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Question for Medical Professionals....

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Question for Medical Professionals....

I’m calling out to any MDs on the board, physical therapists, physiologists, etc., etc., with a stretching question:

Is vigorous (i.e., very forceful) stretching beneficial or counterproductive? Please don’t address the injury potential aspect of that question - I realize that the risks are higher than they would be with mild to moderate intensity - I’m referring specifically to results.

I’m wondering if high-intensity stretching will harden the ligs, perhaps reducing their elongation potential; or, as some have suggested, possibly even contracting the ligs, inhibiting any gains.

I know that I stretched mildly as a newbie and made pretty good gains (newbie gains, of course). But as my gains had slowed, and I became more attuned to my body, I’ve ramped up the intensity - but the length gains haven’t been materializing. Am I stretching too vigorously?

But when advanced hangers use high weights, they’re certainly subjecting the weinie to a lot of force - and seemingly with good results.

Any thoughts about Tension/Time aspects of stretching for best results?
Thanks.

- w a d

I’ll start. Tension/time is the best method of stretching, that is why hanging works so well. Low load over a long period of time will result in better lengthening. As far as the amount of weight some of the hangers achieve, the body does adapt to the weight and soon 6 pounds isn’t enough, so they increase the weight to 8 pounds and so forth to achieve the same results that 6 pounds use to give, and when 8 pounds doesn’t work, well you get the idea.

Forceful stretching, IMHO is NOT a good idea simply because of the injury risks involved. There is this little thing called the GTO (Golgi (sp) Tendon Organ) that will automatically kick in if the tissue is stretched too hard which would inhibit gains, it is a system used to protect the tissues from injury. Now, I’m not for certain that the penis has one of those, but it would limit gains if activated. In my field of medicine, we never force a stretch (I do Physical Therapy for a living, I’m a PTA) We do however hold stretches for upwards of 120 seconds (2 minutes). Now I do realize that stretching a hamstring is much different than stretching a penis, however the same principles apply.

What I suggest Wad, is this, use heat to loosen the tissues before stretching, then use moderate force to stretch allowing those tissues to elongate. You may have to hold that stretch for upwards of 5 minutes to achieve the desired effects. That is why many guys go to hanging. I wish to put a disclaimer in here, I was the most anti hanging person you would have ever wanted to meet, until one night Bib was in the chat room discussing hanging. He was able to convince me that it is a safe method, as long as you use your brains, to increase the length. And the reason for that is the t/t aspect of hanging; maintaining that stretch for a longer period of time. I would also suggest using heat during the stretching process to keep those tissues loose. I have no real opinion on the use of cold directly after stretching to keep the elongated state.

Wad, I hope that helps, I hope I answered the question. Personally, I would feel that vigorous/forceful stretching would inhibit gains.


sunny A day without sunshine is like a day without laughter :sun:

sunshine,
Thanks for your detailed & helpful response. Yeah, I’m aware of the GT Response, which is used in the theory behind the (controversial?) compensatory acceleration training for advanced strength athletes.

I think I’m going to nix the super extreme pulling (which I slowly ease into, btw), and try to focus more in the 2-5 minute range. I do want to hang, I just haven’t the Time/Privacy to do so yet.

Also, do you think the type of heat is important (damp, infrared, etc.)??

Thanks.

BTW, I just downloaded those 15 videos Thunder features. Going to check them out later.

Wad

Hang!


I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work. Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

I know you’re looking for MD’s to answer this (which I’m not), but I’m not sure that even someone with a perfect understanding of the composition would necessarily be able to predict the outcome of these routines, as it is a little different to the kind of injuries they’d be used to dealing with.

Like you, I’ve read extensively about this area. Unfortunately studies seem mostly biased towards muscle tissue since tendons and ligaments being over stretched in any other part of the anatomy could be bad news (since they’re restraints or ROM limiters by design).

Anyway here’s my 2 cents:

Since the viscous fibres of the tissue starts by being coiled or bunched, I think you can make easy begginers gains by plastic deformation through light stretching. Once we’ve straightened a fair percentage of those out then we need to transition to an additional/alternative method such as hanging to do damage to those fibres (micro tears, as they often seem to be called). As the ‘front line’ fibres fail and repair leaving the next line of fibres to fail, I imagine that eventually you would end up with a lot of similar length straightened fibres that cumulatively are a very strong opposition. At that point I believe further gains could only be achieved by isolation techniques.

As a side note, I also think that the elastic tissues will begin to factor less over time (either by reduction in elastin or increase in viscous fibres, or both - I don’t know which). That may well be what turns a grower to a shower, and why flaccid gains are easier to come by than erect.

I think the real way to find the answer to this is to get Bib, DLD and some very poor gainers to get a penis biopsy :)

Shiver

Moist heat is probably the best as it penetrates the tissues. Infrared is also good, however, you have to go through all sorts of stuff to know what your “dosage” is. Just putting an infrared lamp on to heat your dick might lead to a very sunburned dick. I don’t think that would be much fun. A rice sock would work well, a heating pad would work well. Doing stretches while in the shower or tub would work well (tub is better you’re soaking while stretching)


sunny A day without sunshine is like a day without laughter :sun:

Originally Posted by sunshinekid
There is this little thing called the GTO (Golgi (sp) Tendon Organ) that will automatically kick in if the tissue is stretched too hard which would inhibit gains, it is a system used to protect the tissues from injury.

Isn’t that only in muscle tissue though? (genuine question to which I do not know the answer).

Imho, forceful stretching is the poor mans version of light stretching with the luxury of time. In looking for optimal adaptation, I’d put my money on 1lb x 24hours over 24lb x 1hour.

Originally Posted by Shiver
Imho, forceful stretching is the poor mans version of light stretching with the luxury of time. In looking for optimal adaptation, I’d put my money on 1lb x 24hours over 24lb x 1hour.

Yeah, I know that I’ve thought intensity might provide a “shortcut” over the time factor. I’m sure that’s not the way it works - at the extreme end. But, in your example, how about 2 lbs for 12 hours, or 4 lbs for 6 hours?

See what I mean? I’m just wondering where those 2 variables (Time & Tension) might intersect on an imaginary growth chart.

Obviously, the 24 lbs for 1 hour would be excessive, in that example. Or 48 lbs for 30 minutes, or even - if you want to be insane - 240 lbs for 6 minutes. I’m sure that elongation doesn’t happen so rapidly; unless, of course, the Tension is high enough so that your dick is laying on the floor - several feet away from your body (hopefully an ambulance is en route).

I just wish I could determine an “optimal” combination of the two - specifically, the least amount of Time required - and at what tension - to actually affect gains.

I also agree that a PE’d unit undergoes “changes,” rendering additonal growth subsequently more difficult. However, I do have a theory - only a theory - that growth might be maintained if a very determined trainee is willing to go through phases (sort of a staggered approach), over time. This would, as the name suggests, feature bouts of PE, abbreviated by lengthy strategic breaks.

Maybe an initial year or two - until gains dry up. Followed by a 2-4 month break the 1st time. Then PE for several months, until the next stubborn plateau. The 2nd break would necessarily be longer: maybe 3-7 months, etc., etc. What got me thinking along those lines was that old school acquaintance whom I ran into (the only person in real life with whom I’ve ever discussed PE).

He made a 2” EL gain in a relatively short period of time (going from 5” to 7”). He was still gaining when he stopped, at his wife’s insistence (later, she became his ex); but he did tell me that the gains had slowed. Anyway, he had quit PE for (I believe) a couple years - losing only very little. Then the lucky bastard resumed - after his break up - and got another quick inch and, when I last saw him, told me he was zeroing in on “9”).

While it’s true that he may have continued gaining if he had never stopped in the first place, I doubt he would’ve so quickly grew another inch had he not took a lengthy (albeit, unplanned) break.

Sounds like.

Sounds like another story of a long break and then some substantial gains. When i start my program I’ll probably incorporate some lengthy breaks every summer.

Wadzilla,
I think the decontioning breaks may be the key to getting around the penis toughing up to our PE endevours like you said. I just wasn’t certain how often they should be used, but I beleive if you are going on a few monthes with no gains you have at least cemented what you’ve attained and may want to try taking a break for deconditioning. (I know deconditioning breaks work great for getting past gym plateaus)

SunshineKid,
I don’t think you can sunburn yourself with an infared light, you could only burn yourself with the heat of the lamp being too high or close to your skin but you would definately feel that happening. Infared is the lowest sectrum of light (red), where as the sun and tanning bulbs have UV light (violet) which is the highest known spectrum and what causes sunburns/tanning.


:flame: "If you build it, they will cum."

Redwood\'s Progress Report/Routines Thread.

Wadzilla,

I also think intesity can be helpful, I find when I do more intense stretching I get more out of it. I think Horsehung has also mentioned that he thinks long intense sessions are the key. Like you I’m also interested in try some hanging but can’t find a way to have the time/privacy for it. (My 1.5-2hour PE session is already long enough to lock myself mysteriously in my room.)


:flame: "If you build it, they will cum."

Redwood\'s Progress Report/Routines Thread.

Originally Posted by wannabelarge99
Sounds like another story of a long break and then some substantial gains. When i start my program I’ll probably incorporate some lengthy breaks every summer.

I also experienced a growth surge after a break; I’m sure they’re effective. I had hit such a long dryspell. I ended up PE’ing very sporadically for about 2 months, then took the next 2 months off, cold turkey. After coming back, I nailed a 0.22” EL gain in only 3 weeks.

Wad’s PE Journey - Updated!

Wad,

What Dino said!

Wad, This first paragraph I’ve written last, as you’ve made me look back at a lot of the things I’ve been doing over the years in order to answer your post properly. In the course of doing so I’ve found something that may be very interesting that seems to support your idea (as you’ll see later in the post).

Quote
I’m just wondering where those 2 variables (Time & Tension) might intersect on an imaginary growth chart.

Currently, I think the tension side is a bell curve. The drop on the far side of the bell curve being due to the body sustaining too much damage and going into emergency repair (adhesions possibly?) rather than gradual adaptation. Time is difficult to quantify. I think in this case it relates to metabolic rate.

Quote
if you want to be insane - 240 lbs for 6 minutes. I’m sure that elongation doesn’t happen so rapidly

Perhaps, a long way past the end of above bell curve it may rise again - just before the tensile limit is reached. In practical terms however, that’s pretty much off the agenda - at least for me :)

Regarding breaks, I’ve had three. Each I came back with a rapid gain (both times 3/8”). The first two breaks were at least 9 months though checking through my fairly occasional daily (yes daily!) excel spreadsheet length charting, the last one was just 17 days. Strange as it may seem, and although I had a hunch that there was some significance in breaks and have even posted about it, I never realised the imporantance of this until I came to reply to your post. I’ve just started a new routine yesterday which I have to stick to, otherwise I think perhaps I’d try a 1 week on, 3 weeks off schedule. That’s just going off my own measurements. You being more advanced might find a different protocol works.

Here is a summary about the return from these sabatticals:

1. Minimum downtime was 17 days but often much longer.
2. Standard stretching or jelquing, or some half assed protocol - never anything groundbreaking*
3. I would usually lose a few 16ths in the lay off period.
4. I would quickly regain the few 16ths when I returned (sometimes after first session).
5. The gains would continue for between 3 and 13 days before flattening out.

And finally..the interesting one…

6. Following the curve from rapid to flat gains, the metadata suggests that when I resumed and got rapid gains, I got to something like the point where I would have gotten to had I continued PE. That is to suggest that the body has it’s own fixed rate (metabolic?) at which it can adapt, and trying to beat the system doesn’t work.

Obviously I can’t back that above up since I don’t have nearly enough statistical information so it’s pretty much the first steps of a random walk, but it’s a neat idea don’t you think? It’s like you can set the metabolic tortoise in motion and you can run ahead or run behind, but there’s a bungy rope that won’t let you get ahead more than a certain amount (say 3/8”), or that you can lose (cementing?).

Quote
I also agree that a PE’d unit undergoes “changes,” rendering additonal growth subsequently more difficult. However, I do have a theory - only a theory - that growth might be maintained if a very determined trainee is willing to go through phases (sort of a staggered approach), over time. This would, as the name suggests, feature bouts of PE, abbreviated by lengthy strategic breaks.

I’m leaning towards that idea. It seems that a break may allow tissues to normalise before starting the next leg, whereas while continuing may also allow further gains, it runs the risk of hindering the repair.

Redwood:

Quote
Infared is the lowest sectrum of light (red), where as the sun and tanning bulbs have UV light (violet) which is the highest known spectrum and what causes sunburns/tanning.

I think it’s UV-A that gives you the tan, and UV-B that burns. Both of which are, as you say, a long way from IR.

Quote
I also think intesity can be helpful, I find when I do more intense stretching I get more out of it


I agree to a point. To use your gym analogy, training within your limits is unproductive for gains. Training way beyond your ability is also unproductive. Stretching the envelope a little each time, and mixing it up occasionally would make sense. Continuing the gym analogy, allowing tissues to decondition would mean that the same routine after a break would be just as taxing as last time around, but in the case of ligaments and tendons they don’t atrophy nearly as quickly as gym targeted tissues would, so we could continue to make gains.

* Regarding point 2 above: I’ve never focussed on new excercises much. Each time I’ve started PE again it is due to a new finding that has intigued me, be it hormones, nutrition, heat etc. Initial gains were promising each time, but it always flattened out suggesting that either the idea didn’t work, or the body adapted and compensated. Perhaps the real gain each time was the deconditioning(?)


Last edited by Shiver : 07-14-2004 at .

Originally Posted by Shiver
…Following the curve from rapid to flat gains, the metadata suggests that when I resumed and got rapid gains, I got to something like the point where I would have gotten to had I continued PE. That is to suggest that the body has it’s own fixed rate (metabolic?) at which it can adapt, and trying to beat the system doesn’t work.

Obviously I can’t back that above up since I don’t have nearly enough statistical information so it’s pretty much the first steps of a random walk, but it’s a neat idea don’t you think? It’s like you can set the metabolic tortoise in motion and you can run ahead or run behind, but there’s a bungy rope that won’t let you get ahead more than a certain amount (say 3/8”), or that you can lose (cementing?).

I’m leaning towards that idea. It seems that a break may allow tissues to normalise before starting the next leg, whereas while continuing may also allow further gains, it runs the risk of hindering the repair.

Shiver,
This is a very interesting post, and I feel that I get more out of this kind of exchange than I do from simply getting somebody’s workout, verbatim.

But, at least for now, I’d have to disagree with your summation (“when I resumed and got rapid gains, I got to something like the point where I would have gotten to had I continued PE. That is to suggest that the body has it’s own fixed rate (metabolic?) at which it can adapt, and trying to beat the system doesn’t work.”).

If you look at my updated progress report (Wad’s PE Journey - Updated!), you’ll see that when I resumed PE after my 2 month break on May 3rd, I was the same size I’d been since December 23rd; yet, 3 weeks later, I grew 0.22” EL. I had lost .02” during the break (the 7.6” I had measured before was not cemented). So, consider this summary:

March 26, 2003 to March 3, 2004: grew 0.24” EL in 1 year
>> after a 2 month break…
May 3 to May 24, 2004: grew 0.22” EL in 3 weeks!

What had taken me a year to grow, without breaks, was equaled within 3 weeks, after a 2-month break. I firmly believe that if I had been obstinate enough to continue plugging along for another year, I may have only gained the 0.22” EL - or even nothing at all, after wasting a year’s worth of effort.

I believe that breaks are instrumental, and not simply “trying to beat the system.” I think that without breaks, the system beats you.

Though I’ve been doing PE for 2 years, I never experienced those types of gains (0.22” EL in 3 weeks) after my initial 4-month “honeymoon” with PE. As I’ve shown, I had toiled a freakin’ YEAR for that type of gains since my newbie gains had ceased around January 2003.

I believe that if we keep toiling and toiling, our tissues become so resistant that further growth not only slows to a snail’s pace, but may even become impossible. I have come to see the dreaded break time as an active, strategic part of PE - and one that was singularly responsible for the best growth spurt I’ve had during the past 1.5 years.

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