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Old 06-25-2007, 07:33 PM   #1
Mike ODonnell
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Default Evolutionary fitness

from Devany

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The basic way to do an Evolutionary Fitness work out is to do Power Law training through the Hierarchical Set (HS). A hierarchical set is like the DC set described above -- three lifts in the set, but each is done to the acid burn, not complete failure. The other major difference is that in the HS you increase the weight each lift within the set. An example is to do, say, a target of 15 bent over rows without forcing to the full 15 but using your tolerance for the acid burn to stop. Then, increase the weight and go for a target 8 while letting the burn determine where you stop. Then increase the weight again and go for a target 4, but stopping when the burn hurts enough and before full failure. The two differences between DC and HS then are the burn lets you know when to stop before injury and you increase the weight in each set within the HS. The HS is far more intense than the DC when you do this

An advanced HS is to do as above and then add 2 or 3 negatives with even more weight at the end. My problem is that I train alone and usually do not have someone to help me do the negatives at the end. But, with some machines or by using one leg or arm versions of exercises, you can do negatives by lifting with two limbs and lowering with one. Of course, you have to carefully choose which exercises you do so you avoid getting trapped in a machine or stressing a joint.

When you do a HS or an HS with negatives, an HSN, you go right up the fiber hierarchy and fire those hard-to-fire FTb fibers. And, as important, you recruit more muscle fiber, the primary key to real strength and quickness. The negatives at the end recruit the most FTb that you can effectively fire for two reasons: 1. the lower threshold ST and FTa fibers are already exhausted, and 2. the negatives preferentially recruit FTb fibers. These are the fibers that make you quick and powerful.
Just curious to hear thoughts on this approach....positive or negative...
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:04 PM   #2
Robert Allison
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Over at T-Nation, Chad Waterbury seems to be offering up a different perspective on recruiting fast twitch fibers:

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HOWEVER, I don't want to leave you hanging completely. Here's one practical tip I'd like to leave you with, followed by a question I'd like you to ponder. First, the practical tip:

Focus on how fast you can lift a load. Once the speed slows down, terminate the set.

Now the question (this is the key to the concept that will change everything):

If the last few reps of a high intensity set really do recruit extra muscle fibers, then why aren't the last few reps the easiest?
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1616759
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
from Devany



Just curious to hear thoughts on this approach....positive or negative...

neither. just stupid. i am admitted de vany skeptic, but jeesh, this is tooooo easy. what is the freaking goal with this stuff? teef whitening?

more directly, by the time you're done feeling the burn at 8, you're way to smoked for a decent 5, if you are burning up at 5, there is not going to be a 3, or it will be a sad little wilted triple at some pathetic barely double digit percentage of 1rm. Somebody should send a copy of SS or even Supertraining to the old coot....


not to put too fine a point on it...sorry if i came of sounding like Pierre on a Molson bender.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:09 AM   #4
Daniel Myers
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I think De Vany's workouts are fine for what he wants them to do, but the "evolutionary" aspect of them always feels very forced. I just don't think the caveman did all his exercise in three 30 minute sessions per week, and that true high-intensity work was pretty rare.

I think there's a strong argument to be made for low and moderate intensity, but very high volume, like that guy on the Moynihan Institue has talked about.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:51 AM   #5
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I think that when Art talks about working out 2-3 times / week, he is just referring to his weight training. On the whole, he seems to advocate some type of physical activity every day, but most of it is of the "low to moderate intensity" type.

DeVany is very fit and athletic for a guy who is 70. That kind of longevity is one of my goals, so I am not too quick to dismiss what he has to say. To my knowledge, he was one of the first guys to really embrace the Paleo perspective as a lifestyle. The results seem to speak for themselves.

Regarding hierarchical sets, I have never tried them, nor even given them much thought, so I am not sure whether they would be useful or not.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:02 AM   #6
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I love how all these guys "know" what activates which fibers...
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:03 AM   #7
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In Waterbury's defense he has M.S. in Physiology from the University of Arizona with his thesis on the effects that Parkinson's evokes on strength and motor control, so I would give him the benefit of the doubt. If anyone "knows" what activates which muscle fibers he would be on the short list.

On the other hand De Vany seems like he is more of a "trial and error" kind of guy. His experiences inform him, which has a certain value. However, when both agree (along with a host of others who advocate ending a set just prior to technical failure) they might be onto something.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Allison View Post
I think that when Art talks about working out 2-3 times / week, he is just referring to his weight training. On the whole, he seems to advocate some type of physical activity every day, but most of it is of the "low to moderate intensity" type.

DeVany is very fit and athletic for a guy who is 70. That kind of longevity is one of my goals, so I am not too quick to dismiss what he has to say. To my knowledge, he was one of the first guys to really embrace the Paleo perspective as a lifestyle. The results seem to speak for themselves.

Regarding hierarchical sets, I have never tried them, nor even given them much thought, so I am not sure whether they would be useful or not.

I'm just ranting… Seriously, I want to like the guy, he has some interesting perspectives...BUT it's the old 80/20 rule. 80% of the time he sticks to stuff that parses logically, generally accepted scientific principles etc...then the other 20% of the time, he's absolutely batshit crazy using all sorts of delusional personal examples and ad hoc ergo propter hoc proofs of his gene expression,

To the plus side, this has resulted in some enduring internets moments ala grocery clerks swooning over his pheromones and his ultra white teefs.

Don't even get me started on his motorcycle "insights"
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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Ah, yes... Pareto and the old 80/20 principle. It really does seem to apply in almost every area of life.

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To the plus side, this has resulted in some enduring internets moments ala grocery clerks swooning over his pheromones and his ultra white teefs.
Agreed... I always get a laugh out of those posts on his blog. I sometimes wonder if he is completely serious, but, I guess it really doesn't matter.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:09 PM   #10
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Ok...perhaps I'm a Devany knob-polisher but I find his stuff to be remarkably right on. if you look at his recommendation and those of kelly baggett regarding fast twitch fibers they are remarkably similar: Not too much volume lest one force a fiber change towards the endurance direction, hit the fast twitch fibers then let them recover and express the fast type.

Now there are different ways of accessing the fast twitch fibers. One is max efforts, another is speed or dynamic efforts and another is reaching momentary failure. All of these work but each in a different way and with different potential side effects/consequences. Many "good" olifters and sprinters bypass the slower twitch fiber entirely in max efforts, so they are not working up the heirarchey as Devany puts it. Art also works alactic sets...heavy weight, not a boat load of reps and plenty of rest to further accentuate power and speed. I asked him about his maxes a few years ago and he was not far off the masters PL totals for his weight and age group...as a non specialist. Perhaps not the best approach for westside BB but it is phenomenal return on investment IMO.

Another point: whether the endocrine response of exercise is the driving force in muscle gain or not I guess is debatable but there does seem to be this hit-esque thing of doing "enough" work to cause adaptation, eat a truck load of food and you will grow:
http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog...le-in-4-weeks/
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