Structual Strenght?

Everyone is familiar with the term “Anatomical adaptation phase” and its importance, but has anyone questioned its underlying factors?
Why do we have(?) to do those 12-15RMs, or RE training with our auxilary lifts? Why do begginers need to pass thru this zone?

I found one interesting quote in Kurz (2003):

Question: Why do you advise doing long sets of exercise with low resistance as a preparation for low-repetition and high-resistance strength exercises ans isometric stretches?

Answer: My recommendations increase the structural strenght of the muscles so they are less likely to be excessively damaged by strenuous exercises. (Excesive muscle damage announces itself as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or a muscle strain, even a complete muscle rupture.) The structural strength of a muscle is determined by the strength and cross-sectional area of the slow twitch muscle fibersand by the strength of the conective tissue within the muscle. Slow-twitch muscle fibers have relatively greater structural strength than fast-twitch fibers, especially the fast-twitch fibers with low oxydative capacities (Friden and Lieber 1992; Lieber and Friden 200). It takes more force to stretch, and ultimately to rupture, the slow-twitch fibers than fast-twitch fibers. This is because the slow-twitch fibers are smaller than fast-twitch fibers and have greater ratio of cellular scaffolding to the contractile elements (which are built of long, thin proteins that are easy to tear).

Endurance training, that is, doing many repetitions per set against low resistance, increases the structural strenght of slow-twitch muscle fibers (Gleim and McHugh 1997). Such training also increase the structural strength of the connective tissue within the muscle, probably through the anabolic action of hormones that are delivered to the muscle with the increased blood flow (Tipton et al. 1975). The connective tissue damage is considered one of the cause of delayed-onset muscle soreness (McArdle, Katch and Katch 1996)

Any thoughts? Is this another explaination of tempo + high rep medballs training in sprinters?

Kurz, T. (2003). Stretching Scientifically. Stadion

that has to be the crapiest explanation for an already illogical training concept. we are gunna train the slow twitch muscles becasue those are structually stronger than the fast twitch but we are doing this so later on we can use fast twitch and oh by the way our sport depends on the use of fast twitch muscle fiber. now duxx dont take this as attack cause i know you are just posting it for discussion, and your a smart guy ive read some of your great posts. the idea that a smaller fiber is stronger than a larger one with more myosin and actin is a joke because structual weakness is gunna come about from a muscles inablity to absrob force eccentriclly or concentrically (yes a muscle can absorb force concentrically, equal and opposite directed forces and all). the reasoining behind that quote is completly crazy. i believe that if you train the body properly it will take on the porper proportions that our necessary to carry out a a given task, i believe alot of people get inot trouble when they attempt to get larger by training individual muscles instead of movements , but i know a lot of you will disagree.

I think the main reasons for beginners using relatively high reps is to get some volume in to learn the lifts, and avoid risk of injury due to bad form with relatively heavy weights.

Beginners may get the same gains in strength from these high reps as they would if they were to use lower reps, so it may not be better to use lower reps.

I’m not sure he’s right about DOMS being muscle damage, aren’t there a few different theories about what DOMS is? I can’t comment on the rest of the quote.

I don’t use such a phase when returning from a layoff. It hasn’t given me problems yet.

I think a big portion of it is building tendon strength.

i believe if the muscles are weak then the force generated by outside sources will be transfered to the tendons and ligaments and hence you get injury, if the muscles are strong enough (in the right way) then the muscle disipates the foreign tension especially in the case of eccentric contractions.


I am glad you reacted that way, because it was strange for me too, and this is why I posted it here for discussion! BTW thanks for kind words! You seem like a bright guy too :smiley:

What is really happenning under the “Anatomical adaptation phase”? Does this have to do anything with the structure? I agree with JimboUKdec’s opinion!

I believ that “Anatomical adaptation phase” may have more to do with a good neuro-muscular coordination and skill learning than with structure development, altought this is happening too… Again, when I was starting lifting before 1,5 years, first couple of weeks of “anatomical adaptation” I believed that I am increasing nothing, just allowing my body to express its normal, altought hidden/latent, strenght.
Muscle has numerous motor units (MU), and its fibers are disperesed in the muscle. So, how the CNS recruits those MU, how it coordinate various muscles (agonists, syenrgists, antagonists, stabilizers) in a given movement is maybe the most important aspect of “anatomical adaptation phase”. Using lighter weight for greater volume (not neccesarily larger number of reps in a given set!!!) will teach this action. Hitting max weight with poor coordination, proprioception (in slower movements), anticipatory postural adjustments etc, may lead to injury. Muscles adaptation looked in isolation, as connection tissue improvement, may have very limited importance.

Actually, structural damage may happen if CNS recruits “wrong” MU in a wrong time… for example if a only one portion of a muslce is recruited (this is depatable, because I stated that fibers of particular MU are dispersed in the muscle), then the whole force is distributed on only one cross section are of the tendon and CRAAAAC

yes there is a lot of theories behind DOMS, but it seems that there is cell membrane dammage in muslces and maybe connection tissue around muscle.

Hmmmm… I would not agree here, because if you look to the muscle model (force gen, paralel & serial component & viscosity component) tendon is attached serially to muscle belly, and thus the forces on them are the same. Look at this as two springs connected serially. The more pliable one will stretch more and absorb most of energy. Tendon is basically more stiffer than muscle, and thus strecth less. If muscle is week, then he is going to stretch not tendon! I believ that tendon or tendon junction breaks due greter strenght of muscle compared to tendons!

I always thought AA phase was simply a “break in period” after being off training for some time. Why 12-15 reps why not 3 sets 4-5reps with short rest? What specific changes occur when using 12-15 rep ranges at the structural level?

when you say strong in your last point we have to all realize this is a very subjective term, you could be strong as all hell but still unable to express the strength necessary to absrob force. what it really boils down to is being able to recruit your MU in the proper fashion and the right time and right velocity. remmeber everytime you take a stride while sprinting your leg has to absrob upwards of 6 times you body weight. so if you are a 100 lbs sprinter one of your legs will absorb a force around 600lbs for a fraction of a second (peak impulse) this is far far far more than your could do with weights. well i could be wrong, how many of you out there can do one legged squats with 6 times your bodyweight.

I like to read Kurz’ stuff but I have to disagree with the statement Duxx quoted from him. Duxx, good job in posting this, it’s a highly controversial statement.

Anyone who claims to know why soreness proceeds some movements is a liar. I remember I said in one of my last posts that a lot of exercise phys is theory. Now, with that said Kurz is a nasty athlete, and his methods seem to work for martial arts.

I personally think having an AA phase is garbage. In regards to energy output, I believe you are deducting energy from a pool that could be used to train speed. I don’t see why the structural components at an early age cannot be developed from high tension movements directly related to the sport an individual is trying to train.

I would even surmise that isometrics would be superior to high repetitions in developing stability and structural integrity.

I don’t understand his statements on muscle fibers in relation to force development or resistance to tearing. I always like to take a neurological approach to muscle contraction rather than a muscular approach.

True, high repetition work does promote blood flow, but that is what our tempo sessions are for. It makes no sense to do high repetition work in an isolated movement, or one containing movements contrary to our sport.

I thought an AA phase was the same as the general preparation Phase. No?

Quick, the first person I heard using the term “Anatomical Adaptation” was Tudor Bompa. I think in this context Kurz is referring mostly to doing high repetition movements within the realms of isolation for a particular muscle group. Stating that a base of structural integrity will be reached through high repetitions doesn’t really make sense.

One circumstance where I believe it could make sense is if he is talking about higher repetition movements within the realms of ones own sport. Say, a long-to-short type program where the longer distance would create blood flow, build capillary density, and develop buffering enzymes amongst other effects.

Duxx, under what section was the original comment made in Kurz’ book. That might help shed light on this statement.

You are right,but you are forgetting on the couple of things in your example:

  1. Leg is almost “straight” - so there is little torque expressed on the joints (due short moment arm on them of GRF). There can be great joint reaction force, but nothing extraordinarry bigger than in normal movements like squats, because joint reaction force is mainly due muslce action not external forces.

  2. Mucle pre-contraction which creates active muscle stiffness and thus muscle is very stiff for extension, and thus generates great forces when stretched. Proprioception (as you have pointed out couple of times in your posts) is very slow to help prevent injuries in this kind of actions. Like Charlie stated, what you did prior ground contact is actually more important than what you “try” to do during it!

But this is another subject, and I believe that we don’t have any major disagreements on this James!

You are right velocegatto. This question/answer is on page 148. He is commenting about pre-requsites for isometrical stretching (high isometrical contraction of strethced muscle in stretched position, and the relax, simmilar to contract-relax PNF technique but nearly maximal and prolonged to 30sec). He points out that flexibility (to do splits etc) is mainly limidet by strenght and neural factors, if the hip joint is not limited structurally…
Here is another quote from the same book from pages 49-50, regarding Readiness for mentioned isometrical stretches

*If it looks right it flies right?
*Less competitive for CNS resources.
*Confidence for beginners?

what resources are those exactly?

Since his name came up . . . Not that I would ever advocate it, but for you torrent fans:

Thomas Kurtz Stretching Scientifically Video:

Production sucks, but has some ‘great’ 80s tunes in the background. Haven’t had a chance to watch the complete thing, so I can’t really comment on the material.

I also dislike his approach to stretching the spine… He stated in the mentioned book that it is detrimental to stretch ligaments, but after saying that, he shows some great isometrical and dynamical strethces for the spine (flexion, extension, rotations)… My spine is really great since I avoid the most stretches to it…
Svass, thanks for the link but it is too big for my connection… I will tell my friend to download it!
Anyway, I have Science of SPort training from Kurz, didn’t read it yet, but preparing :slight_smile: What do you guys tink about that book???

I thought it was an interesting book. It was very thought provoking…especially since there are basically no images in the entire book…lol. The book contains some good definitions and basic examples. If I remember correctly, it covered a very wide range of subjects. It has interesting stats, such as GCT’s and reflex times that I remember off the top of my head.

I thought it was a good book to keep as a reference. A lot of his theories run contrary to some of Charlie’s, but I still like the book.

Have a read of the CNS thread or Zatsiorsky’s book re max effort method.

i seen those exact quotes in charlies book.