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Concentric Vs Eccentric Exercise

Discussion in 'Exercise' started by paymanz, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. paymanz

    paymanz Member

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  2. cantstoppeating

    cantstoppeating Member

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    I've come across this too. Reading Peat, we come to assume all forms of exercise as being debilitating forms of stress that we should avoid. It's made implicit whenever he talks about exercise: always referring to its stress-promoting damaging effects by referring to the extremes like long-distance runners/marathoners.

    The eccentric portion of a lift does indeed induce greater oxidative stress in skeletal muscle compared to eccentric or isometric portion of a lift. I see this as a positive stimulus to increase our muscles capability (size, endurance, power) thus bringing with it all the corresponding advantages. Making sure to keep to keep a high metabolism, while allowing sufficient time for the muscle to recover and adapt, should be recommended and not shunned because of its short term stress producing effect.

    I don't like Peat's stance on exercise, especially in light of a plethora of research showing its long-term benefits e.g. 30-45 minute aerobic exercise increases BDNF in the brain (increasing potential for learning), alleviates depression, reduces many cardiovascular factors implicated in disease and ageing.

    Even lactic inducing anaerobic exercise increases our ability to handle lactate, increasing lactate threshold, enhancing our ability to clear it faster and more thoroughly whenever we find ourselves producing it.

    Using our brains to understand the work of Peat is also a stress that depletes brain glycogen levels. It isn't something we should avoid however, just because it produces a short term acute stress response.
     
  3. tara

    tara Member

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    This has not been my conclusion from reading Peat, and I think you'll find many others here who continue to exercise and consider it consistent with Peats ideas.
    I see Peat as pointing out the stressful effects of exercise, but also the beneficial effects of building muscle, providing some information about factors that could make exercise more helpful and less harmful, and cautioning against prolonged over-exercise.
    He has indeed said that concentric exercise is more useful than eccentric.
     
  4. cantstoppeating

    cantstoppeating Member

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    Here's a list of Peat's quotes on exercise as gathered by functionalps (which can be found here: http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/02/01/ray-peat-phd-quotes-relating-to-exercise/):


    There are many more quotes explaining the detrimental effects of "exercise". Where Peat does elaborate on what forms of exercise are least stressful like here:

    And:

    And:

    It's overshadowed by the amount of time he spends dismissing exercise. Just by way of his language, it's easy to see how unsure he is in recommending exercise than he is of pointing out its stressful effects.

    So by reading his body of work, if you were to come away assuming exercise (what form? how "intense" is intense? -- especially as intense exercise e.g. resistance training, has shown to be extremely beneficial to the mitochondria and generally the cardiovascular system) is beneficial, and not some detrimental stress-producing activity that should be avoided, then you are in the minority. Those who choose to exercise, I wager, have allowed themselves to relax on this part of Peat's ideas.
     
  5. 4peatssake

    4peatssake Member

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    This is my understanding as well, tara.

    He makes a number of distinctions, eg. going uphill is beneficial, downhill is harmful.

    I like this comment from Peat.

    So to me, it makes sense that for people who love to exercise and do so in an enriching way (providing they are not pounding away at in harmful ways), it is good for them.

    A healthy sedentary life is possible too. It comes down to choice and making what you wish to do work for you while maintaining optimal energy levels.
     
  6. tara

    tara Member

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    If what you mean by exercise is stressfully intense or extended breathless exercise, as many do, and I probably would have 3 yrs ago, you may well be right.

    But I've read Peat roughly like this: contracting muscles vigorously for a short time can be helpful, short sprints may be good; rest in between. Don't take up treadmills or long-distance running thinking it's going to make you healthier. Using the peripheral nervous system by moving all the muscles in your body in various ways helps keep it functioning. (Actually, I'm not sure if I've read it this way way this from Peat - maybe this was Katy Bowman. But Peat has made the point that parts of the brain that do not get used fail to produce adequate CO2 to keep them healthy and functioning - I think it might consistent to extrapolate that idea to the peripheral nervous system, but that might be me, not Peat.) Have an interesting life, use but don't overuse your body. Provide enough fuel, and consider using tactics to increase CO2 to help counter tha stress of excess lactic acid.

    My preferred exercise is walking, indoor climbing, dancing, occasionally playing tag with kids, swimming, riding bike, yoga class, and at this time of the year, playing in the surf. Unfortunately, the way my life is at the moment, i don't get to do any of these things as often as I'd like. I don't get breathless doing any of them (I can keep my mouth shut). They all involve either low intensity or lots of rests. Since reading Peat, I have not pushed myself to walk up steep hills as fast or often as I possible (I've never been very fit, so it was never very fast); I limit it to a rate I can maintain with my mouth shut, and don't go any further than I feel like.
    They all contain elements of either social interaction and/or being outside in interesting enjoyable environments, and other than cycling, provide a useful range of motion.

    Sometimes I overdo it - either a night's dancing or a hill climb sometimes seems to push my symptoms over the edge. Now I have a better idea why, and try to avoid pushing myself too far, or if I'm not feeling reasonably well to start with. In the past I have done a lot of hiking, thinking it was good for me. I now suspect that I overdid it too many times, and this may have contributed to my current health problems.

    What do yo see here that conflicts with Peat?
     
  7. 4peatssake

    4peatssake Member

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    That's a great summary.

    Personally, I don't "exercise" and never connected to the hype and how it was healthy and an absolute necessity. Lucky for me.

    But I do see the value of movement and having an enriched life doing what you love to do. That supports higher levels of energy and a love for life.

    I think Peat is heavy on criticism of exercise to counter the massive volume of so-called scientific data claiming it is not just healthy but absolutely necessary to well being. I seem as him being a strong counter to that and that's why I love the quote about the Russian scientists who remembered to calculate the brain.

    He doesn't say don't exercise. He points out what activities are the most harmful on the body and what isn't. He avoids the dogma of this is right and that is wrong and provides information to assist people to create a more healthy and fulfilled life as they see fit.

    Among my favorite activities are ping pong, floating/playing in the pool with my kids and dancing.
     
  8. tara

    tara Member

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    Yay for table tennis - thanks for reminding me!
     
  9. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    Oh my gosh I love ping pong. :D
     
  10. cantstoppeating

    cantstoppeating Member

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    I understand you've read Peat in such a way, but I find it difficult to come to a similar conclusion after going through his whole body of work. Have you gone through his whole body of work? Those three quotes specifying which types of exercise are least stressful and beneficial are but all his comments in favour of "exercise" among pages and pages of talk on its detrimental effects.

    There are many established studies that breathless exercises, during acutely intense periods of time, allow for enhanced lactate threshold with improvements in the cardiovascular system. Google "High intensity interval training" for one such example. This is one such example that conflicts directly with what Peat says regarding exercise.
     
  11. cantstoppeating

    cantstoppeating Member

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    One cannot lead a healthy life while being sedentary. One of Peat's central ideas is that function begets function. The body needs to be exercised, not doing so produces atrophy and other stressors.
     
  12. johns74

    johns74 Member

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    I think what matters is the sum of all effects. If you point some maybe positive effects, that doesn't necessarily mean it's overall positive.

    If it does indeed make thyroid function worse, it would have negative effects. You really need to follow all of them throughout their lives and see who dies first. And you need to choose similar people for the experiment. You can't just analyze the people who exercise on their own initiative, because that's typically a healthier population even before they started exercising.
     
  13. cantstoppeating

    cantstoppeating Member

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    By the same token, pointing to some maybe negative effects, doesn't necessarily mean it's overall negative.
     
  14. johns74

    johns74 Member

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    Right, I'm not claiming it's negative. I'm just claiming that observing those effects you mentioned doesn't come anywhere close to proving it's beneficial.
     
  15. cantstoppeating

    cantstoppeating Member

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    Then you'd also have to say the same about Peat i.e. him claiming that observing those effects he mentions doesn't come anywhere close to proving it's negative.
     
  16. johns74

    johns74 Member

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    I haven't carefully read Peat's full explanation. I have no opinion on the strength of his arguments.
     
  17. cantstoppeating

    cantstoppeating Member

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    Well, since you objected to the general idea of drawing long-term inferences from experiments and studies, you don't need to carefully read Peat's full explanation -- after all, did you carefully read any published research on high intensity exercise?
     
  18. johns74

    johns74 Member

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    I can't conclude that the cardiovascular improvements overcome the negative effects of reduced thyroid function (assuming both effects are true). Thus, the claim that exercise is overall beneficial is far from proven by the cardiovascular observations.
     
  19. cantstoppeating

    cantstoppeating Member

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    And btw, the use of "exercise" isn't taken to mean taking a stroll on the beach or playing tag with your kids. It's generally taken to mean "a specific stimulus in order to produce a specific adaptation". And given the way Peat refers to "exercise", it's clear he's referring to it in the context of physiology i.e. a definition like the above.
     
  20. johns74

    johns74 Member

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    If you get cardiovascular improvement, but cancer from the hormonal imbalances induced by exercise, did it benefit you?
     
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