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Fluidity

Maximum Hypertrophy Vs Maximum Strength

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Connor Davies

As far as the drive to increase muscle size goes, there are a couple of good reasons to do it.

 

Increased size/weight is increased leverage (moving more external weight, rather than bodyweight).  This is the point made with the linebacker earlier.  But increased muscle size is also protective, especially in high contact sports.  More "under armour" means less likely hood of getting injured, so big shoulders and back muscles can be very beneficial.

 

More size also correlates with greater strength potential, to a point.  Bodybuilder style training can actually affect the alignment of muscle fibers, leading to increased efficiency of force production.  They might not have the edge when it comes to maximal force production, but they have a fairly high level of strength endurance.

 

Chasing size to the detriment of health, that I will never understand.  But if your goal is to be able to pick up anything, or avoid injury, or just to intimidate the people around you, then increased size has its purpose.

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Joshua Naterman
You can punch through bricks!? o.0

That was a long, long time ago. 13-14 years ago. I can't do stuff like that anymore, though my hand bones are very likely much denser than average even now.

 

What took me 12 months to develop back then would take me around 5 years now, and I'm not in a position to do such time-intensive specific training consistently for 5 years :)

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Fluidity
That was a long, long time ago. 13-14 years ago. I can't do stuff like that anymore, though my hand bones are very likely much denser than average even now.

 

What took me 12 months to develop back then would take me around 5 years now, and I'm not in a position to do such time-intensive specific training consistently for 5 years :)

Hey Josh, I just want to ask what type of hand conditioning protocol did you use when you were younger? Since I'm turning 17 around March, I want to be able to make the most out of the time I have as a teenager where I can grow and develop fastest. So what would you recommend for knuckle conditioning? I'm thinking of doing knuckle push ups, handstands on my knuckles, heavy bag punching at full force, clapping push ups done with knuckle impact(on mats of course :) ), and finally finish it with some contrast bathing with my hands.

Would you recommend anything else? What did you do when you were younger?

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ASForum

Typical recommendations include 75-85% of 1RM which generally lands you in the multiple sets(science suggests 3-8 sets) of 6-8 reps.

 

Regarding the isometrics, those times are only accurate if they represent your maximum ability. For example, if you hold a plank for 20 seconds but you are ABLE to hold it for 2 minutes you aren't going to get stronger because of this. For short holds to have much effect they have to be fairly difficult.

Because of the joint stresses involved, it's generally not recommended to try this with leverage work until you have solid straddles (perfect holds for 15s in a flat straddle).

High intensity isometrics can also be dangerous, especially when working with external loads. Unless you have spotters (please notice the plural) I do NOT recommend that anyone try externally loaded isometrics that they can only hold for 10-20 seconds.

As for hypertrophy, it is pretty much like this:

IF you want to grow, you need lots of volume. That will mean you work out less frequently, which of course will get in the way of skill progression.

For maximal growth, you'll want at least 3 sets per muscle group done to failure and perhaps up to 6.

If you cannot go to failure for whatever reason (form breaks down or it isn't safe to do so with the exercise) new data is suggesting that you will be best served with 8-10 sets per muscle group. This data technically is for strength gain, but experienced lifters don't get stronger neurologically in their lifts, it's almost all from new tissue. Therefore, more strength should mean more tissue.

Don't worry about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, even at its highest sarcoplasmic is a small fraction of total new protein. Just train and eat for growth, and you will get what you want.

In addition to the programs mentioned, Poliquin's advanced GVT is good. It is just 10 sets of 3 reps with your 6 rep max, 1 minute rest between sets.

 

 

Just to add on the what Josh has said. I am not personally an advocate of failure. I do like to use 10-20sets of low reps with short rest when I need to build someone up. Exact set count varies based on several parameters.

 

 

There are definitely advantages to higher volume without failure, especially in skill movements or with actual athletes, so I don't blame you. I generally restrict my failure sets to rotator cuff, wall handstands (only to failure once per week), and PE1 stuff.

I would definitely not advocate going to failure with any straight arm work :)

I like failure, something just feels good about it with certain movements, but it's certainly not the only way and I don't think there's any evidence that points to failure being better than lots of sets with low reps.

It's all about what you like to do, and what allows you to train properly for your chosen performance, I think.

 

 

Nice.

I will say that what I noticed in myself for many years was that my self esteem was heavily based on how I looked and how strong I was, and a lot of that was due to the fact that I didn't understand my value as a person. As I have grown older and... well, perhaps not wiser but at least a little bit more experienced, I have found that virtually all of my self esteem now comes from what I have to give to others, and the fact that I have learned how to navigate life.

Just a little perspective from my side of the fence :) I like how I am, but when I think of myself I'm the guy that likes to help people get where they want to go in life. I'm the guy that still loves to play street fighter and runs around with water guns in the summer. I'm not the guy who can do front levers or punch through bricks, that stuff rarely crosses my mind unless I'm about to work out. When I was younger, it was different lol :)

Interesting reads. When my cash flow starts and I am in same city as you are, dinner is on me. 

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Keenan Smith

I understand that people want to get huge, I just don't understand *why*. Nic raised some decent points about linesman needing to be fridge sized, it serves a very good purpose for their needs, but even he doesn't work with bodybuilders. Being strong such as in Olympic lifting is useful. Running fast and jumping high also serves a useful purpose, allowing you to move more efficiently in your environment, and be at less risk of injury and disease, or compete effectively in a particular sport.

All of these goals I would classify as "useful". What I don't understand is how being large simply for aesthetic purposes is "useful", especially as a lot of people take it to the point of training it at the detriment to all other aspects of health and fitness. As I mentioned, if everything else is in order for whatever your needs are (being healthy or strong or being able to perform in your chosen activity, etc), then what should it matter what size you are or what you look like? It's just a mindset I don't understand. Nothing against it, just a lack of understanding on my behalf as to why it's so popular when it doesn't seem to do anything useful from my perspective.

My only thoughts to logically why someone would want this is so one..they can eat more food. Some people have a pleasure in do that. (I know I do that's why I at first turned to bodybuilding.) Another reason is because in their mind, it's all about looking physically good like seeing a somebody they looked up to as a child and wanting to be them..of course that is just an idealistic fantasy and pipe dream. You can only be the very best you can be, with what you presently have, and proceed forward with that in mind. Anything else is just bs.

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Joshua Naterman

Hey Josh, I just want to ask what type of hand conditioning protocol did you use when you were younger? Since I'm turning 17 around March, I want to be able to make the most out of the time I have as a teenager where I can grow and develop fastest. So what would you recommend for knuckle conditioning? I'm thinking of doing knuckle push ups, handstands on my knuckles, heavy bag punching at full force, clapping push ups done with knuckle impact(on mats of course :) ), and finally finish it with some contrast bathing with my hands.

Would you recommend anything else? What did you do when you were younger?

I started off with a bucket of sand, punching it ~100x per day until my hand and wrist was in the sand. I also made a Makiwara-type bag and filled it with steel BBs, but at first Mung beans is much better. I made mine about 2-3" thick, with four layers of canvas to ensure it wouldn't split, and I used 60 lb test fishing line to sew the seams with fairly close stitches and a double-folded seam. 

Protocol wth makiwara bag:

 

10-20 hits of each, per hand every morning:

 

knife hand

palm

first two knuckles of fist

last 3 knuckles of fist (yes, the middle finger knuckle is used in both fists)

hammer fist

back hand, open

back fist

 

The hits should not be very painful, and I do not recommend adding volume until the pain goes away. i typically added 10 hits each time I felt ready. I ended up doing 100 hits per day. Obviously you will slowly add power to the hits. Eventually it will be nearly impossible to actually cause yourself injury.

 

In addition, we had a truck tire tied to a vertical support beam, and I used to punch that for fun for a few minutes every day. It got to the point where I could make it dent in quite a bit without any pain at all. When I first started I didn't leave a dent at all, and that tire pretty much felt like a rock.

 

I developed very, very thick pads on my knuckles. It was probably not pretty, but my hands could definitely have been considered weapons at the time. I used to hit extremely hard, and I believe that a part of that was because I had 100% faith in my hands not breaking.

 

This is the same way you condition your shins with a proper Thai bag, except you don't fill it with steel. You fill it with a 50% sand and sawdust mix if you're for real, but towels and a cotton liner also work ok. Nowhere near as good after a while, but it's ok. A real Thai bag weighs around 600 lbs.

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Connor Davies

How do your hands feel after something like that?  I remember hearing stories of Mas Oyama being unable to tie his own shoes, or sleep with even a light blanket laying on his hands.  Can you strengthen them in a sustainable way, or does the perfect punch come at a price?

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Jon Douglas

How do your hands feel after something like that?  I remember hearing stories of Mas Oyama being unable to tie his own shoes, or sleep with even a light blanket laying on his hands.  Can you strengthen them in a sustainable way, or does the perfect punch come at a price?

That's the subject of a different thread ^_^

What Joshua has put there is pretty reasonable IME, as long as you are fairly patient with it you should have trouble hurting yourself with that. I have heard and seen much more strenuous hand conditioning sessions, including those that are unsustainable and should not be done without appropriate preparation/ dit da jow / supervision.

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FREDERIC DUPONT

How do your hands feel after something like that?  I remember hearing stories of Mas Oyama being unable to tie his own shoes, or sleep with even a light blanket laying on his hands.  Can you strengthen them in a sustainable way, or does the perfect punch come at a price?

 

Have you got a reliable source for these stories Bipocini?

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Joshua Naterman

How do your hands feel after something like that?  I remember hearing stories of Mas Oyama being unable to tie his own shoes, or sleep with even a light blanket laying on his hands.  Can you strengthen them in a sustainable way, or does the perfect punch come at a price?

Well, I personally think the idea of hitting a wooden board wrapped in hard cotton rope, or a phone book on the wall, is retarded. You need to have whatever you are hitting deform around your hand. The Shaolin monks seem to have no dexterity issues, and no problems with their blankets either (though I am the first to admit that I have not lived with them, but I don't think they would pass down techniques and training that would ruin their hands, thus destroying all armed fighting ability).

 

I think that there's a big difference between hitting solid objects with your knuckles, thus creating massive PSI on the knuckles and joint tissues, and hitting the steel shot bag I made. I could feel the difference, which was why I chose to go that route, and I think it's the smart way to go.

 

I obviously can't answer long term questions about this from personal experience, because I only did this for about two years but I had zero trouble with anything during or after this. 

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Connor Davies

Have you got a reliable source for these stories Bipocini?

No.  No I don't.  This is the same guy that killed a bull with one punch, and used to make a living karate chopping their horns off.  He was doing stuff that would break me on a regular basis, I can only imagine that it would hurt.  Any pain he was in would probably not be a result of his hand conditioning, but more the crazy stuff he was doing.

 

Tough hands though.

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Joshua Naterman

There are, of course, some Kung Fu guys that have large bone spurs growing from their knuckles from moving past what I did and hitting a steel block for years and years, and the guy I saw the specials on didn't have any hand problems at all that I could see...  He was doing weapons forms, all kinds of stuff. At full speed.

 

The big thing I remember from that was hard breakfalls. It looks brutal...

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Quick Start Test Smith

No.  No I don't.  This is the same guy that killed a bull with one punch, and used to make a living karate chopping their horns off.  He was doing stuff that would break me on a regular basis, I can only imagine that it would hurt.  Any pain he was in would probably not be a result of his hand conditioning, but more the crazy stuff he was doing.

 

Tough hands though.

 

It sounds like you're talking about Mas Oyama, the Kyokushin karate guy.

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Joshua Naterman

Iron body training reduces the pain you will feel from impact to almost nothing, and based on Wolfe's law will cause your bones to become stronger. it is known.

 

Nothing but armor of some sort is going to keep a blade from cutting your flesh. This is regurgitated Shaolin stuff, nothing more. Well, they DID add a Southern accent, but I'm not sure that was a good thing.

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FREDERIC DUPONT
(...) Tell me what you think guys

 

I think that if you are going to whack someone across the chest with any degree of effect, don't use a cheap curtain bar! :D

 

 

Don't try this at home:

 

Same with a loose bat:

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Jon Douglas

Iron body training reduces the pain you will feel from impact to almost nothing, and based on Wolfe's law will cause your bones to become stronger. it is known.

 

Nothing but armor of some sort is going to keep a blade from cutting your flesh. This is regurgitated Shaolin stuff, nothing more. Well, they DID add a Southern accent, but I'm not sure that was a good thing.

Agreed. You start to nudge onto fairytale territory at this point. I've seen some very weird stuff, but I've still not seen a single practitioner try a direct, front-on slash from a blade.

 

That said, learn your lessons from history. Iron vest is unbelievably impressive and intimidating in a close fight, but didn't help anyone when firearms came along. That's certainly not to discourage anyone from learning it, there are a host of benefits aside from the conditioning (when it's done correctly), but keep your perspective.

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Jon Douglas

I think that if you are going to whack someone across the chest with any degree of effect, don't use a cheap curtain bar! :D

 

 

Don't try this at home:

 

Same with a loose bat:

A single bat isn't nearly as difficult as it looks. If you can shin kick a heavy bag and have it swing a few times, it's mostly a case of confidence to break one. I've done it a couple times (totally not on a bet ^_^), not sure if I can do it now. I have been spoilt and slack since coming to North America.... :P I train fairly hard but I'm not nearly as conditioned as a lot of the kyokushin or thai guys, so if I can do it, I can't say I find a single one very impressive any more... It's considered bad form to break the arms or leg of a mook jong dummy, but pretty much everyone has done that sometime and those limbs aren't much thinner than a bat either.

 

Breaking so many in a row is crazy though. Very hard to condition for that without doing damage to yourself. The free one is cool too, although it strikes me as more of a party trick than sheer bloody-minded determination as the first one.

 

Hmm, I'm opinionated today. Better not go on the Internet.

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FREDERIC DUPONT

(...) it's mostly a case of confidence to break one. I've done it a couple times (...)

 

Hmm, I'm opinionated today. Better not go on the Internet.

 

Indeed; there was a time when it was not so vulgarized - it still is a serious feat in my view - Props to you for doing it :)

 

Sage piece of self awareness and advice that I must heed myself more often...

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Jon Douglas

Indeed; there was a time when it was not so vulgarized - it still is a serious feat in my view - Props to you for doing it :)

 

Sage piece of self awareness and advice that I must heed myself more often...

Training with a Kyokushin 6dan in Japan. He was tickled by a white guy practising kung fu and let me spar with some of his students, and join in their demo for my kids (my students, I was teaching English over there). He could practically just step through bats, and psyched me into doing it.

 

NB; When I say confidence, I obviously mean correct technique and adequate preparation... no one should take that as 'self belief alone will allow you to break bats.' Breaking is useful to imprint proper technique and eliminate self-doubt, but in the end it's only so useful IMO.

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FREDERIC DUPONT
(...)

NB; When I say confidence, I obviously mean correct technique and adequate preparation... no one should take that as 'self belief alone will allow you to break bats.' Breaking is useful to imprint proper technique and eliminate self-doubt, but in the end it's only so useful IMO.

 

In other words, if you are going to try this stunt on confidence alone, please make sure to post a video... :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted:

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Jon Douglas

In other words, if you are going to try this stunt on confidence alone, please make sure to post a video... :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted:

Exactly! :)

Aaaaaand for that reason I will be leaving my display name as 'Charm' too.

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Cody Hahn

I started off with a bucket of sand, punching it ~100x per day until my hand and wrist was in the sand. I also made a Makiwara-type bag and filled it with steel BBs, but at first Mung beans is much better. I made mine about 2-3" thick, with four layers of canvas to ensure it wouldn't split, and I used 60 lb test fishing line to sew the seams with fairly close stitches and a double-folded seam. 

Protocol wth makiwara bag:

 

10-20 hits of each, per hand every morning:

 

knife hand

palm

first two knuckles of fist

last 3 knuckles of fist (yes, the middle finger knuckle is used in both fists)

hammer fist

back hand, open

back fist

 

The hits should not be very painful, and I do not recommend adding volume until the pain goes away. i typically added 10 hits each time I felt ready. I ended up doing 100 hits per day. Obviously you will slowly add power to the hits. Eventually it will be nearly impossible to actually cause yourself injury.

 

In addition, we had a truck tire tied to a vertical support beam, and I used to punch that for fun for a few minutes every day. It got to the point where I could make it dent in quite a bit without any pain at all. When I first started I didn't leave a dent at all, and that tire pretty much felt like a rock.

 

I developed very, very thick pads on my knuckles. It was probably not pretty, but my hands could definitely have been considered weapons at the time. I used to hit extremely hard, and I believe that a part of that was because I had 100% faith in my hands not breaking.

 

This is the same way you condition your shins with a proper Thai bag, except you don't fill it with steel. You fill it with a 50% sand and sawdust mix if you're for real, but towels and a cotton liner also work ok. Nowhere near as good after a while, but it's ok. A real Thai bag weighs around 600 lbs.

Hey Joshua,

 

Sorry for this barrage of questions,

 

Do  Mung Beans have any advantage over something like say, Pinto beans?

When the beans are eventually pounded into a powder will that particular bag still remain effective for conditioning?

Did you end up doing 100 hits per hand, per each different strike/hand region?

Can one condition the different areas of one's feet in this manner?

Did you ever used any liniments or creams to aid healing? Would you recommend one do this? Or does it even matter?

Lastly, did you ever do any supplementary movement/stretching/dexterity work for the fingers to keep them supple and limber after all of the impacts?

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Joshua Naterman

Hey Joshua,

 

Sorry for this barrage of questions,

 

  1. Do  Mung Beans have any advantage over something like say, Pinto beans?
  2. When the beans are eventually pounded into a powder will that particular bag still remain effective for conditioning?
  3. Did you end up doing 100 hits per hand, per each different strike/hand region?
  4. Can one condition the different areas of one's feet in this manner?
  5. Did you ever used any liniments or creams to aid healing? Would you recommend one do this? Or does it even matter?
  6. Lastly, did you ever do any supplementary movement/stretching/dexterity work for the fingers to keep them supple and limber after all of the impacts?

I added numbers to make this easy.

 

  1. They are smaller, so you will get more surface area and better conformation on the hands. Other than that, I don't know.
  2. I'm pretty sure you know they are no longer good for anything except whatever you'd do with bean flour.
  3. Yes. I'd say this took 20-30 minutes, but I never timed it.
  4. Yes, but be careful. I chose to strike my feet, instead of kicking things, with a sock I made it out of the same canvas, but it was filled with river sand. Any kind of sand would be just as good. I used this everywhere on my body except my actual genitals. This took about an hour a day. I used to kick a heavy bag that was full of sand and sawdust, but it took me almost 6 months to get to where it was safe for me to do that. Start off with a regular 6 foot bag.
  5. Not for healing, no. I always wanted to make dit da jao (spelling?) but I never did. I hear it helps, but that's entirely anecdotal.
  6. No, but I played lots of street fighter and Counter-strike when I wasn't training, so perhaps that had some kind of effect. *shrug*

I don't believe the steel BB bag is dangerous UNLESS you are an idiot, but you should start with the beans and a sand bucket. If you do things that hurt, you're going to have problems. This kind of thing is a gradual process. I was always patient about stuff like this.

 

I am not telling you this is safe, no one knows that for sure. I make no guarantees, or suggestions, about whether or not you will be ok training on your own, and I can't say a single thing about long term consequences. We make decisions on our own, and then we live with the fallout, whether good or bad.

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Connor Davies

I'm assuming you did this bare knuckle, or did you tape your wrists?

 

If you went the bare hand route, what kind of exercises would you do to promote wrist stability?

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