Author Topic: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?  (Read 15504 times)

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Offline Eurofusion

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Has anyone tried the Max Contraction or Omega Set style of weight lifting? I wanted to but it requires at least one, preferably two, partners to spot you. I was thinking the other day that it is probably the closest to paleo-style weights that modern techniques will ever come to.

There have been proper clinical studies and a lot of science in the methodology of proving this technique. At first glance a lot of body builders write it off possibly because they assume incorrectly that it only involves one group of muscles. But it does involve the full use of both slow and fast twitch muscles. If you want to read about the studies and science behind it, read "Advanced Max Contraction Training" by John Little.

Offline SkinnyDevil

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2009, 10:08:14 pm »
Can you give a quick overview of what it entails, and why you consider it "paleo"?
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Offline Eurofusion

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 07:43:19 pm »
You can get more info from the site of the author:

http://www.maxcontraction.com/

Basically, it involves holding the weight for a few seconds, not even, when the muscle is fully contracted. You need partners to hold the weights while you position yourself into the full contraction point, then you take the weight from them and hold for as long as possible, which should only be a second or two. Bear in mind that the weight will be much heavier than what you would normally lift with regular techniques. This provides a powerful contraction, equating to the equivalent of what you would experience doing several sets, but is far more efficient.

The other important part of the technique is the rest period. The author stresses that you need a far longer time period than traditionally believed in order for the muscle to fully recover and build. He was talking about an average of 6 days, sometimes more. This was all proven with muscle mass measurements and weights, etc. Read the book as it explains it clearly.

Offline SkinnyDevil

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 11:32:33 pm »
Interesting.

Why do you consider it paleo, though?
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Offline Raw Rob

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2009, 07:33:23 am »
I just got a copy of the book real cheap on Amazon.

I heard of this a long time ago. Anthony Hopkins was telling Conan O'Brien about it one time on Conan's show. (Kind of an odd source to first hear about it)

This seems really interesting. I always reached plateaus with lifting in the normal set and reps fashion.

Plus, I love short workouts. I think in the past I had a tendency to over do it and not get enough rest.

     

Offline Eurofusion

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2009, 05:39:21 pm »
SkinnyDevil, I wouldn't classify it exactly as Paleo, but the "closest" match compared to what we have in modern weight regimes. I think this because an Omega Set / Max Contraction workout only lasts a few minutes. In Paleo times, people were not doing sets of reps every second day, or whatever, for 30 - 60 minutes. Their experience with "weight lifting" would have been things like lifting fallen logs, carrying a hurt friend, moving small boulders, and other activities involving short bursts of strength.  There are certainly holes in the comparison (e.g., with Max Contraction you don't carry the weight until at the point of fullest contraction), but I'm just suggesting it would be a closer representation to paleo than other weight techniques. At the end of the day, homo sapien is in the process of evolutionary flux, and our physical bodies are not what they were in Paleo times, so I don't see the point in trying to match exactly that lifestyle. (I'm very happy to have a car, thanks!) ;)

Offline Eurofusion

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2009, 05:44:56 pm »
Plus, I love short workouts. I think in the past I had a tendency to over do it and not get enough rest.

     

That's the other side of the coin that a lot of weight trainers forget. More IS better, but in this instance, more rest, not more work. Probably a good adage for everyone in this crazy era of human history. I know my mind could sure do with a rest! Imagine the amount of rest time Paleo people had. No doubt it was irregular, they had plenty of three day weekends!

Offline Eurofusion

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2009, 05:46:02 pm »
...***but I bet*** they had plenty of three day weekends!

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009, 12:57:12 am »
Actually, all the evidence from palaeoanthropologists re human bones shows that palaeo humans indulged in intense physical activity every day so could have beaten any modern human on a functional level.
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Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 05:20:57 am »
Actually, all the evidence from palaeoanthropologists re human bones shows that palaeo humans indulged in intense physical activity every day so could have beaten any modern human on a functional level.

I think their point is indulging in intense activity every day does not help with your performance. If they had to work hard out of necessity so be it, but I doubt any paleo people could out lift or out perform modern athletes in any sports, athletes that know how to train and rest properly.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2009, 04:40:26 pm »
I think their point is indulging in intense activity every day does not help with your performance. If they had to work hard out of necessity so be it, but I doubt any paleo people could out lift or out perform modern athletes in any sports, athletes that know how to train and rest properly.

Not true. Some scientists did a recent study of ancient greek triremes and it was found that the ancient greeks(on a Neolithic diet, no less) far outperformed any modern Olympic rowers. Given that palaeolithic peoples were more active physically  than  settled Neolithic peoples(like the Ancient Greeks), it's certain that palaeo cavemen  could have done even better, especially given the fact they had a healthier diet.

And daily physical performance is very relevant. I remember my father poitning out that in his youth there were still some jobs available which involved frequent heavy physical labour, and he would mention how such labourers etc. could easily outperform any modern ahtlete as regards lifting weights etc., simply because they did such activity virtually every day of their lives.

Modern athletes, by contrast, are heavily dependent on performance-enhancing drugs and still can't compete with their forbears.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
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Offline SkinnyDevil

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2009, 07:57:02 pm »
I'd be interested in seeing any such studies.

I don't have a hard time believing the average paleo-man could outperform the average neo/modern-man. However, I find it extremely unlikely that the top level paleo-man could outperform a top level modern athlete at ANY Olympic event.
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Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2009, 10:35:14 pm »
I'd be interested in seeing any such studies.

I don't have a hard time believing the average paleo-man could outperform the average neo/modern-man. However, I find it extremely unlikely that the top level paleo-man could outperform a top level modern athlete at ANY Olympic event.

Here's a link showing how ancient greeks could be at least as good as or better than modern athletes:-

http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/press_releases/current/ancient_greece.htm

I agree that modern athletes have the advantage of sport-performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids etc., but if one excludes such, palaeo (and even Neolithic) men would easily outperform modern athletes every single time as they would be performing the equivalent of many modern sports every single day of their lives, not just before major sporting events.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
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Offline wodgina

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2009, 11:04:23 pm »
I have to disagree. I read that article a while back and was not convinced.

I lot of athletes look very paleo especially boxer's for instance. They nearly always have perfect facial structure (besides busted up noses) and supremely mesomorphic. They won the genetic lottery and would be equal to paleoman.

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Offline Eurofusion

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2009, 03:52:48 pm »
Actually, all the evidence from palaeoanthropologists re human bones shows that palaeo humans indulged in intense physical activity every day so could have beaten any modern human on a functional level.

I'm wondering, is this from marks on their bones from wounds? Or the fact that their bones were so strong?

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2009, 05:14:36 pm »
I'm wondering, is this from marks on their bones from wounds? Or the fact that their bones were so strong?

I think it's both but mainly due to the thickness of the bone. Cordain and others explain how the bone gets very mildly damaged by sport activity(like muscle) and when it repairs itself numerous times after very heavy physical activity, it becomes much thicker.At any rate, every study on the subject indicates that Palaeo humans were at least as good as modern athletes or better, judging from the evidence re bones.

And I certainly heavily disagree re the notion that people have evolved beyond the level of palaeoman. Not only is this unlikely given lack of adaptation to many foods(try eating raw grains, for example in large quantities), but scientists have actually suggested that palaeoman was more advanced on the evolutionary scale than modern man. For example, we have smaller brain-sizes than palaeoman(8-11% less, depending on intepretation of dates), but also palaeoman was, most of the time, subject to a high degree of natural selection along with a combination of living in largely  isolated communities, and those 2 factors(not present in Neolithic times)  would have ensured a higher level of evolution. By contrast, we are now actively promoting the continued survival(and breeding) of people with cystic fibrosis and other genetic diseases, which means we are progressively becoming sicker as a population.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 05:28:09 pm by TylerDurden »
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2009, 01:01:56 am »
The thing with athletics is there is the technique aspect as well as pure strength, speed, endurance etc. Paleoman might have competed in the raw physicality, but technique in athletics has improved every generation since sport and unless you train from a young age intensely and have a natural gift for it, you cannot compete with world class athletes in that sport, regardless of how thick your bones are. I can't think of a measuring stick much more irrelevant than bone thickness to determine who would win in an athletic competition. Also I'd be wary of using the word "evolution" that way, as if it's a one way street forward to getting "better."

Offline Guittarman03

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2009, 01:15:47 am »
What about the javaline throw?  Those guys should beat any modern athlete (performance enhancing drugs aside).  Also, what about throwing a baseball?  No doubt we would have been proficient at throwing rocks.  Or any type of running.  Paleo men would have been running from children on up, never really would have stopped.

Technique does account for alot, so yeah they wouldn't be able to keep up with Roger Federer or Tiger Woods in any type of highly specialized sport.

 
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Offline SkinnyDevil

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2009, 09:40:06 pm »
I'd be wary of using the word "evolution" that way, as if it's a one way street forward to getting "better."

VERY good point.
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Offline The Barbarian

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2009, 06:23:00 am »
I've had very good results (using max contraction style training) adding strength and muscle density to a physique that was already built up from conventional weight lifting. I think it's the most efficient way to add power to ones muscles and strengthen the connective tissues like tendons  etc.

Offline Raw Rob

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2009, 03:41:55 am »
I just started this method of training Tuesday. I'm still sore because I haven't lifted weights in about 4 months. It's so great because my workout only took about twenty minutes, and that was only because I was waiting for other people to get off certain machines. People in the gym were probably looking at me like, "Why is that guy only doing one rep for each exercise." I'm interested to see how my body responds since I'm on a zero-carb diet.   


Offline The Barbarian

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Re: Maximum Contraction / Omega Set the paleo answer to weight lifting?
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2009, 08:45:33 am »
I just started this method of training Tuesday. I'm still sore because I haven't lifted weights in about 4 months. It's so great because my workout only took about twenty minutes, and that was only because I was waiting for other people to get off certain machines. People in the gym were probably looking at me like, "Why is that guy only doing one rep for each exercise." I'm interested to see how my body responds since I'm on a zero-carb diet.   




Awesome, I think you will notice very big strength increases and denser harder muscles, hopefully also more muscle mass where you want it. There is something sort of overly obvious and common sense about aeting muscle to gain muscle, eating meat to add meat to your body. Yet we were all trained to pump our muscles full of sugar for some reason lol.

 

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