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Kettlebell Molecular Adaptations to S&S compared to A+A and Q&D

acutaiar12

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi everyone, I hope you’re all having a great week. I have a bit of a science question today that I’ve been curious about for a while.

What fascinates me about the Strong Endurance protocols is the looking at the cellular adaptations, especially of the mitochondria. So I have a couple questions to those interested.

1) I know that the cellular adaptations of A+A training is mitochondrial respiration, making the mitochondria in your fast twitch fibers function better. On the other hand, the cellular adaptations of Q&D is mitochondrial biogenesis, making more and bigger mitochondria, again in the fast twitch fibers. When looking at pure A+A training (5 heavy swings or snatches on the minute for 20-60 minutes), there is no acid build-up involved as the set lasts ~8-10 seconds and then there is plenty of rest. On the other hand, S&S sets of 10 heavy swings last ~15-17 seconds where you push a little closer to acidosis, and during “Timeless” sessions, you still have plenty of rest before the next set. So my question is, is there any significant difference between traditional A+A training and S&S in terms of the cellular adaptations?

2) My other question is, theoretically, should you cycle S&S, A+A, and Q&D? Or is S&S close enough to A+A that you only need to cycle S&S and Q&D to build more, and bigger, mitochondria, then to train them to function better?

Thank you for your time!
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Much like energy systems, on paper there looks like clear delineations but in practice there is much crossover and these adaptations are likely all occuring. Perhaps one slightly biases over the other, but it's not like A+A only does this and Q&D only does that.
You can do much worse than cycling those 3 programs.
 

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
I am willing to bet that no one has actually studied the cellular adaptations of anyone who has ever done any of these programs. Any claims about such adaptations are theoretical and/or extrapolations from other research, and therefore speculative.

This is in no way a criticism of the programs themselves.

Personally, I tend to mostly ignore physiology and look at training through a black box, stimulus and response lens. I have no direct way of observing or evaluating any physiological processes involved in training -- only subjective experience and empirical observation.

Having practiced all three of these modes of training, I find them overlapping, complementary, and very effective, sustainable, and enjoyable, but I have no idea what specific effects they have had on a cellular level -- nor do I really care.
 
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acutaiar12

Level 6 Valued Member
I 100% agree with you! I’m a huge believer that the best workout is the one you do.

I may ask all these questions about cycling programs and this and that, but I’ve been on S&S since April and my body loves it! I can easily see myself sticking S&S for a long time!
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
I 100% agree with you! I’m a huge believer that the best workout is the one you do.

I may ask all these questions about cycling programs and this and that, but I’ve been on S&S since April and my body loves it! I can easily see myself sticking S&S for a long time!
They all complement each other. There's definitely nothing wrong with cycling among them. In fact, IMO, it's fine to mix and match different permutations within the same training week, which I often do.

I almost exclusively stick to snatches and double cleans (and I hate get ups), so I don't do S&S per se, although I have done a lot of swings following S&S guidelines in the past. But I mix and match A+A sessions, Q&D sessions and 10 x 10 sessions that are timeless or use very relaxed timing. I think of it as a conjugate approach, rather than a block approach. For me, the main advantages are flexibility in session length and perceived effort. At this point, I'm more interested in just maintaining continuity in my training, rather than progressing in any specific program, so I enjoy the flexibility of mixing and matching.
 

superendurance

Level 5 Valued Member
I am willing to bet that no one has actually studied the cellular adaptations of anyone who has ever done any of these programs. Any claims about such adaptations are theoretical and/or extrapolations from other research, and therefore speculative.

This is in no way a criticism of the programs themselves.

Personally, I tend to mostly ignore physiology and look at training through a black box, stimulus and response lens. I have no direct way of observing or evaluating any physiological processes involved in training -- only subjective experience and empirical observation.

Having practiced all three of these modes of training, I find them overlapping, complementary, and very effective, sustainable, and enjoyable, but I have no idea what specific effects they have had on a cellular level -- nor do I really care.

Excellent post. Agree 100%.
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
am willing to bet that no one has actually studied the cellular adaptations

The only adaptation that has been studied (mitochondrial researcher Inigo San Milan) is due to the signalling molecule lactate.
Mostly though in slow fibres. Perhaps in mixed or fast fibres the mechanisms are somewhat different.

This is in no way a criticism of the programs themselves.

Same. My personal take on training, the different stimuli encourage different adaptations by modulating the stress response ie higher/lower cortisol/adrenaline environments and lactate. And many other systems interacting.

That is low lactate production but high stress response v high lactate/high stress v high lactate/low stress.

All of which are the training variables, rest periods, weekly frequency, recovery factors. The outcome is adaptive or maladaptive.

Whether or not that correlates to different cellular adaptations, no idea.

It's an easier model to navigate albeit vague and variable.

And that's the issue. Adaptation is a result of many many variables, so reducing a complex system to a single variable is difficult to parse out. It is the sum of many parts.

All that said, it seems the governor, if there is one, is the signalling molecule lactate.

Does everything follow from that? Or is there a state that exists before?

Do the thing is all that matters.

Knock back intensity a bit but increase duration...medium lactate, mid neural, mid stress, that sort of thing.

And by neural, it is the sum of the neuro-endocrine response with daily life stressors.

This is not a controversial view, indeed I think Bret Jones refers to it as the 'stress bucket'.

It's not that it is a simple model but I find it easier to adjust/manipulate/select on this basis than thinking about biochemical metabolic outcomes.

It's complicated.
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
But I mix and match A+A sessions, Q&D sessions and 10 x 10 sessions that are timeless or use very relaxed timing. I think of it as a conjugate approach, rather than a block approach. For me, the main advantages are flexibility in session length and perceived effort. At this point, I'm more interested in just maintaining continuity in my training, rather than progressing in any specific program, so I enjoy the flexibility of mixing and matching
This reminds me of @Justin_M 's article:
Novocaine
novocaine-program.jpg


On the question why he prefers the conjugate over the block method he adds:
I wasn't as always ready for an unscheduled PFT. Additionally, my experience has been that one helps the other and creates a synergistic effect. Rather than a pendulum effect when I follow other programs and then get pulled too far in one direction only to switch and get pulled back the other direction.
 
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JR47

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi everyone, I hope you’re all having a great week. I have a bit of a science question today that I’ve been curious about for a while.

What fascinates me about the Strong Endurance protocols is the looking at the cellular adaptations, especially of the mitochondria. So I have a couple questions to those interested.

1) I know that the cellular adaptations of A+A training is mitochondrial respiration, making the mitochondria in your fast twitch fibers function better. On the other hand, the cellular adaptations of Q&D is mitochondrial biogenesis, making more and bigger mitochondria, again in the fast twitch fibers. When looking at pure A+A training (5 heavy swings or snatches on the minute for 20-60 minutes), there is no acid build-up involved as the set lasts ~8-10 seconds and then there is plenty of rest. On the other hand, S&S sets of 10 heavy swings last ~15-17 seconds where you push a little closer to acidosis, and during “Timeless” sessions, you still have plenty of rest before the next set. So my question is, is there any significant difference between traditional A+A training and S&S in terms of the cellular adaptations?

2) My other question is, theoretically, should you cycle S&S, A+A, and Q&D? Or is S&S close enough to A+A that you only need to cycle S&S and Q&D to build more, and bigger, mitochondria, then to train them to function better?

Thank you for your time!
This seems like an excellent question. I have no answers, but would love more input discussion about this topic!
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
One thing I remember, when I learned about A+A early in my S&S journey was that learning about A+A made me feel very un-guilty about longer rest periods in my S&S practice. And I became unafraid to allow myself more luxurious rest periods, especially at the beginning of a step load.

I had no qualms about allowing my mitochondria to become better at respiration.

Come to think of it, later in the step loads as I would hurry back to the bell ready for the next set of 1 hand swings (and would get a hair brained notion to swing 1 hand all week instead of taking some 2h sessions), I probably experienced a little bit of mitochondrial biogenesis when some of my sets were at their fastest and most explosive.
 
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