W.O.W. 9/15/13-Satellite Cells, Vascular Occlusion, and Myokines

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.



272 thoughts on “W.O.W. 9/15/13-Satellite Cells, Vascular Occlusion, and Myokines”

  1. Marc,

    I’m not gone, just on a read-only hiatus (until now I guess). Considering your strange “gravity” fascination and your recent amazing discovery that most people just want to lose weight, maybe you should consider doing the same.


    One of your favorite fictitious bloggers.

  2. WOW,last saturday,
    nautilus 2st legpress
    smith machine incline press
    OME pullup
    OME shruggs
    OME calves
    nautilus 2st neck,head flexion/extension

    Currently I’m back to once a week shedule after some time at once every 4-5 days.This due to life circumstance ,but I would do this on a rotating base anyway.
    Exercises do stay the same on a A,B,C programm.
    I also did in the past a 4 and 3 way split up to once a week.For me such a split does work better within 4-5 days recovery.
    Since recovery has to do with many factors besides shear days of rest it will always be difficult to pinpoint to a exact amount of hours(days).Therefore I prefer to adjust ,due to circumstances I know of that will influence my recovery ,the recovery period. Or I plan to switch to 7 days recovery at a regular base.Just to be on the safe side and allow indeed for recovery.
    I judge by how I feel and look over a certain timespan and taking into account my workout logbook.In it I write my complete workout experience besides exercises and the used resistance.


  3. Marc – Henry – Thomas

    STOP! Take it off-line. Or find another site…but just knock it off. Please!
    This crap gets old!


  4. WOW

    Nothing for the past 3 weeks.

    This week I will be going to the UTSW gym in Dallas to do a workout with a friend who has a PHD in Organic Chemistry. He is dating my cousin who has a PHD in Chemisty so the conversations are interesting, and a bit over my head.

    Not working out for a while and trying not to obsess about exercise and diet has been refreshing. The batteries are just about recharged…

  5. Is there any evidence at the biochemical or cellular level that would explain why a really long layoff (18 to 64 days) would be beneficial for strength? Some people suggest that heavy deadlifts should only be done at 1 or 2 month intervals because it takes the lumbar spinal muscles that long to fully recover. But I don’t remember the basis for the statement – perhaps just training room experience?

  6. For all,

    I have gone on the admin page and checked ISP addresses.

    -Marc is not posing as anyone else.
    -Henry is not posing as anyone else.

    -Most importantly. “Michael” IS Blain. Same ISP address. Michael has been blocked. I apologize for anyone that spent time offering advice to in good faith.

  7. @ Doug McGuff

    As pathetic as that is, a least people were giving helpful advice with the best of intentions. The blog has taken a turn for the better, in spite of this speed bump.

    How was the Clarence Bass Event? If there is anything that relates to slowing down sarcopenia, it is him.

  8. Not to stir the pot. Just a thought.

    But if Mike has a computer at home maybe he might want to use it there to avoid any undo accusations.

    Thus a different IP address. Now that we know there are more than one available.

  9. Yeah. Kicked off here and chased off Darden’s with the last shot ‘hang in there, it gets worse. You ain’t seen anything yet’.

  10. I have Robert Redford hair, can I be him?

    My parents called to ask about the wedding. Which went great. Then they informed me my pop has a leaky aorta valve, so he gets cracked open real soon, maybe by the end of the week.

    My grandpa, 93, has a leaky valve, they won’t touch him. So, I’m wondering how leaky my valve might be. My dad always blamed Floyd’s on smoking, he can’t do that now.

    Have any trainers practiced any post valve surgery, recovery?


  11. Craig

    From my layman’s perspective, I’m finding these longer cyclical breaks are a real plus for hypertrophy as well as strength.

    Btw – your suggested drop-set recommendation was really appreciated. I don’t want to jump to conclusions after a single workout, but there’s definitely more “hardness” to the targeted musculature than before…almost like a 48hr pump.

  12. Dave s,
    I am now posting from home and not during my luch break at work. I hope this clears up any confusion.

  13. Dr. McGuff,
    Does me having to go home to post now get me an apology? I guess my home IP address cleared your “spam” filter…whatever that entails.

  14. Henry,

    I look forward to hearing if you find a benefit longer term. From reading your prior posts, it seems that you have tried a variety of different things before landing on this split routine, so your experience with this tweak will be interesting.

    Craig in CT

  15. Michael

    I never had a problem in regards to you.

    Sometimes things work themselves out in time.

    Cooler heads always prevail.

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