Howdy! During the last Overwatch show, I commented about how Fraser was thinking incorrectly about exercise and what is best to build muscle and what is best to build strength. Since I was only in chat, it was kinda hard to explain completely, plus I didn’t want to hog chat time or show time and give long answers, so figured I’d put up a thread and explain things in a bit more detail. I’ll tag @ffstv and @missblow as well so they can see what I was talking about since I was pretty vague in the chat. I’ll just be speaking from my own education and background so that way I won’t cite sources or else this jawn would go on for too long!
Ok, ideally for hypertrophy (increasing cross sectional diameter of a muscle fiber, ie bodybuilding/muscle building) the accepted range is between 6-15 Reps in a set (some say 6-12, some say 8-12,8-15) around moderate intensity. Many strength coaches even refer to this as the “hypertrophy range”. When I talk about moderate intensity I’m using a range of roughly 60-85% of your 1rm(1 rep max). And Fraser was right with what he was saying about how a muscle grows. It has to do with the Tension-Stress effect with Mechanical Tension and Metabolic Stress. When you increase weight on a bar you are adding more mechanical tension but lowering the metabolic stress. Removing weight increases metabolic stress but lowers mechanical tension. Through this back and forth game going on, your muscle needs to grow and adapt to what is happening. When you talk about high reps and low intensity, that is for muscular endurance (muscle or muscle group repeatedly exerting force against a resistance). High intensity low weight is strength or max strength depending on the workout. “Well that’s awesome Bundro, so that’s all that needs to happen?”…well no. It gets more complicated…why does everything need to be complicated :/
A factor that is overlooked normally when people train is recovery time. Fraser was right, you want to beat down your muscle and part of that is not allowing your muscle high amounts of recovery time in between sets. A very generic rule for recovery or hypertrophy is a 1:1 ratio of work to rest. This puts most exercises in the 30-60 second rest range ( I generally go with 60 seconds because it creates a better hormone response). So what is recovery or max strength? 3-5 minutes…yep…5 fricken minutes on your bum just sitting there! Every year I have athletes say to me when I write a program “What am I supposed to do for 5 minutes!” and I just answer “recover!”. Now higher end athletes will need to adjust, and I do, but this is a good standard rule. I know one question a few people might be thinking is “Wait! I built muscle and I do 3 sets of 5 every day! You’re wrong Italian boy!”. First of all…words hurt. Secondly I am talking about optimally training for muscle growth or max strength. What I am saying is mostly correct on the 2 farthest ends of the spectrum. So 1-2 reps will work mostly (if not only) max strength and an insaaaannely high volume of reps will focus almost entirely on muscular endurance. Aside from that it is a very very grey area and sight differences between what works optimally. Now with me, I’m training athletes very specifically to perform their best on a certain day of the week, in a certain month, of a certain season so I am really being precise with these things. The recreational fitness dude(or dudette) can get by not training as specifically or optimally and still have good results. I generally use every style of workout when writing a program… it goes like this.
Early pre-Season:Stability(isometrics, planks, etc)
Pre-Season: Hypertrophy (Injury prevention,muscle building, still some stability)
Early Season: Hypertrophy>Strength(still muscle building but moving more into the strength realm)
In Season: Strength
Late Season: Strength>Power(Mix of max strength and power training)
Competitive season: Power (mostly only doing the Olympic lifts, training the central nervous system)
So you can see how complicated it can get, and within each of those phases, there are micro-phases where each week has a different emphasis. Also, I’m an Olympic weightlifting coach and programming for that is another animal entirely! Oh well, hope I cleared up what I meant. And yes…yes….yes there is more to it but I don’t want to ramble on for pages. I literally was just stressed out about how I didn’t really explain what I was saying last night and wanted to clarify…I’m a bit of a dork when it comes to this stuff! Have a good weekend!!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.