Australian Natural Bodz - - Train Smart -

Re­search done by Ni­cholas Burd, a sports sci­en­tist in the Stu­art Phillips sta­ble, may well rad­i­cally change the way we do strength train­ing in the com­ing decade. Then again, it might not work. Nev­er­the­less, ‘mus­cle time un­der ten­sion’ looks set to be­come a fa­mil­iar con­cept, and one we can’t ig­nore. We first re­ported on Burd’s re­search in the sum­mer of 2010. The sub­ject then was a study in which men who had trained with just 30 per­cent of their max­i­mal weight – do­ing 20-30 reps – had built more mus­cle pro­teins than men who had trained in the tra­di­tional way. The re­searchers’ the­ory is that weight isn’t the most im­por­tant fac­tor in strength train­ing, or at least not the only im­por­tant fac­tor. Equally im­por­tant is ‘Mus­cle Time Un­der Ten­sion’: the amount of time that mus­cles are placed un­der ten­sion dur­ing weight lift­ing. The re­searchers will now soon pub­lish the re­sults of their lat­est study in The Jour­nal of Phys­i­ol­ogy, in which they sub­jected the left and right legs of strength ath­letes to two dif­fer­ent work­outs. They got the men to train one leg on a leg-ex­ten­sion ma­chine, us­ing weights at 30 per­cent of their 1RM. The men had to per­form the move­ments slowly, tak­ing 6 sec­onds for both the con­cen­tric and the ec­cen­tric move­ment. The men trained at failure and did 3 sets. [SLOW] With the other leg the men had to per­form the same number of sets, with the same weight. But they per­formed these move­ments ‘nor­mally’ and there­fore didn’t train at failure. [CTL] Im­me­di­ately af­ter the work­out the sub­jects drank a shake con­tain­ing 20 g whey, and an­other one 24 hours later. The work­out with the slow reps re­sulted in the high­est mus­cle pro­tein syn­the­sis – the re­searchers saw this when they ex­am­ined cells they had ex­tracted from the leg mus­cles of the test sub­jects. This was true for both the con­tract­ing my­ofib­ril­lar pro­tein [the pro­tein in the mus­cle fi­bres] and the mi­to­chon­drial pro­tein [the cells’ power packs]. The lat­ter sug­gests that strength train­ing with slow reps may be in­ter­est­ing for en­durance ath­letes too. This study shows how slow-rep strength train­ing re­sults in en­hanced mus­cle pro­tein syn­the­sis. Elec­trode mea­sure­ments show that the slow-rep sets in­duced more mus­cle fi­bres to be used in the move­ment. These re­sults sug­gest that the time the mus­cle is un­der ten­sion dur­ing ex­er­cise may be im­por­tant in op­ti­miz­ing mus­cle growth. In all due re­spect to the sci­ence, logic sug­gests that the more time each mus­cle is placed un­der a con­stant load the bet­ter the over­all work­out ef­fect is go­ing to be. The take home mes­sage: Don’t get caught up on just lift­ing heavy weights, fo­cus on mak­ing each rep count with a slower more con­trolled move­ment. In other words, don’t just think it’s about mov­ing weights from point A to B. Make each rep count, be­cause each rep makes up a set and each set from ev­ery ex­er­cise you do makes up the en­tirety of your work­out!

Ref­er­ence: J Phys­iol. 2011 Nov 21.

The Im­pres­sive Physique of Steven BraudeModel Kristal Stir­ling

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