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Conditioning and Deconditioning

Conditioning and Deconditioning

I’ve been hearing a lot about deconditioning on these forums and from some of the most knowledgeable members here. I think Xenolith has probably developed the theory the most and has certainly examined it in the most sophisticated manner. However, the theory is obviously beholden to physiological processes of conditioning. That is, without conditioning the theory of deconditioning is mostly worthless. So far the best evidence we have for conditioning comes from personal experience. My question is, what are the physiological processes that could explain a phenomena of conditioning? I really haven’t found a full explanation for these on the forums, although I know that some of the more advanced members have alluded to the mechanisms as very complicated.

If we can outline the processes of conditioning in a precise manner (obviously a difficult task) we can start to speculate methods for preventing conditioning and accelerating deconditioning.

(Perhaps this could me moved to the main member forum?)

Thrombosed,

I moved the thread to Main at your request, because it does deserve attention from the PE theorists/engineers. I’m sure a number of them have written about conditioning in depth before, but this would be as good a place as any to consolidate links to such writing.

Thanks!

I’m currently searching for all relevant past posts. ModestoMan had a great one titled “Paper sheds light on conditioning/deconditioning.” The article he references ( http://www.vard.org/jour/00/37/2/wren2.html ) is excellent. Tube also provided a bunch of papers which I will be reading soon.

I have also been thinking how erections in general pertain to deconditioning. Is it possible that erections actually inhibit a process of deconditioning by maintaining stress on the tissues? Furthermore, is there any reason to worry about a lack of prostaglandins and high prolactin during a period of deconditioning?

Consider a guitar player. Assuming that he is right handed, his left hand fingers will be extremely hard, senseless: ‘conditioned’ - due to continuous exertion of pressure. The skin breaks, dies - whatever. It then repairs itself but is extremely harder.

Consider a martial artist. In the US, and the UK I know it is illegal to have ‘conditioned’ knuckles. This is a process certain schools teach, where you continuously punch a hard surface (ice, wood, etc.), until your skin around the knuckles break, and reform much harder and tougher. As I said, this is illegal in the US and the UK. If you have a fight, and you and your opponent are taken to court - even it was you who were provoked - you will be prosecuted because conditioned knuckles is considered a lethal weapon.

In both examples, eventually the skin will return to normal if you neglect training.

Perhaps there is some kind of layman link here?


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Originally Posted by The Beasty One
Consider a guitar player. Assuming that he is right handed, his left hand fingers will be extremely hard, senseless: ‘conditioned’ - due to continuous exertion of pressure. The skin breaks, dies - whatever. It then repairs itself but is extremely harder.

Consider a martial artist. In the US, and the UK I know it is illegal to have ‘conditioned’ knuckles. This is a process certain schools teach, where you continuously punch a hard surface (ice, wood, etc.), until your skin around the knuckles break, and reform much harder and tougher. As I said, this is illegal in the US and the UK. If you have a fight, and you and your opponent are taken to court - even it was you who were provoked - you will be prosecuted because conditioned knuckles is considered a lethal weapon.

In both examples, eventually the skin will return to normal if you neglect training.

Perhaps there is some kind of layman link here?

Beasty One, that’s a very fair, suitable analogy. Staying on the idea of skin, I think most people who have lifted weights will be familiar with callouses. To direct this to the idea of ligaments and connective tissue, it is also rather intuitive that they will strengthen under increased load. E.g. I can’t imagine someone squatting 400 lbs, let alone 1000 lbs, without having seriously strengthened the connective tissue from pre-weight training levels.

However, before we become beholden to analogies, consider a dis-confirming one—lifting weights for increases in size. While many people believe that weight training requires intermittent time-off, or deconditioning, other theories try to get around this. For instance, regular, extremely frequent weight training can be an extremely effective method for building size. The method is kept effective by constant variations in stimulus (= exercise). Time off is avoided merely by changing volume and intensity parameters.

While I actually like this analogy the least, the point is we’re probably better off sticking to the underlying processes for the specific tissues.

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