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Leg muscle balance?
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islifejustaplayground?




Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you be a bit more specific? Do you have any questions, I might be able to help then.
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wilbur4s




Joined: 06 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's the beauty about sport...what works for one person isn't going to work for another. and you can argue both points across for and against weights training.
i never did weights, and last year spent ages on swim, bike and run training, and cut my time downby about 5 minutes for sprint and almost 10 minutes on oly (when i remembered to stay on the bike!) so i know that specific training works.
however we all lead life's outside triathlon (or not in some cases) or we'd be pro's, but even they do other things i would have thought. so if you spend 35hours swimming, biking and running firstly you may get a bit bored, secondly the muscles used to do those activities will be strong but other muscles not used as much will become weak so when you come to do a daily activity that uses a weaker muscle "bang", you're injured and suddenly the 35 hours a week training become a long time in front of the television!
a balanced workout will definately help...and that is what this thread is about.....leg balance! i'm not saying you have to live in the gym...gets cold at night, but it's not going to do you any harm...
and if other guys are doing it and getting faster and stronger....hell i am going to do it too!

.....awaits oncoming barrage of abuse! Nana
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yoyodub




Joined: 17 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

life, a couple of questions to get me started:

I read (and you pointed out too) that beginners fail to appreciate how much they should lift to get results. It is, however, difficult to know how much to try to lift. At the beginning of a weight lifting prog, am I right to say that one shouldn't try to lift to exhaustion at the end of the third set of three? Plus precisement, if I lift one warm-up set of 50% of third set volume to start with, should I be aiming to finish the third set knowing that I could have lifted more?

And that this calculation will change as the weight training aims to achieve something else later on in the programme? That is to say that there will be times when one is aiming to lift to exhaustion on the last set, but that the very beginning of a programme is not the appropriate moment?

Also, how much is how much? At the moment, I'm struggling to achieve 10ks on biceps curls. I'm not concerned - I can only do what I can, but trying to lift that much simply leaves me hurting for more than a couple of days. Hurting as opposed to sore. Should I be content in the knowledge that my strength will improve (I told you I was weak!).

My prog stipulates 90 second rests between sets - strikes me as excessive, your thoughts?

And any other beginner's mistakes which you have witnessed which it would be nice if you could help me avoid before I actually make them and ask you about them ...

Many thanks
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nathan




Joined: 05 May 2005
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Location: Bedfordshire

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I shall throw my hat in on this one.......

First some general principles

1: you need to learn how to lift properly - machines allow you to make mistakes and still lift weight - this is not good. Learn the movements first and then build the load

2: Nervous system first then strength gain - again, like swimming learn and hone the skill and then apply greater loads with less repetitions and more weight.

3: Function before asthetics. The best movements to learn are the ones we need for our activity so squats, press ups, overhead press, dead lift, step ups, step drives and other gross movements will form the building blocks of total body strength gain.

4: Forget the T shirt muscles - when do you use the bicep curl action in a triathlon apart from lifting a trophy? The reason why so many body builders look like chimps is they work the chest and biceps in isolation rather than focussing on true total body strength.

5: Core strength does not come from doing crunches - a decent quality press up will give you more core strength benefit than a 1000 crunches, even better learn the pilates press up which is a 5 stage press up that requires flexibility, strength and balance.

6: Proper movement - There is no value in half squats, half deadlifts or other small range "YMCA safe" exercises, they will mess with your biomechanics and cause you injury

7: Learn to manage your own weight before you add extra load. With the right movements you can get a great workout just on the floor.

8: Balance skills - most if not all of you will have terrible balance skills, improving balance automatically improves core strength.

Now the specifics

Everyone is biomechanically different, a good example would be Simon Lessing vs Spencer Smith, ones a string bean the others a gorilla and both will need to train totally differently because of that, generic programmes in books are purely general and often ignore simple things like gender difference (Women have shorter muscle bellies and longer tendons than men so movement performance and lifting potential is different is different)

What this means is that if you are serious about strength training you will need to get advice from a properly qualified person and pay for it. Otherwise its a hit and miss affair, bit like buying prescription meds off the internet when your not a Doctor, just because your mate said it would work.

Th eone recommendation I would make is that if you can do nothing else then buy "The Pilates Body" by Brooke Siller and learn the classical mat exercises, its a well written book and even though its general in its approach the 32 classic movements are all functional and will add to your performance

Nathan
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yoyodub




Joined: 17 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An outstanding post C Company. All the more so for coming so late on a Friday. I thank you.
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wilbur4s




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good post, well done! simple but true, but as you said everyone is different
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islifejustaplayground?




Joined: 11 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yoyodub wrote:
life, a couple of questions to get me started:

I read (and you pointed out too) that beginners fail to appreciate how much they should lift to get results. It is, however, difficult to know how much to try to lift. At the beginning of a weight lifting prog, am I right to say that one shouldn't try to lift to exhaustion at the end of the third set of three? Plus precisement, if I lift one warm-up set of 50% of third set volume to start with, should I be aiming to finish the third set knowing that I could have lifted more?

And that this calculation will change as the weight training aims to achieve something else later on in the programme? That is to say that there will be times when one is aiming to lift to exhaustion on the last set, but that the very beginning of a programme is not the appropriate moment?

Also, how much is how much? At the moment, I'm struggling to achieve 10ks on biceps curls. I'm not concerned - I can only do what I can, but trying to lift that much simply leaves me hurting for more than a couple of days. Hurting as opposed to sore. Should I be content in the knowledge that my strength will improve (I told you I was weak!).

My prog stipulates 90 second rests between sets - strikes me as excessive, your thoughts?

And any other beginner's mistakes which you have witnessed which it would be nice if you could help me avoid before I actually make them and ask you about them ...

Many thanks


Right, see even a few simple questions could turn hairy here, thats exactly what I'm talking about Very Happy

Your first question - what I meant by a beginner not knowing how hard to lift, imagine a runner going for a run, the first runner is sprinting a long and hes reaching a heart-rate of 189 BPM, the second runner is sprinting a long a bit faster and his HR is 195BPM, now, the second runner is working harder than the first, but thats not to the say first isn't working hard, he is of course, and it feels like he is working hard as well. The difference is in weight training, if you work at anything below the required intensity, almost all of the benefit is lost.

You talk about working to exhaustion in the third set of three, well, there is a big debate about this, as I said, some people will say go to failure, others will say don't. Growing research has found that working to failure does nothing but to tax the central nervous system and build fatigue.

So in that case, it would be best to avoid working to failure, that said if you are working the same bodypart once a week, it is generally "ok" to train to failure. The problem comes when you train the same bodypart more than once a week, theres growing evidence that this is better for you than what people perviously thought.

Have a search for "hypertrophy specific training" on google for example, you will find the programme would advocate training the whole body 3 times a week, no exercises to failure, and very few sets. The key to these workouts being frequency, volume, and load.

Then search for "high intensity training" on google, on this programme, you would only work the same bodypart once every 7-10 days, and use very little volume, and very few reps. (I'm not sure if failure is recommended in this programme). Basically the complete opposite of the above programme.

Which one works best? Well thats the problem you see, Mike Menzter, first person to gain a "perfect" score in the olympia, followed the HIT programme, where as other equally as good bodybuilders have followed the HST programme. So its almost impossible to tell which one works best.

Should you be content in the knowledge your strength will improve? Well - HAS your strength improved? How long have you been lifting those dumbells? The key to progression is overload, if you lift 10kg dumbells everytime you won't necessarily get stronger.

90 seconds rest between sets is fine, some programmes will even recommend up to 5 minutes rest, depending on goals of course.

If you feel you can handle less rest, then do, the key is being able to lift the weights as heavy as possible in the next set however, not trying to increase your CV fitness.
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Pebble 2




Joined: 04 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mind you Mike & Ray Menzter are both dead!!!!!
Specific High Intensity Training (S.H.I.T. for short)
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islifejustaplayground?




Joined: 11 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're dead most likely for the cocktail of drugs they consumed, not the way they trained.
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yoyodub




Joined: 17 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Should you be content in the knowledge your strength will improve? Well - HAS your strength improved? How long have you been lifting those dumbells? The key to progression is overload, if you lift 10kg dumbells everytime you won't necessarily get stronger.


Fair enough, that would be reaching a plateau. However, in the knowledge that I can just about manage 3 x 15 of 7kg dumbbells at the moment, when I can manage 3 x 15 of 10kg dumbbells, I will know for certain that I have got stronger. And if I plateau at 10kg, I will still be happy in the knowledge that whilst then I'm just maintaining strength, I will still be stronger than I am now when I can only manage 7kg.
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islifejustaplayground?




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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try this to see if you get any quick gains in strength -

If you're currently doing 3x15 of 7kg, try doing 9kg dumbells, for as many reps as you can all sets, without going to failure. Next session try lifting 11kg dumbells, again for as many reps as possible without failing, and next session lift even heavier. Next session after see if you can manage more than 7kg dumbells for your normal set of 3x15..
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nathan




Joined: 05 May 2005
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Location: Bedfordshire

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What also needs to be considered is that there are paralllels between how we improve strength performance and how we improve in an activity like running.

In running if you want to improve 5K performance some of your running will be "over distance/under speed" and some of it will be "under distance/over speed". Strength training works in exactly the same way

Lets take the example of 3 sets of 15 repetitions of Biceps curls at 7kg as described above:

Over distance/underspeed would correspond to lifting a lower weight for more repetitions (Muscular endurance),and example of this would be to take a 3.5 KG dumbell and lift one set of 100 reps (It hurts)

On the other side we need to look at maximal innervation and fibre recruitment which means high load and low reps (over speed/under distance) so you would take a 10kg dumbell and lift 6 sets of 5 reps with at least 2 minutes between sets (Rest periods are the reason Body builders spend half there life in the gym), also note that lift speed should be double the lowering speed to maximise the eccentric workload.

Approach your strength training in this way and you will improve your performance for the 3 x 15.

The real question is whether improving bicep curl musclular endurance will help triathlon performance or bar room performance?

Nathan
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yoyodub




Joined: 17 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biceps curls - fair enough, a bit of a strange lift for someone wishing to do weights to improve cycling/tri performance. The author claims that one uses the upper arms for leverage when sprinting and climbing out of the saddle. I don't do any of the former although I do spend 3-4 weeks of mountain cycling during the summer ... that said, this particular lift disappears after a dozen sessions to be replaced by a hammer curl and thereafter makes only fleeting appearances.
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Big Bopper




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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I do too much hill work on the bike, my hamstrings get painful and stiff. If I start to do hamstring curls in the gym, they settle down. I think it's about balance, and antagonistic muscles like quads and hamstrings need to be able to handle each other.

BB
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nathan




Joined: 05 May 2005
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Location: Bedfordshire

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Bopper wrote:
If I do too much hill work on the bike, my hamstrings get painful and stiff. If I start to do hamstring curls in the gym, they settle down. I think it's about balance, and antagonistic muscles like quads and hamstrings need to be able to handle each other.

BB


Unfortunately the principle of agonist/antagonist doesnt really work with muscles that have action over more than one joint. Its a simple principle that workds for bicep/triceps around the elbow, but the Hamstrings and the Quadriceps are involved in movement around the hip and the knee and they also have integrated action with the hip flexors and the glutes.

The only way to truly "balance" the system is to use the system as a whole, isolating with leg extensiona nd hamstring curls leaves you at the mercy of the enginerring of the machine and your strength gains will be variable dependent on the designs of those machines.

Nathan
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