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 Post subject: Squats for Rats
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:31 am 
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In doing a PubMed search on the risk of injury from back squats (I was thinking humans), I came across the abstract of a study from Iran of resistance training in rats and it's effect on ability to recover from heart attacks. (BTW, I'm not criticizing the use of rats for this study, which required removing the hearts from the bodies, and artificially inducing a heart attack. I'm not planning to volunteer for the human version of the study!) What I found funny, and a little interesting was this line in the abstract:

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The rats were exercised in squat-training apparatus (12 repetitions/set, four sets/day and five days/week for 12 weeks).


Since the full-text article was available on line for free, I looked at it, hoping for an illustration of the "squat-training apparatus". I was just trying to picture how you can make lab rats do squats! I didn't find an illustration, but reading the article, I learned that the rats were in a cylinder where they pushed up on an overhead piston. So it was more of an overhead squat (TimD would have approved!). They lifted in response to an electrical stimulus applied to their tails. This implies interesting techniques that trainers could use to get reluctant clients to squat!

Then I got worried about the ability of the poor little guys to recover, given this brutal 4x12, 5 day-per-week training regimen. (I assume that the rats only trained 5 days a week because the lab assistants only worked 5 days a week.) The study didn't seem to concern itself with overtraining.

Finally, here is how the authors stated their conclusion:
Quote:
We have shown that long-term resistance training confers a cardioprotective effect against myocardial infarction in a defined region subjected to ischemia-reperfusion.

They jumped from squats conferring cardioprotection in rats, to resistance training in general conferring cardioprotection in general, presumably any species! This is, BTW, a serious criticism. You can't just assume that findings in rats proves a similar affect in humans!

Next time I hear anyone criticizing squats, I'll just tell them that some guys in Iran proved that if I do squats, any heart attacks I have in the future will be smaller than they would be otherwise. So KEEP SQUATTING! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Squats for Rats
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:50 am 
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I want to know what nutrition protocol they gave them. Whey post workout? BCAAs during?

but then whey is a by product of cheese making is it not? Sounds like something a rat would like


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 Post subject: Re: Squats for Rats
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Thank you for providing this valuable piece of research. I think my next gym purchase will be cattle prod. I'm already visuallizing it. We could start doing rack bottom squats. We'll load up the bar and let them set up under it. We'll have HUGE squats in no time!


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 Post subject: Re: Squats for Rats
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Bob--The paper specifies the ambient temperature, the light-dark cycle, the age of the rats (3 months) and even their specific breed (purebred rats!), but the only diet information is that they had free access to food and water. Presumably not during the squatting session.

Jason--Yes! You're getting the idea. However, now that I think of it, I'm getting less enthusiastic about visiting your gym when I'm in Indiana next year.

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Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan


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 Post subject: Re: Squats for Rats
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 6:24 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
II looked at it, hoping for an illustration of the "squat-training apparatus".
I think it was mentioned on one of the other forums. here is a nice illustration: http://www.scielo.br/img/revistas/rbme/ ... 3fig01.jpg The little guy seems quite happy, for sure happier than me doing my lunges.


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 Post subject: Re: Squats for Rats
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:15 am 
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looks like a hack squat to me. He's obviously trying to bring up his VMO


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