The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    Ok - I understand that the pec is one muscle

    Ok, I understand and believe you guys that the pec is one muscle, you cannot shape, etc. But here's my question. I know that it is important to always do a full range of motion, on say, bicep curls. But, you can't work the "lower bicep." So I basically just want an explaination as to WHY the full ROM is so important despite the fact that the socalled "lower bicep" isn't going to be worked more.

    -Brian

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  3. #2
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    Because in compound movements different muscles are stressed more in certain positions more others (eg. lockout of bench is almost all triceps, bottom/middle is chest/delts). So in order to get balanced development you must use full ROM. It's also a good idea if you care at all about functional strength.
    "****, if you told teenagers it was trendy to wear a paper bag on their heads with holes for the eyes they'd all be doing it."

  4. #3
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Main reason would be the strength factor. Shortening the ROM that is worked restricts strength development (largely) to the shortened ROM.

    Now, in a single-joint movement, I'm not entirely convinced that its any big issue. Compound movements, most certainly, because the degree of muscular involvement changes with joint angle; but for an "isolation" movement, I don't really see a full ROM as being absolutely necessary unless you're training that movement for strength.
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  5. #4
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    Not absolutely necessary, but perhaps beneficial?

    Can you recommend with a straight face for someone to do 20 degree curls, or elbow bends with overhead tricep extensions for someone looking to get bigger muscles?

    And again, would there be more myoactin formed in a shortend, contracted muscle than in a lengthened contracted muscle?

  6. #5
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bong Hog
    Can you recommend with a straight face for someone to do 20 degree curls, or elbow bends with overhead tricep extensions for someone looking to get bigger muscles?

    How heavy are we talking here? If you want to get close to the isometric 1RM, which is going to be significantly higher than the concentric 1RM, then yes, I'd say it would be quite feasible.

    And again, would there be more myoactin formed in a shortend, contracted muscle than in a lengthened contracted muscle?

    Amount of cross-bridge formation really isn't relevant, and there are a lot of other factors that influence that besides the length of the contraction.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
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  7. #6
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    How heavy are we talking here?
    How about a weight you can get 10-15 reps on? That's the typical intensity I use for hypertrophy.


    Amount of cross-bridge formation really isn't relevant, and there are a lot of other factors that influence that besides the length of the contraction.
    Oh, well I'll admit that there's a lot about this I don't understand.. I just assumed that more myoactin formed equals more work done, bringing the muscle to a deeper level of fatigue. I'm checking out a book from the library tomorrow, so I'll be able to keep up with you soon enough there, smart guy...

  8. #7
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bong Hog
    How about a weight you can get 10-15 reps on? That's the typical intensity I use for hypertrophy.

    For that loading, a small ROM is useless. The only time I'd see shortened-ROM and zero-ROM work as being useful would be if the load was near maximal for the particular joint angle being worked. As you might guess, that's a lot heavier than a 10-15RM over the full ROM.

    Oh, well I'll admit that there's a lot about this I don't understand.. I just assumed that more myoactin formed equals more work done, bringing the muscle to a deeper level of fatigue.

    Again, the cross-bridging isn't entirely dependent on the ROM. You can develop cross-bridges without necessarily shortening the muscle.

    I'm checking out a book from the library tomorrow, so I'll be able to keep up with you soon enough there, smart guy...

    Just one? It'll take more than that to keep up with me!
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
    Budiak: macked
    Budiak: heh maced
    Budiak: I wish

    ShmrckPmp5: a good thing people can't fire guns through the computer...your ass would have been shot years ago

    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  9. #8
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    For that loading, a small ROM is useless.
    So then, what IS the point of using a full ROM on an isolation movement? You must admit that putting a muscle through its full (or atleast significant) range of motion will develop more hypertrophy than not doing so. And if it's not because of more cross-bridging, than why?


    You can develop cross-bridges without necessarily shortening the muscle.
    Sure, but is it possible to develop as many without shortening the muscle?
    Last edited by Bong Hog; 09-06-2002 at 08:15 PM.

  10. #9
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bong Hog
    So then, what IS the point of using a full ROM on an isolation movement? You must admit that putting a muscle through its full (or atleast significant) range of motion will develop more hypertrophy than not doing so. And if it's not because of more cross-bridging, than why?

    Because as I said, the only really efficient way of using a shortened ROM is by dramatically increasing the load.

    A load that heavy won't necessarily optimal for mass, though it can help the process.

    Sure, but is it possible to develop as many without shortening the muscle?

    Once you get your book, look at the structure of the myofibril. The cross-bridges can actually form the most at the shortest and longest points in the ROM, due to the structure of the sarcomere.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
    Budiak: macked
    Budiak: heh maced
    Budiak: I wish

    ShmrckPmp5: a good thing people can't fire guns through the computer...your ass would have been shot years ago

    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  11. #10
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    You have my old name! I had my name changed from TryingToBeBig to Behemoth. hehe, odd I never though someone else would pick it again.
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  12. #11
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    Because as I said, the only really efficient way of using a shortened ROM is by dramatically increasing the load.

    A load that heavy won't necessarily optimal for mass, though it can help the process.
    So then you admit that a full ROM is useful in a hypertrophy routine.. Now if greater hypertrophy can be acheived throuh a more complete range of motion, then why is it that putting one part of a muscle throuh full ROM, while the other is put through only a partial ROM, won't develop greater hypertrophy in that area? This is a light load, mind you.. 13-15RM.


    Once you get your book, look at the structure of the myofibril. The cross-bridges can actually form the most at the shortest and longest points in the ROM, due to the structure of the sarcomere.
    I do have a 9th grade biology textbook at my disposal at the moment. In it there are three diagrams of myofibrils. In the diagrams it shows the dark bands shrinking slightly and the light bands shrinking considerably in the transition from "relaxed" to "contracted". And in the text it says "When an impulse stimulates a muscle fiber, ATP (in the presence of calcium salts) releases enery. This enables the actin rod to shift and combine teporarily with the myosin, forming an actomyosin complex. As a result, the myofibrilis shorten and the muscle contracts. When muscles relax, the actomyosin complex separates into actin and myosin in their origional positions." This would seem to suggest that actomyosin forming would be dependant on myofibrilis shortening. The book does only have a single page dedicated to the science of muscular contractions, so I'll admit it's possile they left relevant information out. But, in an eccentric, aren't the acomyosin physically being pulled apart? If so, wouldn't this indicate a relationship between muscle length and actomyosin count?

    I guess what I'm asking is--If the maximal number of cross-bridges can be formed during the first half ROM, then what're the mechanics bringing the muscle together during the second half ROM?

  13. #12
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bong Hog
    So then you admit that a full ROM is useful in a hypertrophy routine..

    Never said otherwise.

    Now if greater hypertrophy can be acheived throuh a more complete range of motion, then why is it that putting one part of a muscle throuh full ROM, while the other is put through only a partial ROM, won't develop greater hypertrophy in that area? This is a light load, mind you.. 13-15RM.

    Not quite sure what you're trying to get at here, saying one part of a muscle through a full ROM and another through a partial ROM.

    At heart, hypertrophy is a function of muscular work performed. You perform more work by moving a weight through space. This may not seem evident at first, since the tension becomes higher with an isometric action. However, if work is defined as the energy expended to generate a given tension, it becomes a bit more apparent. The isometric load is heavier, yes, but the tension is of lessened duration; not "optimal" for growth. Moving the weight through space lengthens that duration, almost by definition. The longer duration, with an equivalent or even lesser weight, translates into more work performed-- and thusly more growth.

    This would seem to suggest that actomyosin forming would be dependant on myofibrilis shortening. The book does only have a single page dedicated to the science of muscular contractions, so I'll admit it's possile they left relevant information out. But, in an eccentric, aren't the acomyosin physically being pulled apart? If so, wouldn't this indicate a relationship between muscle length and actomyosin count?

    That's a pretty common misconception, I've found. Cross-bridge formation is not dependent on length of the fibril, nor does it require a change in length. All that cross-bridge formation requires is a muscle action, period. If this weren't the case, isometric contractions wouldn't be possible.

    As far as the relation to hypertrophy, read above about the tension-time relationship.

    I guess what I'm asking is--If the maximal number of cross-bridges can be formed during the first half ROM, then what're the mechanics bringing the muscle together during the second half ROM?

    As I said, cross-bridge formation in and of itself isn't an indicator of anything, really. The most cross-bridges are formed in the fully-contracted state; but the relevant points are the tension created and its duration. Cross-bridge function in that equation is irrelevant.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
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    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
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    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  14. #13
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    Originally posted by Bong Hog
    So then you admit that a full ROM is useful in a hypertrophy routine..

    Never said otherwise.

    I don't really see a full ROM as being absolutely necessary unless you're training that movement for strength.
    But no matter, I understand what you were trying to say. I only said what I said as a set-up for what I was about to say.


    Not quite sure what you're trying to get at here, saying one part of a muscle through a full ROM and another through a partial ROM.
    Refering to the pectorials, where the clavicular head CAN be taken throuh significantly greater ROM than the sternal. Also, what about the fact that a greater ROM can be acheived for that head in certain motions than in others (eg. overheads vs. flat). Is the greater ROM worthless in this case? If so, why?


    Moving the weight through space lengthens that duration, almost by definition.
    I don't understand. Is it because you get a rest period when the joint angle puts the muscle at a mechanical advantage..?


    You perform more work by moving a weight through space.
    ...
    The most cross-bridges are formed in the fully-contracted state
    Are you SURE cross-bridging isn't a contributer to amount of work performed? Maybe I just didn't understand what you meant by duration.


    Cross-bridge formation is not dependent on length of the fibril, nor does it require a change in length. All that cross-bridge formation requires is a muscle action, period. If this weren't the case, isometric contractions wouldn't be possible.
    Fully extend your arm and fully activate your bicep while keeping your arm extended. Your muscle does shorten, even durring an isometric.. And what exactly is a "muscle action"? I was taught that all a muscle knows how to do is contract..

    What you're saying is that myoactin can be formed without shortening the firil, but isn't the myoactin formed by the dark and light bands themselves shortening? Haven't got my book yet, btw.

  15. #14
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bong Hog
    [B]
    Fully extend your arm and fully activate your bicep while keeping your arm extended. Your muscle does shorten, even durring an isometric.. And what exactly is a "muscle action"? I was taught that all a muscle knows how to do is contract..

    *** No it doesn't. That would be going against a scientific fact which states that under an isometric action there is no movement at any joints. Therefore when you're fully extended and contracting the bicep head your elbow joint is moving.
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    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

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  16. #15
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    You need to contract your tricep as well to see what I'm talking about here. I should have specified. My point is that when you flex the muscle while keeping the joint angle the same, your muscle does shorten. The joint angle stays the same because your tendon gives way.

  17. #16
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    No it does not stay the same.
    Yes, the triceps contracts and so does the bicep head, as well as the elbow joint moving a few degrees.

    If the joint was stationary and the muscle contracted it would not be classified as an "isometric action."
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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  18. #17
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    That is why it is called an "isometric action", not a contraction.
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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  19. #18
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    D'oh.. I still don't get it.

    I can flex my bicep and tricep and not move my elbow even a single degree. What I see is the lower portion of the bicep move up about an eigth of an inch. When you contract your muscle, it shortens, unless of course, there is a strong enough force opposing it. In which case, it would only attempt to shorten. But it still will shorten as much as the tendons will strech.

    Of course, eccentric contraction doesn't mean biceps will work as arm extenders... All a muscle knows to do is shorten, or atleast ATTEMPT to shorten.

  20. #19
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    On the surface a joint may appear to be motionless but that doesn't mean there isn't any movement there. What we can see with the human eye and what actually occurs in our bodies don't always mesh.

    Here is a reference.

    "Isometric actions can be defined as a muscle action which occurs when there is no external (outside forces) or change in joint angle"

    Siff M.C. (2000) Supertraining 5th edition. Supertraining Institute, Denver, CO, pg 407.
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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  21. #20
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    Errp.. What does he mean by "outside forces"? He can't refer to the triceps as an outside force, otherwise there would be nothing there to keep the joint angle from changing.. Right?

  22. #21
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    Ahh, I finally got my book. Human Physiology 6th ed, Vander, Sherman, Luciano. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it's got over 40 pages of text on the subject. First thing I saw when I opened it was this:

    "The term contraction, as used in muscle physiology, does not necessarily mean "shortenig"; rather it refers only to the turning on of the force-generating sites--the cross bridges--in a muscle fiber. In order for shortening to occur, the forces exerted on the thin filaments by the cross bridges must be greater than the force opposing shortening."

    What this is saying here is the same as I was saying before--that a muscle can only attempt to shorten. Later it says:

    "It must be emphasized that in these situations the lengthening of muscle fibers is not an active process produced by the contractile proteins but a consequece of the external forces being applied to the muscle. In the absence of external forces, a fiber will only shorten when stimulated; it will never lengthen. [Goes on to explain cross bridge cycle actions in each of the three contractions] Thus, the chemical changes in the contractile proteins during each type of contraction are the same. The end result of shortening, no length change, or lengthening is determined by the magnitude of the load on the muscle."

    Siff must be refering to tricep stabilization, otherwise the muscle action he's refering to would have to be weak enough not to lift one's own hand.
    Last edited by Bong Hog; 09-09-2002 at 12:54 AM.

  23. #22
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Righto, my bad. There is no change in a joint but rather a shortening in the fibres via internal movement processes.
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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

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