Something to Consider about Concentric and Eccentric Lifting Movements.

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by A-Unit, Nov 7, 2005.

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  1. A-Unit

    A-Unit Master Don Juan

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    In alot of liting bibles, you get conflicting thoughts and ideas. As if dropsets, pyramids, supersets, trips, etc are variatons of muscle-building. To each his own I say.

    They haven't worked for me. Never did. I spent far too much energy doing multiple exercises for multiples bodyparts, when the real growth motivator is the 1 set that pushes failure.

    Whether lifters and guru's got this from Jim Rohn or not, it's genius...in 1 of his seminars he talks about marginal improvement, about health, and taking care of oneself.

    He mentions starting with 1 push up and shooting for 20, then 30, and 100. But initially, you can't do 20. Instead, you do 1, then stop, then 1 more, and go until you do 20. You don't have to do 20, just get to 20 somehow. Eventually, you can do 20 straight, without stopping, and you raise your goal. Who knows what the limit is on how many you can do. I once heard of a guy doing near 1000. And some can do 9000. Sounds crazy but if you're always pushing yourself, whether it's stopping or starting you'll improve.

    On workouts, many times we want to do 3x8, or 4x10. But what does that accomplish but Stamina, Endurance, and Muscle Glycogen depletion?? Really. All those sets don't induce growth, they do induce volume stamina.

    If we know that dead lifts, squats, benches, leg presses, or hack squats cause growth and as a compound exercise great growth and hypertrophy, then why do pithy exercises that just sap our energy until we get to them?? Warm up, THEN DO THEM full out.

    You'll notice legs need many reps (not sets) because you use them regularly. You use them daily. You walk on them, pull lift, run etc. It's use to the stress it gets. 5-10 reps on legs can normally be a very good weight, yet won't really hit much growth. There aren't many PLer's that can do 800 for 20 or 30 reps, but they can do 500+ for 20+. Lots of guys in gyms do 300+ lbs on squat or leg presses, with only small legs. But if they did them for 20-30, they'd be huge, because now were are doing something outside of what the legs normally get. Think about, our frame sits on our legs all day, bouncing, climbing stairs, etc. 300lbs + by 5 reps isn't much really.

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    I've read alot about the positives and negatives of slow reps. I've read about forced reps (never did them, don't have a lifting partner).

    Something must be understood about the functionability of muscle though in it's basic state.

    If you were playing football, or lifting anything, say a box, how would you do it?

    FAST!

    You'd want to throw that Lineman down and get to the quarterback. Of if you were lifting a heavy object, or heaving it, you'd want to do it as quickly as possible. Slow movement up isn't how a muscle in its concentratic phase works most efficiently. Instead, it's a quick thrust movement, like a sprinter has, which is why his quads and calves get so big.

    Time under stress isn't that much, which is why if you only focus on that part of the lift you can probably lift more than you normally can. Lots of guys throw around heavy dumbbells curling more than they can. Alot of young bucks do that.

    On the otherside, if you were DEFENDING the quarterback, you have to protect the pocket. Or if you were catching a heavy falling object, you'd be enduring LOTS of stress and need lots of negative strength to counter the force being pushed on you. This is the eccentric phase of lifting.

    You know a force is coming at you, and your job is to hold it back. You might not be able to PUSH it back yet, because first you must COUNTER that force, and THEN you must REVERSE it. This is what lineman do. They brace the force of a DLineman coming, THEN with the concentric strength, PUSH back. BUT, if you're downward, or negative strength is not equal or better, you won't counter and you'll get trampled. Right?

    How many times have you moved friends around, from apartment to apartment, and you were told to hold a table or dresser for an extended period of time??

    Many right? This even applies to moving into dorms. It wasn't the concentric strength you used, it was the eccentric strength, and you may have found that you were burning afterwards. However, if you were strong enough to balance this force, you wouldn't be burning or tired. Right? You lift for the type of stressor.

    Not so...

    Many do fast reps up, which is good, but not slow enough reps down. I've done even the Pete Sisco program of Static Training or slow reps, but slow in 1 direction isn't how it works. It's fast up, slow down, because muscle operates that way in real life, and if you want to see the benefits of muscle daily, training this way is what gives you the best benefit for your time, aside from ladies watching.

    Muscle only knows 1 thing: more stress. That's it. It doesn't know volume, or confusion, or drop sets. Sure, the mind of the operator requires new workouts to keep moving, and if you plateau, it sometimes help to change gears, but changing style isn't always best. I can't account for guys on gear, only natural trainers.

    I did PL for awhile, and while I got stronger, sort of, it was b/c I was lifting low sets, but no negatives, and not eating enough of anything, whether it was protein, fats, or carbs. That's first. You can grow with dumbbells if you eat enough, and are pushing yourself everywork to do a little more. Say 1 more rep or 2.5 more lbs. PLing never really grew, and the gym of guys I was with stagnated BIG time, as big as they were, because most guys were doing TONS of big exercises in one day.

    We'd lift @ 6am, just before work, guys of various ages, about 7 of us, and slowly but surely, every guy switched their program over time and left. Not because PLing didn't work, but because the sheer number of exercises we did each morning was far too many.

    Goodmorning, Deadlifts, BentOver Rows, Rack Deads, and Pulldowns for Back. It was volume + heavy weight. But you couldn't max out on any 1 set or exercise because you were already spent. Not to mention, most guys didn't stress diet.

    Ever heard the phrase, "you gotta believe it to see it." Well, it applies to eating too. You got EAT like it, TO BE LIKE IT. If you're eat minimal, your body doesn't have enough to grow, and no reason to grow. Sure it sucks to be soft, somewhat, but it's winter in the northeast, and most girls prefer marginally thick guys with some meat, to scrawny Metros' (those are just the girls I know and date).

    -----------------------

    I mentioned all this because I hadn't found it anywhere but it's worked. Getting back to basics will help everybody grow more.




    A-Unit
     
  2. il_duce

    il_duce Master Don Juan

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    Interesting...

    What kind of program would you use for this? Obviously there are the main muscle groups that you need to hit (chest/tris, back/bis, legs, shoulders), but how would you split it up day by day, and furthermore, what specific exercises would you do at 1 set to failure? I'm guessing a lot of compound movements?

    Anyway, I'd like to see you elaborate on your idea, A-Unit.
     
  3. A-Unit

    A-Unit Master Don Juan

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    Re:

    Some of it was DC training, some of it from my own discovery of what works on me, and some of it from various e-books. That's what I got out of training for me, is what works.

    For instance, bicep curls never feel like a strain and to incorporate this type of methodology, I varied standing bicep curls.

    I dropped my logbook and picked up the weights.

    I'd already warmed up somewhat with light weights and jumped up to 27.5lbs (30 next week).

    Normally people pump the weights like heck up and down, and lowering db's slow with palms underhanded didn't work for me. So instead, I curled up at an angle which felt like it isolated my bicep, THEN, I rotated the weight over with palm facing DOWN and went slow, about a count of 6-8.

    I did that again for left hand, too.

    The set was as follows.

    8 reps
    6 reps
    6 reps
    Total: 20.

    Next weeks goal is 30lbs doing that sort of rep scheme. The burn was intense and I couldn't lift more at that weight. The object here is to take the 8reps you'd normally fail at and wait 20 seconds or so, and start again.

    The muscles DO have the ability to replenish their ATP and tap more energy, despite FEELING that they've failed out. This replenishment enables you to lift max weight more. Going lower, such as 5 reps or even 6, would be too low to effectively do any work. I shot for 8, because it was good target most guru's says to go for.

    Other's might try to do a lighter weight, and just do 3 sets, 8 reps, or do heavier weight and not control the DOWN (negative angle) but that's a waste of HALF the exercise!

    You might end up decreasing weight somewhat, but it hasn't been a big percentage, and I'm bigger and fuller already. I eat as much as possible of protein, carbs and good fats, since I feel that eating enough is harder than anything, even at around 185-190.

    --------------------------

    As far as sets and workouts go, I've always done 3 days. I tried 5 or even 4, but found that life gets in the way of balancing health and working out. It's what works for me.

    I do 4 separate workouts that are constantly rotated...

    A1
    Chest - DB Decline Press
    Shoulders - DB Military Presses
    Triceps - Pushdowns
    Back - Pulldowns WIDE
    - Bent over DB rows

    B1
    Quads - Leg Presses (30 reps)
    Hams - Lying Leg Curls
    Calves - Standing Calve Presses
    Biceps - DB curls

    A2
    Chest - DB Flat Press
    Shoulder - Hammer Strenth Front Press
    Tricep - Close Grip Bench
    Back - Low-Rows (Machine)
    -Close-Grip Pulldowns

    B2
    Quads - Hack SQuats
    Hams - Single Hamstring Standing CUrls
    Calves - Seated Calves Press
    Bicep - PReacher Curls

    I'll do theses til I can't progress anymore, then move on to other exercises. As long as I'm making progress, I go with it. If not, I change it. Some exercises work for me, some don't.

    I don't do benches (bb) because I get a better stretch and focus on chest doing it, and there's less stress on the shoulder joint until I'm bigger.

    Thing is...if it's working, the weight doesn't matter.

    ------------------------

    Try doing Cable Curls with a Barbell Bar. Do them fast up, slow down with a weight you do 8 or so reps for. Do a 8 sec neg. and watch how the burn kicks in. If you're leaned back at a slight angle taking the slack of the cable and giving the tension to the bicep, and then do it fast up, slow down, and let the weight stretch the bicep at the end, then reverse, fast up, slow down, you'll see how a GOOD set can really be done and shorten time.

    You read in bodybuildinger journals about "instinctive lifting," that some guys just KNOW how to lift and how certain sets will cause growth. The biceps cable barbell curl, biceps db curl, and a few others are EASY to feel work, and easy to feel burn. You know next week you'll get a few more reps or add another 2.5 lbs.

    The body WILL grow if lift more each week and eat more each week. Negatives or slow reps as I understood them were slow up, slow down, and you'd do like 50-75% of your normal lifting weight. Thing is...

    How do you know when to move up in weight or reps? You really didn't, because you could count longer, or waste more time on some parts than others, etc. Now, you do the weight as you would use the muscle.

    ----------------------

    I did Static Contraction Training, too, but it wasn't effective. It's' good as something to add to a set, but there's more to focus on instead...

    -fast concentric
    -slow eccentric
    -complete the rep, get a full stretch at the bottom/peak of the exercise/rep.



    A-Unit
     
  4. Warboss Alex

    Warboss Alex Master Don Juan

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    Lotsa DC principles in your training A-Unit, always good to see. :up:
     
  5. animal crackers

    animal crackers Senior Don Juan

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    Umm, idk what's wrong with me, but I don't really understand what you're telling us to do.

    Is it basically do as many reps as you can for an excersize until failure?


    animal crackers
     
  6. A-Unit

    A-Unit Master Don Juan

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    Re:

    Warboss...

    DC's stuff musta disseminated throughout the bodybuilding community with him or any of us knowing, because when I read the stuff on Pennies training whatever, i was like "AHA."

    It was like doing it, then confirming it. It was weird. I hope he profited by who ever has split his ideas and sorta marketed it as their own.

    As far as it goes, I can't confirm anything as my own, because most successful only copy and then build on other's work anyways. I do do certain exercises I know I do well, can go heavy, and will do other compounds as I can, but I've been in and around the comm. long enough to see/know what works. At least for me. Never used gear, haven't given it much thought until I'm there quite a bit.

    ------------------

    What I'm saying AC is read some of DoggCrapp. He is the originator of much of the stuff that guys have adopted through various avenues. I didn't know that, but in a round about way, got to the truth.

    He posits that one should do a few warm-up sets, basically 12, 8, 4, and then...

    you do 1 set, which you'd fail, absolutely fail @ 8 reps at. Stop for 20 seconds (deep breathing to time and stay fluid), then pick up and go again. Stop for another 20 or so, and go again. If it's the weight you'd fail @ 8 for, you prob won't get more than 6 or 8 again, likely only 4. When you do the 3rd scheme, it will likely be 3 or so.

    That makes it really 15 reps...8+4+3.

    NOW. rep-wise...FAST up (1 sec) SLOW down (8-10 sec). Why you ask? I already outlined earlier. That's how strength, functional strength works. FAST up FAST down is too wasteful.

    That's exponential intensity.

    1. Lifting all out for 8 reps.
    2. Adding 2 more "sets'" or REST PAUSES to blast deeper.
    3. Go slow on negative, fast on positive.
    4. Lifting bodyparts more frequently.

    Typical bodybuilders are used to lifting once per week, but it's not the best idea. Why? Frequency...The more you recover/rest in a period, the more growth, assuming that you're lifting MORE. That's it. Not to hard, right?

    -----------------------

    Where you get all fvcked up is when you do different exercises week to week b/c the gym is crowded, or you don't feel like doing it, or you want to "confuse" the muscle. Whatever excuse you design. Point is, if you're not consistent, it throws off results.

    Moreover doing the following CHEST workout...

    DB Presses
    Barbell Presses
    Inclines
    PecDec Flys
    Dips

    It's SO much overwork it's not funny. It is. Either you do 5 exercises half-assed, because you're burnt, OR, you do 1 all out, and 4 half-assed. You pick it. No growth would occur, just supreme muscle glycogen.

    ----------------------------

    The average "builder" not on super-supps can't overload on that much volume, cannot AFFORD to miss food, must consume quite a bit, and must lift heavy as can be possibly done with safety. Spending more than an hour is detrimental, depressing, not likely to lead to long-term resultsm and completely unnecessary. Really.

    I say do what works, but I'd guesstimate that what guys here try to do is toss up ideas about what we tried, got results and done.

    I can say the following programs I own...

    -Freaky Big Naturally.
    -Skinny Guy
    -EAS
    -Tom Venuto
    -Static Contraction Training
    -MuscleNOW
    -ABCDE
    -and many, many more...

    They're not very diff. and most programs don't get into WHY. They pitch a few a differences, such as diff. lifting dates, 3 schedule, 4 schedules, 5 schedules, etc.Maybe they advocate 8 reps, maybe 12, maybe 6. Few of them offer pictures, fewer have credentials. Some are personal trainers, some achieved success, but most avoid the points....

    The only truths some were willing to spout were...

    *That those that REALLY get big, do so by eating like a house and choosing to be fat for awhile.
    *They dont' life like everyone else.

    IT's very similar to meeting women. There's lots of programs, and each one varies slightly from 1 to the next...The community in general copies from 1 another, and then tweaks it so slightly to fit them. That's it. That's what most mainstream lifting programs are.

    AE's is a great program already laid out and requires no work to begin, that's who it's designed for...BUT, he competed in the EAS challenge, so his program is likely to be something of an adaptation of that. And it is. You do one exercise 12,8,6,4, then go heavy on the last set and do 1 more failure set. He outlays a few more variations, and shakes it up quite a bit after 6 weeks, but it's so bloody confusing. 6 weeks priming, then lifting, then mass gaining, then cutting. I don't remember anymore.

    I do know guys should committ to eating like pigs now, eat everything. Get calories grow. Then cut come march/april a little. Or gain still.


    A-Unit
     

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