Neal Winkler

Martin Berkhan: Bodyweight training is worse for hypertrophy

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Fox    0
Fox
Something else to consider, and the numbers on this don't add up on the surface: Remember how we have mentioned the study where subjects gained weight on a 2000 calorie diet that was 80% carbs and maintained or LOST weight on a diet that was 2500 calories and 80% fat? Well, my diet right now is veggies, rice, rice, rice, and some chicken when I have it cooked. High carb. It may simply be that the more carbs you eat the less total energy you need to maintain mass, I don't know. These are questions that are like out there in the twilight zone and I don't have a space suit.

Very interesting point!

I already came across this point in a blog by a guy who calls himself "Chinner", although its a german blog, where he described that after he went to thailand he ate a lot of rice and fruits and gained weight and lost some inches in the waist area. The thing is that he thought, and he did the calculations, that his total calories per day where way too low.

He had no answer to this, expect the idea that maybe a calorie is not a calorie and that we eventually focus too much on calories.

All in all a little strange!

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Quick Start Test Smith    157
Quick Start Test Smith
Something else to consider, and the numbers on this don't add up on the surface: Remember how we have mentioned the study where subjects gained weight on a 2000 calorie diet that was 80% carbs and maintained or LOST weight on a diet that was 2500 calories and 80% fat? Well, my diet right now is veggies, rice, rice, rice, and some chicken when I have it cooked. High carb. It may simply be that the more carbs you eat the less total energy you need to maintain mass, I don't know. These are questions that are like out there in the twilight zone and I don't have a space suit.

Very interesting point!

I already came across this point in a blog by a guy who calls himself "Chinner", although its a german blog, where he described that after he went to thailand he ate a lot of rice and fruits and gained weight and lost some inches in the waist area. The thing is that he thought, and he did the calculations, that his total calories per day where way too low.

He had no answer to this, expect the idea that maybe a calorie is not a calorie and that we eventually focus too much on calories.

All in all a little strange!

I have a feeling that there's a lot more to food and how our body responds to it than we currently know. The prospect of there being so much more to learn and figure out is definitely exciting! :)

I can't wait until I'm in great shape so I'll have the ability to experiment extensively. Right now I'm really not at the point where I can afford to lose a little ability here and there for the sake of knowledge.

Keep us updated, Sliz!

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dnj23    0
dnj23
You can get hypertrophy from it [bodyweight training] but the reward per time unit invested isn't comparable to weight training.

Gymnasts is a poor example. The guys you see on TV are the cream of the crop. Spent most of their childhood training several hours a day. With such immense training volumes you're bound to get a good amount of hypertrophy. But the average joe wouldn't be able to tolerate that kind of training. Nor would he have time for it.

The gymnasts I've met were lean, but not very muscular.

The bodybuilders who train traditionally that you see on TV are also the cream of the crop. They are also on a boatload of drugs. I've also met plenty of bodybuilders who aren't very muscular either, just walk into the average gym.

The necessity of high volume for hypertrophy is also debateable. You got on one side, your orthodox bodybuilders who train every day for hours that get good results, and then you also have your HIT comminity on the opposite side of the spectrum who sware by a minimalist approach, say once a week or less.

People who look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Casey Viator, who had most of their size by 19 years of age, are there because of their genetics and drugs, not by a childhood of long training.

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

Good points.

As far as the volume goes, volume matters. Total workload is a pile of BS, since you get a completely different training response from 100 reps of 20 lbs than 10 reps of 200 lbs. If that is anyone's idea of volume, they should rethink that. Volume matters in terms of a given intensity level. For example, if you perform 40 sets of 3 reps with your 6 rep max, which is pretty heavy, you are going to get a LOT bigger than if you just do 5-10 sets. There are tricks to making this kind of workout not just feasible but highly productive. Anyways, the basic concept is that you WILL need to train heavy in order to recruit higher threshold motor units, but if you're only doing very low volume you will primarily get CNS adaptation. Nothing wrong with that, a lot of guys NEED that. In fact MOST athletes need that type of strength development more than anything else, because MOST athletes are in something of a weight class sport. Even when there are no weight classes, the stronger you are at a given BW the faster you can move and change directions, and that is what makes you a superior athlete (the ability to outperform your opponents in the competitive arena).

If you want to slap on muscle quickly, just start doing very large volumes of work with low reps and make sure you eat more food than you think is safe. You will grow like a weed. This is the "hardgainer" trick in a nutshell and I have yet to see someone not make gains from this, hardgainer or otherwise.

Just don't jump in with both feet: Prepare your body by easing in.

Bodyweight exercises like dips and chin or pull ups are practically custom tailored to be perfect for this kind of training. You can easily add and remove weight to keep the desired rep range as you go through sets, and you will be adding strength to movements that carry over the most to what we do here as well. There are no losers, which is a rare and pleasant scenario! You can even use 1-2 rounds of the WODs for warm up so that A) you can see your strength in the WODs improve rapidly for motivational purposes and B) so that you train the movements you want to be good at and give your body the variety it needs to stay healthy. Then when you gain what you want, switch back to the WODs completely and maintain size and strength with just a few quick sets of your heavy dips or pull ups.

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meep    0
meep

Yeah I have had odd expericences with eating and weight. Recently I have been trying my hardest to eat more (from about 2200 to 2700) of good balanced foods and have lost weight. With no changes in my training, and I have not been ill. Strength is continuing to increase, but the weight thing just confuses me. I would try to eat more, but eating this much is a struggle. But I don't really mind the weight loss (its only 3 pounds) because as far as I can tell it is not impacting me negavtively.

Nick

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Felix Schreiter    15
Felix Schreiter

@slizzardman:

so basically when you want to gain muslce mass, you increase the volume (by increasing the number of sets and not reps). did i get that right?

right now i am doing 5x3reps for L-sit pull ups, so to increase volume i just try to do add a set (or half a set) every workout?

was the example with 40 sets serious? would you progress from like 30 to 40 reps and then increase the weight?

i always thought that increasing the volume for hypertrophy training means increasing the reps (bodybuilders tend to say to 3x12reps..) so i would be really interested in more information and tips from you on training for muscle mass ( e.g. still 5min rests between sets?)

sorry for the bunch of questions but your posts are always really informative and interesting

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman
@slizzardman:

so basically when you want to gain muslce mass, you increase the volume (by increasing the number of sets and not reps). did i get that right?

right now i am doing 5x3reps for L-sit pull ups, so to increase volume i just try to do add a set (or half a set) every workout?

was the example with 40 sets serious? would you progress from like 30 to 40 reps and then increase the weight?

i always thought that increasing the volume for hypertrophy training means increasing the reps (bodybuilders tend to say to 3x12reps..) so i would be really interested in more information and tips from you on training for muscle mass ( e.g. still 5min rests between sets?)

sorry for the bunch of questions but your posts are always really informative and interesting

Yea, 40 sets is not a joke. The workout takes 45-50 minutes at the most. It is HARD. Obviously, you are going to have to strip weight down periodically, and you'll be making 20-30 lb jumps down at a time. It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyways, that you should start off with something moderate like 10 sets of 3. That's a fast workout, you will only be taking 30-45s of rest between sets. The next workout you might try 13 sets. I would never increase volume more than 30% from one workout to another, and you should realize that there are a ton of ways to do this. You could add sets faster and just understand that the weight will drop very low, like from 300 lbs for set 1 to 180 lbs for set 20 or something like that. Or, you could slowly add sets 2-3 per workout and try to just keep the weight drops minimized.

For example, I have been deadlifting again the past two weeks because I am working with the football players and I like to jump in with the more motivated guys, really give them a face to face challenge. It earns me huge respect points with them and it also gets them working harder.

Anyhow, I was doing 30s rests with 3 rep sets. My first workout I started with 385, and for the 8th set I had to drop to 365, which I stayed at for the last 7-8 sets. I still don't know if I did 15 or 16. Anyhow, my third DL day was this past Monday and I did 20 sets but I stayed at 375 the entire time. That is a larger total workload. I thought I was at 385, I'm pretty sure I could have done the whole workout with that as well. Certainly the first 12-15 sets, which is a big improvement. I can literally see my hamstrings and glutes filling out, and it is nice. Keep in mind that total workout time was 23 minutes for the 20 sets. It was really tough by the end, but the challenge was really fun! More than anything else, I love a true challenge and that is what I had. That was 60 reps with 375 lbs in 23 minutes, and that is no joke to do.

I am not eating enough to see spectacular growth, but the growth is there nonetheless. it would be much better if I was sucking down closer to 4000 calories most days, but I'm lucky to break 2500 which is barely maintenance. Somehow growth is still happening.

I am assuming you're talking about total reps and not reps per set when you talk about rep increases. To me it is less about the reps than about how EASY the first 5-6 sets are. If they are just a breeze then you should probably start 10-20 lbs heavier. Remember, this is with a theoretical 6 rep max. Obviously that max has gone up when you are able to complete 10+ sets with your starting weight.

I highly suggest that this be done in a SSC-type cycle where you let your body adjust to a given weight for 4-6 weeks before bumping up. This tends to result in large weight increases each cycle, and fewer injuries. It takes muscular tissue 6 weeks or so to fully develop, so you aren't going to see truly permanent training adaptations until that 6 week mark. Moving up too soon just puts more stress on your body before you have had time to adjust to what you are currently doing to it!

This is a great, great way to use FL pulls and Front pulls if you're looking to increase your strength there while building some really nice muscle at the same time. You pick a body position you can do 6 reps with and then just do sets of 3 with 30-45s of rest between sets. If you get a little creative you'll see that BtGB exercises are practically custom selected to work well with this type of volume work.

Just make sure that you take every 3rd or 4th week and do like 30-50% volume to let your body really heal. You'll be chomping at the bit when you start your hard weeks up again and your strength will be way up.

For most people, traditional higher rep sets for lots of sets like 8-20 sets of 12-15 reps is generally not going to work very long term. It works well when you have not done anything like that in a long time, but once your body adapts you are really just developing a very efficient anaerobic metabolism and that will involve a lot more vascularization and mitochondrial count increase than true size increase. It WILL come, but it comes slow and you look puffy.

There's nothing wrong with trying things and seeing what works for you, but most people do not have the genes to respond to that type of training well without either tons of supplementation, drugs, or both. The cool thing about working heavy and steadily increasing the volume with submaximal loading is that it pretty much works for everyone. This is not a case of superior vs inferior per se, but most people will respond better both short term and long term to this type of volume training. It is also faster to perform and builds WAY more strength. You end up with a highly efficient nervous system as well as a pretty well developed anaerobic system.

It is very, very important that none of your sets be to failure. When you realize you are about to hit failure on one of the next two sets it is time to either drop 20 lbs or move from flat tuck to tuck. At some point you will have to drop multiplane movement completely and just do three foot-supported rows or two foot-supported rows and two foot-assisted pull ups or something like that. You should be able to get at least 4 sets before you have to lower the difficulty.

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Felix Schreiter    15
Felix Schreiter

thanks for the detailed answer. right now i am using the killroy template and have 2 FBE per workout, so i just workout the same way for both exercises and keep my FSP warm up, right? I think after finishing my current SSC i will plan the next one with a higher volume. i am really interested if it works so well.

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

As long as you eat enough of the good stuff, veggies and meat or milk or whatever protein sources you like, and drink plenty of water you should have no trouble gaining muscle.

With high volume workouts like this there are two ways to go about it: One is to just do them every 5-7 days so that you get complete healing. The other is to either do 3+ workouts in a week and then take a week where you basically don't do more than 1 set maybe twice that week of the exercise you blasted the week before. The second option is more of a dual-factor training scheme and works well, and the other is more of a supercompensation method and can also work well. It depends on what you're looking for. If you want tons of size the dual factor model will probably work better, but if you don't want to be massively sore for up do 10 days (including the workout days) then you may want to give option 1 a try first.

I find myself doing something in the middle, personally, because it is convenient. I have been working deadlifts hard every 3-4 days and take the 3rd or 4th week and only do like 3 sets with the same starting weight during the rest week.

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Felix Schreiter    15
Felix Schreiter

ok, but doesn't that mean that i will only train a small range of exercises as i only workout every 3-4 days? And if i have such long breaks and still eat that much dont i get kind of fat? by the way do you only train for deadlifts this way and still do other stuff on the other days?

i am a bit confused now if training with such an high intensity, that i need to rest so long, will still give me the great range of improvement in different exercises which i get from the killroy template.

if i keep my 4 different workouts there would be rests of 2 weeks between the same workout.. and should i treat smaller muscle groups like the biceps the same way i treat my legs (use bodyweight bicep curls the same ways like SLS in regard of volume)

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

That's why personal trainers are nice. This is a lot of stuff to learn and is tough to try and do for yourself.

Yes, when you do something like this you are focusing on a particular movement in each workout. You always want to focus on something that has a lot of basic value and carryover, so ring dips are definitely in. NLC, GHR, and deadlifts are great options for lower body, arch ups and HeS RLL are great for the back, and chins or pull ups for vertical pulls. Horizontal pulls would be Bulgarian rows and foot supported rows. Horizontal presses would be PPP or if you are a serious beast planche push ups on PB or rings. Horizontal presses would of course be HSPU variations. This is actually fairly similar to Coach's Walking HSPU ladders that you see regularly in the WODs, but with a more focused approach. For gymnastic ability what Coach prescribes is better, and for just building muscle size and strength in that particular movement what I am talking about will help more.

If you are confused about how to put this together, don't try it. It is never a good idea to stray away from something that you are doing well with if you do not fully understand what you are about to try.

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Felix Schreiter    15
Felix Schreiter

Does this system has a name or is there a book that explains it in more detail? I could probably ask hundreds of questions about it and i really appreciate your answer but it seems to be the same like asking someone to explain BtGB without the book or the forum.

however do you think it would be a difference if a just increase my sets from 5x3 to maybe 8-10x3 in terms of focusing on hypertrophy or wouldnt it make a difference?

thanks for the quick answers

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

You could definitely try that, and make sure you take every 3rd and/or 4th week and go back to 3 sets or so until you feel fully recovered. The high volume will start to wear you down after a few weeks, so you just do a lot less sets while you recover. That's the basic idea. What you are suggesting should work just fine. Getting more detailed is basically asking me to write a book lol! There is a lot of old literature on this, but no recent books that come to mind as far as explaining the ins and outs of this. The most important thing to remember is that you should be using a variation that you can do at least 6 reps in. If you're doing 3 reps with something you can only do 4 times you will not get the results you are looking for because you're going to wear down too quickly.

Nick Nillson does an extreme version of this in his "Muscle Explosion" program, where you do 5 days in a row just focusing on one exercise for increasing lengths of time each day until you hit 40 minutes straight. It's really, really rough and you have to have a very healthy body to do something THAT crazy without rapidly building injuries even over that short time frame but if your body can handle that it is a good way to shock new growth into muscles that are no longer responding the way you want them to. It's basically just another implementation of dual factor training. You do a TON of volume, and then you back way off, and repeat. This kind of mass training is nice because you don't have to be very scientific about it and it is easy to get results from. I don't even trust MY body to properly handle that amount of volume and frequency as I am right now, it takes time to get there.

Arnold and Franco used to do this every so often with squats. Not the exact same thing, but similar. They would just take weights, a bar, and a truck out to the middle of nowhere and do squats all day long until they couldn't even squat the bar. It worked. This was not done once a month or something like that, it was like once or twice a year maybe the way they did it, but it happened on a regular, if infrequent, basis. I guess this sort of thing is sort of a common knowledge thing amongst a lot of the older time guys. Every now and again it really helps to do something totally out of the ordinary to your body.

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Cole Dano    2,800
Cole Dano

This is interesting stuff Slizz.

I think most of us think of higher reps 8-12 range as ideal for hypertrophy. I recall even you were talking about GVT.

Is the main advantage of this the fact that you can use more weight and thus keep up your strength gains while gaining physical mass? Or is there some other principle involved that makes it better for hypertrophy?

Most of my workouts with weights (squats mostly) i like to keep in the 3-5 range, but will de-load and work up a final set or two of 10 reps. Any opinions on this scheme?

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

Look at the very large volume GVT utilizes! It's meant to be a stairstepping cycle, where the first phase is more about setting the body up for a metabolic advantage in terms of healing, through increased mitochondrial count and increased sugar storage. You move into the middle phase and you're hitting 10 sets of 6 reps with a 12 rep max.That's still a LOT of volume. The advanced phase has two ways to implement: The simple way is to do 10 sets of 3 with a 6 rep max. The more complex method is Poliquin's 5% method. You start with the 6 rep max for sets of 3, and each workout you increase the weight by 5%. Every 4th workout you bo back 10%, leaving a net gain of 5%. After a few cycles of this you will have increased your weights by 15-20% which is pretty awesome for such a short period of time in an advanced lifter.

If you notice, these both have elements of the basic volume concept I'm talking about here. The magic of GVT mass gain doesn't REALLY start until that intermediate phase. You're using that 12 rep max weight but getting 60 quality reps in. You will never get 5 sets of 12 with your 12 rep max, it's not possible. I don't care what drugs you are on. If you get 5 sets of 12 reps in a 30-45 minute workout you were not using a 12 rep max. However, 10 sets of 6 with that same weight will work. You get more total work done, which leads to more growth. You also don't fry your nervous system as bad, though that's less of a concern.

With hypertrophy it is more about total reps per workout than reps per set. If you do 50 reps of your 15 rep max and 50 reps of your 6 rep max, you're going to get WAAAAAAAY more growth out of the 50 reps with your 6 rep max because you are training more muscle fibers. Of course this requires that you eat more as well, since you will be healing more damage and stimulating growth in more fibers.

There's nothing wrong with how you are squatting, though the de-load at the end may reduce the strength adaptation some. High rep squats are good, but they work better in warm ups and/or separate workouts, not at the end of a strength session. 10 reps isn't terrible, but it IS a different CNS adaptation. The longer you have trained (meaning how long you have trained the squat) the more this will affect your body. If you don't really care about maxing out your strength then who cares, you know? Do what feels good. If it keeps you healthy and you like doing it, there's no reason to change it.

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Rower    0
Rower

With hypertrophy it is more about total reps per workout than reps per set. If you do 50 reps of your 15 rep max and 50 reps of your 6 rep max, you're going to get WAAAAAAAY more growth out of the 50 reps with your 6 rep max because you are training more muscle fibers. Of course this requires that you eat more as well, since you will be healing more damage and stimulating growth in more fibers.

How would you go about structuring this rep range into a training schedule?

The high intensity made me think about some type of four-day split where each movement gets worked once a week.

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

You'd do 10-15 sets of 3-4 reps with your 6 rep max. Of course this is leaving out important details like time under tension, and there is no way to quantify that in this context.

The basic concept is this: The more time you spend working with heavy resistance the more growth you will generate. If you wear yourself out on each set you will be too tired to spend the time you need with the resistance to generate the growth you want, so you need to perform something like 50-60% of your max TUT or rep numbers with a given resistance, making sure that resistance is a 6RM or a 6-10 second rep max in terms of TUT.

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cccp22    0
cccp22
You'd do 10-15 sets of 3-4 reps with your 6 rep max. Of course this is leaving out important details like time under tension, and there is no way to quantify that in this context.

The basic concept is this: The more time you spend working with heavy resistance the more growth you will generate. If you wear yourself out on each set you will be too tired to spend the time you need with the resistance to generate the growth you want, so you need to perform something like 50-60% of your max TUT or rep numbers with a given resistance, making sure that resistance is a 6RM or a 6-10 second rep max in terms of TUT.

************** Hello,

In this light(of the last post) what do you think of my present pressing routine i am using (be honest).

As follows - day 1- workout 1-XR dips (weighted)- 6rm-3,3,3,2,2,2,1,1,1(last set slight struggle), handstand pushups against wall-3,3,3,3(last set slight struggle). Workout 2-(4-6 hours later) "Normal" dips 4-6x4-6(8rm),Behind head press(i have"good" shoulder mobility,going down to lower trapezius)4-6X4-6(8rm). No type of tricep"extensions' due to locking difficulty of dip.

72-96hrs. later-workout 1-XR PPP variation-same as workout 1's regime,single DB press overhead variation-same as above for handstand pushup. workout 2- Bench press-flyes superset(4-6X4-6w/8rm),side-laterals(4-6X4-6 w/8rm).

Brandon

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

I'd stay closer to 50% of max reps with a given weight than 75%, but overall you should be fine. You'll have to play with the volume and see if it's too much. You'll know if you can't keep making strength gains from one workout to the next for more than a few weeks.

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

Nice! That s a good, simple way to explain that.

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cccp22    0
cccp22
I'd stay closer to 50% of max reps with a given weight than 75%, but overall you should be fine. You'll have to play with the volume and see if it's too much. You'll know if you can't keep making strength gains from one workout to the next for more than a few weeks.

*******On the whole I agree with you. Although this bulbine natalensis appears to be doing very well for me.

Brandon Green

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red_donn    0
red_donn

First post and I'll be debating against a moderator - oh joy. :|

Well, since this is in reply to Berkhan's site, it is fitting to note that research discussed there by a roundtable of respected fitness authorities would probably disagree with some of slizzard's recommendations. To whit, research has repeatedly demonstrated that training with high perceived intensity (how difficult it feels) with weights up to 75% of max yields the best results, but going beyond 75% yielded no increase in protein synthesis. The studies did not measure long-term gains, nor a truly comprehensive testing of immediate protein usage (synthesis is only half the story) but this provides scientific bearing to the standard repetition range of bodybuilders.

The addition of more sets at a high intensity (percentage of one rep max) does, of course, increase volume, but it is well-known that training at decreased intensity will increase volume to an even greater degree. The earlier comparison between hitting "50 reps of your 15 rep max and 50 reps of your 6 rep max" is a fallacy because you don't end up doing the same number of reps. If you work with your 15 rep max you'll be able to get in a ton more overall volume - testing has shown this repeatedly. There is a "cutoff point," so to speak, when the intensity is so low that the work is endurance rather than strength-endurance. While this isn't a set amount, I tend to think that anything under 40-50 percent of 1 RM should be dismissed out of hand. The 60-75% range is popular, and often I draw my cutoff at 60-65%.

If increased sets of triples did indeed yield the best results, then Olympic lifters would likely have the greatest degree of hypertrophy in relevant muscles. However, o-lifters physiques do not bear this out when compared to bodybuilders - an unpopular assertion, but it is the truth when they are put side by side, especially when we don't cherry pick out the very best of lifters. When strength athletes like Matt Kroc shift to bodybuilding, they switch over to bodybuilding methods and still come out much smaller than elite bodybuilders. Kroc, a notably "jacked" powerlifter, hit the stage at 215 pounds, which Arnold beat by 20 back in the day, and the modern mass monsters beat by 50+ pounds. In other words, the methods used by bodybuilders, particularly the medium-high rep range, which is their primary mode of differentiation from strength sports, prove superior for developing muscle hypertrophy than the rep ranges used by strength athletes.

There still seems to be a lot of questions regarding the time under tension theory, at least the specifics of it. It's best, in my mind, to keep things simple. If one can stand the boredom and mental grind of volume training that's one way to go, though rest time needs to be monitored. GVT is an extreme, and often unsuccessful example - on a side note I'm not sure why this board seems so fond of Polinquin, as he is almost the only coach I see discussed.

Personally, I prefer to hammer a big, compound lift in the 8-12, maybe 15, rep range for a top set, and doing assistance work at 12-15+, as heavy as possible. Time under tension works itself about, but the notion of going for a PR in a top set keeps me focused and energized - I drop off sharply after 55-75 minutes most days. One can also use back-off/drop sets for medium-high reps right after going heavy in the low rep range. There's also rest-pause work and cheated reps for those who like to keep it heavy all the time, but bring the reps up. These are all methods used by successful bodybuilders, which have elements that can be gleaned to suggest an approach that works for individual personalities.

At the end of the day nobody does hypertrophy as well as bodybuilders. Every kind of athlete who is discussed as being "as good as a bodybuilder" benefits greatly from not having to stand next to bodybuilders, while at competition bodyfat levels. Ccp22 - your workout looks nothing like a bodybuilder training for size, but a lot like various strength-focused routines I have seen. Since I assume you aren't interested in loading up volume in the hips, etc, the usual squatting

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Joshua Naterman    1,748
Joshua Naterman

You're a bit off, but that's fine. I'm too busy to fully entertain this post, but consider this: Muscle fiber activation happens according to loading and is not quite linear. At 75% intensity you are not activating all of your muscle fibers, which means there are motor units being left untrained. They happen to be the highest rate of force motor units. This directly impacts power and strength since you can not gain as much strength with a lower rate of intensity.

There are certain advantages that a 75% intensity has that I will not get into because part of them have been well covered here and the rest are simply proprietary knowledge at this point. There are also certain advantages that a 85-95% intensity has, such as teaching greater motor recruitment coordination and increasing the strength and frequency of nerve signals. This increases strength, which increases the actual load that represents 75%, which allows you to give a stronger stimulus to your body using more muscle fibers, which leads to increased adaptation ( hypertrophy) even at that 75%. Thus part of the reason why low reps and high loads are an important part of nearly every natural bodybuilding champion's training.

There is also a very basic mathematical reason for why certain things builds mass and why that mass does not contribute as much to strength as it looks like it should, and it is something you will simply have to wait to hear about for quite some time.

You are also forgetting something very, very, very basic. The meaning of "rate of protein synthesis." If I have three workers and keep buying them more materials and giving them more motivation they will become more productive to a point. There will be a certain rate of production that can not be surpassed by providing extra motivation or extra materials. I would either have to hire more workers or find machinery or other assistance that would change the limits of their ability to produce my items.

Once you have caused a certain amount of damage the rate of protein synthesis can not rise any further for the same reasons. Unless you take steroids, which completely change what the maximum synthesis rate is. Protein synthesis is not the entire game behind size accrual. You cause protein synthesis to rise by placing the body under stresses that surpass normal activity limits, which causes the body to try and extend its normal activity limits by building new tissue amongst other adaptations. The more stress you can place your body under the more muscle fibers bear load, which means you have the potential for more adaptation.

Repetitive stress is what will determine the degree of hypertrophy. Look into stress, strain, and how rope (or any other loadbearing device) stress/strain testing procedures work and why. You will find out that you can exceed the max working load essentially as many times as you want as long as you do not surpass the TUT limit for stress w/o strain. The combined time will far exceed the single loading time it takes to cause strain. There is something (actually several concepts) important buried in here that I do not believe anyone here will uncover or understand how to apply should they be uncovered. I will not help. Have fun! :P I imagine there will be a small rise in the price of Advil stock soon. :lol:

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Razz    15
Razz

Yeah...Dillon is jacked!

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red_donn    0
red_donn
You're a bit off, but that's fine. I'm too busy to fully entertain this post, but consider this: Muscle fiber activation happens according to loading and is not quite linear. At 75% intensity you are not activating all of your muscle fibers, which means there are motor units being left untrained. They happen to be the highest rate of force motor units. This directly impacts power and strength since you can not gain as much strength with a lower rate of intensity.

There are certain advantages that a 75% intensity has that I will not get into because part of them have been well covered here and the rest are simply proprietary knowledge at this point. There are also certain advantages that a 85-95% intensity has, such as teaching greater motor recruitment coordination and increasing the strength and frequency of nerve signals. This increases strength, which increases the actual load that represents 75%, which allows you to give a stronger stimulus to your body using more muscle fibers, which leads to increased adaptation ( hypertrophy) even at that 75%. Thus part of the reason why low reps and high loads are an important part of nearly every natural bodybuilding champion's training.

There is also a very basic mathematical reason for why certain things builds mass and why that mass does not contribute as much to strength as it looks like it should, and it is something you will simply have to wait to hear about for quite some time.

I'm very well aware of differences between hypertrophy and strength, having always favored the latter, and the various interfacing aspects. While your post seems to be getting into the development of Type I/II fibers, as well as neural activation, etc, the initial point of the discussion was overall hypertrophy, rather than a focus on Type II fibers, which are the centerpiece of strength/power programs. Now, I may have missed a post or two that took the discussion in the direction of "functional hypertrophy" (an interesting and borderline controversial topic) earlier, but if we are talking about overall hypertrophy, we can't simply dismiss the 75% range. If someone says they are interested in hypertrophy, period, evidence from practitioners indicates that, among sufficiently strong individuals, there comes a time when the optimal method shifts away from a mass-strength blend.

Don't get me wrong - I like the method of working with 85%+ of my max and adding sets as a general way to increase volume, but that is because I like the strength benefits of those sorts of weights. When we get down to the nitty-gritty, I find that most power/strength athletes have a hard time admitting that some bodybuilding methods (not the isolation stuff) add lean body mass faster and more efficiently - in large part because we simply don't like to train that way.

Heck, we see powerlifters who will eat themselves into a stupor and put several points on their bodyfat percentage to add a bit to their total, but they won't touch the 8+ range on the big lifts, on the pretense that the mass wouldn't be "functional." Nothing to do with the fact that a lot of them are simply out of shape and cringe in fear at the thought of that many reps. Strongmen, on the other hand, often work in the 8-12 range for heavy assistance exercises, in part because they could use the touch of endurance and mental strength, as well as additional hypertrophy. I'd think (as a complete newb mind you) that gymnasts would have demands much more similar to a strongman competition than a powerlifter.

By my understanding, most Olympic lifting teams will start squatting in the 5+ range to gain size when they need to put on weight fast, even if they usually hold to the 1-3 rep range. O-lifters, as far as I have seen, are the most hypertrophy-averse strength athletes, and the biggest proponents of increasing sets rather than the rep range. O-lift attempts take a whole lot less time than a routine on the rings

Now, do bodybuilding methods add "functional" mass? Based off of the basics of programming in many athletes, I would say yes, within reason. Often one trains till the athlete is as strong as they are likely to get in that relative weight range, and then bump up bodyweight to break through the plateau. Considering research on how the continuum of fiber types (it isn't really just three types) will shift over time to fit our activities, it seems that a power athlete who adds muscle mass by lifting heavy in the 8-12 range should easily be able to adapt it for best use in the predominant 1-5 range. If the athlete anticipates maintaining high to mid level exertion for any sort of an extended period, then what is the problem with a touch of strength endurance?

At the end of it all, though, I know that I prefer a combined strength/mass focus, as do many others. In a few months, when I have more control over my living conditions, I'm planning on going through a Smolov squat cycle. Like many lifters, I dread the 7-10 rep-per-set days more than the ones full of triples. I feel it is wise to admit that something may work best for me because I enjoy the method more, even if there is another method that is technically more efficient.

You are also forgetting something very, very, very basic. The meaning of "rate of protein synthesis." If I have three workers and keep buying them more materials and giving them more motivation they will become more productive to a point. There will be a certain rate of production that can not be surpassed by providing extra motivation or extra materials. I would either have to hire more workers or find machinery or other assistance that would change the limits of their ability to produce my items.

Once you have caused a certain amount of damage the rate of protein synthesis can not rise any further for the same reasons. Unless you take steroids, which completely change what the maximum synthesis rate is. Protein synthesis is not the entire game behind size accrual. You cause protein synthesis to rise by placing the body under stresses that surpass normal activity limits, which causes the body to try and extend its normal activity limits by building new tissue amongst other adaptations. The more stress you can place your body under the more muscle fibers bear load, which means you have the potential for more adaptation.

No disrespect, but I did mention that protein synthesis is only "half the story," which may have been charitable to the cited studies. I left the aspects you covered unmentioned, as I figured you would already know what I was talking about - clearly you did, but I suppose my qualifier would have been easy to miss.

A better study, as I indicated, would have measured tissue/protein breakdown as well as protein synthesis/uptake, to properly examine the likely effects. This was why the original study, a comparison of training to failure at 30% 1RM versus 90% 1RM was considered poorly performed - the protein synthesis was higher, but the tissue damage at 30% would also have been much higher as the total volume was four times higher. However, other studies (Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon were citing them) have been performed measuring this "summed" value, and they have consistently pointed towards the 75% range.

Repetitive stress is what will determine the degree of hypertrophy. Look into stress, strain, and how rope (or any other loadbearing device) stress/strain testing procedures work and why. You will find out that you can exceed the max working load essentially as many times as you want as long as you do not surpass the TUT limit for stress w/o strain. The combined time will far exceed the single loading time it takes to cause strain. There is something (actually several concepts) important buried in here that I do not believe anyone here will uncover or understand how to apply should they be uncovered. I will not help. Have fun! :P I imagine there will be a small rise in the price of Advil stock soon. :lol:

I'll look into this further, as I've already experimented with it a bit - while that theory has often been purported, there is ample evidence that it is not perfect in terms of optimal hypertrophy. Most particularly, the fact that strength athletes foraying into bodybuilding have never used it, nor do the bodybuilders themselves.

Sorry to harp on about about bodybuilders in an athletic forum (that can't be making a good impression) but I always look to how the experts in the field train to become the best at it. When it comes to hypertrophy, that's bodybuilding.

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