Today I did the legs, lumbar and neck portion of my 3-way split routine.  Frequency lately has been around every 5th day.  Wendy is on her off week this week, but I will post her WOW from last week.

Wendy WOW:  lateral raise (as pre-exhaust for), MedX overhead Press, SS Systems Pulldown, TSC chest fly (as pre-exhaust for), MedX Chest Press, TSC hip abduction (as pre-exhaust for), MedX Leg Press

Doug WOW: Calf Exercise on MedX Leg Press, Lumbar Extension on SS Systems Pulldown (as pre-exhaust for), MedX Leg Press, Neck Flex/Ext on SS Systems Neck.

On the last WOW, Craig posted about the loss of satellite cells in muscle tissue as one ages and what measures could be taken to prevent it.  Satellite cells are stem cells that lay in reserve for when muscle repair or growth requires them to be activated whereupon they turn into mature muscle cells.  Lacking satellite cells would compromise one’s ability to generate new muscle growth, or fight impending sarcopenia.  It turns out that training itself is a major force for the production of new satellite cells and their subsequent activation.  A fairly recent article explored the use of vascular occlusion with low loads but with sets that culminated in fatigue.  The resultant generation of new satellite cells and myofibrillar hypertrophy was impressive.  As with most studies, its use of untrained 21 year-olds for 8 weeks of training has its limitations, but it is still quite encouraging.  Training with vascular occlusion is something I have tried in the past with a good effect.  This experiment was limited to my arms, because of the ease of achieving vascular occlusion.  Many in the literature have theorized that slow cadence training may produce similar effects of vascular occlusion and increased intracellular acidosis.  The good news is that there are several articles in the references that show preservation and regeneration of satellite cells with standard high intensity protocols without vascular occlusion, but this article’s results with vascular occlusion are intriguing.  See the linked full text article below.

The second article touches somewhat on the last WOW where we showed how skeletal muscle and adipose tissue existed in competition and in opposition to each other.  This full text article goes into great detail discussing the pro-inflammatory cytokines that are generated by adipose tissue and how they contribute to diseases of modern civilization.  It then discusses the various myokines (muscle generated cytokines) that are anti-inflammatory in nature and work in direct opposition to the inflammatory cytokines of adipose tissue.  As you become familiar with the actions of myokines, you can begin to see how muscle tissue obtained via hard exercise works to prevent cancer, the metabolic syndrome, and dementia.  One of the major actions of myokines (interleukin 15 in particular) is the down-regulation of myostatin and a resultant increase in myogenic stem cells (AKA satellite cells).

This article does not make any differentiation about any given protocol with regard to these positive adaptions that myokines generate.  I think this would be a fertile area of new study.   Various protocols could be tested with an attempt to quantitate the level of myokine response generated by one protocol versus another.  Perhaps the researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Alabama at Birmingham who are exploring RenEx might be able to include some quantification of myokine response.  This would be particularly interesting with the group at Hopkins who is applying the protocol to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (a condition very strongly linked to inflammatory cytokines).

Take a look at these articles.  Post your WOW’s and your thoughts.