T Nation

Science of Getting Stronger


#1

Where can I learn about the best workout techniques with some more scientific backing? Like deeper insights into physiology or physics and mechanics.


#2

[quote]bradley5 wrote:
Where can I learn about the best workout techniques with some more scientific backing? Like deeper insights into physiology or physics and mechanics. [/quote]

I would suggest that the best workout techniques are likely to be the ones the most successful lifters use.

What do you hope to achieve by finding this information.


#3

-First and Foremost! Louie Simmons, and his site, “westside-barbell.” Over 100 articles(15 years worth) about the science of power lifting. All free. Sometimes it’s tough to figure out what he’s talking about, but there is a lot of information there.

-On Youtube:

4 part video series about the Block Periodization style training of thrower Werner Gunthor. These videos are awesome! They clearly lay out the Block Style training plan, and then show you the training for each Block, or phase. Also, they are not in English, so you really absorb the important things.

-Strength Coach Josh Bryant is big on using research studies to back up or explain why certain methods work or don’t work in the gym. He tells you what works for him and his athletes, who all bench like 650+, then backs it up with videos. Then gives you like 10 references to studies that support what he just told you.

-Dr. Fred Hatfield “Dr. Squat” and his book, “Power: A Scientific Approach”

-The work of “Eastern Bloc” coaches like
Yuri Verkhoshansky
Tudor Bompa
Vladimir Issurin

-American Dudes who were influenced by "easterners"
Mel Siff
Micheal Yessis


#4

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
-First and Foremost! Louie Simmons, and his site, “westside-barbell.” Over 100 articles(15 years worth) about the science of power lifting. All free. Sometimes it’s tough to figure out what he’s talking about, but there is a lot of information there.
[/quote]

Louie Simmons’ articles read like a mad libs. It’s pretty funny once you crack the code.

Generally, on any topic, he’ll respond with 2 non-sequiturs, a story about someone overcoming come ridiculous injury as demonstrated by a really unique benchmark being hit, and then conclude with a sentence that definitively answers the question with no actual regard to the previously mentioned statements.

EG:

Q: “Hey Louie, what do you want for breakfast?”

A: “Wells who’s to say we even need breakfast? Evander Hollyfield used to only eat sweet tarts for breakfast, and he became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the galaxy. Last Wednesday, I fractured my spine in 17 places and the doctor said I’d never walk again. On Friday, I squatted 614lbs to a 4” high box using the spiderbar with 2 sets of strongbands. Toast and juice."

It’s not to say there isn’t some really cool stuff in there, but you’re in for a ride.


#5

Haha. Way back when, I actually went out of my way NOT to read Simmons. It was like some kind of gibberish. I had to read all of Dave Tate’s stuff first. It’s easier to follow to kinda get an idea of what they are talking about. Then, going back to Louie was a little easier. But totally worth it. I’ve never even been in a PL meet, but they are probably 2 of my biggest influences.

Also, don’t forget T-Nation’s own C. Thibaudeau. He’s big on the science behind “performance training.”

And Pavel Tsatsouline


#6

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
-First and Foremost! Louie Simmons, and his site, “westside-barbell.” Over 100 articles(15 years worth) about the science of power lifting. All free. Sometimes it’s tough to figure out what he’s talking about, but there is a lot of information there.
[/quote]

Louie Simmons’ articles read like a mad libs. It’s pretty funny once you crack the code.

Generally, on any topic, he’ll respond with 2 non-sequiturs, a story about someone overcoming come ridiculous injury as demonstrated by a really unique benchmark being hit, and then conclude with a sentence that definitively answers the question with no actual regard to the previously mentioned statements.

EG:

Q: “Hey Louie, what do you want for breakfast?”

A: “Wells who’s to say we even need breakfast? Evander Hollyfield used to only eat sweet tarts for breakfast, and he became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the galaxy. Last Wednesday, I fractured my spine in 17 places and the doctor said I’d never walk again. On Friday, I squatted 614lbs to a 4” high box using the spiderbar with 2 sets of strongbands. Toast and juice."

It’s not to say there isn’t some really cool stuff in there, but you’re in for a ride.
[/quote]

LOL!


#7

[quote]bradley5 wrote:
Where can I learn about the best workout techniques with some more scientific backing? Like deeper insights into physiology or physics and mechanics. [/quote]
There are far more books on strength training then there are on hypertrophy.
Actually the majority of books you find will be on strength training rather then hypertrophy.

This website has more then you will ever need but if you are a science junky like me then read the following.

Science And Practice Of Strength Training by Zatsiorski & Kraemer.
Modern Trends In Strength Training by Charles Poliquin.
Black Book Of Training Secrets by Christian Thibaudeau.
Theory and Application of Modern Strength and Power Methods by Christian Thibaudeau.


#8

[quote]bradley5 wrote:
Where can I learn about the best workout techniques with some more scientific backing? Like deeper insights into physiology or physics and mechanics. [/quote]

Gee, you can browse and read the thousands of articles on THIS site you’re on.


#9

Here’s all the scientific backing you really need though: progressive resistance with enough volume leads to more muscle and strength. All else is INGENUITY that bodybuilders and powerlifters have, with nerds and academics lagging behind.


#10

Great summation! And totally true. I’ve never heard it explained as “ingenuity” but that’s excellent.

I agree about not needing much scientific backing for training.

But sometimes I get in a mood, and I just have to know how many meters per second my squat should move. Because a faster eccentric means a faster concentric. Or something.


#11

Look up Greg Nucols


#12

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]bradley5 wrote:
Where can I learn about the best workout techniques with some more scientific backing? Like deeper insights into physiology or physics and mechanics. [/quote]

I would suggest that the best workout techniques are likely to be the ones the most successful lifters use.

What do you hope to achieve by finding this information.[/quote]

This x10. I’ve got a science degree (biochem/molecular bio mostly) and I have one hundred per cent more confidence in training information from athletes and coaches who have successfully trained themselves and others for long periods than any establishment accepted scientific proof of what works.

You’ve got to bear in mind that a lot of the reputable and successful coaches (Simmons, Tate, Wendler, Thibaudeau, Poliquin, etc, etc) are very intelligent and well educated individuals who actually use very similar methodology to labcoat scientists in terms of how they evaluate and develop their programs. The difference is those coaches have mostly been under the bar themselves and have the hard evidence of successful athletes they trained to back up their methods.

Just because a bunch of people who’ve gone through uni for a few years have put together a study proving that x or y works better than t or v doesn’t mean that actually translates to the gym and your results. If, on the other hand, Coach… who has trained mutliple elite athletes says x works better, that is much more likely to translate to you results.


#13

Charles Poliquin’s website has a lot of good stuff. However I suggest you read the hypertrophy/strength training articles and ignore the nutrition part…


#14

If you’re looking for something in 3D and animated with good explanations, I would go for Muscle&Motion Strength Training. You can search for them on Google. On their facebook page they have a lot of free content too.


#15

for some reason I’ve been blindly believing that 40ish minutes long intense workouts (not counting warm-up then) are enough because of the testosterone/cortisol levels.

But as anyone can see at the gym, bigger dudes often spend a much longer time at the gym. Obviously athletes train many hours a week but that’s their job anyway

So how about this “science”? I know that it’s all about feelings, but sometimes you feel super good and okay to do 2 hours long workouts.


#16

The physics is boring. It is all newtons and law and statics (sum(F) = 0m sum(M) = 0) and dynamics (sum(F) = m dv/dt sum(M) = T)


#17

Sometimes the science guys can change the way you think about lifting.
For example…
-Don’t think about rep numbers, but consider the duration of your set. Instead of singles, doubles or triples, make your set last as long as the event your training for.

Don’t blast out 8-12 reps for hypertrophy, measure the time of your set. Instead pump out slow, steady reps with a pause at the top and bottom and do it for 35 seconds. Next week do it for 45 seconds.

-Instead of thinking about weights in terms of light/heavy, think about moving fast or slow. Heavy weights will move slowly. If you move them faster, you produce more force. Light weights move fast. If you move them slowly, you do more work.

-You’ve spent every second of your life resisting/lifting against the force of gravity. Every lift you’ve done has been against this 9.8m/sec/sec acceleration. When you add bands or chains, EVERY LIFT is a new lift. If you adjust the tension, or adjust the chain weight, you’ve changed the lift again. This will increase your skill.

Some science contradicts other science, or goes against “conventional wisdom.” I’ve read that Test drops off after 40 minutes to an hour too. But like tonton, I’d never stop a workout at 45 minutes if I hadn’t done everything yet. So, maybe disregard that one.

But Lifting Heavy Weights First, then lifting lighter weights for more reps after is no joke! Post Activation Potentiation, or whatever they call it now is for real! After the heavy lifting, the light weights just feel and move different. It just works awesome. Doug Hepburn, John McCallum, and Anthony Ditillo(plus who knows who else) advocated it back in the day. Josh Bryant and C. Thibaudeau talk about it now, and today’s science backs it up.

There are some more good examples, surely someone has a couple.


#18

Articles by jack reape and bret contreras here. Dave Tate’s Iron evolution article series also a good read


#19

Thank you everyone for your help! I don’t spend much time online, so I’l keep coming back here and digging deeper into all these links.

[quote]Also, they are not in English, so you really absorb the important things.[/quote] That’s funny, but it really works! I’ve traveled a lot, and I totally agree that you learn more from watching than from listening. The ‘Eastern Block’ looks particularly interesting to me.