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  1. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2008 1:16pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    He's not going to blow up doing pistols and one handed pushups. Once he can do enough reps to be in the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range (8-12), he's not going to add more weight 'to the bar' and stay in the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range, he's going to push the reps out into the endurance range mostly working muscular endurance by developing vasculature.
    A few problems with this theory.

    1) The sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range is probably significantly wider than 8 to 12 reps.

    The last local muscular fatigue is what is posed to elicit a predominantly sarcoplasmic hypertrophic response. When a muscle is placed under tension so that it is completely exhausted (unable to contract voluntarily) after a period of 100 to 110 seconds, many things happen.
    (emphasis mine)

    Or, if you prefer, there's Super Squats: How To Gain 30 Pounds Of Muscle In Six Weeks, with the centerpiece being a twenty-rep set of squats.

    2) Let's forget about the above and say, for argument's sake, that the range is 8 to 12 reps.
    Let's also say, for argument's sake, that Q currently fails at 8 reps of each of the "harder bodyweight exercises" you're recommended.

    How long do you think it'd take him to get to 13 reps? Because that time period is the time period he's spent in our (arbitrary) sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range.


    ---

    Honestly, there's only one word I'd change from your first post in this thread. Switch "for high reps" to "for low reps", and it's entirely reasonable.
  2. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2008 1:35pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss
    A few problems with this theory.

    1) The sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range is probably significantly wider than 8 to 12 reps.
    Not much wider. That's why people who can do 100 pushups don't generally have giant inflated pecs like somebody who keeps adding weight to the bar when they can do 12 reps and chugs down whey protein and steaks.


    Or, if you prefer, there's Super Squats: How To Gain 30 Pounds Of Muscle In Six Weeks, with the centerpiece being a twenty-rep set of squats.
    You do understand that the hypertrophy in this routine isn't localised to the prime movers in the exercise because it works by testosterone release augmenting the training effect of hypertrophy range exercises with other lifts combined with a bulking diet, right? It's not a routine designed to add that muscle weight by just blowing up the thighs with sarcoplasmic jelly because 20 reps is the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy sweet-spot.

    2) Let's forget about the above and say, for argument's sake, that the range is 8 to 12 reps.
    Let's also say, for argument's sake, that Q currently fails at 8 reps of each of the "harder bodyweight exercises" you're recommended.

    How long do you think it'd take him to get to 13 reps? Because that time period is the time period he's spent in our (arbitrary) sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range.
    Depends where he starts. It probably won't take him more than a couple of months, and he won't bulk much if at all if he's not eating for it. As I've already pointed out, that's why gymnasts don't look like bodybuilders.

    Honestly, there's only one word I'd change from your first post in this thread. Switch "for high reps" to "for low reps", and it's entirely reasonable.
    You've misunderstood the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range. It doesn't extend on forever. There comes a point of adaptation where the body stops packing extra sarcoplasm around the muscle fibres and adds new circulatory capacity to remove waste products faster.

    Step back from the theoretical stuff for a minute and think about people who actually train to do high reps with their bodyweight in various movements. Gymnasts, many combat atheletes. This kind of training is also popular in the military. Gymnasts, boxers and people fresh out of infantry training do not generally look like blown-up bodybuilders, do they ?

    Why not?

    Because they're doing way more reps than the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range, and because they are not eating like bodybuilders. Sure, they don't look 'weak', but basically they're lean and agile and can thrash out more pushups than you. They do not look like they can bench press a car.

    (I'll grant you that soldiers in boot camp or infantry training are also generally doing way too much long-distance cardio and getting way too little sleep to blow up like Ronnie Coleman).
    Last edited by Cullion; 9/20/2008 1:37pm at .
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  3. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2008 2:01pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    Not much wider.
    Yes, much wider. 20 reps is much more than 12 when that last rep is at the point of failure. 110-120 seconds is much longer than the typical 12-rep set (unless you're doing paced reps).

    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    That's why people who can do 100 pushups don't generally have giant inflated pecs like somebody who keeps adding weight to the bar when they can do 12 reps and chugs down whey protein and steaks.
    Exactly how many one-handed push-ups do you think that Q can do? I wasn't aware that he was some sort of Goddamned superhero.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    You do understand that the hypertrophy in this routine isn't localised to the prime movers in the exercise because it works by testosterone release augmenting the training effect of hypertrophy range exercises with other lifts combined with a bulking diet, right?
    Or maybe because the routine isn't only squats.

    Aside: if you want to synthesize a Grand Unified Theory of hypertrophy, be my guest, but you're going to have to cover your ass with a lot of research, some of which hasn't even been done yet (as far as I know - feel free to correct me).

    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    It probably won't take him more than a couple of months
    So a couple of months in sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range, and you're advocating this? And then there's this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    and he won't bulk much if at all if he's not eating for it
    Instead of doing a hypertrophy - which he doesn't want - workout and shooting himself in the foot by constraining his diet, why doesn't he just skip all that and train in a manner designed for maximum strength or endurance or feeling macho or whatever he does want?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    You've misunderstood the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range. It doesn't extend on forever.
    1) Of course it doesn't. See this thread.
    2) Twenty reps and "forever" are not the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    Step back from the theoretical stuff for a minute and think about people who actually train to do high reps with their bodyweight in various movements. Gymnasts, many combat atheletes.
    "Step back" from your gymnasts and combat athletes and think about the audience for this thread:
    We're talking about a guy who hasn't lifted in a year.
    We're talking about a guy whose increased body weight has already been an obstacle in terms of running.
    We're talking about a guy who wants something to make him "feel big, tough and manly"

    You need to recalibrate your expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    Because they're doing way more reps than the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range, and because they are not eating like bodybuilders.
    Let's settle this once and for all.

    Q, how many one-handed push-ups (with the same hand) can you do right now?
  4. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2008 2:15pm

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    I can do 8 one-handed pushups right now on my right arm without a rest. I haven't trained them in about 4-5 months. Last time I did them daily for a month, I could got up to 21 reps on my right side and 19 on my left. I'm far from a superhero. my bodyfat % hasn't been measured in the last 2 months, but it was about 23% when I did that and I don't look much different now. At my fittest I look like Fedor out of season. After he's been drinking all night with his brother. And given in to the munchies. I have big shoulders though.

    I've seen a video of the Question. He looks much lower body fat and more agile than me. He doesn't look weak.

    Yes the routine isn't only squats, that was my point. It's classic hypertrophy range reps for the rest of the body after squeezing out testosterone by training the largest muscle group to failure and eating to bulk. It's going to have a very different effect than eating to maintain or cut whilst just gradually increasing the reps in an exercise whose resistance is provided entirely by bodyweight (which may well be dropping rather than increasing).

    We're talking about a guy whose increased body weight has already been an obstacle in terms of running.
    We're talking about a guy who wants something to make him "feel big, tough and manly"
    That's why I'm suggesting he master his body weight and just keep pushing the number of reps up well into the endurance range.
    If he eats a maintenance or cutting diet he'll be fine.
    Last edited by Cullion; 9/20/2008 2:27pm at .
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  5. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2008 2:17pm

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    For future reference, "Q" = The Question.
  6. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2008 2:30pm

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    Q, do you have access to a gym with a power rack and a bench?
  7. Raining_Blood is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/20/2008 11:39pm


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    Cullion could you please explain your reasoning in suggesting high level bodyweight exercises over forms of exercise?

    I may be wrong but are you suggesting that bodyweight movements like one handed pushups and pistols are more sports specific than traditionally movements? If so could you please explain the dynamic correspondence of these movements to martial arts
  8. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/21/2008 10:55am

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    No, I'm not suggesting they are more specific. I'm suggesting that The Question would be better off doing high reps of bodyweight exercises rather than a progressive resistance weights programme if he specifically wants to avoid substantial hypertrophy and/or weight gain.

    I don't know how strong he is now, but pistols and one-handed pushups are probably hard enough to provide him with the challenge he's looking for. As Russ pointed out, he needs to be careful with his diet so he doesn't end up looking like one of those big blown up gymnasts though. ;)
    Last edited by Cullion; 9/21/2008 10:58am at .
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  9. Teh El Macho is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/21/2008 1:37pm

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    Q, you may want to start by cleaning a med ball to get the proper form:

    YouTube - OPT med ball clean

    [edit]video can't be embedded[/edit]

    Things to notice:

    1. Drop under the ball. Don't worry much if you get the elbows up in a proper rack position. Try to drop under the ball. That is, the ball shouldn't travel the entire height up to your shoulders.

    2. Jump off the ground, even when using a light 10lbs med ball. The jumping off will help you get a shitload on a barbell up to the "rack" position.

    3. It is the "dropping under" (while basically decelerating the ball, or weight) that gives your posterior chain a good workout.

    A better breakdown is in the following video:

    YouTube - Jerry Hill's CrossFit Tip; Medicine ball Cleans

    You get these movements right, then you can go for power cleans (cleans off the ground w/o squatting all the way down), or hang cleans (cleans off the top position of a deadlift.)

    How to do a power clean:

    YouTube - Power Clean

    How to do a hang clean (first 30 secs)

    YouTube - CrossFit Oldtown; Hang Power clean

    A better instruction of a hang clean:

    YouTube - Hang Clean instruction


    Alternatively to cleans you can do romanian deadlifts into high pulls (or power shrugs)

    YouTube - DieselCrew.com - RDL to High Pull
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  10. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/21/2008 4:14pm

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    Late into the debate, but I can't let it go.

    Point 1: Why do gymnasts look like gymnasts and not bodybuilders? Well for one, the undeniable fact that when people say "Bodybuilders", they mean super heavy weight professional bodybuilders that competed in un-tested leagues. Why do they look the way they do? Yes, training style plays a part, but the undeniable fact of the matter is that they're on enough juice to kill a race horse. No one is going to accidentally look like a bodybuilder. Furthermore, if you look at drug tested bodybuilders, they actually look about the same size of gymnasts



    Look at classic era bodybuilding, and it was much more about proportion, separation, definition, flow, etc etc, rather than just sheer size.

    Yes, training for muscular hypertrophy will increase size moreso than not training for muscular hypertrophy, but it will not make you look like a bodybuilder.

    2: Both professional bodybuilders and gymasts are professionals in their craft. They trained for years to do what they do, and their body became what it needed to for that sake. The reality is, no one is going to look like anything close to that level in a few years of training, so it's really not that much of a concern.

    3: You can use weights and not be training for muscular hypertrophy. I've spent the past 6 months performing no reps above 5 for my primary lifts, and have lost 15lbs while my strength has gone up, meaning I not only got stronger AND smaller, but that I've also increased my strength to weight ratio (which any fighter will enjoy). You can also go the opposite way as well, and use reps higher than the "hypertrophy range" (addressed in the next point), for the sake of improving muscular endurance (addressed in a future point).

    4: Russ is spot on in that the "hypertrophy range" is extremely hard to pin down, and the reality is that 8-12 is an extremely narrow margin usually used as a result of averaging points to the sake of no longer being grounded in reality. The lower body responds to higher reps better than the upper body, and 20 reps for squats WILL promote hypertrophy of the legs, lower body, hamstrings, glutes, etc etc. Using anecdotal evidence (which, with $1, will get you a doble cheeseburger at McDonald's), I've gotten my traps to grow much better with sets in the 20-30 range on hise shrugs/jump shrugs better than they ever did with the 12-15 range.

    5: My personal stance regarding muscular endurance is that it's best gained through skill training for the sake of sport specific fitness. The reality is that being able to do 100 push-ups doesn't really have much carry over into grappling compared to being able to grapple for 30 minutes. If you want to increase resistance, train with bigger people. I'm all in favor of GPP training, but in terms of maximizing training time efficiency I'd use resistance training for maximal strength and power, and mat time for endurance and skill.



    Ultimately, the way to avoid weight gain and hypertrophy is to not eat too much. Your body cannot make muscle out of nothing, and it cannot tell the difference between lifting a piece of iron vs. lifting itself. It's all resistance and it's all heavy stuff that you're moving with your body in some way shape or form. The method determines the outcome yes, but what you use ultimately is minor vs. how you use it.

    I had more points, but they were lost somewhere within my insane ramblings.
    Last edited by Emevas; 9/21/2008 4:57pm at .
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