Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Lifting skill vs. real strength / size increases

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    355

    Lifting skill vs. real strength / size increases

    Excellent article on the difference between proper loading of a muscle(s) and simply becoming proficient at lifting a heavier weight.

    http://www.zone-training.net/articles/ProperLoading.pdf

    To sum up the article as succinctly as possible, load is treated as one piece of the puzzle (rather than the whole picture) when trying to induce hypertrophy. Essentially, what bodybuilders have "known" all along about lifting, but have never described effectively (other than with terms that have come to be made fun of, i.e. "mind-muscle connection", etc).

    For those of you who have hit a plateau, this introduces the idea that perhaps a preoccupation with achieving a certain weight or number of reps is actually hurting your efforts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    355
    Some quotes (from a different article):

    "The resistance must be applied to the muscles that you are trying to work, and it must be applied to the entire length of the muscles you are training, but this is impossible if the movement is too fast, and also impossible if all or most of the work is actually performed by other muscles."

    "Building strength is one thing, demonstrating strength is another matter entirely. But in the gym you are trying to stimulate growth, and the actual amount of weight is of very little importance if it is at least heavy enough to work the muscles to a point of momentary failure within a reasonable number of repetitions."

    "You probably could use more resistance, or perform more repetitions, or both, if you rested several minutes between exercises, or between sets of the same exercise. But remember, you are trying to exhaust the muscles, and if a lighter weight will produce the same result during a shorter workout, then the growth stimulation will be the same in either case."

    "The muscles don't know or care how much weight is involved, all they can sense is how it feels at that precise moment, and a fairly light weight will feel heavy to a momentarily tired muscle."

    "Five minutes later the same weight might feel very light to the same, but now rested, muscle; and thus the same number of repetitions performed five minutes later with the same weight might do absolutely nothing in the say of stimulating growth."

    "If it feels heavy to the muscles, then the resistance is heavy enough regardless of the actual weight. Do not make the common error of performing your workouts in such a manner that you can handle as much weight as possible... instead, make the work as hard as possible for the muscles you are trying to stimulate."

    "Don't look for ways to make your exercises easier, so that you can handle more weight, instead, look for ways to make every exercise as hard as you can. Performed in one way, you may be able to use 200 pounds in a particular exercise. Performed in another way, the same exercise may produce far better results with only 50 pounds resistance."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    7,644
    I printed out and read/skimmed the entire article.

    I guess sometimes I just assume everyone knows the demonstration of strength is a skill and that being big and being strong is not always a direct one-to-one correlation. That being said, I'm not at all interested in getting bigger, just stronger, but if I was I would start by modifying my diet rather than buying Z3 when it comes out.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    355
    I'm not promoting zone training, nor buying a book off the website.

    My point is that, often times, people forget that an increase in size allows one to get stronger. If an exercise makes the targeted musculature larger, than an increase in strength becomes easily attainable.

    This post was more aimed at people who've ended up doing the opposite; they've trained for strength (as in, they've trained to move the largest load possible) and have forgotten (or never learned) that in the end, muscle responds to contraction, not specific weight on the bar. The loaded bar isn't the end all, it's merely the tool.

    As the body becomes accustomed to specific exercises, it subconciously finds little nuances to make those exercises easier. In other words, one becomes proficient at lifting a certain weight rather than actually getting stronger. Sure, you can keep getting more proficient at lifting slightly larger loads, but it has a definitive ceiling. It's like trying to get large without squatting: you're limiting your foundation... size allows a much larger potential for strength.

    (I am not talking about blatant changes in technique... I am talking about the body's CNS rewiring itself gradually, making itself more efficient by using anyone one of a number of variables to slightly shift load this way or that, especially in compound movements such as the squat or deadlift).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    7,644
    Quote Originally Posted by bmanderson View Post
    My point is that, often times, people forget that an increase in size allows one to get stronger. If an exercise makes the targeted musculature larger, than an increase in strength becomes easily attainable.

    This post was more aimed at people who've ended up doing the opposite; they've trained for strength (as in, they've trained to move the largest load possible) and have forgotten (or never learned) that in the end, muscle responds to contraction, not specific weight on the bar. The loaded bar isn't the end all, it's merely the tool.

    As the body becomes accustomed to specific exercises, it subconciously finds little nuances to make those exercises easier. In other words, one becomes proficient at lifting a certain weight rather than actually getting stronger. Sure, you can keep getting more proficient at lifting slightly larger loads, but it has a definitive ceiling. It's like trying to get large without squatting: you're limiting your foundation... size allows a much larger potential for strength.
    I did mention that I'd read the article, didn't I?
    Yes, it is something for trainees to remember. I know I'm quoting someone else here (probably Brad Nuttall), but training is a cycle of: Hypertrophy-> Strength-> Power-> Hypertrophy -> Strength, a continuous loop that can start or end or switch with any particular phase. They are intertwined.
    (I am not talking about blatant changes in technique... I am talking about the body's CNS rewiring itself gradually, making itself more efficient by using anyone one of a number of variables to slightly shift load this way or that, especially in compound movements such as the squat or deadlift).
    Well, the article is talking about rep tempo, ROM (and technique), isn't it? Rep tempo and ROM are important and I don't disagree with that at all.

    I don't really have a problem with the article as much as I have a beef with the fact that it's an ad that seems to be promising a land of hypertrophy to the unsuspecting yuk.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    7,644
    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    I know I'm quoting someone else here (probably Brad Nuttall), but training is a cycle of: Hypertrophy-> Strength-> Power-> Hypertrophy -> Strength, a continuous loop that can start or end or switch with any particular phase. They are intertwined.
    Perpetual Performance by Brad Nuttall: http://inno-sport.net/Perpetual%20Performance.htm
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    951
    Also keep in mind that not everyone wants to be bigger just to push more weight. It's pretty essential to stay in your chosen weight class while increasing strength.

    I looked at some of the OP's article. Seems to be largely a product push.

Similar Threads

  1. Doggcrapp training
    By BigMatt in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 117
    Last Post: 04-01-2010, 08:12 PM
  2. Interview With Tudor Bompa
    By silles in forum Powerlifting and Strength Training
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-28-2007, 09:21 PM
  3. Christian Thibaudeau's High Tension Training
    By silles in forum Powerlifting and Strength Training
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-27-2003, 08:03 AM
  4. HST and my punk brother
    By RG570 in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 06-15-2003, 11:45 AM
  5. The Real Deal
    By chris mason in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 04-17-2001, 02:49 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •