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Dr. Darden: Common Denominator for Results?
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Nwlifter

.....here's a question for you,....


Jordan Rapport 30-10-30 1x a week per muscle huge gains
Eddie Mueller (BIG) super slow 3x a week per muscle huge gains
Eddie Mueller (Massive Muscles) regular SSTF 3x a week per muscle huge gains
then there is Hudlow, Turner, Waters, Hammond, Whitley... huge gains

All various approaches (rep speed, method, split vs full body, frequency per muscle, etc.)
But all gained a ton of muscle
Of course, genetics and all the other 'stuff' affects total gains but just looking at how all these various things were obviously a great stimulus for those gains, WHAT would you say is the common training stimulus denominator? (since slow speed, normal speed, frequency of 1,2 or 3x a week, full body and splits, even uni-lateral training all seem to work just as well).
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Fatso

That's a really powerful question. I'm clearly not Dr. D but here's what I've taken from all those you reference... and it has very little to do with commonality between protocols.

How about:

High intensity training based on an intensity / recovery model
Consistency
Belief
A diet based on sound science
Lots of water
Lots of rest
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Nwlifter

That is logical...

It makes me wonder, if you could clone Jordon into a few people,
One does the 30-10-30 1x a week
One does the SS workout from BIG
One does the workout from MM in 10 weeks
etc.
I wonder what the differences in gains would be...

Be awesome to get a set of identical twins and compare a couple different of these workouts.

But all these guys made similar gains with various frequencies, methods, rep speeds, etc. So 'something' underlying is the important part of the workout. 30-10-30 doesn't even have a rep that reaches concentric failure, but of course the intensity is high, probably even higher (more inroad) than just a set to failure would be.
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Crotalus

deleted
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Nwlifter

Crotalus wrote:
SUNDAY ; 10/13/19 BACK & BICEPS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Basically 50% sets ... 30 seconds between all sets

- PULL UPS - 3 X 11, 5 , 2 1/2
- CABLE ROW ; 3 X 10, 5, 3
- BEHIND BACK UP ROWS ; 3 X 8, 5, 4
- SHRUGS ; 3 X 16, 9, 5

-------

PREACHER CURLS ; on Hammer curl machine
3 X 10, 5, 2
STANDING EZ CURL BAR ; 5 X 3 , six seconds between sets.
reduced by 10 lbs and 2 X 3 , 1 x 0

17 or 24 sets ... depending if you count the 3 rep cluster set as a one long set or seven short sets.

Finished in under 25 minutes .


did you mean this for the 'recent workout' thread?
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ron33

The Twins , David and Peter Paul did same w/o training together for yrs. . and there were differences in their look . They did high intensity multi set training , mainly big compound movements . There r pics of them on net since they quit lifting also.
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Nwlifter

yes true on them..

I guess what I'd love to know, but we can't know, is how would these guys respond to the other programs?
Like how would Eddie have done with 1x 30-10-30, how would Jordon have done on the BIG program? If 1x a week 30-10-30 works as good as the others, man, no reason anyone would have to uses 3x full body, just things I wonder about...
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Crotalus

Nwlifter wrote:

did you mean this for the 'recent workout' thread?


Opppps .. Yeah, I'll get it over there.
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Average Al

Nwlifter wrote:
yes true on them..

I guess what I'd love to know, but we can't know, is how would these guys respond to the other programs?
Like how would Eddie have done with 1x 30-10-30, how would Jordon have done on the BIG program? If 1x a week 30-10-30 works as good as the others, man, no reason anyone would have to uses 3x full body, just things I wonder about...


At the REC conference, McGuff suggested that the search for the perfect stimulus (protocol, frequency, equipment, etc.) has mostly failed, because in the end, it is the response of the organism to stress that is the bottle neck.

Dr. Darden seems to have little interest in doing head to head comparisons between training methods. Perhaps he is not interested because he knows it would be hard to demonstrate the clear superiority of any one method?

The common thread in your examples is that the guys mentioned are all excellent responders; they are likely going to get great results from a wide variety of training programs.

What minimum elements need to be present in the training program? Train consistently with high effort and progression, don't burn yourself out with too much volume or frequency, eat enough, sleep enough, don't get hurt. The details need to be tweaked to accommodate individual needs and responses.



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strengthmaster

Michigan, USA

Very well put Average Al. I totally agree with your synopsis.

Scott
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Ellington Darden

Nwlifter wrote:
.....here's a question for you,....


Jordan Rapport 30-10-30 1x a week per muscle huge gains
Eddie Mueller (BIG) super slow 3x a week per muscle huge gains
Eddie Mueller (Massive Muscles) regular SSTF 3x a week per muscle huge gains
then there is Hudlow, Turner, Waters, Hammond, Whitley... huge gains

All various approaches (rep speed, method, split vs full body, frequency per muscle, etc.)
But all gained a ton of muscle
Of course, genetics and all the other 'stuff' affects total gains but just looking at how all these various things were obviously a great stimulus for those gains, WHAT would you say is the common training stimulus denominator? (since slow speed, normal speed, frequency of 1,2 or 3x a week, full body and splits, even uni-lateral training all seem to work just as well).


Rapport, Mueller, Hudlow, Turner, Waters, Hammond, and Whitley each had one other trait beside the genetic potential to add muscle. Each one was obedient to me. Each one did what I wanted him to do . . . and each one did it well.

Indeed all the techniques and routines definitely had merit, but trying to determine the differences between and among them would be difficult.

Ellington

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Nwlifter

Ellington Darden wrote:

Rapport, Mueller, Hudlow, Turner, Waters, Hammond, and Whitley each had one other trait beside the genetic potential to add muscle. Each one was obedient to me. Each one did what I wanted him to do . . . and each one did it well.

Indeed all the techniques and routines definitely had merit, but trying to determine the differences between and among them would be difficult.

Ellington



Very true, I guess what I was trying to filter was the common denominator, given equal 'other traits' (obedience, genetics, diet, etc.), all of your programs seemed to work very well and had similar gains. Anywhere from 12+ sets per workout repeated 3x a week to 8 sets only once a week, rep speeds from super slow to 'normal'. Full body or splits.... I guess what I mean is, no one should worry if they can't do 3x a week full body like Eddie did since Jordon gained just as well with 1x a week, etc.
I think Al's post from just above might sum it up?

Average Al wrote:


What minimum elements need to be present in the training program? Train consistently with high effort and progression, don't burn yourself out with too much volume or frequency, eat enough, sleep enough, don't get hurt. The details need to be tweaked to accommodate individual needs and responses.




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Nwlifter

All this was me getting at the common denominator for 'stimulation', I'll just post now what I think it is.
First, I'm not a TUL tracking kinda person, so this isn't intended to mean that variance (where a person tracks and counts seconds of time under load). But more a general idea for all methods that successfully provide the workout stimulation, the rest (the response) of course is up to the person's body (genetics, diet, hormones, rest, etc.).

OK what I see as a common denominator is time in the 'good zone', the time the muscles are under high enough effort to fully recruit all motor units. The time in that zone means all those motor units are experiencing enough fatigue (mechanical and metabolic).

If you look at things like 30-10-30, it's almost like 3 sets back to back, or 3 successive bouts where the last part of each, is time in that 'good zone'. The last part of the 30 second negative, the last few reps of the 10 reps and almost the entire 30 second negative at the end. I'd guess 40-50 seconds of the 80 second time is spend in the good zone.
If we look at the workouts from BIG, similar time is spent during each set.
In MM in 10 weeks, each muscle was hit with 2-3 exercises, so the less time in that zone per set, was made up for by repeating it (like the quads had squats and leg ext, triceps had bench, OHP, etc.).
I think this also explains why lesser effort with more volume also works, each set has less time in the good zone, but repeating it a few times totals up enough 'good zone time'. I think the 'stimulation' part of the equation is related to time in that fatiguing higher effort zone whether it ends in failure or not.

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Average Al

Nwlifter wrote:

OK what I see as a common denominator is time in the 'good zone', the time the muscles are under high enough effort to fully recruit all motor units. The time in that zone means all those motor units are experiencing enough fatigue (mechanical and metabolic).



This is an interesting idea. Sounds very similar to the idea that only some of the reps in a set are "stimulating reps" or "effective reps". The theory has become somewhat popular in the non-HIT community as it relates to training volume. Here are a couple of long essays on the subject:

https://medium.com/...me-286b8da6f427



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BorisV

Maryland, USA

Average Al wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:

OK what I see as a common denominator is time in the 'good zone', the time the muscles are under high enough effort to fully recruit all motor units. The time in that zone means all those motor units are experiencing enough fatigue (mechanical and metabolic).



This is an interesting idea. Sounds very similar to the idea that only some of the reps in a set are "stimulating reps" or "effective reps". The theory has become somewhat popular in the non-HIT community as it relates to training volume. Here are a couple of long essays on the subject:

https://medium.com/...me-286b8da6f427




Read Lyle McDonald's three part article on Training Volume and Muscle Growth.

In essence, mechanical tension and progressive overload of the high threshold muscle fibers (fast-twitch) are the keys to muscle growth, and not the intensity of effort and/or volume per se. The process of turning on growth means (a) recruiting the high-threshold/Type II (fast-twitch) muscle fibers (Type I/slow-twitch fibers do not have a lot of potential for growth), and (b) exposing them to sufficient amounts of mechanical work. High muscular tension is required, but it is not sufficient to stimulate growth: a single maximum contraction does not turn on growth. There should be a sufficient volume of contractions under high tension conditions (i.e. a sufficient number of high-tension reps) to turn on growth. External load is a proxy for tension: higher load means higher tension. Increasing the weight on the bar is a proxy for progressive tension overload. If someone does not add weight to the bar over time, no matter what else they do, they will not be any larger than they were before. Not unless they progressively add drugs. You do not need necessarily to expose muscle to high loads, but rather high TENSION, and there are different ways to reach the goal. Whether you are doing a set of 3-8 reps with 80-90% 1RM, a set of 15RM with 70% 1RM or a set of 30 reps with 25% 1RM, you end up getting some number of reps under full recruitment and high tension. But in the latter options, there are initial pointless reps (i.e. wasting energy, spending more time, increase of wear/tear of joints, impact on recovery, etc.). It is only those reps of a set done under full (or near full) activation that matter in terms of the growth stimulus. The total sets do not matter. The total reps do not matter. It is the effective reps that matter. Probably around 20-40 effective reps per workout is optimal, however, the exact amount needed per set, per workout or per week are currently unknown. Sets that are too light and nowhere close to fatigue may not contain any effective repetitions, or certainly not many (or certainly not effective reps for the highest threshold muscle fibers). If you do a set of 6 with a 12RM, you are not recruiting the highest threshold Type II fibers at all. Not unless you do repeat sets with a short rest intervals, so that there is a cumulative fatigue across the sets (think of Vince Girond'a 6x6 or 8x8 system or Brian Johnston' various high-density training techniques). So, if you do 6 sets of 6 reps with your 12RM, but only rest 15-30 seconds between sets, fatigue will accumulate, and you will reach full recruitment eventually. May be by the 4th set you are getting some effective reps or whatever and that increases with each subsequent set.
In a nutshell, there are many ways to stimulate hypertrophy subject to you get enough mechanical tension, sufficient number of effective reps, increase loads over time, all within your genetics boundaries and recovery abilities. If you consider these basic requirements, you will find more similarities between seemingly different methods (Jones/Darden HIT, Mentzer Heavy Dity, Dorian Yates' modified HIT, Vince Gironda's, Brian D. Johnston's, Brian Haycock's HST, or old-school bodybuilding methods).
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Nwlifter

Average Al wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:

OK what I see as a common denominator is time in the 'good zone', the time the muscles are under high enough effort to fully recruit all motor units. The time in that zone means all those motor units are experiencing enough fatigue (mechanical and metabolic).



This is an interesting idea. Sounds very similar to the idea that only some of the reps in a set are "stimulating reps" or "effective reps". The theory has become somewhat popular in the non-HIT community as it relates to training volume. Here are a couple of long essays on the subject:

https://medium.com/...me-286b8da6f427





I have read those, my only difference is those articles make it sound like a hard 'cut off' like only the last 5 count, but really it's more a continuum. I do think time in the 'hot zone' is what adds up.
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Nwlifter

BorisV wrote:
Average Al wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:

OK what I see as a common denominator is time in the 'good zone', the time the muscles are under high enough effort to fully recruit all motor units. The time in that zone means all those motor units are experiencing enough fatigue (mechanical and metabolic).



This is an interesting idea. Sounds very similar to the idea that only some of the reps in a set are "stimulating reps" or "effective reps". The theory has become somewhat popular in the non-HIT community as it relates to training volume. Here are a couple of long essays on the subject:

https://medium.com/...me-286b8da6f427




Read Lyle McDonald's three part article on Training Volume and Muscle Growth.

In essence, mechanical tension and progressive overload of the high threshold muscle fibers (fast-twitch) are the keys to muscle growth, and not the intensity of effort and/or volume per se. The process of turning on growth means (a) recruiting the high-threshold/Type II (fast-twitch) muscle fibers (Type I/slow-twitch fibers do not have a lot of potential for growth), and (b) exposing them to sufficient amounts of mechanical work. High muscular tension is required, but it is not sufficient to stimulate growth: a single maximum contraction does not turn on growth. There should be a sufficient volume of contractions under high tension conditions (i.e. a sufficient number of high-tension reps) to turn on growth. External load is a proxy for tension: higher load means higher tension. Increasing the weight on the bar is a proxy for progressive tension overload. If someone does not add weight to the bar over time, no matter what else they do, they will not be any larger than they were before. Not unless they progressively add drugs. You do not need necessarily to expose muscle to high loads, but rather high TENSION, and there are different ways to reach the goal. Whether you are doing a set of 3-8 reps with 80-90% 1RM, a set of 15RM with 70% 1RM or a set of 30 reps with 25% 1RM, you end up getting some number of reps under full recruitment and high tension. But in the latter options, there are initial pointless reps (i.e. wasting energy, spending more time, increase of wear/tear of joints, impact on recovery, etc.). It is only those reps of a set done under full (or near full) activation that matter in terms of the growth stimulus. The total sets do not matter. The total reps do not matter. It is the effective reps that matter. Probably around 20-40 effective reps per workout is optimal, however, the exact amount needed per set, per workout or per week are currently unknown. Sets that are too light and nowhere close to fatigue may not contain any effective repetitions, or certainly not many (or certainly not effective reps for the highest threshold muscle fibers). If you do a set of 6 with a 12RM, you are not recruiting the highest threshold Type II fibers at all. Not unless you do repeat sets with a short rest intervals, so that there is a cumulative fatigue across the sets (think of Vince Girond'a 6x6 or 8x8 system or Brian Johnston' various high-density training techniques). So, if you do 6 sets of 6 reps with your 12RM, but only rest 15-30 seconds between sets, fatigue will accumulate, and you will reach full recruitment eventually. May be by the 4th set you are getting some effective reps or whatever and that increases with each subsequent set.
In a nutshell, there are many ways to stimulate hypertrophy subject to you get enough mechanical tension, sufficient number of effective reps, increase loads over time, all within your genetics boundaries and recovery abilities. If you consider these basic requirements, you will find more similarities between seemingly different methods (Jones/Darden HIT, Mentzer Heavy Dity, Dorian Yates' modified HIT, Vince Gironda's, Brian D. Johnston's, Brian Haycock's HST, or old-school bodybuilding methods).


I have read that series, IMO, he's close on all that. The last paragraph about similarities is right on.
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Average Al

Interesting stuff for speculation.

What I found confusing about Lyle McDonald's series is that he didn't really do a very good job of explaining what he meant by high muscle tension.

If you are talking about an entire muscle, then high tension on the muscle obviously is related to high load on the muscle group. So lift heavy weights. Simple enough.

But McDonald (and Beardsley) seem to agree that there are other ways to get high muscle tension, namely take a lighter weight, then do enough reps to reach failure. Of course, if you are using a lighter weight, then the overall tension on the muscle must be low, because the weight is (relatively) low. So what this must mean is that as individual muscle fibers or motor units drop out due to fatigue (can't generate any contraction force), then the few remaining active and fresh muscle fibers or motor units have to pickup the entire load. So even though the load is still low on the muscle, the average force per active muscle fiber or motor unit starts to rise, and then the tension on those structures ends up high. But I can't recall where that has been explicitly stated.

So here is where I think it really gets speculative:

- Can you actually measure tension on an individual muscle fiber in a working muscle? In other words, can this ever be proven experimentally?

- Has it been demonstrated that hypertrophy is triggered in an individual fiber? That sort of goes against the idea that mechanotransduction triggers a signaling cascade which would seem to hit the entire muscle.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

The common thread in your examples is that the guys mentioned are all excellent responders; they are likely going to get great results from a wide variety of training programs.

===Scott===
In these kind of tests it does seem like the common denominator is excellent responders. I've rarely seen a test of machines or whatever where they had some Pee Wee Herman types in the study. It's always some guys like Viator who respond to just about anything. I'd love to see an experiment where they have 10 Barney Fife looking guys train a certain way so we could see how they respond.
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Nwlifter

Average Al wrote:
Interesting stuff for speculation.

What I found confusing about Lyle McDonald's series is that he didn't really do a very good job of explaining what he meant by high muscle tension.

If you are talking about an entire muscle, then high tension on the muscle obviously is related to high load on the muscle group. So lift heavy weights. Simple enough.

But McDonald (and Beardsley) seem to agree that there are other ways to get high muscle tension, namely take a lighter weight, then do enough reps to reach failure. Of course, if you are using a lighter weight, then the overall tension on the muscle must be low, because the weight is (relatively) low. So what this must mean is that as individual muscle fibers or motor units drop out due to fatigue (can't generate any contraction force), then the few remaining active and fresh muscle fibers or motor units have to pickup the entire load. So even though the load is still low on the muscle, the average force per active muscle fiber or motor unit starts to rise, and then the tension on those structures ends up high. But I can't recall where that has been explicitly stated.

So here is where I think it really gets speculative:

- Can you actually measure tension on an individual muscle fiber in a working muscle? In other words, can this ever be proven experimentally?

- Has it been demonstrated that hypertrophy is triggered in an individual fiber? That sort of goes against the idea that mechanotransduction triggers a signaling cascade which would seem to hit the entire muscle.


good thoughts..
I agree on the tension per fiber, I've researched that quite a bit. The one confounding thing for people is they forget that you don't 'put' tension on a muscle, a muscle 'creates' tension. In other words, if a fiber is fresh and fully activated it 'creates' and therefore 'feels' max tension.
The thing with recruitment and activation is that motor unit firing isn't usually synchronous, so even though all might be recruited and firing they are not all 'on' at the exact same millisecond in time. So all can be firing with max force, but not all doing that at the same split second, so whole muscle tension might be 70% but the fibers are 'feeling' the same tension as if it were a 1RM.
I'm positive fiber stimulation is per fiber, they see even in biopsies that some grow when some aren't, some have damage where some don't etc.
So overall, even a light load can cause the same 'per fiber' tension as a heavy load. Fibers are individual entities. It's like a tug of war with 100 people pulling on a rope, if the people take turns yanking on the rope, each might be yanking as hard as they can but their 'yanks' are offset from eachother. Also, studies show that motor units in vitro, are usually brought online in tetany and contract in a narrow range of firing frequency, so we don't see one 'barely' creating tension (just twitching), they are always 'on' long enough to summate (tetany) in real life.
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Nwlifter

entsminger wrote:
The common thread in your examples is that the guys mentioned are all excellent responders; they are likely going to get great results from a wide variety of training programs.

===Scott===
In these kind of tests it does seem like the common denominator is excellent responders. I've rarely seen a test of machines or whatever where they had some Pee Wee Herman types in the study. It's always some guys like Viator who respond to just about anything. I'd love to see an experiment where they have 10 Barney Fife looking guys train a certain way so we could see how they respond.


right for response for sure, I meant common denominator for the 'stimulation' part.
ie all the great responders grew well with various frequencies, rep speeds, volume, etc. We can say that no one HAS to train 3x a week per muscle, or 2x etc.
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Average Al

Nwlifter wrote:

I agree on the tension per fiber, I've researched that quite a bit. The one confounding thing for people is they forget that you don't 'put' tension on a muscle, a muscle 'creates' tension. In other words, if a fiber is fresh and fully activated it 'creates' and therefore 'feels' max tension.
The thing with recruitment and activation is that motor unit firing isn't usually synchronous, so even though all might be recruited and firing they are not all 'on' at the exact same millisecond in time. So all can be firing with max force, but not all doing that at the same split second, so whole muscle tension might be 70% but the fibers are 'feeling' the same tension as if it were a 1RM.
I'm positive fiber stimulation is per fiber, they see even in biopsies that some grow when some aren't, some have damage where some don't etc.
So overall, even a light load can cause the same 'per fiber' tension as a heavy load. Fibers are individual entities. It's like a tug of war with 100 people pulling on a rope, if the people take turns yanking on the rope, each might be yanking as hard as they can but their 'yanks' are offset from eachother. Also, studies show that motor units in vitro, are usually brought online in tetany and contract in a narrow range of firing frequency, so we don't see one 'barely' creating tension (just twitching), they are always 'on' long enough to summate (tetany) in real life.


Great point that muscle fibers are creating the tension by contraction; it isn't like imposing tension on a passive structure.

I wonder if it is the case that when loads are light, you are unable to stimulate as many fibers, just because fewer fibers are needed to engage a light load, even with failure?

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Nwlifter

Average Al wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:

I agree on the tension per fiber, I've researched that quite a bit. The one confounding thing for people is they forget that you don't 'put' tension on a muscle, a muscle 'creates' tension. In other words, if a fiber is fresh and fully activated it 'creates' and therefore 'feels' max tension.
The thing with recruitment and activation is that motor unit firing isn't usually synchronous, so even though all might be recruited and firing they are not all 'on' at the exact same millisecond in time. So all can be firing with max force, but not all doing that at the same split second, so whole muscle tension might be 70% but the fibers are 'feeling' the same tension as if it were a 1RM.
I'm positive fiber stimulation is per fiber, they see even in biopsies that some grow when some aren't, some have damage where some don't etc.
So overall, even a light load can cause the same 'per fiber' tension as a heavy load. Fibers are individual entities. It's like a tug of war with 100 people pulling on a rope, if the people take turns yanking on the rope, each might be yanking as hard as they can but their 'yanks' are offset from eachother. Also, studies show that motor units in vitro, are usually brought online in tetany and contract in a narrow range of firing frequency, so we don't see one 'barely' creating tension (just twitching), they are always 'on' long enough to summate (tetany) in real life.


Great point that muscle fibers are creating the tension by contraction; it isn't like imposing tension on a passive structure.

I wonder if it is the case that when loads are light, you are unable to stimulate as many fibers, just because fewer fibers are needed to engage a light load, even with failure?



Only if you go so light that massive neural and metabolic fatigue limits activation. Even something like 30% of 1Rm can fully activate all fibers, but taking a set that far is a LOT harder then people think. It's much easier to use heavier loads and not have to suffer 20-30 reps of killer metabolic torture to hit that point.
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sirloin

Nwlifter wrote:
Average Al wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:

I agree on the tension per fiber, I've researched that quite a bit. The one confounding thing for people is they forget that you don't 'put' tension on a muscle, a muscle 'creates' tension. In other words, if a fiber is fresh and fully activated it 'creates' and therefore 'feels' max tension.
The thing with recruitment and activation is that motor unit firing isn't usually synchronous, so even though all might be recruited and firing they are not all 'on' at the exact same millisecond in time. So all can be firing with max force, but not all doing that at the same split second, so whole muscle tension might be 70% but the fibers are 'feeling' the same tension as if it were a 1RM.
I'm positive fiber stimulation is per fiber, they see even in biopsies that some grow when some aren't, some have damage where some don't etc.
So overall, even a light load can cause the same 'per fiber' tension as a heavy load. Fibers are individual entities. It's like a tug of war with 100 people pulling on a rope, if the people take turns yanking on the rope, each might be yanking as hard as they can but their 'yanks' are offset from eachother. Also, studies show that motor units in vitro, are usually brought online in tetany and contract in a narrow range of firing frequency, so we don't see one 'barely' creating tension (just twitching), they are always 'on' long enough to summate (tetany) in real life.


Great point that muscle fibers are creating the tension by contraction; it isn't like imposing tension on a passive structure.

I wonder if it is the case that when loads are light, you are unable to stimulate as many fibers, just because fewer fibers are needed to engage a light load, even with failure?



Only if you go so light that massive neural and metabolic fatigue limits activation. Even something like 30% of 1Rm can fully activate all fibers, but taking a set that far is a LOT harder then people think. It's much easier to use heavier loads and not have to suffer 20-30 reps of killer metabolic torture to hit that point.


I would say it depends on the indivdual. For me high reps and a lower percentage of the 1rm is indeed torture. Though, thats not my main issue, its more that my smaller "secondary" muscles fatigue long before the larger prime movers. Even on single joint movements, like stiff arm pulldowns or lateral raises. Rest pause or high sets / low reps is my way of getting more volume in.

On the other hand, one of my training partners is a different story (hes an endurance athlete). He doesnt response to low reps and higher weight percentages at all, whereas ive responded well to singles, doubles, triples and max static holds...ntf.

Correct me if am wrong NW, was the research that showed 30% of the 1rm about 8-10 years ago? I think the exercises tested was the bench press and leg extensions for 3 or 4 sets to failure?





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Average Al

Nwlifter wrote:


Very true, I guess what I was trying to filter was the common denominator, given equal 'other traits' (obedience, genetics, diet, etc.), all of your programs seemed to work very well and had similar gains. Anywhere from 12+ sets per workout repeated 3x a week to 8 sets only once a week, rep speeds from super slow to 'normal'. Full body or splits.... I guess what I mean is, no one should worry if they can't do 3x a week full body like Eddie did since Jordon gained just as well with 1x a week, etc.




Getting back to this question -

Lets suppose you could run a study with individuals like this who were able to put on substantial muscle, and suppose further that you could come up with a design where they trained for periods of time using the different methods that you mentioned. (Not quite sure how you would do that. I suppose a cross over study of some kind.)

If differences were found, what would that tell you? Unless every trainee were to find that a particular protocol was better under every circumstance, I don't think you would have a clear answer. I personally wouldn't expect to get that kind of clear outcome, because of individual variability.

As a practical matter, aren't you going to get a better answer for yourself, just by trying each of the methods for yourself?
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