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Richard Robichaud

Connective Tissue

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Richard Robichaud

Hi coaches,

I just need clarification on how connective tissues are "rebuilt".

I've listened to many interviews with coach Sommer and connective tissue keeps coming up.  I realize it take much longer to rebuild connective tissue than it does muscle but is this done through doing the stretching series (Front Split, Middle Split and Thoracic Bridge)? OR through the exercises in the Foundations Series ......or both?

I have been dedicating most of my time to the foundations and not so much to the stretch series but I'm thinking I should.

I guess my question in - what is the difference between building muscle and building connective tissue?  

Thanks all,

Rich 

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Alessandro Mainente

hey Richard, the question is something that potentially needs a book in order to be explained completely. Tissue can be strengthened by increasing gradually intensity, the time you need to increase their qualities depends on how much they are vascularized. muscles are more vascularized compared to a tendon. quite simple.

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Coach Sommer

Hi Richard,

Think of connective tissue as the tissues that hold together and strengthen the joints; note the emphasis on ‘strengthen’.   The most effective way to strengthen connective tissue is with high level plyometric work with multiples of bodyweight over a fraction of a second involved as load.  However, while this approach is wildly effective, it may only be safely employed with intermediate and above athletes.

Beginning athletes often have many deficiencies to address before they can begin safely implementing plyometric work (or dynamic strength) into their training.  Often times they must regain their natural range of motion (R.O.M.) as well as build a reasonable level of strength.

Muscle strength is relatively easy and straight forward to build.  Connective tissue needs more time.  This problem is then further exacerbated when people build max strength with abbreviated R.O.M. in the joint which then sets them up for substantial failure down the road.  The solution is clear; focus on full R.O.M. and higher reps during your first 6-8months of training.  While you won’t feel the highly satisfying muscle pump of intense strength training sessions, you will be laying the foundation for a long productive training future.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

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Richard Robichaud

Thanks very much @Alessandro Mainente and @Coach Sommer for explaining this to me.

I never realized that it was plyometrics that plays the biggest part in strengthening connective tissue.  If fact I never considering strengthening connective tissue, nor was I ever taught - it was always just about the muscle.

I know powerlifters, especially Louie Simmons' Westside Barbell gym focuses on utilizing overcoming eccentrics where they perform a few hundred reps with a band of say bicep or hamstring curls and tricep extensions at a very quick speed which focuses less on the muscle but circulation to the connective tissue.  

Any merit to this?

I trust your programming coach.  Just curious.

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