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Frequency Versus Intensity

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  • Frequency Versus Intensity


    Quick question for the older athletes.

    I have joint injuries on my right side but work at home so can easily do 5 - 10 minutes exercise (Strength training dips - push ups - pull ups etc) an hour 4 or 5 times a day. I had a Road traffic accident reducing mobility in right knee and elbow) and have been working 1 legged squats and pull ups to about 60 -70 percent of my maximum around 6 times a day once or twice a week. Probably less than 5 minutes a go.

    I understand the whole low intensity moderate duration argument and the high intensity short duration approach to primal fitness. But has any one here tried frequent, Moderate intensity, short duration (5 minute) strength work outs. Maybe 5 - 7 a day ? I have minimal stiffness and appear to be making functional gains - so far no injuries. Due to the orthoepaedic problems I have, 'lifting heavy things' seems to aggravate damaged joints.

    I seem to recall Pavel talked about greasing the groove. Does anyone know anything about this approach.

    Just wondered what folks think - to me at least this seems to fit a Grok type approach ?

  • #2
    I'm currently doing this in the form of push-ups ... at work I'll frequently use small breaks to do 10 push-ups. Too bad that we don't have pull-up bars there ...

    I've not been doing it for too long, but I'm enjoying it and I would say that it definitely helps. IMO the key is to make this a moderate activity - 10 repetitions with like 2/3 of the resistance that you would normally use in high-intensity strength training.
    MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)


    • #3
      frequency v intensity

      The draw back is its inconvienent. I can only do 4 pull ups a time. But on a "lifting heavy things" day, I can achieve 4 an hour on 6 occasions. Plus 1 legged push ups or kettlebell swings - highly varied and done at a level I am comfortable with.

      What I dont know is whether this is a better way than the more conventional all at once high intensity short session Mark reccomends.

      Anyone tried it consistantly ?

      Would you reccomend it ?


      • #4
        ^ for strength training there should definitely be as little time as possible between the sets (more like 1-2 minutes, the shorter the better - ideal would be the minimum time your muscles need to recover so much that you can repeat the set).
        MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)


        • #5
          To protect your joints have you considered static holds?


          • #6
            Matt Metzgar just did a piece on "not training to failure" and why he believes it's superior to the body by science approach:



            • #7
              ^ That's a very nice nugget of information! :-) I wasn't 100% whether failure or near-failure is desirable. I want to lift heavy things two times a week, so I'll try to avoid failure from now on. It can be difficult sometimes - I guess you need to develop a feeling for training intensity and "impending failure".
              MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)


              • #8
                if i try to do anything to failure i injure myself....i have horrible bones an joints so my 'moderate' is only as much as i can do without joints popping, muscles pulling, knees sucks but i work with what i got- i cant *ever*sprint or run again according to my ortho but i am oping with patience and time and good nutrition....i'd like to think anyting is possible
                Get on my Level


                • #9
                  frequency V intensity

                  Thanks guys - I have tried static holds and some isometrics to reasonable effect. I was interested in functional gains as I have become unbalanced due to ortho injuries on my keft side - namely shattered right knee and elbow.

                  I have found suspension training and ring work good but am experimenting with frequent strength training (hourly) for 5 minutes or less and never to failure. I wondered if anyelse has tried simmilar.


                  • #10
                    Aquanaut, I immediately thought of Pavel when I read this. I don't think that's a bad way to go. When reading the advice of others, it's important to consider what their goals are. I'm not extraordinarily familiar with exercise science, but it would seem to me that what you're doing is great for building strength, but may not be "ideal" for building maximum muscle. Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about building large muscles, but focus more on functional muscles. It sounds to me like that's just what your doing. You say that you aren't sore, or worn out, so I don't see a problem with what your doing.

                    One thing that does concern me (again, I have no special training when it comes to this stuff) is that it sounds like you might be working your non-injured parts more than your injured parts. I'd be careful with that. I'm trying to fight all of the muscular imbalances that I've created over the years. I spent so much time doing physical labor while working around my injuries that I have some super strong parts, and some super weak parts. Do you work the injured side then match what you can do with it on the good side to prevent imbalances from developing? You might want to consult a physical therapist for advice.


                    • #11
                      I think that a pattern of sparse, but intense workouts is quite primal ... but I doubt that there's a huge benefit in terms of recovery and/or stress reduction in adding such long pauses. Have you considered to arrange your exercises like a circuit? One set of squats, one set of push-ups, one set of pull-ups, short pause ... then start over again. If you don't go to muscle failure, I think this is the most effective type of strength training ... both considering total time and effectiveness. You can also vary it a bit ... I frequently change sets - more repetitions/less weight, less repetitions/more weight, static holds, slightly different angles or positions with the push-ups or pull-ups etc..
                      Last edited by MikeEnRegalia; 05-11-2010, 07:48 AM. Reason: typo
                      MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)


                      • #12
                        Frequency V duration

                        Hi Guys especially All beefpate and MikeEnRegalia

                        Thanks for some great suggestions. I am not after big muscles - I really like the primal/functional approach. I have become really weak on one side and sought to address this imbalance with strength training.

                        A couple of great suggestions came up that I will experiment with.


                        • #13
                          If you are doing multiple reps thoughout the day, then odds are you are either
                          a) not providing enough effort at the end of the sets to stimulate muscle growth or
                          b) setting up the potential of overtraining.

                          This summary of a study refers to the necessity of effort for stimulation of muscle growth.


                          "Greasing the Groove" is about synaptic facilitation. Improving the nervous conections. Two good atrticles are:



                          BBS is a concept developed to reduce wear and tear on the joints and to minimze time required to keep in shape.

                          Synaptic Facilitation is a method that requires one to maintain a fairly active protocol or risk seeing reductions in performance.

                          Both are designed to provide different improvements in the body.

                          I my own thoughts is the application of training to maximum effort provides many health benefits and promotes growth. Shovelgloving is an excellent protocol to "grease the groove". I like it because it provides the opportunity to improve synaptic facilitation in a closer to real life muscle application.

                          This last article is about a program that applies both in a weekly routine. (aerobics is about synaptic facilitation)