I perform progressive aerobic and body-building programs that are continually being updated to promote maximum progress while remaining time-efficient in light of my professional schedule. Weight-lifting has placed me in an environment where I am required to perform a daily stretching program to maintain normal muscle and joint flexibility. It has also provided me with additional clinical insights into a select patient population: power lifters and bodybuilders.
WEIGHT-TRAINING ACTIVITIES CAN GREATLY ACCELERATE AMS CHANGES
The figure at left depicts the extensive direct blood supply of muscle tissue. By allowing muscles to shorten, physical endurance is shortened and recovery time is lengthened due to the delayed availability of oxygen and slowed removal of waste materials that are the by-products of exercise. By observing the lifting styles of various athletes and their pursuant progress, I have determined which protocols are more effective. And I have especially perceived the natural tendency for adaptive muscle shortening (AMS) changes to insidiously accumulate until injury or dysfunction limits or precludes athletic pursuit.
Many of these athletes deliberately perform heavy weight-resistance exercise through only a limited joint range of motion, to emphasize development of a specific muscle, or even a specific portion of a muscle. Unfortunately, by performing a lift through only a narrow arc of the available joint range of motion, more stress is being placed upon a smaller surface area of the joint, and there is also a greatly heightened tendency to accelerate adaptive muscle shortening due to this method of training. This type of lifting protocol can be well tolerated, if sufficient stretching is done to offset the inherent tendency to develop rapid AMS changes.
Outsiders to these demanding sports falsely believe that it is inevitable for a bodybuilder or power lifter to become "muscle-bound", permanently losing flexibility. The truth is that the consistent performance of a daily stretching program can help you to retain normal muscle and joint flexibility as you develop strength well beyond normal limits.
site last updated on February 11, 2010 by Paul J. Fransen, P.T.