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 Post subject: RDL or leg curls?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:48 pm 
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I know RDL's work the ham strings but they also recruit numerous other muscles.


If I am doing Roman deadlifts can I cut leg curls from my weight routine?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:56 pm 
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Not really. You'e working the hamstrings some, but not thoroughly enough. When doing the RDL you aren't bending your knee against a resistance, right? That's what you need to do to get a full hamstring workout where every individual fiber within the group gets challenged.

But you can cut back on the number of sets if you wish. And doing a multiple muscle group exercise like the RDL is a very good thing.

The key here is to make sure the quadriceps never get more than 50% stronger than the hamstrings. You can more or less measure that on the leg extension and leg curl machines. If that ratio gets out of whack, you're an injury just waiting to happen. Consider how much the hamstrings get challenged when doing snap kicks, never mind anything fancy. And without good strong hamstrings to match the quadriceps, you can put your knee in harm's way as well.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:33 pm 
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Thank you Bill.. I had forgotten the ratio of strength from Quads to hamstrings.

Since I'm on the subject of weight training, Let me ask your opinion about this.

http://www.choosefitness.com/staticcontractiontraining.php

I'm a bit leery due to the old expression "if it's too good to be true....". It seems that the entire range of motion is neglected. I have to admit though, the promise of huge strength gains intrigues me.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:10 pm 
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I pretty much had this pegged after the first few lines. But reading deeper, I can see that this guy gives up what experienced trainers should be able to recognize pretty quickly.

Let's start by calling a spade a spade. This isn't anything new. It's just a fancy way of doing isometric exercises. We know you can get results - and can get big - by doing isometrics. But it isn't a silver bullet by any means.

Next, examine this statement.
Quote:
I am a firm believer in static contraction training after participating in this routine for only 60 days.

This is the most laughable statement in the whole article.

If you were doing a routine and plateaued, ANY change for 60 days would result in improvement. This is the reason for applying the concept of periodization. Using that philosophy, you change you number of reps per set every two weeks. You start with lower weight and higher reps in the beginning of a 12-week cycle, and evolve to higher weight and lower reps towards the end. Obviously this author is totally clueless to the concept. Note the following statement.
Quote:
Most of us have been taught to workout with the weight with which they are capable of performing 8-12 repetitions, and to increase the weight when you can do more than 12 repetitions.

Bullschit! "Most of us" does not include ANY properly-trained strength coach. They understand the concept of working in 12-week cycles, rest periods, training to peak, etc., etc.

Keep doing this kind of training for much more than 60 days, and you're in for some big surprises. First, you will eventually plateau. Second, you'll eventually injure yourself in a way that ONLY big weights can injure you. (I can name names...) Then you'll tear a muscle or joint, and be weaker than a couch potato for half a year. Oops! :oops:

Next... The author suggests doing exercises ONLY in the sweet spot for this kind of training. This is a very bad idea. Why? If you're involved in any kind of activity, you don't have the luxury of ONLY operating in your "sweet spot." You try to return to that as much as possible in Sanchin, but you must vary about that median position to accomplish everything. Ideally you have good strength through a very broad range of motion. This allows you to do things like standard karate kicks, keeping your elbows inside in Sanchin, extending your techniques out in whip-like fashion, being able to survive a match with a BJJ expert, etc.

Let's not forget that you use different muscles in different parts of a range of motion for something like a bench, a squat, and even an isolation exercise like a leg extension. Only working part of a range is to work only parts of your body.

If all you cared about doing was getting big, fine. Become a bodybuilder and strut your stuff. But if you want to do something other than flex in a static position, this kind of training will get you nowhere. I know, because I did a version of it (isometric training) when I was younger ( age 18 ). I gained 30 pounds of muscle mass and looked great. But I gained absolutely nothing that I could transfer to my martial arts in terms of power, coordination, or "usable" range of motion. Those require a very different approach to your training.

Nautilus and Strive have worked the concept with the variable cam machines. These are designed to make your body "feel" maximum resistance through an entire range of motion. The big problem here is muscle isolation. You do better when you work multiple muscle groups as the "core" of your training. So Nautilus or better yet the Strive (adjustible variable cam) should come in after the basics (squats, bench, power cleans, etc.).

There's nothing wrong with mixing this stuff in for short periods in a cycle just to "shock" your body. You should always be changing your routine. Otherwise the body will find ways to do more with less. Then you plateau. Also, change prevents injuries, and teaches your body more in ways that you can take to the field and to the battle.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:17 am 
what Bill said . 8)

sometimes the best way to shock your body if you plateau is to not train at all for a few months IMHO .

and remember you grow outside of the gym .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:04 am 
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Location: Virginia
Thanks guys.

I've been doing the same routine (with a steady increase in weight) now for the past 4 months or so. It's mainly a routine for toning and shaping I beleive. I got it from my wife's total body makeover program she bought. Instead of using the rubber bands they include with the info I converted the excersizes to free weights and machines.

I do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of each excersize once a week, which I do over 2 or 3 days. It goes like this:

incline press w/ dumbbells, chest fly machine

dumbell curls, triceps reverse cable pulldown

delts via nautalis, rear delt fly, rotator cuff via cable machine

abs on inclined bench every other weight routine.

leg extensions, leg curls, leg press, RDL, calves

lat pulldown, wide grip row

......................................................................

I plan on trying some heavier weights with lower repetitions.

Bill, Marcus, anyone else.... I'd be very interested in seeing your strength routines. Also, any suggestions are welcome.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:53 pm 
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Your routine is fine, Ben, in that you cover all your muscle groups. Now, let's build on it.


There aren't enough open-chain exercises

  • The incline dumbbell flies are great. But instead of doing the foo-foo chest fly machine that will increase your bra size, why not substitute a standard bench press?
  • Every once in a while, mix in overhead dumbbell flies with the Nautilus delt flies. You can substitute one for the other one day. Another day you can use the Nautilus machine as pre-exhaution, and then immediately start a set of overhead dumbbell presses.
  • If you do the above two items, you should be able to eliminate the rotator cuff exercise. Unless you're nursing an injury, your open chain exercises should cover that in a way that also teaches you how to use the rotator cuff muscles with real-world movement. I otherwise cover my RCs with dynamic tension "cranks" (for warmups) and PNF stretches of the RCs.
  • The RDL is a GREAT total mass builder. But you aren't picking up anything in the way of balance with it that you can transfer to your martial arts. If it were me, I'd start by mixing in the standard squat which requires that you balance the weight on your shoulders rather than dangle it below your center. You'll get less in terms of total mass, and more in terms of useable total body movement. There are many variations on a squat that you can do once you learn the basic.
Alternate between maintenance and growth phases

By challenging your body only once a week, you are essentially in a "maintenance" phase. If you want to grow or peak to an event, you should work on a 12-week cycle (described above) which challenges a body part up to 2 times per week. Challenge it hard on one day, and less hard on the next. Start the "core" (open chain, multiple muscle group) exercises with high rep and lower weight in the beginning of the cycle, and work it up to lower reps and higher weights in the end. You can do 2 to 3 "cycles" in a year. Then mix in some rest periods and fill in the rest with maintenance. Sit down with your calendar and plan out a full year - complete with vacation times. 8)


Expand your trunk workout.

Man does not live by one abdominal exercise alone. Advanced martial arts is all about generating energy from the large core muscles in the body, and sending such energy out to the extremities in a wave-like fashion. (sequential summation of motion) There are also important whole-body motions that require you to do everything at once. (simultaneous summation of motion) Both require a strong, coordinated trunk. So...
  • Work in some oblique work. Side bends on a roman chair while holding a weight is my exercise of choice.
  • Don't forget some back work. Your RDLs cover this for the most part, but I'd pay close attention to what your back muscles are telling you. I like adding in back hyperextensions on the roman chair while holding a weight on the back of my head. Like the RDLs, this serendipitously works the hamstrings if you do this with an ever-so-slight bend at the knees. And it also works the glutes. Do this about once a week.
  • Don't forget that the abs involve two basic motions: hip flexion and crunching. Do some leg-lift-like stuff for the hip flexion, and crunch-like motions for your six pack. A standard sit-up works both if you do it correctly.
  • In general, cover your trunk twice a week, and pick and choose from a variety of exercises that work all the way around your midsection.

Work on power

Start mixing in Olympic style lifts like the power clean, the snatch, the clean-and-jerk, etc. Do them with barbells, dumbbells, plates (the snatch), etc. just to vary it and challenge your sense of coordination. And along with that, you can do standard plyometric training. These kinds of exercises can be your "second" challenge of a body part in a week during a growth cycle, and an occasional substitute for a standard day during maintenance.


As for my routine, well you're looking at it. I've been doing this for so long that I know how constantly to keep my body guessing and do more with less. I'm also cognizant of the fact that at 52 years of age, the discs in my back are smaller and my meniscus-free right knee is slowly getting arthritic. So I don't do the really heavy squats any more, nor do I run. Instead I mix in some of the fun Olympic lifts, throw in some walking lunges as substitutes for some of my squat sets (half as much work for the spine, and twice as much coordination and butt work), etc. By constantly changing and challenging my body, I can do more with less and keep from blowing an aging disc in my lumbar region.

As for my running... I used to be captain of my cross country team, believe it or not. These days I do interval training on the eliptical cross country machines. You can program in "interval" on those things, set the level, set the time, and go for it. This constantly challenges your body in the anaerobic (phosphocreatine and glycolitic) rather than aerobic phase. Remember that karate aerobics is an oxymoron! YOU CANNOT GENERATE SIGNIFICANT POWER IN THE AEROBIC PHASE OF YOUR METABOLISM. Instead, teach your body to work the anaerobic phase longer and harder via interval training. And do it stress free so you can save your joints for weights and karate.

Marcus is a younger buck and has a simpler, heavier routine. And that's exactly what he should be doing at his age. His is pretty classic, and my former strength coach would pretty much endorse his basic approach.

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:24 pm 
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I don't think the RDL works the popliteal - but leg curls do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:17 pm 
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Power cleans and squats are the way to go to generate power on your kicks, and further, recent studies are suggesting that exercises like these are actually good for building your upper body as well (probably because beating up huge lower body muscle groups will bump up your anabolic hormones systemically).

http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.d ... ___&page=1

Also, like Bill mentioned, periodization is key. You won't gain lean muscle if you do the same sets week after week. Alter your weights / sets / reps to keep your muscles guessing. I try to do 5 weeks higher reps/set , 1 week rest, then 5 weeks fewer reps/higher weight.

-Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:12 am 
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Thanks guys for the input. Thank you Bill for the time put into the response 8) I'll reread this a few times and try to utilize this information. I think it will take me a while to get good at squats. I'll grab one of the trainers at the gym and learn proper technique.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 4:02 am 
Squats arent difficult , many are scared of by the big lifts but they are the key to serious results . You dont need to go heavy , or blow a gasket , an youll get some cardio from it too .

the trick is train smart start light and get taught correct form .

Bills advice is good .

just remeber train smarter and harder do not train more !!!

9 working sets a week per body part is a good rule , that I`d even think maybe on the high side

so when you do all these littel isolation excercises think am I recruiting my biceps to do x , my shoulder to do x , youll be amazed how oten it adds up to 15-20 sets easily and you wonder why your not growing .

advice is huge in this department , and it`s a matter of learning what and how your body responds , I had some good core activation gains from doing some club swinging type work , and Id recommend that to any martila artist looking to recruit core strength and apply it to movement .

Bills advice is solid , I`d go see a trainer , get a plan that revolves around squats and deads and some upper body work , and go from there .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 5:34 pm 
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I no longer do Olympic lifts because they have caused every real injury I have had in the past 8 years. Last one was about 3 years ago - disc in my neck. Well - except a rotator cuff tear I got doing weighted pull ups.

I have begun swimming laps. I use to do cardio on the elpiticall - series of sprints - my knees and lowback can't take running on hard surfaces anymore. Running stairs does not bother my knees or back, and works great - but there really are no stairs high enough to make it really worth while. The high school has steps but the sprints up them are short - like 5 to 10 seconds. I like 30 second or so anaeorobic sprints - and a 25 to 50 m pool sprint is perfect. And it really works the shoulders and loosens them up.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:04 pm 
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Swimming laps are great. Probably the only thing I don't like about it is stinking like clorine for a day or(in spite of showering and soaping 2x)

When I was 20 I had a spinal fusion. I was weak as hell afterwards. My incision went from the top of my neck to the middle of my back. As soon as I could, I started swimming. I rebounded extremely fast. In a matter of like a month I was swimming a mile 5 days a week.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:27 pm 
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Ok.

I've started to do squats now instead of leg presses. I've also started heavier weights and lower reps.

Lesson learned: I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for :)

Great advice guys. THanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:22 pm 
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Repeated Sonkyo works wonders for the Hammies...

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