A Quick Study in Contrasts

Since I have no specific athletic or body composition goal in mind — other than chasing the fullest, most well-rounded expression of my phenotype — I’m at liberty to explore, to the widest extent, the speed-strength continuum and the force-velocity curve.  In English?  I get to dabble with my workouts, mix it up; have fun and do what I feel like doing on a particular day, versus worrying about what I need to accomplish to realize a specific goal.   Life is all about balance, and I’ve had plenty of periods in my life where my training, out of the necessity of chasing a specific goal, was much more directed and pin-pointed.  Now is not one of those times.  Now is a period of — for lack of a more perfect term — loosely controlled chaos.

To illustrate my point, consider this 3-day snapshot of time from last week:

Thursday: power cleans; working up to 7x max singles.  The work-ups were performed over an approximate 4-hour period, between client training sessions, with the 7 singles coming in a continuous, 20-minute or so, time block.

Friday: a traditional, bodybuilding-like, arm routine; supersets of bi and tri work — in this case, straight bar bi curls and cable push downs — with each movement range of motion performed in two different “zones” in a basic JRep methodology.

Saturday: a little bit of MetCon fun; 4 rounds of a front squat/farmer’s walk combo.  This clip is kinda dark, but you get the idea.

Big hat tip to Meesus TTP for filming this immediately following her own Efficient Exercise-style, total-body dust-up.  Way to be a gamer, my darling!

Oh, and be sure to check-out this recent post from Scott Abel, Adhering to Real World Principles: Understanding Max Load Training.  There are no bad training methodologies, just bad applications of existing methodologies.  Know what it is you’re trying to affect, and choose the appropriate method.

And finally, here are a couple of clips (here and here) of some our Efficient Exercise “trainer training the trainer” series; something we hope to do more of in the near future.  These two are an example of some mixed methodology training — in this case, some classic pre-exhaust (using basic some basic zone and JReps concepts, here), followed by a complex movement using ARX Fit technology.  ARX equipment allows for some severe envelope-pushing under fatigue, as one need not worry with mishandling the load.  Good, good stuff.  Of course, there are many ways (and arguments for each) in coupling the exercises in the 2nd clip; I chose to end this particular routine with triceps, though one could easily argue for pre-exhausting the tris prior to delving into the overhead press.  The “pick a horse and ride” analogy works well in this case 🙂

In health — and happy labor Day!


3 responses to “A Quick Study in Contrasts

  1. I’m not sure how you’re using ‘metcon’. Google shows it to be a CrossFit shorthand for cardiorespiratory or aerobic training. From our discussions, I’m guessing your extending meaning of the term to embrace the wider spectrum of metabolic outcomes of varied aerobic & anaerobic training – the wider, broader PC2.0 usage?

    Since our coffee yesterday morning I’ve done more research on the ubiquitous topic of metabolisms – yep, plural – at least at this time since it’s hard to find integrative approaches in exercise physiology. You might say there’s a lot of confusion of the forest for the trees combined with an obsession for finding the devil in the detail. Regular physiologists, those more aligned with orthodox medicine in studying pathology, speak of co-morbidities (adverse synergies such as type II diabetes, obesity, and hypertenshion). That’s inspired looking at co-excellence or some such term pointing not only to integrative metabolic effects, but more significantly at their health bestowing synergies.

    The strength-velocity curve of Hill has an interesting recent history of growing application starting with Fred “Dr Squat” Hatfield (part of the ISSA curriculum he wrote), then Joe Signorile, his student Coach JC Santana taking it further – both advocating surfing the curve – then Coach Scott Abel’s tour de force delineation of the curve, specific training modalities associated with each part along with associated metabolic (including anabolism and/or hypertrophy) outcomes. He tells me he’s taken that DVD off the market since it wasn’t being purchased – astonishing since it’s a gem.

    I love pre-exhausts (Steve Hollman calls them preex now). Also recommend for those interested in a more traditional bodybuilding approach (including what Keith replied to me in an email noting method I’ve used for arthritic conditions as “therapeutic bodybuliding”), Holman’s x-rep blog is the first online experimental training journal of its kind, going back seven years now: http://www.x-rep.com/xblog.htm Steve is a UT Austin graduate and editor-in-chief of Iron Man Magazine. His task in the drug laden world of bodybuilding has been that of developing drug-free, natural methods ensuring hypertrophy – a self-confessed hard gainer, the photos of Steve speak for themselves. His protocols include methods for both commercial gyms and home gyms. He’s a darn nice guy, and his monthly Eat, Train, Grow column keeps up to date on breaking news from exercise physiology – his from theory to practice.

    Abel made the big switch from bodybuilding some years ago, now championing Athleticism. I like that because it’s more in line with our hunter/gatherer genes. Dr Sebring and I see decathalon athletes as a superb embodiment of our Paleolithic gene.

    Really good blog, Keith! Congratultations.

    • “…extending meaning of the term to embrace the wider spectrum of metabolic outcomes of varied aerobic & anaerobic training – the wider, broader PC2.0 usage?”
      Yes, that’s it, Ken. And thanks so much for the kind words.

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