Quantified Tissue Quality


Another week goes by, a load more training and a lot more reading. I definitely need to get back into books, and a bit more away from the “junky snack-food” like articles on the internet, they’re just so easy to read, and you get a really quick knowledge hit, but once you’ve read one then you just can’t stop and keep reading more and more. This is no comment on the quality, let me say, the amount of awesome free content nowadays is unbelievable.

One blog post of particular interest, Stu Mcmillans Random Ramblings I mean the guy made us wait two months for a post so he owed a good one. Far more worthy of a read than the rest of this blog post. But if you’ve already read it and thus are still with me then I wanted to give some thoughts on tissue quality.

90% of people playing this game ware sat on the toilet, FACT!
90% of people playing this game are sat on the toilet, FACT!

Stu identified good tissue quality as an important factor, and a commonality between two of the best athletes he’s worked with. At the same time, I was thinking that I’ve proclaimed myself the “quantified athlete” and haven’t really been doing enough quantification to justify that name, so in order to kill both these birds (figuratively, no birds were harmed in the making of this blog), I present to you the mathematical equation for tissue quality:

Q = X – [100/BE – (Tmax-Tact) / Tmax] + tm – lx   lim Q < X


Q – overall current tissue quality

X – Genetically pre-determined tissue quality from birth, I think tissue quality can always be improved for someone but there seems to be a limiting point. Like the cliche of young children being able to naturally run, and then we coach them out of it, similarly I think they are born with a naturally high tissue quality which then proceeds to get ruined by movement

BE – Biomechanical Efficiency, how close someone is to mechanical perfection as a percentage. Any asymmetries or biomechanical inefficiencies is going to load tissues unevenly and end up reducing tissue quality at least in some areas

Tmax – Is the athletes pre-determined maximum volume of training they can withstand. This number can be increased over an athletes career with progressive volumes, but again will always be limitied by athletes genetics

Tact – This is the actual amount of training that the athlete carries out, the closer you push this number to Tmax then the more the athletes tissues will begin to deteriorate

tm – is time spent on the massage table, simples, really good quality therapeutic work can help move the athlete back towards X. Any other therapy can also count towards this, ice baths, contrast showers also count towards this but at a lower order of magnitude

lx – These are all other lifestyle factors, including but not limited to nutrition, sleep, general stress etc. I’ve put this as negative, because I don’t necessarily believe you can improve tissue quality with better lifestyle, but anything less than optimal will be detrimental.

I also had to put in a limit, because clearly, your current tissue quality cannot exceed the genetically predetermined maximum tissue quality from birth.

So in general, perform movement excellently and have a good predisposition for handling training load to maintain tissue quality. Lowering training load and/or improve lifestyle factors and time on the massage table to improve tissue quality and possibly improve performance. I know, I know, some pretty ground-breaking stuff right here


One of the major assumptions of this work is that tissue quality is predominantly a function of your bodies ability to repair and lay down the collagen of the fascia in an organised and smooth fashion, combined with your nervous systems ability to maintain a general low and even tone, tone being the percentage of pre-contracted motor units in the muscle. As further evidence arises, more terms can be included but for now I’m pretty happy considering I just made all this up off the top of my head.

Obviously some experimental needs to be carried out in order to quantify some of these terms, anyone who fancies the task feel free but make sure to reference this blog, anything I write on here is definitely robust enough to withstand peer review.

General thoughts or harsh criticisms all welcome as normal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s