Originally Posted by BendtheBar
Do you believe a real, absolute stimulus (say 75% of your 1RM) is better for stimulating muscle growth, or do you believe a relative stimulus is just as effective?
A relative stimulus means using a weight that taxes the muscles, but is relatively light compared to your overall strength and utilizes advanced techniques to make a lighter weight more difficult.
For example, if you incorporate 4 second negatives and rest-pause, you will be forced to use a lighter weight. This will be just as hard for the body to complete as using an absolute stimulus. But is it just as effective for overall growth? Is the stimulus the same?
So which do you feel is best/better? Do you feel the overall benefits of absolute stimulus are supreme (including CNS conditioning and overall stresses placed upon the body), or do you believe relative stimulus is equal.
NOTE: Using an absolute stimulus DOES NOT mean you have to training heavy (80% plus). It certainly could be with 60-65-70-75%. It simply means you do nothing other than lifting the weight using natural cadence reps, regardless of the percentage used.
IMO absolute stimulus is way better than relative stimulus any day, unless of course the volumes at the end of the sessions are generally equal. With relative stimulus, in theory, the volume lifted ends up being a lot lower than with an absolute stimulus session because of the time involved to do each rep.
I still feel, that within reason, volume of the lifted weight loads is key but not to the extent of lowering the weights load to ridiculously low levels; anything medium to higher intensity weight loads done for a decent volume (of overall weight load) seems to work, at least for me it does.