Negative Thoughts: You May Never Completely Understand It (Part 4)

6 comments written by Joshua Trentine

Negative Thoughts: You May Never Completely Understand It (Part 4)
by General Tso

The following might be of interest.

Why does the body produce congestion? 

Why do we experience edema?

A theory I have proposed is that the system is attempting to shut down.  Biological self-preservation and system redundancy is circumvented by the atypical act of slow repetition speed.  In a sense we “fly under the radar.”

The stimulus is presented in a manner so foreign to the body that we stay beneath its protective margins, at least for a longer period of time.  This may also account for the protective nature some have expressed when we encounter “harsh” resistance. 

A bracing affect if you will.

Watch an advanced subject train. 

Their ability to contract and un-contract is extraordinary.


No way. 

What you think you’re experiencing and what the muscles are truly experiencing may be very different.

I often read that if such requirements were necessary, we would have died out as a species. I look at this situation from a somewhat different perspective.  Perhaps certain individuals, the survivors whose traits were passed on, did not die out because they attained these special adaptations. It was these adaptations, within the species, which in turn allowed them (us) to survive. 

These requirements, that often offer resistance to our goals, may have played a very different and important role in our survival.   Additionally, attaching a tag of rate-limiting, presents a troublesome set of circumstances that, beyond the realm of realistic training expectations, most would be better served avoiding. 

The only manner in which to establish a higher standard is to respectfully crush the old one.  The higher you go the more rarified the air. 

Don’t expect credit and don’t expect a lot of company.

I have no commercial interest in any results at this time. 

In fact I have spent tremendous amounts of my own money attempting to get some answers.  I’m not certain I care to share the results for the simple reason that most people will twist and misconstrue them to suit their own purposes. 

But I will say this:

If you truly wish to understand something, the first prerequisite is to respect it.  You do this by admitting to yourself that you may never completely understand it.  This alleviates the tendency, which too many possess, of switching from one position to another. 

Secondly, your investigation should be for the right reasons.  Boasting or attempting to be an authority is not one of them.  Because you are curious is most important.  It is from this position that my motivation starts and ends.

We require a standard. 

We must control variables so that we may draw conclusions that are worth the paper they are written on.

There are those who are working hard to develop better tools, protocols and teaching methods. They don’t take short cuts, and they don’t do it to post on forums.  They do it because they don’t know any other way to conduct their lives. It requires an ongoing day to day commitment because we (I) want answers.   


Is all this accuracy and precision necessary?  I believe it is for three reasons.  

First, we can build tools that allow us to observe and measure.  Without an exacting standard of performance, we compromise both. 

Second, each person represents an experiment with an N of one.  Each person is their own control.  This produces serial single subject studies; the compilation of which produces group data. From these data we can produce accurate measurement despite individual differences.

Thirdly, when prescribing medicine, physicians take into account age, weight and medical history of the individual, in addition to their medical symptoms. 

What are we taking into consideration?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Scott Springston February 28, 2011 at 11:39 am

I think I’m understanding a tiny bit of that you are saying. Going slower sneaks by the congestion to allow more inroad so to speak but maybe you can explain better what exactly you mean by the term inroad. There seems to be a large discrepancy in the meaning of that term.
Also remember that respect has to be earned. It’s not a given. Nobody in their right mind respected Arthur Jones until he gained their respect by his actions and words. The same goes for any form of exercise. To respect something you first have to have a reason to respect it, be it slow reps, or fast reps or doing chins while spinning a hoola hoop around your waist, ha ha..


avatar Scott Springston February 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

This talk of congestion is throwing a monkey wrench into my idea of what is a good workout, ha ha, because all along I have strove to get as good a pump as possible from each set vrs trying to avoid it so I am most anxious to see more on this thinking. The closest I can remember seeing anything like this out of the REN box is watching Kevin Levrones workout where he does around 4 sets of about 4 to 6 reps with very heavy weight and doesn’t go to failure. He’s lifting very heavy weights but it seems he’s not pushing for a good pump, just deep inroad. I’m guessing the REN-X vesion of this is to get the same or more load on the muscles but do it in one set only by concentrating very intensely on each rep so that 4 sets are not needed?


avatar Joshua Trentine February 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm


RenEx produces a FAR superior and more predictable “pump”, one that won’t interfere with the set.

Anything beyond one set would not be possible without a huge compromise.

I know you are chomping at the bit , but I will cover all of this in an upcoming article.


avatar Chasbari February 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm

One set today on three exercises and the post workout pump was more than the “old way” of doing things. .. and I still have major form issues throughout. Old habits die hard. Three exercises lasting less than a total of ten minutes and the post workout effect is profound. As fatigued as the muscles feel, I don’t feel systemically exhausted. Recovery now feels like a distinct possibility as a result of stimulus instead of trying to endure overwork.


No way.

What you think you’re experiencing and what the muscles are truly experiencing may be very different.”

So true.



avatar David Fellenbaum February 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm

RE; variables :

Is nutrition part of the ‘raw materials’ in the equation, or part of the ‘internal structure partly known’ ?

I would presume metabolic rates would have to be read before during and after the output or ‘Y’.


avatar Joshua Trentine March 1, 2011 at 1:11 am

Yes, nutrition would be interchangeable with raw materials. Metabolic rate would be a way to objectify the “Y”, although it isn’t clean because a number of variables can also cause variance in metabolic rate when evaluating the process, besides increased muscle mass (chronic changes) or meatbolic work (acute changes). A more practical application is to subjectively evaluate oxygen debt on the output side and quality and timing of the food supply on the input side, as it will have a very big impact on your output.

The easiest way to look at the diagram is with the Basic Biological Model for any adaptive response.


The variable control is the nature of the stimulus, it is the process and how it’s applied (the things we do as instructors) the other things may effect how way well we can create the stimulus or how well it ‘takes’.

Obviously there is a lot going on and much that can effect the process, this is all the more reason why there must be strict control over the variables that we can control as instructors if we are to make any evaluation of our training system.

Good trainers control as many variables as possible.


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