Why Reaching and Riding Fatigue is CRUCIAL For Making Gains - BibHanger
Remember guys - Bib has made some serious gains and knows his stuff!
If you base everything on the "feel" you get from ligament soreness then you have not properly defined "fatigue". Obviously as you progress into heavier more intense training you can feel the following symptoms......
#1 - Soreness at the base of your penis: since your ligament is attached to your pubic bone you should feel it more internally behind the fat pad.
#2 - Mild tenderness within your penis shaft: I wouldn't classify this as soreness, but more like muscle or tissue awareness. Meaning if you massage or squeeze your penis you should feel like it's been used or worked.
#3 - Soreness in you sphincter muscle: Occasionally as you graduate to heavier weight the initial sessions can manifest a soreness in your sphincter muscle. This means your body is reacting to the stress of the workload and tensing up. This is where you really need to learn to relax that pelvic floor muscle, and feel that stretch to its fullest.
#4 - A very loose and pliable flaccid penis: This is the condition you should experience after a good hang session. It's also the time to take full advantage of this "fatigue" and do 10 - 15 minutes of very aggressive hand stretches. The hang work is what facilitates the "fatigue" and it's where you'll be able to stretch, twist and bend your penis beyond what you can normally do prior to a weight hanging session. It's in this condition that you probably wouldn't be able to achieve a 100% hard erection. This is FATIGUE - gains are made here!
It's my experience that erect length gains come from flaccid length gains. Your penis can be stretched to greater lengths while flaccid than while erect.
You'll never hear anyone say that they have a 7" flaccid penis, but only a 6" erection. Over time the difference between your flaccid length and erect length will become less. For me if I had to put a percentage on it, it would be approximately 30%.
If you are looking to target the ligament stretch more intensely without going to heavier weight, then use a Fulcrum bar as close to the base area as possible, all the way up to the point where you have to push your testicles backwards. Only do not exceed 15 minutes of Fulcrum hanging, as it will cut off circulation to a point. You can do sets of Fulcrums in between SD hanging.
For the vast majority of guys, it is silly to think they will gain without reaching fatigue, and actually feeling tissue deformation. Some guys have reported initial gains without becoming fatigued, but this generally does not last long within their PE career. Sooner or later they have to plastically deform and then remodel the collagen fibres. Below is a diagram showing the composition of these and how, under sufficient strain, microscopic "failures" occur in the collagen fibres. When continually stretched in the fatigued state, this allows the collagen to restructure itself longer and larger!
Figure 1: Structure of Collagen
Figure 2: Stress-Strain Graph showing how tissue [in this case collagen] undergoes micro-tears at sufficient strain. If this never happens and fatigue is never reached, the only gains that can occur are from straightening the previously crimped fibres (newbie gains)
For more on the science behind PE, check out our blog posts:
Soreness, or other descriptions of fatigue, are an indication of tissue deformation. PAIN IS AN INDICATION OF INJURY. The only thing holding back the measured parameters of an erection, either length or girth, are the tough collagenous tissues of the region, namely the longitudinal and lateral fibers of the tunica, and the various ligament structures which may hold the shaft close to the pubic bone, as shown in the diagram below. We are striving for controlled damage to these tough collagenous tissues, the culmination of which is gains.
Other than skin, and allowing time for the skin and other soft tissues to adapt to the stresses, you do not have to worry about gains within these tissues. If you can deform the tough collagenous tissues, tunica (shaft), and the ligs, then the soft tissues go along for the ride, as far as gains are concerned. It is only the tunica which determines the volume of blood which inflates an erection. Nerves will slowly generate to continue communications within the shaft, as gains occur. Blood vessels easily stretch. Smooth muscle within the three chambers will expand to the limits of the tunica to accept new blood volume.
Other than soreness, fatigue can also be described as the inability to continue hanging at a certain stress level. For example, you may have a max weight of ten lbs. IOW, you have, in the past, hung ten lbs for a full 20 minute set, in relative comfort. Then, in the next set, you may start with ten lbs, and at some point in the set, your body tells you that you MUST reduce the weight. The comfort level drops to a level at which you cannot abide. This means the tissues are giving way, nerves are being fired, and your body is telling you to cut back the stresses. This is a GOOD thing. The goal of hanging should not be a weight lifting contest, but rather a controlled method of deforming tissues in a regimented manner, in order to gain. You should strive to hang the least amount of weight, at any angle, which will bring on or sustain fatigue.
Nobody else can inform you of the correct stress levels for your situation. You must take the information your body provides during any individual set, and use that information to decide your next course of action.
When beginning your hanging career, you should ALWAYS start at a low weight, 2.5-5 lbs. You may or may not feel the stretch at these weights. Then, each week, if you are NOT reaching fatigue during your sets, you should increase the weight by 1-2 lbs. You MUST allow the soft tissues of the shaft, the skin, nerves, blood vessels, smooth muscle, etc, time to adapt and adjust to the stresses, not only of the weight, but adapt to the attachment point stresses..
At some point, you will reach a stress level that will bring on fatigue to the COLLAGENOUS TISSUES, within the first set or two of the session. This may be five lbs for some guys, or 30 lbs for others. Most report fatigue somewhere around ten lbs, but the range is large. The reasons for these differences are probably many, but the two which I believe are relative are pain tolerance, and the relative strength or weakness of each individuals collagenous tissue. At any rate, this is when you will need to begin managing fatigue, making decisions that will impact the relative success of your hanging.
Learning the differences between attachment point discomfort, and discomfort from the stresses provided by the weight, is somewhat of an art form. However, with a bit of experience, it soon becomes easy. Obviously, discomfort in the attachment area CAN BE a sign of poor hanger attachment technique or wrapping problems. But it can also be because of the weight, deforming the collagenous material of the tunica in and around the hanger. If you are able to tighten the hanger down, with little discomfort, then there is probably no problem with the soft tissues. Especially if you tighten down the hanger to a degree of slight discomfort, and then add the weight, and the discomfort goes away, then there is no problem with attachment technique.
Then, if you feel discomfort at the attachment point a few minutes after adding the weight, it is probably because of the weight stress affecting the tunica, a good thing. Of course, if there is discomfort in the head, then that is because of poor wrapping technique, or poor hanger adjustment or attachment. If you only feel discomfort behind the hanger toward the base, then this is most likely collagenous material deformation, either in the tunica or the ligs, a good thing.
The subject of choice of hanging angles is dependent upon the targeted next limiting factor, and is a topic for another thread. But in managing fatigue, the angles used, including whether or not you use a fulcrum, are important. It is very possible to become completely fatigued while hanging SO with a fulcrum at 2.5 lbs, and then switch to SO without a fulcrum, and hang 30 lbs. I have done it. So, I want to look at an example of fatigue management, at only one angle. But please realize that you may totally fatigue the target tissues at one angle, reaching the stage of fatigue where you cannot continue at any weight, and then be able to finish your session at even HIGHER weights while hanging at ANOTHER angle.
First, let's assume you are totally adapted to the stresses of hanging SO with a fulcrum. You reach fatigue while hanging 7.5 lbs, barely managing to last for a 20 minute set. Obviously, the next set, you will probably not be able to hang for the full 20 minutes at 7.5 lbs. You can start out at 7.5, but be prepared to drop to six lbs during the set. Or, with personal experience, you may decide to start the set at six lbs. Then, considering what happens during the next set, you make another decision whether to stay at six, or drop to five. This continues throughout the session.
Please understand that at no time should you push the envelope, gritting your teeth and suffering to last through the 20 minutes. If you reach undesired comfort levels at 16 minutes or more, then end the set. If you reach undesired comfort levels at eight minutes, then reduce the weight. Use good common sense. You will NOT make any more progress suffering than not suffering. The only thing you will do if you suffer in discomfort is make it more likely to miss workouts, Pavlov's dog, or risk injury. Again, slight to moderate discomfort equals tissue deformation, pain equals injury. You should know that the stress level is there, but it should not demand all of your attention. No clock watching. You should be able to concentrate on another task.
Now, what happens if, during the previous sessions, you were reaching fatigue at 7.5 lbs during the first set, but you do not reach fatigue during the current first set? Simply add one pound to the next set, and see what happens. You should not ever add more than 1-2 lbs above your previous max weight. There is simply no reason to do so. Especially when using a fulcrum, you have no idea how your body will react to a large new stress level.
After you begin to reach fatigue at the new stress level, you may or may not be able to begin your NEXT session at the new stress level. IOW, you may move up to 8.5 lbs, and reach fatigue during your second set of a session. Then the next day, you may start at 8.5, and quickly realise that you must reduce the weight. This is normal, and fine. Then, two days later, you may be able to go back to 8.5 for twenty minutes with no problem. Or you may find that two days later, you must reduce to six lbs during the first set. Just do what your body tells you to do, without other considerations. Hanging a certain weight because that is what someone has hung before, even at risk of injury, does not make one a hero. It makes him stupid. Be extremely HAPPY when you must reduce the weight. This is progress.
I believe I have written extensively about the process of healing in these tough collagenous tissues, how it occurs, and how to keep your gains. Each new session, the healing crinellations caused by previous stresses are pulled out, straightened out, helping to cause healing while in the extended state. Healing is going to occur, slower for some, faster for others. It can either occur in the extended state, or healing can return the tissues to their previous size, only stronger. As well as pulling out the old crinellations, significant stress levels cause new controlled damage, followed by new crinellations. It is hopefully a continuous process for as long as you wish to gain.
However, if there is a great deal of controlled damage, along with a great deal of fatigue, it may be impossible to hang for even one set at greatly reduced weight. In this case, you have probably overdone it, and need to take a rest day. Come back the next day, and see what your body tells you. But if you can, try to hang at lest one set at reduced weight, in order to pull out the previously formed crinellations, and help allow for healing in the extended state. I see no profit in rest days without reason. This only causes the soft tissues to become deconditioned, and for the collagenous areas to lay down new collagenous material, becoming stronger.
Finally, the reason to know the amounts of weight you are hanging, at any one angle, is to help regulate the amount of stress. But the amount of weight is NOT the only indicator of the STRESS LEVEL. Friction at some angles plays a big part in the total stress level, either more or less. For example, you can be hanging SO with ten lbs, with the skids of the hanger riding on the chair seat, then push your hips forward, allowing the hanger to move forward, then relax your hips, and the stress will be greater than ten lbs. Or you can leave your hips relaxed for the entire set, and the friction of the skids on the chair seat will make the stress level less than ten lbs.
The use of a fulcrum is a method of dividing and conquering. The rice sock, duct tape fulcrum especially targets the septum of the tunica. Fatigue comes relatively quicker within the septum. Without the associated tissues assisting in resisting the stresses, you cannot hang as much weight using this fulcrum. Therefore, the weight used is relative to the technique used. Ten lbs is not ten lbs is not ten lbs.
You must go by what your body tells you in any one situation, at any one time. Go by FEEL. Not some arbitrary weight. Once again, this is NOT a weight lifting competition. The only reason for a guy to ever be impressed by a weight amount hung is because of the controlled damage provided, and the gains attained. The goal is to reach fatigue early within a session, and to continue the fatigue for the rest of the session in a controlled manner, whether that requires two lbs or twenty.
Remember - you want your penis to grow LONGER, NOT STRONGER!