Kettlebell Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water: Have we taken AGT too far?

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tangozero

Level 5 Valued Member

tangozero

Level 5 Valued Member
Good thread. In my opinion completely discounting any single training mode (with proven benefits) is foolish unless it's contrary to goals. From what I understand, even distance runners that practice Maff or base training don't exclude speed work. Base is usually one part of a bigger training picture, as in block training. Then you have the 100-200m track athlete that wouldn't put much emphasis on aerobic base training at all. It seems to me there's benefits to both AGT and GT. Speed and lactate tolerance are usually developed by training in or near the GT zone, endurance and volume; AGT. It's a little comical in that it seems we're starting to demonize HIIT in the same way we did aerobic training in the past. Why not just accept that both have benefits and incorporate them to the degree that suits your specific goals?
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
@tangozero
That's exactly the thing.
Neither Pavel, @CMarker nor @aciampa said that you should avoid GT at all costs when they started to work on and recommended AGT/A+A.
People just misinterpreted it, which is why @CMarker created this thread.
From the start all of them said that GT/HIIT has its place (and benefits) and that the only thing you should avoid is to use it the majority of time.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
@tangozero
That's exactly the thing.
Neither Pavel, @CMarker nor @aciampa said that you should avoid GT at all costs when they started to work on and recommended AGT/A+A.
People just misinterpreted it, which is why @CMarker created this thread.
From the start all of them said that GT/HIIT has its place (and benefits) and that the only thing you should avoid is to use it the majority of time.

It warms my heart that someone is paying attention. Forums suck.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 7 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
So given that we should not avoid GT, is it safe to say that the acceptable dosage of GT is what Pavel describes in S and S "just slightly tired" ? and should comprise about 20% of your total training at most??

This is assuming you aren't aiming to peak anytime soon?
 

tangozero

Level 5 Valued Member
@tangozero
That's exactly the thing.
Neither Pavel, @CMarker nor @aciampa said that you should avoid GT at all costs when they started to work on and recommended AGT/A+A.
People just misinterpreted it, which is why @CMarker created this thread.
From the start all of them said that GT/HIIT has its place (and benefits) and that the only thing you should avoid is to use it the majority of time.

Agreed, but that might not be readily apparent to new or casual browsers on the forum. This thread would make a great sticky in that regard imo.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
So given that we should not avoid GT, is it safe to say that the acceptable dosage of GT is what Pavel describes in S and S "just slightly tired" ? and should comprise about 20% of your total training at most??

This is assuming you aren't aiming to peak anytime soon?

Considering the energy systems overlap, I'm still not clear on what exactly is or is not GT for the sake of this and similar conversations, assuming we are guarding against metabolic stress. What is the tipping point?

Are we talking about HIIT, daily routines including sets in the 50-80 second range, reps to concentric failure (presumably in the 50-80 second range), any of the preceding but without several minutes or more of recovery between sets, any or all of the preceding but done more than X times per week? What of upper end HR running or other similar steady state effort that is presumably beyond lipid aerobic ATP capacity but below lactate threshold?

Or is it more of an "I know it when I see it" sort of thing?
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
So given that we should not avoid GT, is it safe to say that the acceptable dosage of GT is what Pavel describes in S and S "just slightly tired" ? and should comprise about 20% of your total training at most??

This is assuming you aren't aiming to peak anytime soon?

There's the bi-weekly non-stop swing test described in S&S.
 

KIWI5

Level 4 Valued Member
Bi-weekly non stop swing test? I might have to check my copy of S&S on that time frame....
 

guardian7

Level 6 Valued Member
@tangozero
That's exactly the thing.
Neither Pavel, @CMarker nor @aciampa said that you should avoid GT at all costs when they started to work on and recommended AGT/A+A.
People just misinterpreted it, which is why @CMarker created this thread.
From the start all of them said that GT/HIIT has its place (and benefits) and that the only thing you should avoid is to use it the majority of time.

Yes, this is my understanding as well. I have read numerous times comments by StrongFirst authors that competition prep, military fitness, fightcamps, testing etc. may require a temporary focus on glycolytic training, just not as the main way to train all year. It is just common sense. Use the training method best suited to your goal.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Bi-weekly non stop swing test?

Page 90 in S&S, "Simple & Sinsiter Summarized" (the full explanation is in the chapter "Die but Do", pg 85-87)

"10. Every two weeks take a kettlebell one or more sizes lighter than the one you are currently swinging, and do as many swings as possible without setting the bell down. Pick any swing variation--two arm, one-arm with multiple hand switches, hand-to-hand, mixed. Any rep that does not fulfill every one of the swing standards is a no-count. After a brief rest, do your usual get-ups. Do not introduce non-stop swings into your training until your normal training weight is 24kg if you are a woman and 32kg if you are a man."

Note it doesn't say you have to have met the time standards with that bell... only that it is your normal training weight.
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
Considering the energy systems overlap, I'm still not clear on what exactly is or is not GT for the sake of this and similar conversations, assuming we are guarding against metabolic stress. What is the tipping point?

So where the dose is just right before it becomes 'potentially' negative?

Too intense, too often mode will be different for each of us and will be different for each of us at different times. I don't think it will ever be an exact thing so you have to think in terms of general.

We have S&S model - all out effort every 2 weeks when appropriate robust to do so...so swinging the 32 for blokes. ETK and ROP, light, medium heavy is one day a week hard effort swings.

Dan John's park/bus bench where a year is split into park bench for the majority and 2 months, that's 2 x one month blocks I think, of hard effort. Monthly then, 5 months easy, 1 month hard. (not far off the weekly ratio of Pavel's ROP)

So, balancing those 2 - if we accept those views, that is - we have a once a week, or once every other week. And checking that against other stuff going on in your life as you go.

And this from @mprevost from a related post:


Bookmark
Thread:
Why you don't burn much fat during HIT, and why it does not matter
wespom9 said:
Here is a question, one I often struggle with: with all those other hormonal things that happen (for better or worse, I hesitate to say it leans more toward worse) is it *worth it* to do HIIT? Is it worth it 1x week? 2x? at what point does it become too much? Is not doing any at all a hindrance?


It depends on what you are training for and how much time you have. I am simply training for health and life.

*If I had only 10 minutes, 3 times per week to train (30 min total) I would do HIT

*If I had one hour, 3 times per week to train (3 hours total) I would do basic strength training with a dash of HIT at the end of each session.

*If I had one hour per day to train, I would do basic strength training (3 X week) , MAF style aerobic training (3 X week), and a small (once per week) bit of HIT.

*If I had more time than that, I would do the last choice above and add in lots of walking and nap every day. I currently have lots of time ; )

Mike

mprevost, Nov 11, 2017

......we have some generalities there, for health and life, as Mike says.
So for performance? For peaking? For competition? What then.....

This is where it gets messy....well more messy....that tipping point is going to change again, to risk/reward. For pro athletes, there's cash involved, incentives, the stakes are higher and greater risks. Underneath it all, we all have the same physiology though no? ok some are better trained perhaps, better genetics even, yet underpinning performance is health, surely? And we arrive back at where we started because to reach the peak of athletic performance to gain a competitive edge you may need to put your health at risk and then it gets a bit dark and extreme....

I value Pavel's, Dan's and Mike's sensible options dipping into the glycolytic training now and then, once a week, every other week. I train for master athletic sprints....I up the ante a month before a race, train some hard sessions, back off and race. Not won anything yet, oh hum......
 

KIWI5

Level 4 Valued Member
'To each his own' is a good summary. With the exception of professional athletes- without a doubt the best 'conditioned (referring to both raw strength and general aerobic capacity) people I know are the farmer's and rural workers I encounter. In particular, those that are fencers by trade. A close second would be foresters. Their work would rarely stray into what would qualify as a 'cross fit metcon' and yet they are 'ripped' and tough as nails. These folk autoregulate their day to day work (training) and as the years go by they develop that quality known as 'old man strength'. Tough to duplicate their jobs/life in the gym- but my current program comprises of Daily Dose Deadlifting, KB swings (done to MAF heart rate), TGUs and some additional barbell and KB movements. Its a loose 'easy strength' routine that feels great- for me. I suppose I should throw in a weekly 'HIIT' session, but wood chopping does that for me.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
@tangozero
That's exactly the thing.
Neither Pavel, @CMarker nor @aciampa said that you should avoid GT at all costs when they started to work on and recommended AGT/A+A.
People just misinterpreted it, which is why @CMarker created this thread.
From the start all of them said that GT/HIIT has its place (and benefits) and that the only thing you should avoid is to use it the majority of time.

I am not sure how or why someone would interpret the articles on AGT as recommending that GT should be avoided altogether. In my own training, I will definitely reduce the amount of GT that I do and replace it with more aerobic work, but I don't plan on completely eliminating GT. For one thing, setting up and doing a strongman-type medley of exercises is just too much fun.
 

jgruginski

Level 3 Valued Member
I'm getting back into S&S after being out for multiple reasons (pec repair, program ADD, etc). I've never had a great aerobic base, so once I was given the green light to train without restriction, I wanted to try out EMOM swings to my MAF HR for 10 minutes. I had planned to stay on this track and when ready, add a rep to each set in an effort to stay true to the method, but it sounds like I threw the baby out after all. I will say that I don't feel like I've progressed all that much either. However, based on what I've been reading here, and I've started this already, about once a week on days when I am fresh (good sleep, HRV is good, etc)I'm doing sets of 10 swings resting as much as I need to to get back down to my typical starting HR which is 110. I'll do this only for a maximum of 20 minutes, so I don't wear myself down too greatly. I feel like I'll get the best of both worlds and will see how well this change helps.
 

The Nail

Level 7 Valued Member
There benefits to being slightly acidic and using the glycolytic system (e.g., it gets rid of less than optimal mitochondria, it can lead to hypertrophy)
As I recall, fasting gets rid of these less than optimal mitochondrion as well.

Do you know if fasting and the acidic environment caused by this training use the same pathways/methods to purge the mitochondrion?

I don't have the vocabulary to know what to search on, but if these run through the same pathways I'd wonder if fasting could improve your ability to tolerate glycoltic training.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Too intense, too often mode will be different for each of us and will be different for each of us at different times. I don't think it will ever be an exact thing so you have to think in terms of general.

Alright then, aside from the cat being unjustly accused of peeing in the laundry basket, what are the hallmarks of overuse? Exercise burnout, plateau when it isn't really expected, general feeling of malaise? If you were running an experiment with multiple groups and a control, what would you expect to observe, or is a follow-up at 5 and 10 years in order?

I'm just trying to get a genuine handle on this. I honestly don't even consider it when training. I change up rep and loading to vary the time under and level of mechanical tension, and this seems to reliably effect strength, size or endurance depending. If a set in a given rep range takes me 20 seconds or 60 is not on my radar, though I do pay more attention to rest period minimums as I've gotten older and don't train with strict rest period cut-off times at all.

I'm not GT the whole workout, but suppose I am hitting it with some movement every session. Not full blown triple failure or anything, but to some extent - more often than once a week anyway.

I'm not worried about absolute lactate levels, as the studies I've read equate threshold with clearance rates - explaining why blood lactate is much higher in trained individuals at failure levels, and clear much faster than controls at the end of effort. Also, blood lactate may not indicate Ph levels in the muscle tissue (though it does seem reasonable to assume).

Transient ROS signalling is likewise a good thing at exercise driven levels in the studies I've read. Or at the least, dosing with antioxdants retards many positive responses to exercise including insulin sensitivity.

I'm not just going by what the studies say, but they are not contradicting personal experience either, hence the questions.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
Alright then, aside from the cat being unjustly accused of peeing in the laundry basket

LOL! I think you need a new cat.

what are the hallmarks of overuse? Exercise burnout, plateau when it isn't really expected, general feeling of malaise? If you were running an experiment with multiple groups and a control, what would you expect to observe, or is a follow-up at 5 and 10 years in order?

I hate to keep picking on Crossfit, but there is some anecdotal evidence from the experience of Crossfitters that may help. CF metcons are highly glycolitic - I don't think this is in dispute. CF also makes dietary recommendations. In the past they were big on the Zone Diet. Lately it's been more "paleo." Both of these tend to be, if not low carb, then lower carb. Paleo, for instance, allows you to eat fruit and veggies for your carb sources but no processed grains. I have nothing against low/lower carb diets, especially ones that limit processed grains. But combining a low carb diet with highly glycolitic metcons is a recipe for disaster (pun somewhat intended). When reducing carbs the body tends to burn its glycogen stores until it adapts to burning fat. That's just what it does. Add a metcon to this and glycogen stores get very low. Many new CFers who go all in with the diet and exercise recommendations begin to feel very sluggish a few days in. They are told to tough it out. In some cases they are told to take caffeine pills to boost their energy levels. Sluggish, carb-deprived trainees running on caffeine fumes and trying to perform high-rep Olympic lifts - this will not end well. In fact, this has been cited as one of the reasons for the high injury rate among CFers.

The short answer to your question is that you can probably survive near-daily metcons as long as you replenish your glycogen stores, i.e., eat more carbs. My understanding is that the athletes who compete in the Crossfit games eat as many carbs as they want. If you are feeling sluggish then you should definitely take note of what is going on with your body.
 
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