Alactic + Aerobic

Tim Randolph

Triple-Digit Post Count
A+A snatches was the thread that got me over the hump with A + A. Lots of good material and links in there.

Well actually, I just understood it enough to try it. Six weeks later I could say I knew something about it. Like all exercise programs there is no substitute for experience.
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I want to backtrack a little and ask general questions about A+A workout.
  • What are the long term adaptations of this kind of training? I am interested in both physiological effects and black box results.
  • What would you use it for? Is it similar to a jog?
  • What's the optimal load and how do you determine it?
  • What is the optimal duration/volume of A+A workout? Why?
If these questions have been answered elsewhere I would appreciate a link.

The reason I am asking is to understand the place of this kind of training in the general continuum. It is relatively easy for the "exerciser", not so for someone involved in a sport. For example, should a boxer do this workout to improve his game and how should he do it without overtraining?
Here's another good source: A + A Training – Be Well and Strong

I'm not the expert, but a few answers in my words:
  • Long term adaptations: The ability to do more work at less biological cost. Training capacity without training it directly. (Al's essay in the link above goes into the physiological).
  • You would use it for becoming a more capable human -- The volume of work ties things together, and teaches the trainee how to do powerful work and recover, again and again. Through this, muscles develop, and strength is usually increased, though it's not specifically for either one of these. It's different than a jog; though there is some improvement to the aerobic system, LSD is the better way to train the aerobic system specifically.
  • Optimal load is heavy, a really hard effort, but one that you can do for 5 reps (usually snatches). You can get some effect from lighter loads also.
  • Optimal duration/volume seems to be 20 min to maybe 1 hr 15 min. Needs to be enough to hit your stride, but since the load is heavy, sessions longer than an hour are rare.
 

Sean M

> 1k Posts
Here's another good source: A + A Training – Be Well and Strong

I'm not the expert, but a few answers in my words:
  • Long term adaptations: The ability to do more work at less biological cost. Training capacity without training it directly. (Al's essay in the link above goes into the physiological).
  • You would use it for becoming a more capable human -- The volume of work ties things together, and teaches the trainee how to do powerful work and recover, again and again. Through this, muscles develop, and strength is usually increased, though it's not specifically for either one of these. It's different than a jog; though there is some improvement to the aerobic system, LSD is the better way to train the aerobic system specifically.
  • Optimal load is heavy, a really hard effort, but one that you can do for 5 reps (usually snatches). You can get some effect from lighter loads also.
  • Optimal duration/volume seems to be 20 min to maybe 1 hr 15 min. Needs to be enough to hit your stride, but since the load is heavy, sessions longer than an hour are rare.
To refresh my memory...

If I wanted to get back into this style of training for November-January (at least), would this work:
  • Heavy KB snatch (for me, 32kg), 3-5 rep sets
  • Plan for 3 days a week, do a 4th day if I can, knowing sometimes I can only do 2 days
  • Roll a dice for volume (all are +/- about 20%), re-rolling if I get the same number as last time:
    • 1 = 18 repeats (skip if a 2-session week)
    • 2 = 24 repeats
    • 3 = 32 repeats
    • 4 = 40 repeats
    • 5 or 6 = 50 repeats
  • "Rule of 10" heavy (5-7RM) deadlift or squat practice (e.g. 2 x 5 @ 7RM; 5 @ 7RM, add weight for 3, add weight for 2; or 3 x 3 @ 5RM, etc.) before snatching on the 18 or 24 repeat days
Al's "Lumberjack Fitness" last fall had a structured number of repeats per session and sessions per week, but does it also work "freestyle" within certain parameters?
 

Oscar

> 1k Posts
To refresh my memory...

If I wanted to get back into this style of training for November-January (at least), would this work:
  • Heavy KB snatch (for me, 32kg), 3-5 rep sets
  • Plan for 3 days a week, do a 4th day if I can, knowing sometimes I can only do 2 days
  • Roll a dice for volume (all are +/- about 20%), re-rolling if I get the same number as last time:
    • 1 = 18 repeats (skip if a 2-session week)
    • 2 = 24 repeats
    • 3 = 32 repeats
    • 4 = 40 repeats
    • 5 or 6 = 50 repeats
  • "Rule of 10" heavy (5-7RM) deadlift or squat practice (e.g. 2 x 5 @ 7RM; 5 @ 7RM, add weight for 3, add weight for 2; or 3 x 3 @ 5RM, etc.) before snatching on the 18 or 24 repeat days
Al's "Lumberjack Fitness" last fall had a structured number of repeats per session and sessions per week, but does it also work "freestyle" within certain parameters?
So you have a 50% chance of doing 40-50 repeats? I thought volumes were more in the 24-36 range.
 

Sean M

> 1k Posts
So you have a 50% chance of doing 40-50 repeats? I thought volumes were more in the 24-36 range.
I guess that’s pretty high on second glance.

How much of the “Delta 20” comes into play with A+A? Or is it tighter variance e.g. 20-24-28-32-36-40?
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
To refresh my memory...

If I wanted to get back into this style of training for November-January (at least), would this work:
  • Heavy KB snatch (for me, 32kg), 3-5 rep sets
  • Plan for 3 days a week, do a 4th day if I can, knowing sometimes I can only do 2 days
  • Roll a dice for volume (all are +/- about 20%), re-rolling if I get the same number as last time:
    • 1 = 18 repeats (skip if a 2-session week)
    • 2 = 24 repeats
    • 3 = 32 repeats
    • 4 = 40 repeats
    • 5 or 6 = 50 repeats
  • "Rule of 10" heavy (5-7RM) deadlift or squat practice (e.g. 2 x 5 @ 7RM; 5 @ 7RM, add weight for 3, add weight for 2; or 3 x 3 @ 5RM, etc.) before snatching on the 18 or 24 repeat days
Al's "Lumberjack Fitness" last fall had a structured number of repeats per session and sessions per week, but does it also work "freestyle" within certain parameters?
Sounds reasonable except for what Oscar noticed. Yeah, if you're going the random route I'd stick to a smaller variance, but I don't know the PlanStrong methodology on variance.

And you have a bit of a logic error... if you randomly roll the dice for your repeats, but you squat or deadlift "before snatching on the 18 or 24 repeat days"... you're going to need a crystal ball. ;) Oh, unless you roll the dice first in the session and let that determine whether you squat or DL... but I don't think I'd plan barbell training that way.
 

Sean M

> 1k Posts
Sounds reasonable except for what Oscar noticed. Yeah, if you're going the random route I'd stick to a smaller variance, but I don't know the PlanStrong methodology on variance.

And you have a bit of a logic error... if you randomly roll the dice for your repeats, but you squat or deadlift "before snatching on the 18 or 24 repeat days"... you're going to need a crystal ball. ;) Oh, unless you roll the dice first in the session and let that determine whether you squat or DL... but I don't think I'd plan barbell training that way.
Still spit-balling here, but the idea is: roll for snatch volume, if low, do some compound lift(s) Easy Strength style (another recent example). If high volume, just focus on that.
 

Al Ciampa

> 2k Posts
Certified Instructor
I think you missed couple of posts. The theme discussed is: in A+A workout, should you set the upper limit of HR - or - should you not worry about it as much and focus on recovery, HR guided or otherwise. Anna said don't worry about exceeding estimated max HR. My point was: that as A+A is "alactic" workout, elevated HR corresponds with elevated lactate (yes, not only) and therefore it could be reasonable to set the upper limit to HR. In other words, the discussion was exactly that, how to better manage the session.
I understand you now. There is no such thing a pure alactic resistance/power training. Minimizing lactate is what alactic refers to.
 

Damiola

Double-Digit Post Count
I understand you now. There is no such thing a pure alactic resistance/power training. Minimizing lactate is what alactic refers to.
In this light, what's your opinion as to the management of the A+A session in terms of HR? Set the upper limit on HR? Don't worry about the limit and focus on HR recovery to a certain limit or percentage from the peak?
 

Al Ciampa

> 2k Posts
Certified Instructor
In this light, what's your opinion as to the management of the A+A session in terms of HR? Set the upper limit on HR? Don't worry about the limit and focus on HR recovery to a certain limit or percentage from the peak?
I'd dump the device for body sensations. I'd perhaps use the device to help learn the body's sensations; and in this case, set an upper limit and lower threshold, and watch for and adjust by the average HR across many sessions.
 

Damiola

Double-Digit Post Count
I wonder if introducing some kind of irregularity could be useful for A+A training. For example, doing a set of heavier snatches every 3, 4 or 5 sets (at random), followed by a lighter bell the next set. Or, doing two or three sets of 5 snatches with short rest (15 seconds, for example), followed by longer pause. Or clustering sets at random.

Anybody tried?
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I wonder if introducing some kind of irregularity could be useful for A+A training. For example, doing a set of heavier snatches every 3, 4 or 5 sets (at random), followed by a lighter bell the next set. Or, doing two or three sets of 5 snatches with short rest (15 seconds, for example), followed by longer pause. Or clustering sets at random.

Anybody tried?
Yes, Al has a protocol of A+A snatching with mixed weights. I did it in March-April of this year. You could contact him for details....
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
What was your experience with it? Worthwhile tinkering with?
Definitely. Now whether it built my skill/strength/power/conditioning, or used what I had, I can't say for sure, because I didn't do any pre-and post-tests with this protocol like I have in the past (always showed good improvement then). But the 7-week snatch protocol using the 20, 24, and 28kg plus bodyweight strength training was what I used going into the SFB and SFG-recert in late April, and it set me up well for that. Then I had my kidney donor surgery in June and that went well; recovery going well also... all effective training helped with that, I have no doubt.

Plenty to peruse in my Training Log and Instagram if you're so inclined... just look for that time period, March-April 2019.
 

Damiola

Double-Digit Post Count
Pre-operative fitness is a huge bonus. Pre-op aerobic testing is the focus of ERAS protocols (enhanced recovery after surgery). Glad to hear you are recovering well, this is a painful operation.

Get well quick.
 

Al Ciampa

> 2k Posts
Certified Instructor
I wonder if introducing some kind of irregularity could be useful for A+A training. For example, doing a set of heavier snatches every 3, 4 or 5 sets (at random), followed by a lighter bell the next set. Or, doing two or three sets of 5 snatches with short rest (15 seconds, for example), followed by longer pause. Or clustering sets at random.

Anybody tried?
This is a much better way, in general, to run this for the long term.
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Pre-operative fitness is a huge bonus. Pre-op aerobic testing is the focus of ERAS protocols (enhanced recovery after surgery). Glad to hear you are recovering well, this is a painful operation.

Get well quick.
Thank you! Interesting... I was not aware of ERAS protocols. I suppose I did one without know it. :) I'm 15 weeks post-op now, and back to lifting 85-90% of what I was pre-surgery, and riding my bike as well as I was before surgery, 30-60 miles on weekend rides at 18 mph avg. The body's ability to heal and adapt is quite amazing. (Not to mention, running on one kidney now. But that seems to be a non-issue, as I had trusted it would be - my brother is a nephrologist so I felt quite confident about the kidney function aspect). I'd love to learn more about the ERAS protocols and how my training specifically might have accomplished their objectives, if you can comment here or PM...
 

Damiola

Double-Digit Post Count
ERAS is an interesting concept and these protocols have interesting history. In the 80-s there were lots of studies on various interventions around surgery, and vast majority of them didn't make any significant different. For example, epidural in addition to GA - no difference, pre-loading the patient with glucose-insulin-potassium mixture - no difference, addition of drugs that potentiate pain relief and reduce the use of opioids - no difference. Until one Danish guy (don't remember the name) started testing several interventions at once. Common sense now, but it was fairly difficult to implement at the time.

This can be exemplified with cooking. Adding either, say, oregano or rosemary to the mince to make meat balls won't make tremendous difference, but adding them together will. As well as adding three or more spices on top of that will make the dish unique.

In its essence ERAS takes care of multiple aspects of peri-operative period. You try optimise the patient's health - get him to lose weight, normalise his BSL and BP, improve his aerobic fitness. During the case you manage fluid balance, analgesia and other things in the context of surgery being done. After the operation - early mobilization, reducing the amount of opioids, early feeding, etc., etc. You can easily find details by searching Google.

Many small things add together and make a difference to the outcome.
 

Damiola

Double-Digit Post Count
As far as aerobic fitness and surgery are concerned. Surgery is trauma to the body (obviously), and the degree of stress response depends on the extent of the intervention. Stress response leads to the increase in oxygen consumption, and in order to sustain it cardiovascular fitness is important.

At rest oxygen consumption is about 2-4 ml/kg/min, give or take. For about 48 hours after major surgery it can be elevated to 6-8 ml/kg/min. If we pull the patient through the stress test and he is capable to achieve 10 ml/kg/min for a short time it is a good indication that he or she will be coping with more sustained demands at lower levels. So, better fitness, better he ability to cope with post-op stress.

There are many other aspects to it, but this is it in a nutshell.
 
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