Training to Failure. During most lifts with a moderately heavy weight, the set is completed before failure is reached. Muscles feels taxed, the sweating has begun, a few more sets are rocked, and we move on to the next exercise. This is a great way to get stronger, but is taking a set to failure an even better way? Yes and no Muscle Activation strategies during strength training with heavy loading vs. repetitions to failure. Sundstrup, E., et al. 1 National Research Center for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark 2, Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark 3Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012 Jul;26(7):1897-903.. While training to failure — lifting until the body can't do a single more rep — recruits more muscle and triggers the body to release more strength-building hormones, it’s most effective if a very high percentage of a one rep max can be performed The application of training to failure in periodized multiple-set resistance exercise programs. Willardson, J.M. Physical Education Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois 61920, USA. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; 2007 May;21(2):628-31. The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. Schoenfeld BJ. Global Fitness Services, Scarsdale, New York, USA. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; 2010 Oct;24(10):2857-72.. Also, sets to failure increase the opportunity for overtraining and injury, so it’s best to use this technique only occasionally and with a spotter.
I read "Superslow: The Ultimate Exercise Protocol" back in 2000. Then relatively new to learning about exercise and bodybuilding I found it to be a truly fascinating and very challenging read. Not only was the material challenging in the intellectual sense but also in a philosophical sense. It was turning much of what I believed about "exercise" upside down. So meatheads and gym-rats be warned, "Superslow" is a highly technical book that the typical bodybuilder or exercise enthusiast would find "boring" (see other reviews here on Amazon) because it isn't full of ridiculous promises about gigantic, ripped muscles and marketing jargon for selling supplements. What it is is a very thorough analysis of the variety of benefits one can derive (regardless of their limited genetics) from properly performed exercise and the many proven pitfalls associated with a low-intensity and high workload/volume. The book also provides an in-depth history lesson on the continually evolving refinements to Arthur Jones' Nautilus principles. Hutchins' dogged determination to continually seek a safer and more effective way for people to exercise is admirable and shows his devotion to sound scientific principles.
The Alfredson protocol for Achilles' tendinopathy is actually two separate exercises. To perform the exercises, you must have a small step or curb on which to stand. Be sure to check in with your doctor or physical therapist to ensure that it is safe for you to exercise and that you are performing the exercises correctly. Here is how you perform the Alfredson protocol:
Summary of long-term adaptations to regular aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise can cause several central cardiovascular adaptations, including an increase in stroke volume (SV) and maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max), as well as a decrease in resting heart rate (RHR). Long-term adaptations to resistance training, the most common form of anaerobic exercise, include muscular hypertrophy, an increase in the physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) of muscle(s), and an increase in neural drive, both of which lead to increased muscular strength. Neural adaptations begin more quickly and plateau prior to the hypertrophic response.
Cutting drills, running through an agility ladder, using hurdles and cones to practice footwork—these all develop that combo of speed, coordination, balance, and power called agility. They all also require and build core strength. Do this drill for one minute: Place four cones (or plastic cups) eight feet apart in a square and run up, shuffle right, run back, and shuffle left around the square, then reverse the direction. Repeat.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology has published "The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness & Lifestyle Approach", which details fitness assessment protocols. One such protocol, the mCAFT, is designed to give information about the aerobic fitness of a person, while using minimal equipment. The subject works by lifting its own body weight up and down double steps (40.6 cm in height total) while listening to set cadences from a compact disc. The end-stage of the age and gender specific stepping rate requires 85% of the age-predicted maximum heart rate. The heart rate increases approximately in a linear fashion from 50% to 100% of maximal oxygen intake. The heart rate does not decrease significantly during the first fifteen seconds of recovery. Thus, one can predict an aerobic fitness using the heart rate right after exercise of a known sub-maximal rate of working.
Although there is evidence of Pilates teaching standing exercises at Jacob’s Pillow,48 YouTube [Internet]. Difusión de Pilates. Joseph Pilates holistic video (1932). 2014 Dec 14 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BynuIO3smSI. [Google Scholar] he excluded standing exercises from his 34 exercise Contrology home routine, in contrast to the documented repertoires of Checkley,9 Checkley E. A natural method of physical training. New York (NY): William C. Bryant & Co.; 1890. [Google Scholar] Müller,15 Müller JP. My system. London: Link House; 1904. [Google Scholar] Randell,25 Randell M. Training for childbirth from a mother's point of view. 4th ed. London: J. & A. Churchill Ltd.; 1949. [Google Scholar] Vaughan,47 Youtube [Internet]. Vaughan, K. Childbirth as an athletic feat (1939). 2009 Feb 23 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9wRBWDxReY. [Google Scholar] and Morris33 Morris M. Basic physical training. London: Heinemann; 1937. [Google Scholar] that were dominated by standing exercises. He explained: ‘Note that all the exercises are performed while you are in a sitting or reclining position. This is done to relieve your heart from undue strain as well as to take advantage of the more normal (original) visceral organs.’46 Pilates J, Miller WJ. Return to life through Contrology. Nevada: Presentation Dynamics; 1945. [Google Scholar]
Ken Hutchins' analysis is not just book theory; it is based on real experience training many, many thousands of subjects over a span of decades. He trained everyone from amateur and professional level athletes and bodybuilders to little old ladies with osteoporosis and also a great many genetically normal/average folks. He assisted Arthur Jones and Ellington Darden at Nautilus Sports Medical Industries where he first refined the Superslow method during a 5 years long clinical trial, the Nautilus Osteoporosis Study at The University of Florida Medical School in Gainesville (the study is mentioned in chapter 8 of the 1990 edition of "The Nautilus Book" by Ellington Darden, a book I highly recommend for beginning HIT practitioners). Hutchins' writing is as dry and clinical as one would expect to find in any textbook about medicine or engineering. It is also filled with rich insight into the intellectual processes and long history of carefully controlled experiments at Nautilus (and later Hutchins' own facilities) that brought Ken Hutchins to his current level of knowledge. His understanding of anatomy, biology, physics, engineering, psychology, history and sociology are all put to good use in this book and should enthrall any reader that possesses solid critical-thinking skills. Understanding the arguments for a distinction of "Exercise vs. Recreation", "The First Definition of Exercise" and "Requirements for Functional Ability" are crucial for everyone that cares even the slightest about the subject of human health, fitness, longevity or quality of life. These are not trivial matters.
Exercising in early adulthood is your first step toward staving off osteoporosis, a major risk factor for fractures and frailty. “Your bone density at 30 determines your bone density later in life,” explains Balachandran, whose research focuses on improving physical function in older adults. Sprinting, dancing, and strength training in your teens and 20s stimulate bone growth so you have a larger store to draw from as you age.
This reformer exercise is an efficient way to work the entire lower body. Kneel on the reformer and round the back, keeping the arms straight. Use the butt muscles and thighs to push and pull your lower body back and forth. The platform will slide a few inches with each movement. Do five reps. As you get more advanced, do another five reps with the back arched.
Recruitment criteria were one or both of sedentariness and dysmetabolism. Thus, we selected subjects who were not physically active or involved in any exercise program; that is, they had a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, before entering the study, they were carefully screened for metabolic problems which attested a dysmetabolic status, as increased levels of plasma glucose, free fatty acids, triglyceride, and urate in fasting state. Both criteria were verified by means of family doctor databases of subjects.