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  1. Sakmongkol is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/07/2009 3:10pm


     Style: Muay Thai

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadmeat View Post
    ?

    I wasn't looking for a routine and considering I'm no longer a rank beginner stronglifts would not work for me. Its in fact an extremely poor bastardisation of Rips. There are much better beginner routines out there, evident by the logs on stronglifts, most of the more expierenced guys are putting up very sub standard numbers on lifts for the period of time trained. i.e. I'm outlifting Mehdi in many lifts despite having only trained seriously for strength for about 9 months.

    Very interesting read Russ, your injuries sound like a real issue how commonly do you deload?
  2. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/07/2009 3:36pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakmongkol View Post
    how commonly do you deload?
    Approximately never.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  3. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/07/2009 5:32pm

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    Let me be clear. I expect that no one here will be able to suggest a viable solution to any of my injury problems. I want to emphasize the word problems, because there are more than one of them that I've identified.

    Susceptibility to concussions. A solution to this problem - which would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars - has not yet been revealed. The question of how much risk I can justify taking will be answered by quality of life calculus, and that calculus does not belong in this particular forum.

    Acute martial arts injuries (not including concussions). The only blanket solution to these problems is "smarten up", which is a preventative measure rather than a cure. Jammed your big toe? Don't let it curl down next time. Popped your elbow to some freaky standing armbar (that may not even have been intentional)? Keep some bend in it next time. Didn't tap to some freaky wristlock that your MMA instructor was demoing and now your forearm aches? Tap to it next time. Knee injuries of uncertain origin? Don't do whatever you did next time.

    Same goes for acute training injuries. Slip and land on your shoulder while doing dumbbell triceps kickbacks because the idiot swimmers got water all over the locker room floor? Wipe your feet next time. Hyperflexed your left knee doing squats from hamstring-calf contact pressure? Stay under control next time.

    Next time. Next time. Next time. Once I've made every conceivable mistake once, I'll don my cloak of experience and be totally invulnerable. Then I'll die of old age.

    CIA Superior: What did we learn, Palmer?
    CIA Officer: I don't know, sir.
    CIA Superior: I don't fuckin' know either. I guess we learned not to do it again.
    -Burn After Reading

    Then there's the idiopathic (in the loosest sense) injuries. You wake up and your arm hurts. Did you sleep on it funny? Did you punch the wall? Did something throw a clot and your hand's going to turn black and fall off? God only knows. Strains, sprains, aches and pulls. Sometimes it's like a parasite that moves from limb to limb and joint to joint.

    My point here is that there's not a problem, so there's not a solution. There's a systematic design failure - my current training paradigm does not take training health into account, because I have yet to establish a systematic approach to training health. Yoga, chondroitin, fish oil, warming up, anti-inflammatories, and all manner of other tools are important - but they're just tools. You need a hammer to build a house, but when someone needs to build a house, handing them a hammer simply is not going to get the job done.

    If y'all "get" that training health is a systematic problem that requires a systematic approach, then we can start the real work at hand.
    If not, just ask me for clarification and I'll try to clear things up as best I can.





    An aside, and this isn't directed to anyone in particular... as a rule, people are not honest with others about their training performance because they are not in touch with the truth themselves. This is particularly true when it comes to training health, because it's harder to track and quantify than your best triple score.

    I have known people who would go on a rant about how their latest injury has totally screwed up their training and how much of a pain in the ass it is, and then when I tried to commiserate, they'd come back and literally in the next breath start giving me advice on injury avoidance. They'd present me with their talismans to ward off the demons and swear up and down by them, despite the fact that said charms had failed in their own n=1 study.

    Hopefully you see where I'm coming from now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  4. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/07/2009 6:11pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A few tidbits, before I forget...

    Beware of drawing conclusions based on insufficient evidence.

    Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
    Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
    Homer: Thank you, dear.
    Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
    Homer: Oh, how does it work?
    Lisa: It doesn't work.
    Homer: Uh-huh.
    Lisa: It's just a stupid rock.
    Homer: Uh-huh.
    Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
    Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
    -The Simpsons, Much Apu About Nothing

    Another thing to beware of is cargo cult science.

    I think the educational and psychological studies I mentioned are examples of what I would like to call cargo cult science. In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to make things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head to headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas -- he's the controller -- and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they're missing something essential, because the planes don't land.
    -Richard Feynman

    ---

    Philosophically, it's very difficult to know "why" something happens, as the word implies intent. Forget about that, though - when I say "why does B follow A", I mean "what are the links in the chain of causation from A to B". The more fine-grained our understanding is of the steps between A and B, the more powerful our knowledge is.

    Think of a child with a lightswitch. They may grasp that when they flip the switch one way, the light goes on, and when they flip it the other way, the light goes off. Their black-box understanding of the system shows them this much - it's testable, it's repeatable, and it's quantifiable. In other words, it's science.

    Then one day the bulb burns out. The child's understanding of the system is inadequate to explain this. Frustration results.

    We could add another rule to the child's list of observations - "flip switch up, light turns on. flip switch down, light turns off. if the light stays off, replace the bulb and it will turn on again". But this understanding does not help the child to understand the danger of replacing the bulb when the socket is live, or the possibility of a damaged switch or a power failure. We can patch the model with more prescriptive statements, or we can teach the child about electricity.

    For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
    -1 Corinthians 13:9-12 NIV

    This is the goal.

    ---

    A fine-grained understanding is powerful in other ways, too. Not only is it more versatile, but it gives us the power to monitor the validity of our approach and assumptions in different ways, and to optimize our techniques based on intermediate results rather than long-term outcomes.

    Consider a diet that claims to cause improved body composition. The diet provides a justification that involves hormone levels and sensitivity. This means that we can test the hypothesis that the diet presents directly - measure testosterone and insulin levels, insulin sensitivity, etc. - because we have a theory-based understanding of how testosterone and insulin levels correspond to our goals (or at least, we think we do). We don't have to wait eight weeks and measure our waistline and take the author's reasoning for granted - we can suck it up, get the bloodwork done and see for ourselves. And then we can make adjustments, and get more immediate feedback than a half-percent of body fat six weeks down the road.

    Measurability is king.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  5. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/09/2009 9:27pm

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    I've been picking through Sears' The Omega Rx Zone. As one might guess from the title, the dude is on fire about eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, mostly because they influence eicosanoid levels. I remember reading somewhere that he has a financial stake in one of the companies that sells fish oil, which would normally discredit his advice, but he carries a certain amount of credibility coming in. Also, the other stuff I've been reading lately has been strongly pro-fish oil as well, namely Berardi's Metabolism Advantage and Di Pasquale's Anabolic Diet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  6. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/10/2009 12:07am

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    It's often enlightening to ask how close to perfection we could come - in any sort of endeavour - if constraints like money were removed. If a billionaire were to decide that he would be willing to put his whole fortune (and all of his time and effort) towards winning a world championship in his chosen sport, and he formed a team of the most successful experts in the related fields to help him along the way...

    -What would his plan be?
    -What kind of success would he have?

    If you prefer, replace "world championship" with an absolute goal (that is, one that is not measured against the achievements of others). You may also assume that drug testing, etc. is not an issue. The same questions still apply.

    The more precisely we can describe said plan, and the more successful said plan is likely to be, the closer we are to an adequate understanding of the subject at hand. Once said understanding is established, the problem is no longer one of science but of engineering - how close can we get to perfection for the money in your wallet. But without said understanding... if all the money in the world can't buy you a pretty good idea of what to do, what will you get in return for the coins in your couch?

    ---

    If I were to paint a picture of what said hypothetical billionaire's approach to training health would look like, it'd look something like this:

    Differential monitoring. A single piece of information, on its own, doesn't tell you much. If you're looking at it based on symptoms, you might be able to focus in on the potentially-relevant aspects of diagnostic information/imagery, but even that's kind of a crap shoot. But if you have something to compare said information to, you have all sorts of options you didn't have before. You can compare opposite sides of the body, information from different points in time, etc. and find trends in the differences.

    Of course, if you want to catch problems before they become showstoppers, you have to know which trends to watch, and this brings us back to knowledge. Will overtraining* show up on a blood test (elevated cortisol), increased resting heart rate/blood pressure, etc.? What does "you're about to get shin splints if you don't cut back on mileage" look like on a bone scan? If we had training-health-related training goals like (for example) tendon strength, would we be able to monitor that with ultrasound?

    And on an aside, how much of this can we automate?

    * The word "overtraining" is often vague to the point of uselessness (see also "tendinitis"), but in this context, I'm using it strictly in the energy system/hormone sense.

    ---

    A systematic approach to training health:
    -Identify the relevant "failure modes" of the goals/techniques/athlete in question.
    -Determine attributes that reduce the risks of said failure modes.
    -Train to improve said attributes, and monitor them to determine the efficacy of one's training health training.
    -Determine observable (preferably measurable) signs of increased risk of failure.
    -Monitor said signs, and adjust training methods to avoid/mitigate the associated risks.

    And then make the whole thing simple, cheap, and lightweight enough for someone to actually do. While I'm at it, maybe I should throw in a pony too?

    (Frustrated, me? Never!)

    ---

    I don't know if anyone remembers this post I made, but it's an (incomplete) example of what I mean by going from micro to macro. The ideal is that we determine all of the factors contributing to/subtracting from a given attribute (in this case, maximum force generation), quantify their impacts, and the net result is that someone could perform the necessary observations of one's muscle tissue and nerves and calculate - to a high degree of precision - how much force said muscle/nerve combination could generate. From there, we establish methods of manipulating said factors to improve performance.

    Sounds simple when I put it that way, but from where I stand, it looks pretty daunting. Anyone know a molecular biophysicist who owes them a favour?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  7. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/10/2009 8:34pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Under the banner of "some bullshit", I found out today that I wasn't referred to a neurologist after all.
    The idiot I saw at the clinic:
    -suggested I take ibuprofen, which is probably really bad for post-concussion use
    -said she'd get me a referral to a neurologist, which she didn't (claims "lost dictation")
    -and now said I should get one from my "family doctor" - which I don't have, and I told her I didn't have, and if I did have, I wouldn't have wasted time on her useless ass instead, would I?

    *deep breath*

    Anyways, the moral of the story is this: people in the medical field, for whatever reason, assume it's somehow okay to be disorganized fuckups because they're in the medical field. Be persistent (a pest), and don't take their word for anything.

    ---

    On the subject of differential monitoring... I wonder if anyone's ever had one of their trainees do squats with each foot on a separate force measurement plate? You could figure out if they're pushing off evenly or not.

    ---

    My "systematic approach" is missing something obvious.
    -Determine effective measures to take to address failure modes that could not be avoided.
    -Take said measures as needed.

    The joy of treatment.

    Does anyone here own a home electrode-therapy or ultrasound therapy device, and if so, how's it working for them?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  8. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/12/2009 12:29am

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    As one might guess from the title, the dude is on fire about eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, mostly because they influence eicosanoid levels.
    If anyone here actually cares about their omega-6 to omega-3 ratios, the Wikipedia article on essential fatty acids links to a few lists of the polyunsaturated content of a bunch of different types of foods. Flax up.

    Incidentally, Sears suggests that the ratio of arachidonic acid to eicosapentaneoic acid in your blood will tell you whether you're in the "zone". He figures that 1.5:1 or lower AA:EPA is optimal.

    ---

    Is there a middle way between the perceived Scylla of hyperglycaemia and the Charybdis of low tissue glucose and increased depolarisations promoted by cerebral anaerobic glycolysis and perhaps by insulin-induced reduction in plasma glucose? What level of glycaemia should we seek? While there may be flexibility with mild brain injury, it seems there is less tolerance of periods of low plasma glucose (possibly below 6 mmol/l) when there is substantial compromise in perfusion, either directly, or indirectly when intracranial pressure is 25 mmHg or more. In such a situation we have little clinical data for guidance and perhaps might take note of the experimental data of Hopwood et al. suggesting that frequency of spontaneous peri-infarct depolarisations is lowest when plasma glucose lies near 7.58 mmol/l. In agreement with this implied optimal glycaemia level, a large experimental study comparing infarct size with early acute post-occlusion glycaemia in cats undergoing permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion found that the smallest infarcts were associated with a mean plasma glucose (08 h) of 8.3 mmol. Both higher and lower (insulin induced) glucose levels were associated with larger infarcts.
    -Strong, "The management of plasma glucose in acute cerebral ischaemia and traumatic brain injury: more research needed."
    Last edited by TheRuss; 3/12/2009 12:40am at .
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  9. AeroChica is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/12/2009 8:55pm

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     Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, BJJ, Judo, MMA and Kids Jiu-Jitsu Style: Boxing, Mom-Jitsu

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    Is there a middle way between the perceived Scylla of hyperglycaemia and the Charybdis of low tissue glucose and increased depolarisations promoted by cerebral anaerobic glycolysis and perhaps by insulin-induced reduction in plasma glucose? What level of glycaemia should we seek? While there may be flexibility with mild brain injury, it seems there is less tolerance of periods of low plasma glucose (possibly below 6 mmol/l) when there is substantial compromise in perfusion, either directly, or indirectly when intracranial pressure is 25 mmHg or more. In such a situation we have little clinical data for guidance and perhaps might take note of the experimental data of Hopwood et al. suggesting that frequency of spontaneous peri-infarct depolarisations is lowest when plasma glucose lies near 7.58 mmol/l. In agreement with this implied optimal glycaemia level, a large experimental study comparing infarct size with early acute post-occlusion glycaemia in cats undergoing permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion found that the smallest infarcts were associated with a mean plasma glucose (08 h) of 8.3 mmol. Both higher and lower (insulin induced) glucose levels were associated with larger infarcts.
    Holy crap. What language was that? Seriously - is that just a bunch of gibberish using large important-sounding words? I write engineering work instructions with less technical jargon.
  10. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/12/2009 9:23pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by AeroChica View Post
    Holy crap. What language was that? Seriously - is that just a bunch of gibberish using large important-sounding words? I write engineering work instructions with less technical jargon.
    Personally, I thought the reference to Homer's Odyssey was quite apt (full disclosure: I had to look it up), but here's my Simple English Wikipedia-style translation:

    Your brain needs more fuel when it's damaged, but it can't gather as much of it by itself.
    If you give your brain more fuel, it will use the fuel poorly and the waste will injure it.
    If you don't give your brain as much fuel, it will starve and be injured too.
    And there's no middle ground between the two, so your brain is getting injured either way.
    (The third point is why the Scylla and Charybdis reference works so well)

    Anyways, it sounds like a combined approach might be viable.
    -Keep serum glucose clamped in a normal range
    -Administer supraphysiological doses of insulin (assuming that there's anything to it)
    -Boost serum ketone levels to circumvent the whole active-transport logjam


    I've been talking a bit about fish oil in this thread, and I think there's a concussion tie-in.
    Sears is convinced that arachidonic acid (omega-6) is Satan in lipid form, and advocates maximizing EPA/DHA (omega-3) to balance its inflammatory effects.
    Byproducts of the arachidonic acid cycle have showed up as culprits in some of the literature I've been reading about concussions.

    Time for a fish-oil binge? Maybe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
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