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  • kandy
    replied
    Damer Your last post really wraps things up for me by filling in the missing pieces of concepts. Thank you so much for your response.

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  • kandy
    replied
    So if I take ECON 101 in Fall, then I qualify to take ECON 105 in Spring, and other Related Classes in Future Semesters.
    DaphneBombini Thank you for your post. I smiled when read this analogy.

    Yea I understand, and I am already using that 12 week thing for different planning in my head, and there are different ways of think about it. I see it as a time frame for building a solid foundation of things I want to be good at, and I can definitely understand the baseline thing. I do martial arts and for those who have practiced for years but take break, they would say how they can easily get back onto it when they practice again for some time.

    I like you leveling idea. It's a lovely perspective.

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  • DaphneBombini
    replied
    Note: the following is a lot of metaphor and me "thinking out loud," not Science. I am not Damer -- feel free to skip.

    I think the reason why I'm taking "12 weeks = 'permanent'" meaning that, when I restart it, I can GET BACK to that level. in the 1990s I did a TON of yoga. (And off and on since then, but I had a few years there where it was near daily. And I'm 5'2, but back then, I felt 5'5"! My reach was definitely longer in all directions, to answer kandy anecdotally. ) So even though I'm a lot less fit now, I can always have the right form (or know the sets of alignment corrections that I tend to need), every time I restart. VERY cool that this "default" of mine helps with neurogenesis, since I feel with depression, my neurons are trying to fire through sludge. More neurons, plz!

    My husband ran in HS -- he has that as a "baseline" that he can return to, but as I've never been a runner, and I've never stuck with it for more than 2 weeks, I felt like I'd never "get it." Again, I'm sure I'm oversimplifying, but I think I used to feel that I'd need a full 3+ years, way back in time, to establish an improved baseline. That is intimidating. plus I am very bad at time travel, so I need things I can improve based on my current age and body. But if after 12 weeks of working on running (which I might try in fall), my brain will have installed "Running Exists* v1". If I take time off from running due to weather or holidays, I may take a few weeks to reinstall "Running Exists v1", instead of starting from scratch. So I can return to the level I was after 12 weeks of Running, maybe within 4 or 6 weeks, not the full 12 that the initial "download" took. And then once I'm back to that level, I can upgrade (improving distance, speed, form, challenging terrain, etc.), and every few months (assuming I increase the challenge, my baseline Running Ability gets more improved. And Running Exists keeps getting reinforced, so I'm unlikely to lose that skill 100% (barring major injuries etc.)

    Another useful metaphor, perhaps: 12 weeks is like a (short) semester. So if I take ECON 101 in Fall, then I qualify to take ECON 105 in Spring, and other Related Classes in Future Semesters. And even now, while I don't actively use that information daily, I am not intimidated by an article about the economy or business, and pull upon whatever basics I learned back then. Someone who avoided all econ and business classes may just skip reading those articles.

    *(Why "Running Exists" as my first level? You know those couch-2-5k things that start with 4 minutes walk and 1 minute run? Right now, I don't think I can run for 15 seconds. Basically, running doesn't exist for me as a viable option. )

    TL;DR: Maybe I'm old, but 12 weeks is a nice waypoint between "want results now" and "well, I must dedicate my whole life to XYZ in order to make progress and make up for not doing it while younger." Just like you may not remember specifics of college classes from 20+ years ago, the fact that you spent 12-16 weeks on that topic means that afterwards, you've had the mental "hooks" to catch and understand new information that connects to that topic.

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  • Damer
    replied
    vrsthe1 I am glad this is helping. To answer some of your questions. Consistency always gives better results so training without breaks even if it means doing something really simple like 10 or 20 push ups on a day when life is too much and other things take priority is better than not doing anything and feeling guilty about it. Which brings me to the guilty-feeling bit. It is always better to flow with things and really feel that fitness is a journey. As such the direction is forward. A day missed here or there makes little difference in a journey that has 365 days in the year and the majority of those days find you physically active.

    Having said that do know that a few days missed is a set back. What that means is that you need to ease into it again instead of think that you are exactly at the point you left off and it's ok to pick it up because it's been just a few days. Usually, when we fail to factor in the break we increase the chances of injury which then creates a real set back and even longer lost time. So, sustainable, sensible training is the best way to go for best results. I hope this helps.

    kandy stretching is a science in its own right. Basically when muscles lengthen what lengthens are the muscle fibers themselves but not the overall bulk of the muscle otherwise, as you suggest we'd end up with slack hanging muscles. There is an interesting and detailed explanation from MIT on this that you should read when you have the time. It is here.

    Neurons in muscles are the result of adaptive responses to biomechanical stress. So, although all muscles have neurons in order for us to control them (as explained here) that number of neurons can be increased, especially when using stretching techniques. This is shown in this 2013 study but we also have known it anecdotally from ballet dancers, gymnasts and martial artists who gain better muscle control through extreme stretching techniques. Better muscle control has to be more motor neurons firing more smoothly. This means that exercise, in general, and stretching in particular contribute to neurogenesis. The process via which new neurons are created. This is shown in this study here.

    When we lose flexibility because we have stopped stretching what happens is that muscle fibers lose their elasticity and their length contracts. This also allows them to save energy which is the guiding principle of every single change in the body. The neurons may not necessarily have been lost but they certainly have lost their ability to fire smoothly due to inaction. Should they be called upon they may not be able to respond properly. Think of the body as a truly organic machine in a state of constant fluidity. That will give you a better picture of how we respond to exercise.

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  • kandy
    replied
    vrsthe1 Don't worry. I didn't know you could change the title of the thread, but, hmm, I don't know what name to change into without making it sounds like a boring thesis paper. When Damer is involved, it will grow into an insightful thread no matter what the original thing is about.

    Damer Thank you again for your time and input! I find it very informative, and I am glad that people seem to find the thread interesting.

    But then it gets back to some of the early doubts I had about lengthening the muscles. What exactly is lengthening, and does it happen every time we stretch? Since we only have so much room length wise for a muscle to live in because of the length on the bone, where will the lengthened muscles part go? This might be silly, but if my muscles get lengthen every time I stretch, they should have gotten a mile longer, but I don't see any visual difference, so what's the reality?
    ​​​​​​
    Does it happen when your body rebuilds the muscle after you get micro tear like how it is during weight lifting, or simply because you stretch/pull a muscle so it gets longer, as if it's a rubber band?

    ​You mention earlier that "Muscles that have been stretched behave differently because they contain a greater number of neurons per length." Isn't the number of neurons fixed for each muscle? I like to think of muscles as rubber band, so if you have 80 neurons on a rubber band, it's still going to have 80 neurons when you stretch it. But now it sounds like the body generate some neurons every time I finish a 30 secs hamstring stretch, but then I exercised and my hamstrings get shortened again and the neurons disappear.

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  • vrsthe1
    replied
    Wow.. thats a lot of information in one thread..

    Firstly.. If possible please change the name of the thread to something that the entire thread is offering.. no offense kandy but there is just so much information and links to other discussions.. I think this one thread is enough to link to all major discussions and myth busting on The Hive..

    Fremen Sun Salutations can be used in many ways depending on how you do it.. lets say if you are doing each step (there are 12 steps) slowly but dynamically that becomes warm-up.. If one does each step with repetitions that becomes a bodyweight strength exercise in itself.. and finally holding each step(pose) statically makes it stretching..

    Now there are many ways the san salutations can be modified ( in which case they cannot be called so.. but still..) like..
    1. Tara Stiles on youtube uses mostly sun salutations as the base and adds different poses or movements to make it strength workout..
    2. Kalaripayattu uses a form of sun-salutations (or I felt so) as both warm-up and cool-down during practice..

    now I don't know if this makes sense for others but.. the 12 week training (even with few breaks) and miniature workouts do make some permanent changes..
    This was my rough plan how I worked out during the lock down due to COVID-19.. as you see I have done only 3 -4 exercises every day.. and what happened was I did each exercise before having food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as the food was never ready when I was hungry and my roommate cooks at his pace.. so I worked out while waiting..
    It does work.. at the beginning I was using 2kg dumbbells.. now I am doing Iron Born with 6Kgs..

    My question, which is on my mind for sometime after seeing results from above workout...
    1. what about breaks.. like working 12 weeks straight is really hard both motivation wise and some times life just happens..
    I tried very hard to do some workout everyday, but I ended up having to take a break of 5 days.. and restarted.. so in this case should we be looking at 12-weeks of workout continuously or with breaks..

    2. I am a kind of person who cannot hold on to a schedule for long.. but I can keep a routine and do it everyday.. like I cannot vary many exercises but what I prefer doing is choose a certain set of exercises and do them every day ( may be until failure so the progression part is included).. will this work..

    My questions may not be so good or not framed properly.. But thanks for the information and all the discussion..
    may be all this is just ranting and I have to work consistently and everything might just be clear through self discoveries.. sorry for the wall..

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  • Who knows?
    replied
    Thanks all. Super interesting thread. I’ve learned a lot.

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  • Damer
    replied
    Hahahahahaha kandy I think from now on your questions have to come with a special time-sink warning. What you're asking is pretty complicated. We have never really answered this in any detail either in DAREBEE literature or The Hive before so this is a good place to start.

    Easy answers first though: Yes, if you do bridges as you suggest, over 12 weeks you will experience structural changes in the skeletal muscles and tendons and see results in your performance.

    And yes again, you can target a muscle group and change the exercise, provided the same muscle group is targeted the variation in the exercise will not matter provided the mechanical load applied to the muscle group each (i.e. the pressure you apply) is roughly the same.

    Mastering a move requires repetition so that the muscles can form muscle memory. Note that per the article I linked to muscle memory is of two types and both are required to perform a movement to perfection again and again.

    Now stretching is not straightforward at all, not least because for a very long time we relied on anecdotal evidence, personal experience and myth to make decisions about how to use it. Luckily over the last few years there have been a number of new studies that have been carried out and they paint a different picture which answers, at least partially, your question.

    One 2016 study found that regular stretching helps strengthen bones by increasing the proliferation of osteoblasts (i.e. the cells required to increase bone density and bone strength) and it also helps reduce inflammation in connective muscle tissue. This was further supported by the findings of another study just a year earlier that found that stretching in both humans and animals helps reduce inflammation in muscle tissue after exercise by reducing neutrophil migration (neutrophils are immune system-linked blood cells) and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (cytokines are proteins that are part of the body's cell-signalling system and are part of the immune response).

    Studies that have looked at the biomechanics of stretching have determined that there are significant benefits in acquiring greater range of motion that are also expressed in improved blood flow through the muscles, increased elasticity (i.e. explosiveness) and increased strength (though this latter finding is still under investigation). A very recent study on the effects of acute stretching on muscle strength found that provided stretching is of short duration of less than a minute it can be incorporated in the warm up without experiencing ill-effects or risking injury. The long-term effects of stretching however was something that particular study didn't focus on. For that we need to go to two other studies.

    One found that passive stretching, applied consistently, remodelled muscle length which means it also changed the way muscles respond when under a large mechanical load. The other study found that passive and dynamic stretching affected the physiology of the muscles differently and that both were needed.

    Taking all this into account the answer to your final question is that stretching of the muscles, whether passive or active, increases their range of movement which means it increases the power output they are capable of delivering, leads to bone strengthening which means that the threshold of the maximum mechanical load muscles can bear now increases so the muscles become stronger because their tolerance range increases and leads to muscle strengthening by changing the fibroplasts that act as the connective tissue between muscle cells.

    Out of necessity I had to use a little terminology here so please get back to me if something is not clear. I really hops all this helps.

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  • kandy
    replied
    Damer So I suppose if I do an exercise, say bridges, with progression, 3 times a week for 12 weeks, there will still be structural changes, right?

    And if I want to target a muscle, the exercise can change as long as they train the same thing, but if I am aiming to master a move, for example squat, I will need to squat for 12 weeks. Correct?

    Does stretching apply? Of course, if I stretch my hamstrings every day, they will get loose and flexible, but what kind of structural changes can there be if I stretch them every day for 12 weeks?

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  • HellYeah
    replied
    There is quite some information hiding in this thread, where you would not expect it...

    Getting some yoga pressure, today!

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  • Fremen
    replied
    Thanks for your comprehensive answer as always Damer
    HellYeah we have to work on pressure

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  • Damer
    replied
    Fremen think in terms of adaptive response. In order to trigger it you need to apply the kind of pressure that creates a sense of discomfort. Doing anything regularly, even if it is seemingly simple or little creates sustained pressure that leads to physical adaptations. This is why micro-workouts that barely make us get out of breath actually work when applied as a daily exercise. So, yeah, everything which you do which applies pressure creates change. You just need, each time, to understand what that pressure is and how to best apply it. I hope I helped clarify this and not the opposite.

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  • Fremen
    replied
    Originally posted by Damer View Post

    1. Any kind of physical exercise, from walking to martial arts and lifting weights will only really start to produce changes at a cellular level. At that point the change is epigenetic (we covered a little on this in this discussion here). Now, "permanent" is misleading a little. Yes, it's true, do something consistently for 12 weeks and by the end of that period your body will level up which means you experience cellular changes that will make you stronger, faster, resistant to fatigue - whatever, in other words what it was you were training for. Epigenetic changes happen when individual cells undergo structural changes that allow them to produce specific neurochemicals and biochemicals that are used during exercise and also handle metabolites (i.e. the biochemical by-products of physical exercise) better. But if you stop exercising those chemical factories are then shut down because the body realizes it doesn't need them (i.e. the change due to adaptive forces we discussed here). This means that whatever gain you had made in strength, speed etc stops because you now no longer have access to those cellular chemical factories. However, were you to start up again, like start training after a long lay-off the body will respond faster than if you had never trained even if the initial level of fitness is the same in both cases. So, a person who used to train but is now just as unfit as someone who has never trained or never trained consistently will see physiological changes faster than the person who has never trained because the chemical factories he or she needs are already present in their cells, just shut down, while the person who has never trained will have to undergo that 12-week period of those cellular chemical factories being created.
    This information is very interesting, does it allow me to better plan a long distance training having an idea of ​​when there should really be changes in the body.
    Are there a time or a minimum intensity to get the changers on a cellular level? For example, push-ups and pull-ups workouts come to mind, for example, they don't last long but done every day they should work, I hope

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  • kandy
    replied
    Damer thank you for your input. It's definitely making sense with the factories shut down analogy.

    I was reading one of the thread where I asked about the ability to do explosive moves in a row for many times. The initial reason I asked was that some people seemed to be able to do what looked "explosive" to me, or some could run so fast for a long period time, or sprinted so many times.

    It turned out that the problem wasn't what I thought. The reality is that it's 9 out of 10 for me, but not for them, and not explosive nor fast for them. My physio therapist told me this when I asked him. He mentioned the Marathon champion who completed the whole thing in 2 hours, so you were basically running 20k within one hour, or 10k within 30 minutes. The runner was probably doing it in a "moderate" pace, but it would be fast for regular people.

    So yeah there's really no secret, just strong muscles, a lot of training, etc.

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  • Damer
    replied
    kandy great questions. They cover some complex issues, so let's unpack them:

    1. Any kind of physical exercise, from walking to martial arts and lifting weights will only really start to produce changes at a cellular level. At that point the change is epigenetic (we covered a little on this in this discussion here). Now, "permanent" is misleading a little. Yes, it's true, do something consistently for 12 weeks and by the end of that period your body will level up which means you experience cellular changes that will make you stronger, faster, resistant to fatigue - whatever, in other words what it was you were training for. Epigenetic changes happen when individual cells undergo structural changes that allow them to produce specific neurochemicals and biochemicals that are used during exercise and also handle metabolites (i.e. the biochemical by-products of physical exercise) better. But if you stop exercising those chemical factories are then shut down because the body realizes it doesn't need them (i.e. the change due to adaptive forces we discussed here). This means that whatever gain you had made in strength, speed etc stops because you now no longer have access to those cellular chemical factories. However, were you to start up again, like start training after a long lay-off the body will respond faster than if you had never trained even if the initial level of fitness is the same in both cases. So, a person who used to train but is now just as unfit as someone who has never trained or never trained consistently will see physiological changes faster than the person who has never trained because the chemical factories he or she needs are already present in their cells, just shut down, while the person who has never trained will have to undergo that 12-week period of those cellular chemical factories being created.

    2. You need progression in order to increase the gains you have made but not maintain them. The body responds adaptively to increased mechanical and metabolic loads. If you, for example, become great at running 5km and that is all you ever do, you will stay great at running 5km but are unlikely to get further in running 10km or improve your 5km speed if you do not, first, increase the mechanical and metabolic load (the discussion on what happens when we exercise is exactly about that). So, progression is required only if your own aims/targets also adjust as you get physically better. We could, for instance, do the same set of exercises every day for three months and we will see great results. In DAREBEE programs where the only time we have is, at the most, one month progression is required in order to accelerate some of the necessary changes.

    3. Ideally you do something every day. But there is a proviso there on fitness level, age, recovery time, sleep and diet all of which play a massive part. Again, in our programs, we spend a lot of time fine-tuning everything so each program works with as many variables as possible. In many of the studies I cite I noticed they use either 3 or 4 days training out of seven, which means they then have to adjust the load as the days go on.

    I hope all this makes sense.

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