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Complete Steve Maxwell HIT Workout
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sgb2112

A real-time resistance session with Steve Maxwell in Ikaria, Greece.

https://youtu.be/sHtN45Iu--Y
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tensionstrength

Looking through the video, I thought they made very good use of using leverage disadvantage and what seemed to be a controlled and organic speed?
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Lioncourt

I know they'll say it's genetics, but I couldn't tell that any of these people have ever worked out a day in their lives. Steve's whole bodyweight HIT is such a gimmick.
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Crotalus

I agree that their 'look' isn't what I want from training hard ... but I guess it's all about what the individual is after. Some guys just don't care about noticeable muscle ... only getting in some some sort of a workout, which is fine.

But I also agree that if questioned about 'where's the beef', the lack of noticeable muscle would be blamed on genetics or drugs ... which have become the most popular excuses for just about anything training related.
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hit4me

Florida, USA

Crotalus wrote:
I agree that their 'look' isn't what I want from training hard ... but I guess it's all about what the individual is after. Some guys just don't care about noticeable muscle ... only getting in some some sort of a workout, which is fine.

But I also agree that if questioned about 'where's the beef', the lack of noticeable muscle would be blamed on genetics or drugs ... which have become the most popular excuses for just about anything training related.


could it be because these individuals are not lifting any weight heavy enough or doing enough reps of the lighter weight?????
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tensionstrength

Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.
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Crotalus

hit4me wrote:
could it be because these individuals are not lifting any weight heavy enough or doing enough reps of the lighter weight?????


Yeah, that's my opinion ... not 'heavy' enough ... whatever heavy is for the individual.

I don't think more reps makes up for using too light of a resistance even if done super slow and in letter perfect form.

I think you can maintain muscle with lighter loads but most won't build maximum muscle without a weight that feels 'heavy'.

Just my opinion ...
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hit4me

Florida, USA

Crotalus wrote:
hit4me wrote:
could it be because these individuals are not lifting any weight heavy enough or doing enough reps of the lighter weight?????

Yeah, that's my opinion ... not 'heavy' enough ... whatever heavy is for the individual.

I don't think more reps makes up for using too light of a resistance even if done super slow and in letter perfect form.

I think you can maintain muscle with lighter loads but most won't build maximum muscle without a weight that feels 'heavy'.

Just my opinion ...


I think if you are gonna use light weight or just bodyweight then you probably have do a lot of volume...i.e. 8x8 or 10x10....one set to failure imo will not be enough stimulation
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Average Al

tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.


My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.
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epdavis7

Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.

My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.


Decent bodyparts on me are chest, lats, forearms, neck (not traps) and calves. I have pipecleaner arms lol. It doesn't matter if I curl and dip or tricep pushdown until the cows come home...so I quit doing them as it was a waste of time for me. My legs are defined probably more from running, but not very big.
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tensionstrength

Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.

My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.


I sure appreciate the detailed response. I see to usually end up back at using a heavy for me weight on most exercises. I hear you on the form breakdown as well. Maybe heavy isn't the right word?? I look for a certain feel from the resistance right out the gate. I'm just not a fan of having to go for a period of time where the resistance feels light it having to move at a considerable, artificially slow speed?
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tensionstrength

epdavis7 wrote:
Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.

My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.

Decent bodyparts on me are chest, lats, forearms, neck (not traps) and calves. I have pipecleaner arms lol. It doesn't matter if I curl and dip or tricep pushdown until the cows come home...so I quit doing them as it was a waste of time for me. My legs are defined probably more from running, but not very big.


Have you used more resistance over time with the exercises you didn't gain any size on? To be clear I'm just fascinated how some people can get considerably stronger without much a size difference. I'm not hear to knock anybodys routine or method in the slightest. You know what works for you.
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Crotalus

Brian Johnson years ago explained very well why strength gains stopped resulting in size gains after a certain point. His idea is that it is simply related to form breakdown, no matter how little it is, taking the load off of the targeted muscles.

He recommended that at this point, you focus on working the targeted muscle hard in more ways than just adding resistance . He has his own system he calls Zone Training , where the rep is broken down into zones ; top half, bottom half, middle, etc etc. You'll come up with endless variations once you get used to doing it.

You still train very hard, briefly ( for me it's about ten minutes a muscle group ) and the workout is still only about 30 minutes with a split routine. You're shooting for working and pumping the muscle as much as possible rather than only strength gains.

If you haven't already tried it you should. It took me out of a stagnated training period and been using it ever since along with other set enhancing methods. Though still being progressive you are no longer just chasing the numbers.
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tensionstrength

Crotalus wrote:
Brian Johnson years ago explained very well why strength gains stopped resulting in size gains after a certain point. His idea is that it is simply related to form breakdown, no matter how little it is, taking the load off of the targeted muscles.

He recommended that at this point, you focus on working the targeted muscle hard in more ways than just adding resistance . He has his own system he calls Zone Training , where the rep is broken down into zones ; top half, bottom half, middle, etc etc. You'll come up with endless variations once you get used to doing it.

You still train very hard, briefly ( for me it's about ten minutes a muscle group ) and the workout is still only about 30 minutes with a split routine. You're shooting for working and pumping the muscle as much as possible rather than only strength gains.

If you haven't already tried it you should. It took me out of a stagnated training period and been using it ever since along with other set enhancing methods. Though still being progressive you are no longer just chasing the numbers.


Thank you very much for going into detail here. Yes I am familiar with Mr. Johnston's work. He made me think about and apply some things as well. I really enjoy discussing the nuts and bolts of the stimulus aspect of all this. I don't really count reps or TUT. I do go for a certain feel I guess. I am a big fan of multiple exercises and multiple angles. I guess I would say I use a weight that is heavyish?, but not overbearing.
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Average Al

tensionstrength wrote:

I sure appreciate the detailed response. I see to usually end up back at using a heavy for me weight on most exercises. I hear you on the form breakdown as well. Maybe heavy isn't the right word?? I look for a certain feel from the resistance right out the gate. I'm just not a fan of having to go for a period of time where the resistance feels light it having to move at a considerable, artificially slow speed?


I think you state it well: I use a weight that gives me the right feel for the exercise I'm doing. Now that might be heavier or lighter, depending on whether I am dead lifting or doing an isolation exercise. Also depends on whether or not I'm chasing deep fatigue, or just trying to squeeze out a grinding last rep on a heavy compound movement.

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Average Al

tensionstrength wrote:

Decent bodyparts on me are chest, lats, forearms, neck (not traps) and calves. I have pipecleaner arms lol. It doesn't matter if I curl and dip or tricep pushdown until the cows come home...so I quit doing them as it was a waste of time for me. My legs are defined probably more from running, but not very big.

Have you used more resistance over time with the exercises you didn't gain any size on? To be clear I'm just fascinated how some people can get considerably stronger without much a size difference. I'm not hear to knock anybodys routine or method in the slightest. You know what works for you.


I am always trying to add weight or reps, looking for some indication that I've gotten stronger. I don't expect to see it every training session. But if, over a matter or weeks or a couple of months, the weights have not gone up, I assume that whatever I am doing is not producing further adaptations.

Not too surprisingly, my arms and shoulders are my weak point in terms of size, and also in terms of strength (based on the weights that I see other people using). Not every body part is that way - I have pretty large looking lats, and when I was younger and running a lot, I had pretty large calves. My legs are not huge, but I feel appropriately strong for things like squats and dead lifts.

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epdavis7

tensionstrength wrote:
epdavis7 wrote:
Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.

My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.

Decent bodyparts on me are chest, lats, forearms, neck (not traps) and calves. I have pipecleaner arms lol. It doesn't matter if I curl and dip or tricep pushdown until the cows come home...so I quit doing them as it was a waste of time for me. My legs are defined probably more from running, but not very big.


Have you used more resistance over time with the exercises you didn't gain any size on? To be clear I'm just fascinated how some people can get considerably stronger without much a size difference. I'm not hear to knock anybodys routine or method in the slightest. You know what works for you.


I actually did get stronger on the movements. Maybe a skill factor?
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tensionstrength

Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:

I sure appreciate the detailed response. I see to usually end up back at using a heavy for me weight on most exercises. I hear you on the form breakdown as well. Maybe heavy isn't the right word?? I look for a certain feel from the resistance right out the gate. I'm just not a fan of having to go for a period of time where the resistance feels light it having to move at a considerable, artificially slow speed?


I think you state it well: I use a weight that gives me the right feel for the exercise I'm doing. Now that might be heavier or lighter, depending on whether I am dead lifting or doing an isolation exercise. Also depends on whether or not I'm chasing deep fatigue, or just trying to squeeze out a grinding last rep on a heavy compound movement.



Thank you. Yeah there is certain I go for. Sometimes it might take me a few mini warm up sets or maybe coming back to the exercise later in the workout.
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tensionstrength

epdavis7 wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
epdavis7 wrote:
Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.

My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.

Decent bodyparts on me are chest, lats, forearms, neck (not traps) and calves. I have pipecleaner arms lol. It doesn't matter if I curl and dip or tricep pushdown until the cows come home...so I quit doing them as it was a waste of time for me. My legs are defined probably more from running, but not very big.


Have you used more resistance over time with the exercises you didn't gain any size on? To be clear I'm just fascinated how some people can get considerably stronger without much a size difference. I'm not hear to knock anybodys routine or method in the slightest. You know what works for you.

I actually did get stronger on the movements. Maybe a skill factor?


Yeah, could be? It's an interesting thing to me.
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Nwlifter

epdavis7 wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
epdavis7 wrote:
Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.

My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.

Decent bodyparts on me are chest, lats, forearms, neck (not traps) and calves. I have pipecleaner arms lol. It doesn't matter if I curl and dip or tricep pushdown until the cows come home...so I quit doing them as it was a waste of time for me. My legs are defined probably more from running, but not very big.


Have you used more resistance over time with the exercises you didn't gain any size on? To be clear I'm just fascinated how some people can get considerably stronger without much a size difference. I'm not hear to knock anybodys routine or method in the slightest. You know what works for you.

I actually did get stronger on the movements. Maybe a skill factor?


Here is a paper about long term strength gains, and how it 'can' be from neural gains without muscle size increases. The idea that neural stops after a few months of training isn't correct it seems.

Neural gains in the agonist (prime drivers) get?s pretty close to max by 12 weeks, increases about 10% more over the next 4 years
Neural gains via de-activation of the antagonist muscles (so they relax more and fight less) continue to increase decently for 4 years
So overall, significant neural gains between both those methods together, do continue for up to, or at least, 4 years. A person could get slowly stronger for 4 years PURELY from neural gains.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.co...
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Equity

Nwlifter wrote:
epdavis7 wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
epdavis7 wrote:
Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.

My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.

Decent bodyparts on me are chest, lats, forearms, neck (not traps) and calves. I have pipecleaner arms lol. It doesn't matter if I curl and dip or tricep pushdown until the cows come home...so I quit doing them as it was a waste of time for me. My legs are defined probably more from running, but not very big.


Have you used more resistance over time with the exercises you didn't gain any size on? To be clear I'm just fascinated how some people can get considerably stronger without much a size difference. I'm not hear to knock anybodys routine or method in the slightest. You know what works for you.

I actually did get stronger on the movements. Maybe a skill factor?

Here is a paper about long term strength gains, and how it 'can' be from neural gains without muscle size increases. The idea that neural stops after a few months of training isn't correct it seems.

Neural gains in the agonist (prime drivers) get?s pretty close to max by 12 weeks, increases about 10% more over the next 4 years
Neural gains via de-activation of the antagonist muscles (so they relax more and fight less) continue to increase decently for 4 years
So overall, significant neural gains between both those methods together, do continue for up to, or at least, 4 years. A person could get slowly stronger for 4 years PURELY from neural gains.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.co...

Makes sense. Olympic and Powerlifters and other athletes like gymnasts gain strength over that kind of time frame and stay the same weight.

Not necessarily just neural though. Muscle maturity/quality (graininess), the dry weight might influence this.

Regards.
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HeavyHitter32

Nwlifter wrote:
epdavis7 wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
epdavis7 wrote:
Average Al wrote:
tensionstrength wrote:
Does anybody here lift heavy, or rather what is heavy for you and still not gain much in the way of size? Or do any of you know anyone where that is that situation? Because I hear you guys loud n clear on the need for heavy. At the same time, the constant tension or near constant tension makes a great deal of sense to me. I am curious though if there are those that can spend some time getting stronger and stronger. Doing a fair amount of multi joint and single joint lifts and get considerably stronger without much size change.

My preference is to go on the heavy side for most compound exercises (meaning reaching failure in less than 10 reps with a normal cadence, not deliberately slow).

If I am failing after less then 5 reps, I'm thinking the weight might be a little too heavy. If I'm getting over 10, then I am thinking about adding weights.

I don't do a lot of isolation exercises these days (like side raises with a dumbbell, or dumbbell curls, or leg extensions). But when I do, I prefer to use weight that allows slightly higher reps (10-12) just because if I go too heavy, my form tends to break down, and it is harder to focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle group.

Despite that, I never seem to gain much size in my arms, especially biceps and shoulders, regardless of how many sets I do. I've always gotten pretty mediocre results in those muscle groups, no matter what I did. When I have tried to drive the gains by eating more, while lifting heavy, I just get fat.

Do I look like I work out? I suppose it depends on what you expect. My arms are pretty lean right now, and you can see muscle definition, but they are not very big. Never have been, never will be. Because... genetics, I guess. I say that, because I've followed the advice to train heavy with compound exercises, and my results are just not that impressive. Of course, I've also tried doing more volume, and nothing magical happened with that either.

Decent bodyparts on me are chest, lats, forearms, neck (not traps) and calves. I have pipecleaner arms lol. It doesn't matter if I curl and dip or tricep pushdown until the cows come home...so I quit doing them as it was a waste of time for me. My legs are defined probably more from running, but not very big.


Have you used more resistance over time with the exercises you didn't gain any size on? To be clear I'm just fascinated how some people can get considerably stronger without much a size difference. I'm not hear to knock anybodys routine or method in the slightest. You know what works for you.

I actually did get stronger on the movements. Maybe a skill factor?

Here is a paper about long term strength gains, and how it 'can' be from neural gains without muscle size increases. The idea that neural stops after a few months of training isn't correct it seems.

Neural gains in the agonist (prime drivers) get?s pretty close to max by 12 weeks, increases about 10% more over the next 4 years
Neural gains via de-activation of the antagonist muscles (so they relax more and fight less) continue to increase decently for 4 years
So overall, significant neural gains between both those methods together, do continue for up to, or at least, 4 years. A person could get slowly stronger for 4 years PURELY from neural gains.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.co...

And it completely falls in sync with what many of us have experienced with consolidation training or ultra brief training.
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Nwlifter

HeavyHitter32 wrote:


And it completely falls in sync with what many of us have experienced with consolidation training or ultra brief training.


yes exactly.
the S.A.I.D. principle
specific adaptations to imposed demands
Minimize muscle 'work' and maximize neural work and what will be stimulated the most to adapt? The neural, it's such a 'duh' kinda thing.
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