Daniel Reinert

Overload-load-underload vs foundation

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Daniel Reinert    1
Daniel Reinert

Hi!

Sorry if this question is already answered elsewhere, I couldn't find it.

So Coach talks about, how we need periods of overload-load-underload (Tim Ferriss' podcast).

However in the programs (Foundation and Handstand), this doesn't seem to be the case. Rep/set-schemes in the programs get harder every week (except deload), until we are ready for mastery and a new exercise.

Is the principle of overload-load-underload only relevant for advanced athletes? Or did I misunderstand something?

Thanks!

BR, Daniel

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Alessandro Mainente    8,536
Alessandro Mainente
3 hours ago, Daniel Reinert said:

Hi!

Sorry if this question is already answered elsewhere, I couldn't find it.

So Coach talks about, how we need periods of overload-load-underload (Tim Ferriss' podcast).

However in the programs (Foundation and Handstand), this doesn't seem to be the case. Rep/set-schemes in the programs get harder every week (except deload), until we are ready for mastery and a new exercise.

Is the principle of overload-load-underload only relevant for advanced athletes? Or did I misunderstand something?

Thanks!

BR, Daniel

You answered yourself in the last words.

programmin and planning it is something reserved more to people who begin foundations 2.

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Daniel Reinert    1
Daniel Reinert

Hi again

 

Alessandro, thanks for the quick reply. Still not sure I understand though...

So does the concept of "harder every week until mastery" change for advanced athletes?

Btw, I am just finishing foundation 2 (final progressions, some exercises in the beginning of F3).

 

Thanks!

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Josh Earl    133
Josh Earl
5 hours ago, Daniel Reinert said:

Hi again

 

Alessandro, thanks for the quick reply. Still not sure I understand though...

So does the concept of "harder every week until mastery" change for advanced athletes?

Btw, I am just finishing foundation 2 (final progressions, some exercises in the beginning of F3).

 

Thanks!

This is a question I had and I did some digging around the forum to find the answer.

In Coach's first book, Building the Gymnastic Body, he talks a lot about "steady state" programming, which is what you're describing here. From what he's said, he later realized that beginners have a lot of room for linear improvement.

In other words, you can get better every week for several years, and then the curve flattens out. 

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Joaquin Malagon    20
Joaquin Malagon
4 hours ago, Josh Earl said:

This is a question I had and I did some digging around the forum to find the answer.

In Coach's first book, Building the Gymnastic Body, he talks a lot about "steady state" programming, which is what you're describing here. From what he's said, he later realized that beginners have a lot of room for linear improvement.

In other words, you can get better every week for several years, and then the curve flattens out. 

How does this fare for injury prevention? In other words if you are continuously improving, how will the constant change in stimuli allow the proper adaptations for tendons, ligaments, etc. to take place?

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Nick Murray    284
Nick Murray

Joaquin, different types of tissue adapt at different rates. In general, an injury will occur if one or more of three things happens:

  1. Tissue does not have time to recover between training sessions.
  2. Your body (especially the parts involved in the exercise) experiences something with a load larger than the tissue can withstand.
  3. Your body experiences something unexpected.

Tissues respond to training at different rates:

  1. The nerves/brain adapt first - you learn a new skill, or movement; it's awkward at first, but you can perform the movement. To get really comfortable and fluid, though, might take years.
  2. Muscle adapts next. If you lift something heavy, you'll be sore for a few days, and adaptation will occur over 1-2 weeks or so.
  3. Tendons adapt more slowly than muscle. They are less vascular (less bloodflow). I'm unsure if different parts of a tendon (the part where the tendon joins muscle, the middle part of tendon, and the part that joints to the surface of bone) adapt at different rates.
  4. The skeleton probably adapts more slowly than tendon (most bones have a reasonable blood supply, but then they are much larger than tendons)
  5. Ligaments adapt more slowly than tendon or the skeleton (less vascular, again)
  6. Articular cartilage (between joints) adapts slowest of all.

So, to try to answer your question (and this may not be completely correct): steady state allows constant practice of a skill with a small overload, so you train nerves/brain (thus movements become more practised/efficient/may need less energy to complete), and the load on everything else (muscle/tendon/etc) increases slowly, so there's time to recover between sessions. The recovery time means you won't need to deload because you haven't stressed your body too much.

After a while (vague, I know) you get to know how your body responds to training, and whether you carry fatigue into the next training session. If so, you might need another day of rest between sessions.

Some of the handbalancing stuff for planche not only cooks my shoulders, but if I train again too soon I'm not only sore, but feel as if I can't activate my shoulders - it's as if the nerves are tired as well. Perhaps I could push through it, but on the two occasions I've tried, I have no balance and go face-first into the floor. On both occasions, I completed the previous training session with the right form (more or less) and number of reps. So fatigue can lead to injury (see point 3 "experiences something unexpected" in this case, no balance).

Does this answer your question?

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Josh Earl    133
Josh Earl
5 hours ago, Joaquin Malagon said:

How does this fare for injury prevention? In other words if you are continuously improving, how will the constant change in stimuli allow the proper adaptations for tendons, ligaments, etc. to take place?

Great answer from @Nick Murray.

The only thing I'll add is that Foundations is programmed with a lot of high-rep work in the early stages specifically to condition connective tissue. That's why we start with 5x15 reps of ring rows, when many of us are strong enough to do pull-ups and legless rope climbs. Low reps/high intensity builds more muscular strength, but early on we're conditioning our joints. 

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Michel Hendrickson    2
Michel Hendrickson
6 hours ago, Josh Earl said:

Great answer from @Nick Murray.

The only thing I'll add is that Foundations is programmed with a lot of high-rep work in the early stages specifically to condition connective tissue. That's why we start with 5x15 reps of ring rows, when many of us are strong enough to do pull-ups and legless rope climbs. Low reps/high intensity builds more muscular strength, but early on we're conditioning our joints. 

But wait, isn't it the HEAVY stuff with low reps that conditions the joints, since they have to adapt to the higher intensity?

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Christopher Hancox    62
Christopher Hancox
2 hours ago, Michel Hendrickson said:

But wait, isn't it the HEAVY stuff with low reps that conditions the joints, since they have to adapt to the higher intensity?

I guess the thinking is that heavy weight would cause too much strain on connective tissue, especially as it is also being manipulated to increase ROM with the mobility and stretch series.

I believe the higher reps with lower loading allows the muscles to increase strength slowly with a minimal gain in size, whilst allowing connective tissues to adapt. Ideal for gymnastics strength training especially in the early stages where we not fully aware of our body position and are at most risk of injuries caused by bad form.

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Josh Earl    133
Josh Earl
6 hours ago, Michel Hendrickson said:

But wait, isn't it the HEAVY stuff with low reps that conditions the joints, since they have to adapt to the higher intensity?

The way I understand it, it's a spectrum. 

High reps, low intensity is what physical therapists use to gently condition joints. The high volume of work stimulates blood follow to connective tissue. 

On the other end, low reps, high intensity builds a lot of strength, but your muscles will adapt to it way faster than your joints. 

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Nick Murray    284
Nick Murray
7 hours ago, Michel Hendrickson said:

But wait, isn't it the HEAVY stuff with low reps that conditions the joints, since they have to adapt to the higher intensity?

True. But unless the rest of your body (skeleton, muscles etc) can handle the weight, you may injure yourself: squatting with a heavy weight not only needs strength, but also a kinesethetic sense: the ability to know where each of the different parts of the body are in space, and how to control them.

Two examples:

1. A young girl I'm training in my gym: she is strong enough to squat heavy weights, but her hips and legs wobble everywhere with even a light load, and she keeps rounding her back: her nervous system (muscle/motor control and kinesthetic sense) has not yet developed to the point where she can safely squat with larger loads.

2. My first day of work as a massage therapist: a runner came to me with "tight calves". I wanted to see if she could squat (in other words, use her glutes and hamstrings instead of just running from the knees down). She couldn't squat. She just could not figure out what to do - she waved her backside around in the air, and even with me holding her wrists so she wouldn't fall, she was afraid of "going backwards". I've no idea how she sat down on a chair at work. Maybe she just fell backwards?

Anyway the point of this is that low-load, high rep activities help the body learn to control itself under load. And to SAFELY try out different ways of improving form.

+1 to @Josh Earl and @Christopher Hancox as well.

 

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Joaquin Malagon    20
Joaquin Malagon

Hello gentleman, very interesting input from the community. It makes sense why the high rep/low intensity scheme is used initially due to its benefits (neuromuscular, vascular, etc.) but how is it that beyond a certain point, a SSC is required? In other words, how is it determined that beyond a certain point on the bodyweight movement spectrum the intensity is higher and will now require a longer adaptation period? Is the notion of properly conditioned joints based on the ability to execute the mastery rep/set scheme or the length spent trying to reach the point of mastery for a particular exercise?

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Michel Hendrickson    2
Michel Hendrickson
15 hours ago, Nick Murray said:

True. But unless the rest of your body (skeleton, muscles etc) can handle the weight, you may injure yourself: squatting with a heavy weight not only needs strength, but also a kinesethetic sense: the ability to know where each of the different parts of the body are in space, and how to control them.

Two examples:

1. A young girl I'm training in my gym: she is strong enough to squat heavy weights, but her hips and legs wobble everywhere with even a light load, and she keeps rounding her back: her nervous system (muscle/motor control and kinesthetic sense) has not yet developed to the point where she can safely squat with larger loads.

2. My first day of work as a massage therapist: a runner came to me with "tight calves". I wanted to see if she could squat (in other words, use her glutes and hamstrings instead of just running from the knees down). She couldn't squat. She just could not figure out what to do - she waved her backside around in the air, and even with me holding her wrists so she wouldn't fall, she was afraid of "going backwards". I've no idea how she sat down on a chair at work. Maybe she just fell backwards?

Anyway the point of this is that low-load, high rep activities help the body learn to control itself under load. And to SAFELY try out different ways of improving form.

+1 to @Josh Earl and @Christopher Hancox as well.

 

Your answer covers the "form" aspect. Assuming that form is good, what is better from a joint health/conditioning perspective, high reps or high intensity?

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Joaquin Malagon    20
Joaquin Malagon

It seems that it is not a question of which one is better but rather how they intertwine. The high intensity scheme will improve the tendons and ligaments capacity to handle higher forces with proper programming but the high rep scheme is still very beneficial to joint health. Even at higher levels of training where the intensity is higher, high rep schemes are sometimes prescribed to maintain joint health for the increased blood flow among some of the other benefits. Thoughts?

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Matthias Schwartz    127
Matthias Schwartz

@Michel Hendrickson It's 2 sides of the same coin, as many above have described. High reps with light or no load are good for gentle joint preparation (as well as recovery). High reps nourish the joints with synovial fluid (and a small amount of blood circulation), and lightly challenge and stimulate the joints and connective tissues.

If you raise the load and lower the reps, it becomes more of a challenge to the joint tissues, and likely forces stronger adaptation. However, like anything else, the load must match your current level of readiness. Too much too soon and the tissues get overloaded/injured and you end up going backwards. So we start off easy, safely preparing our joints for bigger things. Then the movements get harder, heavier, and with lower reps as we progress through foundation.

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Nick Murray    284
Nick Murray
On 8/5/2017 at 2:12 AM, Michel Hendrickson said:

Your answer covers the "form" aspect. Assuming that form is good, what is better from a joint health/conditioning perspective, high reps or high intensity?

Sorry, only just saw this.

From a joint health perspective, simply moving the joint (any joint in the body) through as much range, pain-free, as possible will keep it "healthy", in the absence of disease or pathologic condition.

For conditioning (strength or endurance), assuming form is correct, progressive overload will condition the joints to the activity being undertaken. @Matthias Schwartz is correct. You really need both.

Not everyone will progress at the same rate: generally, the older you are, the longer recovery (including tissue "rebuilding"/supercompensation ie getting stronger) will take.

I don't think there is an optimum sets x reps for everyone, some half-remembered research I've read says "do an exercise until you're tired". When a muscle is fatigued and cramping, there's enough of a chemical cascade in the bloodstream to tell the fatigued tissues to get stronger. I don't understand exactly how this works - the biochemistry is probably horrendously complex.

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