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Troubleshooting July 2013

on Monday, 01 July 2013.

Ingrid you emphasise progressive overload now this can be implemented in any ways but a simple example would be increasing the amount of weight or the amount of reps performed for an exercise each week. I've always focused on maintaining tension and getting the necessary contractions within the target muscle through a full range of motion for each exercise throughout my workouts and doing so sometimes stops me from increasing weights as much as I would like. Now would you say that it's important to feel the chest working in a bench press or would you say I should focus on trying to increase my reps and weights by sacrificing that tension in the muscle?

You can increase progressive overload in any number or ways. Your emphasis should be on both, although I would err towards increasing weights. You aren't necessarily 'sacrificing' tension. Let's take me as an example. My second best body part is pecs. Yet I have never 'felt' them at all when I train. Ever. At all. Remotely. Does that mean my technique is up the creek? I think not. Does it mean there is no tension? No. Are they being activated? Of course. I have never experienced a 'burn', and I never get DOMS. I get the feeling you are concentrating a little too much on mind/muscle connection. Yes that's important but progressive overload is paramount too.

In regards to that question then what should my mind process be before a set if that can be simply summed up? Lift heavier without compromising form.

Ingrid it seems to me that there is a whole range of definitions when it comes to the word 'intensity". What do you think this refers too?

Good question as when you go to an ASCA seminar they give you their definition, when you do Certificate 4 in personal training they will give you another, when you read different text books they will give you yet another response. So I am going to provide you with an all-encompassing one. Intensity is increased by:

• Amplification of mental effort
• Approaching your training with a burning passion as if your life depended upon it.
• Adding reps
• Adding weights
• Decreasing rests between reps
• Decreasing reps between sets
• Increasing the number of exercises per body part
• Increasing the number of exercises or body parts trained in a session
• Increasing the number if sessions per day
• Increasing the speed of the movement
• Slowing down (time under tension) of the movement
• Increasing the amount of work done at the anaerobic threshold (maximum pain tolerance)
• Once of the major things I am really big on is the concentration and effort put in to the eccentric phase of the lift.

Even when you increase the amount of intensity of the workout, a price must be paid and that price is working out what your recuperative abilities. A couple of months ago Body Conquest had Richard Coleman in as a guest speaker. For those of you not familiar with Richard he is a gold medallist paraolympian across 3 Olympics. Now he is track and field, not bodybuilding, but as a group of avid bodybuilders we really honed in and learnt that you can improve your recovery ability in a number of ways.

• Pre-workout use of appropriate supplements
• Intra workout appropriate use of best supplements
• Post workout cool down (yes, stretching!)
• Post cool down of hot and cold baths
• Massage of affected muscles
• Post massage visualisation training, autogenic training or self-hypnosis
• Eating 5-6 meals daily
• Taking a cat nap where possible
• Working closely with a sports-medicine expert.

Interestingly my three best and most successful athletes do all of these including the ICE baths! Co-incidence? I don't think so.

Provide me with your top 6 training myths Ingrid?
Sure, let's go with perhaps some less obvious ones. I love busting myths.

1. "Uppers will help me with my training and fat loss efforts"
Hmmm, maybe in the short run. But they will cause physical and psychological dependency to the extent that they become more desirable than the science behind your training and your nutritional intake. So at that point – you lose.

The best pro's, you know, the ones that do the Arnold and the Olympia know how to train and they know exactly why they do what they do.

Many have a good idea. Many however have no idea. Watch some pro DVD's. Honestly, their form sometimes is shot to pieces. In fact downright dangerous. Most become great and final contenders due to genetic disposition. You will pick up some great bits of advice from pro's but you will be better off seeking competent advice from trained experts who are not on copious amounts of pharmaceutical enhancements and are trained in biomechanics, biochemistry, physiology, kinesiology to name a few areas.

If I train longer and harder than any of my mates in the gym then I am going to have a much better chance of developing a better physique?

In a word. No. You will overtrain. Less is more. Stimulate your muscles, not annihilate and then get out of the gym, go and feed your muscles and recover.
Heavy weights (low reps) make you bigger, lighter weights (high reps) get you more defined.

I have a love/hate relationship with this one. Really, how archaic. The bottom line is there is a better way. Get your muscles big through a holistic approach (heavy weights, light weights, fast movements, slow movements, high reps, slow reps, and pretty much everything in between, You get lean, defined and shredded through a careful manipulation of calories, macros, quality of foods and careful supplementation!

Squats give you a hard, firm ass, leg extensions get your quads cut, hammer curls and variations thereof will elongate your biceps.

If your trainer says that- dump him/her. They are clueless. Your genes will determine the shape of your muscles once you have hypertrophied them via your clever resistance training program. Careful; scientific training and nutrition – not necessarily the inclusion or exclusion of a particular exercise – will determine the extent of the hypertrophy, but never the shape of the muscle.

If you can't find it in the literature or published somewhere in a book or peer-reviewed article – then it's a crock of (Daniel you out a word here)!

Scientists may well agree with this premise. People want to know 'where is your data?' This is because its absence signifies illegitimacy. The truth is a vast majority of training acumen emanates from the iron trenches of years come past. Occasionally it gets tested years later.

Broscience is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of built monsters are considered more credible than scientific research
Just because something has been 'proven' by science doesn't necessarily mean that it will translate into better results for YOUR body. And on the flip side, sometimes you may do something diet and training wise that makes no sense from a scientific stand point, yet it works for YOU and you've gotten solid results from doing it.

Ingrid you emphasise progressive overload now this can be implemented in any ways but a simple example would be increasing the amount of weight or the amount of reps performed for an exercise each week. I've always focused on maintaining tension and getting the necessary contractions within the target muscle through a full range of motion for each exercise throughout my workouts and doing so sometimes stops me from increasing weights as much as I would like.  Now would you say that it’s important to feel the chest working in a bench press or would you say I should focus on trying to increase my reps and weights by sacrificing that tension in the muscle? 

 

You can increase progressive overload in any number or ways. Your emphasis should be on both, although I would err towards increasing weights. You aren't necessarily 'sacrificing' tension. Let's take me as an example. My second best body part is pecs. Yet I have never 'felt' them at all when I train. Ever. At all. Remotely. Does that mean my technique is up the creek? I think not. Does it mean there is no tension? No. Are they being activated? Of course. I have never experienced a 'burn', and I never get DOMS. I get the feeling you are concentrating a little too much on mind/muscle connection. Yes that's important but progressive overload is paramount too.

 

In regards to that question then what should my mind process be before a set if that can be simply summed up? Lift heavier without compromising form.

 

Ingrid it seems to me that there is a whole range of definitions when it comes to the word ‘intensity”. What do you think this refers too?

Good question as when you go to an ASCA seminar they give you their definition, when you do Certificate 4 in personal training they will give you another, when you read different text books they will give you yet another response. So I am going to provide you with an all-encompassing one. Intensity is increased by:

·        Amplification of mental effort

·        Approaching your training with a burning passion as if your life depended upon it.

·        Adding reps

·        Adding weights

·        Decreasing rests between reps

·        Decreasing reps between sets

·        Increasing the number of exercises per body part

·        Increasing the number of exercises or body parts trained in a session

·        Increasing the number if sessions per day

·        Increasing the speed of the movement

·        Slowing down (time under tension) of the movement

·        Increasing the amount of work done at the anaerobic threshold (maximum pain tolerance)

·        Once of the major things I am really big on is the concentration and effort put in to the eccentric phase of the lift.

Even when you increase the amount of intensity of the workout, a price must be paid and that price is working out what your recuperative abilities. A couple of months ago Body Conquest had Richard Coleman in as a guest speaker. For those of you not familiar with Richard he is a gold medallist paraolympian across 3 Olympics. Now he is track and field, not bodybuilding, but as a group of avid bodybuilders we really honed in and learnt that you can improve your recovery ability in a number of ways.

·        Pre-workout use of appropriate supplements

·        Intra workout appropriate use of best supplements

·        Post workout cool down (yes, stretching!)

·        Post cool down of hot and cold baths

·        Massage of affected muscles

·        Post massage visualisation training, autogenic training or self-hypnosis

·        Eating 5-6 meals daily

·        Taking a cat nap where possible

·        Working closely with a sports-medicine expert.

Interestingly my three best and most successful athletes do all of these including the ICE baths! Co-incidence? I don’t think so

Provide me with your top 6 training myths Ingrid?

Sure, let’s go with perhaps some less obvious ones. I love busting myths.

1.     Uppers will help me with my training and fat loss efforts”

Hmmm, maybe in the short run. But they will cause physical and psychological dependency to the extent that they become more desirable than the science behind your training and your nutritional intake. So at that point – you lose.

The best pro’s, you know, the ones that do the Arnold and the Olympia know how to train and they know exactly why they do what they do.

Many have a good idea. Many however have no idea. Watch some pro DVD’s. Honestly, their form sometimes is shot to pieces. In fact downright dangerous. Most become great and final contenders due to genetic disposition. You will pick up some great bits of advice from pro’s but you will be better off seeking competent advice from trained experts who are not on copious amounts of pharmaceutical enhancements and are trained in biomechanics, biochemistry, physiology, kinesiology to name a few areas.

If I train longer and harder than any of my mates in the gym then I am going to have a much better chance of developing a better physique?

In a word. No. You will overtrain. Less is more. Stimulate your muscles, not annihilate and then get out of the gym, go and feed your muscles and recover.

Heavy weights (low reps) make you bigger, lighter weights (high reps) get you more defined.

I have a love/hate relationship with this one. Really, how archaic. The bottom line is there is a better way. Get your muscles big through a holistic approach (heavy weights, light weights, fast movements, slow movements, high reps, slow reps, and pretty much everything in between, You get lean, defined and shredded through a careful manipulation of calories, macros, quality of foods and careful supplementation!

Squats give you a hard, firm ass, leg extensions get your quads cut, hammer curls and variations thereof will elongate your biceps.

If your trainer says that- dump him/her. They are clueless. Your genes will determine the shape of your muscles once you have hypertrophied them via your clever resistance training program. Careful; scientific training and nutrition – not necessarily the inclusion or exclusion of a particular exercise – will determine the extent of the hypertrophy, but never the shape of the muscle.

If you can’t find it in the literature or published somewhere in a book or peer-reviewed article – then it’s a crock of (Daniel you out a word here)!

Scientists may well agree with this premise. People want to know ‘where is your data?’ This is because its absence signifies illegitimacy. The truth is a vast majority of training acumen emanates from the iron trenches of years come past. Occasionally it gets tested years later.

Broscience is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of built monsters are considered more credible than scientific research[i]

Just because something has been ‘proven’ by science doesn’t necessarily mean that it will translate into better results for YOUR body. And on the flip side, sometimes you may do something diet and training wise that makes no sense from a scientific stand point, yet it works for YOU and you’ve gotten solid results from doing it.



[i] http://leehayward.com/blog/the-truth-about-broscience/#sthash.YBRS7m9Y.dpuf

 

What is your take on forced reps and when/how often should you use them?

 

The science behind forced reps is the same science behind every other system of training. Overload forces your muscles to adjust to ever-increasing stress. As one plateau is mastered, additional stress must be applied for continued adaptation to occur.

 

Should all bodybuilders use forced reps? Definitely not as a sole means of applying overload and not all the time. Not even regularly. Not when you are injured, overtrained, coming off a cycle, a novice or alone in the gym

 

When novices and bodybuilders returning to training after a layoff have accustomed themselves to the weight – a period generally lasting about 4-6 weeks at most- forced reps can be used effectively.

 

Forced reps are a better way to overload and therefore can be used for greater gains by anyone. But because of the intensity involved, forced reps should only be used once in a while. Many systems have been used over the years to integrate forced reps into ones’ training regime. Here are a few often used methods:

·        One workout per week for each major muscle group

·        Three workouts in a row followed by orthodox training for the next three or four hours

·        Every other workout

·        For a period of a week or so within the framework of a training cycle that goes from low to high to high-intensity techniques over a period of 8-210 weeks total.