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jwood 03-26-2010 11:59 PM

Power Factor Training
 
Does any one have any experience or have a place to find better information about power factor training??

I believe another similar style is EDT(escalated density training)

I feel that this is a lost workout that could be very effective. A lot of what Chaos and Pain's program grew out of this style of training. From what I understand it is doing a superset of 2 exercises for a limited amount of time and trying to do more sets than the last time.

This sounds pretty awesome to me and a great way to train if you are limited on time. Or a great way to spark some friendly competition in the weight room.

BendtheBar 03-27-2010 06:20 AM

I have some knowledge. Before I heard of C&P, I was playing around with a form of escalating density with bulldozer.

I would rep out and use more rest the deeper I got into muscle fatigue with a weight. At the time I didn't know that bulldozer was similar to EDT, but down the road I learned that they are in the same family tree.

I was also using a form of it with deadlifts, trying to do as many singles within a given time as possible.

I know some about PFT as well. I've read a few books by John Little. His static contraction stuff is simply foolish. Hold as much weight as you can in a contracted position for one second - perform 6 exercises like this. Workout over. But the partials make sense. John is a little "out there", but has some scientific basis for his approach. He doesn't mix his science well with "body health", in that he seems to have tunnel vision about how these systems might impact the joints/connective tissue. His contraction books are pretty much straight linear progression, in that he advocates adding more and more and more. On paper this sounds good, but in essence John is telling you to hold in a contracted position as much weight as you can, and for exercises like shrugs, you can hold much more then you can deadlift. Anyway, avoid his contraction stuff like the plague.

And because of his tunnel vision, I would approach PFT through the lens of how it fits best with your body. I think cycling intensity is much better then linear progression when you're using heavy weight like this. Just my opinion.

back to EDT and adding volume during a period of time...

I recently did an article on triple progression, which is basically a beginners guide to the concept of adding sets to workouts. I like the idea of picking a weight and doing as many reps as possible within a given time frame. It's what I did all year in 2009. While I didn't pick, say 20 minutes, I did 7 "sets" - which aren't really standard sets.

I would do as many reps as possible shy of failure, rack, and continue on. My rest periods were: 30/30/60/60/90/120 seconds between sets. I found this would maintain about the same number of reps going forward. If you really want to bust your balls, try increasing, then decreasing rest periods. You will maintain the same amount of reps for a while, then will ultimately work back down to failure.

30/30/60/60/90/120/90/60/60/30/30

12 sets in about 20 minutes.

My standard bulldozer was about 7 sets in 10 minutes, so basically it was just EDT with structured rests. I like the rest structure because when I get fatigued, it's easier to force myself under the bar again in "30 seconds" rather then "when I'm ready".

I never had a stall using this system, and it was overall my healthiest training year.

I love density training. I always saw bulldozer and C&P as being on the same family tree. Bulldozer used about 10% less weight and slightly higher reps though. I would probably still be using it if I hadn't contracted asthma (or whatever the heck I have).

big valsalva 03-27-2010 08:08 AM

Check the library or Barnes & Nobel for the Power Factor Training book by Pete Sisco and John Little. If your library doesn't have it, see if they can get it on inter-library loan. I've read the PFT book acouple of times, and practiced it during my early months of training. I liked it. It seemed practical. And frankly, I don't know why I ever wandered away. Except for the fact that you have to stake out a hand full of stations at the gym and hope that no one changes your weights while you're doing something else. It's a meat grinder. It's brutal. It's also family and "real life" friendly. Interestingly, even BEFORE I picked up the PFT book, I was training instinctively in a similar fashion.

Here's a naysaying article: Power Factor Training

Here's a link to some interesting discussion about the article: (please don't ban me for linking here-I NEVER visit the site)
George Chen - Does Power Factor Training Work? - Bodybuilding.com Forums

I'm not a lover nor a hater. I think the book is worth a read. I think the methodology COULD be incorporated into a 5/3/1 assistance format.

BendtheBar 03-27-2010 08:23 AM

Never a ban for good info :)

And we'd never ban you Val.

BendtheBar 03-27-2010 08:59 AM

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":

Quote:

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.

jwood 03-27-2010 11:33 AM

Thanks guys very interesting stuff. The naysayer article makes some valid points but I agree with you BTB. your bulldozer system has always intrigued me, and I think in the near future I will probably be training alone, so the bulldozer training system would work great.

BendtheBar 03-27-2010 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwood (Post 42652)
Thanks guys very interesting stuff. The naysayer article makes some valid points but I agree with you BTB. your bulldozer system has always intrigued me, and I think in the near future I will probably be training alone, so the bulldozer training system would work great.

Re-reading the EDT and diving back into PFT made me hungry to experiment again. I love the idea of just doing as many reps as possible over a given time frame. You could cycle loads, moderating intensity so it's not all 90% heavy each workout...

Just thinking out loud.

CoopDawg 03-27-2010 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwood (Post 42652)
Thanks guys very interesting stuff. The naysayer article makes some valid points but I agree with you BTB. your bulldozer system has always intrigued me, and I think in the near future I will probably be training alone, so the bulldozer training system would work great.

I agree i was reading about the bulldozer system just now also. Sounds good

bwys61 03-27-2010 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BendtheBar (Post 42621)
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":



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.

agreed

BendtheBar 04-07-2010 02:38 PM

I just got in a copy of Power Factor Training. Can't wait to dig in.


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