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 Mythbusters Vol 3 by Nate Green

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Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 28/05/2005

MessageMythbusters Vol 3 by Nate Green

Mythbusters Vol 3
by Nate Green

In Mythbusters Volume 1 and Volume 2,
we let our panel of fitness experts identify, rant about, and quash
some common and not-so-common exercise myths that hold most guys
back from building a strong, muscular, injury-resistant
In Volume 3, Chad Waterbury, Christian Thibaudeau, Tim
Ziegenfuss, Mike Robertson, and Nick Tumminello ask you to pull up
a chair and join the debunking process.
But as any self-respecting GI Joe fan understands, knowing is
half the battle. The other half? Well, it's up to you to put
their advice into practice.

Even Arnold worked the forearms.

Myth: "Hard gainers" will always be stuck with skinny calves and
Mythbuster: Chad Waterbury
The calves and forearms are notoriously tough to build, but
they're also the easiest to build. Why the dichotomy?
If you're born with great calves or forearms (or any easily
developed muscle group, for that matter), it takes little work to
get that body part to look good. That's common sense.
Congratulate yourself for choosing the right
But the calves and forearms are often singled out. Why? Unless
you live in a frigid climate or belong to a religious tradition
that doesn't allow you to expose your arms and ankles, those
are the parts people see and notice. And because you know people
can see those exposed parts, if you're a skinny dude
you're probably more sensitive to their relative
So, here's the million-dollar question: Can your puny
calves and forearms get big?
I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that any
muscle group can get bigger. I've never worked with anyone who
couldn't build impressive forearms, no matter how laughable
the initial girth. The calves, on the other hand, are a wee bit
trickier. If they're small, no problem, they can get bigger.
But if those calves have a very high insertion point (long tendon,
short muscle belly), you're relegated to building calves that
will, at best, look like half a grapefruit on a Popsicle stick.
There's no way around it.
However, that's really not a bad look, considering the
alternative: a strawberry on a Popsicle stick.
The key training element is frequency. I recommend
training those muscle groups as much as six times per week.
Every fourth week, cut back to training them just once, to allow
supercompensation to occur.
Follow these guidelines, and you should see significant growth
in your forearms, and as much growth as your tendon length will
allow in your calves.

Shorts don't lie — if you're gonna show 'em,
you'd better try to grow 'em.

Myth: Drop sets and "feeling the burn" are the best ways to
stimulate muscle fibers.
Mythbuster: Christian Thibaudeau
No training technique is totally ineffective, provided it's used
in a smart way. Drop sets are no exception, as long as you
understand the downsides of using them — and they have a lot
of downsides.
For starters, they're extremely hard on the CNS (central nervous
system). This is because an increase in intramuscular acidity,
along with the accumulation of several different metabolites (such
as hydrogen ions), makes the contraction process much
Any time you have the ''burn'' sensation, the nervous system
must work harder to recruit the muscle fibers necessary to perform
the action required. This doesn't mean we should avoid any training
technique that leads to a great pump or that takes us to failure.
The CNS needs to be challenged, same as your heart, your lungs,
your skeletal muscles, or any other system that's linked to
your goals in the gym. But too much stimulation can lead to central
fatigue, which we don't want.
That brings me to the second downside. To add that
CNS-challenging volume, you have to cut the load in a major way.
And I fail to see where such a drastic reduction in training weight
would stimulate more fibers to grow. Unless you're a beginner,
you should train with at least 70 percent of your one-rep max to
stimulate growth. You can't do that with traditional drop
Let's say your max in the lift you're drop setting is
150 pounds, and you start out with 125 pounds — 80 percent of
your max. You go to failure, then drop the weight by 30 pounds.
You're now using 95 pounds, or 63 percent of your max. If you
go to failure again, and drop by another 30 pounds, you're now at
65 pounds, or 43 percent of your max.
So, even though you just worked your ass off, you were using an
insufficient load for two-thirds of the set. The external load
wasn't heavy enough to maximize motor-unit recruitment, and
the fast-twitch fibers — those that are the most primed for growth
— were shot after you went to failure with 80 percent of your max.
After that, you were relying mostly on intermediate and slow-twitch

The increase in acidity within your muscles will lead to an
increase in growth hormone and IGF-1 levels, which is certainly a
benefit. But I don't think that it comes close to compensating for
the decrease in loading.
What's the alternative? Instead of traditional drop sets, I
recommend extended sets, in which you continue to work even after
you've hit momentary muscular failure. They work well as long
as you use a load heavy enough to maximize motor-unit
Some examples:
Rest/Pause: Do your regular set. When you've completed your
reps (close to failure), rest for 10 to 12 seconds. Then, with the
same weight, get as many additional reps as you can.
Short drops: This is just like a traditional drop set, except
you start with a relatively heavy load, and make small drops. You
should never go below 70 percent of your max during the set. So you
might start with 90 percent, perform three reps, drop down to 80
percent, perform a few more, then finally drop down to 70 percent
and do as many reps as you can.
Mechanical drop sets: In a mechanical drop set (which I
explained in much more detail here),
you still focus on performing more reps once you hit failure. But
instead of reducing the weight, you make a small change to the
execution of the movement that allows you to get more reps with the
original weight. You can change your grip, stance, or angle of
movement — whatever makes the exercise slightly easier
without changing it to a completely different exercise.
If you're ever in doubt, just remember this: The more fibers you
recruit and exhaust, the more growth you get.

Extended sets are...taxing.

Le Mensonge peut courir un an, la vérité le rattrape en un jour, dit le sage Haoussa
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Mythbusters Vol 3 by Nate Green :: Commentaires

Re: Mythbusters Vol 3 by Nate Green
Message le Jeu 9 Avr - 10:44 par mihou
Myth: Glutamine is a great supplement for weight
Mythbuster: Tim Ziegenfuss
First, let me point out that I don't expect my take on
glutamine to resonate with those who're convinced it's a
worthwhile supplement.
I'll concede that glutamine is the most abundant free amino
acid in the body, and has important roles in muscle tissue (as a
nitrogen shuttle), the brain (as a component of cerebrospinal
fluid), and the intestinal mucosa/immune cells (as an energy
substrate). It's also cheap and pretty much tasteless, and
supplement companies have worked hard to convince consumers that
glutamine has anti-catabolic properties in humans.
But when you get right down to it, the most important role of
glutamine for athletes is gut health. If you're an athlete
competing in endurance-based sports, glutamine may help prevent
upper-respiratory infections. If you simply slam the iron, a few
grams of glutamine isn't going to do squat.
Put simply, I don't know of a single study in humans that
shows glutamine has anabolic or anti-catabolic properties that
increase training adaptations during resistance exercise. That
includes a terrific study from Canada in which subjects were given 45 grams of glutamine per
day during a six-week training program. Compared to the placebo
group, subjects consuming glutamine had no greater increases in
strength (measured via squat, bench press, and knee-extension
torque), body composition (lean mass determined via DEXA), or
muscle-protein breakdown (determined via urinary 3-methylhistidine
So ultimately, my take on glutamine and weight training is this:
If you're into micromanaging things, glutamine probably
won't hurt your efforts in the gym. But it almost certainly
won't help.

Myth: You should go ass to grass on squats.
Mythbuster: Mike Robertson
If you have the mobility and stability of an Olympic
weightlifter, and can go to full depth on the squat without
rounding your lower back and tucking your pelvis, by all means go
as deep as want. A tucked pelvis stretches the hell out of the
ligaments in your lower back, and puts your spinal discs under more
If you're part of the 99 percent of lifters who can't
squat that deep without distorting your spinal alignment, you have
no business doing so.
Not at first, anyway.
Your body should have 3-D stability: in the back from spinal
erectors, in the front from the rectus abdominis and external
obliques, and on the sides from the obliques and quadratus
lumborum. This will create a nice "weight belt" of support. Your
anterior core has to be just as strong as your posterior core, or
you'll always put your lower back in jeopardy.
The only way you're going to know how your squat stacks up is to
film yourself. Head to the gym with a friend, set up a camera, and
watch where your pelvis tucks under. For many, it'll be right
around the point at which your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Now that you've identified the problem, you need to tear down
your foundation and re-groove your squat pattern. You need to learn
how to move through your hips, load your hips, and limit motion in
your lower back. I've found the best way to do this is to limit
your squat depth and get into your "functional range."
Look again at your video, and see exactly where your pelvis
tucks. Set up a box that's slightly above that level. At first
you may not feel like you're getting low enough, but this is an
important time to keep your ego in check and focus on having
perfect squat form within that range.
You should also start aggressively foam rolling, focusing on
your glutes, tensor fasciae latae (a strip of muscle on the front
of your hip, in between your hip flexors and your gluteus medius),
IT band (the sheath of connective tissue on the outside of your
thigh), and quads. You also want to do some serious core work,
including dead bugs and the other exercises I described here ,
along with ab-wheel rollouts and variations described by Mike Boyle
Once you're taking care of all of the above, start lowering the
box over the next few weeks or months. But don't rush it. Go
for the smallest increments your gym equipment will allow, even if
it's just an inch or two at a time. Keep going until you can
get as deep as you want without tucking your pelvis. It takes a
while to get used to, but when you finish the process, your squat
will be a lot stronger.
And if you still want to continue to load your legs while you're
re-grooving your squat pattern, make sure to do some single leg
work like lunges and split squats, along with a few exercises that
allow you to go heavy and require less hip mobility, like trap-bar
deadlifts and rack pulls.

Myth: Performing Olympic lifts is the best way to build power
Mythbuster: Nick Tumminello
Olympic weightlifting is a sport, but it's not a sport like
basketball, in which you can get away with learning and practicing
the parts you enjoy without incurring any risks to your health.
It's more akin to skiing, in which you have to learn the
entire sport before you can develop basic competence and enjoy some
of the benefits. That requires some serious time and
But what are the benefits to the Olympic lifts? Certainly, they
help you develop good rhythm and timing, and teach you to transfer
energy from the ground through your entire body. And of course they
help you build power.

Unfortunately, the power you build is specific to the movements
you perform. Just because you're powerful with a hang clean
doesn't mean you'll be powerful punching somebody, or throwing
a football, or sprinting downfield.
All those movements — along with just about everything
else in sports — involves some sort of rotation. And
there's absolutely no rotary component to the Olympic
I prefer to do heavy and light medicine-ball work, including
slams, scoops, and throws. You're generating power with no real
learning curve. You just pick up a ball and go.
Another problem is that very few gyms are set up for Olympic
exercises, which by necessity are single-rep movements with no
negative component. An Olympic lifter sets up, lifts the bar,
catches it, holds it, and then tosses it back down on the platform.
Then he settles the bar, sets up for another rep, and does it all
over again.
But most guys train in regular gyms, where there are no
platforms and you'll rarely find rubber weights. Dropping
weights on the floor is against the rules, and dropping a bar down
from overhead would get you kicked out. So you're stuck doing
multiple reps, with at most a tap on the floor in between.
Think about how much work it takes, and how many additional
muscles have to be activated, to put that weight down gently.
Gravity adds a lot of force to the eccentric phase. You end up
putting repetitive stress on your shoulders, elbows, and wrists,
but with no real payoff in motor-unit recruitment. All pain, no
So, in my view, if you aren't an Olympic weightlifter who
trains in a facility set up for Olympic weightlifting, you have no
business doing Olympic lifts.

Leave the Olympic lifting to this guy.

Your Turn
Have any myths that need busting? Click on the "discuss" button
and let us know.

Nate Green is the author of Built for Show: Four Body Changing
Workouts for Building Muscle, Losing Fat, and Looking Good Enough
to Hook Up,
which is available in bookstores nationwide.

© 1998 — 2009 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights

Mythbusters Vol 3 by Nate Green

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