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View Full Version : Chris Mason vs. PowerManDL- Explosive or Not



silles
09-01-2003, 10:21 PM
I thought I'd bring this topic back up, since last time it degraded into the typical HIT vs. not-HIT debate. Let's kick this discussion off. Chris, Powerman, have your opinions on ballistic lifting being dangerous/safe changed at all?

PowerManDL
09-01-2003, 10:45 PM
I never considered ballistic/explosive movements to be inherently dangerous, and I still don't. If anything, my opinion has been reinforced by my continuing research into the area and my own training.

chris mason
09-02-2003, 05:39 PM
I'm pretty much the same. Ballistic movements increase force, thus they increase the liklihood of injury. That being said, there are a lot of other ways to injure yourself as well. I am more amenable to those types of movements these days.

silles
09-02-2003, 06:11 PM
I'm reposting a compiliation of Mel Siff quotes from the Supertrainin board. If you guys haven't registered there yet, I have to suggest you do. The late great Dr. Siff had probably forgotten more about strength training than anyone I've ever met knows. So go check it out now, and I'd love to see some rebuttals from Chris Mason.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Supertraining/message/30077

Topics:

Physics in Sport <328>
Physics According to HIT <4245>
Physics According to HIT <4309>
Physics According to HIT: Majorinc <4316>
Physics According to HIT: Wagman <4322>
Physics According HIT: Wagman <4333>
Physics according to HIT <4336>
Vintage Brzycki Non-science <5530>
Functional Strength: Agonistic/Antagonistic <8199>
Cheating in Training <9152>
NSCA CORNER: Single-Leg Training <9305>
Flexibility and Stretching Techniques <10125>
Help with Snatch <10227>
Bouncing Squats <13338>
Explosive Lifting Article: Mannie <13451>
Bouncing Squats and Lifts <13524>
Snatch Technique <14124>
Combined Strength Methods Training Article <16335>
Weightlifting Double Knee Bend <16698>
Weightlifting, Training Specificity and Motor Learning <16852>
The Merits of Cheating <17296>
Weightlifting Pulls and The Lifts <17645>
SuperSlow Science! <20996>
The Weightlifting 'Drop' <21023>
SuperSlow Science? <21056>
What is HIT? <21505>
StrongerAthlete.com <21736>
More Ballistic Mythology <23179>
Tempo and TUT Training <24692>
Weightlifting Pull Revisited <26292>
MedX Training Advice <27918>

--------

[MESSAGE: 4245 How it is possible to lift a weight WITHOUT the use of
momentum? Momentum is defined as the product of mass x velocity (p =
M.V) for a mass M moving at a constant velocity V, so that movement
at ANY velocity creates momentum. Some change of momentum is
necessary to change the existing state of a body at rest or constant
velocity - at least that is what Newton's First Law implies.

2. One does not use momentum to lift a weight. One uses FORCE to
overcome the weight exerted by a load being kept on the surface of
the Earth by the pull of gravity. Momentum is the result of force
being exerted on the body. Since Brzycki quoted Newton's 2nd Law,
then he should surely remember the 1st Law by the same 'dude', which
ran something like this:

"A body will remain in its original state of rest or movement at
constant velocity unless acted upon by an outside force."

Note that Newton wrote about force and not momentum - he only wrote
about momentum in his 2nd Law, which was not really stated as F =
Mass x Acceleration. What Newton actually wrote was close to this:

"The force (implied by the 1st Law) acting on a body is proportional
to the rate of change of momentum".

This, of course, emphasizes that it is not momentum, but rate of
momentum change which gives rise to a force, but if one has received
a rather limited exposure to biomechanics and physics during formal
training, some of the precise subtleties of these subjects may be
missed.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 4309 ...EMGs recorded from many muscle groups reveal that
there is continued muscular activity throughout all of the Olympic
lifts. I have scanned in a few images of the EMGs and biomechanical
curves recorded during the Olympic lifts - go to the home page of the
Supertraining group at:

<http://www.egroups.com/group/supertraining>

Type in your password and open the "Files" section on the left hand
side of the page. Open the files called "Biomechanics Graphs of
Clean" and "Biomechanics Graphs of Jerk". Examine the curves and you
will notice that there are varying spurts of electrical activity in
all of the muscles involved in the actions.

In other words, as I noted in my original article, the Olympic lifts
involve a combination of ballistic and non-ballistic action. If the
load is light enough to be projected upwards so that the arms simply
follow the action, then the action tends to be far more ballistic,
but that is not the case in Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting,
where the loads are very heavy and the initial momentum imparted by
the first stage of the pull does not propel the bar very far. That is
why the lifter has to interact with the bar to push the body beneath
the load, according to Newton's Third Law ("For every action there is
an equal and opposite reaction").]

--------

[MESSAGE: 4316 As we also know, the simple equation for momentum,
namely:

Momentum p = Mass x Velocity

is correct only if the velocity of the load M remains constant or
unchanged. Since velocity is a function of time, this equation really
needs to be written thus:

Momentum p = M. V(t)

To compute the momentum from point to point, we have to know the
equation which describes how velocity changes with time in this
situation.

In lifting a heavy load, there is no such thing as a lifter simply
offering an initial explosive pull followed by total relaxation of
any more pulling muscles. The load is not projected upwards by an
explosive "charge" so that the lifter has enough time to propel the
body under the still rising bar. That is something like the scene
envisaged by fitness gurus such as Brzycki, but in 'real life', the
lifter continues to apply force throughout the upward movement in as
efficient a way as possible, so that the bar will overcome the
attraction of gravity - as anyone may observe in the EMG studies that
I appended to the "Files" section of our Supertraining website.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 4336 All athletes involve or use momentum in all movements,
as I explained before. It is impossible NOT to implicate momentum in
any dynamic activity. What you and Dan are referring to is the use of
large magnitudes of momentum or kinetic energy to "carry" a movement
from point A to point B without any further use of muscle contraction
during the motion. This sort of action clearly is the case in
throwing or kicking objects, but in the case of Olympic style
weightlifting, there is ongoing concurrent facilitation of movement
by muscle action and 'momentum'/ kinetic energy.

This is the point that some folk are still struggling to accept -
Olympic lifting is NOT mainly 'momentum driven' or ballistic for most
of its range. In fact, elastic energy (a type of potential energy)
from flexion of the lifting bar also is released as kinetic energy
during the explosive parts of the pull and the jerk, so that the
Olympic lifts are a little more complex than is being implied by
Brzycki and others on this list who seem to feel that Brzycki's
physics and biomechanics is correct.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 9152 Cheating can permit one to produce a very different
and more appropriate 'strength' (torque, power or force) curve to
enable one to overcome a load more competently and safely. Very
often, adherents of the slow training philosophies militate against
the power clean or derivates of it, and even refer to such movements
as 'cheating' movements which make 'unsafe' use of momentum and
ballistic activity.

In fact, this type of 'cleaning' movement is a far more efficient way
of lifting a bar from the ground to the chest compared with the crude
sort of deadlift, reverse curl, upright row combination that so many
folk use. There are several other so-called 'cheating' movements
which offer safer, stronger and more efficient ways of overcoming a
load. (A brief aside: If HIT or Slow is Best (SIB) methods are
indeed 'better' than Olympic and other ballistic methods, can one
explain how SIB adherents raise a bar from the ground to the
shoulders? Do they always unload the bar, slowly raise it with a
reverse curl to the shoulders, place it on a rack, add more weights
and only then perform the exercise?)]

--------

[MESSAGE: 10227 The bar reaches those heights, not because of its own
momentum acquired during a powerful single impulse at the beginning
of the movement, but because the lifter continues to exert force on
the bar. Other research shows that the momentum does not result in
much more than about a maximum 10cm in rise of the bar after the pull
has ceased. This scientists involved stressed that the lifter must
start dropping into the squat before the bar reaches its peak height,
because the effect of momentum is not large enough to the lifter to
wait until the bar reaches its zenith.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 13451 The term "ballistic" refers to objects or body parts
that are thrown like projectiles, where the momentum produced during
one stage of the action carries the object or person to a point
without any further muscle action. Thus, throwing baseballs,
basketballs, jumping, kicking, running and similar activities involve
considerable ballistic action, but near maximal lifting does not.

....

For example, Brzycki reiterates the common error that lifters use
momentum to lift weights, something that becomes increasingly
difficult as the load increases. While that may well be the case with
the lighter, safer sort of HIT training that Mannie advocates, it is
not true of maximal or near maximal attempts. Research shows that the
lifter relies more on Newton III to push himself under the bar,
rather than momentum to complete important stages of the Olympic
lifts]

--------

[MESSAGE: 14124 Don't believe what some people maintain about
explosive movements and momentum, namely that one relies on stored
momentum to keep the bar moving upwards against gravity while you
simply drop passively under the load. With circa-maximal and maximal
loads, that simply does not happen, because the momentum of the bar
as it reaches the zenith of its trajectory is far too small to offer
you much help.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 20996 According to Newton's 2nd Law, an increase in upward
acceleration will INCREASE and not "offload" the force exerted on the
lifter. The only way to offload is to accelerate downwards with a
load, not to slow it down while going upwards. The only way to
totally eliminate production of momentum is to do isometric training.
Incidentally, load or force do not change with speed of repetition,
but with ACCELERATION, no matter what speed you are moving at.

This is very easy to prove - take a bathroom scale into an elevator,
stand on it and see when it registers the greatest weight - when the
elevator is stationary, is moving upwards or moving downwards. You
will note that "offloading" takes place when the elevator accelerates
downwards and that enhanced "loading" takes place as you begin to
accelerate upwards.

....

It is laughable to even suggest that one uses momentum to complete
any maximal lift. If momentum were playing a significant role, then
we could stop pushing well before the end of a very heavy bench press
or squat and the momentum would simply carry the load to the end. As
I have stated before, this certainly is possible with light loads,
but not with the sort of heavy loads which really increase strength
or test you at the limits of your performance. It would seem that
SuperSlow fans must always be training with lighter loads if they can
use momentum to complete a lift. Weightlifters and Powerlifters are
among the many who do not wish to train in such an unchallenging
fashion of force production.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 21056 ...many biomechanists have analysed on thousands of
occasions the Olympic lifts, bench press, squats and various other
exercises by having them perform the lifts on force plates and indeed
have shown that the alleged "offloading" is not of any major
consequence. One wonders who so many SuperSlow proponents continue to
argue with this abundance of very clear evidence that their beliefs
about the effect of momentum are grossly inaccurate and misleading.

Even if they do not have access to force plates, they can use
bathroom scales, leave a video running while the lift is being
performed and play back the video in slow motion or freeze frame to
read off the approximate force registered by the scale at all stages
of the lift. This is a simple technique that any of you can use if
you are ever curious to obtain some estimate of how force varies
throughout any lift.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 23179 Momentum doesn't simply appear from nowhere - it is
the result of very powerful muscle action, especially via the use of
reflex activation and stretch-shortening which allows the muscles to
produce tension beyond their voluntary capabilities]

--------

chris mason
09-04-2003, 07:09 PM
Hmmm rebuttals...

Well, first, I agree that any form of maximum attempt in an Olympic lift involves the muscles throughout the movement. I certainly don't think that a lifter's delts, tris and erectors are relaxing during the jerk phase.

That being said, only a fool would argue with the logic that the load varies differently in a strict press and a jerk. The shoulders and triceps continue to work through the full ROM on a jerk, this I agree, but they do not continue to work to the same degree in both movements. All you need do to prove this is perform both movements yourself. During the jerk the initial thrust results from a combined effort of your upper and lower body. This initial effort helps to propel the weight upward and then the body is dropped to allow for a full extension of the elbows. Instead of a smooth press to lockout, the movement involves an inital thrust followed by a drop. The involvement of the triceps and deltoids must be minimized somewhat while the drop is occuring. This is why a lifter can jerk more than he can press. He is overcoming the weak points of his triceps and deltiods by using force generated by the hips and legs.

Dr. Siff provides us with the formula P=M x V (momentum=mass x velocity). Thus, if the mass of an object remains constant but the velocity with which it is moved (lifted) increases, then momentum increases. V=d/t(velocity=distance/time). Thus, increased velocity occurs when the same distance is covered in less time. Acceleration is defined as the change in velocity over the change in time. As the weight is stationary before the lift is commenced, the velocity is 0. As the lift commences, the velocity is increased, thus the load is accelerated. As the load is accelerated and the velocity is increased, the momentum is also increased. So, the more quickly, or explosively the lifter moves the weight, the greater the momentum involved in the movement.

I don't think there is anyone who will argue that a limit jerk is performed more quickly than a limit press. Thus, there is greater momentum involved in the jerk.

Ok, so now to his point. Dr. Siff is arguing that Olympic lifts are not primarily momentum lifts in which the muscles relax after the initial push. I really cannot see anyone arguing with him on this point. It would be foolish. I do think that Dr. Siff is guilty of what he accuses others of, he is oversimplifying. Of course the muscles are used throughout an Olympic lift, but that isn't the issue. The issue is whether or not a press (for example) involves a more continuous loading of the muscles throughout the ROM. As I have shown, with less momentum involved in the movement, I think it is clear that there is a more sustained (a greater load over a larger portion of the ROM) stress placed on on the muscles of the shoulders and triceps during a strict press vs. a jerk.

Again, if you have any doubt, try it yourself.

Reinier
01-25-2004, 07:14 AM
This does not look finished. Also i wanted to ask how long does it take for supertraining mods to allow me to become a member? im still pending

Shane
01-26-2004, 11:27 AM
Reinier, when I joined the Supertraining forum a few years ago it took less than 24 hours for the mods to approve me. I don't think it should be different now.

AllUp
01-26-2004, 11:56 AM
I'm reposting a compiliation of Mel Siff quotes from the Supertrainin board. If you guys haven't registered there yet, I have to suggest you do. The late great Dr. Siff had probably forgotten more about strength training than anyone I've ever met knows. So go check it out now, and I'd love to see some rebuttals from Chris Mason.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Supertraining/message/30077

Topics:

Physics in Sport <328>
Physics According to HIT <4245>
Physics According to HIT <4309>
Physics According to HIT: Majorinc <4316>
Physics According to HIT: Wagman <4322>
Physics According HIT: Wagman <4333>
Physics according to HIT <4336>
Vintage Brzycki Non-science <5530>
Functional Strength: Agonistic/Antagonistic <8199>
Cheating in Training <9152>
NSCA CORNER: Single-Leg Training <9305>
Flexibility and Stretching Techniques <10125>
Help with Snatch <10227>
Bouncing Squats <13338>
Explosive Lifting Article: Mannie <13451>
Bouncing Squats and Lifts <13524>
Snatch Technique <14124>
Combined Strength Methods Training Article <16335>
Weightlifting Double Knee Bend <16698>
Weightlifting, Training Specificity and Motor Learning <16852>
The Merits of Cheating <17296>
Weightlifting Pulls and The Lifts <17645>
SuperSlow Science! <20996>
The Weightlifting 'Drop' <21023>
SuperSlow Science? <21056>
What is HIT? <21505>
StrongerAthlete.com <21736>
More Ballistic Mythology <23179>
Tempo and TUT Training <24692>
Weightlifting Pull Revisited <26292>
MedX Training Advice <27918>

--------

[MESSAGE: 4245 How it is possible to lift a weight WITHOUT the use of
momentum? Momentum is defined as the product of mass x velocity (p =
M.V) for a mass M moving at a constant velocity V, so that movement
at ANY velocity creates momentum. Some change of momentum is
necessary to change the existing state of a body at rest or constant
velocity - at least that is what Newton's First Law implies.

2. One does not use momentum to lift a weight. One uses FORCE to
overcome the weight exerted by a load being kept on the surface of
the Earth by the pull of gravity. Momentum is the result of force
being exerted on the body. Since Brzycki quoted Newton's 2nd Law,
then he should surely remember the 1st Law by the same 'dude', which
ran something like this:

"A body will remain in its original state of rest or movement at
constant velocity unless acted upon by an outside force."

Note that Newton wrote about force and not momentum - he only wrote
about momentum in his 2nd Law, which was not really stated as F =
Mass x Acceleration. What Newton actually wrote was close to this:

"The force (implied by the 1st Law) acting on a body is proportional
to the rate of change of momentum".

This, of course, emphasizes that it is not momentum, but rate of
momentum change which gives rise to a force, but if one has received
a rather limited exposure to biomechanics and physics during formal
training, some of the precise subtleties of these subjects may be
missed.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 4309 ...EMGs recorded from many muscle groups reveal that
there is continued muscular activity throughout all of the Olympic
lifts. I have scanned in a few images of the EMGs and biomechanical
curves recorded during the Olympic lifts - go to the home page of the
Supertraining group at:

<http://www.egroups.com/group/supertraining>

Type in your password and open the "Files" section on the left hand
side of the page. Open the files called "Biomechanics Graphs of
Clean" and "Biomechanics Graphs of Jerk". Examine the curves and you
will notice that there are varying spurts of electrical activity in
all of the muscles involved in the actions.

In other words, as I noted in my original article, the Olympic lifts
involve a combination of ballistic and non-ballistic action. If the
load is light enough to be projected upwards so that the arms simply
follow the action, then the action tends to be far more ballistic,
but that is not the case in Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting,
where the loads are very heavy and the initial momentum imparted by
the first stage of the pull does not propel the bar very far. That is
why the lifter has to interact with the bar to push the body beneath
the load, according to Newton's Third Law ("For every action there is
an equal and opposite reaction").]

--------

[MESSAGE: 4316 As we also know, the simple equation for momentum,
namely:

Momentum p = Mass x Velocity

is correct only if the velocity of the load M remains constant or
unchanged. Since velocity is a function of time, this equation really
needs to be written thus:

Momentum p = M. V(t)

To compute the momentum from point to point, we have to know the
equation which describes how velocity changes with time in this
situation.

In lifting a heavy load, there is no such thing as a lifter simply
offering an initial explosive pull followed by total relaxation of
any more pulling muscles. The load is not projected upwards by an
explosive "charge" so that the lifter has enough time to propel the
body under the still rising bar. That is something like the scene
envisaged by fitness gurus such as Brzycki, but in 'real life', the
lifter continues to apply force throughout the upward movement in as
efficient a way as possible, so that the bar will overcome the
attraction of gravity - as anyone may observe in the EMG studies that
I appended to the "Files" section of our Supertraining website.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 4336 All athletes involve or use momentum in all movements,
as I explained before. It is impossible NOT to implicate momentum in
any dynamic activity. What you and Dan are referring to is the use of
large magnitudes of momentum or kinetic energy to "carry" a movement
from point A to point B without any further use of muscle contraction
during the motion. This sort of action clearly is the case in
throwing or kicking objects, but in the case of Olympic style
weightlifting, there is ongoing concurrent facilitation of movement
by muscle action and 'momentum'/ kinetic energy.

This is the point that some folk are still struggling to accept -
Olympic lifting is NOT mainly 'momentum driven' or ballistic for most
of its range. In fact, elastic energy (a type of potential energy)
from flexion of the lifting bar also is released as kinetic energy
during the explosive parts of the pull and the jerk, so that the
Olympic lifts are a little more complex than is being implied by
Brzycki and others on this list who seem to feel that Brzycki's
physics and biomechanics is correct.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 9152 Cheating can permit one to produce a very different
and more appropriate 'strength' (torque, power or force) curve to
enable one to overcome a load more competently and safely. Very
often, adherents of the slow training philosophies militate against
the power clean or derivates of it, and even refer to such movements
as 'cheating' movements which make 'unsafe' use of momentum and
ballistic activity.

In fact, this type of 'cleaning' movement is a far more efficient way
of lifting a bar from the ground to the chest compared with the crude
sort of deadlift, reverse curl, upright row combination that so many
folk use. There are several other so-called 'cheating' movements
which offer safer, stronger and more efficient ways of overcoming a
load. (A brief aside: If HIT or Slow is Best (SIB) methods are
indeed 'better' than Olympic and other ballistic methods, can one
explain how SIB adherents raise a bar from the ground to the
shoulders? Do they always unload the bar, slowly raise it with a
reverse curl to the shoulders, place it on a rack, add more weights
and only then perform the exercise?)]

--------

[MESSAGE: 10227 The bar reaches those heights, not because of its own
momentum acquired during a powerful single impulse at the beginning
of the movement, but because the lifter continues to exert force on
the bar. Other research shows that the momentum does not result in
much more than about a maximum 10cm in rise of the bar after the pull
has ceased. This scientists involved stressed that the lifter must
start dropping into the squat before the bar reaches its peak height,
because the effect of momentum is not large enough to the lifter to
wait until the bar reaches its zenith.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 13451 The term "ballistic" refers to objects or body parts
that are thrown like projectiles, where the momentum produced during
one stage of the action carries the object or person to a point
without any further muscle action. Thus, throwing baseballs,
basketballs, jumping, kicking, running and similar activities involve
considerable ballistic action, but near maximal lifting does not.

....

For example, Brzycki reiterates the common error that lifters use
momentum to lift weights, something that becomes increasingly
difficult as the load increases. While that may well be the case with
the lighter, safer sort of HIT training that Mannie advocates, it is
not true of maximal or near maximal attempts. Research shows that the
lifter relies more on Newton III to push himself under the bar,
rather than momentum to complete important stages of the Olympic
lifts]

--------

[MESSAGE: 14124 Don't believe what some people maintain about
explosive movements and momentum, namely that one relies on stored
momentum to keep the bar moving upwards against gravity while you
simply drop passively under the load. With circa-maximal and maximal
loads, that simply does not happen, because the momentum of the bar
as it reaches the zenith of its trajectory is far too small to offer
you much help.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 20996 According to Newton's 2nd Law, an increase in upward
acceleration will INCREASE and not "offload" the force exerted on the
lifter. The only way to offload is to accelerate downwards with a
load, not to slow it down while going upwards. The only way to
totally eliminate production of momentum is to do isometric training.
Incidentally, load or force do not change with speed of repetition,
but with ACCELERATION, no matter what speed you are moving at.

This is very easy to prove - take a bathroom scale into an elevator,
stand on it and see when it registers the greatest weight - when the
elevator is stationary, is moving upwards or moving downwards. You
will note that "offloading" takes place when the elevator accelerates
downwards and that enhanced "loading" takes place as you begin to
accelerate upwards.

....

It is laughable to even suggest that one uses momentum to complete
any maximal lift. If momentum were playing a significant role, then
we could stop pushing well before the end of a very heavy bench press
or squat and the momentum would simply carry the load to the end. As
I have stated before, this certainly is possible with light loads,
but not with the sort of heavy loads which really increase strength
or test you at the limits of your performance. It would seem that
SuperSlow fans must always be training with lighter loads if they can
use momentum to complete a lift. Weightlifters and Powerlifters are
among the many who do not wish to train in such an unchallenging
fashion of force production.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 21056 ...many biomechanists have analysed on thousands of
occasions the Olympic lifts, bench press, squats and various other
exercises by having them perform the lifts on force plates and indeed
have shown that the alleged "offloading" is not of any major
consequence. One wonders who so many SuperSlow proponents continue to
argue with this abundance of very clear evidence that their beliefs
about the effect of momentum are grossly inaccurate and misleading.

Even if they do not have access to force plates, they can use
bathroom scales, leave a video running while the lift is being
performed and play back the video in slow motion or freeze frame to
read off the approximate force registered by the scale at all stages
of the lift. This is a simple technique that any of you can use if
you are ever curious to obtain some estimate of how force varies
throughout any lift.]

--------

[MESSAGE: 23179 Momentum doesn't simply appear from nowhere - it is
the result of very powerful muscle action, especially via the use of
reflex activation and stretch-shortening which allows the muscles to
produce tension beyond their voluntary capabilities]

--------
Good post.
A would like to declare a toast... To the longest post in existence. :P

Reinier
01-29-2004, 04:47 AM
Reinier, when I joined the Supertraining forum a few years ago it took less than 24 hours for the mods to approve me. I don't think it should be different now.

I just got approved, it took a week :confused: