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Metabolic Conditioning Removed from Nautilus Principles?

Dr. Darden,

I’m curious as to why metabolic conditioning was removed from the Nautilus principles. After all, Jones had trained Casey & Sergio at a fast pace with good results and you had the results of the West Point Study to tell you the protocol worked well. Why then move away from what appeared to be the ultimate form of exercise (in terms of results & efficiency) to focus almost exclusively on failure?

If I’m a gambling man, I’d guess Jones was looking to appeal to bodybuilders & figured they’d reject a fast paced, circuit training style workout offhand, but they’d more readily accept training to failure. But that’s just my guess.

Really interested in your thoughts.

I never asked Jones why? Your answer is a good possibility.

Sergio had worked at a fast pace with PHA long before Jones and Casey is like a being from another planet so neither of them is something the average guy should base anything on but mostly I think it’s just because even if fast paced workouts work , and they do, most people simply don’t want to do that every workout . It’s exhausting .

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True. The other factor I didn’t initially consider is the practicality of such workouts. In a crowded commercial gym it’s next to impossible to go from one movement to the next with no rest. Even in a home gym, unless you have a top notch set up, it’s difficult at best to pull that off. I wonder if that was a factor in Jones’ thinking.

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I generally take about 30 seconds between sets or exercises and I might be breathing hard a tad but jumping between exercises with little or no rest is just too uncomfortable whether it builds muscle and cardio or not. The old Jones axiom of if you enjoy your workout you are probably doing it wrong just ends up as , the heck with this program ! In my opinion you had better enjoy your workout because if you look at this stuff with a rational mind the end results most likely won’t justify the thousands of hours spent working out.

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Maybe it’s possible that Jones could not find anyone to puke in a bucket anymore after the intense training he put them thru :thinking:

I think there’s an argument to be made for both styles of training. The extra rest time can be good for allowing you to exert maximal effort without your cardio or breathing being a limiting factor and with a heavier weight as well.

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Unfortunately there’s an argument to be made on just about any form of training on here , ha ha. That never ends. Sergio would do 10 sets of curls followed by some other bicep exercise for 10 sets of partial reps etc etc. Sergio was unique , most normal humans couldn’t come close to doing what he did. Metabolic training does work but it’s a killer, most people don’t want to subject them selves to that. They prefer to build the muscle lifting and get their cardio at another time .
It would be interesting to see how many on here train the fast between sets metabolic way as their regular way of training ?

I have always tried to keep rest to a minimum, less than a minute. Been even less since doing 30-10-30.

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For a lot of my time training I’ve just gone from set to set and exercise to exercise with no rest in between. It always felt natural. Right now I’m forcing myself to rest a little bit more and the main benefit I’ve enjoyed is that I’m able to lift more weight and am able to get a better mind-muscle connection without being held back by Extreme heavy breathing.

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Resistance training’s prolonged muscular contractions compared to locomotive activities, such as rowing on a Concept 2, will occlude blood flow in the working muscles until the muscles relax. Thus, contracted muscles with limited blood flow will have significant consequences on the cardiovascular system.

I think to say “significant” might be a bit of a stretch. I only get about 3,000 steps a day and I lift weights 4 times a week, but my resting heart rate is still 48-52 Bpm according to my Fitbit and can still run fast and play outfield in softball on the weekends. However, this occlusion effect you’re referring to has been shown to be a potent hypertrophy stimulus.

So you believe it works, but for what purpose? Maximum Strength? Maximum Hypertrophy? Maximum Endurance? Maximum Work Capacity for circuits or activities similar to those you are training?

When used for training non-athletes, I tend to think of it as an efficiency booster: get some strength and some conditioning out of the same workout. But often, when you have multiple objectives for a single workout, there are compromises that result.

The other purpose seems to be to improve on-field performance in sports which require repeated bouts of intense efforts. So people in a sport like boxing or MMA would look at the pacing of their contests, and try to mimic that in training. If you fight 4 minute rounds with 60 seconds rest between rounds, your MetCon’s should use the same pacing.

Also, I don’t think that doing 10 sets of curls with short rest periods is really in the spirit of true metabolic conditioning. It involves more than just short rest periods. You are also supposed to cycle through a variety of exercises to engage a large amount of muscle mass while simultaneously keeping rest periods short.

== Scott==
You ask what do you get from it? The response you gave above is what I think you get. Like I’ve said , I prefer not to be huffing and puffing like a freight train when I jump to the next exercise but that’s just me. I recover pretty fast between exercises so a 30 second rest is plenty but no rest is not for me. I’ll save that huffing and puffing for when I erg or some other cardio exercise.

Somebody already mentioned the PHA circuit style training that Sergio did with Bob Gajge. Bob said that he sequenced the exercises specifically to Avoid “the pump” when he trained this way.

Dude was into athletics and running and that way must have worked “better” for him. It’s interesting when lifters lead the way and science agrees.

During intense muscular contractions there is an elevated concentration of metabolic by-products, and this will be noticeable as the muscle is forced to work anaerobically. The heart has to work harder as systemic resistance increases. A subsequent lack of oxygen in the capillaries of the working muscles will signal the heart to pump more oxygen filled blood to the muscles. This causes an increase in heart rate, but does not get more oxygen into the muscles, as the muscle contraction itself restricts blood perfusion. As the heart rate increases and more blood is pumped faster into the systemic circulation, the left ventricle of the heart has to contract more forcefully.leading to left ventricle hypertrophy.

A stretch? Hardly!

Good answer. My preference, when strength training, is to take longer rests and focus more on lifting the weight without the distraction of excessive fatigue or oxygen debt. Then I do some separate conditioning sessions (mostly HIIT these days). But that is just me. I have more free time now that I am retired, so the time efficiency of my workouts is much less of a consideration than it used to be.

I asked the question because one idea being floated here is that performing strength training in a Met Con style gives superior strength/hypertrophy results. Personally, I’m skeptical of that. On the occasions where I have tried rush factor (which is admittedly rare), I felt pretty gassed and depleted afterward. But I never saw evidence of better muscle development. But again, that is just me.

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Is athletes heart actually detrimental?

Does it thicken the lv wall or myocardium enough to reduce ejection fraction to the point of reduced heart function?

My understanding is that it doesn’t.

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Thinking back now I remember the reason for keeping my rest between sets short was so as not to let the muscle fully recover so the second or 3rd set would terminate with less reps and feel harder and get a better burn. I know when I do say 20 12 6 my muscles would be ready to explode by the end of the last set . I don’t know if that actually resulted in growth but it sure felt good!

I think there is some evidence that longer rest times are better if your objective is to develop maximum strength in an given lift. Basically, longer rests let you do more reps at higher weights. But that is a very specific objective, which mostly comes into play for strength focused sports. For hypertrophy, might not make that much difference.