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Stage Reps And Its Variants
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

The idea that one can improve the effectiveness of an exercise by dividing the ROM into zones and performing partial movements in those zones in order from hardest to easiest overlooks the fact that while this may make each zone feel equally hard, the actual resistance encountered in each zone does not change.

What matters is the load, and if the load is insufficient in part of the ROM, it would be more practical to find a more appropriate exercise or machine or perform a partial rep over the portion range where a meaningful load is encountered.

The idea is to make the exercise harder, not simply to make it feel harder. The two are not the same.

I have been looking, and am unable to find research other than the study from MedX and comments in Arthur's writings about strength gains being position specific. Considering that test performance, even isometric, is somewhat skill dependent, and that strength is only one factor in performance, I'd need to see more research to have much confidence in this. If hypertrophy is the goal, rather than improved performance on a specific type of strength test, full range movement isn't necessary. Some movement, but not necessarily full range.

Bill de Simone and John Little have both put forth strong arguments in support of this. See "Moment Arm Exercise" by Bill de Simone, and the Max Contraction books by John Little.

Claims that such rep methods are effective due to increased pump are not supported by research. I am not aware of any studies showing pump to be a significant factor in hypertrophy stimulation, but I am aware of studies showing the opposite, that blood flow restriction may enhance the stimulus for hypertrophy during exercise.

In conclusion:

1. The stimulus for hypertrophy is strongly correlated with load. Making part of an exercise FEEL heavier by fatiguing the involved muscles doesn't actually make the load higher, or make doing the exercise in the lighter portion of the ROM more effective. Stage reps does not solve the problem of insufficient load.

So, find a better tool, or if possible alter the performance of the exercise to make the resistance and strength curves more congruent.

2. Some range of motion is necessary for hypertrophy (negative motion, in particular is strongly associated with cellular signaling for hypertrophy), but a full range of motion is not. Too many people have made significant gains with partial reps and methods like Power Factor Training and Bill de Simone's Moment Arm Exercise to dismiss this.

So, if you can't find a better tool or alter the performance of the exercise to make the resistance and strength curves more congruent, perform the exercise only over the range where a meaningful load is encountered. If you want to cover the full range, alternate between exercises who's resistance curves provide meaningful load in different portions of the ROM, such as dumbbell pullovers ( first half of the ROM) and straight armed cable pullovers (second half of the ROM).

3. A nice pump might feel good and make you look bigger and more vascular momentarily, but alone is not an indication of effective exercise or a significant factor in stimulating hypertrophy. It is possible to become very pumped without having an effective workout, and to have a very effective workout without much of a pump.

So, if you like being pumped up, fine, but don't evaluate your workouts based on pump.
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HamsFitness

:)

A lone voice of....reason, maybe?

good post
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Al Coleman

Ohio, USA

Well said my friend.
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

Name a machine a person should use that can match the effect of the barbell squat (which has a very faulty force curve)? How about those who use nothing but free weights and cables without access to machines?

What of the fact that the benefit of zone training is beyond the scope of flattening the force curve, including high volume contractions and reaching fatigue many times throughout the full ROM in minimal time?

You are considering one point while ignoring the remainder. One tree within the forest.

And if 'perfect' machines were the answer, then why do so many SS people with such machines, including one Slowburn proponent, not have very well developed bodies or are unable to produce any more mass than Joe Blow with a barbell set in his basement, thus suggesting it is how a tool is used than the tool itself. Thus suggesting that the direction of bodybuilding is different than the direction of weight lifting which is a matter of application in its entirety than having really good machines?

Interesting that those who do focus on obtaining a great pump WHILE working hard have better physiques than those who focus merely on strength increases (I'm talking about full, rounded muscles as opposed to the chunky 'powerlifters' I've seen on the Net for the past decade).
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

By the way:

1. Zone training does not always mean going from the hardest to easiest zone. It could be in reverse fashion, or alternated in specific patterns for specific reasons.

2. If a weight is too light or too heavy for a zone, it often indicates an improper application to zone training, in that one must adjust the zone relevant to the load and resistance. Conversely, people erroneously attempt to divide an exercise in equal portions, which is the direction of stage reps, but not of JReps. Understanding one's body and its relation to a chosen exercise will allow proper division and execution, whereas trying to be mathematical in the process will set a person up for failure.
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henry_bordeaux

Drew Baye wrote:
The idea that one can improve the effectiveness of an exercise by dividing the ROM into zones and performing partial movements in those zones in order from hardest to easiest overlooks the fact that while this may make each zone feel equally hard, the actual resistance encountered in each zone does not change.

What matters is the load, and if the load is insufficient in part of the ROM, it would be more practical to find a more appropriate exercise or machine or perform a partial rep over the portion range where a meaningful load is encountered.

---the LOAD is not the non-plus-ultra...as you should know from your superslow experiences...less lean muscle mass...more LOAD used on your exercises...



The idea is to make the exercise harder, not simply to make it feel harder. The two are not the same.

---how is it possible to measure that?...20rep squats to failure maybe the hardest thing you can do...concerning the feel...and the only argument that i can think of...which would make that exercise even harder...(not concerning the feel)would be if all the muscles involved would work over the full range of motion.

I have been looking, and am unable to find research other than the study from MedX and comments in Arthur's writings about strength gains being position specific.

---because no one else was able to measure that?


Considering that test performance, even isometric, is somewhat skill dependent, and that strength is only one factor in performance, I'd need to see more research to have much confidence in this. If hypertrophy is the goal, rather than improved performance on a specific type of strength test, full range movement isn't necessary. Some movement, but not necessarily full range.

-no one ever denied that, the question is only, won't full range exercise maximize the results?


Bill de Simone and John Little have both put forth strong arguments in support of this. See "Moment Arm Exercise" by Bill de Simone, and the Max Contraction books by John Little.

Claims that such rep methods are effective due to increased pump are not supported by research. I am not aware of any studies showing pump to be a significant factor in hypertrophy stimulation, but I am aware of studies showing the opposite, that blood flow restriction may enhance the stimulus for hypertrophy during exercise.

In conclusion:

1. The stimulus for hypertrophy is strongly correlated with load. Making part of an exercise FEEL heavier by fatiguing the involved muscles doesn't actually make the load higher, or make doing the exercise in the lighter portion of the ROM more effective. Stage reps does not solve the problem of insufficient load.

So, find a better tool, or if possible alter the performance of the exercise to make the resistance and strength curves more congruent.

---and with a more congruent strength curve, would the LOAD then increase?

2. Some range of motion is necessary for hypertrophy (negative motion, in particular is strongly associated with cellular signaling for hypertrophy), but a full range of motion is not. Too many people have made significant gains with partial reps and methods like Power Factor Training and Bill de Simone's Moment Arm Exercise to dismiss this.

So, if you can't find a better tool or alter the performance of the exercise to make the resistance and strength curves more congruent, perform the exercise only over the range where a meaningful load is encountered. If you want to cover the full range, alternate between exercises who's resistance curves provide meaningful load in different portions of the ROM, such as dumbbell pullovers ( first half of the ROM) and straight armed cable pullovers (second half of the ROM).

---Considering the Nautilus Pullover Machine, which strength curve isn't perfect (none is), instead of working the machine in 2 or 3 zones, you want me to use 2 or 3 different pullover movements. Please tell me the difference.

3. A nice pump might feel good and make you look bigger and more vascular momentarily, but alone is not an indication of effective exercise or a significant factor in stimulating hypertrophy. It is possible to become very pumped without having an effective workout, and to have a very effective workout without much of a pump.

So, if you like being pumped up, fine, but don't evaluate your workouts based on pump.



---no none said, that you grow because of the pump which you might achieve when training in zones...



---since you wrote the foreword for John Little's new book, your stand in this discussion is more than clear. as i see from your website...you were not always friend with JL's opinions. what has changed your mind.
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

Drew:

Here is another example of where you are missing out on the bigger picture when it comes to JReps Zone Training (which is different than stage reps):

A basic premise is to relax as much of the body as possible while flexing into (squeezing) on each repetition. This produces a far greater targeting effect to developing muscle. When working full ROM, it is far easier (even subconsciously) to integrate more of the body to 'heave' up a load, which is why people are getting so darn strong on movements without changes in development (aside from fat gain).

This directive, as well as the method of breathing, rep counts and TUT, etc., of the zones (and you would not believe the detail and methods outlined in the second book) place this as a specific method with wide possibilities in application... all of which is quite different than stage reps (which is one specific form of application), and which the JReps totality makes it more effective than full ROM reps. Certainly method of performance is important, and this is what JReps is about... not about prescription of volume, frequency, etc., but to make the execution of a set more productive.

In any case, we obviously see things differently, but I will tell you this as well: If I limited my training to what the 'research' says (research, for the most part based on university professors giving extra credit to students to partake in a study for one semester), then my physique would not be anywhere near what it is. It was the constant pursuit of 'better' that has and does lead me to experiment constantly. It is MY research that matters, as it should for any serious trainee... the research conducted relative to one's individualism and not what the 'averages' suggest from a study.

If your research tells you that doing full ROM reps, or whatever is best, then you need to listen to it. For myself, and hundreds of others, we've been there and done that, and trying to provide reason for its support does not reflect the reality in our physiques.
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JJ McClinton

Look at Drew Baye, a hardgainer who was able to get up to 185lbs but has stagnated ever since. Look at BDJ, a one time extreme hargainer (get No Turning Back)who was able to get up to 190lbs stagnated for a while and is now at 202 I believe, and actually looks like a bodybuilder. Drew trains more like a weightlifter, with amount of weight being moved as his primary indicator of progress. BDJ trains like a bodybuilder (targeting muscles) with his bodies' appearance being the indicator of progress.

Drew lost me a long time ago when he ripped on some IART guy's comment because BDJ hadn't obtained a college degree in his chosen field of study. Last time I checked Arthur Jones never obtained a degree in any field of study but still changed the course of the exercise community. And as far as I know Drew only took a "few" classes involving exercise science. So is a college degree required to know anything of value about exercise science? It may help but I doubt it.

Also Drew has appeared very dogmatic of other methods of training while supporting crap like Super Slow for years while others made progress (much better than his I might add) on conventional bodybuilding methods that combined brief, infrequent training, with more HVT. No one was telling him that Olympic lifts were safe just that changing exercise demands (frequency, volume, intensity) could have a positive effect on your bodies appearance. Now someone says that changing the way you perform repetitions could have the same effect. Your not just performing partials, just changing the way you perform a rep, while still performing a full ROM set. And now Baye is against "Zone Training (I like this name better than JREPS) while within a year he will then be supporting the method of training and probably writing a foreward for it.

In my mind Baye is smart but he only regurgitates other peoples findings. No original thought of his own. I might add that I was against JREPS after reading the book but out of desperation with conventional HIT methods tried it for a month and gained much better with it. Added some blitzing and gained even more. So if you want to be able to lift large amounts of weight and look like shit by all means Baye and Little are your men to train with. If you want to look like a bodybuilder but still train safely than I think Johnston's methods could be more productive for you.
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M Lipowski

New York, USA

-----------------------------------
1. The stimulus for hypertrophy is strongly correlated with load. Making part of an exercise FEEL heavier by fatiguing the involved muscles doesn't actually make the load higher, or make doing the exercise in the lighter portion of the ROM more effective. Stage reps does not solve the problem of insufficient load.

So, find a better tool, or if possible alter the performance of the exercise to make the resistance and strength curves more congruent.
---------------------------------------

If load were the primary contributer to building larger muscles then why would anyone ever abandon training Super Slow. I lifted some of my heaviest weights training SS (and with low tension times ~50-70 sec.) and never exeperienced the degree of muscular development I had with other methods.

You're correct that an exercise may feel heavier in a certain zones than it would normally (after working other zones prior) with the same poundage but I find that matters very little since the demands on the muscles are much greater. It is rare that an individual work a particular portion of the ROM repeatedly and if they do it quickly becomes apparent that the muscles cannot contend with the demands for very long. Working through a full ROM you essentially catch a 'rest' in one zone as you slowly move through the others. By the time you re-enter that zone the muscles (in that particular range) are not as fatigued as they would be if that zone had been worked repeatedly, the stimulation...mediocre at best.


---------------------------------------
2. Some range of motion is necessary for hypertrophy (negative motion, in particular is strongly associated with cellular signaling for hypertrophy), but a full range of motion is not. Too many people have made significant gains with partial reps and methods like Power Factor Training and Bill de Simone's Moment Arm Exercise to dismiss this.

So, if you can't find a better tool or alter the performance of the exercise to make the resistance and strength curves more congruent, perform the exercise only over the range where a meaningful load is encountered. If you want to cover the full range, alternate between exercises who's resistance curves provide meaningful load in different portions of the ROM, such as dumbbell pullovers ( first half of the ROM) and straight armed cable pullovers (second half of the ROM).
---------------------------------------

I don't necessarily disagree with this as I typically perform multiple movements for a single muscle group, but at the same time if I can perform 1 exercise and adequately fatigue the muscle throughout it's ROM without having to stop and move onto another exercise just to work a portion of that ROM with a similar exercise (i.e. the DB/Cable pullover example) I find that to be much more effecient.

---------------------------------------
3. A nice pump might feel good and make you look bigger and more vascular momentarily, but alone is not an indication of effective exercise or a significant factor in stimulating hypertrophy. It is possible to become very pumped without having an effective workout, and to have a very effective workout without much of a pump.

So, if you like being pumped up, fine, but don't evaluate your workouts based on pump.
---------------------------------------

Just as well, it is possible to lift a heavy weight and not get a hypertropic response. Based on this we should not evaluate the effectiveness of workouts on the loads we lift (unless that is our primary goal).

It is also possible to get a good pump AND a hypertropic response. I don't think anyone is saying that a pump is the sole determinent of an effective workout but it shouldn't be ignored either.

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that there is literally no "scientific" or "physiological" evidence regarding THE PUMP and muscle hypertropy because quite frankly, how is one to go about seperating THE PUMP from the multitude of other contributing factors involved with hypertrophy (LOAD being only one of them).

Whether we like it or not we need to rely somewhat on the empirical evidence presented to us by others. As we see "trends" or "coincidences" from one's experience to the next then we can begin to formulate hypotheses as to what the cause might be. For quite some time many bodybuilders as well as recreational lifters have felt a correllation between THE PUMP and hypertrophy. Whether it is 100% valid...we may never know...but I'm begining to strongly BELIEVE based on the empirical evidence and hypotheses that lend a physiological reasoning.

Best,

Mike
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

logicbdj wrote:
Name a machine a person should use that can match the effect of the barbell squat (which has a very faulty force curve)?


Define specifically which effect you are referring to. A properly designed leg press has a greater effect on the hips and thighs, due to the lower back no longer being a weak link. If you are talking about the systemic effect of having such a large amount of mass involved in the exercise, this can be done with a squat or deadlift machine designed to more closely mimick the movement.


logicbdj wrote:
How about those who use nothing but free weights and cables without access to machines?


They can use the methods outlined in Bill De Simone's book Moment Arm Exercise to improve the resistance curves. Most muscle groups can be worked very effectively with free weights with the right exercises performed the right way. It's nice to have machines, but it isn't necessary.

Like I've said before, the way one trains is far more important than the tools used. Good training with poor tools will produce much better results than poor training with good tools.

If one only has something like a bowflex to work on, they can simply do partials over the part of the ROM where there is a meaningful load. Full ROM isn't necessary for growth stimulation.


logicbdj wrote:
What of the fact that the benefit of zone training is beyond the scope of flattening the force curve, including high volume contractions and reaching fatigue many times throughout the full ROM in minimal time?


The fact?

I agree that there may be some benefit to a higher volume of contractions, because the greater number of negative excursions may contribute to more microtrauma where load is adequate. However, you could accomplish the same thing by simply performing short range partials in the portion of the ROM where load is meaningful.


logicbdj wrote:
You are considering one point while ignoring the remainder. One tree within the forest.


No, but this is the most important point. The fact that you can make certain "zones" feel harder by pre-fatiguing the muscles in other parts of the ROM doesn't change the fact that the actual resistance encountered in the easier parts of the ROM is lighter. It may feel hard because the muscle is fatigued, but the actual tension, which is what matters, is still well below what the muscle is capable of, and thus doesn't constitute overload. It's extra work, extra energy expended, without additional meaningful growth stimulus.


logicbdj wrote:
And if 'perfect' machines were the answer, then why do so many SS people with such machines, including one Slowburn proponent, not have very well developed bodies or are unable to produce any more mass than Joe Blow with a barbell set in his basement, thus suggesting it is how a tool is used than the tool itself.


Perfect machines aren't the answer, and I didn't say that. You can improve on an exercise by using a better tool, or by changing the way you perform it so that the load encountered is more meaningful. Bill De Simone's book is the best example of how to overcome poor resistance curves using barbell equipment (and the principles apply to cable equipment as well).

The SuperSlow people have, unfortunately, gradually migrated towards using relatively low levels of resistance and high TULs, which does not provide a significant stimulus for growth. The weight is simply too light.

As for the slow-rep people using higher loads and TULs, it produces better results than the low load, high TUL, and there are people using it getting great results. Apparently you haven't met Francisco, who works with Fred. Francisco is a big, muscular guy.

One thing we agree on about being a problem with SS is the lower frequency of reps. A greater number of negative excursions is probably more effective. This is why we no longer use SuperSlow in our facilities.

logicbdj wrote:
Interesting that those who do focus on obtaining a great pump WHILE working hard have better physiques than those who focus merely on strength increases (I'm talking about full, rounded muscles as opposed to the chunky 'powerlifters' I've seen on the Net for the past decade).


This is not a fact, this is your opinion, and it is contrary to science in this case. The pump is not a significant factor, if a factor at all in growth stimulation. Load, on the other hand, is. If one continually increases the load they use in an exercise over time, the involved muscles will get as big as that person's genetics will allow, provided other requirements (rest, recovery, nutrition, etc.) are satisfied.
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ZEZ

Drew, have you been using the Omega sets in your routines? If so, what has been your results so far?
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

I'm not sure who has developed muscle on Little's methods, and I don't know anyone who has built more muscle on Bill's method (he even clarifies that his is a method of 'safety,' in regard to avoiding certain points of the ROM that would place greater strain on the tissues and increase the risk of injury, viz., the point of stretch).

In any case, the effect of squats I'm referring to is GROWTH. I've used machines and nothing comes close to the effect of lunges and full squats on thigh development, and anyone with good quads will attest to this.

Keep in mind that I'm not saying full ROM is NECESSARY for growth. In fact, I produced good results by doing partial ROM training, but at the point of stretch (not the mid-range, as per DeSimone). This is irrelevant to the direction and nature/purpose of Zone Training.


You state: "I agree that there may be some benefit to a higher volume of contractions, because the greater number of negative excursions may contribute to more microtrauma where load is adequate. However, you could accomplish the same thing by simply performing short range partials in the portion of the ROM where load is meaningful."

OK, then do it and provide proof through photos, body comp, etc. Because I've been there and I've done that and I have not seen it.

You may not believe it, because 'research' doesn't show it, but there is value in the pump and the effects achieved through JReps... greater vascular proliferation, mitochondria numbers, greater sarcoplasm content, etc. This is a cosmetic change that is not affected much through heavy lifting, which is why bodybuilders look different than powerlifters, although the latter lift heavier, whereas the former go for the extreme pump and volume in short periods.

And did Francisco build his body through SS means... or is he doing nothing more than maintaining? Since I don't know him or have seen photos over the course of time, his example (the ONE example) is irrelevant.

You can downplay the pump under INTENSE conditions, based on poorly conducted research, but practical application is telling people something quite differently. Again, our experiences differ. Best.

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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

ZEZ wrote:
Drew, have you been using the Omega sets in your routines? If so, what has been your results so far?


I tried them briefly a while back with arm curls. I set up a squat rack so that I could get the weight into the finished position without assistance by squatting down then standing to lower the bar. I did not take measurements, but there was a noticeable increase in both the size and hardness of my biceps.

The only problem with Omega sets is that it requires more weight than most selectorized machines have, and is very taxing on the people who help you lift the weight into the fully contracted position. It would be possible to perform it one arm or leg at a time, using the other arm or leg to help lift the weight into position (similar to negative accentuated training), but I do not recommend isolateral training for most people, especially with such a heavy weight.

I tried doing them again here with arm curls once we got our Nautilus equipment, but the Nautilus Nitro Arm Curl doesn't have enough resistance for Omega sets. Just out of curiosity, I just stepped into the next room to try it again. We put 210 on the stack (the whole stack) and Jon Kilcoyne helped me lift it into the finished position. I held it there for over 25 seconds before the weight started to come down. For the Omega sets, the resistance should be so heavy you can only hold the weight for between 1/4 and 1 second.

IMO, Eccentric Edge equipment would be best for this type of training, and other plateloaded equipment could be made to work with enough plates and strong training partners.

Regarding the topic of the thread, before anyone accuses me of simply criticizing Johnston for it's own sake, consider I had positive things to say about J-reps in my interview with Doug McGuff, and to others, before giving it further consideration.

This has been the topic of much conversation here and on other forums over the past few months, and especially here recently, so I've been giving it more thought and the above are my conclusions.

As for stability and preventing unwanted movement, this occurs just as much, if not possibly more, with shorter range movements than longer for the simple reason that a shorter range means a shorter distance over which to turnaround, and a greater level of acceleration during the turnaround. Stability and preventing unwanted movement in other bodyparts is a matter of skill and practice, and can be accomplished during any movement with adequate practice and proper coaching.
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henry_bordeaux

Drew,

was there any significant improvement of your physique in the last TEN years training various HIT Styles?

(and i don't mean going down and then going up again to where you were before.)

be honest.



Francois Picaud wrote:
"Look at Drew Baye, a hardgainer who was able to get up to 185lbs but has stagnated ever since. Look at BDJ, a one time extreme hargainer (get No Turning Back)who was able to get up to 190lbs stagnated for a while and is now at 202 I believe, and actually looks like a bodybuilder."


so drew is a hardgainer
and BDJ an extreme hardgainer
and AShort an extreme extreme hardgainer?




best regards.
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M Lipowski

New York, USA

I've met Francisco when I trained at Fred's place a few weeks ago. Very nice guy, BIG guy, but not bodybuilder type big like Brian. I mean my gym has guys his size who do nothing but volume training and know scratch about productive training...just big guys.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

henry_bordeaux wrote:
Drew,

was there any significant improvement of your physique in the last TEN years training various HIT Styles?

(and i don't mean going down and then going up again to where you were before.)


I lost size during the years I was doing SS using the higher TULs (90 to 180 seconds), started gaining back size after cutting TULs back to under 60, and then after resuming a more traditional HIT quickly went back up over 180. I'm currently 183, with a 32-1/2" waist, but not as lean as I was in college. I am currently training a bit more seriously now that I'm "on the frontlines" again, and may compete in an NGA show in FL in November, depending on how things go.

The simple facts I'm trying to point out here are 1. stage reps, and variations thereof, do not solve the problem of poor resistance curves, which is inadequate loading in some portions of the ROM, and likely contribute little to growth stimulation beyond the portion performed in the more demanding portion of the ROM. They may make those parts of the ROM feel harder, but the actual load - the meaningful factor where hypertrophy is concerned - is still relatively low. 2. That the pump is not a significant factor in growth stimulation, and to say so is wild speculation at best. 3. Full-range movements are not necessary to stimulate hypertrophy, and even if it were, J-reps still doesn't solve the problem of providing meaningful load over a full ROM in exercises with very poor resistance curves. It may make an underloaded portion of the ROM feel harder due to pre-fatiguing the involved muscles while performing reps in harder zones, but it doesn't change the fact that the tension is inadequate, or that exercise in that portion of the ROM will do little to add to the effectiveness of a set after it's already been performed in harder portions of the ROM.

I have no doubts that J-reps are effective. ANY method of resistance training that provides adequate overload and progression is capable of stimulating muscular size increases.

I'm sure many of you have already made up your minds about this, and some of you are probably going to continue to post and argue regardless of how clear some of these points may be. I figured it was important to point these things out for those wondering what all the hype is about.
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spud

This is not meant as a derogatory comment, so please don't take it that way.

It is merely an observation, something for people to think about.

The IART is to the HIT community, as HIT is to the weight training community as a whole.

The IART seems to be like the HIT within HIT.

People don't even give it a chance and aren't willing to listen when someone tries to explain. They just dismiss it things straight away whenever they see the label.

The dismissive attitude displayed toward the IART on this forum and others, is exactly the same as the one that would be displayed by the majority of forum members if I went on to the T-Nation website and started a thread about how wonderful HIT was.

Many would just see the letters HIT and charge in with all guns blazing, with absolutely no attempt to listen and try and understand what is being said.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Spud,

Brian and I disagree on some things, but we agree on far, far more than we disagree about, and there are several IART materials I highly recommend, in particular their book Scientific Inquiry. In fact, I still owe Andrew a case study for that (we have a subject we're working with right now on that, with before photos and measurements, but we need to work with him on his diet still). Unlike many people who criticized J-reps without even reading the book, at least I ordered and read it, and tried it out on a few exercises.

I plan to order other materials from them in the future as well. I read as much as I can from a wide variety of sources on exercise and related subjects, and even buy books from people I strongly disagree with on many topics, such as Charles Staley and Fred Hatfield. Even if they're off on some things, it can stimulate your thinking in new directions, or let you see something from a different perspective. As long as you remember to read critically and not to accept anything as fact just because someone says it is, you can get value from it (except maybe the muscle mags, which tend to be almost completely nonsensical).

It would be nice if we could focus more on training, and less on the personalities involved. I didn't say anything about Brian, or Andrew, or anyone in the IART in my post. I was just pointing out some things I've observed about stage reps and J-reps.
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JJ McClinton

Drew Baye wrote:

I'm sure many of you have already made up your minds about this, and some of you are probably going to continue to post and argue regardless of how clear some of these points may be. I figured it was important to point these things out for those wondering what all the hype is about.



Drew,

No, it sounds like you have already made up your mind on this subject. Now let others read about the hype for themselves and let them find out "for themselves" on whether or not zone tranining works. How will they know if it works? By the results. As Arthur Jones once said "that's the only thing that matters."

I love how you always say that their are no studies indicating this and that a study disapproves of that. Their is a study that validates or disapproves almost any aspect of resistance training. Again I don't want to hear about university studies. I want to hear about methods that will improve my results. Do like Johnston said, post your picture, measurements, body composition, the works. I have read your writing for a while and like a lot of what I read but, you seem to have been in maintenance (same muscular bodyweight)mode for the past couple of years. Maybe it's time for you to try something different? No?
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

When I did HD II, I did it for 1.5 years (and did other versions of HIT and HD as well). When I did SS, I did it for 6 months. With any 'method' I tried, it was based on months... and even when I did my research projects (Journal of Applied Fitness, and JAP), I made observations and connections for months before developing the research, experimenting and writing it up.

Consequently, to suggest that you tried JReps, a method of altering one's application from FROM to Zones with a "few" exercises indicates that you never even got the chance to make the connection of 'why.' You never got to experience the effect or change it offers. I would even like to see a video of you implementing the method (you have my address).

In any case, I know this much. I have been involved in bodybuilding for nearly 30 years (since age 13, but with weights at age 15). My focus never was about health or strength, but about altering body composition. I have trained with and have trained competitive bodybuilders and powerlifters (up to the national level)... some of whom were natural, others on drugs. I have read just about everything on the subject and have concluded that often what works and what the 'research' has to say are two different things. If it was about load, then the strongest people would be the largest, and I know some pretty stringy people who can outlift me any day of the week... and they don't even look like they train. Why? Bodybuilding is NOT weight lifting.

If there was not a superior result by working in zones (and I have done partial ROM, static holds, etc., etc., etc.), then I would not waste my time with it. I am passionate about the method because it has produced results in advanced trainees... results that were not possible with other methods, including HD, static contractions, partial ROM, etc., etc.

Others may discover otherwise, and possibly because HOW they apply those other methods were different from how I applied them... that is possible... but I always did so over the course of months, to determine the effect. And by and large the effect was short lived, because of the body's adaptation. That is the reason why myself (and Mr. Shortt) worked together on developing the concept of Zone Training to the extent of it being so eclectic... so freestyle... that rarely would a workout repeat itself or need to repeat itself, all based on feedback and interpretation ON THE GO, which is real bodybuilding. What most people do is not bodybuilding... they are slaves to the math... of numbers... of load and reps... TUT and sets. They locked themselves into predicament, which the body loves, since it does not have to change.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

logicbdj wrote:
If it was about load, then the strongest people would be the largest, and I know some pretty stringy people who can outlift me any day of the week... and they don't even look like they train. Why? Bodybuilding is NOT weight lifting.


This is not true, as there are numerous factors affecting muscular force output which vary between individuals, as well as differences in the ratio of size to strength increases between individuals. You can not compare different individuals where strength and size are concerned. Differences in leverage, predominant fiber types, neurological and psychological factors, nutritional status, skill, and a wide variety of other factors affect how much strength one can demonstrate.

If an individual becomes stronger, it may be due to many factors, of which muscle fiber size is only one, but the opposite can not be said of an increase in muscle fiber size, if all else remains equal.

If J-reps is an effective protocol, I suspect it would be more due to the effects of fatigue on GH production, and not because of anything special about training in zones, other than the effect of a higher number of negative excursions per time. Perhaps partials performed for an equal number of drop sets in a single portion of the ROM would have the same effect, without having to work in different zones.

The reason I didn't spend a lot of time using J-reps is simply because I didn't see any in doing so, since I have equipment with balanced resistance curves.
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henry_bordeaux

Drew Baye wrote:
The reason I didn't spend a lot of time using J-reps is simply because I didn't see any in doing so, since I have equipment with balanced resistance curves.


we also have equipment with balanced resistance curves. some trainees can use 50lbs in the last 5-10% of extension of the nautilus leg ext. and 130 during the rest. same with a lot of other exercise machines.

so...there really are no machines with properly balanced resistance curves. you always have light, medium and hard parts during a rep. and zone training just tries to make each part harder; because in a regular rep you are always limited by the amount of weight you can use during the "hard" part of the rep.

i think zone training is just the next step.

1 training part of the rom with barbell exercises hard
2 training the full rom with machine exercises, but only some part really hard
3 training all parts of the rom hard with zone training

best regards.
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

I'm well aware of the concept of 'individuality,' having written an entire book entitled Individualism (it deals with genetics, specific factors that make us unique in training, etc).

My point being, that if you take the same individual and train him with a focus on strength, even with your machines, and then hand him over to me, I guarantee that I can make him look different simply by applying the training and tools differently. EVEN IF I DON'T INCREASE HIS LEAN MASS MUCH MORE.

You stated: "If J-reps is an effective protocol, I suspect it would be more due to the effects of fatigue on GH production, and not because of anything special about training in zones, OTHER THAN the effect of a higher number of negative excursions per time. Perhaps partials performed for an equal number of drop sets in a single portion of the ROM would have the same effect, without having to work in different zones."

Keep in mind that I have repeated myself regularly on this board, to suggest that it is more than just flattening the force curve, but the number of reps per unit of time (not just the negative aspect, as if the positive is of no value), the FACT that a person is achieving fatigue several times and throughout the full ROM and not always in the same spot as in drop sets, and that the method of performance, breathing, the measure of sets based on certain effects, etc., are all part of the method. Why the 'totality' of the method is being ignore, especially among those with the book, is beyond me.

In any case, your "perhaps" is not correct. I have done drop sets and every other variable you can mention, and I have done so extensively (having written about set variables in length, and having produced a DVD on the concept... Annihilation). I have not found the same effect. Not only in regard to growth, but a full, thick muscular appearance 24 hours a day, 7-days a week. As per one poster, he would be a bit bigger two days after a workout, and then flatten out (or return to his pre-workout appearance). This is NOT what people are noticing by training in zones, and following the JReps protocol (which is different than stage reps).

Next, you then state: "The reason I didn't spend a lot of time using J-reps is simply because I didn't see any in doing so, since I have equipment with balanced resistance curves."

Once again, training is zones as per JReps is MORE than simply flattening out the force curve, which means one must adjust the load between zones if using such equipment, IN ORDER TO MATCH THE ZONE TRAINING PROTOCOL.

The issue is not "I have machines with flat force curves; therefore, I don't need to do zone training."

The issue is, "how can I adjust the environment in which I train so that I CAN train in zones, as per JReps methodology?" You already ignored the method in its totality simply because you addressed a single aspect of it by way of the force curves of your machines. By the way, such machines reduce the effectiveness for developing muscle, an issue detailed in the upcoming book Zone Training: JReps Exploded View.
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HIT

Norway

I wonder how Drew can evaluate JReps when he can not evaluate his own training??

This from a post written by Drew on this forum and its just as shocking each and every time I read it..

"Last year when I quit doing SuperSlow I dieted down from 174 to about 168, then started training using a more conventional HIT routine and got up to around 189. My waist measurement went back up to where it was when I was 174, so I gained some fat in going from 168 to 189, but at 189 I was 15 pounds heavier than at 174 with the same waist measurement. It would be safe to assume I gained back about 15 lbs of muscle that were lost during years of by-the-book SuperSlow.

Don't be impressed by the 15 pound gain. I was regaining lost muscle. I was lean at 182 in college (see icon) and after switching to SuperSlow for a few years I started to look like shit."


How can a guy that eager to evaluate others doing a bad job evaluating himself and his training? I think Drew doesn't have a clue on what works and what is not working. He has proved that with his own training using a protocol for years that let him lose muscle, and not a pound or two, but 15 pounds.
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Sjoss

Drew
Well said ...
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