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Old 06-09-2011, 04:32 PM   #101
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I'm using a new program called LIIFT: low-intensity, infrequent training.

Working like a charm...
Sounds like my evening routine of arm curls with a one pound weight that gets slightly lighter with each rep.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:43 PM   #102
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Sounds like my evening routine of arm curls with a one pound weight that gets slightly lighter with each rep.
That's called a pyramid.

Ha
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:57 PM   #103
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That's called a pyramid.

Ha
No, it's called a pint.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:03 PM   #104
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That's called a pyramid.

Ha
Actually, that would be a reverse pyramid
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:23 AM   #105
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OK, I finished reading the book yesterday. Thanks, Don, for bringing this up.

I find the arguments pretty compelling. One problem is that I'm not impressed with the authors.

If I'm going to bet my life on what the authors say, I want to be convinced that they are smart. When reading Younger Next Year (YNY) or Taubes' books, I felt that the authors were smart guys who had done a lot of thinking. The books demonstrated their logical thinking and reasoning skills.

In Body by Science (BBS), there were many things that made me feel that it was written by two jocks, one with a medical degree but no scientific training (I've seen lots of MDs with a poor understanding of science). Perhaps they just aren't good at expressing themselves, but at least they should have recognized that they needed some help.

Here's an example. In the intro, they say (paraphrasing): "We couldn't find any definitions of health, fitness, and exercise, so we have written our own." Here is their definition of "exercise:"



That's great that they want to make the point that some exercises are not prodctive, but there's no point in redefining the word "exercise." Running may not be good, productive exercise, but if you are saying that going for a five-mile run is not exercise, you are not communicating well.

And then, they never actually use the word exercise in their redefined sense. That is, they'll say things like "To qualify as productive exercise..." By their definition, all exercise is productive, so they are actually using the term in the traditional sense. This whole thing about redefining the word exercise is unnecessary. Just say that some exercises are not productive.

Just semantics? Maybe, but it demonstrates a lack of the critical thinking I want to see. If they are stupid here are they stupid in their interpretation of the science?

Minor point? Yes, but I saw many examples of things like this.

Another example: To make the point that not everyone can get big muscles, they use an analogy related to trees: some trees stand out from the others due to genetic variation, and in the same way Arnold is probably just genetically different from you.



But the analogy is not useful. I'd expect that genetic variation would produce a wide range of tree heights, those big trees might be older, might be next to a pond, might be on higher ground, or might be a different species.

My point here is that this analogy didn't make anything clearer. If they were smart, careful thinkers, they would have noticed that and used a better analogy.

Another example, check out this graph and explanation:



The lines and axes are not labelled, and the graph doesn't match up with the text ("...the other two lines."). Yes, perhaps the publisher just got the wrong graph. But there are other examples of poorly conceived illustrations and carelessness in the book. If the authors are not meticulous in things like this, are they also not meticulous in their review of the research?

Finally, although the authors see the problems of carbohydrates, their explanations of why people are fat (primarily: "there's too much food available") are easily refuted by research. They didn't do their homework here.

---------------------

Having said that, the research they cite certainly suggests that short once-per-week, slow, intensive weight training might be the best way to exercise. Perhaps, like Don, I'm just attracted to something that will eliminate those "Oh no, I have to exercise this afternoon!" moments.

I like the idea of designing the lifts so that all the different muscle fibers are recruited. I can see how that's the best way to promote cardiovascular health, and I can understand how long, low intensity work leaves many muscle fibers dormant.

I'm not sure I could make myself go through with the superslow lifts, however, since I've found them to be so unpleasant. The authors pretty much say that you can't get full benefit without someone to exhort you to work harder, and without well-designed Nautilus machines.

Many of you have talked about a compromise between BBS and YNY -- doing some walking or biking in addition to the once/week lifting. I'm not sure a compromise is possible. According to BBS, if you don't rest, you will benefit less from the lifting. OTOH, they only cite studies that say that lifting more than once per week is inefficient. They say nothing explicitly about doing other exercises during the rest period. That is, there are no studies that show that walking prevents the healing/resting time.

My current plan is to try this system and see how it goes, but I'll probably still do other exercises during the week.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:55 AM   #106
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Using Arnold as an example?
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:57 AM   #107
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Al, the problems you point out with the authors' thinking processes would have bothered me a lot too. It sure doesn't show me the kind of intelligence, education or training, and careful thought that I would hope to see in a book of this type.

I am a great believer in doing what works for you that you enjoy, and paying attention to the responses of one's body when working out. If I enjoy a particular workout regimen, and it is giving me the results I want, then there is no reason to change that I can think of.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:02 AM   #108
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---------------------

Having said that, the research they cite certainly suggests that short once-per-week, slow, intensive weight training might be the best way to exercise. Perhaps, like Don, I'm just attracted to something that will eliminate those "Oh no, I have to exercise this afternoon!" moments.

I like the idea of designing the lifts so that all the different muscle fibers are recruited. I can see how that's the best way to promote cardiovascular health, and I can understand how long, low intensity work leaves many muscle fibers dormant.

I'm not sure I could make myself go through with the superslow lifts, however, since I've found them to be so unpleasant. The authors pretty much say that you can't get full benefit without someone to exhort you to work harder, and without well-designed Nautilus machines.

Many of you have talked about a compromise between BBS and YNY -- doing some walking or biking in addition to the once/week lifting. I'm not sure a compromise is possible. According to BBS, if you don't rest, you will benefit less from the lifting. OTOH, they only cite studies that say that lifting more than once per week is inefficient. They say nothing explicitly about doing other exercises during the rest period. That is, there are no studies that show that walking prevents the healing/resting time.

My current plan is to try this system and see how it goes, but I'll probably still do other exercises during the week.
I share a lot of your concerns. I feel like the super slow HIT lifting is working better than my thrice weekly more extensive but far less intense lifting. But -- and it is a big but -- I just can't buy the idea than some sort of endurance exercise is not needed in addition to that. I also found the lack of clear discussion about the impact of endurance exercises frustrating. I guess that is some of the lazy critical thinking you mentioned. So, I will stick with the HIT once a week lifting and stick with my frequent 25-30 mile bike rides. If I view those rides as YNY's "exercising hard" (maybe a stretch?) I guess I am compromising between BBS and YNY
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:06 PM   #109
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I am a great believer in doing what works for you that you enjoy, and paying attention to the responses of one's body when working out. If I enjoy a particular workout regimen, and it is giving me the results I want, then there is no reason to change that I can think of.
I am a believer in what W2R says above. Find out what works for you and keep working it until it stops working. I have always believed in the adage, if it sounds too good to be true it probaby is, and BBS registers high on my BS meter.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:11 PM   #110
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But -- and it is a big but -- I just can't buy the idea than some sort of endurance exercise is not needed in addition to that.
The key question is: needed for what? I haven't looked at the book, but reading on the web site, and here, I get the idea that all the BBS folks are interested in is strength. One of the web site articles overtly equates getting/staying young with increasing/maintaining strength. They mention health occasionally, but really don't seem interested in that. I think it is a very well established result that endurance/aerobic exercise is required for maintaining health, and if BBS doesn't care about health, it's not surprising that they don't recommend that type of exercise.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:33 PM   #111
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I quit chocolate about midway into this and lost about 10 pounds as a result -- is that a two pack I'm seeing?
You can still have chocolate, but without the sugar:
Chocolate Bars


6 tsp Erythritol (granulated)
2 tsp Splenda powder
1.5 Tbs Coconut Oil
1/16 tsp KCl salt or regular salt (optional)
4 Squares unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate chopped
.5 cup Well-roasted pecans, chopped

Do not allow any water to touch the ingredients. Even a drop can cause the chocolate to “seize.” Also, do all heating slowly, and don’t let the chocolate get too hot.

Place sweeteners and oil and salt in a saucepan and heat on low
Once they melt add the chocolate
Stir frequently until melted, don’t overheat the chocolate
When it has melted, add the pecans
Pour into forms or onto waxed paper
Place in freezer until hardened


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Old 06-14-2011, 03:56 PM   #112
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I find the arguments pretty compelling. One problem is that I'm not impressed with the authors.
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Al, the problems you point out with the authors' thinking processes would have bothered me a lot too. It sure doesn't show me the kind of intelligence, education or training, and careful thought that I would hope to see in a book of this type.
I wonder how many books get published because it's easier & more profitable than submitting research papers to peer-review boards.

Editors are hell on wheels at catching grammar, spelling, and format errors. But for a truly critical evaluation of a controversial concept, you have to fling it out there in front of a pack of starving wolverines an Internet discussion board.

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You can still have chocolate, but without the sugar:
As much as I'm happy to see sugar-free chocolate, why haven't manufacturers jumped on this?
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:51 PM   #113
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As much as I'm happy to see sugar-free chocolate, why haven't manufacturers jumped on this?
You can buy sugar free chocolate pretty easily. I get it at World Market, where they carry several varieties. Unfortunately, it's sugar free but not calorie free.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:36 PM   #114
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Most of the sugar free choc you can buy is flavored with maltitol which about as bad as sugar, and can cause gastro problems.

One exception is chocoperfection which is great but expensive.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:59 PM   #115
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I am not sure that these research reports are exactly on point WRT the books you are discussing, but they do suggest science based guidelines for strength training.

Weight Training With Effort - Many Ways

Ha
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #116
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Thanks. I think it's time to try a little semi-sweet shopping.

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... which is great but expensive.
I guess I shoulda seen that one coming...
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #117
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I am not sure that these research reports are exactly on point WRT the books you are discussing, but they do suggest science based guidelines for strength training.

Weight Training With Effort - Many Ways

Ha
Here's a summary:
Both high and low reps are problematic. Moderate reps, 6 to 20, are probably best—for practical and scientific reasons.
From the practical standpoint, very high reps are unpleasant. For most people (me included), they’re mind-numbing, a drag. Low reps, on the other hand, are cumbersome and potentially dangerous. Except for competitive power or Olympic lifters, as we’ve seen, there’s little or no reason to do low reps.


and


“Recommendations to train with very heavy resistance (loads heavier than 6 RM [Repitition Max]), because they purportedly result in superior strength gains, are based on a faulty [understanding of the size principle] and have very little supporting evidence,” Carpinelli concluded.


Resistance is largely a matter of “personal preference,” says Dr. Carpinelli. “If a maximal—or near maximal—effort is applied at the end of a set of repetitions, the evidence strongly suggests that the different external forces produced with different amounts of resistance elicit similar outcomes.”
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:23 PM   #118
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Here's a summary:
Yes, these I have read. What I haven't read, so did not have any realism on is Body By Science. I did see McGuff on YouTube though, talking about his ideas.

Ha
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:31 AM   #119
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The thing that BBS and the above have in common is the idea that maximum effort is the most important thing. BBS says that you should lift very slowly, and go to failure, whereas the other says is that the only important thing is that your last rep be very difficult.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:35 AM   #120
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Doing some more overthinking on this issue: If you need to have a week between sessions because healing is necessary, what about stretching? If the healing consists of repair of micro-injuries to muscle fibers, you could argue that stretching could be the worst thing to do between sessions.
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