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Strategic Deconditioning

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I agree with this wholeheartedly. There’ve been times when I was just unable to PE, and it got me down a lot; or, I’d only be able to do a skeleton routine for 2-3 days per week for a few weeks. Invariably, when I found more time to do regular workouts, I’d break out the ruler first - to “survey the damage.” I’d think, “Okay, let’s see how much I’ve lost.” - only to find I’d grown an extra 1-1.5 mm.

Strategic rests - even when there ain’t “strategy” involved, lol - can be very productive; and, they can be a precursor to better future gains.

No doubt.

SS4 wrote:
>By ”on” time do you mean plateau time? I don’t think these extended breaks should be planned, but rather used as an extreme plateau busting technique. The magic bullet types will be taking months off after a few months plateau, when maybe all it would take is another few weeks of solid work to gain. It’s hard to give general advice, especially since are people who bust plateaus through perseverence. What is your opinion?<

PEing until a long plateau is reached and increased time/intensity/weight fails to break it is one way to decide it’s time to decondition.

However, a long period spent not making any progress may be counterproductive if the tissues continue to toughen without growing. Maybe it’s better to decondition when the rate of progress slows to a certain point, not necessarily wait until you’ve been stalled for many months.

I suppose it depends on a guy’s history of progress. We all have different patterns of growth. When I put in the work, I generally gain a little over a few months, then reach a plateau that persists despite my best efforts to break through it. So I should probably PE until gains stall, give it an extra month for cementing the progress, then take a break.

Someone else may need several months of hanging or stretching before gaining anything. Maybe from that point he then builds up some momentum, even progressing at a faster rate as time goes on. A person like this would need a different deconditioning timetable and strategy than mine.

If a guy has all day to hang, breaks probably aren’t needed very often or at all because he can continue increasing the time and intensity to levels way beyond those possible for most of us. IIRC, Bib was hanging something like 45 or 50 pounds at the end of his hanging career.

Even if time isn’t an issue, discomfort or other issues with hanging heavy (in a relative sense) weight may prevent some guys from either putting in enough time or increasing the load enough to break through their current limiting factor. Spending many months using the same poundage, time and angles is probably counterproductive. (Switching angles may do the trick.)

Guys who don’t hang are limited to a narrower window of usable time and intensity. They may need more frequent breaks because of this.

I wonder how much more useful total rest is vs. changing focus of a routine. Does hanging or stretching only straight up for a few months allow the ligs to decondition effectively? Or how about switching from a length to girth-only routine or vice versa?

hobby,

Perfect post there, well put.

>I wonder how much more useful total rest is vs. changing focus of a routine. Does hanging or stretching only straight up for a few months allow the ligs to decondition effectively?<

I was thinking this while reading your post, but you beat me to it. I don’t see why they would not decondition.

>Or how about switching from a length to girth-only routine or vice versa?<

Hmm. If it was a lig-length program then the girth routine would allow the ligs to decondition, especially if the jelqing or whatetver is done ‘up’, to avoid any potential stress on the ligs. But if it was tunica-length, I am of the opinion that girth work hinders future length gains from tunica stretching.

SS4

Hobby,
A great post. Beautiful. Excellent thread too.
>If a guy has all day to hang, breaks probably aren’t needed very often or at all because he can continue increasing the time and intensity to levels way beyond those possible for most of us. IIRC, Bib was hanging something like 45 or 50 pounds at the end of his hanging career.

Even if time isn’t an issue, discomfort or other issues with hanging heavy (in a relative sense) weight may prevent some guys from either putting in enough time or increasing the load enough to break through their current limiting factor. Spending many months using the same poundage, time and angles is probably counterproductive. (Switching angles may do the trick.)<

I couldn’t agree more - especially with “discomfort or other issues with hanging heavy (in a relative sense) weight “.
I am one of the fortunate who can hang all day. What motivated my mini-break in large part was a desire not to be forced to higher weights. Why?
Because up until this point I have been injury free and have suffered no skin discoloration or stress related marring of my unit.
As SS4 likes to say (not bragging) - I largely attribute this “healthy” state of appearance to using my Wench in conjunction with Therband, which has proved to be a very forgiving combination on my unit - there is zero evidence of PE (other than gains) and I hang all day. But I have no doubt that regardless of the device or wrap, once a person begins to exceed a certain weight the skin can’t help but reveal evidence of this unusual amount of stress. And simple physics tells us that you are more likely to injure yourself at 30 lbs than at 12 lbs.
So, while I have plenty of time to hang, I’d rather do it with a minimal amount of weight. I’m completely shooting in the dark when I try to manipulate this by taking a mini-break. But as you so eloquently point out these things are largely unknowns and at best relative to the individual.
To be honest, it never even occurred to me to attack other angles instead of take a break (duh). But as I said the psychological recharging I enjoyed was probably even more valuable. I think we sometimes need it.

SS4 and Hobby-
>Or how about switching from a length to girth-only routine or vice versa?<
>Hmm. If it was a lig-length program then the girth routine would allow the ligs to decondition, especially if the jelqing or whatetver is done ‘up’, to avoid any potential stress on the ligs. But if it was tunica-length, I am of the opinion that girth work hinders future length gains from tunica stretching. <

But isn’t it still impossible to gauge what tunica length gains one is receiving even with a lig routine? I desperately want to work on girth but won’t touch it until (if ever) I reach my length goal. I have largely concentrated on lower angles for lig stretch, but I cannot with any certainty say that whatever gains I have enjoyed weren’t also the result of tunica stretch realized as a by-product of lig work.
Since I am unable to ascertain this I have been afraid to work girth in any form.
What say you two: Is this a realistic concern? Does the possibility of tunica-length growth via lower angle hanging discount working girth as a risk to gains? The conventional wisdom seems to be to completely separate the two - length routine/girth routine - chronologically as opposed to dividing the two concurrently.
Or am I splitting hairs.

-Cap

Thanks for the compliments, guys. I’m glad my writing was intelligible. :)

Cap, good point. The tunica gets stretched in front of the ligs even when you are hanging in lig-working positions. In tunica-focused angles, the ligs may also receive enough tension to at least slow down their deconditioning.

>Does the possibility of tunica-length growth via lower angle hanging discount working girth as a risk to gains?

I’m not sure what you’re asking. As much as you hang, I think you’re wise to avoid girth work for now because it would interfere with your hanging. You won’t hang as much if you have to contend with shaft soreness and/or fluid buildup.

If the weight gets uncomfortably high in the position(s) you are currently using or progress slows, you can try another, but similar angle appropriate for your LOT. For example, to the side, such as over or under the leg. Another option with a similar pull is lying on your side, hanging over the edge of the bed. Either of these allow you to use a lighter load to work less tissue at a time. Of course, the time involved is increased because you have 2 legs (or a leg and a peg, as the case may be) to hang over.

I doubt switching to the side angles exclusively would allow the tissue worked medially at BTC, SD, SO or OTS to decondition very thoroughly because it would still receive some stress.

>I’m not sure what you’re asking. As much as you hang, I think you’re wise to avoid girth work for now because it would interfere with your hanging. You won’t hang as much if you have to contend with shaft soreness and/or fluid buildup. <

Great point about fluid build-up. An often overlooked issue even without girth work adding to it.

You essentially addressed my question in your first paragraph Hobby. I see a risk of negatively effecting tunica gains I’m not even trying for but am likely receiving via low angle hanging if I try for girth gains at the same time (or even during small breaks).
The two goals are probably best left completely separate: Length and then girth. Regardless of whether one is attempting length gains through lig stretching.

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