Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weights, TRX and Brad Pilon's Anabolic Again - fascia-listic

There's a theory that stretching the fascia is a way to support hypertrophy. It's sort of loaded stretching with opening up the wrapping around our bod that helps keep things together under the skin. Now, i don't know what the evidence is to support this theory, but i think i've experienced it. Feels kinda good. How'd this happen? By a happy side effect of enjoying a good e-book.

Brad Pilon (eat stop eat guy) got himself an Elite Fitness Rack and a stack of books to figure out how to beat his "i'm an experienced lifter and have anabolic slowdown" plateau with his "anabolic again" program.  Now me, i got the book initially just for the research value cuz i like Brad's brain. And the theory of the approach is really sweet. As i started looking through the weekly programs i thought heck, i know i'll get stronger, this is different, and seems cool and safe.

So what the heck? i'm coming back from a shoulder tweak, have a long history of craving hypertrophy, and Brad's thesis is, in part, that you don't have to super eat to gain mass, and even a bit of mass makes a big difference (let's see the photo of that 1 pound steak again, brad?)

Now here's what really turned me onto this program, and it's not obvious. It's that the workouts move between the big bar and straps. A lot of the moves are standard things like bench presses and curls in the upper body work. But then there's strap rows. And many things to do with straps. I don't have straps. I don't have a rack on which to put straps. BUT i do have a TRX. And i like my TRX, but i have never blended a TRX with a weight workout.

I am SO SORE. in a good way. and ya, i really get that DOMS is not a sign of anything other than lack of familiarity with the move or load (which could be construed as a bad thing like heh loser why is this triggering you?) But here's the thing: moving between weight work that's compound moves but really stable, and then going and doing strap/TRX work that is not stable - requires more other little muscles to stay stable - and heh if you're doing tricep extensions by straightening out your arms while lying forward into said straps -well, my abs are sore over the full sheet - i feel like not only did i hit the abs, but the saranwrap of the body - the fascia - has been profoundly changed.

Seriously, getting at the fascia with a loaded stretch (as per left in these strap chest flies) is a kind of hypertrophic technique in itself. This belt work with the weights could be a potent factor. We'll see. 

Is this an experience that everyone has with a TRX? for me this is new - and i do like going from stable to sensible not quite so stable, and i gotta say i feel sore in ways i haven't felt sore before - which suggests that muscles are getting worked in unfamiliar ways. And that's interesting.

So, so far (like one week) i really am digging Brad's program, and here's to blending strap work with weights. Solids and curves. Nice. Core without thinking about it. And lots of implicit plank work in there too.

If you give Brad's Anabolic Again program a go, leave a comment please. If you mix weights with straps/TRX's, lemme know.


Anonymous said...

It's been years since I've actually read this, but as soon as you talked about fascial stretching and muscle growth it came to mind:

dr. m.c. said...

Samuel, thanks for the ref.

That's AWESOME to get some sources. Kinda concerns me there's only really two. from some time ago.

and just one note on the author's claim

it reads "The methods
discussed here are extremely painful, and only an athlete with the mentality of a
warrior will have the guts it takes to apply the following principles!"

there is NO NEED to move into pain for performance effort here or for fascial opening.

Really really glad though to have a reference to where this started which is John Parillo.

Thanks again Samuel - that's great

still don't know if that's been shown to enhance muscle hypertrophy, but rather than going for pain, fascial movement can feel lovely.

it's about threat: if there's pain the bod isn't happy; do something else.

Steven Rice Fitness said...

I'm not sure about the fascial stretching bit, but suspension training is definitely a surprise core shredder. I tried one arm pushups(at an angle) with the other hand rowing a small KB and my ribs hurt for days.


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