Alactic + Aerobic

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Harald Motz, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I am a big proponent of including higher metabolic sessions as a regular rotation, but as with many attributes, hitting it harder all the time doesn't guarantee gains. The effects if done consistently are cumulative, training metcons all the time detracts from other equally important adaptations.

    It doesn't take a ton to improve or maintain. I try to do a metcon session every week, but its the first thing I cut if I have to skip a day/shift sessions around.
    Bret S. and Ulven like this.
  2. Ulven

    Ulven Triple-Digit Post Count

    That's my thinking and when I say I have trouble justifying AGT, A+A type stuff I mean to other folks in case that wasn't clear. For myself I have seen improvements across the board, I'm stronger than I've ever been, I weigh less and have a higher level of work output in many areas. Just tough to get people onboard with an approach that takes a pulled back type approach. A coworker and I were discussing the upcoming in season training for work and we did agree that a once a week implementation of something like high intensity intervals and the like was probably a good approach. Large doses of manageable work be it in the form of running, hiking, lifting, calisthenics etc... With a smart, targeted and infrequent sprinkling of sessions that are punishing. Thanks for the input.
  3. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    If it works for you... why do you need to justify it to anyone?
    ShawnM likes this.
  4. Snowman

    Snowman Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    This. I'm 27, and I don't think I'm even close to my peak. I still have another 5-10 years of consistent training before I get there. But the key word is consistent. I know a fair amounht of high-school and college athletes who put it all out there in their teens and 20's, and ended up with little to show for it besides training-limiting injuries. Their peak wasn't due to physiological limitations (as is ideal), but due to orthopedic limitations and psychological burnout.

    Such is the curse of youth, we tend to assume that everyone is actually paying attention to and judging us. I am slowly learning that A) they are not, or B) it doesn't matter. Easy for me to say, hard to do.
    Kiacek, Brookes, Bret S. and 3 others like this.
  5. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    "We wouldn't care what others thought of us if we realized how little they did."
    - Dad
    Hobbes, rickyw, Snowman and 4 others like this.
  6. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    "What do you care what other people think?"
    - Richard Feynman
    Steve W., krg and Snowman like this.
  7. Ulven

    Ulven Triple-Digit Post Count

    Because our PT in the mornings before work are usually done as a group. Sometimes one module will lead the PT for that day or other times the individual mods will workout by themselves and that usually results in people coming up with some sort of circuit with ridiculous exercises, silly movements that have no practical purpose and/or too many reps, stacked back to back simply for the sweating and burning of muscles.
    Snowman and ShawnM like this.
  8. deviant

    deviant Double-Digit Post Count

    Harald, which heart rate monitor are you using? I am sorry if this question has been asked already and I missed it.
    WxHerk likes this.
  9. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I have a question about rest time doing A+A and this is probably the right place to ask it.

    Would doing the repeats in a GTG format, instead than in a single training session, be considered as A+A? Would it bring the same benefits? By definition, the repeat is alactic, and the recovery is aerobic when done GTG.

    Would this type of training miss the conditioning benefits of A+A done in a normal session?

    And also, a similar question regarding the rest length continuum: Lets say my normal rhythm for an A+A session is to start the repeats on the 1:30. If I instead started the repeats on the 2:00, would it be good, bad or similar? This question would be in the context of base building, not trying to achieve a specific time goal or peaking for an event.

    I´m asking these 2 questions because I had good results with generous rest sessions and GTG sessions for swings while doing S&S.
    Antti likes this.
  10. miked

    miked Double-Digit Post Count

    There may be some type of GTG format that works with A+A - but I don't know what that is. Biology is all about responding to the dynamics of stress. Why does GTG work? One is the practice - you're doing so many easy reps of your movement that you get the motor pattern of good movement build in. The other is that it's just enough stress to stimulate muscle growth. That is, you train enough reps in each set to get a stressor but not so many that you're even close to failure. The stressor is what your body reacts to.

    In A+A, I think the key stressor is a slight build up of AMPK which signals mitochondrial biogenesis. Our goal (or at least my interpretation of the goal) in A+A is to do enough work to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis but not so much that we have lactic acid spilling over into our blood.

    Does one A+A repeat generate enough AMPK (or whatever else we need) to count as a stressor? Maybe. Does a slightly compressed rest time (say 1:30 vs 2:00 in your question) mean that there's a slight build up of lactate that needs to be burned in the mitochondria and that's a good thing? Maybe.

    If I put my mathematician hat on, I can say that having 0 rest between repeats is bad (a la CrossFit), and waiting a day between repeats is probably not optimal. We do know that the 1:00-2:00 rest seems to produce good results. So that means somewhere there's an optimal between no rest and 1 day of rest. But how flat is that optimal? Does it really matter if it's 1:00? 2:00? or 3:00? I'm betting not, but I don't think we really know.
  11. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Oscar, if you look at heavy A+A snatches as a 'strength conditioning ' tool you'd be on the right path, for cardiovascular conditioning look more to LED work.

    The snatches build strength which help make you stronger to perform LED work more efficiently, then, in turn, the LED work makes recovery more efficient while performing A+A snatches.
    The better the recoveries, the more work you can perform, and more importantly recover from.

    These work synergistically and build upon one another, thereby enabling you to constantly and consistently widen both your strength and aerobic base.

    Rest intervals during A&A work can be longer or shorter, the main driver is recovering for max power on every repeat. You could do GTG type work I suppose, the problem I see is going cold between efforts, which increases chance of injury using the heavier loads required by A+A snatch repeats of five reps.
    fractal and Oscar like this.
  12. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Bret S. thats exactly my thinking: getting the conditioning benefits by LSD running and rowing.

    About going cold between GTG sets: Yes, that would be something to consider. I havent had that issue with swings, and I did sets up to 40 kg, which is a significant weight for my level. 8 kg above my normal S&S weight at that time. But maybe with heavy snatches it would be more of an issue. @Steve W. you usually do snatches in GTG format, what do you think?

    @miked lets see if I understood your thought correctly: snatching in a GTG manner might not be as stressful as done in a regular session (more compressed), therefore not promoting adaptation? My experience with GTG swings has been that I can go a bit heavier than if I do them more compressed, so this added weight could compensate the reduced stress. Thinking about it, I did this doing S&S which is sets of 10. Had it been sets of 5 with good rest, ala A+A, maybe I would have been using the heavier weight on a normal session, not being able to increase it if I did GTG.

    So, in your opinion, would you say that there is no significant difference between starting on the 1:30 compared with starting on the 2:00? I think this is the case, except when approaching a test where you need to compress rest.
    Bret S. likes this.
  13. miked

    miked Double-Digit Post Count

    Maybe, you might be able to go heavier, but it may require the cumulative effort for a certain duration to get the stimulus. Some times you need to view it in terms of dynamics and the accumulated stresses. See below for a toy example.

    I think that's true. In fact, below is a toy example that shows this. Since this is biochemistry, I can reduce it to some simple chemical kinetics equations that will account for most of the dynamics and yet still be easy to calculate. Here are the very simple assumptions I made:

    When you're working (swinging, snatching) you are creating lactate "waste" every unit of work adds a unit of waste, so the total waste in the system increases linearly while working.

    When you're resting, the waste is getting chewed up by your mitochondria. This will follow a decay pattern that has a half-life. Let's say that the half life is 15 seconds. In the first 15 seconds, 1/2 of the waste will be removed. In the next 15 seconds 1/2 of that will be removed (leaving 1/4 of the original behind), in the next 15 seconds 1/2 of that will be removed (leaving 1/8 of the original behind). This is a common decay pattern so I feel comfortable using it (if anyone has better references to the actual biochemistry, I can use the real pattern - I'm just putting my physical chemist hat on and making it simple).

    Maybe some pictures will make this nicer. So here's what one repeat in my toy model looks like. For the first 15 seconds, you are working and adding to the lactate load in your cells. When you stop, it decays with a half-life of 15 seconds. My red dotted line is just to illustrate that there's some threshold where bad things might be happening. Just a guess. But I bet that as you approach that threshold, you start to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis (good) and too much time over that threshold is when the glycolytic acid bath is bad.


    So what happens at 60 second repeats? We start our next repeat before all of the waste has been burned up, so that means the peak at repeat 2 will be higher. Though it will reach some asymptote. Here's what 30 minutes of 60-second repeats looks like in my toy model.


    And surprisingly, that's not much different from a two-minute repeat. The peak isn't much higher - that's good. But the total time near threshold is also less since you're spending more time at rest. Is that ok? I don't know. That's a question for Al. The infrequent excursions to threshold is very GTG, and we know it works well in weight training.

    And just to show that my very rough estimate for my model isn't all that far off from reality, what's a 30 second repeat look like (kind of like an S&S test day).

    Whoops - it won't let me insert that here, I exceeded the number of images I'm allowed in one message. The next message will have the 30 second repeat image.
  14. miked

    miked Double-Digit Post Count


    Here's the 30 second repeat plot


    Here you're going again too soon so the lactate load keeps adding up. This is what S&S test day feels like to me.

    Of course this is a toy model that I threw together in excel in 10 minutes with lots of assumptions. With more accurate rate constants and kinetics equations I could model it better. Regardless of the actual numbers though, I will posit that the general idea is correct. There's some rate where the repeats are too fast and you're causing damage. There's some rate where the repeats are too slow and you're just not exposing yourself to enough stimulus. And in the middle, it probably doesn't matter all that much.
  15. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @miked thats really interesting. Having heard about decay since the university. This was the last place I expected to come across that term ROFL.

    There was a forum member who used to do lactate tests during or after his sessions, I dont remember exactly who he was or where I saw it. It might be interesing to invite him over. I´ll see if I can find the thread. I remember @Anna C had some interesting exchanges with him, right Anna?

    EDIT: This is the one:

    Blood Lactate / Swings OTM

    And the forum member was @David Smit
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    North Coast Miller likes this.
  16. miked

    miked Double-Digit Post Count

    ...and one more thing. Attached it the excel spreadsheet that does the kinetic model for this. Note: you won't get the exact same answers as the plots above, I made it a little more precise in how it does the calculations. The gist is the same the plots will just look a little different. Just play with the 4 yellow boxes, everything else is calculated. (I had to zip it for the forum to accept the upload - don't worry, it's not a secret ransomware code.)

    Attached Files:

    Jacques van der Merwe and Oscar like this.
  17. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    It probably was the nerdiness firewall of the forum. Cool spreadsheet!
  18. Steve W.

    Steve W. Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Personally, this isn't something I worry about. I almost never do any sort of warm up before training.
    Oscar, Bret S. and rickyw like this.
  19. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Hey Steve! Been purposefully doing the same thing lately, minimal warmup it is.. and none on occasion.. :)
    bencrush likes this.
  20. guardian7

    guardian7 More than 500 posts

    If you really wanted to nerd out then you could use velocity as a proxy measure for recovery and avoiding lactate buildup. We can assume that lack of recovery would show up in decreasing velocity. StrongFirst has been playing with the PUSH tool and this seems a promising way to set optimal rest times. It measures velocity (bar speed). Strongfirst:

    How to Boost Your Athletic Power with Kettlebells...and a PUSH Band | StrongFirst
    Data for the Data-Averse | StrongFirst

    A review of the technology.
    Complete Guide to Bar Speed Trackers • Stronger by Science
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
    Oscar and Sasa Rajnovic like this.

Share This Page