Neal Winkler

Martin Berkhan: Bodyweight training is worse for hypertrophy

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Joshua Naterman

Agreed, bodybuilders are hypertrophic masters.

I never said that there would be an even split or that both low and high volume methods would be used in a cycle, or that they wouldn't. In the end, your neural efficiency is the biggest enemy to future hypertrophy, which is why guys like Poliquin will tell you to do whatever it is that you haven't done before, and after 4-6 sessions of the same stimulus you will need to switch to something as different as possible to continue maximizing hypertrophy.

Unfortunately I can not currently delve into the functional mass issue. There is simply too much that is not publicly known there.

I am not arguing that the whole 75% thing isn't worthwhile or that it won't add more mass than a traditional high intensity, low rep program, but the how and the why is the great unknown amongst practitioners. Those details allow you to dissect what is happening in the body and learn how to take advantage of those processes with all different loads. I am looking forward to the day when I will be able to share that with you guys, because it will allow everyone to accelerate their gains.

There's a lot of good basic knowledge in your posts, and I like that you are sharing it here. Please continue!

One last comment: The higher reps work well for the olympic guys because they do not usually work in that range. It is a different stimulus and has vastly different demands on the internal muscle structures than what they usually perform. The simple fact that it is a different demand than their body is used to is one of the primary reasons they are able to gain mass so quickly with this training.

You may be interested to know that bodybuilders occasionally have to go very very heavy with low reps to break plateaus in size, for the same reason. It is not what their bodies are used to so they adapt more strongly to the stimulus.

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Michael Miskelly

Sorry to change the focus here but I have a question about the TUT mentioned earlier.

Should there be a focus on either the concentric or eccentric portion of the reps during a set for hypertrophy or should it be equal as in say a 4-0-4 tempo for dips as an example if you were aiming for a 8 sec TUT rep?

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marcusuni

Who's Dillon?

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Joshua Naterman

Dillon Zrike, one of Coach's athletes.

I personally watched him do cross-> maltese->planche-inverted cross. I'm talking like a Chen Yibing inverted cross too, I almost had to change my underwear. Now granted his wrists were in straps, but that's still insane. He didn't even realize he could do that, he just hopped up and was like BOOM. He also nearly lifted into a Manna, lost it right at the top. He has never been able to do that before, and has not been training Manna for over a year. Keep in mind that in February he only had a solid iron cross on his best days and did not have a maltese at all. That is an awful lot of strength development. I am starting to see a similar change as well: strap crosses are no problem now with straight arms.

I don't train them directly yet and probably won't for at least 6-12 months, and probably a bit longer just to be sure my inner elbows are ready, but what we are putting together works.

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Kyle Courville
Dillon Zrike, one of Coach's athletes.

I personally watched him do cross-> maltese->planche-inverted cross. I'm talking like a Chen Yibing inverted cross too, I almost had to change my underwear. Now granted his wrists were in straps, but that's still insane. He didn't even realize he could do that, he just hopped up and was like BOOM. He also nearly lifted into a Manna, lost it right at the top. He has never been able to do that before, and has not been training Manna for over a year. Keep in mind that in February he only had a solid iron cross on his best days and did not have a maltese at all. That is an awful lot of strength development. I am starting to see a similar change as well: strap crosses are no problem now with straight arms.

I don't train them directly yet and probably won't for at least 6-12 months, and probably a bit longer just to be sure my inner elbows are ready, but what we are putting together works.

Do you have a rough guesstimate when the system will be out?

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Svend

Haha, you sure know how to tease, Slizzardman :wink:

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Joshua Naterman

Indeed! Teasing keeps interest up! :P

My answer's about the same as Coach's... there is not even the hint of a definite date, but I can guarantee it will be at least 12 months from now. Possibly 24 or more. There is no way around that.

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Kyle Courville
Indeed! Teasing keeps interest up! :P

My answer's about the same as Coach's... there is not even the hint of a definite date, but I can guarantee it will be at least 12 months from now. Possibly 24 or more. There is no way around that.

Thanks, no more questions from me. I don't want to slow your progress. :wink:

I now have some time to prepare myself before the earth is filled with saiyans.

P.S. Don't let ashita use the program........ I mean who would be able to stop him. :lol:

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red_donn
Agreed, bodybuilders are hypertrophic masters.

I never said that there would be an even split or that both low and high volume methods would be used in a cycle, or that they wouldn't. In the end, your neural efficiency is the biggest enemy to future hypertrophy, which is why guys like Poliquin will tell you to do whatever it is that you haven't done before, and after 4-6 sessions of the same stimulus you will need to switch to something as different as possible to continue maximizing hypertrophy.

Unfortunately I can not currently delve into the functional mass issue. There is simply too much that is not publicly known there.

I am not arguing that the whole 75% thing isn't worthwhile or that it won't add more mass than a traditional high intensity, low rep program, but the how and the why is the great unknown amongst practitioners. Those details allow you to dissect what is happening in the body and learn how to take advantage of those processes with all different loads. I am looking forward to the day when I will be able to share that with you guys, because it will allow everyone to accelerate their gains.

There's a lot of good basic knowledge in your posts, and I like that you are sharing it here. Please continue!

Thanks for the kind words. Sorry about the time in between replies - been busy.

Yes, the questions regarding the 75% range are more pervasive than the answers, that is for certain. As a new member to the forum, I'm not up to date on what your research is, or how you might release it, but it sounds interesting. Hopefully, I shall be around in a year (or three :wink:) to see it come to light.

One last comment: The higher reps work well for the olympic guys because they do not usually work in that range. It is a different stimulus and has vastly different demands on the internal muscle structures than what they usually perform. The simple fact that it is a different demand than their body is used to is one of the primary reasons they are able to gain mass so quickly with this training.

You may be interested to know that bodybuilders occasionally have to go very very heavy with low reps to break plateaus in size, for the same reason. It is not what their bodies are used to so they adapt more strongly to the stimulus.

Of this I am aware. In point of fact, the guys who won Olympia most often (Arnold, Yates, Coleman, etc) tended to be among the strongest bodybuilders. It's the flip side to athletes who tend to train till they are strong as they are likely to be at a certain bodyweight, then put on mass. With bodybuilders, at a certain point adding strength becomes the most efficient route to adding mass. Back and forth, back and forth. As Dan John put it, if you want to get results and be thought of as a genius, take whatever the stalled athlete is currently doing, and change the volume/intensity a bit. Anyone can get adaptations by shifting from low or high reps to medium reps, and medium reps to low or high.

I'm trying to think of the correct form of mathematical equation to describe this; a recursive value-maximization function with separate sub-calculations for strength and mass returns, with either a given number of time periods or a cutoff when value differences exceed a certain amount. Returns yielded by strength and mass routines would both be subject to the law of diminishing returns. Sorry...I'm an econ major.

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dnj23

Of this I am aware. In point of fact, the guys who won Olympia most often (Arnold, Yates, Coleman, etc) tended to be among the strongest bodybuilders. It's the flip side to athletes who tend to train till they are strong as they are likely to be at a certain bodyweight, then put on mass. With bodybuilders, at a certain point adding strength becomes the most efficient route to adding mass. Back and forth, back and forth. As Dan John put it, if you want to get results and be thought of as a genius, take whatever the stalled athlete is currently doing, and change the volume/intensity a bit. Anyone can get adaptations by shifting from low or high reps to medium reps, and medium reps to low or high.

It's not true with these guys. Again, you guys are putting too much significance with the training. Arnold blew up like a balloon on synthetic testosterone. He was just a freak responder. There are pics of him in the late 70's where he looked like a swimmer. Give him a 6 month cycle, and boom. Coleman - great genetics and the addition of modern use of insulin and growth hormone is what's responsible for his build.

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red_donn

Of this I am aware. In point of fact, the guys who won Olympia most often (Arnold, Yates, Coleman, etc) tended to be among the strongest bodybuilders. It's the flip side to athletes who tend to train till they are strong as they are likely to be at a certain bodyweight, then put on mass. With bodybuilders, at a certain point adding strength becomes the most efficient route to adding mass. Back and forth, back and forth. As Dan John put it, if you want to get results and be thought of as a genius, take whatever the stalled athlete is currently doing, and change the volume/intensity a bit. Anyone can get adaptations by shifting from low or high reps to medium reps, and medium reps to low or high.

It's not true with these guys. Again, you guys are putting too much significance with the training. Arnold blew up like a balloon on synthetic testosterone. He was just a freak responder. There are pics of him in the late 70's where he looked like a swimmer. Give him a 6 month cycle, and boom. Coleman - great genetics and the addition of modern use of insulin and growth hormone is what's responsible for his build.

I think it's a cop-out to say that the bodybuilders are the only genetic freaks with access to drugs out there. How is that different from Olympic lifting? Yet nobody says you should train the O-lifts in the 6-12 range because only genetic freaks have the fast-twitch dominance to pull off training primarily in the 1-5 range. That would be patently absurd.

One simply attempts to tamper the methods they used to reach the peak to a level which non-professional, non-freak, natural athletes can work with without trying to reinvent the wheel. I've repeatedly stated that a variety of well-known strength athletes with fairly average genes have tried out bodybuilding, and all of them end up using the same training methods in order to compete.

Why wouldn't one of these genetic freak bodybuilders use a low-rep, high-intensity setup with many sets if it would get them bigger than everyone else? Is the theory really going to be that freak bb's with high drug use can benefit optimally from the med-high rep range, but unlike every other type of training, this doesn't carry over to other practitioners? The fact of the matter is that whenever strength athletes from other disciplines decide to get really serious about hypertrophy, especially when they decide to do a bb show - they end up using the same methods. Why would they switch methods if their former, low-rep, high-intensity work was better?

When we get to it, I have never read a decent scientific explanation for the argument that bodybuilders pull off working in a given rep range because of genes and drugs. Those things give them great recovery and growth abilities, which could be put to use in any repetition range. Where is the evidence that shows this precise intersection of volume, rep range, and specific recovery ability, all in order to refute the obvious pattern in the field? I don't think it exists. This comes down to athletic snobbery, the same sort of dismissal that the average joe gives to strength athletes because they are probably on steroids.

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Joshua Naterman
I'm trying to think of the correct form of mathematical equation to describe this; a recursive value-maximization function with separate sub-calculations for strength and mass returns, with either a given number of time periods or a cutoff when value differences exceed a certain amount. Returns yielded by strength and mass routines would both be subject to the law of diminishing returns. Sorry...I'm an econ major.

Oowwwr... owrrrr... brain... blee...ding... :shock:

:mrgreen:

It's true though, and probably the most valuable free piece of training advice on the planet:

The best training program for someone is whatever they're not doing.
If you aren't going heavy very often then going heavy is going to give you great results for a while. If you are used to closed chain movements, going open chain is going to give you great results for a while. So on and so forth!

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Khassera

I guess I'd have to agree with Martin's statement, even though it's horribly black and white: Bodyweight stuff IS worse for total overall hypertrophy when compared to weighted, larger compound movements. That is to say it works less muscles at a lower intensity, but some it stimulates more than weighted stuff due to the whole balancing issue.

What I'd be very, VERY interested in hearing opinions on is this:

I've designed a great program for myself based on Eat Move Improve's program designing templates, and it contains one heavy movement which I work with Pavel Tsatsouline's Power to the People protocol (1 heavy work set of 2-5 reps, 1 85% set with 3-5 reps). My movement of choice for the past couple of months has been the deadlift, but I was thinking: Which would be more beneficial in the whole hypertrophy/overall muscles worked -context? The Squat or the Deadlift?

If my goal is to just work as many muscles as intensively as possible with this one big movement (because it is virtually all my lower body gets for the week besides the one day of sprint training), which movement should I put my money on?

For a while I was on the Barry Ross protocol, where he suggests no more than 3 reps for the work set, light plyos, long rests and 1 set of 5 reps with a lower (10-15% lower) weight. This worked like a charm, but it does virtually nothing to pack on muscle. Since I'm on an intermittent fasting regimen, that got me thinking: Am I stimulating enough muscle to retain it? Do I have to do more hypertophy-intensive work? Bodyweight stuff works on the IF regimen, but that might be due to my workouts mainly consisting of a core ring workout regimen and two dynamic movements (chins and dips) which I strive to continuously be better at.

Once again: Opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.

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Joshua Naterman

My opinion: If you never add weight to your body you're going to run into a problem: You won't be able to overload your muscles after a certain point... especially in dips, squats and pull ups/chins. That holds true even with the single arm variety at some point. So if we're saying bodyweight ONLY, with no vests or dip belts or anything like that then that would absolutely be less than ideal for hypertrophy. However, the movements you use are absolutely some of the best.

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Alvaro Antolinez
Dillon Zrike, one of Coach's athletes.

I personally watched him do cross-> maltese->planche-inverted cross. I'm talking like a Chen Yibing inverted cross too, I almost had to change my underwear. Now granted his wrists were in straps, but that's still insane. He didn't even realize he could do that, he just hopped up and was like BOOM. He also nearly lifted into a Manna, lost it right at the top. He has never been able to do that before, and has not been training Manna for over a year. Keep in mind that in February he only had a solid iron cross on his best days and did not have a maltese at all. That is an awful lot of strength development. I am starting to see a similar change as well: strap crosses are no problem now with straight arms.

I don't train them directly yet and probably won't for at least 6-12 months, and probably a bit longer just to be sure my inner elbows are ready, but what we are putting together works.

:shock:

Wow! He just had the Iron cross last november! and he is already at inverted cross?!! Can´t wait to the next seminar!

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Joshua Naterman

Dude, DIllon is out of control. I'm starting to catch up though lol! I'm pretty sure that in a few years I will be able to do that sequence. I am starting to believe that many of us, if not all of us, have that kind of strength potential.

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Alvaro Antolinez

8)

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Alvaro Antolinez

Well the genetically gifted will be out of reach, but a good program will take you much further than most people imagine!.

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Felipe

I see that the true limit to one potential is (quality) time devoted to training.

Slizz, how many hours/week do you think it is required to reach Dillon's level of strength?

Are just 6h a week sufficient? Are 5 years enough?

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Joshua Naterman
Dude, DIllon is out of control. I'm starting to catch up though lol! I'm pretty sure that in a few years I will be able to do that sequence. I am starting to believe that many of us, if not all of us, have that kind of strength potential.

delusional

No, no, I'm HAPPILY delusional! :P

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Joshua Naterman

Hehehe, I know you're messing with me!

Thanks, I'm just hanging out with the strength work right now, letting my joints catch up. I won't be pushing forward much until August at the earliest. For once everything seems to be healing at the same time!

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dnj23

Why wouldn't one of these genetic freak bodybuilders use a low-rep, high-intensity setup with many sets if it would get them bigger than everyone else? Is the theory really going to be that freak bb's with high drug use can benefit optimally from the med-high rep range, but unlike every other type of training, this doesn't carry over to other practitioners? The fact of the matter is that whenever strength athletes from other disciplines decide to get really serious about hypertrophy, especially when they decide to do a bb show - they end up using the same methods. Why would they switch methods if their former, low-rep, high-intensity work was better?

My point is that when you cite examples of the drugged elites to justify the effectiveness of a certain training protocol, it's really an exercise in futility. Drugs administered with exceptional genes for hypertrophy skews what's responsible so much that you are really comparing apples with oranges, because these type of trainees can grow just short of looking at a barbell.

For what it's worth, it's pretty much the norm in the BB'ing world to use moderate rep ranges. People who exclusively do low reps look like powerlifters, who tend to not rival the bodybuilder in the hypertrophy department. But it's not clear cut in terms of sole apparance. And, it was Arnold et al. back in the day that claimed low, heavy rep ranges gave a more denser look to your physique, not voluminous. I've seen impressive physiques built entirely on high rep calisthenics, with an extreme case according to the testimony of Hershel Walker's.

When we get to it, I have never read a decent scientific explanation for the argument that bodybuilders pull off working in a given rep range because of genes and drugs. Those things give them great recovery and growth abilities, which could be put to use in any repetition range. Where is the evidence that shows this precise intersection of volume, rep range, and specific recovery ability, all in order to refute the obvious pattern in the field? I don't think it exists. This comes down to athletic snobbery, the same sort of dismissal that the average joe gives to strength athletes because they are probably on steroids.

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here, but if you want some sort of concrete evidence in what constitutes a significant hypertrophy goal, it will involve a prerequisite of drugs and genes, or at least exceptional genes. It will then involve some sort of coherent plan of progressive resistance. Then, the weight of your idea or rep schemes comes into consideration. All the shows and rankings, year after year, it's the same faces man. People aren't comming out of the woodwork because of unorthodox training principles. It's the truth of the matter. Look at a young Schwarzenegger, Viator, or Victor Richards. They didn't posses the degree of training knowledge and sophistication that you do. They didn't need to.

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Joshua Naterman

Guys, this is getting off topic. If you want to start a discussion about drugs, bodybuilders, and rep ranges that would be something that belongs in the Community section.

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red_donn
Guys, this is getting off topic. If you want to start a discussion about drugs, bodybuilders, and rep ranges that would be something that belongs in the Community section.

Continued by pm - don't want to pollute the thread with a "bodybuilders on drugs" conversation.

At any rate, I think you pretty much killed the question with your early comment about leveraging, incremental increases, etc. That's a hard act to follow.

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marcusuni
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.

Sliz I am thinking of giving the second option a try, I'm going to use weighted rows and weighted ring PPP and work them three times a week and then take the next week off. Is there any way to include a more focussed arms approach like a couple of sets of heavy curls and tri extensions at the end of each workout or should I just leave it as it is and let the growth take care of itself?

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