Body by Science / HIIT Experiment

Oxajil

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Last Sunday morning my trainer had me do some extra exercises. One was a machine I haven't used before. Basically, you sit and you have your legs out in front of you and then you push them away from each other against a weight, afterwards you go to another machine where you do the opposite movement (legs towards each other). This way you exercise your inner thigh muscles. So... for two days I had crazy muscle pain in that area. I don't think they're a muscle group that are often trained using weight. I did a bit of search and here's some interesting info:

“The inner thigh muscles, or adductors, are made up of five different muscles that are responsible for stabilizing the outward rotation of your knee, helping pull the legs toward the center line of your body," explains exercise physiologist Michelle Lovitt, M.A. “These muscles all attach to the pelvis and play a key role in hip flexion and extension. They're also incredibly important in stabilizing your core.” Together, these five muscles—the pectineus, gracilis, adductor longus, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus—function to provide stability and injury prevention for your knees, hips, and low back (to name a few).

[...]

“All five adductor muscles attach to the pelvis, so weak inner thighs [can often lead to] poor core balance,” she says. And having a strong core is key for proper movement in and out of the gym.

Keeping your pelvis supported with strong inner thigh muscles helps prevent injuries, too. “When the inner thighs work with the outer thighs, they provide side-to-side stabilization of the pelvis,” explains Lovitt. “If you have abductors (outer thighs) that are strong and inner thighs that are weak, then you won't have good side-to-side stabilization of the pelvis, and that leads to injuries to other areas of the body, especially the low back.”
I also asked if there is a pull-up bar, and the trainer led me to another machine. This, I have to say, is probably the coolest machine I've tried so far. Basically you set up an amount of weight, then you go up two steps and stand on a small square platform while you hold on to some handles. When you stand on the platform, the platform goes down slowly (or fast if you push harder with your feet), and then you have to pull yourself up (three ways to do so).

I actually was able to do pull-ups, but it's not my weight I'm pulling, though perhaps it is my weight, but the platform works as an assistant... haven't quite figured out how it works yet, but it's great. I've tried to search the webs to find this machine, but it's nowhere to be found! I only get results for 'assisted pull-up machine' and that's not the one. In any case, it was a good workout! FWIW.
 

Nicholas

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I also asked if there is a pull-up bar, and the trainer led me to another machine. This, I have to say, is probably the coolest machine I've tried so far. Basically you set up an amount of weight, then you go up two steps and stand on a small square platform while you hold on to some handles. When you stand on the platform, the platform goes down slowly (or fast if you push harder with your feet), and then you have to pull yourself up (three ways to do so).

I actually was able to do pull-ups, but it's not my weight I'm pulling, though perhaps it is my weight, but the platform works as an assistant... haven't quite figured out how it works yet, but it's great. I've tried to search the webs to find this machine, but it's nowhere to be found! I only get results for 'assisted pull-up machine' and that's not the one. In any case, it was a good workout! FWIW.
Something like this?

 

Altair

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I did a small experiment 2 weeks ago with my Vielight 810 Infrared Intranasal Light Therapy Device. It uses wave lenth of 810nm and pulses infrared led with frequency 10Hz (it's supposed to have positive effects on brain alpha waves). Each session lasts 25 minutes and you can use it handsfree. So I started a session 10 minutes before the workout and continued it 15 minutes during the workout. Astonishingly, despite my decreased time under load in the previous weeks I got better on 4 of the total 5 exercises. I could literally feel more strength and I assume the effect could have been even better had I completed 25 minutes infrared session directly prior to the workout. Very interesting, considering that both infrared light therapy and HIIT have positive effects on mitochondria.
 
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flashgordonv

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OK, I've read the book and this thread and now I have finally moved and life is settling down to a more normal pace, I am keen to give this a go.

The issue I am currently having is that I don't see where there are any guidelines as to what weights to start with. I realise to some extendt this is a 'how long is a piece of string" question because it clearly depends. So, I am 65, somewhat overweight, not particularly fit, with dodgy knees (osteo arthritis). Any suggestions as to where to start with the big 5 exercises?
 

Konstantin

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OK, I've read the book and this thread and now I have finally moved and life is settling down to a more normal pace, I am keen to give this a go.

The issue I am currently having is that I don't see where there are any guidelines as to what weights to start with. I realise to some extendt this is a 'how long is a piece of string" question because it clearly depends. So, I am 65, somewhat overweight, not particularly fit, with dodgy knees (osteo arthritis). Any suggestions as to where to start with the big 5 exercises?
You will have to experiment with weights in order to find the proper one for you.
For example. You are doing an overhead press. Put 10 Kg and try to execute the movements as it is described in the book, very slowly.
If you can do it more than 90 seconds in a proper form, then it is too light for you. Increase the weight next time.
If you can't reach 30-40 seconds with the propper movement then the weight is too much for you.

So all you have to do is to dose the weight so you can stay in the time range described in the book. If you can do it longer then the weight is too light if you can't do the minimum time that it is too much for you.

It is that simple.
 

Pashalis

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You will have to experiment with weights in order to find the proper one for you.
For example. You are doing an overhead press. Put 10 Kg and try to execute the movements as it is described in the book, very slowly.
If you can do it more than 90 seconds in a proper form, then it is too light for you. Increase the weight next time.
If you can't reach 30-40 seconds with the propper movement then the weight is too much for you.

So all you have to do is to dose the weight so you can stay in the time range described in the book. If you can do it longer then the weight is too light if you can't do the minimum time that it is too much for you.

It is that simple.
Yes. The first couple of times you have to simply experiment to find the right weight for the start. The 75% Rule described below (and in the book) working up within the two minute time frame , is what you should aim for, which of course should change upwards as you progress with the training:

Are you making sure to not use too much and not too little, aka. the 75% rule he mentions in the book? When your max power on a specific part, is, lets say 100kg (meaning one repetition possible at most, no matter how fast), then the weight should be around 75kg. This Max should theoretically and hopefully increase while the ratio weight increases as well, in the course of the months.

Usually you shouldn't be able to do more then 5 or 6 repetitions with the optimal weight. If you can do easily that number or more, then the weight is probably too light. If you can do only one or two, the weight is probably too much. Both is not optimal according to this program and can have negative consequences, also in terms of improvement.
 

Scottie

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So, I am 65, somewhat overweight, not particularly fit, with dodgy knees (osteo arthritis). Any suggestions as to where to start with the big 5 exercises?
What Konstantin and Pashalis said.

Normally, the first few times anyone does this workout, it's with weight that is not ideal for that person. So, if you start with 10kg, just keep doing the exercise, slowly slowly. If it takes you 3 minutes to reach exhaustion, that's fine. Up the weight next time.

For your legs in particular, you probably want to up the weight very gradually due to your knees. After the 1st or 2nd session when you have a better idea of what weight to use, you can still go with lower weights and longer times if you want for several weeks.

But it depends: you might find that lower weight for 3 minutes is harder on your joints than higher weight for 45-90 seconds! The speed at which you move the weight also matters a lot. The slower you move the weight, the less weight you'll probably need.

You'll have to experiment and listen to your body. Then give it several months to start seeing serious results. Before long, you'll be: :dance:
 

Mariama

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I haven't read the entire thread nor the book yet, but I have started working out since last month for an hour a week. Before I started they ran some tests. My heart rate was fairly high, muscle mass was reasonable (even though I didn't do much this past year). I am using these bikes in the gym and I am already going faster. And I have found that ordinary cycling has become easier, even when it is windy. I was not really sore after all these exercises, but when I did some work outdoors afterwards I was sore all over.
 

flashgordonv

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What Konstantin and Pashalis said.

Normally, the first few times anyone does this workout, it's with weight that is not ideal for that person. So, if you start with 10kg, just keep doing the exercise, slowly slowly. If it takes you 3 minutes to reach exhaustion, that's fine. Up the weight next time.

For your legs in particular, you probably want to up the weight very gradually due to your knees. After the 1st or 2nd session when you have a better idea of what weight to use, you can still go with lower weights and longer times if you want for several weeks.

But it depends: you might find that lower weight for 3 minutes is harder on your joints than higher weight for 45-90 seconds! The speed at which you move the weight also matters a lot. The slower you move the weight, the less weight you'll probably need.

You'll have to experiment and listen to your body. Then give it several months to start seeing serious results. Before long, you'll be: :dance:
Thanks for the advice people. Will give this a try and report back on progress in due course
 

Regulattor

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Just to report how things are going. Moved to the Gym after I've reached the point where additional equipment would be required for maintaining proper muscular stimulus, when exercising with freeweights. It took me a few times to adjust machines, body position and weights. Working out with freeweights is a bit more demanding because you have to constantly be focused on posture and movement.
Anyway the most obvious thing that I can report is that my energy levels through the day are much more higher and not prone to oscillations as before or at least are not oscillating as much. I would notice similar effect when introducing some new supplement, Magnesium or Iodine for example, but with time things would fade out. But not with this type of exercise. It seems, at least in my case, that my mitochondria are firing more stable and supplying good amount of energy for the most days in between the work out days. On top of that it seems that there could be a psychological effects as well. I'm currently in kind of dire straits situation jobwise, in which knowing my self I would be in panic nail biting mode, but on the contrary I'm quite calm (not that i'm not worried) but more like I can much clearly see the possible outcomes and moves that have to be taken in order to mitigate consequences. It quite may be due better energy production and therefore brain function as well.
I'm having a fun actually.
 

Oxajil

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I read this the other day, and thought it was interesting. Didn't know training the leg muscles could have such an effect! FWIW.

For Optimal Brain and Nervous System Health, You Need to Exercise Your Leg Muscles

Story at-a-glance:
  • Physical exercise, especially strength training, is important for healthy brain and nervous system function. A number of studies have linked leg muscle strength in particular to various cognitive benefits
  • Research shows that whenever you’re unable to perform load-bearing exercises, you not only lose muscle mass, your body chemistry is impacted in such a way that your nervous system and brain also deteriorate
  • By not using your leg muscles, a gene called CDK5Rap1 is adversely impacted, and this gene plays an important role in mitochondrial health and function. This is yet another important reason for getting weight-bearing exercise
  • Weight-bearing against gravity itself is a crucial component of life that allows the human body and brain to function optimally
  • While exercise influences brain health in several ways, one key factor is related to its ability to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which rejuvenates both muscle and brain tissue
[...]

Interestingly, leg strength was found to be a better predictor for brain health than any other lifestyle factor they reviewed. Consistently, the twin with the greatest leg strength maintained higher cognitive functioning over time compared to her weaker twin. The stronger of the pair also experienced fewer age-related brain changes over time.
 
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