My S&S Swing and heartrate

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Steve Freides

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Can you support that medium-intensity exercise doesn't increase mitochondrial density, capillarisation and fatty acid oxidation with literature?
For my mind, it's simpler than this - many - most? - amateur distance athletes chronically overtrain.

-S-
 

BladesFanUK

Level 5 Valued Member
^^ To me that is a much more convincing theory, and would probably explain a lot of the observations people are making
 

Steve Freides

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Senior Certified Instructor
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Yes, but I think those who are up on the details of how this works are explaining what happens as a result of that overtraining, namely that the stated goals aren't achieved because the desired energy systems aren't being used in a manner that cause them to improve. You can't really overuse an energy system, at least as I understand these things, you merely force the body into using a different energy system instead. IOW, the explanations you're questioning and what I'm saying are in agreement.

-S-
 

BladesFanUK

Level 5 Valued Member
Well overtraining is not the same as saying moderate-intensity exercise does not promote increased mitochondrial density, capilarisation or lipid metabolism.
I'm not even directly questioning their explanation; just asking for literature evidence. If you say these things they have to be backed up.
 

Bill Been

Level 6 Valued Member
Was I the only guy who thought that 6 rounds of 4 minutes of intense work followed by 2 minutes rest was pretty far off any broadly-understood definition of "HIIT"?

A fast runner can run almost a mile in 4 minutes and mile repeats don't sound very HIIT-ish to me.
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
Blades, I know what you are saying.......I think, may be wrong in assuming this, you are asking for evidence that training at a certain intensity doesn't promote the desired adaptations and this intensity is "medium". Either to low to produce anaerobic adaptations, or too high for aerobic benefits. Is this a fair assumption, firstly? And if so.......that term medium is the problem, as it is for who we are referring too, as it is for the goal we have set. For someone detrained, or considered unfit, and starting out exercising then a dose of interval training will improve both aerobic and anaerobic adaptations......up to a point because as we seek further fitness, strength, power, endurance the see-saw will drop on one side and rise on the over.......more endurance, less power, or more power, less endurance. There is a cut-off, a crossroads, somewhere, sometime, for everyone, regardless of their athletic prowess. No one will ever be an elite sprinter and an elite marathoner at the same time but you can be a 12 sec sprinter and a sub 3 hour marathoner. You can't be a specialist in 2 but you can be a well oiled generalist. So training is specific or general....and S&S is a generalist programme, and within it, it is low, medium or high intensity depending on how you do it and depending on your current training state. So there is a point where you reach where training it too high conflicts with the goal......it doesn't provide the adaptations you are seeking.....in the same way a runner training at the wrong intensity for them does not get the desired adaptations because of conflict between the energy systems.....
This is a referenced quote from Don Heatrick:

"Attempting to develop aerobic fitness and anaerobic lactic fitness simultaneously is doomed to failure (Olbrecht 2013). Aerobic activity requires your muscles to utilise mitochondria cells to efficiently process oxygen for long lasting energy. Your body adapts to this stress by increasing the number of aerobic energy cells (mitochondria) in those specific muscles. Exceeding your anaerobic threshold (increasing exercise intensity) demands energy faster than your aerobic system can supply it, and requires the anaerobic lactic system to take up the slack. Unfortunately, as your body develops to handle the demands of anaerobic lactic activity, it kills off the mitochondria, reducing your aerobic fitness (Jamieson 2009)!"

So the wrong intensity exercise doesn't promote mitochondrial density if you are chasing aerobic improvements. The same intensity perhaps would serve you well If your goal is to improve lactic buffering, and then you have to way up the costs and benefits and lose some of those little mitochondrias.......and in so doing lose, potentially, your body's ability to burn fat, again if that is a goal, or concern and give up some endurance. So it could be medium intensity, depending on the person but it is probably more medium/high for most healthy and active people. There is a balance then, somewhere, for each and every person in terms of the intensity and we are back to that well used phrase of "it depends".
 

BladesFanUK

Level 5 Valued Member
^^ Firstly, (Jamieson 2009) in itself is not a reference, I am interested in reading around this and that does not help you actually find the paper. A title of the paper or a link would be helpful.

Here's a few papers suggesting high intensity exercise can increase mitochondrial density and/or lipid metabolism or measures of circulation:
http://jap.physiology.org/content/115/6/785.short
http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/apnm-2012-0257#.Vf8yil2OBz0
http://file.scirp.org/Html/8-1360067_39842.htm

Be interesting to see what people think of this sort of literature. Like anything, its not perfect but it's something. This is approaching an area I look into a bit with my phd with fish muscular metabolism. I am just a bit concerned the message given out is a bit cut and dry. The interactions between these pathways are complex and there is a huge amount which is not known. For example, an increased aerobic scope can increase the ability to clear lactate.. efficient anaerobic exercise therefore is not independent of aerobic capacity. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0300962995020616
I guess what I'm saying is things are made to seem more definite they are. A lot of these explanations seem super-speculative.

The statement I was asking about was stating that recreational runners run at too high a pace for the aerobic benefits, so talking about sprinting versus low-intensity exercise isn't a relevant comparison for this. I am asking for evidence that decreasing the intensity from that of a recreational runner would increase the aerobic benefits. Whether you want to define this as from a mid-intensity to a low-intensity or from a low-intensity to a lower low-intensity is up to you.
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
@BladesFanUK
I think noone suggested that high intensity training wouldn't force mitochondrial biogenesis and therefore density. Recently there have been a lot of posts about this topic and it was clear that one of the results of HIIT was indeed increased mitochondrial biogenesis.
But HIIT too often creates acidosis in the blood and muscles, which in return damages and ultimately kills mitochondria.
The way i interpret the statement about the recreational runners is that they work at a intensity that is above their lactate treshold, which would be fine if they'd do that for only a few sessions. Because of the higher intensity they get the benefits that come with it (increased mitochondrial density, lactate buffering etc.), but then they continue to train at those higher intensities, create permanent acidosis and kill those new mitochondria again. So they are spinning the wheel and don't really make progress.

EDIT: The last week i read a lot of stuff about this topic and imo a lot of those studies are a bit "flawed" (for the lack of a better word). For example the second of the studies you posted.
I don't doubt the results, but the study was 4 weeks long. There's no study about what happend to those rats after 6,8,12 or 20 weeks on the same routine and i think that's exactly what we are talking about right now - long time effects of certain types of training.
 
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Lew

Level 3 Valued Member
One thing I highly recommend is relaxed walking - walk but do not "power" walk, simply go out for a decent length of time and try to stay as relaxed as possible to get the job done. It's wonderful.

-S-
I enjoy 'relaxed walking' doing farmers walks for a mile with relatively light weight.

It takes me 27 minutes to walk 1.2 miles under tension with 20lbs each hand, 6x week.

My forearms are exploding and I like the feeling it gives me.
 

Lew

Level 3 Valued Member
Christian, I can totally agree with your statements. Maffetone (as I am informed) made his observations with steady state cardio (running). To classify S&S I would define it as Interval training. Looking at my hr graph after a session I have 20 spikes and 19 valleys. Trying to beat the clock makes it a HIIT, in my opinion. And yes, Maffetone is one method to stay aerobically, and I think it fits nicely because with it everyone has a valuable cue here to use the right weight, reps, sets and rest times with it, regarding S&S. I may be wrong here: another (maybe scientifically and individually correct) method would be Spiroergometrie in a lab while doing swings and get ups, or lactate testing. But the Maffetone seems to be a very usable hint for a lot, maybe for all people.

S&S is not written in stone either. It contains many hints and cues to train properly, and it is not the end of all means. Heck, even the exercises can be changed, when Pavel Macek makes his fighter use sometimes push presses instead of get ups. But I think, and here is the key: S&S is about principles, and these are written in stone. But they are no dogma. The thing is detect the principles and act/practice accordingly. The principles come out of experience from many human beings, thus out of live itself. These principles are valid for a human being, past, present and future. Androids and ego have other "principles". Another statement about S&S could be: practice mindfully with patience often and regularly in your zone and grow like grass almost all by itself.

To make this practice permanent everyone is (and should be) free to making his or her own adjustments as I said the weight, the sets, the reps, the hr for those with a hr-monitor, the talk test and then some more resting for those without, the trainingfrequency. Make your practice repeatable to stay with it.

Currently I am using the beast. I am elaborating my starting hr. For my first sessions starting last Saturday (204th session) my starting hr was 100, and my highest hr was almost 150 (142 Maffetone, + - 5bpm). The sessions felt very good, but after three days some fatigue built up . Yesterday I let my hr down to almost 90, my max was 139. It felt exceptionally well, my sleep was well, although my training was somewhat late in the evening and woke up this morning rested. As I said somewhere earlier, a lot of tinkering here, and I want to see which impact it has on my traininfrequency. So, I am just tinkering...

And by the way, the practice of zazen and practice of S&S with it's focus on attitude, posture, "egolessnes" and permanence have many things in common. This would make up a nice other thread.
Harald,

So as a new member, what I am getting from this discussion, is that I need a HR monitor to maximize the effectiveness of S&S?

And the point is to stay predominately in the aerobic range, with occasional forays into the anaerobic realm?
 

Bryant W

Level 5 Valued Member
To my understanding, at medium intensities, the training stimulus is not focused enough to elicit a maximal specific adaptation. At low intensities, for instance, the primary benefits to the cardiovascular/circulatory system are very time dependent - the more time under stress that the body can be trained to absorb (i.e. don't overtrain and don't ruin your chassis), the greater the training adaptation. At medium intensities, time under stress is limited by other fatigue factors (systemic acidosis and the like), and the consequent limiting of time under stress limits the stimulus to develop said adaptations. Training at medium to high intensities is like racing every other day: you use your aerobic and anaerobic capacities, but after a few beginner's weeks, you won't be training them anymore - you'll just be exhausting them.

When it comes to mitochondrial development (if my distant education has not grown out of date), I believe the stimulus that accomplishes this varies dependent on the muscle fiber. Slow twitch fibers adapt at lower intensities while increasing intensity does not necessarily elicit a greater adaptation; but fast twitch fibers develop at higher intensities. I like the reference by Ali to Olbrecht, who has a book called "The Science of Winning" which references a study in the early 80's looking at this (Dudley, Influence of Exercise Intensity and Duration on Biochemical Adaptations in Skeletal Muscle,' Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 53(4), pp. 844-850, 1982). According to Olbrecht, this is why extensive (his term for long duration, low intensity work), is not sufficient to maximally develop the aerobic system. This makes sense to me. Unless one is a descendant of the slow twitch gods, working only at low intensities neglects a large percentage of your muscle fibers (the fast ones). One also needs higher intensity work, which he calls intensive. But the intensive work, much like Christa references above, only needs to be a small portion of the weekly training volume. Olbrecht even goes so far as to say the majority of time spent in the developmental years of an athlete could be spent with this sort of mix - much low intensity work with short bouts of higher intensity work - to great long term effect. And in the endurance world, he's not alone. There have been a number of studies recently on "polarized" training which basically states the same thing: a lot of easy work, occasional hard work, occasionally bust a gut - usually in a race. I was surprised (though probably shouldn't have been) to see this in the strength world. But as Pavel and Al have pointed out, S & S is an easy strength "alactic with aerobic recovery" program where, after you've built sufficient work capacity, you can bust a gut with a "non stop swing test" session every few weeks. S&S clearly states in the second portion of the book that aerobic training of the FT IIA fibers are the target of the program, though I presume ST fibers are trained as well, just not optimally since the program doesn't target them. This makes me wonder if the FT IIA effect is one of the reasons for the WTH effect of swings on distance runners/cyclists: does it train aerobically the muscle fibers that aren't as specifically targeted in their long distance training? And if so, does that mean they would benefit from a small dose of the Igloi training method (which to my eye seems to be an S&S workout in running shoes)? Interesting question for a different time, I guess...
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
@Lew
You don't explicitly need a HR monitor, it's just a reliable way to stay aerobically. Pavels cue in the book is to wait until you can comfortably talk again and then wait some more, which works just fine if you honestly do it like that.

And for the second question read Bryants post above, you'll find your answer there :)
 

jca17

Level 5 Valued Member
Unfortunately I can't remember a source for this at all, but maybe someone has heard of the study I'm thinking of. I think Mike Boyle says that it was shown that too much long distance running, for example in high school, can actually lower an athletes power input for life. I don't know what the study was to back this up, or to what degree maximal power has been affected. Anyone know more on this? I know he said if you want your young athlete to be the best they can be for football, hockey, basketball, etc, you shouldn't have them running cross country in high school because of the long term affect it has. Seems relevant to this discussion in some way.
 

BladesFanUK

Level 5 Valued Member
@BladesFanUK
I think noone suggested that high intensity training wouldn't force mitochondrial biogenesis and therefore density. Recently there have been a lot of posts about this topic and it was clear that one of the results of HIIT was indeed increased mitochondrial biogenesis.
But HIIT too often creates acidosis in the blood and muscles, which in return damages and ultimately kills mitochondria.
The way i interpret the statement about the recreational runners is that they work at a intensity that is above their lactate treshold, which would be fine if they'd do that for only a few sessions. Because of the higher intensity they get the benefits that come with it (increased mitochondrial density, lactate buffering etc.), but then they continue to train at those higher intensities, create permanent acidosis and kill those new mitochondria again. So they are spinning the wheel and don't really make progress.

EDIT: The last week i read a lot of stuff about this topic and imo a lot of those studies are a bit "flawed" (for the lack of a better word). For example the second of the studies you posted.
I don't doubt the results, but the study was 4 weeks long. There's no study about what happend to those rats after 6,8,12 or 20 weeks on the same routine and i think that's exactly what we are talking about right now - long time effects of certain types of training.
Well "HIIT too often creates acidosis in the blood and muscles, which in return damages and ultimately kills mitochondria" is another statement you need to find evidence for. Lactic acid should be cleared before this happens. Clearly if HIIT builds mitochondria it is not having this affect... you need to find some evidence to suggest that doing it too often has the reverse effect. Not just the reasoning that "acid kills mitochondria, running harder more often may lead to a more permanent state of acidosis", that is not enough in itself without backing.

Again, the end of that first paragraph, that is pure speculation. You need some evidence to back this up.

You are right, to me the studies are flawed as well. Flawed is different from useless, and is at least a startpoint. I think Al Ciampo said something earlier in this thread about exercise science been more difficult to follow than astrophysics. He is right, it is. It is a lot harder to design experiments and prove things in exercise things and biology in general, because there are just so many variables and it is hard to control for everything and make more general conclusions. Biology is hard!

My point is, if you are going to justify the entire philosophy of programming on biochemistry, it better be well backed up. I don't think people realise how hard this is to do.
 
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ali

Level 6 Valued Member
Blades, you appear to be asking a question and then seek further clarification from the respondent for having that view. You get answers which have support from published scientific papers, you then refute that view as the evidence isn't strong enough to support those claims and write it off as speculative. You then ask another, and so on. Originally you were asking for further understanding because maffetone doesn't explain his position or provide you with the answers you are looking for......you know, just a suggestion, why don't you ask maffetone himself for answers. He will provide you with them I'm sure. Don't believe him? Fine. Ask another. A different expert, another scientist. I dunno. Do your own study.

This is an Internet forum and not a peer reviewed submission portal for the public understanding of science. You know, give it a break. People are only trying to help each other understand some complex stuff to help them, and others, get results from their training. Of course, debate is healthy, people have different views and when views are not what you expect there is no need to go all hard line and overly pedantic. Don't shoot the messenger.

There is some great irony in your postings......you are the one with a phd, and in physiology too. So you know a whole lot more about this kind of stuff than I, I'm just a bloke with a bog standard science degree not in physiology, and suggest that the opinions here are rewriting the textbooks because it is all speculative, despite being given credible evidence. No one is rewriting anything. And then you go and ask a question that maffetone absolutely (sorry can't support his view with an effing paper, ask him yourself) covered in his formula........aerobic efficiency is optimised at training within 10 points of his formula, not going over into aerobic glycolysis. So maf formula is 130, train within 120 to 130. To low a hr doesn't promote aerobic efficiency as well, apparently and going too high doesn't either, so just right, does......according to him, not me that is. You already don't agree with him, so If that doesn't suit your viewpoint and you somehow feel that position is wrong, then you are absolutely a free agent to contest it and refute it. Now you already said maffetone doesn't provide you with the answers you are looking for so I certainly can't, merely being someone who on the basis of some understanding and experience think he is onto something. So to answer your question: Is that medium intensity, medium high, low medium, medium low, who knows.
 
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Harald Motz

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Lew, +1 what kettlebellephant said.
Giving the fact that you are starting your exercise journey again, I can recommend a hr-monitor, for it gives an objective real-time view of the effects of an exercise. And the Maffetone thing, I see it for myself as a valuable pointer. When I stay in my individual "boundaries" most of the time makes my training repeatable, I recover better from set to set and session to session. Additionaly I can focus on each and every rep giving all I have, working on all the nuances. Going all out to meet the standards should be an occasional event only. I feel good with this approach, and that counts for me.

To the "scientific evidence" debate I want to add: only trust the research you fudged yourself. Smile.
 
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Bill Been

Level 6 Valued Member
I find this whole thing exasperating. Using the heart damage of elite Russian cross country skiers as a rationale for embracing the Maffetone formula while trying to swing a 32 kilo kettlebell for 5 minutes is a bit like refusing to get your driver's license because you don't want to end up in a 200mph pileup at Talledega.
 

krg

Level 5 Valued Member
Bill - love it.

I had to curb my laughter (HR started to spike....).

I think i'll stick to tortoise rather than hare though, at least until progress grinds to a halt.
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
Bill, yes, exasperating, me too.....for different reasons, ha ha! I've switched my training plan today. I was intending a normal S&S day but changing to a set of continuos for some glycolytic fury. Looking forward to it!
 

BladesFanUK

Level 5 Valued Member
Blades, you appear to be asking a question and then seek further clarification from the respondent for having that view. You get answers which have support from published scientific papers, you then refute that view as the evidence isn't strong enough to support those claims and write it off as speculative. You then ask another, and so on. Originally you were asking for further understanding because maffetone doesn't explain his position or provide you with the answers you are looking for......you know, just a suggestion, why don't you ask maffetone himself for answers. He will provide you with them I'm sure. Don't believe him? Fine. Ask another. A different expert, another scientist. I dunno. Do your own study.

This is an Internet forum and not a peer reviewed submission portal for the public understanding of science. You know, give it a break. People are only trying to help each other understand some complex stuff to help them, and others, get results from their training. Of course, debate is healthy, people have different views and when views are not what you expect there is no need to go all hard line and overly pedantic. Don't shoot the messenger.

There is some great irony in your postings......you are the one with a phd, and in physiology too. So you know a whole lot more about this kind of stuff than I, I'm just a bloke with a bog standard science degree not in physiology, and suggest that the opinions here are rewriting the textbooks because it is all speculative, despite being given credible evidence. No one is rewriting anything. And then you go and ask a question that maffetone absolutely (sorry can't support his view with an effing paper, ask him yourself) covered in his formula........aerobic efficiency is optimised at training within 10 points of his formula, not going over into aerobic glycolysis. So maf formula is 130, train within 120 to 130. To low a hr doesn't promote aerobic efficiency as well, apparently and going too high doesn't either, so just right, does......according to him, not me that is. You already don't agree with him, so If that doesn't suit your viewpoint and you somehow feel that position is wrong, then you are absolutely a free agent to contest it and refute it. Now you already said maffetone doesn't provide you with the answers you are looking for so I certainly can't, merely being someone who on the basis of some understanding and experience think he is onto something. So to answer your question: Is that medium intensity, medium high, low medium, medium low, who knows.
I don't have a phd, I am just starting one. I am nowhere near an expert on this, which is why I am so curious.
"Hard line and overly pedantic" - simply asking for evidence about strong claims been made? I disagree. That is all I am doing. But if you are actually wanting to talk about science, being overly pedantic is the name of the game.

All I am asking is for some evidence that reducing your running intensity from that of "typical" runners to a lower intensity increases measures of aerobic benefit. I did not get any answers from peer supported science for this I have no idea what you are talking about.

If evidence can't be provided, it is right to call it speculative. There is nothing wrong with speculating based on understanding and experience, that is how discoveries end up been made! But selling people speculation as proven solid science is absolutely misleading. People base their decisions on it which influences their health and fitness. It just needs to be clear to people how well proven things are. As shown here, people are quoting Maffetone's formula as if it is a solid proven formula; I'm sure many other people would want a bit more proof.

Calm down. You are free to disagree with me. I am sorry if I came across too intense or condescending, I did not mean to. I am simply asking if anyone can give any papers supporting this.
 
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