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Old 07-27-2010, 04:08 AM   #1
James Evans
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Default The Comparative Joy of T-Nation

Compare:

Interval Training Doesn't Work
by Mark Young


in particular:

Quote:
The Tremblay Study

If there's a single study I've seen used to support the use of intervals for fat loss more than any other, this has got to be it. Having checked it out though, I'm sad to say that I was disappointed. Here are a few things I discovered:

The steady-state group sessions started at 30 minutes and gradually increased to 45 minutes. Interval training sessions actually started out with the steady-state exercise around 20-25 minutes. Two different types of intervals (short and long) were added later during the 15-week study.

The steady-state group lost only 1.1 pounds. The interval group lost 0.22 pounds. Yes, you read that right. Less than a frigging pound after 15 weeks!
The total of the changes in skinfold measurements (taken with a caliper to assess body fat) was almost three times lower in the interval group suggesting that even though weight loss was less, body composition may have changed more.

The interval group actually started out with higher skinfold measurements.
There was no dietary control in this study.

You can take from this study that doing intervals or steady-state without dietary intervention will result in a maximum of one pound of weight loss. As you know, that sucks serious ass.

And even though the total skinfolds dropped more in the interval group, the trunk skinfold decrease was pretty much the same. In fact, the main reason for the difference in the skinfolds in the first place wasn't that the steady-state group didn't lose fat. The big problem was that the calf skinfold of the steady-state group actually went up which obviously affects the total. Moreover, it makes sense that the interval group (who had almost 20 percent greater skinfolds to start with) would lose more regardless of which protocol they used.

In the end, I think the body fat testing method in this study sucks. These days we use DEXA or MRI to measure body composition. And even when they did this study, hydrostatic weighing was the standard. So why'd they use caliper testing? Skinfolds can get pretty sketchy depending on your tester.

If multiple testers are used, they can be even less reliable. (This might even be responsible for the increase in calf fat seen in the steady state group, but that's total speculation.)

Ultimately, the body weight loss in this 15-week study pretty much blows donkey balls and I think this only goes to reinforce the obvious: you can't neglect your diet.
and:

Quote:
The Tabata Study

Since you can't really go anywhere in the fitness industry without seeing or hearing about the latest and greatest Tabata workout, I just had to include this one. All in all though, there are really only a few points I need to bring forth.

The Tabata study does not measure fat loss. Although Tabatas were certainly effective for improving aerobic and anaerobic performance, there was no mention of fat loss in the paper at all. None.

The steady-state group in the Tabata study performed steady-state cardio. No surprise there. But the interesting part is that the Tabata group actually performed steady-state cardio instead of Tabatas for one of the five training days. In other words, 20 percent of their training days were allocated to a different method than what they were actually testing.

The majority of the improvements in Tabata performance happened in the first three weeks and then leveled out.

Tabatas were done at 170% of VO2 max, which is basically balls to the wall, maximal effort training on every set.

Having read all this I came to the following conclusions: Tabatas may or may not be effective for fat loss, but it certainly wasn't measured in this study and, based on this information, there is no real reason to assume that they are better than steady-state or any other type of interval training.

In fact, you can't really draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of Tabata style intervals for anything considering that they were also using steady state exercise and the results are difficult to separate out. Finally, even if Tabatas are effective for fat loss, lifting weights to perform them likely won't enable you to exert maximal effort to reach 170% of VO2 max on every set.

If you're lifting weights, odds are that your first set is sub maximal if you're able to lift it again after the 10-second rest interval prescribed by the protocol.

Note that I'm not saying these protocols aren't difficult (anyone who's ever done a round knows exactly what I'm talking about). I'm just saying they're not "technically" Tabatas, since you're using sub-maximal weights.
with:

Fat on Fire!
by Bryan Krahn


and particularly these pearls from Chad Waterbury:

Quote:
Tremblay's research was groundbreaking because he taught us that we should think less about the metabolic changes that occur during a workout and focus more on what's happening after you stop training. He compared high intensity and low intensity protocols. The high intensity group burned fewer calories during the workout, but their reduction in skinfold measurements was nine times greater by the end of the study.

So yeah, regular cardio will burn fat but not nearly as fast as high intensity cardio. But it's not as simple as merely alternating between sprinting and jogging. There are more effective ways to get the job done.

T: Such as?

CW: Tabata's research shows that just a few minutes of high intensity cardio will boost your aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. This is important for fighters who are constantly toeing the line between fatigue and performance because of all the striking, grappling, and other forms of fighting they must constantly practice.
Not to mention their strength and conditioning sessions. Bottom line: with high intensity cardio you kill two birds with one stone.
I also enjoyed Chad's revolutionary utilization of descending reps.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
Derek Weaver
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For every one article that Chad Waterbury writes that is any good, he writes three pieces of garbage. That's my opinion of course.

Lyle's written at length about the need for a higher volume of low intensity stuff to burn fat.

Not to say that high intensity work isn't beneficial, but it's a great way to burn out quickly.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:22 AM   #3
James Evans
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OMFG! A reply! Thanks Derek.

I appreciated the first article because you have a writer who has actually read and understood the original papers. He challenges a number of concepts that are pushed by regular T-Muscle contributors. Then a week later Waterbury comes on, cites Tremblay, doesn't exactly cite Tabata but implies its usefulness for fat loss.

Fantastic contradiction. I'm genuinely surprised the first article was published but
I can imagine which article has been read the most.

It's interesting from the perspective of what people like Lyle have been saying and then as Waterbury dives into his I train MMA but you can do this and look great schtick it's interesting from the perspective of the 8 Weeks Out discussions on these boards. Who do you reckon knows their science better?

Hustler.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post
For every one article that Chad Waterbury writes that is any good, he writes three pieces of garbage. That's my opinion of course.
Being that Waterbury was in Tucson for a long time, I met someone very close to him that said he is all about quantity of articles over quality, and that "borrowing" ideas is par for the course.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:43 AM   #5
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As if by magic I stumble across this discussion.

I recall Waterbury signed up to the CrossFit boards a while back. I look forward to him 'borrowing' Fran.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #6
Donald Lee
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Lyle wrote a long ass series on intervals vs. steady-state a couple years ago. I think I read the whole thing, but he covers so much that the details/facts start getting jumbled.

Although Tom Ventuo prefers using intervals for fat loss, he also wrote a nice bit about the Tremblay study:

http://www.burnthefatblog.com/archiv...proven_5_x.php
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:14 PM   #7
Derek Weaver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
Being that Waterbury was in Tucson for a long time, I met someone very close to him that said he is all about quantity of articles over quality, and that "borrowing" ideas is par for the course.
He's a dolt. People harp on Boyle changing stances and being a marketer, but Waterbury is far worse if you ask me. The one piece of advice I saw that was of any value was basic fat loss advice of: eat green vegetables at every meal, eat 4-6 servings/meals of 4-6 oz. of protein per day, and take fish oil. Groundbreaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Evans View Post
As if by magic I stumble across this discussion.

I recall Waterbury signed up to the CrossFit boards a while back. I look forward to him 'borrowing' Fran.
Interesting that Joel was so opinionated. I think that's fairly telling. Guys like Joel Marion, Lyle, Martin, Alan Aragon etc. are ever growing voices of reason in an otherwise irrational field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Evans View Post
OMFG! A reply! Thanks Derek.

I appreciated the first article because you have a writer who has actually read and understood the original papers. He challenges a number of concepts that are pushed by regular T-Muscle contributors. Then a week later Waterbury comes on, cites Tremblay, doesn't exactly cite Tabata but implies its usefulness for fat loss.

Fantastic contradiction. I'm genuinely surprised the first article was published but
I can imagine which article has been read the most.

It's interesting from the perspective of what people like Lyle have been saying and then as Waterbury dives into his I train MMA but you can do this and look great schtick it's interesting from the perspective of the 8 Weeks Out discussions on these boards. Who do you reckon knows their science better?

Hustler.
T-Nation is interesting. Overall, they're a marketing machine, but every once in a while they'll run something that actually makes sense. Dan John articles, as well as this cardio article are two examples.

What I think would be interesting would be interviews with Lyle, Martin or Joel. I doubt it would pass the censors and make it on the site though...
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And if you don't think kettleball squat cleans are difficult, I say, step up to the med-ball
- CJ Kim
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:34 PM   #8
Donald Lee
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I think WannaBeBig is a better version of T-Nation. I don't read the articles on there regularly, but they've got some good stuff. I don't think they censor, and they seem to have much higher IQ levels than folks at T-Nation.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
Derek Weaver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
I think WannaBeBig is a better version of T-Nation. I don't read the articles on there regularly, but they've got some good stuff. I don't think they censor, and they seem to have much higher IQ levels than folks at T-Nation.
Agreed. The one thing that seems a little stupid to me is that they tend to suggest factoring calories in by Target Bodyweight (TBW). This usually gets people into trouble and at least a little chubby. Fine if you don't mind being soft, not good if you want to not be overly soft.
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Quote:
And if you don't think kettleball squat cleans are difficult, I say, step up to the med-ball
- CJ Kim
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:06 AM   #10
James Evans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post


Interesting that Joel was so opinionated. I think that's fairly telling. Guys like Joel Marion, Lyle, Martin, Alan Aragon etc. are ever growing voices of reason in an otherwise irrational field.


What I think would be interesting would be interviews with Lyle, Martin or Joel. I doubt it would pass the censors and make it on the site though...
Joel is pretty damn outspoken when he wants to be. He has stated that the majority of guys out there talking themselves up as MMA experts have trained absolutely nobody of relevance or note, with the pointed exception of Martin Rooney (I think he also commented on Rooney's experience generally).

I can't imagine guys like Joel and Lyle who have taken a strong position on the T-Muscle-Biotest relationship ever being invited to make a contribution nor wishing to do so (Joel says as much in that thread). I read Yael's interview with TC and it just re-affirmed to me how full of shit the man was. I've got no problem with a Dan John article advising the odd slug of Surge (hell, I'm not even sure if Dan writes that in or it's edited in later) and I like the output of Cressey and Gentilcore but the primary purpose of the that site is to sell supplements. That made the Mark Young article refreshing because he was suggesting that some long boring work might be in order, not HIIT and some magic beans.

What I would like to see is articles or interviews with those guys in PM.
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