I do not own and haven't read Body By Science, but I had an opportunity to listen to its author (McGuff) outline the underlying principles of his system (tip o' the pen to Richard Nikoley for providing the link on his blog a few posts back).
Long and short, McGuff's system uses high intensity and adequate recovery in tandem to create a specific response in the body and then relies on increasing weight as you progress to trigger this effect over and over again.
What I'm wondering is if there is a way to create the same continuing conditions using body weight exercises (without adding weights or vests, etc). Anyone familiar enough with BBS to offer an opinion?
Mark Sisson's approach to fitness is actually showing good results for me, and I've always preferred body weight exercises to gym work, but the premise behind BBS was pretty intriguing and I think it would be cool if there was a way to combine the two approaches.
Last edited by js290; 05-25-2011 at 10:44 PM.
No. But that doesn't mean you can't get really strong with bodyweight only stuff - it's just different strokes for different folks. As I always say - you get good at what you do. So what do you want to be good at?
It is possible but more difficult to do with bodyweight. In Bodyweight versus Weight Training I wrote,
"The biggest disadvantage to bodyweight training is resistance progression is not as straightforward or as easily quantified as with weight training.
As you become stronger and better conditioned you must increase the resistance you work against during exercise to stimulate further improvement. Resistance – the force your muscles work against during exercise – is the product of a variety of factors, the two biggest being mass and lever.
Resistance progression with barbells, dumbbells or machines is simple and easy to quantify, record, and compare over time. As you become stronger you increase the weights used – the mass – proportionally. The movements (levers encountered) do not vary significantly.
With bodyweight training the mass – your body – does not increase in proportion to your strength. If you’re losing fat your body is providing progressively less resistance, and muscle mass does not increase in equal proportion to strength (e. g. you don’t gain 10 pounds of muscle mass for every additional 10 pounds you can lift on average). To increase resistance without resorting to weight belts or vests you have to increase the lever the muscles are working against. This is accomplished by performing progressively more challenging variations of an exercise or progressively more challenging exercises for each muscle group."
I haven't read the BBS book, but I have read a few articles about it and incorporated the principle of working until positive failure into my progressive PB Fitness workouts. I've had consistent progress doing a split set once a week.
Why would you go to all that effort to follow a program that is mostly hype? Coach Palfrey is right, do what you want to be good at. Al Kavadlo has some great bodyweight material.
And yes, I did read the book. Then I actually read the studies that the book referenced. I now think of it as Body BS.
The Body by Science program is certainly not BS. Doug's studio Ultimate Exercise and hundreds like it have been using the same or similar programs very successfully for decades now. I have been using similar training with my clients for nearly twenty years now (although with more frequency and more moderate repetition cadences) and have consistently produced results for clients they failed to accomplish working with trainers using more conventional methods, including several clients who have come to me from CrossFit places in the past few years.
I am curious as to what specific studies you believe do not support Doug's recommendations (I am aware the lactate and fatigue stuff he talks about is outdated) and what specifically you believe is "BS" about the program or principles?
NOPE! Or let's at least say it would be extremely time consuming you would eventually stall with no way to make any inroads to strength.
You won't get into fast twitch muscle fiber too easily as you adapt and get stronger The book is a great read. $10.00 as an E-Book. It will also de-bunk the muscle confusion crap.
Last edited by pyro13g; 05-26-2011 at 07:03 AM.
I think it is interesting that Drew Baye comments and people still take the opposite pov.
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