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  • #31
    Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Meaning you tell your CNS "you're gonna have to get stronger" and it responds. The best tool for sending this message to your CNS is called a barbell.
    I fully believe that weightlifting is awesome. But I'm not sure that I believe that the BEST way to tell the CNS that it's going to get stronger is through barbells. A few months ago, I would have agreed with this, because I think that it's important to push muscles to their limits to get stronger, and weightlifting seems like a no-brainer to accomplish this.

    But somehow, comparing the gains I've made in 2 years at the gym with weights to the gains I've made in 1.5 months of intense power yoga, I'm starting to think that maybe weightlifting isn't necessarily the best way to develop strength.

    Or maybe I'm really comparing two different kinds of strength here. I think power yoga focuses on endurance strength, which is my forte, and perhaps that's why I've made such great gains with it. Maybe for endurance strength, yoga can be a superior practice, but for other types of strength like max strength and explosiveness, barbells are superior.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
      I fully believe that weightlifting is awesome. But I'm not sure that I believe that the BEST way to tell the CNS that it's going to get stronger is through barbells. A few months ago, I would have agreed with this, because I think that it's important to push muscles to their limits to get stronger, and weightlifting seems like a no-brainer to accomplish this.

      But somehow, comparing the gains I've made in 2 years at the gym with weights to the gains I've made in 1.5 months of intense power yoga, I'm starting to think that maybe weightlifting isn't necessarily the best way to develop strength.

      Or maybe I'm really comparing two different kinds of strength here. I think power yoga focuses on endurance strength, which is my forte, and perhaps that's why I've made such great gains with it. Maybe for endurance strength, yoga can be a superior practice, but for other types of strength like max strength and explosiveness, barbells are superior.
      Strength endurance (which I believe is what you're referring to as "endurance strength") cannot exist without strength. Strength endurance is a good thing, but it relies on strength proper. Who can hold a 400 lb. bar off the ground longer, someone who deadlifts 500 lbs or someone who deadlifts 200 lbs?

      Also, strength endurance is a fleeting adaptation. It comes on quickly (3 weeks is a timeline I've seen, although I don't have a cite at the moment), so I'm not surprised at all that you were able to adapt in 1.5 months of yoga.

      Power, for another example, is also an important adaptation that is DEPENDENT UPON strength. Who can snatch more weight of the 2 hypothetical lifters above? The one who deadlifts 500. Every time.

      Again, let's not confuse the statement "The barbell is the best tool for gaining strength" with "Strength is the only necessary attribute of fitness" I'm saying the former, not the latter.

      For a better-written, more in-depth, and snarkier version of the same argument, read the most recent Mark Rippetoe article on T-Nation.
      The Champagne of Beards

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      • #33
        What I've observed of myself in the past years of weightlifting:

        1) I make steady gains when I start out with low(er) weights, but do more reps and a lot of sets, slowly increasing the weight with each set.

        2) I don't make gains trying the pyramid approach (starting with the highest weight possible for fewer reps, then dropping weight for subsequent sets).

        However, if I use strategy #1 (more reps, slowly increasing weights), the weight that I use on my last set will be HIGHER than the max weight I would have been able to START with using strategy #2 (the pyramid approach.) So clearly, I have strength, but it's not explosive strength, it's endurance. Either way, I still have 'strength'.

        Example from past experiments on leg press:
        Set 1: 90 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 2: 80 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 3: 70 lb weights: 10 reps (sometimes fewer, to failure)

        Versus:
        Set 1: 70 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 2: 75 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 3: 80 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 4: 85 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 5: 90 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 6: 95 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 7: 100 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 8: 105 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 9: 110 lb weights: 10 reps
        Set 10: 115 lb weights: 10 reps

        *I have done experiments going up to 15 sets, to see what I was capable of doing. Everytime I've used this strategy, my ending weight was significantly higher than my max starting weight. I currently put 190lbs on the leg press.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
          What I've observed of myself in the past years of weightlifting:

          1) I make steady gains when I start out with low(er) weights, but do more reps and a lot of sets, slowly increasing the weight with each set.

          2) I don't make gains trying the pyramid approach (starting with the highest weight possible for fewer reps, then dropping weight for subsequent sets).

          However, if I use strategy #1 (more reps, slowly increasing weights), the weight that I use on my last set will be HIGHER than the max weight I would have been able to START with using strategy #2 (the pyramid approach.) So clearly, I have strength, but it's not explosive strength, it's endurance. Either way, I still have 'strength'.

          Example from past experiments on leg press:
          Set 1: 90 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 2: 80 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 3: 70 lb weights: 10 reps (sometimes fewer, to failure)

          Versus:
          Set 1: 70 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 2: 75 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 3: 80 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 4: 85 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 5: 90 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 6: 95 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 7: 100 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 8: 105 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 9: 110 lb weights: 10 reps
          Set 10: 115 lb weights: 10 reps

          *I have done experiments going up to 15 sets, to see what I was capable of doing. Everytime I've used this strategy, my ending weight was significantly higher than my max starting weight. I currently put 190lbs on the leg press.
          I'm not sure exactly what your point is. I certainly wouldn't recommend either of those rep/set schemes as optimal for getting strong. And I can't imagine what you think your anecdote proves.

          On a side note, if you're going to insist on using the word "strength" to refer to attributes other than strength, we can't have a meaningful conversation. Power is not strength (although it requires strength). Muscle endurance is not strength (although it requires strength).

          Did you read the Rippetoe article? If it's too much for you, here's a page that defines strength and other attributes (most or all of which AREN'T strength, but all of which REQUIRE strength, which was the point of the Rippetoe article): 10 General Physical Skills

          And know that I'm biting my tongue entirely about the fact that you're using leg press as a single metric of strength.
          The Champagne of Beards

          Comment


          • #35
            True true.

            I grew up doing a basic, gentle style -- mostly stretching, some arm balances, etc. Then, in 2000 or so, I was introduced to Baptiste Power Yoga. I fell in serious love. Practiced it all the time and did get extremely fit.

            I started teaching the style in 2001, and by 2002, I was teaching it outside of the heat -- the benefits are basically the same. It's the sequencing that really does the trick. It's also a great foundation for moving into astanga (which focuses more on knee/hip flexibility -- and hamstrings -- in the primary series; in back flexibility in the secondary series), and then for also just moving into free form vinyasas.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post

              But that doesn't change the fact that it's the best tool we have for getting ripped &/or strong.

              Yoga is great for a lot of things, including overall healthy, mobility, possible muscular and cardiovascular endurance, etc. But to claim that it's better than progressively lifting incrementally increasing loads via compound movements a lá the barbell training programs Kharnath references is either disingenuous or uninformed.

              I think you and I are on the same side of this argument.
              The important factor here is "better than what" or "better for what?"

              In terms of overall health and fitness, yoga is truly "all that you need." The progressive body-weight movements (which is achieved through multiple processes, but the easiest one to understand is doing similar movements with different forces of gravity on the movement such as bridge pose, camel pose, and bow pose -- as an example) do provide a development of muscle, neuromuscular pathways and proprioception, strength, and even size (depends upon the individual).

              Yoga is also a form of volume training, which functions similar to other body-weight volume training (like simple fit), but is more diverse in it's movements because of it's focus on range of motion/agility (flexibility/strength combined).

              The breathing work does the cardio-vascular work that things like sprints do -- it's quite amazing at developing that area of health.

              Etc.

              *Yet* some people have other goals. If a person wants to get stronger and/or grow muscle beyond what would be natural with just body weight exercise -- then weight training is essential for that process.

              Similarly, if a person wants to get faster in their running, there are sprint-training techniques (and gait practices, etc) that will increase speed.

              Thus, it is neither disingenuous or unformed to say that yoga will give you a great deal of muscle and a great balanced routine overall with good range of motion, as well as develop increased strength over time. But, it will have a point where your body goes as far as it can with body weight/volume alone, and therefore weights would be the way to go *beyond* that. And then the question is -- how far will it go? Weights also has a point where the body won't go farther, and that's ok. That's just going to your limits.

              The way I see it is this: yoga may be all you need -- but it might not be all you *want*.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                The important factor here is "better than what" or "better for what?"
                You quoted me, so I'll respond. I couldn't have been more clear on these points throughout my posts. Better than: Everything else we've invented, ever, from sandbags to nautilus to yoga to dumbbells to kettlebells to bodyweight progressions. Better for: Building strength and muscle. (Since, as I mentioned, toning is not a real phenomenon)

                Originally posted by zoebird
                In terms of overall health and fitness, yoga is truly "all that you need." The progressive body-weight movements (which is achieved through multiple processes, but the easiest one to understand is doing similar movements with different forces of gravity on the movement such as bridge pose, camel pose, and bow pose -- as an example) do provide a development of muscle, neuromuscular pathways and proprioception, strength, and even size (depends upon the individual).
                I think the original post that some of us took exception to made the claim that yoga was superior to weight training for getting "ripped." You're very clearly not saying that. So I have pretty much no exception to this portion of your statement. I haven't seen anyone bashing yoga here. Just disagreeing about its place for making someone strong (as properly defined) or "ripped."

                Originally posted by zoebird
                Yoga is also a form of volume training, which functions similar to other body-weight volume training (like simple fit), but is more diverse in it's movements because of it's focus on range of motion/agility (flexibility/strength combined).

                The breathing work does the cardio-vascular work that things like sprints do -- it's quite amazing at developing that area of health.

                Etc.
                Yoga's fine and great for lots of stuff. Not sure why you see the need to defend it. It hasn't been attacked AT ALL in this thread.

                Originally posted by zoebird
                *Yet* some people have other goals. If a person wants to get stronger and/or grow muscle beyond what would be natural with just body weight exercise -- then weight training is essential for that process.
                Or reach their desired level of strength more efficiently. But yeah, this is basically what I've been saying the whole time.

                Originally posted by zoebird
                Similarly, if a person wants to get faster in their running, there are sprint-training techniques (and gait practices, etc) that will increase speed.
                As will being stronger generally. Because as strength increases, so does power and other adaptations. But yes, we're still on the same page here.

                Originally posted by zoebird
                Thus, it is neither disingenuous or unformed to say that yoga will give you a great deal of muscle and a great balanced routine overall with good range of motion, as well as develop increased strength over time. But, it will have a point where your body goes as far as it can with body weight/volume alone, and therefore weights would be the way to go *beyond* that. And then the question is -- how far will it go? Weights also has a point where the body won't go farther, and that's ok. That's just going to your limits.

                The way I see it is this: yoga may be all you need -- but it might not be all you *want*.
                There are tiny, minor nits I could pick in here too, but I think overall we're saying practically the exact same thing. I'm not entirely sure if you quoted me because you thought you were contradicting me, but I don't think we're looking at this very differently at all.
                The Champagne of Beards

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                  I'm not sure exactly what your point is. I certainly wouldn't recommend either of those rep/set schemes as optimal for getting strong. And I can't imagine what you think your anecdote proves.
                  I was explaining that I've tried a few different approaches to weightlifting, some of which work for me, some of which don't, and I think it's because different training methods require different types of strength. I really couldn't care less what you'd recommend since I've already found the approach that my body responds to the best after experimenting with a few different strategies and I'm happy with where I'm at.


                  Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                  And know that I'm biting my tongue entirely about the fact that you're using leg press as a single metric of strength.
                  Why would you assume that the one and only way I measure strength is the leg press? Did I give you the impression I do nothing else at the gym? I was using that ONE exercise as an example. Why are you responding with such an attitude?

                  BTW, I read the Rippetoe article in T-Nation. While it's interesting, I don't really see how it's relevant to this thread. The main focus of the article is explaining why strength training is superior to running and conditioning. No one is trying to argue against that, so I'm not sure what the takeaway is supposed to be.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                    I think the original post that some of us took exception to made the claim that yoga was superior to weight training for getting "ripped."
                    Is this why your knickers are in a twist? I never claimed that yoga was superior to weightlifting.

                    The point of the post was that I was shocked that my muscle development was noticeably better in a short amount of time as the result of doing power yoga. Since many people (myself included) tend to think of yoga as being mostly about stretching and balance, I wanted to point out that people looking to get into overall good shape (which obviously includes increasing strength) might want to consider doing power yoga as an option.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                      I was explaining that I've tried a few different approaches to weightlifting, some of which work for me, some of which don't, and I think it's because different training methods require different types of strength. I really couldn't care less what you'd recommend since I've already found the approach that my body responds to the best after experimenting with a few different strategies and I'm happy with where I'm at.
                      Sounded like you were citing it as an anecdote in refutation of something, I just wasn't sure what. What does your sets/reps scheme have to do with yoga vs. weight training for strength and "rippedness" production?

                      Originally posted by BestBetter
                      Why would you assume that the one and only way I measure strength is the leg press? Did I give you the impression I do nothing else at the gym? I was using that ONE exercise as an example. Why are you responding with such an attitude?
                      I was pointing out (or declining to point out) that it's a bad choice in the instance that you choose to use ONE exercise as an example of strength. One of the worst, in my opinion. But this is a discussion for a different thread. Which is why I said I was biting my tongue about it.

                      Originally posted by BestBetter
                      BTW, I read the Rippetoe article in T-Nation. While it's interesting, I don't really see how it's relevant to this thread. The main focus of the article is explaining why strength training is superior to running and conditioning. No one is trying to argue against that, so I'm not sure what the takeaway is supposed to be.
                      The main focus of the article is that strength is an underlying facet of all the other fitness metrics. So saying that Yoga is better for "getting ripped" or getting strong than a progressively loadable compound-movement based barbell routine is silly. That's the takeaway. And with that, I'll take myself away. I've made my ideas clear and don't have any animosity toward anybody here, despite your claims that I'm presenting information with "such an attitude."
                      The Champagne of Beards

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                      • #41
                        Getting ripped and getting strong are not necessarily the same thing. Ripped is about how visible your muscle is; strong is about what you can do with it. There are a lot of very strong people out there who aren't what most people would consider ripped--your average strongman competitor comes to mind. And some ripped people aren't nearly as strong as they look.

                        I prefer doing both barbell work and yoga--I find they are a good combination, and yoga has definitely improved my recovery, flexibility, balance, and ability to do isometric holds. I choose barbells as my strength building. But I disagree that you can't get strong doing yoga. I have a friend who teaches who can do things like handstand scorpion poses. My lifting friends can't do those. She probably can't deadlift what I can, but that kind of bodyweight strength is still real strength (unless we want to decide that someone like Al Kavadlo isn't strong...lol). Strength in moving one's own bodyweight and strength in moving an external weight are both valid. We both really admire what the other can do.

                        However, the idea that "yoga tones you from the inside out" makes me giggle. I'm pretty sure heavy barbell squats are not only working my surface muscles--anyone who's done them seriously will tell you just how much of the whole body they engage. That might be less true in terms of some of the machine isolation work done by bodybuilders, but serious barbell work also involves working every muscle from the core of one's being, or at least that's my experience of it.

                        Anyhow, these "my exercise is better than your exercise!" pissing matches get a little old. I had a great yoga class this afternoon, which was a nice recovery from yesterday's deadlifts and will make my bench press tonight feel much, much better.
                        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                        Owly's Journal

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                        • #42
                          I feel no need to "defend" yoga, but rather explain this process from a "yoga" point of view. it's where my experience lies, predominately (seeing as it's my career!). I agree that we are essentially saying the same things.

                          Also, instead of using a subjective standard like "ripped" which is as unscientific/mythic as "toned," we can use terms like 'strength gains' and "muscle size development" which of course we both described.

                          Likewise, I know this sequencing intimately (i practiced and taught it for years, and much of what I teach is a variation on it) and I know what certain aspects of this series of movements works specifically. A lot of it is focused on back strength (and of course, general strength). A lot of my clients -- women mostly -- develop a lot more back muscle than they used to carry there.

                          Now, since "ripped" is subjective, I have seen my clients and they look "ripped" for women. Even my female clients, aged 55 and older, who don't lift weights. They are getting leaner, and their muscles are developing. "ripped" for most women means "more muscle and less fat than toned."

                          As such, I would say that this poster -- BestBetter -- being a woman and seeing these results so quickly (since it is volume movement with an emphasis on developing the back body) is, in fact, seeing herself as "ripped."

                          A man, getting the same level of development and fat loss would not be considered "ripped" because "ripped" on a man implies MOAR size.

                          But again, it's a useless term, really. She could say "I'm finding myself far leaner and with much more muscle development on my back than I ever have before, since I started doing Baptiste Power Yoga." which is essentially what she said anyhoot.

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                          • #43
                            Kino Yoga - Ashtanga Yoga Awareness

                            this stuff is pretty intense...you can however also make a simple hatha yoga pretty intensive, if you e.g include many head stand variations (moving legs too the floor and up again, to the floor and up again etc.....)....

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                            • #44
                              honestly, just doing shoulderstand prep is pretty intense for most people.

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                              • #45
                                sorry :-( i am yoga teacher....just thought all you crossfit people are the really gym geniuses....the trick is just to hold each posture until it really starts hurting 2-3 min min... it activitates the very deep muscles....

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