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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Evidence-Based Strength Training
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

http://www.medicinasportiva.pl/...3_08_Fisher.pdf

A very thorough paper by James Fisher, looking at years of research on what is and is not effective in strength training.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

The most important piece of evidence... actual proof... of effective strength training:

If an important focus is on appearance and muscle mass, then look in the mirror... are you improving, holding your own , slowing the loss of progress as you age?

If it matters not how you look (or it holds very little weight), then how is your function outside the weightroom (when your strength is applied to non-specific strength moves, e.g., bench press)?

The above research overview holds some important keys and considerations, but the effectiveness of how you apply weight training is in your hands. If something is not working now, it won't be working latter (avoid the Gambler's Fallacy, and don't think that because weightroom performance is improving, but you're looking no different, that eventually more muscle will kick in... it doesn't work that way... when muscle develops, it does so in spurts and is noticeable within hours or days of training); if you truly are getting the effect you want, then stick with it, or at least variations on that theme... you do not have to keeping doing the same thing, since the muscles will adapt, but if the general forumla is working well, then create variations on that program idea.

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farhad

Massachusetts, USA

I am curious to know if there has been a response to this paper by someone from ACSM or NSCA.


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overfiftylifter

Brian, thank you for posting this paper. I have read it before. The authors didn't seem greatly interested in changes in muscle CSA. The focus seemed to be about the value of training to failure, lack of evidence of using vibration and load may not be as important as the effort applied to that load.

As far rapid increases in hypertrophy, in my past readings, studies suggest growth spurts can occur up to 4 to 6 weeks into the training. Some suggest even longer and speculation of the authors is that strength is first developed and then compensatory muscle gains. So if one is using a "conventional" training program, perhaps greater patience is needed. If you are a experience trainee, even greater patience.

We have though a bit of a paradox when lower loads and greater training volume is utilized . Much of the research on Kaatsu/blood flow restriction training demonstrate near immediate changes in muscle CSA. Some of the papers from McMaster on lower load training also suggest the same.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Many journals and organizations ignored it and would not publish it.

Over50... my focus has always been on how I look and the muscle I can produce (and even maintaining the fullness of my muscles). I cannot speak for everyone... but when something has worked for me in the past, it was sudden and obvious. I was very patient with a number of things over my 35+ years of lifting... and there were times I would devote 1+ years to basic hard training (and a particular program or direction) with no results except greater lifting proficiency. But when I made a change (something more condusive, obviously), that is when I got a spurt of growth. NEVER was it because I was patient waiting for something to happen. I noticed the same thing in my clients, including competitive bodybuilders who could not make change... who trained hard and who were patient... but when I altered things (for the better, obviously), then 'bang,' a spurt of growth. I've even been doing my own experimentation as of late... into different combinations of tension, long TUTs combined with short TUTs, and cluster sets, among things. My current weight is 212 pounds (morning) and my midsection measures the same (pants fit the same as well)... and a few months ago I was 204 pounds. Seriously, this could be glycogen loading or something else... I'm not sure since I don't have biopsy or ultrasound equipment, etc., to determine what the size increase is, but I held 204 pounds for the past year or more with regular hard training... altered the application... and 'bang,' a growth spurt. Take it for whatever it's worth, but where these 'scientists' are coming from in regard to growth and its stimulus from strength training certainly does not reflect my experiences. And I think it doesn't reflect the experiences of many on this board... consider those who recently have tried cluster sets, Zone Training, or your recommendations... they all are reporting some degree of improvement or visual change/fullness in the least.
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overfiftylifter

Brian, I can certainly understand your point of view and from what you have posted, you have succeeded in your training. I suspect that the changes in our training produces a new trauma for our physical systems to deal with and part of the immediate response is edema, changes in muscle glycogen etc. but not the actual "true growth". From this new stimulus, we start the mechanisms, the cascade of signalling, thought to promote hypertrophy. Research suggests that the period of around 24 to 72 hours post training probably starts the true mechanisms associated with growth, such as muscle protein synthesis, to develop. Personally, I prefer to wait at least four to seven days to notice any changes.

In research, they perform different measures using ultrasound, biopsies etc. to more exactly quantify their results rather than use subjective measures that we do.
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HeavyHitter32

I too have experienced that when I have gained muscle, it happened rather quickly and often from something different compared to what I was doing before. And in every case my strength went up appreciably too at the same time as I made muscle gains.

However, there have been times where my strength increased for over a year and no improvements physically were seen.

I think these experiences are why there is so much confusion about size vs strength and why some are mistaken that size will always follow significant strength gains.
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HeavyHitter32

Here is one thing I have personal found I need: to vary loads. I seem I physically look and measure best alternating between heavier and lighter loads. I have not been successful in finding the perfect balance that I can use 100% of the time, but maybe it exists and I just cannot find it.

However, I have wondered if load variances each stimulate different aspects of the muscle which might even compete against one another.

Doing something relatively heavier seems to help density; where as doing something relatively lighter seems to help with fluid retention, pump, vascularity, etc.

Even when I used to do pure Heavy Duty my muscles looked dense, but lacked vascularity, fullness, and pump. Perhaps the Ft fibers were stimulated but other aspects of the muscle were not although part of that was also from training too
Infrequent to maintain what the workout did and at times too little volume in general.

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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I would agree... barring those muscles with a high percentage of FT, there is a different effect (a complimentary effect) to the lighter load, higher rep stuff (or clustering together a number of moderate TUT sets).
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overfiftylifter

Perhaps since research shows that a bodybuilder's muscle composition is primarily type 1 and 2a fibers, with very little 2b or x, training that tends to stimulate those fibers should be the primary if ones training goals is muscle hypertrophy.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I agree... and regardless of genetics or drug usage... to get a bodybuilding look requires bodybuilding applications. It's not as simple as "get strong on some exercises and you'll get as big (and balanced) as you possibly can get.
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HeavyHitter32

overfiftylifter wrote:
Perhaps since research shows that a bodybuilder's muscle composition is primarily type 1 and 2a fibers, with very little 2b or x, training that tends to stimulate those fibers should be the primary if ones training goals is muscle hypertrophy.


Which are the 1 and 2a again?
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

slow twitch and intermediates.
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Hitit

Brian,

I don't know if this if an easy task to do since I understand you free-style and mix up your workouts so much.

But can you give me some idea of some of your current basic routines you use when you are doing full body routines and when you do split routines?

Thanks,

Brian
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backtrack

The problem with HIT is that it is generally a one size fits all solution, and this is why its popular amongst working professionals but not amongst bodybuilding enthusiasts. Yes it may work for some, but it wont work for most. This is probably why the HIT crowd has always had a preference for relying on high end spec machines. Or blaming genetics.

Whilst I like HIT as a yard stick, I have found from personal experience that I need more volume in a workout. Not tonnes of sets just more than say one per bodypart. I've even found one workout per week consisting of a lot of volume to be reasonably productive. Ive also found it productive to mix up intensities. Do one workout HIT style, another light resistance high volume and another medium resistance a bit less volume.

For me training in a skewed fashion allows me to not overtrain, stay interested and get results.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I don't do full body workouts unless I'm backing off on the overall effort and quality and take it easy for a week or two. Otherwise, what I do varies quite a bit. What I'm doing now I'm keeping under wraps... I'm trying to understand it more and how it is working to stimulate my current condition and level of mass.

Brian

Hitit wrote:
Brian,

I don't know if this if an easy task to do since I understand you free-style and mix up your workouts so much.

But can you give me some idea of some of your current basic routines you use when you are doing full body routines and when you do split routines?

Thanks,

Brian


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Hitit

Brian Johnston wrote:
I don't do full body workouts unless I'm backing off on the overall effort and quality and take it easy for a week or two. Otherwise, what I do varies quite a bit. What I'm doing now I'm keeping under wraps... I'm trying to understand it more and how it is working to stimulate my current condition and level of mass.

Brian

Hitit wrote:
Brian,

I don't know if this if an easy task to do since I understand you free-style and mix up your workouts so much.

But can you give me some idea of some of your current basic routines you use when you are doing full body routines and when you do split routines?

Thanks,

Brian



Ok I get it. Care to share what you've done in the recent past FB and splits?

Throw me a bone here, ha.
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overfiftylifter

The theory of how "strength training" increases hypertrophy but not in a linear fashion with strength, perhaps requiring more patience, is that the body initially responds to new load stimulus by first becoming more efficient neurologically. You become more adept at executing the exercise, or finding your "strength groove" in the movement. After the movement pattern is installed and ingrained the body then begins to pursue other means, muscle hypertrophy, to further adapt to the increasing demands.

I believe "muscle hypertrophy training" may involve somewhat different mechanisms than strength training. Instead of greater neurological demands, we are seeking metabolic stimulus. The neurological demands are still present but probably to a lesser degree due to the use of reduced loads. The strength groove is more easily found.

Usually, MHT due to its increased training volume permitted by lesser loads, produces greater local metabolic demands. More chronic local intramuscular pressures that MHT provides produces significant changes in area pH with cell swelling, ROS, reductions in myostatin and other local factors associated with a hypertrophy climate.

Not surprisingly, our bodies seem to eventually find its "metabolic groove" over time. This is something that Professor Laura found early in his research over 40 years ago. He found that to continue to produce muscular stimulus/gains, changes in patterns of movement were necessary if lesser loads were utilized. He tested different combinations of full and partial movements, including isometrics, on trainees, and published what patterns produced the best results. What I have done is to attempt to improve on his works, information culled from many research papers, to further optimize the local metabolic effects.

I believe this "metabolic groove" is what Brian has observed and perhaps has led him more recently to a more freestyle approach.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Hitit... I developed 10 different advanced circuits that incorporate different methods of movement (e.g,. stutter reps, Zones, 1 1/2, multi-angle, etc.), with each circuit being different in feel, systemic vs. localized fatigue etc. Some clients like circuits all the time, whereas others like it some of the time. I use these 10 basic models and will sometimes improvise with the client. I use these the odd time myself when I don't push the envelope with a split routine.

On a split, my frequency varies, but in the past few weeks it's been Saturday, Monday and Tuesday (it works well with my work, but as clients change times, come and go, that changes for me as well. Day 1 = back and chest; Day 2 = legs and small parts (e.g., forearms, neck, rotator cuffs, abs); Day 3 = arms and deltoids (I may do rotator cuffs on this day instead). Day 1 is the shortest, at about 20 minutes including rests between sets. The other days might be as long as 40 minutes with rests between sets/parts. Overall, about 100 minutes per week including rests between sets (or about 50-60 minutes of actual exercise time).

I can't go beyond that since things vary so much... I train on the flye and improvise a lot... I don't even recall what I did a month ago... but I make note of different combinations or applications that seem to strike a chord and keep those in the tool chest when I want to reintroduce them.
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Hitit

Brian,

Will you give more workout routine advise here on the Forum?

I want to look at more options to what I'm doing (FB HIT) and possibly a split.

I've done only HIT style FB wo's for the last 20 years.

Brian
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farhad

Massachusetts, USA

Hitit wrote:
Brian,

Will you give more workout routine advise here on the Forum?

I want to look at more options to what I'm doing (FB HIT) and possibly a split.

I've done only HIT style FB wo's for the last 20 years.

Brian



That's gonna cost ya brotha. lol.

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Hitit

farhad wrote:
Hitit wrote:
Brian,

Will you give more workout routine advise here on the Forum?

I want to look at more options to what I'm doing (FB HIT) and possibly a split.

I've done only HIT style FB wo's for the last 20 years.

Brian


That's gonna cost ya brotha. lol.



HaHa.....yep maybe so. If I were close to him or Dr. Darden, I would go for a consultation.
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overfiftylifter

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000 Feb;81(3):174-80.
Time course for strength and muscle thickness changes following upper and lower body resistance training in men and women.
Abe T, DeHoyos DV, Pollock ML, Garzarella L.

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the time course of skeletal muscle adaptations resulting from high-intensity, upper and lower body dynamic resistance training (WT). A group of 17 men and 20 women were recruited for WT, and 6 men and 7 women served as a control group. The WT group performed six dynamic resistance exercises to fatigue using 8-12 repetition maximum (RM). The subjects trained 3 days a week for 12 weeks. One-RM knee extension (KE) and chest press (CP) exercises were measured at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 for the WT group. Muscle thickness (MTH) was measured by ultrasound at eight anatomical sites. One-RM CP and KE strength had increased significantly at week 4 for the female WT group. For the men in the WT group, 1 RM had increased significantly at week 2 for KE and at week 6 for CP. The mean relative increases in KE and CP strength were 19% and 19% for the men and 19% and 27% for the women, respectively, after 12 weeks of WT. Resistance training elicited a significant increase in MTH of the chest and triceps muscles at week 6 in both sexes. There were non-significant trends for increases in quadriceps MTH for the WT groups. The relative increases in upper and lower body MTH were 12%-21% and 7%-9% in the men and 10%-31% and 7%-8% in the women respectively, after 12 weeks of WT. These results would suggest that increases in MTH in the upper body are greater and occur earlier compared to the lower extremity, during the first 12 weeks of a total body WT programme. The time-course and proportions of the increase in strength and MTH were similar for both the men and the women.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

And what were the training experiences of these people... newbies in university (12-week study = a semester)... and how would this affect someone with 10+ years of training adaptation? This is one (only one) of the problems I have with some studies... a lot of the time it does not relate to the advanced trainee who's really into exercise and who wants to discover those extra edges to get him or her past a certain level.
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Hitit

Brian Johnston wrote:
And what were the training experiences of these people... newbies in university (12-week study = a semester)... and how would this affect someone with 10+ years of training adaptation? This is one (only one) of the problems I have with some studies... a lot of the time it does not relate to the advanced trainee who's really into exercise and who wants to discover those extra edges to get him or her past a certain level.


Hey, that's exactly what I'm trying to do here ;)

Can't blame a Brotha fer trying....
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