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Old 12-05-2009, 03:08 PM   #7
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Casey Butt

Advanced trainees need longer between training sessions for the central nervous system to leave the temporary state of inhibition caused as a result of near maximal lifting - it has nothing to do with advanced trainees' muscles needing longer to recover than beginners. If anything, beginners' muscles would actually need longer to recover from training than advanced lifters because their sarcolemma's (muscle cell membranes) are more susceptible to training induced damage and changes in permeability.

To overcome the gradually acquired resistance to training effects, that all advanced trainees build up, the typical current default is to add more volume per session - and then be forced to take longer breaks between bodypart/lift training sessions to let the nervous system and joints recover from that higher volume of loading (along with the greater intensities that the trainee is now capable of generating). It is not an approach backed by the body of science, but rather a "solution" somewhat haphazardly garnered from the practices of steroid users (who have exogeneous anabolic steroids in their system and don't need a training stimulus every 48-72 hours to see satisfactory results) and the logic that training volume must be increased to cause more microtrauma (which generally is quite true but does not stand by itself and does not necessitate more exercises per session).

It is a fallacy that advanced trainees necessarily need more volume and less frequency than beginners (at least beginners past the first few weeks) - it only appears to be necessary when nervous system, joint and muscle recovery are not seen as individual components with differing trauma and recovery processes and time frames. The H/L/M scheme addressed in the other thread addresses that by varying the weekly loading pattern and allowing bodyparts to be trained more frequently - even by advanced lifters. At the end of the week, similar volumes will be done as if all the training was done on one day, but research has shown time and time again (since at least the 1950s to present) that it is superior for any level of trainee to perform several training sessions per week than to do a higher volume just once. The optimal approach for advanced trainees is to inject variety by properly planned rep, set, rest, exercise selection and performance changes rather than to simply increase the volume by haphazardly tacking on additional exercises and sets. Of course, the general trend as a person advances is that the training volume goes up gradually, but the frequency should not necessarily decrease because of that.

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