If you stretch before a workout the muscles are cold, thus leading to more injuries. Also, when you stretch you are taking the muscle and forcing it to relax (which is why it goes from tight to loose). This is good to increase the elasticity and flexibility of a muscle, but it lowers the muscles ability to contract with max force.
Warmups get the blood moving, the muscles get a chance to warm up and prepare for activity. You are contracting and relaxing in a natural way- you dont force anything- so the muscle is able to contract powerfully during the exercise. After you are done lifting, the muscles are still warm, so it’s the perfect time to stretch. It increases your flexibility, muscle elasticity, and whatnot. And you dont need to worry about the side effects of the “loose” muscle tissue.
The bicycle issue is also not true. I think you are trying to refer to max heart rate (which is rough 220- your age, there are other formulas). The Anaerobic zone is 80-90% of your MHR, the aerobic zone is 70-80%.
Anaerobic training would be things like sprinting, weight lifting, pitching, etc. Short and explosive activities that burn glycogen and cause lactic buildup in the muscles (like a pitcher gets).
Aerobic training is for endurance building. It improves cardio and respiratory systems. This is an important element to overall athleticism, but it is not the most important thing.
Riding a bike long distance is aerobic. It will not help you throw a baseball harder. Short sprints on a bike would help your anaerobic conditioning- this is something that should be in a routine. It is not a muscle building activity, it is conditioning.
If you would like to check this stuff out for yourself, Ross Enamait’s books are good for no-nonsense style training. I pull alot of my info, including the stuff in this post, from his book The Underground Guide to Warrior Fitness, which is no longer in print. Check out
for his books.
There is also some stuff floating around from some of the old Soviet strength trainers. It has all the scientific justifications for the ways that I have been advocating here. Look up Zatiorsky, Vershansky, and others.
Here is a good basics article from T-nation:
Let me know if you have any other questions…
P.S. Barber, have you tried decreasing the ROM on your dips?