We kick off today’s episode with a small fix to an answer we provided during episode #61 Q&A regarding adding additional sets as a method of increasing stimulus. We also touch on RP’s “Compound-Isolation Sandwich Training” and decide whether cycling carbohydrates during periods of overfeeding has applicable utility.
In coordination with the upcoming Evolved and Paragon training cycles that Bryan provides, we cover what you need to know about metabolic training, whether systemic or local. And how these might be incorporated into your training.
1. Diet starting
2. Metabolic Cycle (discuss later in the episode)
3. Blood Work / DEXA
4. Mouth procedure
5. Nasal breathing
6. HRV questions/insights
*Random readings super low; scheduled readings super high
7. Interesting tidbit on Casein absorption speed (from SBS)
1. Tweaked something in my back last Wednesday, haven’t trained since.
Oddly, the most painful thing is being seated
2. Had an opportunity to get paid to give a presentation to a team of nutrition coaches.
3. First time as a paid educator.
The correct URL for Beardsley's post: Original Question from 3 episodes ago: Do you consider adding a set for an exercise as a way to “increase stimulus?” Just add a few sets as needed over the course of a meso. Kind of like what Chris Beardsley put together in this infographic
Additional Q from an Instagram DM
I recently watched this video by Dr Mike called compound isolation sandwich training: https://youtu.be/UhLCTU_6iFY
The jist was to do a compound first, then isolation, and then another compound with more than one degree of freedom E.g. hack squat, leg extension, then barbell squat. He said that having more than one degree of freedom was important such that other muscles couldn't take over and reduce load to target muscles, in this example the extra degrees of freedom from the squat ensures the quads are still working hard whereas, on a leg press, the glutes may take over and do most of the work reducing quad stimulus.
I'm wondering though, that due to the instability of a movement with more degrees of freedom, it would be harder to push that exercise to failure safely and therefore that may be less stimulus than a more stable exercise.
This is a very nuanced question and I know they are both great approaches and will get good results. But I was curious about your thoughts, do you think one is superior and why? And learning a little more about degrees of freedom would be super interesting.
Thanks for listening!
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yeah so i don't really have a whole ton to add to that i think you you handled it pretty well the one thing that i will say just from personal experience and i've kind of talked about this before but even if calories were the same for me in a uh i feel like there's something about having that sweet beverage during the uh the workout and so if that means that you want to sacrifice some fat or something later in the day on a workout day so that you can have that kind of perry workout drink while you're working out then i think that that's totally reasonable as well[Unknown5]:
yeah i think we covered that one pretty well it's a good question we give it[Unknown6]:
some good answers[Unknown6]:
yeah well let's just briefly talk about metabolic training we're already like almost an hour into this thing so we'll get to the topic toure now so metabolic training essentially is the reason we're talking about it the reason it's relevant is because in my programming i am currently just beginning a a metabolic phase as i mentioned in the beginning i'm in the middle of my de load week right now initially i had four sessions planned for a de load week that were meant to be every other day so it's essentially like an eight day week but uh due to this mouth surgery thing that i have on wednesday i'm only going to do three sessions so my final session is kind of a combo of the last two and there's many ways that you can organize metabolic training like there isn't a right split or a wrong split but i think it's important to understand that they're at least when it comes to systemic conditioning there probably is a better way to organize your training and that usually would be more of like a full body approach just for the systemic style phase because what essentially you're trying to achieve in a systemic phase is increasing your global conditioning your work capacity your ability to recover between sets faster on a global level like maybe in my next cycle instead of resting three minutes between sets i can rust two and a half and still exhibit the same performance that would be kind of the goal of the systemic conditioning phase then there's also our local or peripheral conditioning phase and this is where we're trying to increase work capacity but within the specific muscle itself so systemic conditioning is like let's get the whole body just better at work capacity let's like increase vo two max all the different processes that occur and then the local one is about like hey let's make my chest better at responding let's make my back or my quads or something like that let's make them more resilient so that they can flush metabolites quicker recover better between sessions between sets things like that so they also become more resilient or more receptive rather to carbohydrate intake so that's one super great benefit of either phase but i think you know specifically when you're looking at the local conditioning phase and you're targeting that muscle tissue that potentially signals that muscle tissue to store more glycogen and i know i've heard cass mention before that they've actually seen in their lab that after doing the local conditioning stuff that they've seen bigger pumps than prior that stay for longer so i think that that's pretty cool but i also want to mention real quick because i get this confusion a lot from people where they think that because i went through the n one course that like i'm kind of parroting and one stuff a lot and it's important to note that my design of this conditioning phase that i'm going to talk about has some of the things that i've learned from n one in it yes for sure but this wouldn't i wouldn't want you to receive this as you know this is the way n one constructs a metabolic phase of training because i've been writing metabolic phases of training before i even knew what n one was so i have influences into the way i design these cycles that yes include n one but also include influences from the past and current time that are not n one so this is more just like the way brian does it with some influence from n one so just a quick aside there but so when we're looking at these two phases you have systemic and you have local or peripheral the length design of these types of cycles doesn't need to be extremely long because adaptations in work capacity and the ability to clear metabolites things like that these happen pretty quickly so i think two to three weeks of systemic and two to three weeks of metabolic would be on the longer end like i've designed metabolic cycles before that are you know three weeks long where there's two week one week of systemic and then two weeks of local peripheral so a number of ways to go about that the plan with my design here is to do this one week de load that's done in the systemic fashion and then to have two weeks of systemic conditioning as work weeks and two weeks of local as work weeks so it's essentially five weeks but one of them is a de load week any thoughts before i continue mister striker[Unknown5]:
yeah the the local more more so in the local um systemic stuff it's really interesting and one way to really if for listeners to see in practice is if you ever train with someone who does like a different style of training right so for instance one when i was uh in arizona one of my old clients was like coming through town and we trained together and he was like he's like a legit like a high a high level power lifter and he even though he's like so much stronger than me was just buried doing my like one of my my lower body sessions because like reps were higher the rest was lower even though we were still doing like two to three minutes but it was really really interesting and then afterwards he was like you know demolished he said say[Unknown6]:
for days work to me it was like this this is fucking wednesday dude even though like his total like work capacity or really i should say like strength capacity and stuff is so much higher but it really just[Unknown6]:
goes to show like how your different your time spent in different phases of training will like it it's dramatically different for p person to person[Unknown6]:
no for sure that that's a really good point and also probably important to note that there's a significantly increased oxygen cost regardless of your of your size as a human when you lift more weight like if you do six hundred pounds for eight reps versus three hundred pounds for eight reps even if both sets are a failure for one person versus another person the six hundred is gonna take two times as much oxygen for you to complete that work so highly more fatiguing to do bodybuilding stuff and then also when you're really strong doing body building stuff but yeah really good point there so if he would do that for four weeks he may get some really quick adaptations that then he could potentially go back and apply to his other pursuits although i think the applicability of metabolic training to powerlifting probably doesn't have as as big of a carryover but just for general health you know always a good idea so the design structure of the systemic stuff is more like kind of like work capacity circuits i like to pair three movements together and i i don't know this for sure but a lot of the design that i've seen come out of n one and the systemic stuff it usually has two movements like it's kind of like a back spot to a row or back spot to bench press or whatever it is usually it's like two movements back to back i really like three or even four like i'm using four right now as well including smaller movements in the circuit too so like my main circuit will have three movements and that's usually like a a squat pattern movement into a row or pull down type movement into a press um of some sort so you're getting basically the major muscles of the upper body and then the quads and the general pushing structure of the lower body and then alternatively a hamstring one on the other day might be like you know r dl into some sort of row or pull down again because we train back a little bit more often and then that would be into maybe like a bicep or a tricep movement or something like that and then so i really like that but essentially what we're doing is we're resting forty five to sixty seconds between these movements so that you're not doing them as a try set where the second and third movement like if you do a squat and then you take no rest whatever you're doing after the squat gets like zero stimulus so you you do forty five sixty seconds you're still breathing going into the next movement but you're not completely out of breath you can still execute good technique take another forty five to sixty seconds and then do your third movement and i like to decrease the complexity or the demand of the movements as you go so like going from like squat to ben over row to bench press like in the bench press you're laying down so it' a really good movement to do third in my mind and then at the end of that third movement you would take a longer rest like two three minutes something like that and then you'd go through that circuit a number of times i also really like to organize it in such a manner where the circuit takes you from warm upsets all the way through one top work set but really to like when you're doing this type of training after not doing it for a while like the second warm up round feels like like like death like you you kind of wanna die even though you're still like six reps from failure on everything and so you know the first warm around you're just greasing the groove going through the motions second warm up round you're feeling it third third round is like you know that was like know three ish rr like that was really solid effort i'm breathing really hard and then the fourth round you kind of take it to the house relative to the movement that you're doing and that just feels completely awful and then i rest for about three to five minutes and get going into potentially the second circuit which is usually made up of less complex movements and then therefore is able to be conducted for me easier than if i had more complex demanding movements in that sequence and then what was the other thing i was gonna say about the the second circuit oh yeah i usually only do three rounds of that second circuit instead of four because it feels like a warm up round is just kind of very unnecessary so it's like a you know second warm up round then first work round then final workaround for that second circuit so the way that i have this organized is that the first day is quads uh chest and lats and so that's the main focus and then the second day is hamstrings upper back rear dels you know and arms and regular doubts like all all the dealt all the delt in arms and so that's kind of how i'm organizing the systemic side of this cycle and they're alternating days which has proven really good for me in the past like every time i do an alternating day program i'm always reminded how much i actually like it because i go into every session really really excited so that's something you know maybe that's specific to me but i can certainly say that i hate i despise doing three sessions in a row like the third session i just have no motivation for it and even so like the second session the next day i never want to i never have as much motivation for it as i do when i'm doing this more alternating day style of programming so that's kind of a little lesson i'm just going to tuck away into my brain and and keep that in mind for the design of future cycles for myself as well but before i go into the local stuff any uh thoughts or statements on the systemic conditioning[Unknown5]:
no just the fact that i i mean i agree it's it is an ass kicking and one thing i guess i do have a question follow up with in terms of like pairing with periodization do you have any likes or dislikes for times to that can be more beneficial to pair this style of training[Unknown6]:
you mean like when would you throw a systemic phase into a hypertrophy block or when would you choose systemic over local or[Unknown5]:
yeah we're kind of like would it do you think it could be beneficially um used during a particular nutrition periodization season[Unknown6]:
right a caloric surplus versus a maintenance[Unknown6]:
or maybe the start of a calorie deficit or something like that[Unknown6]:
yeah so i actually think the metabolic phase is pretty malleable in the sense that it can be used in a deficit though i would say that if you're going to use it in a deficit that like you said it should be the beginning of the deficit which is the way i'm doing it and then also that you need to be open to the idea of high carbohydrate dieting you can't be somebody that's like i'm gonna go zone and then be doing like these systemic circuits with like basically paleo levels of carbs um so that would be my one kind of caveat there but yeah i mean you know it increases mitochondrial density great term um and uh and so there's going to increase like glucose uptake uptake and things like that so i think that there is definitely benefits to having like a good amount of carbs in the system for it meaning that a surplus would obviously be obviously be like a great time to do it as well[Unknown5]:
yeah i would i i'm kind of getting sidetracked here but it would be interesting to see over a long period of time how that could because in my mind right from a high level thing yeah i agree one hundred percent would be a great time to to start with a in the beginning of a calorie deficit one to help getting your body moving through those carbohydrate stuff that being said what we know for like long term calorie deficit is we want our body to be really metabolic flexible so that we can leverage a lot of our adipose tissue for a fuel source and then it is kind of like you said you don't want it to be a long term thing because you don't want to be doing this style of training on poverty carbs unless you want to get nauseous and have a lot of low hypo hypoglycemic[Unknown6]:
like some situations but yeah really really a cool input[Unknown6]:
did i ever tell you to listen to the podcast that ben house did with cassim like two years ago like at the beginning of the pandemic so you you would love it because it's the most dorky like high level like they're talking about like how lactate converts to this and then amp this and like signals this and all these different things and so as i'm listening to it i'm always of course thinking about you know you and your interest in this stuff so the entire episode is about metabolic stress and then the potential downstream effects nutritionally related to like glycogen and stuff like that along with a bunch of other stuff um[Unknown5]:
i definitely need to look that one up i would love to listen to that[Unknown6]:
so good dude so good um so anyways jumping into the local conditioning the peripheral stuff so there's kind of two ways that you that you may implement this and the n one uses the im method which is incomplete rest and so this is stems from an old bodybuilder in like the seventies and eighties named vince garona and he coined a style of training called eight by eight and what he said you would do is basically take your fifteen rep max on a lift and then you do eight reps and rest thirty seconds and do eight wraps and rest thirty seconds and you basically do that until you can't get eight reps anymore with the goal being that you get eight sets of eight reps of course the first couple sets you do are really easy and then it gets really hard toward the end so that is one method of kind of local conditioning where you as cast says pushing on the gas pedal like revving and then releasing and then revving and releasing and each time that you go back in and you rev and you you do more reps you're kind of digging that hole a little deeper to mix analogies where you know the first set of eight was really easy the second set was moderately easy the third set was moderate the fourth set was moderately hard and then progressing from there the wholes getting deeper and deeper by the end you've essentially done sixty four reps or something along those lines of one movement one caveat to that is that that movement that you choose should definitely be a uh a short overloaded movement so i'll share an anecdote for myself back in our uh cross pb san diego athletics days we had our bodybuilding program in like twenty fourteen in twenty fifteen i decided to do a men's physique competition which we've talked about on the show many times in my preparation for that men's physique show i had a chess day in the programme that used that eight by eight strategy so i did incline dumbbell bench press and i took sixty pound dumbbells which you know i could have done more than fifteen times i could have done them probably twenty times or something like that but by the time i got to the fifth set i couldn't even get eight reps anymore it was like eight eight eight eight seven and six then five and i was just dead right so when i finally met cass you know four or five years after that experience and i learned about the i rm method and i was like yeah dude i don't know how people do that i only got five sets i was doing incline dumbbell bench presses and he goes you chose a length and overload movement like i should have known better or something you know and uh and so so lesson learned dude got it no lengthened overload movements so so short overload movements because they don't accrue the same type of damage and so they're actually able to be done under short rest and then of course they're going to because the contraction is at the short position so you can think of like a chess crossover like the hardest part of the movement is when your chest contracts but there's it's not super hard back at the like quote stretched position um so so you can get almost a rest into that muscle at the stretch position whereas when you're doing like a length and overload movement you don't get to rest really at any point so i mean i guess you could at the top of the rep but then you're just you're just resting but in that short amount of time where you're doing a crossover and then the arm comes away from the contractor position that actually opens the chest up allows some oxygen to get in before you then go and uh and deplete the oxygen again so short overload movements are going to be significantly better for for the im method and then another approach to local metabolic conditioning is just kind of the use of either like high reps or same muscle supers sets so i personally have talked about how much i like the use of same muscle supers setts much better because instead of having to do a set of twenty reps where the first twelve to fifteen just kind of feel like you're just waving your arms in the air or whatever you could do like eight to ten of a lateral rays and then eight to ten of like a cable front raise or something along those lines and now you've gotten two challenging fatigue points in your set and you've also still done twenty reps so for me that makes a lot more sense and that ss the way that i tend to program these things in is more in the sense of same muscle supers setts versus just doing high rep sets but either one can accomplish that goal of kind of just conditioning your body to doing a higher rep volume any thoughts[Unknown5]:
yeah the the main thought or the biggest takeaway here is for me at least and i think maybe potentially for the listeners is the choice of the type of exercise for like the the local um oh my goodness the local metabolic right or or system[Unknown6]:
musculature the local meta pok yeah yeah[Unknown5]:
whatever yeah local metabolic so with that it's it's just like cause we've all been there right where we've followed like maybe like a g v t or german volume training or something like that and you get into those last sets and like you you use there's no way[Unknown6]:
but you're doing it with like a length like you said a length and overload movement a bench press or something like[Unknown6]:
that and it's it goes back to those things like the that and it's it goes back to those things like the we we keep going coming like full circle to where training comes back into like understanding these i don't want to call them like um like scholastic or like like mental aspects of it in instead of[Unknown6]:
just like picking up weights and putting them downt thing and and like[Unknown6]:
to get really really good or really targeted you really need to understand some of the different mechanisms or biases for certain exercises and move and exercise selection too to really get the most out of what you mighta particular phase or something like that[Unknown6]:
yeah plus it's just super fun and interesting and after twenty five years it's just exciting to be doing like new cool stuff that you're still exploring and learning so[Unknown5]:
i couldn't agree more[Unknown6]:
yeah totally so anyways i have this metabolic phase uh after the dental procedure we'll be starting it in full force systemic on on monday which means when this episode drops i'll be one day in and um i'll probably feel pretty awful but i am looking forward to it and i actually can say like maybe it's placebo effect but i literally like i thought the first de load session i did of this was really hard like i finished that session and i was just like man like that really like you know hit me in the nuts like i wasn't prepared for that type thing and then for the second one that i did two days later it didn't feel subjectively as bad and that could be because it was the hamstring delt arm day instead of the quad chess lat day so maybe it's like less demanding movements or whatever but i definitely felt subjectively more okay after that second session so we'll see how it goes today with the mix of the two where i'll have one quad chess lat and then one ham and dealt in arms but i know that they say these adaptations happen really quickly i've experienced it as well where like you know you go from not doing any conditioning work and then you throw any in it all it's like you go for a run the first time and you can only get like you know eight hundred meters and you're like oh man i really can't run anymore you know but within a week or two of running you're doing like three miles and you're like oh that adaptation happened really quickly so i feel like it's going to be the same thing with this type of training and that's going to be really cool because throughout you know the past year of doing you don't notice adaptations happening quickly so um it's kind of cool that you can experience something like that[Unknown5]:
i could not agree any more[Unknown6]:
sweet well that's really all i got[Unknown5]:
cool so guys another episode we wrapped up hopefully brian and i were able to deliver the value as we always strive to do from brian and myself we will talk to you guys next week