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  1. #31
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    Quote 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.

  2. #32
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    Quote 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.

  3. #33
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    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.

  4. #34
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    Quote 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.

  5. #35
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    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.

  6. #36
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    Quote 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*.

  7. #37
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    Quote 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)

    Quote 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."

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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.

  8. #38
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    Quote 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.


    Quote 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.

  9. #39
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    Quote 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.

  10. #40
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    Quote 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?

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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."

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