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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
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must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
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Genetic Potential
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gmw5

New Zealand

Something that I have been wondering, is there a limit to your strength? There is a lot of talk about 'set point theory' or an individual's limit to how big his/her muscles can actually get. Is there a limit to a person's strength and is it related to the limit of the muscle size? can it be measured somehow?
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TigerFighter VS

New Jersey, USA

Yes there is. I don't know what it is, but I am still looking for it. I'll let you know if I find it.
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David_27

Tennessee, USA

Tiger's right. You won't know until you get there, so it's kind of a moot point.
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Paul Marsland

Strength is related to many factors not just muscle size, muscle fiber type, tendon and bone length, and neurologival effeciency all contribute to ones strength. However increasing strength is no guarantee that this will increase muscle size. The motto " Train for strength and the size will follow" has no basis in reality as there are too many other factors that can contribute to hypertrophy.
Paul.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Yep, what Paul said all the way.

Regards,
Andrew
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Cherry

a good rough rule of thumb..

if you question your genetic potential.

you can be sure, it stinks.

ROFL!!

:)))
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Paul Marsland wrote:
Strength is related to many factors not just muscle size, muscle fiber type, tendon and bone length, and neurologival effeciency all contribute to ones strength. However increasing strength is no guarantee that this will increase muscle size. The motto " Train for strength and the size will follow" has no basis in reality as there are too many other factors that can contribute to hypertrophy.
Paul.


While increasing muscular strength does not always mean a proportional increase in muscular size, an increase in muscular size always equates to an increase in muscular strength.

The proportion of size gained relative to strength depends largely on genetics. If you want to become more muscular, you must train to become stronger. What else could you possibly be attempting to do when you are lifting a weight? Trying to become weaker?

Some will experience more size gains relative to strength, and some will experience little size gains despite massive strength increases. While training methods will have an effect on this, it is largely due to genetics.
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davise

Well I wouldn't think that you could squat for example more than your skeletal structure could hold. At a certain point a deadlift would rip your arms out of your sockets.
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gmw5

New Zealand

Drew,

that was the kind of answer i was looking for. Thanks for the post
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HDGURU

Drew Baye wrote:
Paul Marsland wrote:
Strength is related to many factors not just muscle size, muscle fiber type, tendon and bone length, and neurologival effeciency all contribute to ones strength. However increasing strength is no guarantee that this will increase muscle size. The motto " Train for strength and the size will follow" has no basis in reality as there are too many other factors that can contribute to hypertrophy.
Paul.

While increasing muscular strength does not always mean a proportional increase in muscular size, an increase in muscular size always equates to an increase in muscular strength.

The proportion of size gained relative to strength depends largely on genetics. If you want to become more muscular, you must train to become stronger. What else could you possibly be attempting to do when you are lifting a weight? Trying to become weaker?

Some will experience more size gains relative to strength, and some will experience little size gains despite massive strength increases. While training methods will have an effect on this, it is largely due to genetics.


Right on, Drew..... To quote Mentzer: "You're one of the rational few."


Most trainees would be better served if they stop obsessing over inconsequential details i.e. (exercise selection, rep speed, rep range...et al)
and instead make a determined effort to increase their poundages in their basic lifts (squats, deads, bench, dips, chins) . . . The mass will surely follow..... Steve.....
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Paul Marsland

Drew Baye wrote:

While increasing muscular strength does not always mean a proportional increase in muscular size, an increase in muscular size always equates to an increase in muscular strength.


Not true, as I've been able to increase my size without a corresponding increase in strength.

The proportion of size gained relative to strength depends largely on genetics. If you want to become more muscular, you must train to become stronger. What else could you possibly be attempting to do when you are lifting a weight? Trying to become weaker?

While this is true up to a point, such methology will eventually reach a point of diminishing returns, if you want to become more muscular then you need to train in a manner which will cause the strongest alarm reaction, merely increasing strength is no guarantee of this. What you are attempting to do when you lift a weight Drew, is fatigue your muscles to as deep as level as possible, I thought you knew this???

How do you explain the fact that many powerlifters continue to increase in strength but don't increase in muscluar size or bodyweight? An increase in strength could be contributed to increased skill or CNS adaptation, not hypertrophy.

Some will experience more size gains relative to strength, and some will experience little size gains despite massive strength increases. While training methods will have an effect on this, it is largely due to genetics.


On the issue of genetics I agree, what is needed therefore is a holistic approach to exercise, one which takes in account muscular strength in additon to many other contributing factors. I know I've trained purely for the strength equals size addage and always ended up looking worse,ie less muscular.
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Paul Marsland

HDGURU wrote:
Right on, Drew..... To quote Mentzer: "You're one of the rational few."


Most trainees would be better served if they stop obsessing over inconsequential details i.e. (exercise selection, rep speed, rep range...et al)
and instead make a determined effort to increase their poundages in their basic lifts (squats, deads, bench, dips, chins) . . . The mass will surely follow..... Steve.....


Really? How will the mass surely follow, what makes you so sure? This is typical Hard Gainer/HIT mentality at it's worst. The advocation that once you reach X amount of weight in Y lift then you will have the size to go with it. On the contrary most trainees would be better served if they actively seeked out all the factors that contribute to how they INDIVIDUALLY respond to anaerobic exercise.

To use your Mentzer paraphrasing " Anaerobic exercise is a branch of the sciences and should be viewed as such"

In this regard should all the Doctors and Surgeons involved in the science of medicine, stop obsessing on how a individual repsonds to medicinal drugs or merely give everyone the same amount and surely they'll get better? Fingers crossed and hope for the best. It's the same principle, just increase your strength (cross your fingers) and the size will follow............eventaully, maybe, if your lucky.
Paul.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

gmw5 wrote:
Drew,

that was the kind of answer i was looking for. Thanks for the post


You're welcome. I'm glad I could help. You might find the following interesting:

Association of interleukin-15 protein and interleukin-15 receptor genetic variation with resistance exercise training responses.

http://jap.physiology.org/.../full/97/6/2214


The last paragraph of the discussion reads,

In summary, chronic RET (resistance exercise training) induces skeletal muscle hypertrophy as well as increases in strength. However, not every individual can expect the same magnitude of muscle responses to a standard program because of genetic and environmental factors yet to be thoroughly characterized. The effect of IL-15 signaling was examined as a contributing mediator of this interindividual variability in muscle responses by measuring IL-15 protein in plasma during exercise and training and characterizing genetic variation in the IL15RA gene. Plasma IL-15 was increased immediately after exercise but did not change with training and was not associated with muscle responses to training. A genetic variation in the 3' untranslated region of the IL15RA gene was strongly associated with muscle hypertrophy, although those with the greatest hypertrophy had lower muscle strength and muscle quality increases. Another genetic variation that resulted in the addition of a Thr in the Pro- and Thr-rich area of the IL-15 receptor was weakly associated with muscle hypertrophy. Taken together with other studies of IL-15 on muscle anabolism, this study suggests that IL-15 is an important mediator of muscle phenotypes in humans.


They key phrase there is "...not every individual can expect the same magnitude of muscle responses to a standard program..."


The degree to which an individual can increase their muscle mass is primarily dictated by genetics. It is only how quickly they reach the upper limits of their potential that is significantly influenced by training.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Paul Marsland wrote:

...I've been able to increase my size without a corresponding increase in strength.


If you increase the cross sectional area of a muscle due to increase in fibers, you will have increased it's force producing capabilities, unless there was a decrease elsewhere.


Paul Marsland wrote:

What you are attempting to do when you lift a weight Drew, is fatigue your muscles to as deep as level as possible, I thought you knew this???


Not if your goal is muscular size increases.

If you are trying to stimulate an increase in muscular size, your goal is to induce microtrauma. Fatigue is only useful in that it is necessary for recruitment of all available motor units. Maximal motor unit recruitment does not require a significant level of fatigue. If you train to failure with 80% of your 1RM, you've only inroaded your strength level by around 20%, but with that kind of weight you'll most definitely have recruited and stimulated all available motor units.

If you were merely trying to produce the deepest possible level of fatigue, you could use 50% or lower and do sets lasting up to 3 or 4 minutes. As research on SuperSlow has shown, this doesn't work very well.


Paul Marsland wrote:

How do you explain the fact that many powerlifters continue to increase in strength but don't increase in muscluar size or bodyweight? An increase in strength could be contributed to increased skill or CNS adaptation, not hypertrophy.


Not everybody increases muscle size in proportion to muscle strength. Those who have significant increases in strength relative to size will do much better in strength sports with weight classes. That's what I was trying to say. I doubt, however, that anyone could make a significant increase in actual muscular strength in terms of net force input (minus skill and nervous factors) without at least a slight increase in muscle CSA.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Paul is right on that last one. You can't treat everyone the same. While a very brief, basic routine will work better for more people than the typical high volume routine, individuals do vary significantly in their response to exercise, and routines must be tailored based on individual response and goals.
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David_27

Tennessee, USA

Paul Marsland wrote:
...increasing strength is no guarantee that this will increase muscle size. The motto " Train for strength and the size will follow" has no basis in reality as there are too many other factors that can contribute to hypertrophy.
Paul.


Is it just me, or does the whole idea of complaining that one is getting "stronger but not bigger" wierd? Not that Paul is complaining--he's just making an observation--but I've heard it in the gym and read about this complaint in the archives here. People use it as one of the chief arguments against HIT in general: "You might get strong, but you won't get big!" I also hear a lot of people say they "want to get bigger, but not stronger."

WTF? Who doesn't want to get stronger? Doesn't the actual *use* of the body mean anything to these people? Because if it doesn't, they're better off getting implants and liposuction! And if it does, then the reply to "I'm getting stronger but not bigger," should be...great!

That means I'll run faster, jump higher, climb and leap over chasms...lol it's like being a super hero. Think about it; if you double your squat and increase your weight by 25-30%, how much will your vertical jump increase? Maybe not at all. Now imagine the same situation with you maintaining your weight at it's original level--your vertical would have to increase. A lot. Now extend that principle...

I've never really understood this complaint. Maybe I'm overlooking something, but it seems to me that a lot of fitness enthusiasts are sufferring from "megarexia."


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acerson

Ontario, CAN

If I had to choose between only getting stronger or only getting bigger, I would choose strength gains. Sure I'd like to get larger muscles but size is just for looks. Strength gains will make you feel, operate, and even look better.

I have extreme difficuluty gaining size, it's just not in the genes for me. However, when I'm working out good and regularly, and am seeing great strength gains, I would say I look better. On top of usually dropping some BF %, you just look all around solid. It's great.
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Paul Marsland

I'm far from complaining, but i'm going to make this my last post as I don't have the time nor the inclanation to be drawn into a internet battle. Been there too many times before and it's impossible to cover everypoint in an internet post, so things get missed and on and on it goes......

Simply put, training to increase muscular strength is no guarantee there will be a corresponding increase in size. I've squatted well over 500 lbs and can leg Press over 1000lbs for reps, now you would think my legs would be huge based on this methodolgy, but they are just over 26 inches. Whenever my program focused purley on increasing muscular strength I ended up looking worse. If your goal is to increase your strength as much as possible then your training should reflect this, as per SAID.
However if your goal is to improve your muscular appearance AND have some degree of strength then your training requires a different approach.

Take it from me, I used all the same arguments that are being espoused on here regarding HIT and it's principles, but once I came away from this method of thinking I was able to increase my size to a point I didn't think possible. When I look back at my posts from a few years ago, I cringe.



Paul.
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manzo

Paul Marsland wrote:
However if your goal is to improve your muscular appearance AND have some degree of strength then your training requires a different approach.




Paul,
Would you mind telling us what needs to be done differently from lifting more weight in certain exercises, in your opinion?

I know you cant cover everything in a post but im curious as to what changes you made to your training to get you growing again,and what you think in general someone should do for hypertrophy.

Im not looking for an internet battle, just some info that may help me and others. I seen pics of you being trained by Fred F on cyberpump,i read a lot of Freds stuff also.

Thanks
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NickMunro

error
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Mr Nautilus

Pound-for-pound you guys must be the strongest in the world! There's no more concentrated a collection of skinny strongmen than here. You would clean-up on the Powerlifting circuit!

Are we to believe that Dr Dardens' programs are wrong? Gain muscle to lose fat, but you might not gain muscle only strength? But the subjects in his books are adding up to 18lb of muscle in 2 weeks! And the ones on diets are adding enough to burn lots of fat.

Confused? You will be! Consider the Powerlifting option, though. I would love to see some Lightweights represent HIT.
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Paul Marsland

Im not looking for an internet battle, just some info that may help me and others. I seen pics of you being trained by Fred F on cyberpump,i read a lot of Freds stuff also.

Fred, put the article on Cyberpump? Cool!

Alan, basically what I did was to increase the volume and frequency of my workouts. I now train on a 3 way split and average 2-8 sets per bodypart depending on it's size. I really can't give you a set answer as I can only tell you what works for me, this has come about through a lot of reading, experimenting and discussion over the last 5 years.

The person most responsible for how I view and think about exercise is Brian Johnston. The best advice I can give you at this stage would be to buy either Prescribed Exercise or The JReps book, ideally both.


Regards

Paul.
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manzo

Paul Marsland wrote:
basically what I did was to increase the volume and frequency of my workouts.



Thanks Paul,
One last question- when you say you increased volume is that an increase by adding exercises or and increase in the number of sets of the same exercise, or both?
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Paul Marsland

alan1 wrote:
Thanks Paul,
One last question- when you say you increased volume is that an increase by adding exercises or and increase in the number of sets of the same exercise, or both?



Both, I also frequently change my workouts and include variables, regulate my training with periods of lesser demanding workouts. At present I'm using J Reps and nothing I've used in the past and I've used plently, can close to producing the results JReps has.

Here is an example Chest,Delts and Triceps workout. Using the JRep halves method.

Smith Machine Incline Press 1-2 sets
Pectoral Fly on Machine 1-2 sets
Dips on Machine 1-2 sets. I will from time to time add a couple of negatives.

Seated Lateral Raise Machine 1-2 sets.
Rear Delt Machine 1-2 sets
Cable Upright Rows 1 set

Tricep Pushdowns 1-2 sets
Tricep Cable Kickbacks 1 set.


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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

I think allot of the confusion with regards to Strength vs. Size is because "performance" is being linked to strength. That is, just because you can bench press more than before does not necessarily mean you are stronger (in the ture and transferable strength sense of the word).

If your muscles are stronger, larger etc fine but performance increases do not automatically correlate to strength increases ? as in strength increases in different movements. People lift more for longer, run faster etc. all the time without actually gaining more muscular force output per muscle. They are coordinating better, this is what skill is and it is far more adaptable than muscle growth/size. We are finely skilled beings not big strong ones, nor are we fast but we are capable of very complex, and controlled movements.

Some of us IART types go on about this because it makes a huge difference in your gains if you can relate the principle of load and overload properly to the rest of the principles (volume, frequency, intensity etc.).

Concentrating on lifting ever greater amounts of weight is only for beginners and to a lesser extent early intermediates. If you wish to become a serious bodybuilder you will have to fit those numbers back into the rest of them. Tracking load as a primary is simply an easy way to get the novice to overload and needs to be done as initial skills are developed.

Regards,
Andrew
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