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Fluidity

Maximum Hypertrophy Vs Maximum Strength

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Ian Myers

Rik's answer is good in terms of what has been done from the academic side of this. There was also an anecdotal "chart" done by some Olympic Weightlifting coach who basically took a bunch of Weightlifters weights with how much they were lifting for their bodyweight (I'll post it if I find it). As body weight increased from the lowest weight classes in Olympic lifters so did the amount of weight lifted per pound of body weight. This kept increasing until 170-180 lbs. where it began to decrease again. So the greatest amount of weight lifted, pound for pound, was in the 170-180 weight class.

There is also a lot of other anecdotal evidence that supports the idea that 170-180 is where the largest strength (once again pound for pound) is for the average person. On average most top sprinters are around 180 lbs. When gymnasts were 5''7-5'8 quite a few of them weighed between 170-180 lbs. John Gill was 180 lbs.

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That's interesting, I wonder if this weight depended on height or not. I.e. would a 5'4" person be most efficient at 155 or 175?

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AlexX

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That's interesting, I wonder if this weight depended on height or not. I.e. would a 5'4" person be most efficient at 155 or 175?

You are introducing a whole new variable to this whole thing when it already isn't an exact science. Generally speaking the shorter people usually go for the lower weight classes and taller individuals to the heavier ones. Ivan Stoitsov is 5'6 and 170 lbs. Pyrros Dimas is 5'8 and 185 lbs. They had pretty similar physiques with Ivan looking a bit more muscular.

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Brian Li

Skill is of course an important factor but I still know the kind of strength it takes to climb I mean I've seen people do a one armed pull up while holding a pinch grip hanging from the ceiling they were about 5' 10 and looked like tht had next to no muscle probably sitting on around 10-12% body fat from looks. That's why it would be interesting to know if there has been any studies done on strength to size ratio potential of muscle

Climbers are well known for their grip and finger strength. A pinch grip one arm pull-up will require more strength from the pulling muscles, but not significantly more. I've also heard that most climbers even some top climbers can't do one pull-ups or front levers. The ones that did mostly trained specifically for it. I did hear that they were the closest athletes to get OACs and FLs besides gymnasts though.

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Brian Li

...There are top sprinters that look only a bit better than cross country champions and lift no weights...

From what I see, all top sprinters in the elite level are pretty built to very muscular and almost all lift weights. The only one that I heard that doesn't lift weights is Kim Collins and his lower body is still pretty big.

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Andrew Long

Every single climber i know who does high end graded climbing can do a one arm pull up even those who are only a few grades better than myself ( a few grades higher than me has a huge difference in difficulty though). as for the front lever It wouldn't surprise me at all if the best climbers out there could learn it in little to no time at all. It seems like that they would have the strength already or at least be close to having the strength for it and would just need to get used to the movement.

I also have never seen top level sprinters who didn't have legs like an armoured tank =P

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Joshua Naterman

There have. It turns out that muscle force (NOT THE SAME as joint force since there is leverage and tendon properties involved in that) is pretty closely related to PCSA (Physiologic Cross Sectional Area), which includes the thickness of a muscle (cross sectional area, how big a muscle is), but also how the muscle fibers are aligned in the muscle. If they are at an angle to the axis of force, fiber contraction will produce less functional force than when they aren't at an angle. So muscle size doesn't tell the whole story, even when you look to the most basic relations (PCSA).

And then there is like rate coding, motor unit recruitment, or motor unit type that can drastically alter force production, not to mention how force production changes during the contraction itself. And if you think you finally have all the properties to determine muscle force output, you still have nothing because the force has to be expressed at the joint, so leverage and muscle attachments come into play, which then hugely affect the amount of torque at the joint. Oh, and muscles can work synergistically, so you need to do this for all muscles in that particular area.

In short, there is a bunch of crap that involves torque production at the joint so it's kind of hard to predict. You simply cannot infer strength from looks.

*Looks over to Josh* That about right?

Yep, you are learning a lot!

When you take PCSA and adjust for the pennation angle you get nearly perfect guesses on muscular torque generation!

Like you said though, a real body is much more complicated. You have multiple vectors of different sizes and orientation that change throughout the movement, and you have mostly class 3 lever systems so you have to collect a lot of data that we can't really do a great job of collecting for one person. We can use cadaver data to start working off of an average, but there are a lot of differences between ethnicities regarding relative torso and appendage lengths as well as upper arm/lower arm and upper leg/lower leg ratios that have a huge impact on who is better suited to sprinting, climbing, blah blah blah. It's tricky stuff, and not something I care to do very often because even then there is a lot of uncertainty.

In short: external torque (which is what matters in sport performance) is very complicated to predict from pure calculations because there are so many things that can change the results and cannot be accurately measured.

High lower arm: upper arm and lower leg:upper leg ratios are favorable for throwing and sprinting (on a flat surface), respectively.

Having a lot of upper leg compared to upper leg is favorable for climbing steps or living in a mountainous area. Not sure about much of anything else, but consider that this is a common phenotype for Mongolian heritage. Not sure if other mountainous peoples exhibit similar characteristics, this could also be due to the cold since the lower arms and legs are highly effective radiating surfaces for heat.

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Joshua Naterman

As far as the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy stuff mentioned earlier, it is primarily two things: Mitochondria and enzymes. There are also noncontractile structural proteins like desmin that hold things together, but the first two are what you see double or triple in concentration with appropriate training, and also decrease rapidly when the stimulus is taken away.

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Brian Li

Every single climber i know who does high end graded climbing can do a one arm pull up even those who are only a few grades better than myself ( a few grades higher than me has a huge difference in difficulty though). as for the front lever It wouldn't surprise me at all if the best climbers out there could learn it in little to no time at all. It seems like that they would have the strength already or at least be close to having the strength for it and would just need to get used to the movement.

I also have never seen top level sprinters who didn't have legs like an armoured tank =P

Hmm... maybe you're right. I heard different things from different people in climbing forums.

The ones you mentioned could definitely be close to a front lever or may even have it without specific training.

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Brian Li

Favorable limb ratios for sprinters are shorter torso/longer legs; shorter upper legs/longer lower legs; and higher calf insertion point. Not sure about the favorable arm lengths for sprinters.

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Joshua Naterman

Favorable limb ratios for sprinters are shorter torso/longer legs; shorter upper legs/longer lower legs; and higher calf insertion point. Not sure about the favorable arm lengths for sprinters.

Yes. I didn't want to type all that hahaha :)

You've pretty much nailed it. I don't know that the arm ratios would matter as much as the width of the hips and shoulders, because a narrower body will have less drag and I think this would present a larger % variation than the difference in arm builds and ratios, but to put it simply I think that Bolt's body is going to be hard to top.

For how tall he is he has pretty lean legs, arms, and torso. He is not particularly wide in the shoulders or hips and has all the above-mentioned ratios in his favor.

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AlexX

From what I see, all top sprinters in the elite level are pretty built to very muscular and almost all lift weights. The only one that I heard that doesn't lift weights is Kim Collins and his lower body is still pretty big.

Sprinting is so competitive that the elite sprinters are VERY elite. These are people that when they started sprinting were already above and beyond normal people, most popular sports are like that as well. Which is why I am not a fan of using the top of the line in power/strength based sports most of those guys were freaks of nature to begin with.

My comment was aimed at top college sprinters, A LOT of them are not very built at all.

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Fluidity

When it comes to building strength out of the muscle mass, I've seen Joshua mention how you need to train everyday, 2-3 times a day, with a couple of your 1-3 rep max. Now when it comes to going to a pure strength program, how many exercises would you use each day? And second would the exercises be able to cover horizontal and vertical pushing and pulling, core work, and legs? If I wanted to cover everything strength wise should I do a xABxABx type of program, and schedule days where I would work on core and legs, several times a day at max strength?

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Joshua Naterman

Not answering that.

What you need to do when you want to access your full muscular strength is increase the intensity, decrease the reps accordingly, and keep doing that. For practical purposes there's no reason to go below 3 reps.

It takes around 10 weeks to unlock everything you have with your current body size for a specific exercise at a specific rep range.

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Fluidity

Not answering that.

What you need to do when you want to access your full muscular strength is increase the intensity, decrease the reps accordingly, and keep doing that. For practical purposes there's no reason to go below 3 reps.

It takes around 10 weeks to unlock everything you have with your current body size for a specific exercise at a specific rep range.

Well as for the next 10 weeks, I"m really working on pseudo Planche push ups, advanced variations of pull ups, and barbell squats. Is it a good idea to do SSC for the next 10 weeks, and keep the weight and reps the same, or should I not even bother and just up the intensity after every few workouts?

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Nic Branson

This is not the place for a full discussion on this but you should do more research regarding linearly increasing intensity in the manner you are discussing. It is a quite advanced method for properly reaching a ten week or so max and definitely beyond the scope of what I at least will post publicly as it is completely unnecessary for almost everyone here and also the risk for injury and set backs goes up dramatically if done incorrectly.

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Fluidity

I understand Nic, but as for SSC is it something that I should use exclusively for my FSPs? I've been using SSC for my FSPs all of this time, and as for strength I've seen people mention how SSC would only be used for FBE if you were injured, or had some type of joint problems.

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Brian Li

Sprinting is so competitive that the elite sprinters are VERY elite. These are people that when they started sprinting were already above and beyond normal people, most popular sports are like that as well. Which is why I am not a fan of using the top of the line in power/strength based sports most of those guys were freaks of nature to begin with.

My comment was aimed at top college sprinters, A LOT of them are not very built at all.

Agreed! The cross-country champions are a bit bigger than marathoners right?

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Connor Davies

haven't taken the time to read this thread yet, but...

 

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_most_effective_way_to_build_muscle

 

Far as I can tell, hypertrophy is best brought on by a mix of max strength work to hit the prime movers, high rep work to strengthen the tendons and build work capacity, and TUT work to really hit the stabiliser muscles.

 

Saw some people arguing the other day about whether high rep fatigue activates the fast twitch muscle fibers.  I wonder if they read this article...

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Nic Branson

Basically training with balance, leaning slightly towards your goals at the time. That article is nothing new or special. As for the high rep for fast twitch, the answer is both yes and no.

In total it is being over thought. Train for your purpose. The body will adapt and follow. Too much thinking tends to cause people to change what they are doing too often and they never see results. There are times you have to stay the course and see what happens. If you always look for better then you spend more time searching than working.

(Yes I am purposely trying to keep most of the science and details out of my posts these days. I will put some in on the grad forums but only when it does not detract or confuse)

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Larry Roseman

One motivation for hypertrophy that anyone over 30 certainly 40 and most definitely 50 should consider is

avoidance of sarcopenia - muscle loss - especially fast twitch - that occurs with aging.

It may be that the nerves give up the ghost first and the muscle fibers follow, but in any case it's possible to slow this by 

building strength and size.  

 

It is really not possible in my eyes to have a "strength" or "size" only protocol - especially on the rings.

Sure one may emphasize certain aspects, but it's going to be like 60/40 or 40/60 - very difficult to separate.

As Nic said train for your athletic purpose. The additional benefits will follow.

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Nic Branson

It is widely thought that motor neuron degeneration leads to muscle loss. This is likely only part of the equation but a very large part. Use it or lose it.

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Larry Roseman

Actually with all this talk about weights did upper body weights today for a change. It was the day after a heavy ring and bar workout. Normally I'd mainly just run and stretch but thought I'd try high reps low weight - to failure - given the fact I was sore didn't want to lift anything heavy and thought it might help with recovery getting the blood pump - and also be an interesting experiment.

 

I know that 30% 1RM can also induce hypertrophy when performed to failure. I probably did 15-25% 1RM - to failure. Did Incline bench, military press, row, and barbell curl in a row. Was able to do over 2 sets of 50 reps each, except in the military press, where it was 25 reps.  I'm thinking that since I do have an endurance issue doing overhead work like handstands that it might pay to do this type of exercise and rep scheme. What do you think? My arms and shoulders were (and still are) really wiped out from this workout of about 350 reps.

 

It's funny struggling to bench a 20 pound bar towards the end of the set. I'm lucky no one came by and kicked "sand" in my face!

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Nic Branson

Who are you asking here ?

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Larry Roseman
Who are you asking here ?

Anyone who cares to answer. If you care to I would be interested in your opinion Nic.

 

I did try the 70-80% 1RM military press to attempt to before increase reps and overhead endurance however didn't see much progress. Even less weighted OH movements like pike push-ups are brutal for me... It's certainly easier to build volume and time under tension using the lower intensity protocol.  Maybe it would help.  What do you think?

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Connor Davies

....I'm not the guy who can do front levers or punch through bricks....

You can punch through bricks!? o.0

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