View Full Version : Worth of EMG studies in gauging excercises effectiveness?

02-23-2010, 11:52 PM
How good would any of you say EMG studies are at determining the "worth" or effectiveness of an exercise? I would be real interested in hearing some opinions on this. Obviously they're not as good as good ol' fashioned trial and error, though that can take years to objectively figure out which exercises benefit your lifts the most, seeing as how there are so many other variables (diet, sleep, supplements, everything else you're doing, etc.).

I'm referring to articles such as these --> http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/inside_the_muscles_best_chest_and_triceps_exercises


and no I haven't read either in depth, just sort of glanced through them.

Daniel Roberts
02-24-2010, 02:46 AM
Having read them, the exercises that come out on top are pretty standard anyway - no surprise there, decades of trial and error mean we already know which exercises produce the greatest tension in the target muscles and as tension is the most important factor (fatigue is secondary) in increasing strength and size, it is this to which we should be paying attention.

Surface EMG attempts to measure electrical activity in the muscle, through the skin, it doesn't tell you anything about local tension in the muscle (the most important factor), it just tells you which muscles are working in a particular movement.

Ultimately it doesn't really tell you anything useful and I wouldn't be surprised to see pressdowns topping the chart over CGP when it comes to electrical activity - draw your own conclusions.

Incidentally, no disrespect meant to the author, in fact hat's off to him for doing it.