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Mauro Aquilini

Arm size and strength.

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Romulo Malta

I also work out with weights and read with interest the article indicated by Ido, which is something I always thought imprecise about the myth of "functional" and "fluffish" muscles.

Anyway, I still have one doubt that persists and a hesitation concerning working the legs too much, I don't know if that's unfounded as well. I have better genetics for the legs and they grow easier than my arms or torso in general and I don't like, for example, to squat heavy in order not to overdevelop them. Since my main immediate objective is to progress at planche, I'm afraid to develop the legs and worsen the balance towards them. I think I read some people saying that an upper body more developed has more advantage for the planche and of course I don't want to be like a strong chicken with a huge breast and stick legs, but I wonder if some degree of disproportion towards the torso is really more advantageous and until what extent leg development(hypertrophy) could be taken without damaging the planche progression. Or maybe if someone is really strong and has the technique and proprioception for the movement already established that's not much important?

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Joshua Naterman

Well Romulo, I don't think too many guys want to grow huge breasts. It's true that a larger uper body moves your center of gravity to a more advantageous position in terms of the planche. However, this same development does make movements like SLS harder, so people like me require a counterbalance. When I put some videos up you'll understand, I am top heavy. That doesn't mean my legs are small, my thighs and glutes are quite large and strong. my calves are small proportionally, but still rather strong. Anyhow, if your legs adapt to exercise quickly you will probably benefit from very low volume and high intensity. A few sets of 3-4 reps will allow strength development with minimal size. It may be that you will simply grow every time you work your legs, but it is likely that lower volume with more weight will keep your growth minimal, as will proper calorie intake. The larger your legs get the more work your upper body will need to do to counterbalance them. As Ido has pointed out, there will always be a point at whichyou can't get stronger without getting bigger. I'd go for that point and not work past it until you achieve your planche goals. Once you have it, you will only get stronger as your legs get bigger. Before that point you'll just make your journey towards the planche longer than it must be.

Brain, it sometimes takes more than 4-6 reps to grow. I have personally seen some people who, no matter the number of sets, don't make very good size gains until they started doing 12-14 reps. Of course as they got bigger the low rep work helped with strength gains, which in turn helped them use heavier weights in the rep range that causes growth for them, which in turn of course led to more size gains. It seems very strange to me, but it is true nonetheless that there is more to growth than just overall volume or specific rep ranges.

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Ortprod

Brain, it sometimes takes more than 4-6 reps to grow. I have personally seen some people who, no matter the number of sets, don't make very good size gains until they started doing 12-14 reps. Of course as they got bigger the low rep work helped with strength gains, which in turn helped them use heavier weights in the rep range that causes growth for them, which in turn of course led to more size gains. It seems very strange to me, but it is true nonetheless that there is more to growth than just overall volume or specific rep ranges.

time under tension works better than reps for growth, IMHO. doing 5 reps with a 5 count on both ends allows for more tension over the set and the person would be more inclined to pay attention to form. I have read of a chin taking up to a minute for some bodybuilders.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa37.htm

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Joshua Naterman

That's true in a lot of cases, and I believe that is why some of my trainees grew better with the higher rep ranges. Simply more total time under tension, resulting in more overall work done by the muscle. That will in turn result in more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy for the purpose of storing more energy, which increases muscle volume and in turn increases work capacity. Increased muscle volume leaves more room for contractile proteins to be packed in, which results in greater strength. An interesting relationship. Then you have the effects of high force production, which primarily serve to cause the fascia to strengthen, the tendon attachments and the tendon itself to strengthen and grow, as well as neurological adaptation in the form of more synchronized action potentials and more activated motor units.

These thoughts are partly proven and largely speculation based on how I see bodies developing, both my own and those I see around me, former trainees or not. I am not claiming any scientific veracity here, but the workings of the body are fairly specific, and I the patterns I see are fairly simple to my mind. I do not know what others here think of that, but I am interested in hearing your thoughts.

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Richard Duelley

time under tension works better than reps for growth, IMHO. doing 5 reps with a 5 count on both ends allows for more tension over the set and the person would be more inclined to pay attention to form. I have read of a chin taking up to a minute for some bodybuilders.

This is an interesting concept that I feel the need to experiment with. So if I wanted to add some TUT to my pull ups I could explode up (like normal) and then lower down as slowly as I can, dead hang for 1-2 seconds and then explode up again and lower slowly again, instead of just rapid firing the 5 reps? Or would it also be beneficial to go slowly on the pull part of the pull up as well as the negative?

I have heard of TUT before but I always just thought of it as adding a few reps or an extra set to the workout, hmmm another new thing to add to the ever growing knowledge tree! :mrgreen:

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Ortprod

Niftyvt,

You got it, but, keep in mind that you add a LOT of volume depending on how long you spend doing a rep (think of isometrics/your static hold training). In other words, it can be like adding 20lbs (or more) to your bench depending on how hard you are flexing. When I trained "naked warrior style" I only did pistols and OA pushups for a month or more but I was practicing tension throughout my body and despite not having the ability to add external weight my volume in training still went up. I continued to use TUT principals when I trained for muscleups and I got the ability to pull a bar to my sternum before I could do so. I build some solid muscle in my shoulder and maintained my size (and grew) without ever doing more than 2-4 reps because of TUT.

Just my 2 cents

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Jason Stein

If I recall correctly, Charles Poliquin suggests that an ideal baseline for his athletes, prior to beginning more serious upper-body strength work, is the ability to perform 10 pull-ups, each at 4 seconds down, 1 second up.

Also, anyone interested in practical application of Time Under Tension can check OPT's blog to see how he incorporates TUT principles.

http://optimumperformancetraining.blogspot.com/2009/11/day-3645.html

The workout above, for example, lists HSPU @ 2020; amrap in 30 sec x 3; rest 90 sec.

The first number indicates how many seconds you should take to perform the eccentric portion. The next number refers to the pause taken between the eccentric and the concentric portion of the movement, the next number refers to how long it should take you to perform the concentric, and the final number refers to the amount before the next rep.

If there's an "X," it means an explosive movement is prescribed.

My friend here in Portland has been following the OPT WODs (including OPT's PWO nutrition recommendations, which also follow some of Poliquin's nutrition principles) since June and has slabbed on the muscle; approximately 160 up to approximately 180.

Recently he was doing negative full-ROM HSPUs on parallettes, resting for several seconds on the bottom, then doing a dead-start back up. It sounded like a real bag of suck.

What is interesting is many of the Gymnastic Bodies workouts already incorporate Time Under Tension principles, e.g. FL rows, body levers, as well as the entrances and exits in the embedded static holds. You can go slow down and up, or speed up the movement to make them easier.

best,

jason

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Richard Duelley
Niftyvt,

You got it, but, keep in mind that you add a LOT of volume depending on how long you spend doing a rep (think of isometrics/your static hold training). In other words, it can be like adding 20lbs (or more) to your bench depending on how hard you are flexing. When I trained "naked warrior style" I only did pistols and OA pushups for a month or more but I was practicing tension throughout my body and despite not having the ability to add external weight my volume in training still went up. I continued to use TUT principals when I trained for muscleups and I got the ability to pull a bar to my sternum before I could do so. I build some solid muscle in my shoulder and maintained my size (and grew) without ever doing more than 2-4 reps because of TUT.

Just my 2 cents

I have experimented before and I did notice that my usual 5x5 of L-chins were drastically more difficult for me to finish. That 5th set was brutal and I ended up just doing regular chins . . . barely. I defiantly want to integrate this more into my training. . . I will just have to see how my body responds. I also tried it with my MU and usually I would do sets of 5 (very challenging but doable) but I had trouble getting sets of 3 out, and I do believe I was hanging on the rings longer with 3 reps than with 5!

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Ortprod

Also, anyone interested in practical application of Time Under Tension can check OPT's blog to see how he incorporates TUT principles.

http://optimumperformancetraining.blogspot.com/2009/11/day-3645.html

The workout above, for example, lists HSPU @ 2020; amrap in 30 sec x 3; rest 90 sec.

The first number indicates how many seconds you should take to perform the eccentric portion. The next number refers to the pause taken between the eccentric and the concentric portion of the movement, the next number refers to how long it should take you to perform the concentric, and the final number refers to the amount before the next rep.

If there's an "X," it means an explosive movement is prescribed.

I have never read this till now, but I use to do a 5550 timing on my TUT sets. Which is how I eventually got my muscleup.

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Joshua Naterman

I'm going to have to integrate this, I'm not using any TUT in my program. Thanks for bringing it up!

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Jason Stein

There are examples of Time Under Tension everywhere; like I mentioned, in addition to the embedded static work and one-arm chin lock-offs, here's another example of Time Under Tension, for pull-ups. They're called "Frenchies."

Starting from the top of an ordinary pullup with the palms facing away, hold in a lock for 7 seconds (have a partner with a watch, or use some formula like 'one Mesopotamia, two…'].

Do another pull, then go down to half way and hold at 90 degrees for 7 seconds.

Do another pull, this time lowering to 120 degree and hold for 7 seconds.

This completes one cycle (one rep if you prefer).

Do as many as you can: few can to do more than five at first. Rest and do another set.

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