HELP REQUEST: Maximising workout gains

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    HELP REQUEST: Maximising workout gains

    1st of all, my congratulations towards the team that built and support / maintain DAREBEE. The resources provided are targeted both to the novice and even pro athletes [loose use of the term "athletes" as most of us just want to get meaningful workouts] is priceless. All one needs to do is read your articles and invest a little time in self-educating themselves in bio-mechanics, human physiology and other aspects of the human body, to better target his/her workouts.

    My questions have to do with the following:

    1. Where can I find a description of which exercise affects / involves which muscle group subcategories / categories?

    For complex muscle groups like the abs, if someone wants to create their own workout program and track performance, they would certainly need to choose exercises that target all of the sub-categories of the abdominal muscle group.

    2. Similarly - unless someone enlists to a gym or has isolation machinery at home - all of us would like to know which muscle subcategories get involved with (e.g.) dumbbell flyouts for the shoulders... or military presses etc etc.

    3. The same "question / request" goes concerning the difficulty of each exercise performed.

    For instance, a push-up against the backrest of a couch would be easier than a regular push-up, which in turn would be easier than a push-up with elevated feet.

    The distinction between exercises that target a specific muscle group or subcategory of that group concerning difficulty, would allow a "progress suggestion" for people when setting up their own workouts.

    4. And while on the subject of per-exercise-evaluation would it be possible to measure energy expenditure per exercise, given proper form? Even a 5-scale relative evaluation would be beneficial in choosing one exercise over another for those concerned with metabolic rate.

    5, Given that:
    5.1 Gaining / maintaining muscle mass requires muscle overload followed by rest periods.
    5.2 Full body workouts are the best way to raise your metabolic rate and allow for alternatives over aerobic activities (running / swimming / walking).
    5.3 Modern lifestyle leaves most of us with limited time daily, to get a workout.
    5.4 Given that different exercise requirements exist for training, for:
    5.4.1 pure stamina (or endurance).
    5.4.2 stamina-of-strength (high muscle loading endurance)
    5.4.3 speed and
    5.4.4 strength, how the **** does someone incorporate the above mentioned DIVERSE requirements in a periodic workout knowing that he can't train professionally spending most of his life within a gym / track circuit / swimming pool, having relatives come to visit as he has permanently relocated becoming a modern hermit???
    5.5. From what I recall reading years ago, we humans have 3 different energy pathways. How does someone eat / train to learn to exploit each one of these?

    ...Given all five of the above points (5.1 ~ 5.5), how would one organize his/her workouts, so that:
    A. Gains/maintains muscle on all major muscle groups.
    B. Every day, all muscle groups get a minimum of exercise (how much exercise per muscle group without compromising recovery from muscle group overload)?
    C. Metabolic rate is kept as high as possible without NEEDING to incorporate aerobic activities into the workout schedule?
    D. Hopefully gets either an "easy day" or a rest day within the week.

    So essentially I am asking a-lot from a (weekly?) training program as I would like to have muscle gain/maintenance AND full body workouts. How does someone go about this?

    My thoughts / suggestions currently, are as follows:

    6.1 Stop looking at it as a weekly schedule (go for 10 day period)?
    6.2 Start grouping muscle groups into PULL (back and biceps), PUSH (chest and triceps), LIFT (shoulders and legs) with abdominal work sprinkled all over each?
    6.3 Start hitting each individual muscle group (SHOULDERS, BACK, CHEST, LEGS, ARMS) with one day dedicated to each muscle group while adding basic exercises for the non-targeted muscle groups on each specialization day and keeping abdominal work constant and varied (per day segmentation of abs workout?... Upper / Mid / Lower / Side)?
    6.4 Start using compound exercises or multi-exercise sets [*1] in each workout (perhaps this is a good way of training on non-specialized training days)?
    6.5 Alternate weeks focused of schedules focused on "pure endurance", "endurance to strength", "speed", "strength". How does that affect muscles that are being conditioned to a different discipline (speed, strength, endurance, endurance to strength) every other week?

    So perhaps the question I need to be asking is:

    How can someone train for all 5 (5.1 ~ 5.5) requirements, in 1, 2, or 4 alternating periodic schedules (weekly?... per 10 days?... per 2 weeks)?

    [*1] e.g. 1 repetition of dumbbell flyouts (lateral), 1 repetition of dumbbell flyouts (front), 1 repetition of lifting the dumbbells to shoulder level, 1 repetition of a military press with dumbbells, 1 repetition of a front aspect military press with dumbbells (arms moving parallel to the body's plane of symmetry)... Those 5 movements would be a compound shoulder multi-exercise single repetition.

    Regardless of how someone trains (free weights, isolation machines, bodyweight exercises, plyometrics, isometrics, isotonics, resistance bands / springs) I believe its important to maximize our gains of each workout, without neglecting any muscle groups.

    NOTE: Specialized training would be a workout targeted mainly at a single muscle group (e.g. legs, or shoulders, or chest, or back, or arms). Non-specialized training would be a workout targeted to all your muscle groups.

    I apologize for all spelling/syntax/grammar mistakes as also If my post is too long / complex. For those of you who took the time to read all of it... I thank you! For those that are able to provide me with educated answers to my questions, I will have to find a stronger word (most likely an action) to thank you for doing so!

    My best regards and have a great day while staying away from injuries!

    #2
    I read everything, I don't have the skills to answer your questions in depth but I suggest you first look at and browse the programs that offer structured and targeted training:
    https://darebee.com/pick-a-program.html
    If you want to make your own program, take a look at this page:
    https://darebee.com/training-plans.html
    Searching through the workouts using the filters you can aim the search and get better results:
    https://darebee.com/filter#sort=position&sortdir=desc
    The challenges are also very interesting, they are short extra workouts that help improve in certain areas or add more load:
    https://darebee.com/challenges.html

    and obviously: welcome M87

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Fremen View Post
      I read everything, I don't have the skills to answer your questions in depth but I suggest you first look at and browse the programs that offer structured and targeted training:
      https://darebee.com/pick-a-program.html
      If you want to make your own program, take a look at this page:
      https://darebee.com/training-plans.html
      Searching through the workouts using the filters you can aim the search and get better results:
      https://darebee.com/filter#sort=position&sortdir=desc
      The challenges are also very interesting, they are short extra workouts that help improve in certain areas or add more load:
      https://darebee.com/challenges.html

      and obviously: welcome M87
      Thank you for answering "dweler-of-a-spice-producing-desert-planet-inhabited-by-fremen-and-giant-sand-worms" (Frank Herbert must have been on something to come up with that plot for his books). Paraphrasing from his 1st book (just for shits and giggles):

      The Litany Of Beer (to read the original, replace "drink" with "not" and "beer" with "fear")

      I must drink beer.
      Beer is the mind killer.
      Beer is the little death that brings total obliteration.
      I will face my beer.
      I will permit it to pass over me and through me, and when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
      When the beer is gone, there will be nothing.
      Only I will remain.



      The thing, is that I sometimes prefer working with bodyweight, others with free weights and dumbells, plus I forgot to mention a key factor which should be added as point 5.4.

      5.4 Given that different exercise requirements exist for training, pure stamina (or endurance), stamina-of-strength (high muscle loading endurance), speed and strength, how the **** does someone incorporate the above mentioned DIVERSE requirements in a periodic workout knowing that he can't train professionally???

      I find the parameters mind-boggling and - if anything - I feel its being dictated indirectly to me, to spend 4 hours at the gym every day, just to say I am not neglecting something.

      So... HELP!!!

      Thank you for taking the time to read and answer this post though. I hope it helps others too.

      Maybe another consideration is having "a speed week", "an endurance week", "a strength week" and rotating... Not sure how that works but it sure adds to the "variety of exercise" requirement, doesnt it?

      Comment


        #4
        M87 , lots to digest, yet not so much.

        Your core gets a workout with the exercises for every major muscle group, WHEN the exercise is done correctly. When you exercise a muscle group, give it at least 1day rest between sessions. For example; week 1, Monday, Wednesday and Friday you work the upper body, and Tuesday and Thursday you work the lower body, then active rest on Saturday and Sunday. Active rest being something like a hike, or a walk around town. In week 2, Monday,Wednesday, Friday is lower body while Tuesday, Thursday are upper body.

        As as far as the abs go, you can work those every day in addition to the other exercises. Just make sure you work all those abdominal muscles and not just those worked with regular crunches.

        As as freeman said, you can pick the exercise for muscle group with the filters.

        Finally, to maintain the gains from exercise: be prepared for a lifetime of exercise. That is the only way.

        Good luck.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by RockNTennessee View Post
          M87 , lots to digest, yet not so much.

          Your core gets a workout with the exercises for every major muscle group, WHEN the exercise is done correctly. When you exercise a muscle group, give it at least 1day rest between sessions. For example; week 1, Monday, Wednesday and Friday you work the upper body, and Tuesday and Thursday you work the lower body, then active rest on Saturday and Sunday. Active rest being something like a hike, or a walk around town. In week 2, Monday,Wednesday, Friday is lower body while Tuesday, Thursday are upper body.

          As as far as the abs go, you can work those every day in addition to the other exercises. Just make sure you work all those abdominal muscles and not just those worked with regular crunches.

          As as freeman said, you can pick the exercise for muscle group with the filters.

          Finally, to maintain the gains from exercise: be prepared for a lifetime of exercise. That is the only way.

          Good luck.
          Hello RockNTennessee! ... and thanks for taking the time!

          I know how to rotate and rest muscle groups (which is only a small part of what science is asking me to do. Supposedly [based on the fact that our muscles are made up of "slow" and "fast" fibers] you are supposed to train both!

          That means, that workouts have to have - at minimum - a double goal (speed conditioning and strength conditioning component of workouts).

          Later on, they took a step further and said "not so fast... the aspect of pure endurance, and how to train for pure endurance is a whole new animal". Which brings us up to 3 different goals, with completely different training methods.

          On top of that, someone said "you aren't done yet, because if you load the muscle with 70-80% of what it can normally handle and THEN train for endurance, you have a 4th animal to deal with".

          Now add to that, your mandates concerning energy delivery pathways, post workout rest, my personal preference for full body workouts and per muscle group focus, real life time availability, and you have my multi-factored question I am asking.

          Theoretically speaking - from my perspective as I don't have the knowledge to answer all this - the only way to comply with what science is telling me is the following:

          For each muscle group I target, I need to do 4! different training schedules [each time or in an alternating manner] in which I "run a marathon" (pure endurance), do ropes and speed work (for speed), load to 70-80% of the muscle groups maximum ability and THEN train for endurance and finish off with a power lifting session for strength.

          And that is without taking into account energy delivery pathways, real life time limits, personal preference for full body workouts and post workout rest!!!

          So what should someone do?...

          Choose ONE of the above ways to train (e.g. speed) and focus on that? If you don't realize it already, you are neglecting all the slow fiber that makes up your muscles if you focus on speed alone. If you try to incorporate into a training session of a single muscle group just two of the four "training goals" I mentioned, you get a VERY different set of requirements, different training tools, different exercises and if up to now working out at home was an option, now it is seriously being challenged. If you focus on 3 or all of the training goals, you might as well go live at a gym, have your mail delivered there, and hope someone can pick up and deliver your laundry to your new address.

          So how does someone go about all this?

          Is a proper and "all aspects considered" approach given up to pro-athletes? If so, on which aspects should mere mortals like myself focus? What gets thrown out of the window and what remains?

          Is working out at home even possible when everything is taken into consideration? For how long can someone REALISTICALLY train for all aspects mentioned? What would an all aspect training session look like? Is it even doable?

          Do you shift your focus per week? doing "pure endurance" sessions for one week, the next one focusing on speed etc etc?

          Do you make sure each training session has at least 4 different groups of exercises that target "endurance", "speed", strength" and "endurance of strength"?

          How do you make things "do-able" without making un-necessary or "silly" compromises?

          These are all questions arising from the information [scientific facts] being fired at us. But not all of us have the time, energy, ability, equipment "to fit the bill". So, in my own opinion, someone needs to untangle the spaghetti and - at the very least - provide the rest of us with a direction for our efforts.

          Don't get me wrong RockNTennessee. I really appreciate the time you invested in reading through all I wrote as also your reply. But I have been doing what you are suggesting for years and yes, its no big deal if you choose to see things as simple as you lay it out.

          As a matter of fact though, the goals are diverse and the requirements are both conflicting and hard to implement... At least the way I see it (which is quite complex).

          Comment


            #6
            Hi there,

            I haven't read everything. You know the workout filter exist, right?

            And if you click into the workout sheets, there are text descriptions to every one of them as well as diagrams that tell you which muscles are targeted.

            I am training abs and core on my own using Darebee resources, so I am facing similar challenges. I think for the most part you need to do more research on your own: anatomy, the function of each muscles, which exercise work which muscles, etc. Say you find out that crunches work the upper abs, and you want to train your upper abs. Then you would want to find Darebee workouts that have crunches in it.

            It also takes time and effort to explore what fits you. For me, I once did an abs workout that targets different areas and I got got to know that my lower abs were relatively weak, because I got lower back pain quickly after some leg raises. Now I make myself do some leg raises every day using a Darebee challenge as the template. I also incorporate some back/ lower back workouts and hip workouts into my weekly schedule to help support abs/core activities.

            Comment


              #7
              6.5 Alternate weeks focused of schedules focused on "pure endurance", "endurance to strength", "speed", "strength". How does that affect muscles that are being conditioned to a different discipline (speed, strength, endurance, endurance to strength) every other week?
              I don't think you have everything maxed out. It's more realistic to set one of the these to be your goal of best and being good in others. Training abs and core helps enhance every aspects you mention so I think it's smart to train that area often.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by kandy View Post
                Hi there,

                I haven't read everything. You know the workout filter exist, right?

                And if you click into the workout sheets, there are text descriptions to every one of them as well as diagrams that tell you which muscles are targeted.

                I am training abs and core on my own using Darebee resources, so I am facing similar challenges. I think for the most part you need to do more research on your own: anatomy, the function of each muscles, which exercise work which muscles, etc. Say you find out that crunches work the upper abs, and you want to train your upper abs. Then you would want to find Darebee workouts that have crunches in it.

                It also takes time and effort to explore what fits you. For me, I once did an abs workout that targets different areas and I got got to know that my lower abs were relatively weak, because I got lower back pain quickly after some leg raises. Now I make myself do some leg raises every day using a Darebee challenge as the template. I also incorporate some back/ lower back workouts and hip workouts into my weekly schedule to help support abs/core activities.
                Hi Kandy! Thanks for participating and reading through my lengthy post.

                Yes I am aware of the fliter (URL: https://darebee.com/filter#sort=position&sortdir=desc) however, I find it lacking in the ways I point out in my original post.

                For instance:

                The filtering involves the workouts and not individual exercises. For those of us that enjoy putting together their own workouts [with exercises that we individually enjoy doing or find challenging or fun], as you already pointed out, we need to go and start reading anatomy and bio-mechanics to know what-gets-utilized-by-what-exercise.

                Same with the difficulty. I cannot compare e.g. crunches to situps, or bent-over-rowing to chair dips.

                Also, with targeted muscle group. I cannot see all available exercises for a given muscle group, regardless of equipment requirements and choose what I will use at home and what i will use when travelling. I have to filter 6 times, keep notes and try to compare saved webpages if I am lucky enough to get the previously mentioned per exercise information.

                Also, there is little or no distinction as to the aspect of each exercise. The given workouts are categorized as cardio, combat / high burn, HIIT / interval training, strength / tone, stretching / flexibility, wellness, yoga, which does nothing to answer the questions I have placed here concerning how to train a muscle group in all aspects (speed / strength / endurance / edurance to strength).

                I am not knocking on the unbelievable effort that people took to make this database (see URL above). It obviously has alot of love and labor in it and perhaps it suits most users one way or another (perhaps geared towards those less technically / scientifically inclined).

                There are alot of reasons, I have laid out my questions as, also "why" a per-exercise-full-aspect-evaluation makes sense.

                1. Not everyone has the available equipment (NEED to choose from all possible exercises... free weights, resistance bands / springs, bodyweight, isolation equipment, track / pool).

                2. Not everyone has the time to do things in a prescribed manner (e.g. doing squats rather than using a leg press).

                3. Not everyone cares for strength / speed / endurance /endurance to strength.

                4. Some people do care about energy expenditure per exercise (why not benefit from a high metabolism while doing a strength routine if that is possible?).

                5. Some people are limited in their abilities (injured, overweight, less flexible, less strong etc)

                6. Not everyone will fit in the 7 workout categories.

                7. Not everyone has the same goals (cardio, combat / high burn, HIIT / interval training, strength / tone, stretching / flexibility, wellness, yoga). Maybe I am genetically well-off concerning my legs, but my upper body / arms need more work... Maybe you are flexible enough, but feel you lack in stamina (endurance).

                8. And not everyone will have the same goals as the people adding workouts to this database.

                I believe that it would really be helpful - apart from answering my questions - if a database of per-exercise attributes such as:
                A. energy expenditure
                B. difficulty or relative difficulty
                C. equipment requirement
                D. aspect (strength / speed / endurance / endurance to strength)
                E. targeted primary and secondary muscle groups,
                F. etc.
                ...existed and was available to us all.

                Having said the above, I would like to stress one thing before the end of my comment:

                I am neither saying that what exists today is bad, nor am I saying that "someone" (anyone) should jump to my command and start turning out work in the direction I am suggesting.

                Personally I have nothing to do with sport science other than enjoying working out. I don't think I have the knowledge to contribute to what I am asking (I would have already started making it if I knew how... at least for myself) and I don't think that creating e.g. 10.000 workouts works better than tailoring a workout program to your own needs.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by kandy View Post
                  I don't think you have everything maxed out. It's more realistic to set one of the these to be your goal of best and being good in others. Training abs and core helps enhance every aspects you mention so I think it's smart to train that area often.
                  I agree with you to a certain extent.

                  My reservations are in the "genetic disposition" of each and every one of us, as also the individual goals we all set. For someone that genetically is relatively strong in a certain muscle group, perhaps it makes sense to aim for speed, endurance or endurance to strength. For someone similar that aims to become a power lifter, perhaps it makes sense to aim for strength training and yet another similar subject might want to train to overcome an injury.

                  Three similar individuals... different goals, and therefore different workouts and entirely different approach to those workouts.

                  The above said, I can't disagree with you that you can only be good in one or maybe two areas... perhaps "good" in absolute terms, only in one area.

                  I agree about a well trained core, but that is not the be-all-end-all of our workouts. Some people will train to overcome an injury... others to highlight a genetic asset they favor (usually biceps), others want to be as fast as possible because their main interest is martial arts etc etc.

                  No one can claim to know what goals I or you might have in mind, which is why I disagree with the 10.000 workouts and instead favor a "build-your-own-workout" approach.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    M87, I'm not sure I understand what you actually want. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you would like to have a list of all possible exercises (!), all with info on which muscles they use, how much energy they require, all the progressions etc.? And then you would use that to make your own workouts to excel in all categories you listed (strength, speed, endurance...)? That's a really tall order for anyone, let alone a nonprofit, volunteer-based organisation whose primary goal is to offer simple and accessible workouts for people who are just starting out or want to have good overall fitness.

                    To understand which exercises work what muscles you need to learn movement terms (flexion/extension, ab/adduction, lateral flexion, rotation) and the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system (muscles and their insertions; also directions of the muscle fibers as this tells you what that muscle can do or how it responds in various movements.). If you understand the biomechanics and lever systems you will also understand progressions. This takes a lot of time and effort and even then there will be compound moves in non-standard planes where the exact work of the muscle will be hard to determine (let's say curtsy squat with a dumbbell or a burpee...a nightmare to breakdown) - even both sides of the same body will perform differently. And agonists (primary muscles) are not the only ones working! There are synergists, fixators, stabilizers, antagonists...For energy expenditure, this is hard as well, as it will depend on the overall composition of your body, your previous experience with a specific exercise, the age, sex, metabolism of the person involved, injuries, normal anatomical variations (some people don't have certain muscles i.e. palmaris or peroneus tertius or they are fused with other muscles) etc. Some of these parameters change even from day to day...That's why calorie expenditure can vary up to several hundred calories from person to person. Even if Darebee did have a "rough" expenditure estimate for each exercise, it would tell you very little about your own and you would not be able to calculate anything definitive from that. I also think you may have a slightly skewed view of "professional athletes" - they do not train for "everything" and are not good at everything - they are usually better compared to amateurs, but not compared to other athletes in different fields. Their training is usually divided in seasons - when they compete, they train for that specific sport and in off-season, they deal with muscle building, endurance, balance, recovery, injury rehab etc. - but these are again tailored to their specific sport. A sprinter will not run marathons, a basketball player will not climb mountains and so on (unless it's their hobby). So my question is, what is your (realistically achievable) goal? What would you like to change about your current routine, what is not working for you? If you're looking for good general fitness you can do DB workouts, programmes, challenges etc. and if you do them all/rotate them, you will have a pretty solid base for an amateur. There are also loads of other resources on the internet, so if you have a specific goal you can find a trainer to help you with that. But to become best in all the various categories you have listed, you would probably need a team of experts and even then the results you strive for would not be guaranteed - even professional trainers struggle to find the best balance for their clients and some have years and years of experience yet their approach will still not work for everyone. Professional athletes have an army of coaches, nutritionists, PTs, psychologists and a lot of equipment (isokinetic machines, machines to measure muscle activity, rehab machines etc). at their disposal and yet sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. My advice would be to streamline your needs and don't overcomplicate things. But if this is something you really want to do, be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort and don't be attached to the outcome, as it may not be what you desire it to be. I can't speak for Darebee but I think something like this is not likely to happen on this platform, at least not in as much detail as you describe - not only is it a practically impossible task but the average user simply doesn't need it.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      First of all, BIG THANK YOU! for taking the time to answer so many questions I posted (certainly most if not all). Now, please be patient while I answer each of your points / comments / statements. What I can offer right off the bat, is that most of my question(s) are the product of misunderstanding, misconceptions, misinformation or any combination of those... But as I said, A BIG THANK YOU for taking the time to explain things to me.

                      All I will ask for at this point, is to keep in mind that I am not making demands of any sort. Just a suggestion that may or may not have benefits.

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87, I'm not sure I understand what you actually want. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you would like to have a list of all possible exercises (!), all with info on which muscles they use, how much energy they require, all the progressions etc.?
                      I do believe that it would be of great help to many users to have a database of exercises, in which it is explained what it targets primarily/secondarily, its relative difficulty in comparison with other exercises targeted to the same muscle group, aspect (speed / strength / endurance / endurance to strength) energy expenditure, equipment required etc (perhaps there are other useful factors that need to be mentioned here, but since I have nothing to do with sport science, I can't even mention them).

                      The reasons I believe in the usefulness of such a database are the following:

                      1. Injury rehabilitation or permanent injuries in which - in order for someone to continue to train - he/she needs to be able to substitute exercises.
                      2. Plateau because of adaptations (reaching your comfort zone). Once more, it would be helpful to be able to add rotations or alternatives to something you are already doing and feel you have pretty much "maxed out".
                      3. Individual training goals could be addressed (speed vs strength vs endurance vs endurance to strength).

                      ...and perhaps there are other applications for such a database.

                      [*1] NOTE: What do you mean by "progressions"?

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87And then you would use that to make your own workouts to excel in all categories you listed (strength, speed, endurance...)? That's a really tall order for anyone,
                      I wouldn't say "excel"... I would rather say "maximize my potential in those different aspects of training". As you may (or may not) guess already, I have no clue if "trying to be as fast / strong as you could and have as much endurance possible" is or isn't a tall or short order or even possible.

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87let alone a nonprofit, volunteer-based organisation whose primary goal is to offer simple and accessible workouts for people who are just starting out or want to have good overall fitness.
                      I have - again - no idea of what your goals are (primary or secondary) and if you have limitations (self-imposed or otherwise) concerning what you do. Is that kind of information provided somewhere on the website and I neglected reading it, or is this background information that involves only the people that built / maintain / support DAREBEE?

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87To understand which exercises work what muscles you need to learn movement terms (flexion/extension, ab/adduction, lateral flexion, rotation) and the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system (muscles and their insertions; also directions of the muscle fibers as this tells you what that muscle can do or how it responds in various movements.).
                      I expected a crash course in anatomy and bio-mechanics to be required if someone was to undertake this effort. At the same time though, I also hoped that things would be provided in a broken-down form, much easier to "digest" for the average user, which would only need to know which muscle(s) are where and what they do.

                      The alternative - as you suggest indirectly - is that all users finish the 1st year of med school (anatomy at least) along with educating ourselves on bio-mechanics.

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87If you understand the biomechanics and lever systems you will also understand progressions. This takes a lot of time and effort and even then there will be compound moves in non-standard planes where the exact work of the muscle will be hard to determine (let's say curtsy squat with a dumbbell or a burpee...a nightmare to breakdown) - even both sides of the same body will perform differently. And agonists (primary muscles) are not the only ones working! There are synergists, fixators, stabilizers, antagonists...
                      As I said already, I am not sure what you mean by progressions, so I cannot comment here.

                      My main assumption here is that workouts target agonists / antagonists and concerning synergists / fixators and stabilizers, the whole subject is shrugged upon and left up to bio-mechanical adapatations while working with agonists and antagonists. Correct me if I am wrong, but I have found very few exercises that target muscles with names I have never heard of (yet exist and perform valuable functions).

                      So my main eye-opener here is "NOT ALL MUSCLES ARE INTENDED TO BE TRAINED ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS... (exceptions are probably made when medical reasons arise)". This is only one of my misconceptions (that 100% of our muscle mass is - or should be - trained). But if I am wrong in what I am saying here, please correct me.

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87For energy expenditure, this is hard as well, as it will depend on the overall composition of your body, your previous experience with a specific exercise, the age, sex, metabolism of the person involved, injuries, normal anatomical variations (some people don't have certain muscles i.e. palmaris or peroneus tertius or they are fused with other muscles) etc. Some of these parameters change even from day to day...That's why calorie expenditure can vary up to several hundred calories from person to person.
                      I agree on the inability to ACCURATELY calculate / predict human body energy expenditure. However, I do believe that a RELATIVE energy requirement per exercise would be a possibility - that again, without claiming pinpoint accuracy. At the very least, a prioritization of energy requirements among exercises targeting a specific muscle group or sub-region.

                      Do you believe that, that (as a goal), is impossible or simply not doable?

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87Even if Darebee did have a "rough" expenditure estimate for each exercise, it would tell you very little about your own and you would not be able to calculate anything definitive from that.
                      This is where I have a big objection.

                      While I agree that DAREBEE (or any coach for that matter) can't tell me too much about my personal energy expenditure while exercising, similarly, it cannot say too much about John Doe, Jane Doe, you or anyone else reading these lines. Yet when it comes to aerobic programs (for the masses), or cardio (again for the masses) etc there are several workouts that claim to be appropriate for us all. This of-course is a contradiction in and of its self.

                      Either the ability to offer educated guesstimates exists (and it is used appropriately), or it doesn't. And - for the case of cardio - if what I was once told that "ANY [emphatically stressed] exercise will exercise your heart", then I see no reason why those educated guesstimates can't find their way into e.g. situps, squats, cruches, pull-ups, push-ups, planks, star jumps, bicep curls etc.

                      If I am making one or more mistakes here, please let me know.

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87I also think you may have a slightly skewed view of "professional athletes" - they do not train for "everything" and are not good at everything - they are usually better compared to amateurs, but not compared to other athletes in different fields. Their training is usually divided in seasons - when they compete, they train for that specific sport and in off-season, they deal with muscle building, endurance, balance, recovery, injury rehab etc. - but these are again tailored to their specific sport.
                      Thank you for clarifying this one up for me. I suspected that they are unable to perform at 100% peak performance year round (God knows I tried to do that for years).

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87A sprinter will not run marathons, a basketball player will not climb mountains and so on (unless it's their hobby).
                      And here is another misconception based on the information studies throw at us (or me if you prefer). One study claims that to train for speed you should do A and B... Another study claims that to train for strength you need to do A and C... a 3rd study claims that if you want endurance you need to do B, D and E and so on and so forth. So which one is "right"? In my eyes, I can't find reasons to say that speed is less important than endurance, or that endurance is less important than strength etc etc.

                      The above mentioned [speed, endurance, strength] are all aspects of how our muscles can potentially work. So where is the priority among those aspects. Who says that strength should come 1st... or speed... or endurance etc?

                      This is where I consider all those aspects of equal value and assign a priority of "1" to each and every one of them, trying to put together a training program that addresses ALL of them. Wrong?... Right?... I have no clue, and I am sure that many others reading this post will feel the same I am afraid (if they were even aware that training can be differentiated in such ways to address these aspects).

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87So my question is, what is your (realistically achievable) goal?
                      It should be apparent by now - assuming you got this far - that if goals once existed, they are about to be redefined.

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87What would you like to change about your current routine, what is not working for you? If you're looking for good general fitness you can do DB workouts, programmes, challenges etc. and if you do them all/rotate them, you will have a pretty solid base for an amateur.
                      I would like to read your reply before attempting to redefine my goals and answer this question of "what would I like to change..." / "what is not working for me...".

                      NOTE: Mind explaining what you mean by DB workouts?

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87There are also loads of other resources on the internet, so if you have a specific goal you can find a trainer to help you with that.
                      I am not sure which resources you are referring to right here. I do agree though, that before you pile them all on top of my head, it would be helpful to determine my goals.

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87But to become best in all the various categories you have listed, you would probably need a team of experts and even then the results you strive for would not be guaranteed - even professional trainers struggle to find the best balance for their clients and some have years and years of experience yet their approach will still not work for everyone. Professional athletes have an army of coaches, nutritionists, PTs, psychologists and a lot of equipment (isokinetic machines, machines to measure muscle activity, rehab machines etc). at their disposal and yet sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. My advice would be to streamline your needs and don't overcomplicate things. But if this is something you really want to do, be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort and don't be attached to the outcome, as it may not be what you desire it to be.
                      Frankenstein comes to mind: "...ITS ALIVEEEEE..."

                      Originally posted by Ann-Core View Post
                      M87I can't speak for Darebee but I think something like this is not likely to happen on this platform, at least not in as much detail as you describe - not only is it a practically impossible task but the average user simply doesn't need it.
                      Never say never... the enemy of "good" is "better".

                      Did I thank you enough for taking the time to answer?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'm here mostly to read/follow but do check out the muscle chart posters too (I think the ab one specifically helps one of your requests): https://darebee.com/posters.html

                        Also wanted to say 4 hours in the gym each day sounds like a lot (I have only been to a gym the last 3 days in a row for 2-3 hours so I'm feeling similar urge to move in there). The strength training vids I've been watching really emphasize reducing rest time, slaying your workout in about an hour, then leaving and taking a rest day (that sounds like way too little after doing darebee for a while so I'm just tuning in/watching/reading everything I can and trying things out in baby steps). It's possible (though I'm not sure how likely) that over-training could be slowing gains.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by oneironaut View Post
                          I'm here mostly to read/follow...
                          Thats perfectly fine with me!

                          Originally posted by oneironaut View Post
                          but do check out the muscle chart posters too (I think the ab one specifically helps one of your requests): https://darebee.com/posters.html
                          I know exactly which one you are talking about and I do agree its very close to what I am asking for. My main "complaint" [if someone could actually complain about something being given free of charge to them] is that there is no similar chart for shoulders, back, legs, chest, neck, arms.

                          The one that would come close is this one (URL: https://darebee.com/muscle-map.html) however, it has the following issues:
                          1. Its only for bodyweight exercises (what about iron pumpers?... cross fit trainers using ropes?...gym rats using isolation machines etc?...injured people using resistance bands or springs?... track / swimming pool junkies?).
                          2. It has some flaws... For example, "back" is just the trapezoid according to the muscle map, while several of the exercises benefit - probably more in my humble and non-professional opinion - the lats (latisimus dorsi if I remember correctly) from e.g. pull-ups and chin-ups. Similarly, somehow, the chest is inclusive of the deltoids according to the muscle map, which might be true as they are activated and utilized when doing a push-up, but certainly not all three sub-groups of the deltoid, and not to the same extent. Which brings us to the question:

                          Is the distinction valid / useful for a novice? Perhaps. But this is a completely different discussion, based - I assume - on the knowledge the average Joe / Jane has on human anatomy.

                          If you ask me, anatomy should be part of the high school level curriculum (16-18), and not specialized knowledge reserved for health professionals. And I say that based on my assumption that EVERYONE at one point or another might need to help medically someone in the absence of a health professional (doctor / nurse / other). At the very least, describing the injury and transmitting the vitals would be of huge help concerning triage and better utilization of emergency responder resources (which are always limited). Stopping a bleed-out is extremely important, as is saving someone from chocking - drowning, or being able to keep someone alive with CPR. These are all BASICS concerning knowledge and skills and I believe that most people are being conned when instead their child is being taught other lower priority subjects.

                          Originally posted by oneironaut View Post
                          Also wanted to say 4 hours in the gym each day sounds like a lot (I have only been to a gym the last 3 days in a row for 2-3 hours so I'm feeling similar urge to move in there).
                          Ahhh... you say its alot because you haven't been in a gym for 4 hours for 6 days a week for years. Once you get used to it, they will reserve furniture (chairs, couches) for you because they figure out early that there is something wrong going on with you.

                          I don't suggest you try doing that though. The gains are minimal when compared with a meaningful one hour (or even a 30 minute) workout per day. Your social life will suffer. And you wont have free time for yourself, which ultimately will contribute to you being / remaining / becoming miserable.

                          Gone are the days of gym subscriptions for me.

                          For walking / running all I need is my shoes.
                          A few basic weights (dumb-bells and a bench pretty much), a floor and a foam mat is my whole collection of "equipment".
                          And if I need to get crazy there is a playground with horizontal ladders where I can do chin-ups / pull-ups.

                          But thats just me.

                          Originally posted by oneironaut View Post
                          The strength training vids I've been watching really emphasize reducing rest time, slaying your workout in about an hour, then leaving and taking a rest day (that sounds like way too little after doing darebee for a while so I'm just tuning in/watching/reading everything I can and trying things out in baby steps). It's possible (though I'm not sure how likely) that over-training could be slowing gains.
                          "New" (for me) training method. Fresh from Paris (I doubt it, but being a fashion center, the analogy works well): speed-strength. Use 60~70% of what you can normally handle in maximum load-minimum repetitions, and perform your reps as fast as humanly possible.

                          A new direction I guess for training both for speed and strength at the same time... engaging more than just the slow twitch muscle fibers (which is why I have been raving about the distinction between the various training aspects be them endurance, strength, speed, endurance of strength, and now speed of strength).

                          For us metabolically challenged, these are significant distinctions, but I can assure you that it wasn't over-training that has been holding me back. In my own opinion, it was non-targeted training.

                          If I would offer an analogy from boxing, with the goal being to get your opponent to either go down or go home, what I have been doing all these years, is throwing punches at non-vital areas, in stark contrast with throwing punches at his abs, solar plexus and chin.

                          That said, I will wait for what Ann-core will answer / comment before setting goals or determining how to get to them.

                          Thanks for participating though!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            M87 I will try to answer some of your questions. Please note that I am not part of Darebee team or an expert so take my reply with a grain of salt, but I do have some background in what you are asking (PT student).

                            There are a lot of exercise libraries online (in addition to Darebee's) but they don't have all the things you want listed. Here are some examples:

                            https://www.acefitness.org/education...ercise-library

                            https://pro.ideafit.com/exercise-library

                            https://www.bodbot.com/Exercise_Library.html

                            https://sworkit.com/exercises

                            https://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises

                            As you can see, they are usually divided by regions, sometimes individual muscles (this is questionable unless isolation machines are used and even then we have the problem of stabilisers etc.) and some have difficulty listed as well. Energy expenditure for individual muscles cannot be calculated (as far as I know the technology doesn't exist yet) because the body works as a whole - that's why you usually only have references for broader exercise types, i.e. 1 hour of cycling, calisthenics etc. will burn X calories. There is a way to measure muscle activity (EMG, electromyography) but it requires needles being stuck in the muscles measured so this is rarely used due to discomfort and mostly for neurological issues (if a muscle works at all, not how much energy it consumes at contractions). It is not very accurate because the machine also records the background noise of surrounding muscles that co-contract with movement. The best approximate you can use is to wear one of those watches/bands where you input your age, weight, height, sex etc. and it will calculate your overall expenditure based on average expenditure for your category (not you individually). For some exercises i.e. sit-ups you could find approximates online - not for a single rep but multiple (like 100) or based on time (5 min of sit-ups burns X calories).

                            Progressions are things you list under number 3 of your original post: various push-ups for example. Push-up against the wall is easiest, then incline push-up, then regular, then decline and so on. Each one is harder than the previous one because the body's (muscle and bone, joint) relationship to gravity changes, requiring more muscle work to push the body away. That's why I said that if you wanted to know exactly how to approach progressions, you would need to study the basics of kinesiology and biomechanics - our bodies are a system of levers where the muscles move the bones and their relatonship will determine how hard or easy something is, but the "hard/easy" part will also depend on the individual - a physical worker/athlete will need less effort to perform an exercise than someone who is mainly sedentary. The alternative to studying in-depth is trusting that if you do a level 3 workout vs. a level 5 workout on Darebee, the second one will include harder progressions of let's say push-ups.

                            The problem with having an exercise-based vs. workout-based database is that for the first one, the users have to know what they are doing which indeed does mean knowing anatomy and training principles. There are university degree courses in this field (kinesiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, sports training etc.) because the subject is very complex and broad and it cannot be (excuse the word) dumbed down - there are of course those short "personal trainer" courses available but professionals do not work with such trainers for a reason, they simply don't know enough (but enough for amateurs with relatively simple goals like losing some weight/gaining muscle mass/running 5K etc.). Sometimess having a little knowledge is more dangerous than none, because you don't know what you don't know...

                            I would wager that an average person wanting to exercise does not have the time or interest to delve deeply into these topics (essentially becoming a personal trainer), they just need simple workouts to get them to move and that's where platforms like Darebee come in - the workouts are tested on volunteers and then posted to the website and the user just has to do them. Hopefully you can see why investing a lot of time and effort into developing the detailed database you suggest on Darebee doesn't make much sense - from what I understand, Darebee is all about being simple and accesible, not necessarily an in-depth education platform for sports training. But if you as an individual feel like this is something that interests you, then you can find resources to study on- or offline and create your own regime.

                            My impression is that you have the idea of human body as something rather static existing in a vacuum, which should then be trained in all different areas you mention in order to be "best". But the body is adaptive and it will adapt to what you (want to/need to) do. You ask what takes priority, speed or endurance or strength - whatever you want and train for - you can't have it all at its maximum, that's why sprinters don't run marathons. There are some sports which encompass more of these areas than others (martial artists need to be strong, fast, flexible, whereas a sprinter needs power and speed) but if you compare a martial artist to a power lifter, the second one will be stronger, because they train for strength specifically, most of the time. Muscle fibers change based on your activity (there is also a genetic predisposition), that's why I keep asking what your concrete goal is - to have big muscles like a bodybuilder, to run 10K, to lift 100kg, do X amounts of push-ups? Pick a goal and train for that specifically - there is no "ideal" training for the body if it doesn't know what tasks it needs to perform. If you don't have a specific goal but want good overall fitness (be able to run 5K, do 20 push-ups/squats, lift 20 kg etc.) then you just do various types of workouts/programs from the DB database (DB is Darebee) or other online resources like Youtube, either from day to day/week by week/month by month - the more variety the better to challenge not only your muscles but also your nervous and respiratory systems, the brain etc.


                            Damer, I am also tagging you in case you can help and provide your input here.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Ann-Core thank you for the tag and I have been following this discussion since it started. I haven't added anything because A. It is actually a really good thread with all the questions and B. I understand M87 is new to all this and the discussion, from that exploratory perspective alone is of value to him and those who have contributed and, obviously, anyone else who will come across it in The Hive.

                              M87 I understand what you're trying to do in principle. Unfortunately the body is a nested system. Every study since 2000 shows that the balance (and development) of one part cannot take place without the support of and attendant change in other parts. This makes the body a complex nested system whose components are interdependent and whose ultimate goal is homeostasis (the attainment of a dynamic, sustainable balance). To understand some of this consider the relatively 'easy' subject of strength I covered in a post before: http://bit.ly/2LJr04L.

                              What all this means is it is virtually impossible to focus on one part because that part is connected to many other parts and training it on its own may not provide any increases in performance and might even be counter-productive. For example, world-class footballers struggle with hamstring injuries when their quads get really powerful. At the same time drilling down into body parts in a system that is, quite literally, more than the sum of its parts opens up a path with no end in sight. For instance, were you to say, target sprint speed and focus on the development of quads only (and hamstrings obviously, to bring the leg back quickly) you need to look at ligaments as well as muscles and then you need to start thinking about bone density and then about anchor points and cartilage and then about circulation and aerobic capacity and then about fuel reserves and nutrition. And you'd then need to look at macronutients and gut flora and inherited microbiome. This is why most fitness goals are performance orientated (needing to feel stronger, healthier better and be able to do specific things in better time or greater quantities). The broader approach delivers better, more tangible results.

                              The goal of Darebee is to help everyone be the best version of themselves possible. We do this by focusing on exercise performance.

                              Incidentally the training technique you mentioned from Paris has been around for a long time. Competition training includes finding the edge of muscle load and then pushing it in terms of speed and minimizing recovery time in order to increase strength, power and endurance. This, popularized, is what has led to the more accessible HIIT training. Without explaining the science behind it in detail, specific exercises when combined with fatigue and change in performance angles increase the load subjected on specific muscle groups.

                              I hope my input has helped here a little and thank you both for this discussion thread.

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