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Jan 28 16 12:08 AM

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Hi folks:

I haven't been posting much lately but I am continuing to train hard with both cables and calisthenics.

I have seen a lot of discussion recently about the effectiveness of occlusion training for building muscle. And while I have no desire to train with a tourniquet on my arm, I have been interested in techniques that internally mimic the effects of occlusion training. Here are a couple good discussions of the issue:

Basically, the upshot of it is that training muscles with high reps under constant tension (often with partials) induces an oxygen deprived state (hypoxia) that sets in motion a whole chain of muscle building physiological processes.

It occurred to me that the 5X5 muscle spinning protocol that Fatman outlines in his strandpulling book is a great example of this kind of a strategy. I have tried this every now and again and have gotten ridiculous pumps from it, but have never approached it methodically enough or for a long enough time period to tell whether it was effective in building muscle. Has anyone used this technique consistently? Can you report back on your findings and experiences? Thanks! 

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#1 [url]

Feb 10 16 2:14 AM

Hah! I had completely forgotten I wrote that, thanks for the reminder.

My workouts have become more and more focused on constant tension / time-under-tension protocols (with both weights and cables). 5x5 muscle spinning would definitely qualify as one of those protocols, as it places the muscles worked under peak tension for long-ish periods of time (can be prolonged by holding each mini-rep at peak contraction). But I have not focused exclusively on "pump" training, so I wouldn't try to comment on that.

There is still no scientific explanation as to why "pump" training works so well for building muscle, but there is some informed speculation that it actually induces hypoxia and traps nutrients and metabolites inside the muscle tissues, replicating many of the (alleged) effects of kaatsu.

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#2 [url]

Feb 11 16 7:48 PM

1. So, "muscle spinning" is doing partial reps w/ light resistance? 

2. I don't have a clue what "5 x 5" means.

3. For occlusion training (blood flow restriction), does anyone use compression clothing?

4. In your experience, is compression clothing; as effective - or moderately effective - or have any positive effect, at restricting blood flow?

"Any problem in the World can be solved by dancing." James Brown 
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Mastering principles, frees us from slavery to recipes.
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#3 [url]

Feb 12 16 1:07 AM


Wearing just a tight wrap on one's knees, then doing calf training will increase the size of the muscle temporarily from the blood flow restriction. Take the wraps off and I think they sort of deflate a bit.

But, getting back to how it might affect long term gains, not temporary ones, if one cuts off blood supply to a muscle, this would mean that after the glucose stored in the muscle is depleted by exercise, that the liver can't readily pump new fuel to it. You have a kink in your fuel line.

Just a guess on my part that as a muscle fiber burns its fuel down, what is actually present in the muscle fiber, that it simply recruits other fibers holding fuel to continue the work. . . until they area all exhausted. Your body then suffers the equivalent of machine failure: you are an automobile on the side of the road with an empty tank.

As it turns out, the old argument about lactic acid burn has lost a good portion of its proponent base. The "burn" we experience in exercise is ATP being broken down to provide fuel and it creates a by-product: Hydrogen Ions. It is the accumulation of these Hydrogen Ions that creates the acidic environment and the burn we experience. At the other end, or another end, when we burn glucose, one of its by-products is Pyruvate.  Pyruvate then can absorb two Hydrogen Ions and becomes . . . lactate. So, for the longest time, scientists saw the Hydrogen Ions and the lactate but assumed it was lactic acid.  Lactate, by the way, is actually a fuel and can be reabsorbed and re-involved in muscle energy production.

For us?  What I think it means is any training we do, any steps we take like wrapping up, that cut off the supplies of fuel means the muscles dig deeper, faster as we recruit them for work. The growth part we experience is the adaptation phase.

Oh! And, importantly, if this speeds up the attainment of training for all fiber recruitment, it would mean recovery periods would be shortened I suspect. Recovery is every bit as important to the end result.  


Last Edited By: Brad Reid Feb 12 16 1:11 AM. Edited 1 time.

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