Friday, June 01, 2007

Some gems from the late Dr Siff


Been going back and re-reading Supertraining by the late Dr Mel Siff and am even more amazed than the first time I saw this monster. Supertraining is the bible of the scientific analysis of strength training methods and practices and Dr.Siff was every bit the genius for writing it.A real deal guy who lived as a multi sport athlete and an intellect of the highest order.
Someone should be teaching a course on training for strength, sport and fitness using Supertraining as the only course text. It would be a year long course,at least. Even now reading through it again it is daunting.
The density of information is not to be believed.
Name a topic or aspect of athletic,fitness or rehab training and Siff has thought about it, analyzed it, corrected it and wrote about it! From the physics,biomechanics,physiological and neurobiological aspect of sport and training Siff was into it at the highest levels.

An excerpt:

" The sequence of recruitment of muscle fibers by exercise also has important consequences for training. The ST( type 1) fibers are recruited first for muscle tensions up to about 25 %, the FTa( type 2a) are recruited next and the FT ( FF or Type 2x) fibers last, as the intensity of the activity increases towards a maximum or as the ST fibers becomes seriously energy depleted. Thereforeif the intention is to train FT fibers for a particular sport, it is vital that high intensity training be concentrated upon.

Further research reveals that this high intensity is not necessarily dependent on on the use of 1 RM( 1 repetition maximum) or near 1 RM loads, but the degree to which the relevant muscle fibers are recruited during the effort.In this resepct, the terms fast twitch and slow twitch do not necessarly mean that fast movements recruit exclusively FT fiber and slow movements ST fibers.To analyze the involvement of different fiber types, it is vital to determind the force that needs to be produced. If large acceleration of the load is involved, Newton's Second Law of Motion decrees that the resulting force will be large. Thus, the maximal force generated from the rapid accleleration of a 100 kg bench press easily can exceed the maximal foce produced during a slowly accelerated 150 kg bench press.

Both a small load accelerated rapidly and a heavy load accelerated slowly strongly involve the FT fibers.Likewise,expsolsive movements rely heavily on the action of FT fibers."

Dr Mel Siff Supertraining Chp 1.12 page 59/60

No wonder Louie and Dr Siff got along so well.

9 comments:

Aikibudo said...

If I am understanding the quote correctly, that would explain why high rep training can help increase strength - as early recruited fibers fatigue the others take over and eventually you are near your limit, recruiting as much of the muscle as you can.

Later in a situation requiring more immediate contraction of lots of fibers (heavier load) your body has some experience recruiting all of those fibers, just over a longer time frame (set0, but it can do it.

Mark Reifkind said...

aki,
I think the key element Dr Siff was getting at that regardless of hi or low reps the key is high force production to activate FT fibers.
so the high reps are done with maximum force possible for the time duration more FT would be recruited and overloaded.

Royce said...

Kinda squashes super-slow training doesn't it!

Mark Reifkind said...

yes it do.

Royce said...

There is only one thing that has prevented me from reading it. My IO is not sufficient enough!!

Mark Reifkind said...

it is a slog, thats for sure.but every sentence has great meaning.

Geoff Neupert said...

A daunting task in deed. I've read the whole thing cover-to-cover only once. I couldn't stand to do it again. Periodically I reference it for certain topics. That's a great gem you pulled out, Rif.

Mark Reifkind said...

geoff I felt( and did ) the same. Now I want to take my time and read it bit by bit. thats how I got that gem yesteday.

Dan said...

Kind of validates the idea of high rep training builds strength as Matt Furey asserted.I think this often commonly thought .No No I'm not a number one fan,Please don't shoot me for bringing up Furey,I just think that he has on occasion some positive ideas,and was intrigued by some of his assertions and experiences, maybe there's some relation to all of this.Brings to mind reading an article by John Mckeen,as well, called, "on constant weight training" sounds like this might tie in to this even more.
Dan