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Old 07-26-2008, 03:12 PM   #11
Garrett Smith
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There are too many programs out there that could be filed under potentially excessive GPP for this to be leveled towards any one group.

One possible interpretation of that study could be that elite athletes likely have a longer training history/load (in multiple ways) than amateur athletes. This heavier "training" load may drain their endocrine system over time, hence less of a neuroendocrine response. However, that could be a totally incorrect conclusion, as they are still running faster than the amateurs and the decreased testosterone secretion may be all that is needed if they are more testosterone-sensitive (ie. their receptors are upregulated and ready to go). That's why I made sure to use the word "potential" in the first sentence of my initial post.

Things that may appear beneficial in the short-term, especially among exercisers new to intense GPP, may or may not be sustainable or beneficial long-term. There is a point of diminishing returns in nearly every endeavor we know of in physical training. Maybe the sprinters above had gone past that point.

For longevity's sake, one might strive to do the least amount of heavy/intense training in order to get the most benefits of said activity. This WILL not lead one to the ephemeral "elite" status, whatever that is. Moderation & longevity are not synonymous with the type of training loads that "elite" status entails. However, one could theoretically maximize the benefits while minimizing mechanical joint wear and potential drain on the neuroendocrine system (for those interested in the long haul).

Considering the relatively new exposure of many trainees to Oly lifting, especially of sorts that involve high repetitions + form breakdown at high fatigue levels (possibly from the beginning in newbies, and definitely at the completion of these type of workouts for all involved), there are other studies on aging elite athletes, particularly of weightlifters, that may also be of interest:

Knee osteoarthritis in former runners, soccer players, weight lifters, and shooters.

Quote:
OBJECTIVE. To determine the relationship between different physical loading conditions and findings of knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS. We selected 117 male former top-level athletes (age range 45-68 years) who had participated in sports activities with distinctly different loading conditions: 28 had been long-distance runners, 31 soccer players, 29 weight lifters, and 29 shooters. Histories of lifetime occupational and athletic knee loading, knee injuries, and knee symptoms were obtained, and subjects were examined clinically and radiographically for knee findings of OA. RESULTS. The prevalence of tibiofemoral or patellofemoral OA based on radiographic examination was 3% in shooters, 29% in soccer players, 31% in weight lifters, and 14% in runners (P = 0.016 between groups). Soccer players had the highest prevalence of tibiofemoral OA (26%), and weight lifters had the highest prevalence of patellofemoral OA (28%). Subjects with radiographically documented knee OA had more symptoms, clinical findings, and functional limitations than did subjects without knee OA. By stepwise logistic regression analysis, the risk for having knee OA was increased in subjects with previous knee injuries (odds ratio [OR] 4.73), high body mass index at the age of 20 (OR 1.76/unit of increasing body mass index), previous participation in heavy work (OR 1.08/work-year), kneeling or squatting work (OR 1.10/work-year), and in subjects participating in soccer (OR 5.21). CONCLUSION. Soccer players and weight lifters are at increased risk of developing premature knee OA. The increased risk is explained in part by knee injuries in soccer players and by high body mass in weight lifters.
The increased OA risk is only partially explained by the higher body mass (not all WLers are Super-Heavies, right?).

Risk of osteoarthritis associated with long-term weight-bearing sports: a radiologic survey of the hips and knees in female ex-athletes and population controls.

Quote:
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the risk of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip and knee due to long-term weight-bearing sports activity in ex-elite athletes and the general population. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of 81 female ex-elite athletes (67 middle- and long-distance runners, and 14 tennis players), currently ages 40-65, recruited from original playing records, and 977 age-matched female controls, taken from the age-sex register of the offices of a group general practice in Chingford, Northeast London, England. The definition of OA included radiologic changes (joint space narrowing and osteophytosis) in the hip joints, patellofemoral (PF) joints, and tibiofemoral (TF) joints. RESULTS: Compared with controls of similar age, the ex-athletes had greater rates of radiologic OA at all sites. This association increased further after adjustment for height and weight differences, and was strongest for the presence of osteophytes at the TF joints (odds ratio [OR] 3.57, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.89-6.71), at the PF joints (OR 3.50, 95% CI 1.80-6.81), narrowing at the PF joints (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.15-7.67), femoral osteophytes (OR 2.52, 95% CI 1.01-6.26), and hip joint narrowing (OR 1.60, 95% CI 0.73-3.48), and was weakest for narrowing at the TF joints (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.71-1.94). No clear risk factors were seen within the ex-athlete groups, although the tennis players tended to have more osteophytes at the TF joints and hip, but the runners had more PF joint disease. Within the control group, a small subgroup of 22 women who reported long-term vigorous weight-bearing exercise had risks of OA similar to those of the ex-athletes. Ex-athletes had similar rates of symptom reporting but higher pain thresholds than controls, as measured by calibrated dolorimeter. CONCLUSION: Weight-bearing sports activity in women is associated with a 2-3-fold increased risk of radiologic OA (particularly the presence of osteophytes) of the knees and hips. The risk was similar in ex-elite athletes and in a subgroup from the general population who reported long-term sports activity, suggesting that duration rather than frequency of training is important.
That last sentence is of particular importance. There appeared to be a similarity between the elites and active non-elites.

Lifetime musculoskeletal symptoms and injuries among former elite male athletes.

Quote:
We studied the lifetime occurrence of musculoskeletal symptoms in former elite male athletes: 29 weight-lifters, 31 soccer players, 28 long-distance runners, and 29 shooters, 45-68 years of age. The proportion of subjects with monthly back pain during the past year was smaller among runners than among the other athletes, although not statistically significant. Monthly back pain was more common in weight-lifters with lifetime training hours above the median as compared with those below the median. The average intensity of the worst back pain during the past year was clearly higher in weight-lifters and soccer players, than in runners and shooters. Knee pain at least once a month during the past year was reported by 52% (CI 33-70%) of the soccer players, 31% (CI 15-51%) of the weight lifters, 21% (CI 8-41 %) of the runners, and 17% (CI 6-36%) of the shooters (p = 0.019). Soccer players had the highest number of sports-related knee injuries (p < 0.0001). Past knee injuries were associated with knee pain in later adulthood (p = 0.048). More runners reported having had hip pain episodes during their lifetime than other athletes, but no differences were found in the occurrence of hip pain during the past year. In conclusion, compared with shooters, athletes formerly exposed to heavy exercise did not report more frequent back pain during the past year, whereas a high intensity of back pain was typical of soccer players and weight-lifters. A predisposition to knee injuries in soccer players appears to increase the risk of future knee pain. Similarly, knee pain later in life seems to be more common in weight-lifters than in runners and shooters. Long-distance runners, on the other hand, are prone to an increased lifetime risk of hip pain.
More knee pain in WLers.

Osteoarthritis of weight bearing joints of lower limbs in former Úlite male athletes.

Quote:
OBJECTIVE--To compare the cumulative 21 year incidence of admission to hospital for osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, and ankle in former Úlite athletes and control subjects. DESIGN--National population based study. SETTING--Finland. SUBJECTS--2049 male athletes who had represented Finland in international events during 1920-65 and 1403 controls who had been classified healthy at the age of 20. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Hospital admissions for osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, and ankle joints identified from the national hospital discharge registry between 1970 and 1990. RESULTS--Athletes doing endurance sports, mixed sports, and power sports all had higher incidences of admission to hospital for osteoarthritis than controls. Age adjusted odds ratios compared with controls were 1.73 (95% confidence interval 0.99 to 3.01, P = 0.063) in endurance, 1.90 (1.24 to 2.92, P = 0.003) in mixed sports athletes, and 2.17 (1.41 to 3.32, P = 0.0003) in power sports athletes. The mean age at first admission to hospital was higher in endurance athletes (70.6) than in other groups (58.2 in mixed sports, 61.9 in power sports, and 61.2 in controls). Among the 2046 respondents to a questionnaire in 1985, the odds ratios for admission to hospital were similar in all three groups after adjusting for age, occupation, and body mass index at 20 (2.37, 2.42, 2.68). CONCLUSIONS--Athletes from all types of competitive sports are at slightly increased risk of requiring hospital care because of osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, or ankle. Mixed sports and power sports lead to increased admissions for premature osteoarthritis, but in endurance athletes the admissions are at an older age.
More premature OA in the "power sport" athletes.

The long-term effects of physical loading and exercise lifestyles on back-related symptoms, disability, and spinal pathology among men.

Quote:
STUDY DESIGN. Historical cohort, including selected subgroups. OBJECTIVES. To understand the long-term effects of exercise on back-related outcomes, back pain, sciatica, back-related hospitalizations, pensions, and magnetic resonance imaging findings were studied among former elite athletes. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA. Exercise and sports participation have become increasingly popular, as have recommendations of exercises for back problems, but little is known about their long-term effects. METHODS. Questionnaires were returned by 937 former elite athletes and 620 control subjects (83% response rate). Identification codes allowed record linkage to hospital discharge and pension registers. Magnetic resonance images were obtained of selected subgroups with contrasting physical loading patterns. RESULTS. Odds ratios for back pain were lower among athletes than among control subjects, with significant differences in endurance, sprinting and game sports, and wrestling and boxing. No differences in the occurrence of sciatica or in back-related pensions and hospitalizations were seen. When comparing lumbar magnetic resonance images of 24 runners, 26 soccer players, 19 weight lifters, and 25 shooters, disc degeneration and bulging were most common among weight lifters; soccer players had similar changes in the L4-S1 discs. No significant differences were seen in the magnetic resonance images of runners and shooters. CONCLUSIONS. Maximal weight lifting was associated with greater degeneration throughout the entire lumbar spine, and soccer with degeneration in the lower lumbar region. No signs of accelerated disc degeneration were found in competitive runners. However, back pain was less common among athletes than control subjects and there were no significant differences in hospitalizations or pensions. No benefits were shown for vigorous exercise compared with lighter exercise with respect to back findings.
So if maximal "weight lifting" (which may or may not be OL) is related to the most lumbar degeneration, what does high-rep poor-form OL lead to? I don't know--no one does, IMO. I'd err on the side of caution, personally.

Characteristics of glycemic control in elite power and endurance athletes.

Quote:
A previous study has shown that former elite power athletes exhibited significantly greater relative risk in diabetes than that of former elite endurance athletes. It is unknown whether insulin sensitivity in elite young healthy power athletes is lower than that in elite young endurance athletes. This study includes two parts, part I and part II. In the part I of this study, an oral glucose tolerance test was performed in all of the elite juvenile track athlete subjects, specializing either in short-distance racing (jSD, N = 13, aged 12.5 +/- 0.37 years) or in long-distance racing (jLD, N = 13, aged 12.6 +/- 0.42 years). In the part II of this study, we recruited elite adult swimmers and divided them into two groups according to their specialty in swimming race distance: long-distance (aLD, N = 10, age 20.3 +/- 1.32) and short-distance groups (aSD, N = 10, age 20.2 +/- 1.31). Insulin sensitivity was significantly lower in the jSD group than that in the jLD group, as indicated by the area under the curves of insulin and glucose following a 75-g oral glucose load. Fasting plasma LDL-C and total cholesterol levels in the jSD group were significantly greater than those in the jLD group. The result of the part II of this study, similar to the result of the part I, shows that insulin sensitivity in aSD swimmers was significantly lower than that in aLD swimmers. LDL-C, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were also found higher in aSD swimmers than in those of aLD swimmers. These new findings implicate that the genetic makeup associated with exceptional power or endurance performance of elite athletes could also reflect on their metabolic characteristics; elite power athletes appear to be more insulin resistant than elite endurance athletes.
Did not expect to find that last part at all!

Long-term vigorous training in young adulthood and later physical activity as predictors of hypertension in middle-aged and older men.

Quote:
500 and 69 male former elite athletes and 319 male controls completed a health questionnaire in 1985 and in 1995. Register data on the subjects were also collected. Subjects were aged 65 years or less and had no history of hypertension in 1985, and they had been healthy at the age of 20 years. The athletes were grouped into endurance and mixed sports (n = 386), and power sports (n = 183). The cumulative 10-year incidence of hypertension up to 1995 was significantly lower in the endurance and mixed sports group (23.6 %) compared to the power sports group (33.3 %) or the control group (32.0 %). The difference between the endurance and mixed sports group and the two other groups was still significant after adjustment for age, but not after further adjustment for body mass index, alcohol consumption, and later physical activity. However, the trend of reduced risk remained. In conclusion, a history of being an elite athlete in endurance or mixed sports predicts a lower risk of hypertension in working age men, while a history of being an elite athlete in power sports appears to confer no benefit. Later physical activity was also associated with lower risk.
The study above showing that elite power athletes tended to be more insulin resistant may potentially be connected to the conclusions in the above study.

Natural selection to sports, later physical activity habits, and coronary heart disease.

Quote:
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the associations between natural selection to sports at a young age, continuity of physical activity, and occurrence of coronary heart disease. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Finland. PARTICIPANTS: Former top level male athletes participating at a young age (1920-1965) in different types of sport (endurance (n = 166), power speed (n = 235), "other" (n = 834)) and controls healthy at the age of 20 years (n = 743). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Data on the occurrence of coronary heart disease were obtained from death certificates, three nationwide registers, and questionnaire studies in 1985 and 1995, and data on later physical activity were obtained from the questionnaires. RESULTS: In 1985 all groups of former athletes were more physically active than controls (p<0.001). Despite similar total volumes of physical activity, compared with power speed athletes, former endurance athletes participated more often in vigorous activity (p = 0.006) and had less coronary heart disease (adjusted odds ratio 0.34, 95% confidence interval 0.17 to 0.73; p = 0.004). In 1985 and 1995, both endurance and other athletes had less coronary heart disease than controls. From 1986 to 1995, the incidence of new coronary heart disease was lower among those who participated in vigorous physical activity in 1985. CONCLUSIONS: Both a previous aptitude for endurance athletic events and continuity of vigorous physical activity seem to be associated with protection against coronary heart disease, but an aptitude for power speed events does not give protection against coronary heart disease.
Same thing for the above study.

One does have to extend their thinking a bit (extrapolate) the results of these past studies to what they are doing now, whether they are doing CF, a hybrid program, the PMenu WOD, Ross Enamait's stuff, whatever!

There are no studies on "GPP" programs. There is no peer-reviewed long-term "evidence" to hang one's hat on. This is the kind of stuff that is available. As I said before, take it or leave it.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:33 PM   #12
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I don't know what any of that stuff says and I'm a nonbeliever/h8ter vis a vis cross-fitt but seems like Maximum Useful Volume is a good idea. Especially good as far as "useful" goes.... GPP implies you're preparing for something...makes sense if you never move on to SPP or the aforementioned something and subsequent downcycle...you might run into problems.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:35 PM   #13
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really has no on read the keys to progress? softening up for gains....anyone..?...anyone...?
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:54 PM   #14
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Screw O-lifting, hook me up to the elliptical please.

Regarding the last study, it seems that the enduro athletes were more likely to continue vigorous physical activity. Could this be why they had a lower risk of heart disease, not because of the sport of choice? The GPP we're talking about fits the bill of vigorous physical activity I believe.

The hypertension study seems like being an elite athlete is no worse than an average joe, and might be better in the case of endurance athletes.

Plus, it seems like having an athlete's heart is a good thing. (WFS)
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:05 PM   #15
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Dr. G

So all of these articles lead us towards a program that is composed of....?
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:12 PM   #16
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Kestler View Post
Dr. G

So all of these articles lead us towards a program that is composed of....?
a goal...a plan.....execute.....compete......rest.......repea t.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. G

"Both a previous aptitude for endurance athletic events and continuity of vigorous physical activity seem to be associated with protection against coronary heart disease, but an aptitude for power speed events does not give protection against coronary heart disease."
Damn, what does lame at both but too stupid to quit lead to?
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:16 PM   #17
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Thanks for the great articles Garrett. One thing I was thinking while reading them is the post-competitive lifestyle of the 'athletes'. We can point to elite ironman triathletes and show their current health problems, but a lot of people I know that do endurance activities continue to be very active.

However, I just don't know many past competitive Olympic/power lifters. So I don't know what they are like afterwards. Do they continue to stay fit, workout, eat decently well?

A lot of things to think about.

If the point of any exercise is to have good long term health, than one should seriously consider the amount of brutal exercises, and perhaps focus on other exercises. Perhaps.
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:05 PM   #18
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As far as programming to take away from this stuff, to each their own.

I do believe exercise is necessary for health. As always, it comes down to intensity, frequency, modality, etc., etc....

I do think a large variety of exercises based upon the typical functional human movements is a good thing...minimizing repetitive wear patterns would likely help reduce arthritic symptoms overall.

As Scott Hagnas put it once before, optimizing length-tension relationships in the muscular system (which is mainly CNS-regulated) should be of utmost priority if one's goal is longevity of training. This would put proper mobility and flexibility at the top of the list. Doing exercises with improper mobility/flexibility/form is going to wear someone down fast.

Feeling drained for hours or days after a workout would not be something to seek out, IMO. Feeling drained would be a sign that improper preparation (buildup, motor learning) or excessive intensity (most likely duration/reps) is implicated.

Seeking to be elite in anything will necessitate high training loads and limited exercise selection (in typical sporting endeavors). If that floats your boat, that's cool, it's just likely not conducive to training longevity (possibly overall, most likely in that particular endeavor).

I've become fond of isometric/gymnastic type strength training for the upper body. I think this is beneficial in the fact that it reduces mechanical wear (less moving reps) and the scapula are always in need of stability.

Training the hips while sparing the knees as much as possible (ideas--reverse hypers, hip extensions, etc.) sounds like a good idea based upon the incidence of knee OA in the above studies.

Those are just some ideas. Exercise is always better than no exercise.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:37 AM   #19
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Hi all

If i may i would like to add my 2c in.

First of all the study in question provides a possibly wrong interpretation of the results. The study is obviously with its limitation (such as a small sample size, number of times study was repeated, short-term etc, peer-review etc..) however! there is a stack! of research on the effects of anaerobic exercises and its effects on the endocrine system.
This is how i explain the results of the study.
Quote:
The group of master class athletes, whose average intensive training period was 8 years, had higher VO(2max) and higher after-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration than in the group of sportsmen with the shorter training period (4 years), who had lower VO(2max), worse sport results and lower after-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration
The 400m is a brutal event, 45sec of sprinting hell. The event is predominantly an anaerobic event, in 45sec there is simply not enough time for the aerobic system to kick in to provide a great deal of help. However anaerobic exercises such as 400m requires some aerobic training such as up to 800m training to improve aerobic adaptations. This enchances mechanical efficiency and muscle force capabilities as VO2Max. It only makes sense that someone who has trained for 8years in the same way as someone who has trained 4 years will have a better VO2Max, no surprise. I dont need to quote research to prove that. For the 400m an improved aerobic fitness greatly! aids in the recovery period. I would have to get the whole article (which i will try in order to confirm my thoughts) but the better athletes will have better post (24hr later) results than the worse group. (will get back to you all with the results).
The increased lactic-acid (and hence lower pH in the blood) is explained by the higher tolerance of acidic conditions, and improved intra-and intercellular buffering mechanisms. This means that higher level athletes have much more effective energy systems that produce energy at a faster rate (and thus the potential to sustain force), and have the adaptive mechanisms to cope with the potentially damaging byproducts that decreased pH, without effecting performance like in an less well training or untrained athlete. Blood pH as low as 6.9 have been observed in elite anaerobic athletes. These adaptations are well know/researched facts (i can cite referenced if need be). So far there is nothing strange from these results.

Quote:
worse sport.....gave different hormonal response (particularly TT, FT concentration) for the same exercise impulse. The difference based on the fact, that after the run in group I the decrease in the total and free testosterone levels and in group II the increase in the same parameters were observed
Well first of all analysis of hormonal responses is blood tricky even for the much more educated, because of the complex interactions they have on eachother. Its important to really understand all the hormonal interactions to really understand what is going on and interpret the result this. In short the process of hormones is that every cell has receptors that mediate the message that each hormone delivers. These receptors have the ability to increase or decrease their binding sensitivity to hormones, and this alteration or the actual increase in receptors on a cells surface can have dramatic effects, just as much as increasing or decrease the amount of hormone available. Thus deceases in hormonal concentrations could mean high uptake into target tissue receptors, greater degradation of hormone, possibly decreased secreation of hormone, or some combination.
In fact research has show that FT can remain unchanged or decrease after resistance exercises. There is also a good possibility that there the two groups response to exercises differs, meaning that a single 400m for the better group may not be enough stimulus to really promote the release of more FT and TT. THis would help to explain why as you become more and more provicient, results come slower, because you need greater and greater stimuli.
There are plenty of studies to show that. The fact that there are increases in gonadotrophins (LH, FSH) where observed suggests that there is a stimulus for the secreation of testosterone.
There is still much that is not understood clear about the response to testosterone to resistance exercises, and thus these results are not diffinitive and would required further examination, and study.

In short your gonads are safe from high intensity training similar to 400m sprinting..

I hope i managed to explain myself well.. its 3.36am here so it may be a little of the topic haha.

interesting discussion


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Old 07-29-2008, 06:32 PM   #20
Andew Cattermole
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Great Post
Thanks Valentin
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