Mon 22 Oct 2012
I did the following WOW late Friday afternoon (after UE had cleared out).
Lumbar Extension on the SS Systems Pulldown
Squat Position MedX Leg Press (clean turn-arounds, no end stop)
Nautilus Pullover with SS retrofits
MedX Chest Press
MedX Compound Row with SS cam
All sets were done to simple failure. No end-stop techniques were used. I think I am going to drop any end-stop technique on pushing movements were the squeeze is done near infinite moment arm. My recent experience with the iStatic machines, along with recent experiments of infimetrics have convinced me this technique may not be worth the risks. The statics with feedback have domonstrated how high you can generate force with gradual uploading and how holding a plateau well below this level (with a large margin of safety) actually results in an almost identical fatigue curve as you would experience with the bell-shaped curve of maximal upload. For an explanation, see the graphics in Gus Diamontopolous’ Future of Exercise article at the RenEx site. Based on his explanation, I think the inroading with a dynamic set would probably be quite similar with just clean turnarounds as it would be with an end-stop squeeze technique (EST). The EST might accelerate the rate of inroad, but the ultimate depth or quality is the same. I suspect the increased rate of inroad may not be worth the potential increased force or the vascular risk if val-salva happens to creep in.
My experience with infimetrics has made me wonder about the requirement for an unrestricted speed of motion in dynamic exercise. When performing infimetrics, I have found that in order to maintain maximal tension, cadence needs to vary (generally becoming faster as fatigue accumulates), and range of motion tends to be truncated as well. I believe this is likely due to accumulated pump and congestion making muscular insufficiency at the extremes of range of motion more problematic. For instance, when doing lateral raise or chest fly, at the extremes of ROM one limb will be experiencing active insufficiency while the other experiences passive insufficiency. Now, I do not think this means that with dynamic, load-based exercise that speed must vary, but I think it is important that it CAN vary. Once you have a situation where speed cannot vary due to any sort of hard constraint, then I suspect neural input and recruitment may be messed up or even inhibited. If one were to wrestle an overwhelming opponent, then the most adaptive option would be inhibition of recruitment and escape (as opposed to increased recruitment if a potential yield were sensed). Appropriate cams and biomechanics can obviate the need to speed up or truncate ROM, but if speed is constrained artificially then recruitment may be inhibited. Because there is no movement, this does not appear to be an issue with statics as feedback shows that you can maintain very stable force output until fatigue occurs. In a dynamic movement, if cadence is controlled, force output can be equally stable. If you are using a motor-based resistance that restricts speed, maximal effort will produce more force variation and may befuddle recruitment. Now, I don’t want to slam motor based equipment, as I believe it has applications just as other versions of equipment do. However when using speed-restraining equipment, I think it is important to use sub-maximal effort and try to maintain a stable force output until fatigue catches you and results in “failure”. I believe performing “hyper” training (as seen on my CZT youtube clip) may not be the best use of this machinery. Despite its intensity, it may actually result in neural feedback that inhibits optimal recruitment and fatigue. Likewise, I wonder if the same concerns may not be present with the use of a hard end-stop squeeze (particularly in extension on pressing movements). Again, I want to make certain it is understood that I am not stating any of the above as fact. These are just musings I have had based on my recent experiments with statics and infimetrics. Things that make you go hmmm.
Post your WOW’s and your thoughts.