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Molecular Training

In 1919 Lange wrote a scientific treatise entitled ‘About functional adaptation’…Uber Funktionelle Anpassung.This is what he said:

“…. If, however, the muscle performance is increased merely by working against the same resistance as before for a longer time, no increase in the contractile tissue is necessary.”

This thinking when applied to weight training became systematic and progressive resistance exercise (PRE). The magnitude of which PRE had to be sufficient enough to cause physiological adaptation. As mentioned it was first described by Lange….and became recognized as the ‘Overload Principle’.

In Physical Education students learned to index their activity systematically and progressively by multiplying the three components of the overload principle together to foster physiological adaptation.

AI (Activity Index) = Load or Intensity or Tension x Frequency x Duration

Somehow, we began thinking overload was something extrinsic to the organism and it was about sets and reps. In strength training the words ‘Load became Weight’, ‘Intensity became Effort’ and ‘Tension was thought of as and rightfully so, Muscular Tension’. The words Frequency and Duration became synonymous with Workouts, Sets and Reps.

College ‘Exercise Science Programs’ have worked to say NO to the above. No, we must look inside the cell and manage time under tension. The muscle does not understand sets and repetitions, it only understands the time it is being stressed or the amount of strain. Thus, the activity index for the modern physical educator leaving a college in exercise physiology strength training has become:

AI (Activity Index) = Load or Intensity or Tension x Time

More accurately YES, but in order to advance as science has in indexing the overload principle, physical educators, coaches, and strength coaches must develop methods of science as taught.

Working out on the Pendulum Hip Press

No matter what exercises you do, molecules obey the same rules of chemistry and physics that all biological systems obey and they are intrinsic to the organism… that is the rules within their molecular environment.

Outside the internal organism you may get results with intensity, frequency and duration. You may be managing exercise stringently, but the molecules are feeling their own time tension. 

The athlete just lifted 7 repetitions with 225 pounds on the bar and the molecules may be saying, that felt more like 40 seconds of lifting practically nothing.

As physical educators we must administer exercise addressing time under tension, physiology dictates that we do.

Dr Keith Baar from UC Davis describes the overload principle for molecules in the most important paper since Lange, “The signaling underlying FITness.”   

Overload within the cell = Load x Metabolic Stress x Calcium Flux 

For the Molecules, when they index their activity it is:

AI (Activity Index) = Strain on tensiometer x ATP x Calcium muscle tissue on a tensiometer 

Any questions regarding training, ask Molecules, because they know how to GET STRONG.


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Livonia Franklin High School
2024 CSCCa

A morning workout on the Pendulum Rack System at the College Strength and Conditioning Show in Fort Worth, Texas. The strength coaches are Staying Strong. The Pendulum Rack System