No difference in strenght and hypertrohpy with high/low loads?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Sano, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    Just stumbled on this article: http://baye.com/low-reps-vs-high-reps/

    The thesis is that there is no significant difference between using high load/low rep or low load/high rep training protocols for increase in hypertrohpy and strenght, as long as you go to volitional failure. He is citing a study which had previously trained participants divided into two groups. In one group they did 30-50% of 1rm or 20-25 reps and in another they did 75-90% of 1rm for 8-12 reps. After 12 weeks, no significant different in cross sectional type 1 or 2 fibre distribution nor hypertrophy was found. Only a relevant increase in benchpress strenght for the high load group, not for other exercises.

    He also mentions a few studies which shows that a single set to volitional failure, maintaining muscular tension, 2-3 times a week gives the same benefits as the usual multiple sets. This one in particular, which is quite frankly ballsy, suggest that strenght gains from free weights, machines and BW has the same potential with no significant differences, that the balance component of free weights doesn't transfer better to sports, that explosive movements have no greater benefit than slow controlled ones and that hypertrophy is genetics. Oh, and it also prescribes the "one set" protocol. That's some hardcore study lol, haven't read through it yet. - It's this one!: http://baye.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ebrtr-Fisher.pdf

    Anyway, he suggests in the article, citing another study, that supersetting does not increase hypertrophy as "post-exercise levels of circulating hormones did not change as a result of the RT intervention were unrelated to, and did not account for significant changes in, muscle mass or strength” and “In agreement with previous studies (50-52) it is clear that the post-exercise increases in systemic hormone concentrations are unrelated to changes in muscle hypertrophy or strength." and in regards to loads that; "The current data, along with previous work (28, 35), are direct proof that hypertrophy and strength gains are not a function of the load lifted and directly contradict the assertion that acute EMG recordings predict hypertrophic potential"

    He mentions that by extention that BW exercises can increase strenght and hypertrophy to the same degree as weight training.

    He evens it out a little bit at the end saying that the neurological adaptions for 1RMs should stil be trained leading up to something like a PL competition and that too light a load will not stimulate to the same adaptions.

    What say you guys? Is he cherry picking studies? Is the 8 reps range still not low enough? What's your take?
     
  2. NurseKnuckles

    NurseKnuckles My Mom's stronger than you belt

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    I will eventually read this as I am excited to see how he came to this conclusion.
     
  3. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    I haven't read the study yet, so I'm going by your points in the OP

    I can't see how training to full failure would be good in anyway, even if you can push through that eventually, the body will burn out and you'll stall early.

    On paper, maybe.
    However, progression with weights is more accurate and manageable. Like we mentioned in another thread, progression with bodyweight exercises needs alot of fine tuning going from say a push up to a planche pushup.
    Whereas basic linear progression is simple, yet efficient. eg. Bench 225x5, add 5lbs next week, or if stalled at 4, then add a rep, etc.

    For my case:
    About Nov last year I was 156lbs and struggled to do 6 pull ups. For years I've done the usual exercises that people on forums prescribe to for increasing pullup strength and reps: Adding negatives, multiple sets of 1-2 reps to hit my daily total, etc. It didn't work.

    Right now I'm 180lbs and doing 9 full reps from dead hang, and can do 5-6 with 20lbs suspended from me.
    What helped were lat exercises and lots of volume with those. In other words weights. Hypertrophy exercises were 4x8-12 reps, heavier days were 4x4-6 reps. I would've never reached the current level of strength I currently have for pullups by only doing bodyweight exercises. Aside from chins/pullups I don't know of any other that targets the lats, so I would've continued to stall if I didn't make the switch I did.

    Does he mean, when you attempt your 1rm at the end of a cycle and treat you it like you do at a meet? I haven't competed in PL, but isn't adrenaline, nerves, the crowd, etc all surges from an event? I look at it similar to competing in MMA, MT, etc. No way will sparring ever come close to a fight/exhibition, even if you spar like a retard and attempt and KO each other every session, its still not the same.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
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  4. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    I think it has something to do with a) using the right progressions and b) playing around with the isometric, eccentric and concentric parts of the exercises. I didn't read it through, he seems a tad gimmicky, but if there is something to learn.
     
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  5. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    Hey mate. I think you should read the article, it's not very long. You don't have to read the studies, he just cites a few of them.

    Yeah I know what you mean, plenty of people, including myself, have had a hard time with adding reps to the pullups by doing negatives and such. I promise this is not me going on about gymnastics and bw training haha :D Just found the article interesting in regards to the high/low rep scheme with the barbells. Now we are on the subject though, and you mention targeting the lats. There are many exercises variations to target the lats on rings. Hinge row, inclince row, ground rows, elevated rows, they might have helped. But again, I have seen many people do weighted pullups after being stuck and suddenly their bw rep maxes goes up. It seems that extra stimuli helps a lot. Weight training is excellent.

    I think he just means that you can't be training all low loads to prepare to do a 1rm. You have to train near your 1rm leading up to it and practice that maximal drive (in this case I think he means the months up to it, just like becoming fight specific in your training up to a fight). I don't know how they taper off, never done competitive PLing. I guess they take it easy durin the last week or two.

    Yeah the failure thing is not complete failure, but volitional failure, which is apparently when you can't do another rep without compromising technique or using momentum. But still it's a bit dodgy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  6. Badger67

    Badger67 Taxidea taxus

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    I'll get more into the study etc later but i do agree on paper BW progressions can be as good for hypertrophy, the issue is progressions and when you get larger some of them that produce maximum hypertrophy become too difficult as the bw:strength ratio becomes too offset; see gymnasts, they are rarely above 5'6" and over 145lbs (this is a giant in gymnastics). There's a reason for it, try doing an iron cross, maltese, planche giant etc at heavier weights, they become way too difficult and injurious .

    Tony Gentilcore and a few others posted some studies i will link in here later today after i'm done work to see how they cross reference. I posted one of them in the studies thread that had more to do with volume being a better determinant, so in the meantime people can check that link if they have time.
     
  7. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    Putting the BW stuff aside, what do you think of his main premise that load and rep scheme doesn't make a significant difference for hypertrophy and strenght? Seems quite different from what you normally hear.

    This one is in the same vein, and talks about it's all individual and genetic: http://baye.com/myth-of-sarcoplasmic-versus-myofibrillar-hypertrophy/

    The articles are not that long, still haven't read the .pdf study myself haha :)
     
  8. MandirigmaFit

    MandirigmaFit Blue Belt

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    I have been seeing, recently and more frequently, that the common finding is going to failure to achieve hypertrophy.

    Awesome. Seems like we are traveling in a good direction.

    Will read when I have the time.
     
  9. Badger67

    Badger67 Taxidea taxus

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    Higher volume helps a lot. I've been having more success with loads under 85% or even under 60% with higher volume.
     
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  10. boingyman

    boingyman If can, can. If no can, no can.

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    There's many strategies to achieve hypertrophy no doubt, however for strength (e.g. 1 RM of various lifts), the low load/high rep will not get even close in the long run.
     
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  11. JimRussel

    JimRussel Brown Belt

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    So...push-ups will take my bench from 424 to 500?
     
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  12. PivotPunch

    PivotPunch Red Belt

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    I guess there is a % (of your max) line where you start to get stronger and obviously doing 1 set with 1 rep of your max is most likely not going to increase much of anything either.
    I guess this study is done within a not extreme range so neither 1000s of pushups nor single reps

    I am far from a strength expert neither in theory nor practical knowledge but from my very limited knowledge I would say it is true at least for beginners and that what you should do depends on the person and the circumstances and not on a fixed rep scheme that you can just apply to everyone with certain goals.
     
  13. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    I think increasing the amount of force your triceps/pecs/etc can produce, and the specific skill of performing 1rm under competition conditions are maybe different things. You could get stronger at pushing stuff, and that may move your max up a certain amount, but 1) Performing a max bench press is a relatively skilled movement, and you need to practice the skill 2) constant sets to failure is a big pain in the ass, and I would have difficulty maintaining motivation
     
  14. Flash_Monsta

    Flash_Monsta Black Belt

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    <mma4>

    I don't know if I'm reading this wrong, but it reads like you guys are trying to teach Jim how to suck eggs.
     
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  15. NurseKnuckles

    NurseKnuckles My Mom's stronger than you belt

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    One of my fav gifs.
    If there is anything jim has tot us, its that consistency, hard work and a good, proven progression on a barbell will work. Hanging from a gym bar is going to get you fucking no where if being big and strong is what you want.
     
  16. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    Yeah there MIGHT be something there.

    The notion that it doesn't matter if you do 30% or 90% of your 1rm in your barbell training/compounds, as long as you go to volitional failure, is new to me. That you will gain roughly the same strenght/hypertrophy and that it's mostly based on the invidual which ranges benefits you most. Meaning that pre-set training modalities doesn't work (in this case at least when not going under 30%). That notion alone is pretty bold. I was surprised that the cross sectional fibre distribution was the same between the two groups. It's better explained in the articles.

    It's interesting, but it's a bit without context I think.
     
  17. KILL KILL

    KILL KILL Gold Belt

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    Brad Schoenfeld is the guy you want to follow regarding hypertrophy. The man's entire career revolves around it. He has tons of published studies.

    Schoenfeld's research has shown that rep schemes do not matter all that much. What does matter is volume and training to failure.

    Strength Theory put this together.

    [​IMG]
    http://strengtheory.com/the-new-approach-to-training-volume/
     
  18. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    Note also, that we do have a lot of studies (which both brad and Greg would endorse) that show that 1) That periodized training works better than non-periodized training, 2) That DUP works better than hammering the same weight multiple times a week 3) That strength gains from low rep work seem more specific to low rep work, and that endurance from high-rep work is most improved by high-rep work 4) that more total volume (up to a point) works better than lower total volume

    So the conclusion to be drawn is not "just do light set to failure a few times a week and then get jakt" and that traditional training programs don't work.
     
  19. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    That's a bit odd, because here is a Schoenfeld meta analysis combining 15 studies on the subject, showing that higher volume/more sets has a pretty significantly better effect on hypertrophy (Lol I just now randomly saw a recommended video on youtube from Omar Isuf, uploaded a few days ago called "High volume vs low volume training", which linked to that analysis in the description).

    It's from july this year: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27433992

    Here is Schoenfelds article on the subject: http://www.lookgreatnaked.com/blog/how-many-sets-do-you-need-to-perform-to-maximize-muscle-gains/

    If you look at the comments he happens to mention that it mattered most in the arms and quads. With another poster claiming the studies are flawed (muscles targeted, not high enough intensity) and that a "single set protocol" is just as good, which leads us back to one of the arguments in the OP.

    This goes to show how you need have have a healthy amount of skepticism regarding studies. Details and context are incredibly important.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  20. JauntyAngle

    JauntyAngle International man of mystery

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    It's a quote from an economist, but it's relevant "Evaluate literatures, not papers". With difference in methodology, errors, failure to account for confounding variables, freak results... you just never ever fix your opinion on the results of one or a few papers. You look at the preponderance of evidence based on all relevant research.
     
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