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Old 03-27-2010, 08:59 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Louisiana
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Training Exp: 20+ years
Training Type: Powerbuilding
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The "anti" article was interesting, but it fails on several levels - namely when talking isolation exercises. Isolation exercises are not the most mechanically efficient way to move a weight away from, or towards the body.

Exercises like side laterals, flyes, leg extensions, etc., are not mechanically efficient ways of lifting, so accordingly the weight we use is limited. I think this is an obvious point, but one I wanted to make anyway.

The article implies that the power from isolation exercises provide "higher muscular tension":

Furthermore, their definition of the power factor only takes into account the forces exerted on the bar. Higher forces exerted on the bar does not automatically translate to higher muscular tension. Neglecting this fact, the developers have overestimated the value of compound exercises and strongest-range-of-motion exercises. By definition, compound exercises work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, so the power generated is derived from multiple muscles. Therefore, the external power generated in a compound exercise should not be compared to that generated in an isolation exercise in which the power is derived primarily from a single muscle group. For example, the power generated from a squatting exercise contains strong contributions from the vastus, gluteus, and hamstring muscles. One cannot reasonably compare the power generated from a squat to that generated from a leg extension, derived mainly from the vastus.
If a tension is placed upon the body, but is done so by a less then "mechanically efficient" means, is this tension more beneficial then the tension from a heavy weight in a mechanically sound position? I am fairly certain that the tension on my quads is greater during half squats then it is during leg extensions.

Quite frankly I find this point to be more scientific speculation then reality. The stresses on my body when I am under 450 to 500 pounds is insane. My biceps and shoulders alone are contracting so hard that I end up with strains just from holding the weight. And in lowering the weight my body feels like it is going to be crushed.

And when I bench heavy, I often feel bicep pumps and my legs shake sometimes uncontrollably. This reaction is due to the heavy demands on my muscles, and I will never achieve this from flyes or pec dec.

If I hold 500 pounds while standing upright, in a manner of seconds I notice muscles working that I never thought were involved heavily with the deadlift. My glutes quiver and tingle and my quads want to twitch.

I think heavier weight DOES provide higher degrees of muscular tension. In fact, I am certain that the author has never personally felt these stresses.

Just my opinion. I reserve the right to be wrong.

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