Originally Posted by flow
I posted this thread also on Caseys Forum-but I like to hear the opinions here too, because I know we have clean users here.
As we know there are general 2 changes someone can take advantage of to enter adaption again or to periodize his training:
Quantitative Changes (reps,volume,weight etc)
Qualitative Changes (change the exercises)
In the training community both concepts are present:
Like Wendlers 531 who favours point 1 or Dante Trudels DC who favours point 2. Or westside who uses both: Exercise rotation on ME day and exercise/volume/rep rotation on RE day.
My question is, how you periodize your training. Which method has been proven for you to be superior for Hypertrophy?
You have to look at the principle first that makes these methods effective: progressive overload.
What is overload? Working a muscle harder than it is accustomed to working. If you bench 185 for 5 reps everyday for the rest of your life, without changes in tempo, then your body will just adapt to the level of stress placed on it through 185lbs and will have no new reason to grow.
This means you must increase something each workout in order to "overload" that muscle. You can increase the weight, volume (reps, sets) tempo, frequency, add an exercise, etc.
What is progression? Linear increments over a period of time.
This means that regardless if you're adding another exercise or adding more reps, you are progressively overloading the muscle in the case that provided enough calories are present, then you will build hypertrophy.
However, with that said, if you only add "1" exercise to your routine it's a bad thing. Why? You have to train those antagonists specifically. If you add elbow flexion, you better add elbow extension; if you add hip flexion, you better add hip extension; if you add scapula protraction, you better add scapula retraction.
Essentially, you will be adding two movements into your routine at the end of the day, but if you are going to take the approach to incorporating more exercises, then you would essentially need to add in another movement to train that specific exercises antagonists.
Same logic with using more reps though, if your method of increasing bench press overload is through adding 2 reps to your final set, then when you do your rows you'll need to add an extra two reps as well.