Units of Muscular Contraction--The Mullen Performance Code

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Units of Muscular Contraction--The Mullen Performance Code

Post  Fitness Scientist on Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:13 pm

Units of Muscular Contraction
The Mullen Performance Code

I have been extraordinarily lucky. Anyone who pretends that some kind of luck isn’t involved in his
success is deluding himself. –Arthur Hailey

By Fitness Scientist

Author's Notes: This post is taken from the last book (although I an working on others), it is kind of a restatement of another one I posted on this great site. One of the best ways to learn is to read whatever attracts you mind, and your common sense based on everything you have learned up to this point of your life. If this chapter makes sense to you, use it. If it does not strike a chord in your senses, continue to search for your truth.

I dreamed up the Units of Muscular Contraction in the 1970's, to quantify a legitimate way of judging the manual work that happens during a the repetitions of muscle contraction against any form of resistance.

Since then, I have used it in many thousands of fitness evaluations.

Although it does not mean to state that the Units showed are the actual amount of muscle fibers that are contracting during exercise, it at least a simple, presents a mathematical numerically different way of to understanding what is actually happening.

Adjusting and managing resistance is critical to workout success. Instead of discussing all the existing methods of raising and lowering resistance, we outline what we believe to be the excellent way and explain the meaning.

For many years, I blindly followed the recommendation found in “muscle magazines” and weightlifting magazines and research journals. I seldom asked questions of the writers or researchers, and I believed that the publishers were reporting the truth on the highest level.

Results, when following these suggestions, were very slow in coming. Months and years passed with a little increase in strength or any other fitness index. Yet, we persisted.

In truth, we became quite strong, fit, and our self-esteem greatly improved. However, not in proportion to the time, effort, energy, and dollars expended to the imagined fitness panacea. Something was obviously wrong.

In thinking details through, it became clear we lacked a formula. A formula to establish baseline data, another formula to assess muscle contractions, and a rule to compare each one to the other.
We decided to bring into play the standard Work Formula, and adjust it to the fitness and weight training fields.

You do not have to be a creative genius (as you might have guessed) to solve this puzzle. Yet, it eventually took me half my exercise life to examine historic procedures and to face them with a different approach.

I decided on the following approach.

I would adjust the Work Formula, which states:
W= F x d.

This formula means: Work measurement is equal to the applied Force, multiplied by the distance the Force travels.

It was successfully adjusted to be interpreted as:
UMC= Work x resistance

This formulation means: The Units of Muscular Contraction are equal to the amount of weight, multiplied by the total number of complete repetitions, performed in the proper method.

I justified it because I understood that any physical work must involve a certain amount of muscular contraction. We assumed rightly or wrongly that the word “Force” is synonymous with the word “Weight.”

We then carried on to think: Since a repetition covers a certain distance, we can measure the distance in inches, centimeters, feet or whatever -- or simplify things and call the distance measurement a “repetition.”

How is that for simplifying exercise?

That successfully fulfilled our goal for a logical, non-contradictory, repeatable testing and workout design. Now we say: The Units of Muscular Contraction are Equal to Weight used, multiplied by Repetitions produced in proper style.

Sounds very simple to me. How does it sound to you? Obviously, the phrase “Units of Muscular Contraction” can be restated to any wording--Fitness--as one example.

Fitness is equal to the resistance, multiplied by the repetitions. Therefore, the Fitness Code is formulated is meant to be equal to the same elements.

The formula allows you to assess the phenomenon of what is happening within a workout. It shows if you are performing at a productive, consistent level, or gulp, moving backward. It is all in the numbers! Let us do a very simple work up of a typical exercise set and then we will increase the resistance in a standard fashion.

Let us assume the following: A set of 10 reps with 50lbs. equals 500 Units of Muscular Contraction. For keen visualization sake, say 500 muscle fibers contracted with that effort. The typical individual then takes a few minutes’ rest and does another set, commonly with a heavier weight.

For the next set, 60lbs. is used, and the reps stop at seven (by arbitrary decision or muscular failure). Well, seven repetitions multiplied by 60lbs. equal only 420 Units of Muscular Contraction.

Although the weight was 10 lbs. heavier than the previous resistance, less muscle fiber contracted than during the first set. Will that send a signal to the body to get stronger, more fit, more toned, and bigger (for those whose goal is to increase muscle size)? NO!

Because it is less WORK, the muscles receive a signal, which in effect says, “This is a trivial work load, we already handled at least 500 units of work, because we did that during the first set.”

To improve a workout-to-workout basis, you must contract more muscle fibers each workout. You must cause more work than the previous effort in order to stimulate real effects.

Muscle pump (a by-product of repetitions) is not indicative of permanent improvement, or of greater strength, more endurance, or enhanced body shape. A pump is simply a sign of blood flow.

The sets and repetitions we used as an illustration are just that: an illustration. The idea, however, is valid despite the weights used or repetitions fulfilled.

Prove it to yourself by examining your training card and multiplying your weights and reps.

There are three variables that could make this formula worthless: (1) Speed-of-movement (2) Range-of-motion and (3) Pausing for a prolonged time between reps. We point this out because some cynic will attempt to point out a flaw by introducing those factors.

I believe you have enough common sense to direct the lifting and lowering speed of movement at a measured rate.

Without pausing for extended periods of time at either end or the movement, and thatat either end or the movement, and that, you will not count partial movements as complete repetitions.

“It’s not our disadvantages of short-comings that are ridiculous, but rather the studious way we try to hide them, and our desire to act as if they did not exit.”
---Giacomo Leopardi

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Fitness Scientist

Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-04-26
Age : 80
Location : Lake Mary, Florida

http://joemullenfitness.com . . . . . .www.bodbuildinghighintens

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