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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Metabolic Conditioning
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Dan Cenidoza

I have some questions regarding 'metabolic conditioning' but before I ask them, I'd like to hear this concept defined. Please offer either 'scientific' explanations or in lay terms how you understand this training effect.
-Dan
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McNultyEssex

Dan,

The science behind it is that your heart rate remains near maximal for a prolonged period of time (~12 minutes), thus providing an optimal stimulus for enhanced cardiovascular function.

This is made possible because different muscle groups alternate between rest, and maximal work. For example, a set of dips to failure does not prevent you from sprinting to a chin station without rest.

This principle should be employed by almost everyone when exercising, to ensure an optimal stimulus for improved function of the cardiovascular system.

Alex
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SanDiego

As I understand it, metabolic conditioning is more than just the improvement of the cardiovascular system (although it is certainly one of the benefits).

It's the improvement of the rate at which metabolic processes occur in the body... whereas an untrained person (who may be cardiovascularly fit) may go into shock after performing a hip & back machine exercise, a leg extension and a leg press in rapid succession and to failure, a metabolically trained person would not.

I may have this wrong, I am going off memory from Arthur Jones' article on metabolic conditioning.
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HamsFitness

its the ability to be abnormally strong and aerobically enduring at the same time.

A marathoner and a power lifter in one
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Dan Cenidoza

John Wood and I have been discussing this off-line, but basically my thoughts are that metabolic conditioning does not lend itself to absolute strength.

If you're still fatigued from an all out effort, and without rest you rush into the next set, obviously you won't be able to use as much weight. Does this reduction ultimately lead to less strength that could have been gained if you waited for 'adequate' recovery?

I understand the benefits, and why someone would want to be 'metabolically conditioned', I'm just wondering if this is the best route to absolute strength (or size, for that matter).
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McNultyEssex

I think that the inadequate recovery can be an optimum stimulus for strength. This is what Arthur Jones has suggested, and it makes sense since a muscle does not know how much the force is that must be overcome. It is the intensity that is important, and maximum intensity contraction can still be achieved when a muscle is fatigued.

Also important to stimulate growth (and proportionate strength increases), is the level of fatigue induced upon a muscle. Therefore, the fatigue from inadequate recovery actually reduces fresh strength further, which may be desirable. Importantly though, there is a balance between too little fatigue, and too much fatigue.

In my opinion, you're best off completing a full body workout, with no rest between exercises. I would expect this program to produce optimal increases in muscular strength/endurance, cardiovascular function, flexibility, and bone strength.
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k38wood

Danny: the context of "metabolic
conditioning" is preparation for
combat sports... the "metabolic
effect" that Arthur Jones is talking about has to do with the
system's overall adaptation to workouts
that involve a great amount of the
muscular mass and where the trainee's
heart-rate is maintained at a very high level throughout the workout...
a workout where many of system's capacities are challenged and hopefully
(with proper recovery) extended
(the "running from one exercise to another"idea is NOT a part of "metabolic conditioning"...recovering enough between exercises to give a maximum performance on the next set is...)...
in essence, this form of conditioning
allows the athlete to perform at a
very high work-rate through time...
(steady-state, "aerobic" training
or "cardio" doesn't prepare you for this...neither does "strength" training("anaerobic" training) as most people do it...).
"Metabolic conditioning" trains you to
work at a very high level for an extended period of time...in combat
this counts. And this effect can be
trained for... but it's truly too
tough for most people.
(great strength in "weight lifting"
means very little in combat...
"usable strength" is what counts...
"usable strength" for heavy exertion
through time...)
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Ciccio

On a side note,
fullbody, 7-9 sets without rest between exercises gives me more of a muscular pump then the same workout done with 2 minutes rest periods.
And yes, I'm breathing like a work horse and have to lay on the floor for a few minutes after.

Franco
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Fred F

New Jersey, USA

k38wood wrote:
(the "running from one exercise to another"idea is NOT a part of "metabolic conditioning"...recovering enough between exercises to give a maximum performance on the next set is...)...


I have found that recovery time between exercises becomes reduced for most individuals after just a couple weeks of consistant training. It doesn't need to be "forced" upon them -their bodies naturally adapt.

That's why if someone doesn't always go up in weight or reps but finishes their workout in less time I feel they have made "progress".

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Tom Traynor

It seems this (HIT) could be the basis for a UFC fighter dream workout--or nightmare.
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Ciccio

Fred F wrote:
k38wood wrote:
(the "running from one exercise to another"idea is NOT a part of "metabolic conditioning"...recovering enough between exercises to give a maximum performance on the next set is...)...

I have found that recovery time between exercises becomes reduced for most individuals after just a couple weeks of consistant training. It doesn't need to be "forced" upon them -their bodies naturally adapt.

That's why if someone doesn't always go up in weight or reps but finishes their workout in less time I feel they have made "progress".



I feel the same way. I keep exact records of total workout time since a few months.

Franco

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manzo

Tom Traynor wrote:
It seems this (HIT) could be the basis for a UFC fighter dream workout--or nightmare.


There are MMA fighters that strength train while using little or no rest between sets and exercises.

Randy Couture
http://video.google.co.uk/...outure+training

Rich Franklin -
http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=cq7Kdv0RHmc

And i read George St Pierre trains in a "circuit type fashion".
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Dan Cenidoza

That makes sense to me Kim, and again, I can see the value in that. I need to remind myself the bit about not rushing from exercise to exercise, and about not needing to make myself sick from a workout. "As many reps as possible, in good form."

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k38wood

"Metabolic conditioning" would be an
ideal training strategy for today's
MMA fighters... a few years ago when
I trained Ken Shamrock and other fighters from his "Lion's Den" group
that was the way we trained(and
at the time they were extremely successful)...

most of the weight training done these days by MMA fighters is a very sloppy deal...
most of the "cardio" done is of
low intensity...
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