Anti-glycolytic Training -- HELP!

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by ajaan, May 19, 2017 at 9:26 PM.

  1. ajaan

    ajaan Becoming Stronger on the Forum

    I'm new to the concepts or rather terminology of anti-glycolytic training and how it might apply to the mitochondria. Pavel and Al Ciampa talk about the benefits of anti-glycolytic training.

    I wondered if someone could walk me through the following points / questions.

    1. I always understood that it's best to spend a small proportion of time working out anaerobically and a larger part aerobically. For the Kenyan elite runners this translates to 20% anaerobic training and 80% aerobic. The bit in between -- say 75% - 89% HR max -- is best avoided.

    Does alactic training mentioned by Pavel and Al effectively mean anaerobic, while glycolytic means 'the bit in between' aerobic and anaerobic training?

    2. It's therefore better to train briefly alactic and mainly aerobic? The OTM swings would generally do this, right? Providing one got their breath back.

    3. Avoid glycolytic training. Is glycolytic training simply the range of roughly 75-89% HR max? Or is it more like going hard for 15 seconds then resting or 45 seconds, which is almost similar to Kenyan training: 25% of time hard / 75 % of time easy.

    4. Now, this is the main question. I want to protect at all costs my mitochondria due to a mitrochondrial disease. Pavel and Al refer to the mitochondria a few times. As well as protecting my mitochondria I want to make them stronger, to have more, and to produce more energy, because that way I get better. What's the best way to train? Avoiding glycolytic training? OTM swings. Alactic bursts with mainly aerobic?

    So far as I understand from the blog posts S & S is anti-glycolytic (which is good), has some alactic (also good), but is not aerobic enough for the mitochondria (hence some posts recommend more aerobic or endurance strength programming for the SFG cert).

    Therefore, would something like this be best for the mitochondria:

    A Science-Based Plan to Prepare You for the SFG Level I and SFG Level II

    Or does any one have suggestions? I'd prefer to keep it to Swing and TGU if possible. But doing the TGU and the Swings on the same day like S & S wears me out -- probably due to mitochondria dysfunction. At the moment I'm on the old Program Minimum, but I'm not sure it's giving the aerobic / endurance strength that is being referred to for the mitochondria.
  2. wespom9

    wespom9 Robust Participant on the StrongFirst Forum

    1. anaerobic lactic and glycolytic are terms that have been used variously in the literature, somewhat interchangeably. So while glycolytic is technically anaerobic, it is different from anaerobic alactic (which uses the atp - cp stores).

    2. OTM swings would qualify, if the are within the proper rep range. 15 on 45 off is closer to this than 45 on 15 off would be.

    3. This is where it gets a little hazy...untrained individuals would hit their lactate threshold, or onset of blood lactate accumulation, and lower intensities than trained individuals. Therefore as a rough estimate you are probably correct, but even that is a wide range and subject to error. It will definitely be dependent on each individuals current capacity.

    Glycolytic essentially means the intensity cannot be sustained any longer - eg oxygen needs to be used and the aerobic system will kick in (keep in mind that it is much more likely all three systems are being used simultaneously, just to different degrees)

    4. It would be helpful to post the links to the posts you discuss to better answer this question, at least for me. Glycolytic training is hard on the body, and too much can quickly lead to overtraining and inability to recover, partly due to the increase in cortisol as mentioned in Craig Marker's article that you've linked to. (this also probably helps answer your question #2) As many have stated, train A+A and save glycolytic for the competition.

    I have zero experience with mitochondrial disease, so first things first you should be medically cleared for any activity. Forgive me, but I forget the PM recommendations for the volume/set-rep scheme for swings. If the full S&S session tires you out, you could follow the swing protocol one day, and the TGU protocol the following day. In essence this will work strength one day and conditioning the other. Programming the TGU is similar to the swings - if you follow the recommendation to do the next rep when you feel ready - just a grind rather than a ballistic, thus keeping you in the aerobic range.
  3. ajaan

    ajaan Becoming Stronger on the Forum

    Thanks for detailed reply

    Ah. So according to the this definition of glycolytic I've misunderstood it. I was thinking the glycolytic was similar to being able to sustain an intensity that was neither aerobic or anaerobic. For example, running 5K hard I would have associated with glycolytic training because you can maintain the HR around 80-85% of max for the duration, but it's neither alactic or aerobic.

    So, what I was wondering is if the 100 swings is enough to benefit the mitochondria. Al Ciampa writes: 'It is not clear if power work (re: Simple & Sinister) alone provides physiological changes in mitochondria that contribute to the conditioning increases.'

    Military Deployment Prep: A Program for Hardening the Soldier

    Hence, the Craig Marker A+A program allows for building up the number of swings.

    My main concern in all of this, at the present time, isn't necessarily strength and conditioning it's mitochondrial health, and having vitality and energy from workouts. I'm cleared to train.

    Starts off at 5 mins of TGU twice a week and 12 minutes of Swings twice a week, but allows you to add time.

    So I've built up to 10 mins of TGU twice a week (I'll keep it at this before going up a weight, and taking it back down to 5 mins)

    And I've built up the swings to 16 mins of OTM 1H swings, and want to go to 20 minutes, before upping the weight and taking the time down.

    I guess the obvious question is would this fulfil A+A training, and if it does is it beneficial programming for the mitochondria?
  4. rickyw

    rickyw Experienced and Respected on the Forum

    Why not see what the Jedi himself has to say...
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  5. wespom9

    wespom9 Robust Participant on the StrongFirst Forum

    @aciampa will definitely be able to answer your question more completely. @mprevost and he are much more in tune with the physiology aspect than I can say I am and hopefully can chime in and correct anything I may have not explained fully/correctly.
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    Yes. Follow a proven program like S&S.

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  7. Steve W.

    Steve W. Esteemed on the Forum

    Here's my understanding, based on discussion here and my personal experience:

    Set length:
    To stay anti-glycolytic, keep the work time relatively short. 10 swings, as in S&S, takes most people about 15-18 seconds. This is about the upper limit of staying anti-glycolytic and is probably stepping on or slightly over the border, which is not problematic for most people/applications.

    Cutting the set length to 5 reps, keeps you more solidly anti-glycolytic and may allow you to use a heavier bell. The drawback is that sessions take longer for an equivalent volume since you have to do more sets.

    Rest until relatively fully recovered between sets, generally more than you think you need. IMO, doing sets of 10 full power swings on the minute is a bit rushed for A+A. I prefer allowing more recovery between sets. On the minute for sets of 5 is even a bit rushed if I am using a heavier bell (for instance, I am using 32kg for sets of 10 and 40kg for sets of 5 -- I tend to mix it up from day to day within a week).

    You don't have to go strictly by a clock, and there are benefits to being more flexible. Don't let the clock rush you if you don't feel sufficiently recovered. I don't always use a clock, but when I do I pick a generous interval that seems way too long at the beginning of a session so that it is still sufficient toward the end.

    Similarly, you don't have to go strictly by heartrate. Personally, I never monitor heartrate, other than subjectively.

    It takes some time and experimentation to get a feel for recovery. Recovery is not just being able to do the next set, and not just being able to finish the session, but being able to recover from day to day and over the long term.

    Aerobic supplementation:
    Low intensity steady state aerobic training is a great supplement to A+A power interval training. Since I have been including a few hours of aerobic training each week, my overall work capacity and recovery capacity seem much better, and I understand that this type of training has cardiac health benefits that other types of training can't provide. Many people follow the heartrate guidelines from Phil Maffetone for aerobic base training. Personally, I don't monitor HR, but just make sure I stay within an easy nasal breathing level of effort that feels like I could sustain it reasonably indefinitely. If I am going for an hour, I want to feel like I could keep going comfortably for another hour after that. I only worry about going too hard, never that I am not going hard enough.

    For optimal athletic performance things can get a little more complicated. For general health and general physical fitness, these are the guidelines I follow:
    --Easy is good. Lazy is good.
    --Let the accumulated volume and time create the adaptations, not your level of exertion.
    --In power intervals, such as KB ballistics, make each rep as powerful as possible, but keep the overall effort easy/lazy.
    --Monitor recovery from day to day and over time, not just set to set. Recover "harder" than you work.
    --Trust the process. Don't stress over benchmarks or goals.

    BTW, I am 52 years old and basketball is my main competitive/recreational activity. The type of training described above has had a huge carry over to my fitness on the court.

    I also don't have any knowledge or experience about mitochondrial disease, so I can't make any specific recommendation about that.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: May 20, 2017 at 3:42 PM
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  8. Harald Motz

    Harald Motz In the 1k club Certified Instructor

    well summarized, Steve.
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  9. Anna C

    Anna C In the 2k club Certified Instructor

    Excellent summary, @Steve W. !!

    This is absolute gold here:

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  10. ali

    ali Experienced and Respected on the Forum

    @Steve W, a great thorough overview and I echo @Anna C there with that quote. Something that applies to all but is really pertinent for those with compromised health issues.
    With your mitochondrial disease and symptoms do you tire easily? If so, take things very slowly with plenty of rest. Cut out and print Steve's quote or have it tattooed on your forearm or even engraved on your kettlebell.
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  11. aciampa

    aciampa In the 2k club Certified Instructor

    Have you read the book that I never wrote? ;] Really great summary, Steve.

    @ajaan I sent you a PM.
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  12. Steve W.

    Steve W. Esteemed on the Forum

    In a way, yes.
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  13. ajaan

    ajaan Becoming Stronger on the Forum

    Thanks for all your replies. Very helpful.

    @aciampa is kindly helping me via PM and @Anna C has kindly offered some assistance too.

    @Steve Freides S&S with TGU and Swings on the same day is too much for me, even with adequate rest due to autoimmune involvement. I may be wrong on this, but I sort of understood (perhaps wrongly) from posts by Pavel and Al Caimpa that S&S isn't optimal if the specific aim is to help the mitochondria. Like I said, I could have misunderstood this.

    @ali Yes. I do tired very easily with strength work or HIIT type work. Lower intensity treadmill running not so much, so long as the time doesn't go over 30 minutes.

    @Steve W. Thank you very much sir! It's starting to make sense. Today I did 7-9 2H swings that took 12-18 seconds. I waited until the breathing was normal. Then did the next set. In total I did 13 such 'sets', which, rather than taking 13 minutes (OTM) took 22 minutes. I felt much better.

    The only thing that wasn't addressed in your summary was the TGU. How would that be programmed? Again, the aim is optimal mitochondria health. Alternate days? And if so where would the low intensity cardio work (which I enjoy) be put in.
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  14. Robert Noftz

    Robert Noftz Regular on the StrongFirst Forum

    Pavel has some articles on anti glycolitic training. You can find them in the articles section. That would probably be a productive place to start. In the past I quoted his articles and some people who didn't agree with the approach tried to tell me it was all wrong. Some of them are regulars on this forum. If you want to know what Pavel teaches about that topic the best thing to do would be to read it for yourself. Don't let yourself be distracted or discouraged by people who disagree, just follow the approach and you will get good result.
    I have followed his approach, the one in Simple and Sinister, for about 6 months and I have gotten very good results.

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