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Old 02-12-2010, 09:43 AM   #1
Donald Lee
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Default TRAC & Deadlift

As Gant was interested in hearing about Mike T.'s (RTS) stress tests, I asked Mike T. about them and here's what he said:

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It began anecdotally. I noticed that deadlifting had no residual effects that were unique to it. Basically, it was the same as other lifts. And if you think about it logically, there is no reason it should have some magical taxing properties either. At least it's logical if you understand how the body responds to stress....

At any rate, more recently, I have developed TRAC. This is a test that tests the total amount of stress that your body is dealing with. It's in its final testing stages now, but I have been using it for close to a year. If deadlifting was super-stressful on the body, it would show up on my TRAC test and it simply doesn't.

Deadlifting could be slightly more stressful than squatting, but this is more of an individual variation rather than a rule.
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In my experience, the upper body (smaller muscles) are much quicker to recover. This agrees with Hatfield's work that suggests small muscles recover quicker than large ones. This makes sense when you think about it. Small muscle = less fibers = less total damage that can be sustained.

As far as some more details on TRAC...
I'm still looking for the right wording on this stuff, so bear with me. TRAC consists of a very specific orthostatic heart rate test. If you look at most orthostatic tests, they take two measurements. TRAC takes four. And it's not any one measurement that is all that important -- it's how the various heart rates interrelate to one another. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
The heart is a mirror for all the other systems of the body. So if you can examine your heart in enough detail, you can learn boatloads of information about your body's functioning. In developing TRAC, I wanted to make sure there was no specialized equipment required (although a heart rate monitor is highly encouraged), so we aren't able to determine some things such as energy system reserves, etc. But through a specialized analysis of the specialized Orthostatic test (i know, i know), I can determine how much stress your body is dealing with. I have also developed a way to approximate your Autonomic Nervous System balance through pattern-matching your orthostatic test. It's not perfect, but it provides valuable training information without costing you a fortune.

So what does this mean for your training? It allows you to adapt your training stress to accommodate your total life stress. This is important since it allows you to adjust training to your body's needs in real-time. But TRAC is NOT readiness testing. For now, think of your stress reading as your body's adaptability.

Donald, it's going to tell you systemic STRESS, but not necessarily fatigue (although fatigue plays a part). Localized fatigue will manifest itself in readiness tests, but that isn't what TRAC tells you.
I've asked Mike T. how he tests readiness, so I'll post what he says on that later.

Also, someone commented about deadlifts:

Quote:
I think this is a question of efficiency. More people squat (or benchpress for that matter) efficiently than they deadlift. This means that a lof of people benchpress a lot (and often) making them even more efficient at that. And squat a lot (but not as much as they benchpress) with the same effect. However, they deadlift heavy only very seldomly which means that when they do, they pull off once-in-a-lifetime-efforts which puts them in bed for 2 weeks. Like how old ladies suddenly feel that they need to exercise and pull off something that's just way out of their league.

Too many people just pull/lift the da*n bar and feel content about it. So this "wisdom" about how deadlifting can and will kill you comes to be and everyone simply repeats it. Deadlifting does place a greater emphasis on general fitness. I believe that for an individual to recover from the workload (the way you get tired from working at a construction site or moving a house), he has to have a longer period of regular work behind him (or her).
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:16 PM   #2
Donald Lee
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Here's some more from Mike T:

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I have heard of the Omega Wave. That was actually one of the catalysts that sparked my TRAC research. I looked into Omega Waves and they cost about $40k. But I read about the technology and there are other ways of getting this information.

TRAC isn't HRV per-se. It monitors traditional heart rates at specific times in the Orthostatic test. However, as I mentioned, a stress assessment is not a readiness assessment. I had to learn this the hard way. I thought low stress should equate to high readiness, but I just didn't see the correlation in the real world. After some more research, I came to the conclusion that the best way to determine readiness is to do the activity itself. My readiness test is still being developed, but it relies heavily on my tendo (another unnecessarily expensive piece of equipment).

More to come on tendo updates, however...

Joel Jamison's test sounds interesting. Any idea where I can find more info?

Another key with TRAC (and the readiness assessment to a lesser degree) is that they are non-invasive and non-stressful in a practical sense.
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #3
Garrett Smith
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This sounds like it could have a lot of promise.
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:11 AM   #4
Derek Weaver
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I feel like this is a very smart individual who is on to something very promising. I am embarassed to say I don't think I've heard of him.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
Donald Lee
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Derek,

Reactive Training System, is the new big thing. It's been around over a year I think. Mike T.'s the guy who's made auto-regulation popular as of late. I like him because he's not like Glassman or Louie Simmons who both say some ridiculous hyperboles. He seems to be a thoughtful person.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:53 PM   #6
Derek Weaver
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I went and digged around his site a bit and like what he's got over there.

The only other people I've heard of talking about auto-regulation lately have been Christian Thibaudeau, Jason Ferrugia in that T-Nation article a few weeks back, and now Mike Tuchscherer. Although, 5/3/1 is a plan that really is set up around auto regulation as well.
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And if you don't think kettleball squat cleans are difficult, I say, step up to the med-ball
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
Donald Lee
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Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post
I went and digged around his site a bit and like what he's got over there.

The only other people I've heard of talking about auto-regulation lately have been Christian Thibaudeau, Jason Ferrugia in that T-Nation article a few weeks back, and now Mike Tuchscherer. Although, 5/3/1 is a plan that really is set up around auto regulation as well.
Don't quote me on it, but I think they all read RTS and then started preaching auto-regulation.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:09 PM   #8
Steve Shafley
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In Dan John's Get Up Volume V, Issue 2, there's an article I wrote about Autoregulation and the ladder set/rep scheme.

Areg can be complicated or it can be quick and dirty. The Reactive Training System is one of the more practical bits on training I've seen in the last two years.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:15 PM   #9
Donald Lee
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Shaf,

Are you still using RTS? A couple months ago I read one of your blog entries about your trying it. I've been doing it for 5 weeks now, and now that I have added Fatigue Percents with Medium Stress weeks, it's a lot more volume than I've ever trained with before. I average about 6-8 sets of 3 reps per exercise per day. 6 lower body exercises, 4 upper body push, & 4 upper body pull per week. I can't tell how much better it is than what I've done in the past, since I'm trying to get back to some of my old numbers, but I think within the next month I'll get back to some numbers that I've gotten stuck at before, so we'll see.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:41 AM   #10
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I'm not using it at this time. I've done about 8 sessions using fatigue percents to get a feel for them and they did tend to be a higher volume than I would use normally.

I think the way MT has it set up to progress is worth doing:

1. Start with alternating blocks of volume and intensity based workouts and recored RPEs.
2 Start using RPEs to guide your top sets (2-3 sets @9)
3. Start using fatigue percents to control volume.

Etc.
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