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Mike Prevost
12-24-2009, 09:26 AM
There was a thread on this over at crossfit but that forum is not a productive place to discuss training logically....

The theme of that thread was that there should be quite a bit of transfer from one to the other because many adaptations that occur in each would benefit both like reduced lactate, increased lactate metablism, increased capillary density etc.....

However, ALL of those are metabolic adaptations inside of the muscle. Rowing and running are training different muscles. So.....there would be little, if any, transfer of these metabolic adaptations from rowing to running. Too many over there do not understand training specificity at all. Is it a systemic problem with their certification program? It is a VERY basic and simple principle of exercise physiology that has been well known for more than 50 years.

Donald Lee
12-24-2009, 01:24 PM
With all the Interval craze, specificity of training adaptations with regards to conditioning has been thrown out the window. The most useful transferable adaptation between rowing and running would be that of the heart. I'm sure the training of the legs on rowing would be useful to prevent atrophy of the running muscles if you can't get outside for some reason, but I don't think you should really think rowing will help your running or vice versa.

Garrett Smith
12-24-2009, 01:58 PM
Mike,
The CF board is basically a bunch of rookies talking amongst themselves, with little fundamental knowledge in physiology between them.

Curious, was your post just to point out their lack of physiology understanding, or did you want to actually start a thread to discuss it? I think Donald pretty much summed it up...the systemic adaptation (cardiovascular, mainly) is the only thing that would transfer much.

When I had trochanteric bursitis, I was able to maintain some semblance of my running fitness with aqua jogging. We also prepped my wife for her sprint triathlon (5k run) with solely aqua jogging. However, gaining running fitness through rowing is unlikely to happen except in the very detrained.

Mike Prevost
12-25-2009, 08:22 AM
Garrett

Water running has a lot of research behind it. The transfer to running has been shown in a number of studies. But...it should be expected because you are training many of the same muscles.

I guess I was pointing out what I see as a weakness or a flaw in the crossfit concept as it is pushed by many of crossfit followers (I don't know if Glassman feels this way), that training a particular skill or activity will make you better at other skills or activities. THere may be some small crossover (not for skill though), but if you want to get better at running, run, for rowing, row. It seems that the whole crossfit concept centers around the idea that a varied and random workout program can transfer to almost any sport, which is not exactly true. Most adaptations that affect performance are inside of the muscles. The central adaptations are less important when it comes to performance. For example, only a small percentage of the most fit athletes actually desaturate (less than 98-100% oxygen saturation on hemaglobin) at max exercise levels. Even these athletes are rarely doing any event at this intensity level, even in a shorter event like a 5K. As a result, we are almost never limited by central adaptations, which argues for a focus on training specificity if you want to perform.

The same is true when you think about training intensity. There is a reason that endurance athletes do a fair amount of volume. They are recruiting the lower threshold motor units and training them for A LONG TIME, which drives deep metabolic adaptations in these muscles. TABATA intervals do little for these low threshold motor units. It is not enough of a stimulus (in terms of time) to produce much of a change in these motor units. TABATA drives changes (sometimes big changes) in the higher threshold motor units that are not used very often, which is good. However, the high threshold motor units may contribute little to actual performance when it comes to something like a 5K or 10K, especially a marathon. Just because you improve VO2 max, does not mean you are faster at your given race distance. BOTH time and modal domain specificity are important and many seem to ignore that, primarily due to lack of knowledge about where and why the adaptations are occuring.

If you understand all of this, you realize, for example, that crossfit endurance is not the IDEAL way to train for your ideal marathon performance. If you don't, it looks really attractive, but would lead to suboptimal performance.

Shane Skowron
12-25-2009, 01:49 PM
However, gaining running fitness through rowing is unlikely to happen except in the very detrained.

Well, the detrained appeared to be the context of the thread in question.

Jonathan Silverman
12-25-2009, 07:27 PM
Garrett
... TABATA intervals do little for these low threshold motor units. It is not enough of a stimulus (in terms of time) to produce much of a change in these motor units. TABATA drives changes (sometimes big changes) in the higher threshold motor units that are not used very often, which is good. However, the high threshold motor units may contribute little to actual performance when it comes to something like a 5K or 10K, especially a marathon. ..



so would you agree Tabata Programming would be a practical thing to program into weight training?

Mike Prevost
12-26-2009, 07:26 AM
so would you agree Tabata Programming would be a practical thing to program into weight training?

For what purpose?

Garrett Smith
12-26-2009, 07:37 AM
Well, the detrained appeared to be the context of the thread in question.
I did not realize that...and I wasn't about to go search the CF board for the thread in question (need to not numb the brain right now).

Jonathan Silverman
12-26-2009, 08:15 PM
For what purpose?

well you were saying how tabata can drive big changes in higher threshld units, so i am assuming those are used when you do low reps heavy weights, so thats why im asking you if you think it makes programming sense to use a tabata protocol with heavy weights?

Steven Low
12-26-2009, 11:41 PM
well you were saying how tabata can drive big changes in higher threshld units, so i am assuming those are used when you do low reps heavy weights, so thats why im asking you if you think it makes programming sense to use a tabata protocol with heavy weights?
Why would you add tabata unless you had a specific purpose for it?

You can just as easily work high threshold motor units with heavy weights or acceleration.

Mike Prevost
12-27-2009, 07:39 AM
Why would you add tabata unless you had a specific purpose for it?

You can just as easily work high threshold motor units with heavy weights or acceleration.

Yes...what he said ^^^ ; )

Jonathan Silverman
12-27-2009, 03:47 PM
Why would you add tabata unless you had a specific purpose for it?

You can just as easily work high threshold motor units with heavy weights or acceleration.

Good question. I tried looking for an answer for it on the internet, and here's what i found:

"The front squat might be the single best Tabata lift. Having said that, if you don't know how to front squat correctly, the Tabata method might teach you to lift better than a thousand coaches." By Dan John. t-nation

Mike Prevost
12-27-2009, 05:40 PM
Good question. I tried looking for an answer for it on the internet, and here's what i found:

"The front squat might be the single best Tabata lift. Having said that, if you don't know how to front squat correctly, the Tabata method might teach you to lift better than a thousand coaches." By Dan John. t-nation

Why the heck would you TABATA the front squat instead of just doing straight up sets?

Jonathan Silverman
12-27-2009, 05:59 PM
Why the heck would you TABATA the front squat instead of just doing straight up sets?

i dk, but dan john says it again later in the article:
"Moreover, it seems to teach the body the proper method of squatting far easier than all the instruction in the world. "

Shane Skowron
12-27-2009, 08:23 PM
Why the heck would you TABATA the front squat instead of just doing straight up sets?

For aerobic endurance and muscular endurance.

Donald Lee
12-27-2009, 10:42 PM
For aerobic endurance and muscular endurance.

You mean low levels of aerobic endurance. There is nothing special about Tabata intervals. If someone thinks there is, I would like to know what it is that is so special about them.

If you want aerobic endurance, you can run or do some other proven method of developing aerobic endurance.

If you want muscular endurance, you can do density training or some other muscular endurance methods.

If basic fitness or just losing weight is your goal, then intervals such as Tabata could be used, but I really don't like the form degradation that occurs. The Tabata research was done on a stationary bike (I believe). A machine allows for form degradation, but running, weight lifting, etc. are not so kind with form degradation at high intensities.

Shane Skowron
12-28-2009, 06:16 AM
If you want aerobic endurance, you can run or do some other proven method of developing aerobic endurance.

If you want muscular endurance, you can do density training or some other muscular endurance methods.

You can also develop muscular endurance by doing a bunch of pullups, but that's obviously not the point of tabata front squats.

Some people actually want aerobic endurance and muscular endurance specifically for the front squat, or for some other movement. And as you pointed out earlier, specific adaptations require specific training.


A machine allows for form degradation, but running, weight lifting, etc. are not so kind with form degradation at high intensities.


And running a 800m time trial is high-intensity too, isn't it? Is that a bad idea because it could cause form breakdown?

Garrett Smith
12-28-2009, 06:36 AM
Let us never forget, re: Tabata intervals, that the only time they've necessarily been demonstrated to give transferable improvements, was when they were done on a bike ergometer by speed skaters.

Assuming Tabata intervals are as beneficial in any other modality is just that, an assumption.

Jonathan Silverman
12-28-2009, 08:25 AM
Let us never forget, re: Tabata intervals, that the only time they've necessarily been demonstrated to give transferable improvements, was when they were done on a bike ergometer by speed skaters.

Assuming Tabata intervals are as beneficial in any other modality is just that, an assumption.hey

hey this is the conclusion at the end of dr. tabata's abstract:

In conclusion, this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power DOES NOT change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may IMPROVE BOTH anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.

Garrett Smith
12-28-2009, 09:17 AM
Jonathan,
I think you should have capitalized the "MAY", which implies an assumption at best.

Are there any studies of Tabata intervals using different athletes and different modalities?

I can guess that there are absolutely no studies on using calisthenic exercises for Tabata intervals...except for Gant's, that is.

Shane Skowron
12-28-2009, 09:29 AM
I would agree that Tabata intervals are mostly pretty silly for calisthenic exercises.

But for endurance exercise (running, swimming, cycling, rowing, etc) I don't think we need individual studies to demonstrate that it is an effective means of training for anaerobic and aerobic benefit. There are other studies shown that interval training is effective. Tabata may or may not be better than other interval schemes. But this doesn't matter since it shouldn't be considered the holy grail of interval training, but rather be employed as just another tool in the training repertoire.

Jonathan Silverman
12-28-2009, 10:20 AM
Thanks for helping me understand all of this...

so since a tabata protocol was used for aerobic activities as a way to incr. aerobic and anaerobic ability...

then i think the way to incorporate it into front squats would be..

first front squat 2-3 reps for 10-12 sets until you feel your heart is like pounding in your chest, and then right away

drop the weight really light and shoot for 7-12 reps or more tabata protocol wise.

and then my conclusion is in a month you will be able to do heavier 4-6 reps than somebody who doesn't do this.


what do you guys think?

basically what my logic is this:
tabata = incr aerobic & anaerobic capacity in an aerobic excercise and not include incr. aerobic & anaerobic capacity within anaerobic excercise. so to get tabatas benefits for weight training we kinda gotta trick the body into thinking its doing an aerobic excercise. im talking about a new subjective protocol that incorporates the tabata protocol for anaerobic work.

Donald Lee
12-28-2009, 10:59 AM
Thanks for helping me understand all of this...

so since a tabata protocol was used for aerobic activities as a way to incr. aerobic and anaerobic ability...

then i think the way to incorporate it into front squats would be..

first front squat 2-3 reps for 10-12 sets until you feel your heart is like pounding in your chest, and then right away

drop the weight really light and shoot for 7-12 reps or more tabata protocol wise.

and then my conclusion is in a month you will be able to do heavier 4-6 reps than somebody who doesn't do this.


what do you guys think?

basically what my logic is this:
tabata = incr aerobic & anaerobic capacity in an aerobic excercise and not include incr. aerobic & anaerobic capacity within anaerobic excercise. so to get tabatas benefits for weight training we kinda gotta trick the body into thinking its doing an aerobic excercise. im talking about a new subjective protocol that incorporates the tabata protocol for anaerobic work.

If you just want some basic aerobic capacity, something like that could work. The Tabata research indicated increases in V02 Max as their indicator of aerobic fitness. V02 Max is important for the shorter endurance events, but power outut at lactate threshold becomes the primary indicator of aerobic performance during longer events. Tabata intervals would do very little for that beyond a basic threshold.

Donald Lee
12-28-2009, 11:01 AM
Most adaptations that affect performance are inside of the muscles. The central adaptations are less important when it comes to performance. For example, only a small percentage of the most fit athletes actually desaturate (less than 98-100% oxygen saturation on hemaglobin) at max exercise levels. Even these athletes are rarely doing any event at this intensity level, even in a shorter event like a 5K. As a result, we are almost never limited by central adaptations, which argues for a focus on training specificity if you want to perform.



Mike,

I posted what you wrote on another forum and got this response:

There has been a debate for years in exercise physiology about whether the limiting factor in aerobic performance comes from the cardiovascular supply side or oxygen utilization within the muscles themselves. There are arguments for both sides within the literature and I don't think there is really a clear answer yet but regardless, performance depends on both supply and utilization as well as contractile properties of the muscles, technique and skill, etc. It's probably a bit simplistic to say there is any one piece of the physiological puzzle that is single most important. When it comes to performance, it's all important.

Andew Cattermole
12-28-2009, 03:15 PM
"There has been a debate for years in exercise physiology about whether the limiting factor in aerobic performance comes from the cardiovascular supply side or oxygen utilization within the muscles themselves. There are arguments for both sides within the literature and I don't think there is really a clear answer yet but regardless, performance depends on both supply and utilization as well as contractile properties of the muscles, technique and skill, etc. It's probably a bit simplistic to say there is any one piece of the physiological puzzle that is single most important. When it comes to performance, it's all important."

Can I ask which forum? as that's a great reply

Mike Prevost
12-29-2009, 04:45 PM
Mike,

I posted what you wrote on another forum and got this response:

Donald

Seems like a well thought out reply but it is wrong. Only Dr. Tim Noakes and his lab believe that there is a limiter besides the cardiovascular side. The other 99.9% of exercise physiologists are pretty clear on this, and the research supports it....the limiter for VO2 max is the supply of oxygen to working muscles. If you could supply more oxygen, the muscles would use it and you would see an increase in VO2 max.

The situation gets a bit more complicated when you try to test VO2 max in a modality other than running. But even that does not invalidate the finding that VO2 max is limited by the cardiovascular system.

In the context of my post however.....VO2 max is not really that important when it comes to predicting performance. THis is because most events are not run at VO2 max intensities. THerefore it is metabolic adaptations inside of the muscles that will primarily determine performance. This is why power or pace at lactate threshold are considered better predictors than VO2 max.

Shane Skowron
12-29-2009, 06:33 PM
In the context of my post however.....VO2 max is not really that important when it comes to predicting performance.


Correct.

THis is because most events are not run at VO2 max intensities.

Really? The 5000 meters is 95% of VO2Max and the 3000 meters is right about 100% of VO2Max.
So you must mean every event above 5k?

Donald Lee
12-30-2009, 12:51 AM
Donald

Seems like a well thought out reply but it is wrong. Only Dr. Tim Noakes and his lab believe that there is a limiter besides the cardiovascular side. The other 99.9% of exercise physiologists are pretty clear on this, and the research supports it....the limiter for VO2 max is the supply of oxygen to working muscles. If you could supply more oxygen, the muscles would use it and you would see an increase in VO2 max.

The situation gets a bit more complicated when you try to test VO2 max in a modality other than running. But even that does not invalidate the finding that VO2 max is limited by the cardiovascular system.

In the context of my post however.....VO2 max is not really that important when it comes to predicting performance. THis is because most events are not run at VO2 max intensities. THerefore it is metabolic adaptations inside of the muscles that will primarily determine performance. This is why power or pace at lactate threshold are considered better predictors than VO2 max.

I don't get what you're saying, Mike. I mean, I don't get how you're trying to argue against what Joel over at www.8weeksout.com was saying. How does what you're saying relate to the central vs. peripheral adaptation contributions for endurance events?

Steven Low
12-30-2009, 07:48 AM
Correct.



Really? The 5000 meters is 95% of VO2Max and the 3000 meters is right about 100% of VO2Max.
So you must mean every event above 5k?
No, because everyone (the elite guys) is grouped up towards the end of most of the long distance races. So ability to sustain high lac threshold intensities... aka the sprint to the finish... determines who wins. Not Vo2max.

Shane Skowron
12-30-2009, 08:46 AM
No, because everyone (the elite guys) is grouped up towards the end of most of the long distance races. So ability to sustain high lac threshold intensities... aka the sprint to the finish... determines who wins. Not Vo2max.

I get that. But I don't get how "most events are not run at VO2 Max intensities."

Mike Prevost
12-30-2009, 03:11 PM
Correct.



Really? The 5000 meters is 95% of VO2Max and the 3000 meters is right about 100% of VO2Max.
So you must mean every event above 5k?

You will have to forgive me Shane. I am a former Ironman type triathlete, so my bias is for longer stuff. I did not know you could contest something so short as 3K ; ).

However, even at 95% VO2 max, the performance limiter is still metabolic adaptations inside of the muscles and not cardiovascular.

Mike Prevost
12-30-2009, 03:13 PM
I don't get what you're saying, Mike. I mean, I don't get how you're trying to argue against what Joel over at www.8weeksout.com was saying. How does what you're saying relate to the central vs. peripheral adaptation contributions for endurance events?

I don't have any idea what Joel said so I cannot answer your question. I am not even sure what you are asking.

Mike Prevost
12-30-2009, 03:24 PM
I don't get what you're saying, Mike. I mean, I don't get how you're trying to argue against what Joel over at www.8weeksout.com was saying. How does what you're saying relate to the central vs. peripheral adaptation contributions for endurance events?

OK...I think I get it now. Is this what Joel said?
.................................................. .....
There has been a debate for years in exercise physiology about whether the limiting factor in aerobic performance comes from the cardiovascular supply side or oxygen utilization within the muscles themselves. There are arguments for both sides within the literature and I don't think there is really a clear answer yet but regardless, performance depends on both supply and utilization as well as contractile properties of the muscles, technique and skill, etc. It's probably a bit simplistic to say there is any one piece of the physiological puzzle that is single most important. When it comes to performance, it's all important.
.................................................. .......................

If he is talking about VO2 max, he is dead wrong. There is only really one guy arguing that the cardiovascular system is not the limiter for VO2 max. His name is Dr. Tim Noakes. There are not "arguments for both sides" that are credible. The preponderance of the research data is clear and has been for 20 years. The limiter for VO2 max is the ability to deliver oxygen rich blood to the muscles. Anybody who believes otherwise is either ignorant of the research literature on the subject, or their name is Dr. Tim Noakes. I am not necessarily bashing Dr. Noakes. He is a very smart man who has done a ton of great work on fluid balance and exercise, but on this issue he is wrong.

All of this pertains to VO2 max, an exercise intensity that elicits the max utilization of oxygen. At intensities below this level, performance is determined by metabolic capacity of the recruited muscles, not oxygen rich blood delivery.....even for something like a 3K, but even more so as the distances get longer. If what Joel meant by "aerobic performance" was not VO2 max, then I would say that he is wrong anyway, because we know what causes fatigue and what determines performance at intensities at, above and below VO2 max. It is not a mystery.

Doesn't matter. It is all physiology mumbo jumbo for the most part. Just train right and all will be good.

Donald Lee
12-31-2009, 04:35 PM
OK...I think I get it now. Is this what Joel said?
.................................................. .....
There has been a debate for years in exercise physiology about whether the limiting factor in aerobic performance comes from the cardiovascular supply side or oxygen utilization within the muscles themselves. There are arguments for both sides within the literature and I don't think there is really a clear answer yet but regardless, performance depends on both supply and utilization as well as contractile properties of the muscles, technique and skill, etc. It's probably a bit simplistic to say there is any one piece of the physiological puzzle that is single most important. When it comes to performance, it's all important.
.................................................. .......................

If he is talking about VO2 max, he is dead wrong. There is only really one guy arguing that the cardiovascular system is not the limiter for VO2 max. His name is Dr. Tim Noakes. There are not "arguments for both sides" that are credible. The preponderance of the research data is clear and has been for 20 years. The limiter for VO2 max is the ability to deliver oxygen rich blood to the muscles. Anybody who believes otherwise is either ignorant of the research literature on the subject, or their name is Dr. Tim Noakes. I am not necessarily bashing Dr. Noakes. He is a very smart man who has done a ton of great work on fluid balance and exercise, but on this issue he is wrong.

All of this pertains to VO2 max, an exercise intensity that elicits the max utilization of oxygen. At intensities below this level, performance is determined by metabolic capacity of the recruited muscles, not oxygen rich blood delivery.....even for something like a 3K, but even more so as the distances get longer. If what Joel meant by "aerobic performance" was not VO2 max, then I would say that he is wrong anyway, because we know what causes fatigue and what determines performance at intensities at, above and below VO2 max. It is not a mystery.

Doesn't matter. It is all physiology mumbo jumbo for the most part. Just train right and all will be good.

I disagree with you, but you're the one with the Ph.D, so until I learn more, I will not argue any further. :)

Mike Prevost
12-31-2009, 06:14 PM
I disagree with you, but you're the one with the Ph.D, so until I learn more, I will not argue any further. :)

No worries Donald. It is not that I am particularly smart in that area. It is more that this is a fundamental concept of exercise physiology that any undergraduate student will know. It is not a hotly debated topic because the issues are largely well known through more than 30 years of research. What we know about it is pretty clear. What I presented is pretty basic and not at all controversial. Noakes is a bit of a lone wolf on this one. His book "The Lore of Running" was pretty popular and spread his alternative view of VO2 max to lots of lay persons and runners. His view is popular not because it is supported by the research or by even a small percentage of exercise physiologists; it is popular because he sold a lot of books. Oh well. He makes a convincing argument, but he is wrong.