“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
– Benjamin Franklin
I know many people are intrigued (as am I) by the protocol, and the science behind the protocol, underpinning Doug McGuff’s Body By Science methodology. During my travels over the past couple of weeks, and, in rather serendipitous fashion, I came across both a podcast and a book which offer complementary information to Doug’s work, so I thought I’d pass them along to you.
First up is a Super Human Radio Show podcast. In this episode (#325), host Carl Lanore interviews Joshua Trentine of Overload Fitness. The subject is Super Slow/one-set-to-failure training. If you’re curious as to how this methodology plays-out in someone with a favorable genetic hand, check out both the interview and Joshua’s website. Of course, you can always consider Mike Mentzer as the genetically gifted, one-set-to-failure gold standard. I would suspect that Dorian Yates leans toward this methodology as well. One thing to keep in mind here is that we’re talking about enhanced hypertrophy, and not necessarilly improving sproting prowess. But here is where it all gets very interesting to me.
If you look at the Long duration Isolation methodology proposed by Jay Schroeder (here’s a nice encapsulation of the method, thanks to Kelly Baggett of Higer-Faster-Sports.com). You’ll see that there’s not a whole lot of real world difference between it and the super-slow (or HIT) methodology. I feel like there’s definitely something to these methods, but, just like any other method out there, neither is a “one size fits all” or holy grail of training. For a specific time and for a specific purpose, though, one (or a combination) of these methods might just be the best fit.
I will give Schroeder this — if in fact he was responsible for Adam Archuleta’s training leading up to the 2001 draft, he did a marvelous job. Archuleta was, in my opinion, someone of (only) decent natural ability who trained/pushed/willed himself into a professional career. How much credit Jay Schroeder can take for this is anybody’s guess. It does, though, make for interesting speculation and conversation. I can say that having personally experimented with a Long Duration Isolation protocol, that performance of the methodology is, in fact, brutal. Was I a better athlete for having performed the methodology? Hard to tell. To be honest, though, I didn’t perform this methodology in a vacuum, nor did I keep to it for long (it’s boring as all hell for one thing). I can report that I didn’t loose anything, though, with my strength, power and speed having not slipped any that I could tell.
Schroeder contends that a muscle in isolation is not static, but is actually in a rapid fire/release pattern, and that it’s precisely the fast-twitch fibers that are targeted during the set. Now it’s difficult to tell (because Schroeder never lets on, and, to be frank, he’s a bit evasive) whether he means from the get-go, or after the slow-twitch fibers have dropped out. In either case, I do think that there is at least some overlap between these two methodologies that I’d love to see explored.
My next find is a book by the publishers of Scientific American titled, Building the Elite Athlete. The book is actually a collection of past articles, but still, it’s an intriguing read. I found the couple of articles on gene doping especially interesting. And by the way, you can pick up used copies of this book cheap — I don’t think I paid more than 5 bucks for mine, postage included. It’s a 5 bucks well spent.