Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Training > Fitness, Strength & CrossFit

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-11-2011, 08:36 AM   #1
Jay Guindon
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 49
Default Body By Science

So I recently read Body By Science by Doug McGuff and had some questions around it. It claims to be completely based on the scientific literature and lists an impressive array of studies in the notes to back up the claims. It also gives the fair warning that a lot of the content flies in the face of the conventional thinking on strength/fitness training but is not based on theory or ideas or fads but on the accumulation of sound scientific research on exercise and strength training. Yet I still feel that there is some research out there that is counter to the points they make. I say this not having actually read the research that is counter to their claims but just based on hearing/reading of it.
1. They claim the best way to get strong is through moderately heavy weight moved really slowly until failure, and around 90 seconds total work. I understood that failure was not required for significant strength gains, just heavy weights near your 1rm. 5x5, 5x3 or 1,1,1,1,1,1,1 type deals. This is clearly completely the opposite of what Body By Science says.
2. They claim Nautilis machines are the best way to get strong, yet I just read on ergo-log.com a study that showed that a 100kg backsquat is greater than a 200kg leg press. http://www.ergo-log.com/squatvslegpress.html Plus every single person Iíve ever heard speak about strength says that you can leg press 200lbs and wonít be able to squat 200lbs but you can squat 200lbs and leg press at least 200lbs or more. To their credit they give their workout in a free weight version as well but still claim the machines are better. Again, theyíre recommendations seem counter to the other stuff Iíve read that is also supposed to be based on science.
3. They claim that getting stronger gives you bigger muscles and bigger muscles makes you stronger. I am sure I read that strength and muscle are not completely inter related and that you can be strong and not big and can be big but not strong. Bodybuilders come to mind in that they are big but not necessarily strong. I think thereís a table in Ripís book that shows the relationship between strength gains and rep range and weight. It seems to show lighter weight and more reps is hypertrophy and heavier weight and lower reps is strength, and I was under the impression it was not his table per say but borrowed from the scientific literature. This however would be science counter to the science in Body By Science.
4. They claim that the research shows that stretching doesnít increase your flexibility and doesnít help strength at all and in fact makes you weaker. I am sure I read a post on GymnasticBodies about a study that showed that a stretching program and a strength program together gives faster strength gains then a strength program alone. It also seems that my physiotherapist would be wrong when she gives me stretching exercises to increase flexibility, according to the Body By Science guys.
5. They claim that the scientific studies show that strength training more than once a week not only has no effect, training more than once per week actually slows down your progress and in some cases causes you to lose strength. The HIT/SS crowd seems to be the only people who use this once per week schedule so is their science sound and everyone else is doing too much and progressing more slowly than they could?
6. They claim that there are no exercises in a gym that transfer to real life activities, no matter how similar to something in real life; that everything is skill specific and must be trained as such, and that cross training has been scientifically debunked. So having a 100lb weighted pullup will not make you a good climber. You will get some generic strength that will transfer a bit, but you will still suck at climbing unless you climb. Or, just because you have a 150lb shoulder press doesnít mean you can put a 100lb log overhead. You would have to practice getting logs overhead, not barbells. This one I have less issue with as I remember in the games this past year the workout where the competitors had to move the sandbags down the stairs, across the court, and back up the stairs struck me as interesting. I remember a few athletes having trouble moving the wheelbarrows, throwing the bags back up the other side, and climbing the wall, which surprised me. This made me think about the skill component and how it might need to be developed to efficiently use their strength. I know Erwan at MovNat talks about skill work developing capacity at the same time. So I wanted to know youíre take on this, both from what the scientific literature actually says about skills, strength transference, etc. and from your coaching experience.
7. And in the same vein, if I have specific skill goals, like doing MovNat, would I be best served just doing MovNat and I would get the necessary strength and conditioning at the same time? Or do I still need to supplement with lifting, sprinting, CrossFit, etc.?
Jay Guindon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2011, 08:54 AM   #2
Steve Shafley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,285
Default

First off, McGuff and Little cherry picked their research. Second, McGuff has been a long, long time advocate of SuperSlow training, yet hasn't managed to put on any appreciable muscle in 10+ years.

Oh, they make a very, very good case for this way of training. It's too bad that anecdotal evidence has never substantiated it, nor has the VAST majority of training experimentation done my legions of exercise physiologists, biomechanists, and sports scientists.

Ask yourself this:

What successful athletes have training using the Body By Science protocols? Not just used them at one point in their careers, but used those protocols to develop themselves into the successful athlete they are today?

Also, training frequency is just one variable in a training program. As is the "intensity of effort". When have you ever seen a complex system, like the human body, respond to only one variable out of 10s, or potentially 100s?
Steve Shafley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2011, 08:55 AM   #3
Geoffrey Thompson
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 227
Default

1. Ed Coan doesn't do this. QED.
2. Ed Coan doesn't do this. QED.
3. They definitely correlate and the relationship is complicated.
4. I wouldn't know.
5. Ed Coan doesn't do this. QED.
6. Complicated. Not an expert, but, yeah, your work in the gym gets you fitter, your practice on the field gets you better at the sport.
7. Do not do CrossFit. If this is something with known demands, program to your demands. Have a strength and conditioning program that develops the strength and conditioning you need for your sport and then have sports practice to develop the skill you need in your sport and to express your improved capabilities in the sport. If your sport requires that you be strong, you should probably include barbells in your S&C. If your sport requires that you run long distances slowly or do something similar, you should probably have some long distance running in there. There are very few disciplines where "just doing the sport" is adequate.
Geoffrey Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
Steve Shafley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,285
Default

Also, human movement is 3D. Machine based training is almost always 2D. It neglects the stabilizers that play such important roles in performance.
Steve Shafley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2011, 09:40 AM   #5
Steven Low
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,091
Default

Pretty much what Shaf said.

All you need to know is that there's no real athletic programs that use that seriously. So if you're an athlete or want to be athletic... avoid like the plague
__________________
Posts NOT intended as professional medical, training or nutrition advice.
Site // Bodyweight Strength Training Article // Overcoming Gravity Bodyweight Book
Steven Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 08:13 AM   #6
Jay Guindon
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 49
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Thompson View Post
7. Do not do CrossFit. If this is something with known demands, program to your demands. Have a strength and conditioning program that develops the strength and conditioning you need for your sport and then have sports practice to develop the skill you need in your sport and to express your improved capabilities in the sport. If your sport requires that you be strong, you should probably include barbells in your S&C. If your sport requires that you run long distances slowly or do something similar, you should probably have some long distance running in there. There are very few disciplines where "just doing the sport" is adequate.
Thanks for pointing this stuff out. MovNat is not so much a sport as it is just a movement discipline kind of like parkour. In MovNat though they do lift a lot of odd, heavy objects and do a lot of climbing and muscle ups on trees, bars, etc. so that's why I was asking if a strength program on top of MovNat would be necessary. I really like the theory behind MovNat but I am not super versed in it yet as I just found out about it, so don't know if building the skills and strength will happen at the same time.
Jay Guindon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 08:14 AM   #7
Jay Guindon
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 49
Default

Thanks Shaf, always succint and to the point.
Jay Guindon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
Justin Z. Smith
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 167
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Guindon View Post
Bodybuilders come to mind in that they are big but not necessarily strong.
I never understood this argument. I'm sure the bodybuilders are stronger compared to previous versions of themselves, which is what counts.

Justin
Justin Z. Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 01:05 PM   #9
Steve Shafley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,285
Default

McGuff is, like Taubes, fond of being intellectually dishonest.
Steve Shafley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
Justin Z. Smith
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 167
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shafley View Post
McGuff is, like Taubes, fond of being intellectually dishonest.
Not sure about that, but, unlike Glassman I believe, he does his own workouts.

Justin
Justin Z. Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Subscribe to our Newsletter


Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.
ASK GREG

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question
WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
About
Help
Newsletter
Products & Services
Gym
Store
Seminars
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
Issues
Articles
Workouts
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Resources
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator