Body by Science / HIIT Experiment

Gaby

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I read the book and started with the free weight version. Although it was relatively fast to reach muscular failure with the "standing over head press" (55 seconds), it took me 165 seconds to reach failure with the "bench press" and "squat". And I definitely need more weight for the "bent over barbell row" and the "dead lift". For these last two, I might need double the amount.

From my first trial session, I think it's very difficult to reach muscular failure in less than 90 seconds unless you're lifting a significant amount of weight. And then, you don't necessarily have the chance to move in a very physiological manner, unless you're observed and get feedback, and/or are very well trained.

I'll experiment a bit more before adding significant weight. I want to do the techniques correctly in order to avoid long-term problems. I think it should work as long as I reach failure, even if it takes me minutes.

The free weight version could end up costing as much as a basic machine for all the exercises. If you're training alone, is not a bad idea to have a basic power rack. Between that, the barbell, the weight, a bench press, it can add up quite a bit. Protecting the floor with some sort of tatami is not a bad idea either. I don't know what came first, muscle failure or the fear of dropping the barbell in the floor while struggling to complete a standing over head press repetition. It is iffy to reach failure with an important amount of weight above you and nowhere to drop it but the bare floor.
 

aimarok

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I found free-weight version of overhead press to be kinda dangerous to do alone. It's better to find a non-expensive gym with a machine then risking of damaging your spine or getting plummeted by barbel.
 

genero81

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I'll experiment a bit more before adding significant weight. I want to do the techniques correctly in order to avoid long-term problems. I think it should work as long as I reach failure, even if it takes me minutes.
Okay, just remember taking too long to reach failure and the slow twitch muscles have time to recover and redeploy, making inroading on fast twitch muscles unlikely.

I don't know what came first, muscle failure or the fear of dropping the barbell in the floor while struggling to complete a standing over head press repetition. It is iffy to reach failure with an important amount of weight above you and nowhere to drop it but the bare floor.
Be careful! I wouldn't want to be doing that! At the very least you need a rubber mat to drop the weights on.
 

Gaby

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I found free-weight version of overhead press to be kinda dangerous to do alone. It's better to find a non-expensive gym with a machine then risking of damaging your spine or getting plummeted by barbel.
Yeah, they insist on never blocking your arms, but just the muscle power to move the barbell for this particular exercise. Blocking one's arms and making a pause there will put all the weight in the bone structure which is bad.

I liked the free-weight version, but I think it is iffy to do it without a power rack. Next time, I'll set it up in its highest level for the overhead press, so I can drop the weight on the rack.

Okay, just remember taking too long to reach failure and the slow twitch muscles have time to recover and redeploy, making inroading on fast twitch muscles unlikely.

Be careful! I wouldn't want to be doing that! At the very least you need a rubber mat to drop the weights on.
I bought a 2 meter tatami, still, it feels small-ish. I can understand while ideally one would need a power rack.

FWIW, in case it's useful to anyone, I'm attaching a document I made from the book. It's the free-weight techniques and then some of the author's tips. The images are from the web, just to give an idea.
 

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loreta

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Thank you very much Gaby! your document is very helpful.

Today I did my third session at home. I need absolutely to put more weight to my bar. After the session I feel so good, like refreshed. I am still reading the book. Very interesting!
 

whitecoast

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It seems you reach a point where you're not going up in weight anymore, and you lose the full range of motion. Taking a week off helps sometimes, but not others.

So, at that point, I dropped back down in weight on several of the exercises. That seemed to do the trick because WOO my arms and shoulders were a bit more sore than usual last time.
I'm sure you've considered this already, but that sounds like it could be a problem with overtraining and not enough time being given for recovery. As for taking time off helping only sometimes, I notice for myself that some parts of me seem to respond more slowly to muscle growth stimulation than others. I've seen steady gains with the seated row for example, but not the overhead press.

For those who get to the stage where recovery time begins to exceed the training frequency, on p155 of Body by Science McGuff and Little offer the following 3-week routine:
  1. (week one) leg extension, leg curl, standing calf raise, abdominal crunch
  2. (week two) pullover, lower back machine, shrug, arm cross
  3. (week three) lateral raise, rear deltoid, biceps curl, triceps extension.
I imagine you would be able to mix and match or even collapse this into a two-week routine if that turns out to be sufficient. In my own experience so much of this is about learning to listen to your body and study its responses to the stimuli of HIIT, so different things may work for different people at different stages. Maybe I'll take 5 lbs off like you did and see if that makes a difference. :knitting:Thanks for sharing Scott.

@Mark, I tried to use the TUL app (the iOS version) and don't understand what PIN option means. I can select number of "pins" per exercise but can't specify number of repetitions or used weight. Is it "points of intensity"?
For myself, I just enter the weight anyway. It's not like I'm going to confuse a 10 lb/kg chest press and a 10th pin chest press anytime soon. :-D
 

Altair

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For myself, I just enter the weight anyway. It's not like I'm going to confuse a 10 lb/kg chest press and a 10th pin chest press anytime soon. :-D
I didn't see the possibility to enter weight in the iOS version of the TUL app.
 

whitecoast

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Sorry @Altair, I should have clarified I'm on the Android app. @Mark may chime in but I don't think there should be a difference? Do you see the option to enter pin#, near the timer? I just enter the weight I use instead of the pin#. I hope that was a little more helpful?
 

Altair

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Sorry @Altair, I should have clarified I'm on the Android app. @Mark may chime in but I don't think there should be a difference? Do you see the option to enter pin#, near the timer? I just enter the weight I use instead of the pin#. I hope that was a little more helpful?
No, there is only the timer and "+-" buttons to increase/decrease number of pins.
 

Mark

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No, there is only the timer and "+-" buttons to increase/decrease number of pins.
I don't know how the iOS app works, that is built by someone else and I don't know who that is, and I don't have an Apple device to test it. Try touching the numeric field to see if it lets you type in whatever you want.
 

Jenn

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@Prodigal Son & @Alana, in addition to the stretches you already mentioned you could also try a pectoral stretch, often with rounded shoulders the pecs can become short and tight so stretching these may help.
chest_stretch.jpg

Another nice one for the neck is the "double chin/chin tuck" exercise, which lengthens the muscles in the back of the neck that can be overworked when people have a head forward posture. See this article for more info: Neck Strengthening Exercises
bai-tap-chua-gai-cot-song-co.jpg
Chin Tuck
One of the most effective postural exercises for combating neck pain is the chin tuck exercise. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders (upper thoracic extensors) and also stretches the scalene and suboccipital muscles.

To perform the exercise for the first time, it is typically recommended that patients stand with the spine up against a door jamb and the feet out about 3 inches from the bottom of the door jamb.
  • Keeping the spine against the door jamb, pull the upper back and head backward until the head touches the door jamb. It is important to make sure that the chin is down so that the head is pulled straight back and not looking up.
  • Hold the head against the door jamb for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat this 10 times.
A person may feel some stretching of the scalene muscles on the side of the neck that go down to the collarbone. These muscles along with the suboccipital muscles at the top of the neck and the base of the skull are generally the tight muscles. The muscles in the front of the neck and muscles of the upper back are usually the weak muscles that need to be strengthened.

After initially performing the chin tuck exercise in a door jamb and becoming comfortable with it, the exercise can eventually be done standing or sitting without a door jamb.
A note about stretching: in the BBS book I was shocked to see the research on stretching, throughout my massage course and in the health and fitness field we are told that stretching is integral to reduce risk of injury, it was quite surprising to see that the research suggests it can actually increase the risk of injury to an athlete! Maybe stretching to improve posture is still OK, it's just stretching before exercise that is the issue?
 

Konstantin

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Yeah, they insist on never blocking your arms, but just the muscle power to move the barbell for this particular exercise. Blocking one's arms and making a pause there will put all the weight in the bone structure which is bad.

I liked the free-weight version, but I think it is iffy to do it without a power rack. Next time, I'll set it up in its highest level for the overhead press, so I can drop the weight on the rack.



I bought a 2 meter tatami, still, it feels small-ish. I can understand while ideally one would need a power rack.

FWIW, in case it's useful to anyone, I'm attaching a document I made from the book. It's the free-weight techniques and then some of the author's tips. The images are from the web, just to give an idea.
In all these years exercising, I found that I can replace overhead barbell press with overhead shoulder dumbbell press

See the exercise here

In Dumbbell variation I can squeeze deltoid muscles more effectively. I can isolate those muscles better than doing overhead barbell press where I use more triceps muscles to push the barbell up. In Dumbbell variations the movement is more circular and I think more natural. I can reach more muscle fatigue with a lot of smaller weights. In barbell press, both arms are used so the stronger arm is compensating the weaker arm and sometimes with heavier weights, I will start to twist my spine in order to keep the barbell move up and to balance.
In dumbbell version each side is independent and with smaller weights, you can achieve the same muscle failure and a lot of other muscles are working in order to stabilize the whole body while executing the movement.

When performing this exercise in standing position and when using heavier weights I can feel pain and discomfort in the lower back.
I prefer to perform this exercise in a seating position. That way I am not putting pressure on my lower back.

For me, it is the best when I use both exercises alternately and always have someone behind me so I can push until total positive muscle failure.
 

Divide by Zero

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I've skipped 2 weeks due to my work schedule 2 weekends ago and having to do repairs on my car last weekend.

Today I resumed it, going by the video linked earlier using body weight and chin ups. I figure Friday is the best for me to be somewhat recovered before work on Monday, where I work a job that can be physical at times.

Doing the exercises with 2 days or more before having a physical job or task is probably the best to not make it difficult during the "weakness" period. I feel weakness in my arms typing this right now so I guess I did it well!
 

Beorn

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I had my first BBS workout a few days ago and it went pretty well. The first thing I've noticed is that I have much more energy now, even though my muscles are a little sore.

Before doing the squats I did a wall sit for about a minute, as Doug suggests in one of his interviews, to reduce the time it takes to get to the point of failure. I had to resist the urge to take a short break for a second or two when coming back to full standing so I just kept my knees slightly bent to keep up the pressure.

I'm using dumb bells for the rest of the exercises. During the bench press my left hand started to get sore so I had to stop early. I'm not sure what to do about that. Maybe my form is wrong or I need to switch to weighted push-ups.
 

Konstantin

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I had my first BBS workout a few days ago and it went pretty well. The first thing I've noticed is that I have much more energy now, even though my muscles are a little sore.

Before doing the squats I did a wall sit for about a minute, as Doug suggests in one of his interviews, to reduce the time it takes to get to the point of failure. I had to resist the urge to take a short break for a second or two when coming back to full standing so I just kept my knees slightly bent to keep up the pressure.

I'm using dumb bells for the rest of the exercises. During the bench press my left hand started to get sore so I had to stop early. I'm not sure what to do about that. Maybe my form is wrong or I need to switch to weighted push-ups.
That is because left and right side of the body is not totally symmetrical. If one arm gets tired much sooner than the other it is best to use a barbell. With a barbell, the stronger arm will compensate the weaker and in time both sides will become more symmetrical in strength and then you can use dumbells.
It worked for me.
It is best to have someone next to you so he/she can monitor your form. In moments when the weights are heavy, we all tent to twist our bodies just to keep those weights moves. Or it is a good idea someone to make a video clip while you are doing the exercise so you can then see if you are doing anything wrong.
 
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