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  1. #1
    Wolfeye is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Anti-Glycogenic Training?

    I was doing Pavel's 5-Week Workout & wanted to audit my understanding on this type of workout, which seems to be called "anti-glycogenic training." The theory with this is that it keeps you from getting burned-out because the body doesn't get as acidic & is a good workout aside from that (because the movements include a lot of the body & are fairly intense).

    I think I have an understanding of the concept: Doing a workout with a lot of recoveries, in between a lot of short & heavy exertions. The original one that I read was (with a kettlebell that you could only do 6-8 presses with) do goblet squats & swings on one day, presses & pull-ups on the next, alternating back & forth for 6 days, resting on the 7th, and doing this for 5 weeks.

    I don't know if you can do more & more in the day, though. I would think, if you're fresh, you can do more (like doing two of these workouts in a day, but when you're rested up enough to do the second one like you did the first one)- but I don't know if that'll screw up the general effect on your body. I also don't know if exerting yourself straight-through (which this is supposed to improve the ability to do dramatically) will deteriorate this effect if it's done consistently or if it will stay as & then only improve in the regular fashion from there.

  2. #2
    GeoffreyLevens is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    I am for sure no expert, just read a bit on it, but from what I understand, so long as you keep your sets under 20 seconds and use "full body" movements as explosively as possible, your good. Mandatory to take gently active rest after each set until breath such that you can easily have conversation or sing. Maybe add 30 seconds on to that. Alternative is use HR monitor and rest until pulse starts to drop below your Maffetone MAF zone (180-your age).

  3. #3
    MostlyFull is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    As long as you keep your heartbeat at or below the MAF zone you will be anti-glycogenic and in the fat burning zone. If you remain above the MAF zone you will begin burning glycogen. If you are low on glycogen you will enter glyconeogenisis, the conversion of lean mass to glycogen.

    Thats pretty much all I have read on the subject.
    Last edited by MostlyFull; 02-16-2018 at 01:18 PM.

  4. #4
    GeoffreyLevens is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    Pavel On A + A Training [from a StrongFirst forum thread]

    1. As Richard Feynman said, there is no total certainty in science; only degrees of uncertainty. In the field as mind numbingly complex as muscle cell biochemistry, the degree of uncertainty will remain high for a long time. So there is no last word.

    2. There are two ways to progress athletic training knowledge: empirically and through the use of biological sciences. History shows that there have been a number of highly successful methodologies that were almost totally empirical—such as the Soviet weightlifting methodology. Usually a combination brings best results.

    3. One has to take the results of brief studies on untrained subjects with a grain of salt. (And many HIIT studies are in that category.)

    4. Oftentimes there is more than one way to get the job done due to the complexity of the human body and the multitude of possible stimuli and responses.

    5. Sometimes methods delivering similar results can be diametrically opposite. E.g., one can train to run 800m by maximizing his glycolytic power and capacity—or by finding ways to delay maximal deployment of glycolysis.

    In practical terms, when we are training to develop general endurance and WTHE [What The Heck?!? Effects or “unexpected benefits] with kettlebell quick lifts and stay healthy:

    I. Glycolytic training pros and cons.


    * Promotes muscle building and fat loss through an endocrine response and muscle building through local effects of lactic acid.

    * Can be used for peaking in some events.


    * Since glycolytic training is very stressful, it easily promotes ”Basedow” overtraining [or a parasympathic or “Addison” overtraining] if one is not careful in planning training and all aspects of one's life.

    * For the same reason—intense production of stress hormones—one must be careful with glycolysis in the same manner one must be careful with the effects of excess stress on health.

    * There is evidence that when acidosis is high, some mitochondria get destroyed (they literally fill up with water and blow up as they cannot keep up with buffering H+). Yes, there is a number of studies demonstrating that—in Russian. (And no, a few studies demonstrating mitochondrial biogenesis in newbies from HIIT do not cancel them out.)

    * There is some evidence that the H+ and other electrically charged particles produced as a result of anaerobic glycolysis may damage other tissues—but the research is inconclusive. There is damage on one hand and a possible need for some oxidative stress to stimulate adaptation on the other (the hormetic effect).

    * Glycolysis in the heart (sustained and repeated HR >190) does damage the heart. (Although there is no evidence that in healthy people high heart rates elevated for brief periods of time, e.g. a hard sprint or a set of snatches, are dangerous, you should trust your cardiologist's recommendations on high how and how long you can push yours.)

    * Soreness and fatigue. Not a problem if you ride a desk; a life or death problem for some professions.

    In other words, glycolysis is a strong medicine with possible side effects and one must take it in moderation.

    Recommendations on how to do it:

    II. Anti-glycolytic training.

    Researched and experimented with in the USSR since the 1980s, AGT culminated with superb results on a number of Russian national teams in diverse sports in this century.

    Original AGT work was aimed at minimizing glycolysis by maximizing the CP pathway and aerobic recovery. Later work was aimed at developing mitochondria in intermediate and fast fibers. The conditions for mitochondrial biogenesis: a fiber must spend a lot of total time in a mild acidosis. Hence traditional interval and circuit training are modified to stop the sets at the onset of mild local fatigue and to increase the rest periods to maintain the average session intensity at right below the AnT—hence the relevant HR discussions on this forum.

    AGT develops exceptional endurance at a very low biological cost, with minimal fatigue and soreness.

    AGT comes with WTHE [see above]—fat loss, power improvement, and some muscle hypertrophy. And the aerobic adaptations improves one's overall health (plenty of research on that).

    Glycolytic and anti-glycolytic training can be periodized, but that is another conversation.

  5. #5
    GeoffreyLevens is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

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