T Nation

Diagnostic For Type of Training?


#1

Ive been training seriously for a long time, and have gotten good results, but I always feel things could be better. Im not trying to get huge, but just want to be strong, muscular and lean. I feel that im much better at explosive type movements, and lower reps, than higher reps and slower movements.

I read an article on bodybuilding.com about strength deficit, and how figuring your concentric/eccentric strength ratio can tell you how you should train. Im going to do this test to see how i'll do in different lifts.

Also, I was wondering if theres any conclusions you can make, by comparing your 1rm, 5rm, 10rm and 15rm. Like for example, some peolpes 5rm is very close to there 1rm, which would signal that either they've neglected low rep training, or genetically they just aren't build for max strength.

I have a friend that is much like this. If we are training in the 5rm range, he can never use enough weight. Any time he reaches five reps, he always pumps out 5 more. I'll tell him to go up in weight, but then he cant do any. Its like the 1-5 rep range doens't exist for him.

Im thinking that my muscles fibers are mainly fast twitch glycolytic or fast fatiguing. I know there are other factors at play, other than fiber type, like lactic acid clearance, and creatine stores as well as enzymes.

I think its a good idea to figure out more about your genetic makeup to see what type of training is optimal. Shot-putters train differently than football players, partly because their sports have different requirements, but also because they have different abilities. Im not competing in a sport, so the only variable that needs to go into my training, is what is optimal for my body.

If anyone has any experience with this, please fill me in. Im going to test my strength deficit, as well as 1,5,10,15 rep maxes and see how they compare to the preicted values.


#2

im not sure what you are asking, and i think you are pretty much answering your questions on your own.

bodies are made for adapting.

so of course if you do 5 reps for a whole year you'll be good at it, but bad at 20 reps for example. if you do both you'll be good at both. whatever you tell your body to adapt to it will, up to each PERSONAL's body capacity(genes). so yeah one might be good at 5 reps cause of training, or cause of genes, or just cause of their past and how their body developed till now.

almost all kinds of training will make you stronger, but generally the idea is adaption to the limit of your genes.

but generally, if you want to know what really advances you generally, take a look at how humans are "supposed to" exercise. we are supposed to hunt animals in the wilds. running in the wilds, jumping, being hit by trees and what not, and fighting with an animsl, carrying it back etc etc pretty much trains most of your body.


#3

You lost me somewhere at generally


#4

Hehe, I generally understood what he was saying.

No, in all seriousness, I do understand that you'll be good at whatever you train for, but there are certain paramaters that vary from person to person based on genetics, that can greatly affect adaptation. Im looking for the optimal rep range, # of sets, rest times, etc... for a specific person, not based on what works for "normal people"

Elite athletes have two things that separate them from the average person. Genetic predisposition to their event, and hard work. With great genetics, hard work may not even be that important, depending on the sport, but all the hard work in the world wont get you anywhere, if you have lousy genetics.

What one of you was saying about how its obvious you'll be good at what you normally train in, isn't very true. If lance armstrong would have trained power lifting, instead of cycling, and trained with as much determination as he did for cycling, he may be able to make great improvements, but he would never reach the elite level in powerlifting. At some time in his life, he reckognized his strengths and weaknesses, and made the adjustments needed

People make statements like 1-5 reps is for strength, 8-12 is for hypertrophy, and 15+ is endurance. These are just estimates based on averages. Some people may be average, and thus following routines made for average joe is feasable, but some people are very different than the average.

If you have the genetic makeup of a marathon runner, and spend all your time training in the 1-5 rep range, your not training optimally. If you figure out that you can Deadlift 300lbs for 8 reps, and 330 for 1 rep, you gotta make a decision. Try training in the low rep range, to see if its based on your training, but if your max doesn't jump up much, then its obvious you should be doing higher reps.

Im not sure if looking further into this stuff will result in anything, but it is worth a try. Maybe I'll be able to explain why ive been stuck at 15 pullups for so long, and how 15 strict pushups is nearly as hard as 15 pullups. Really, 15 slow reps of anything is hard no matter how much weight is being used.

What it comes down to, is whether you should train your strengths, or your weaknesses. A lot of people say "your only as strong as your weakest link", so focus on your weaknesses. But I think you gotta look further, and ask, why is something my weakness? And train to improve that, but also spend a good amount of focus on your strngths. Remember, where would arnold be, if he decided to be a cyclist, would he be as good as lance?


#5

Im not an expert on anthropology, but I dont think it is as simple as we are meant to fight therefore train like we are fighting. If you look at tribes of people in africa and around the world, none of them are very muscular, but im sure some of them are pretty strong.

I read an article somewhere, stating that people survived as hunters, by being great at endurance and tracking. Supposedly people would chase down prey for days at a time, until the animal tired, and then we'd go in for the kill.

Looking at genetics, it seems that people have evolved away from "Brutes", to more sophisticated intelectual animals. We survive because we are cunning, not because we can overpower lions and bears. In strength training/bodybuilding, we are basically training our weaknesses. Thats probably why every person you see doesn't look like arnold. For most people its much easier to learn facts and skills, then it is to make strength/size improvements.

Still though, some instinct is ingrained in us, that draws us to physical improvements. Millions of years of struggling to survive doesn't go away easily. This is getting off topic though, so i'll save my Darwin chit-chat for another time.

A conclusion from this could be that optimal training conditions may be similar to the lives of indigenous Africans, except they dont tend to have the sought after physique, and their environment places different demands on them.


#6

thats cause they have terrible food, that and to increase muscle mass you also need to increase the weight you lift, which is something they dont have.

anyway as for figuring out what works best for you... i dont know i'd say just try them on your own, but it will take a long time.