Author Topic: My Views on Getting Fitter  (Read 10608 times)

Offline aelephant

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: My Views on Getting Fitter
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 12:06:42 AM »
So this goes back to the purpose of muscle. All animals have it. It's purpose isn't to lift objects. It's purpose is to move efficiently (there are obviously exceptions when maximal effort is necessary, but I imagine those would be incredibly rare). Wouldn't it make sense for muscle to grow (stronger muscles are more efficient) when the body senses that it is moving inefficiently? Wouldn't muscle by-product accumulation be the body's signal that it is moving efficiently? Pain is meant to be a signal.

Typo here, I think. Pain from muscle-by-product accumulation is the body's signal that it is NOT moving efficiently, correct? If everything were working efficiently (think Randy Couture) muscle-by-products like lactic acid would be shuttled out of the muscle faster.

This explains why lifting heavy works, why lifting light doesn't, why training your legs builds your arms as well, why training all the exercises on the same day beats training separately, and why even walking occluded does.

There's a couple of great articles here that discuss what causes muscle to grow (and he refutes the myth of training legs stimulating arms):

http://www.3dmusclejourney.com/2010-10qa.php

Quote
A study done in fall of 2009, comparing the effects of a high hormone inducing exercise protocol vs. a low hormone inducing exercise protocol on muscle protein synthesis (MPS) stated[1]:

“We conclude that the transient increases in endogenous purportedly anabolic hormones do not enhance fed-state anabolic signaling or MPS following resistance exercise. Local mechanisms are likely to be of predominant importance for the post-exercise increase in MPS.”

To clarify, this study only looked at 8 individuals, and it examined hormone levels and MPS through muscle biopsies in a fed state, it was not a direct study of muscle growth after a long period of resistance training. To be fair, it by no means put the nail in the coffin, but it did point out that muscle protein synthesis (which directly leads to long term growth) is primarily related to “local mechanisms”, meaning changes within the muscle, as opposed to growth hormone and testosterone secretion form the pituitary gland and the sex organs.  The second study I examined made this conclusion[2] :

“We conclude that exposure of loaded muscle to acute exercise-induced elevations in endogenous anabolic hormones enhances neither muscle hypertrophy nor strength with resistance training in young men.”

This study was published in early 2010 by many of the same researchers, probably as a follow up to increase the credibility of the conclusions made from the prior research. In this study, a larger group of 12 young men was used, and they measured the cross sectional area of muscle and strength by evaluating an actual training regimen over a 15 week period. The protocol in this study was quite interesting, essentially one group did bicep curls, and the other group did bicep curls followed by a high volume leg exercise in order to produce the growth hormone and testosterone response. This effectively provided the same mechanical stimulus to the arm, but then also provided a large spike in hormones systemically for the group that did the leg training afterwards. Yet, this hormone spike apparently did nothing for arm size after 15 weeks of training as both groups had the same results. This study I believe is much stronger. It measured over 3 months of training, and it was well designed and directly measured both strength and muscle size. They also indirectly disproved the common myth that squats and other full body power exercises cause overall muscle growth, even in muscles they don’t directly train. So for the folks out there telling you to squat if you want big biceps, sorry it’s just not true, not to say you shouldn’t squat though!

Basically the gist of it is that it is SOMETHING local, inside the muscle that is causing it to grow, not hormones from elsewhere. Couple that with the conclusions from occlusion training and I think you're really on to something.

*******

Edit:

I do have a question and I'm not sure if you know the answer. I know using occlusion they have shown in studies you can get the same results as a traditional weight lifting regime (think the time span was like 6 weeks in one of the studies Layne Norton cited). My question is: is this repeatable? Can you just keep lifting the same weight with occlusion training and continue making the same gains... presumably until you meet your genetic limits?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 12:56:50 AM by aelephant »

Offline dee

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: My Views on Getting Fitter
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 11:57:32 AM »
I don't buy any studies that only measure muscle protein synthesis. They are maybe kind of okay for making a hypothesis, but they are kind of useless for the whole getting fitter thing. The theory is nice, but those ideas rarely are capable of making predictions (like nitrogen balance and testosterone/cortisol ratio.

I linked to a study where they actually measured strength, which showed the opposite of their conclusion. For now, I still believe the side with evidence.

I actually think that the idea of muscle protein synthesis was either made or popularized by the supplement industry. Now the supplements don't even need to build muscle, they just have to increase muscle protein synthesis (it increases pretty much every time you eat protein, by the way).

As for your last question, based on what I've seen, it looks like the answer is yes. The study on rugby players (if they were in fact elite, like he claimed) then their gains were truly truly impressive. The studies have tested the effectiveness of training with as little as 20% 1RM, as well as walking, and I don't think there is a lower limit. The first time I tried it, I did curls with a 500 mL water bottle, and I could feel the burn (whether or not that would produce results, I don't know, but I can guess...). I kind of wish there were more (or any) long term studies on it, but I guess it's too taboo.

Offline aelephant

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: My Views on Getting Fitter
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 04:00:30 PM »
Hmm, interesting. I don't think the "squats build biceps" issue is clear cut or resolved by either my study or yours, although I will take another look at the one you posted.

Re: rugby players, I know highly trained individuals can benefit from occlusion training. My question was, have they studied multiple cycles of occlusion training, or are all of the studies just a one shot deal (i.e. follow one training cycle of several weeks, study the participants at the end of the cycle)? I am guessing that you can continue to make gains with occlusion training (i.e. do a several week cycle of occlusion training, maybe take a week break and train more traditionally, then do another several week cycle and just keep adding on muscle mass). It sounds too good to be true and I'm sure there are limits, but it does seem very promising.

Offline dee

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: My Views on Getting Fitter
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2011, 10:12:14 AM »
I'm not asking you to believe the squats builds biceps thing. I'm asking you to discredit studies that only measure muscle protein synthesis.

I mentioned that I haven't seen any long term studies. But like I said in the long post, occlusion may be the rule and not the exception to muscle growth. If you think of it that way, all of these "too good to be true" things start to make perfect sense.

Offline aelephant

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: My Views on Getting Fitter
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2011, 12:52:19 AM »
I understand muscle protein synthesis is a surrogate marker, but I don't understand why you'd want to throw it out altogether. Muscle growth obviously can't occur without muscle protein synthesis. It gives us SOME but not sufficient information to conclude that something will result in muscle growth over time.