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Deformation: Intensity, Method and Recovery guidelines

Deformation: Intensity, Method and Recovery guidelines

I’ve spent most of the day digging for info, and came across an interesting (but badly composed) article on collagen deformation. It’s very late here so I’ll just write a few notes for now. But the take home message for the high intensity guys is taking adequate time off between sessions depending on the nature of the excercise, and depending on what part of the healing phase the tissues are in. I’ve listed some of the stress amounts listed below, while being high, are withing the realms of hangers and stretchers here.
You can get the full article here:…hrx/ROM2000.doc

The stress is divided into four bands which are defined very roughly as follows:

A <80N (<18lbs)
B 80-180N (18-40lbs)
C 180-280N (40-63lbs)
D >280N (>63lbs)

From these four bands, they have four types of therapy intensity/duration which are listed below with some key points:

Area S1: defined as all of band A
Stimulates fibrocytes to maintain length; until the first slight feeling of stretch. If held for a few minutes the feeling of stretch goes away (accommodates). If sustained for 20 – 30 minutes will signal fibrocytes to remodel tissue longer (sustained low load stretch). Very effective at signaling fibroblasts to remodel collagen in late inflammatory/ early proliferative phase.

Exercise: Daily - eg. ADS

Area S2: defined as lower half of band B
The elastic range actual stretching; some fibers slip, some bonds break, some fibers denature.
If sustained for 20 – 30 minutes will signal fibrocytes to remodel tissue longer (sustained low load stretch) but is difficult to tolerate for 20-30 minutes.

Exercise: Needs at least one day rest between bouts. eg. Hanging/Stretching

Area S3: defined as upper part of band B and small part of band C
Works in the elastic range and a bit of the plastic range; significant stretching; many fibers slip, bonds break, some fibers denature. Stimulates fibrocytes to remodel tissue longer with time. Painful stretch, hard tolerate.

Exercise: Needs at least one day rest between bouts(!?!). eg. Possibly stretching, though a little on the extreme side for most.

Area S4: defined as middle of band C
Not practiced by physical therapists (occasionally by surgeons with anesthesia or unconscious patients!)

Excercise: N/A to us

Interesting and a good find.

V. Frequency
A. Collagen remodeling exercises
1. S1 daily; several times per day usually; S2 brief high intense = daily.
2. S1 sustained low load daily; S2 SLL once every other day.
3. S3 – every other day.

Which of these is best suited for our purposes? Maybe several applied at different times in our PE cycles?

The notes suggest intensity/duration regions for different phases “during inflammation and repair” (pasted below). Do we actually cause enough damage from PE to even get on the chart? I don’t understand if these recommendations are only meant for rehabilitating an injury or also apply in some fashion to lengthening healthy tissue.

2. Early inflammation – S1 only
3. Proliferative phase - S1 could stimulate fibroblasts because of a high activity, S2 with caution; can help greatly to align fibers. Careful stretching in this phase is the key to avoiding use of painful emergency stretching in later phases.
4. Early Remodeling - S1 sustained low load; S2 are quite effective.
5. Late remodeling - S3 must be used if tissue has remodeled
shorter than normal

great find !

Good job Shiver, very interesting data…

It’s about collagen deformation in general, which I would take to mean tendons and ligaments. The tunica appears to be made of mostly the same collagen type as ligaments, so at least its a starting point. The biggest difference seems to be in the degree of alignment of the fibres. Tendons have a greater coherence and less crimp than ligaments. This means that for a given stress on a ligament, the strain will reduce over the session and should be adjusted. Which raises lots of questions about supersets and dropdowns.

The question has been asked before about how much force goes into a stretch, and unless someone wants to do some testing with some fish scales or lifting weight plates for comparisons I guess we won’t know. My guess is 30-40lbs which is well within the earlier ranges mentioned in the article.

Personally I think the S3 band being every other day might be too frequent, since we apply uneven stresses (eg. grip area taking more load than main body) and we have to allow enough time for the weakest link which will slow things down.

The article is aimed primarily at rehabilitaion, but does also cover increasing ROM for reasons other than immobility or injury. What caught my attention apart from repair time, was the timing of therapy methods such as using S2/S3 in order to prevent the need for S4. Doing a lot of damage and then not managing the repair could stunt future potential as the collagen rebuilds stronger causing structural imbalances. Conversely, doing too much excercise without enough time for repair could lead to a viscious circle of inflamation and pain which ultimately would require backing off (again with the risk of capping potential).

For people who are not interested in the science behind it, or don’t want to micro-manage the damage control, the simple advice is to stay with low stresses and up the duration. For more dramatic results, more effort and personal responsibility must be taken in order to avoid either doing permanent damage or ruining their gains potential altogether.



Bring this one up.

Very interesting finding…

A <80N (<18lbs)
B 80-180N (18-40lbs)
C 180-280N (40-63lbs)
D >280N (>63lbs)

I assume the (18lbs) mean the force applied?

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Last edited by kubchaser : 05-29-2012 at .

Nice information. Too bad the link doesn’t work anymore.

This kind of info definitely tends me towards a long sets, low intensity routine. Which is what I’m now doing. :)

Starting again, this time it's serious.

Start: (10.2012) BPFSL: 7.5" BPEL: 7" Base EG: 5.75" Mid/upper shaft EG: 5.25" Head EG: 5"

Now: (3.2013) BPFSL: 7.8" BPEL: 7.4" Base EG: 5.75" Mid/upper shaft EG: 5.25" Head EG: 5.25"

Originally Posted by slammin_dj
This kind of info definitely tends me towards a long sets, low intensity routine. Which is what I’m now doing. :)

Interesting. We all know long sets with low intensity works with less chance of injury to boot.

I started out leaning towards higher intensity levels but after doing a lot of reading here on the forum I am modifying my thinking on this a bit

That said, from a strictly hanging standpoint I feel hanging for 4 to 6 hours every day is waaaay too inconvenient to even consider even if I did have the time and privacy. I might consider an hour of hanging broken up into three 20 minute sets. That would mean I need enough intensity for that hour to give me the same results hanging 4 to 6 hours with a lower intensity would give. I am on a quest to find a “guide” that will help nudge us up to our our own personal optimal intensity levels for the exercises we do.

Good luck with your routine. It’s tried and true and we know it works.

The data in this thread looks like it would be useful in the coding of my “system”. Could someone or a group come up with a seq of tensions, times and temperatures that would produce at least the theoretical maximum tissue elongation? I can build the machine and controls but I am totally ignorant as to the physiology involved. I need an expert to give me some idea as to what an optimal “workout” would be. Keep in mind, this manipulation is NOT being done “manually” and could be spread out through a night or for several hours minimally.

Thanks in advance


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