T Nation

T-Nation Should Pit Hyght Against Henselmans

I love the variety of articles on T-Nation. Many authors, many opinions, and inevitably they contradict one another.

Thing get criticized on the spill (though it pales in comparison to forum analyses we used to have) but not really that intensely.

One thing I don’t get: T-Nation likes to host these “round tables” where guys might vaguely disagree with one another about minor issues while tending to get along and agree on a bunch of stuff.

That’s cool, but kinda boring. I want to see fights. I want to see the authors on T-Nation who are identified as holding polar opposite viewpoints on an issue, and I want to see them debate it out.

Case in point, recently this March, there have been 2 threads:
21st: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/5_training_strategies_for_fuller_muscles by Clay Hyght
23rd: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/stretching_is_bs by Menno Henselmans

If you check out page 2 of Clay’s article, point 4 is “Stretch While Full” and he says things like:

[quote]I highly encourage you to stretch ANY time. Stretching is one of the most undervalued tools we have available to us, both in terms of performance and injury prevention, as well as appearance.

Plain 'ol stretching itself helps to reduce the constrictive force fascia puts on muscle.

There’s also another benefit to stretching in regards to muscle fullness other than putting tension on and expanding the fascia. It appears that if done with ample tension and duration, stretching actually stimulates the muscle to lengthen by laying down new sarcomeres.

If, in fact, we can get a muscle to add length via new sarcomeres, then that muscle will have more overall volume and will appear fuller, especially when flexed.

The results I’ve seen with stretching a body part immediately after training it while still full of blood have really surprised me. It works very, very well, not only in terms of muscle fullness, but also in terms of enhanced visual striations, especially in the chest.[/quote]

Then, but 2 days later, Menno comes at us with stuff like this:

[quote]Static stretching does not increase strength or muscle gains from resistance training.

The assumption of most stretching programs is that muscle length increases. However, this is based on outdated and methodologically flawed research with improper use of terminology.

When you stretch a muscle, no permanent structural adaptations take place.

You can’t increase a muscle’s length by stretching it.[/quote]

I don’t know who’s right between these guys, but am I wrong to see contradictions between some of their statements?

I want to see research vs. research, DC/CSCS/CISSN vs. ISSA CPT. Can we make this happen?

This isn’t the first time either, there’s dozens of cases where articles here contradict each other and I think it would be totally cool if the authors are still around and contributing to come at each other full force so we can learn from the explosive debate of ideas and theories.

Static stretching before exercise reduces strength. This is a known fact at this time. It has been discussed here hundreds of times.

That is why a text book is better than your authors.

Gota be careful with text books though, by the time they get published, the information is often out of date already.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Static stretching before exercise reduces strength. This is a known fact at this time. It has been discussed here hundreds of times.

That is why a text book is better than your authors.[/quote]

^this

Also I can’t take hyght seriously with that DC after his name, it’s a shame as I sometimes find his articles interesting and it’s clear he’s got a lot of experience in this field under his belt. I just lol at the chiro bit and quit reading.

DC followers will obviously disagree with the second guy.

It would be nice to see some research conducted on the effects of hard stretching on a pumped muscle and whether or not that leads to growth.

[quote]Wahuuga wrote:
Gota be careful with text books though, by the time they get published, the information is often out of date already.
[/quote]

This was demonstrated in heart muscles many many decades ago. The concept is the same on a cellular level. Short of differences in opinion on things like nutrition, I wouldn’t exactly claim that biological data becomes “outdated”…unless it is purely hypothesis at this time later to be proven or disproven.

What confuses so many is they RELY on an author to do the thinking for them. That is why so many of these guys follow these authors like religious priests. They will argue to the death how right their “leader” is even if he is flat out wrong…like whoever keeps telling people that gaining weight at all causes new fat cells to be formed.

If more had real educations, these guys would have less power over the general fitness oriented public.

I think it’s pretty obvious for those that are into bodybuilding who’s advice to consider over others. I do like the idea of a roundtable where the authors argue different points though, especially with how they contradict each other like tyciol pointed out.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Wahuuga wrote:
Gota be careful with text books though, by the time they get published, the information is often out of date already.
[/quote]

This was demonstrated in heart muscles many many decades ago. The concept is the same on a cellular level. Short of differences in opinion on things like nutrition, I wouldn’t exactly claim that biological data becomes “outdated”…unless it is purely hypothesis at this time later to be proven or disproven.

What confuses so many is they RELY on an author to do the thinking for them. That is why so many of these guys follow these authors like religious priests. They will argue to the death how right their “leader” is even if he is flat out wrong…like whoever keeps telling people that gaining weight at all causes new fat cells to be formed.

If more had real educations, these guys would have less power over the general fitness oriented public.[/quote]
Gotta say as much as I like T-Nation and the view points of the many different authors, its also been something that has held me back tremendously early on in my training.

And as much as I agree with you X on the idea that people can become like religious zealots when it comes to this stuff, I think it is important to just pick something and give it your all, even to the point of investing your trust in a particular person’s methods. Because in the end we all know that its just all out effort that gets results. Not how fancy someones new methods may be.

With regards to the stretching increasing muscular gains argument, I think it’s important to note that what Hyght is talking about is not the “static stretching” that Henselmans is talking about. He is talking about “loaded stretching”, “myofascial stretching”, “extreme stretching”, or “isometric stretching”. Even though these stretches are held statically for time, there is always an external load placed on the muscles during the stretch. This specific type of stretching has become increasingly popular among certain groups of bodybuilders and at least the anecdotal evidence seems to support it’s effectiveness. Regular static stretching on the other hand will have no such benefits. So the two really aren’t in disagreement here (at least from what was written in the articles).

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Static stretching before exercise reduces strength. This is a known fact at this time. It has been discussed here hundreds of times.

That is why a text book is better than your authors.[/quote]

Is this fact though. I cant find the source but I know I read into the study “proving” that and it wasn’t all that convincing. If I remember correctly the study used 5 bouts of excessive static stretching (60 secs +) between sets. Which I doubt most people would have the patience for.

I need to look into this more to have a decent argument either way. But its important to evaluate these studies. Often they are heavily geared to give a certain result.

Sorry for the above hijack OP.

I agree an open debate would be awesome and informative.

[quote]Gl;itch.e wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Wahuuga wrote:
Gota be careful with text books though, by the time they get published, the information is often out of date already.
[/quote]

This was demonstrated in heart muscles many many decades ago. The concept is the same on a cellular level. Short of differences in opinion on things like nutrition, I wouldn’t exactly claim that biological data becomes “outdated”…unless it is purely hypothesis at this time later to be proven or disproven.

What confuses so many is they RELY on an author to do the thinking for them. That is why so many of these guys follow these authors like religious priests. They will argue to the death how right their “leader” is even if he is flat out wrong…like whoever keeps telling people that gaining weight at all causes new fat cells to be formed.

If more had real educations, these guys would have less power over the general fitness oriented public.[/quote]
Gotta say as much as I like T-Nation and the view points of the many different authors, its also been something that has held me back tremendously early on in my training.

And as much as I agree with you X on the idea that people can become like religious zealots when it comes to this stuff, I think it is important to just pick something and give it your all, even to the point of investing your trust in a particular person’s methods. Because in the end we all know that its just all out effort that gets results. Not how fancy someones new methods may be.[/quote]

Yea, when it comes to research, you need to be able to critically examine the claims, and the research it is founded on. For example, their was a recent article on here about an updated sliding filament theory of muscle fibers, that was very well researched. It was a small but important change to the theory, and it is articles like these that you should pay attention to, not articles that have done no research to back up their claims.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Static stretching before exercise reduces strength. This is a known fact at this time. It has been discussed here hundreds of times.[/quote]That’s unrelated to this thread. This was a point both authors I quoted agreed upon, so there was no need to bring it up.

Pre-exhaustion exercises before compound lifts also “reduce strength”, but that doesn’t make them bad for bodybuilding purposes.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
What confuses so many is they RELY on an author to do the thinking for them. That is why so many of these guys follow these authors like religious priests. They will argue to the death how right their “leader” is even if he is flat out wrong…like whoever keeps telling people that gaining weight at all causes new fat cells to be formed.

If more had real educations, these guys would have less power over the general fitness oriented public.[/quote]
That’s what I want to see them fight it out a bit. Camps colliding can shake the faith of those with cemented opinions.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
With regards to the stretching increasing muscular gains argument, I think it’s important to note that what Hyght is talking about is not the “static stretching” that Henselmans is talking about. He is talking about “loaded stretching”, “myofascial stretching”, “extreme stretching”, or “isometric stretching”. Even though these stretches are held statically for time, there is always an external load placed on the muscles during the stretch. This specific type of stretching has become increasingly popular among certain groups of bodybuilders and at least the anecdotal evidence seems to support it’s effectiveness. Regular static stretching on the other hand will have no such benefits. So the two really aren’t in disagreement here (at least from what was written in the articles).[/quote]
What you’re talking about is a false dichotomy. A lot of popular forms of “static stretching” do in fact involve the muscles being under some tension and load. It doesn’t matter whether or not this is the load of our bodyweight or the load of an external weight, since load is load and all the varies is quantity.

For example if you do a standing hamstring stretch, it’s under load, same with a lunge stretch or training for front or side split.

Even so-called “passive” stretching is called so because it’s a force other than muscular contraction that creates movement, but the muscles may resist that force.

[quote]Wahuuga wrote:
their was a recent article on here about an updated sliding filament theory of muscle fibers, that was very well researched. It was a small but important change to the theory, and it is articles like these that you should pay attention to, not articles that have done no research to back up their claims.[/quote]Sounds vaguely familiar, not sure if have read but even if have, would like to read again.

Maybe it could teach stuff related to eccentrics?

[quote]tyciol wrote:

Pre-exhaustion exercises before compound lifts also “reduce strength”, but that doesn’t make them bad for bodybuilding purposes.
[/quote]

It doesn’t make them good either. Unless you have an issue with a muscle group firing before the target muscle group (like a person who trains chest but mostly activates shoulders), why would you be “pre-exhausting” it? Further, that would actually be the last thing I would do after trying different angles to compensate.

Otherwise, “pre-exhausting” a muscle group could make you weaker on that “compound movement”.

I think this is too hard to prove one way or the other because there are too many other variables in play.

In the end size and strength increases of a muscle cell are stimulated by adaptation to stress placed on the muscle. Either way you slice it, stretching doesn’t cause stress (as you can stretch for the entire day and not get fatigued) active tension/ resistance, and contractions do.

At the end of a working set weather the choice is to actively stretch the muscle or continue supersetting or drop-setting to failure or exhaustion… you can achieve this many different ways… who is to prove one way is going to stimulate more protein synthesis than the other?

Too many variables come into play, alot of them subjective. Myself personally I think the stretching isn’t going to stimualate the developement of more contractile tissue, and really that’s what causes increases in size right?

T-Nation just seems a lot less manly these days …

[quote]tyciol wrote:

If you check out page 2 of Clay’s article, point 4 is “Stretch While Full” and he says things like:

.[/quote]

I don’t know about any research that looks at the changes in muscle structure with loaded stretching as Clay uses but at least for static stretching the duration of time needed to add sarcomeres in series is ridiculous.
The studies that have shown that sarcomeres can be added to the muscle to increase its length are based on animals that have been kept in an immobilized extended position for the majority of the day. There muscles then adapt to increase the number of sarcomeres.

However, the actual length of the muscle was unchanged because the increase in number of sarcomeres was offset by a decrease in length of each sarcomere.
These studies have for some reason been generalized to suggest that stretching programs in humans cause similar changes, this has not been proven and from the research looks unlikely.

If you want to read about the possible mechanisms for increased ROM following stretching read this review article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20075147 . It was one references in Menno’s article.

[quote]Think tank fish wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Static stretching before exercise reduces strength. This is a known fact at this time. It has been discussed here hundreds of times.

That is why a text book is better than your authors.[/quote]

Is this fact though. I cant find the source but I know I read into the study “proving” that and it wasn’t all that convincing. If I remember correctly the study used 5 bouts of excessive static stretching (60 secs +) between sets. Which I doubt most people would have the patience for.

I need to look into this more to have a decent argument either way. But its important to evaluate these studies. Often they are heavily geared to give a certain result.[/quote]

Your right in thinking that some of the studies have used impractically long stretch durations. However, this recent review analysed all of the available studies (104 published studies) and found that there was average -5.4% strength loss, -1.9% power loss, -1.6% jump performance loss, -4.5% rate of force production (RFP), -1.6% sprint performance reduction and -2.0% throwing performance following pre-activity static stretching.

Some of the areas did not have enough evidence to be completely conclusive (power and throwing). The findings were similar across both genders, ages and training backgrounds. They found that these reductions happened at any stretch duration above 45 seconds (this is the total duration throughout all the sets) and the negative effects of stretching on power were increased with longer stretch durations.
The reductions don’t seem like much but could make all the differences when trying to achieve a new PR.

Source: Does pre-exercise static stretching inhibit maximal muscular
performance? A meta-analytical review. Simic et al (2012)Scand J Med Sci Sports doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2012.01444.x

[quote]Krishpy wrote:

[quote]Think tank fish wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Static stretching before exercise reduces strength. This is a known fact at this time. It has been discussed here hundreds of times.

That is why a text book is better than your authors.[/quote]

Is this fact though. I cant find the source but I know I read into the study “proving” that and it wasn’t all that convincing. If I remember correctly the study used 5 bouts of excessive static stretching (60 secs +) between sets. Which I doubt most people would have the patience for.

I need to look into this more to have a decent argument either way. But its important to evaluate these studies. Often they are heavily geared to give a certain result.[/quote]

Your right in thinking that some of the studies have used impractically long stretch durations. However, this recent review analysed all of the available studies (104 published studies) and found that there was average -5.4% strength loss, -1.9% power loss, -1.6% jump performance loss, -4.5% rate of force production (RFP), -1.6% sprint performance reduction and -2.0% throwing performance following pre-activity static stretching. Some of the areas did not have enough evidence to be completely conclusive (power and throwing). The findings were similar across both genders, ages and training backgrounds. They found that these reductions happened at any stretch duration above 45 seconds (this is the total duration throughout all the sets) and the negative effects of stretching on power were increased with longer stretch durations.
The reductions don’t seem like much but could make all the differences when trying to achieve a new PR.

Source: Does pre-exercise static stretching inhibit maximal muscular
performance? A meta-analytical review. Simic et al (2012)Scand J Med Sci Sports doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2012.01444.x[/quote]

I really appreciate your informative reply and including your reference. I agree when going for a PR stretching is off the menu for me.

I am going to include <45sec loaded stretches inbetween higher rep sets to see if I achieve any of the fascia stretching affects. I also wonder if stretching between sets allows greater ROM during the set. Possibly extending the ROM to weaker less trained positions. Which would account for the performance decrease & potentially stimulate greater hypertrophy.

[quote]Think tank fish wrote:

I really appreciate your informative reply and including your reference. I agree when going for a PR stretching is off the menu for me.

I am going to include <45sec loaded stretches inbetween higher rep sets to see if I achieve any of the fascia stretching affects. I also wonder if stretching between sets allows greater ROM during the set. Possibly extending the ROM to weaker less trained positions. Which would account for the performance decrease & potentially stimulate greater hypertrophy.[/quote]

An interesting thought, the review on the possible mechanics of stretching that I linked earlier proposes that the most likely reason for an increased ROM after stretching is a change in sensation (your body no longer feels pain sensation at that muscle length and therefore you can stretch it further before feeling pain). So I am guessing that unless pain/uncomfortable stretching feel is limiting your AROM during a exercise stretching is unlikely to increase it. But that is just my assumption.