I have a dedicated home theater room with a 120" screen, front projector, and surround sound set-up and will crank it up to a point (I try to limit it to 85 db).
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Acerimmer

HeavyHitter32 wrote:
coach-jeff wrote:
I've had several Autistic clients. Both teenagers. Both very overweight.

They both had a VERY hard time picking up anything other than very simple movement patterns. I lean towards machine-only training with this type client, for safety.

As a side-note, I once took the Wired magazine online test for Autism/Asperger spectrum tendencies. Apparently computer geeks are often within this spectrum, though do not have a full-blown clinical case of either.

My wife also took the test.

According to the test I am well within that spectrum. I HATE sudden noise, noise in general, large deviations form my normal routines, biting into a fuzzy peach, excess light, clutter, crowds, or other sources of "sensory overload" for ME.

I come across as mostly "normal" to people...at least I think I do...but I do have more than my fair-share of idiosyncrasies. Which makes me somewhat empathetic to those who have full-blown Autism.

My wife is the exact opposite. A raging extrovert, thrill seeker.

I believe a lot if "HIT nerds" are also within this spectrum. Nerds in general. And lets face it, many of us here are very nerdy.

I guess it just depends. I work in IT actually and lean more introvert, but I like bright lights, don't mind crowds, nor fuzzy peaches, and and some clutter here and there at home, don't follow strict routines all of the time either in my training or work...as I am a consultant sometimes having 2-3 different projects/roles per year depending on which company I am working for. I don't like loud noise but I have some mild hearing loss and suffer from Tinnitus so I have to be cautious, but I have a dedicated home theater room with a 120" screen, front projector, and surround sound set-up and will crank it up to a point (I try to limit it to 85 db).



People forget that it's a syndrome and that there is still room to be an individual.

I didn't even know that there were people with AS who disliked peaches.
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