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Insertion Points vs ROM
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SSC
Level 3

Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6955

:::::Edit, for those who are lazy I left a synopsis at the bottom:::::

I've debated about making this thread for some time now, because I'm really not sure if it's relevant enough for the T-Cell, it may actually be incredibly stupid. Being that the 'cell has been slow recently, I'll go ahead and post it up anyway.

Some time ago, I was watching a video on another site about how a guy trains. Now, I've seen this guy work out in person, he's from my local area. He's an NPC competitor. Anyway, on many movements, if not damn near all of them, I noticed he was using an extremely limited ROM. Like, "Most people on T-Nation would shit their pants if they say this ROM."

Now, in this video, the interviewer actually asks the trainer about the reduced range of motion. He begins to then explain how it feels better on his joints and generally allows him to focus on the muscle more. (For the record, as I mentioned above, this is an NPC competitor. He looks the part.)

I started thinking about this, and wondered why some people have success training with limited ROM while others don't. Surely laziness isn't the answer, because that's just dumb. Joint health could be an issue too, and I'm counting this out.

But then I began to hypothesize... 'If someone has a higher / less accessible muscle insertion point, then maybe that's why reduced ROM can be beneficial?'

Please, let me explain. This is only anecdotal at this point. My triceps are attached really, retardedly high. I know this, I'm okay with it. You have to play the hand you were dealt. That being said, I was seeing a conversation our resident Holy Mac was having at one point. For those that don't know, his insertion points are stupidly low - really.

HM talked about how he like to utilize skull crushers as his primary movement for strength/size with triceps. What's weird for me is every time in the past I had ever tried a skull crusher variation it KILLS my deltoid when I down to a certain depth with the weight. When I say certain depth, I basically mean anywhere close to where the weight is supposed to be lowered to.

Now, at one point, I started doing some skull crushers, just for shits and giggles. It still killed my delts. So instead, I reduced the ROM. It probably looked kind of silly to everyone else lifting, but I was getting the bar only about as close as 3-5 inches away from my head, and extending at that point. Viola! I could feel my triceps being worked. So, I did this for a while until I remembered that for me, there were many better alternatives to skull crushers for tricep work.

One more quick story - Leg press. Right now I'm fixing up my lower back (which is a story all in itself.) This disallows me from squatting movements for the time being. So I'm doing some pre-exhaust stuff for my quads, and then getting on a leg press and tearing shit up. Usually on a leg press, no matter the feet position used, I can generally only feel my hips doing most of the work. Because of this, I really limited the range of motion. You know those stories that you hear about where a dude is only doing 1/4 squats? Well, that's basically what I'm doing on the leg press.

But yet, my quads have never felt more worked on since I've been doing these consistently... perhaps in my entire life. Now, while my quad insertion points aren't quite as weak as my triceps, they're definitely a little high.

SYNOPSIS FOR THOSE THAT TL;DR
1.) I've seen/know big people training with limited ROM because it feels better.
2.) I wonder why it feels better for some, and not others.
3.) I tried using limited ROM on a few exercises where my muscle insertions are less-than optimal.
4.) It felt much better than doing the exercises full ROM.
5.) Does insertion point play a role here?

Now, for whatever it's worth, this is NOT a ROM debate - i.e., which works best for everyone, yadda yadda blah blah. I'm just curious as to if this possible cause for using limited ROM makes sense to everyone else?

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its_just_me
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Join date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2412

I believe that certain peoples build's make it more beneficial to limit ROM (i.e. work the target muscle's range of motion as opposed to the joint's range of motion)...and like you said, it probably is because of insertion points (or I would add leverage's too).

You'd have to over-compensate with reps though IMO, to make up for the loss in TUT from shorter ROM. I also think that this training is more draining and takes longer for the nervous system to recover from (although that would depend on how smart the trainee trains).

Pete Sisco was big on this whole ROM thing and static contraction, look him up if you want (wrote a book called "train smart")...don't type "Pete Sisco train smart PDF" it into google and download the pirate copy, because that's bad :P

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Maiden3.16
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Join date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2397

I feel like reduced ROM is focusing in on a certain part of a mucle group. For example hitting the long head of the triceps by getting a deep stretch and not fully locking out to keep tension on it, whereas you would want to lock out on tricep movements that target the lateral head.

Same for leg movements where locking out=more teardrop focus and 3/4 reps on hacksquat=more sweep.

I never figured it had to due with insertion points. Even someone w/bad insertion points for triceps dont you still want to lock out to hit the lateral head? Or get a deep stretch for the long head, regardless of insertion point?

Just my 2 cents I could be completely wrong

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spar4tee
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I guess higher insertions means longer tendons. So when the joint hinges a smaller ROM puts less torque on a longer tendon where a shorter tendon i.e. lower insertion is not overstressed by the fuller ROM as the longer tendon. I know your hypothesis doesn't solely address tendons. I just I'd add a little something to the thread. Most here will already know this anyway.

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spar4tee
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Join date: Sep 2010
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The structure of the joint could also play as a role in ROM discomfort as well as the ratio of insertion point lengths of synergistic muscles. Wish I could elaborate on these points more but I don't feel I know enough to do so intelligently and not risk overextrapolating my statements.

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RobRaynerBB
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Join date: Dec 2008
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Have u seen Jason Huhs form on MD vids recently crazy?! But hes fucking growing BIG!!

Ronnie shorted the motion for some exercises, but still did full ROM for others so i guess its just another piece of the puzzle.

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Maiden3.16
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Join date: Jan 2011
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RobRaynerBB wrote:
Have u seen Jason Huhs form on MD vids recently crazy?! But hes fucking growing BIG!!


Ya it looks like shit to be honest. He also (I think) said he started off using full ROM and has evolved his training to the ROM he uses now. Looks like it works for him but I don't think it's something people should be copying.

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HolyMacaroni
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Join date: Sep 2008
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dude i just got back from doing some siiiick skull crushers and saw this thread. bingo

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davidcox1
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Join date: Dec 2008
Posts: 780

I've noticed that as I grow, I need less ROM to get the feel of working the muscle group. I think this is why we observe some of the mass monsters doing reps they way they do.

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DeltaOne
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Join date: May 2010
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Jason Huh's MD video is a mock response to several provocations people made to him at the internet. It's also just a pump session, it's very unlikely he actually trains using that motion.

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SSC
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Join date: Mar 2008
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DeltaOne wrote:
Jason Huh's MD video is a mock response to several provocations people made to him at the internet. It's also just a pump session, it's very unlikely he actually trains using that motion.


For whatever it's worth, in the issue of M_something there's an interview with Huh and his trainer. A few of the questions were pointed towards the MD video. He really does train that way now. His trainer is doing his best to change that, haha.

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RobRaynerBB
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I think we've gone off topic about insertion points but still on ROM...

I dont want to misquote John Meadows but what about his stuff and doing lateral raises with heavy ass dumbbells and doing shitloads of reps. Huh does a similar thing and says his shoulder have gotten really good from the, same with Pakulski advocating high rep leg press and not going to lock out.

I think it all still comes down to mixing full ROM with partials as part of the whole program. PAKMAN does heavy full ROM squats for 5-6 reps and then leg press partials for 20-30 reps.

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