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Old 05-03-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
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Default Got it backwards?

I believe the 'industry' has had it backwards all these years...

For as long as I can remember, there has been different rules for strength building and muscle building.

If you want to get big muscles, you must workout more frequently and hit your muscles at least twice a week. The more often you tear down the muscles and rebuild them, the bigger they become. Also, you need to keep building up the energy stores to give a bigger appearance.

If you want to get strong, you must lift heavy and infrequently. Something like the traditional deadlift, which is very taxing to the CNS, could be worked ONCE every two or three weeks and still make optimal gains. Train the system to fire and give it time to recouperate.

It is my suggestion that the industry got it backwards.

I believe that strength gains are neural and more frequent loadings would be helpful in learning the firing patterns and make you stronger.

I also believe that to allow the muscles to grow you need them to rest completely.

Maybe that's why we see guys in the gym that train like powerlifters looking huge and guys that train like bodybuilders still look small but have a big bench press.

Discuss...
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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I wonder if it also involves the generally accepted assumption that powerlifters eat and BBers don't.

Disclaimer: The BBers who know what they are doing eat well and for gains and cutting. I mean the tiny dudes who think they are body builders but have only gained a few pounds since they began lifting 2+ years ago.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #3
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I wonder if it also involves the generally accepted assumption that powerlifters eat and BBers don't.
That is a big part of it too. The powerlifters have an advantage over your typical gym-goer trying to build muscle. The typical powerlifter isn't concerned about abz and will feed his body enough to grow and get strong. The typical wanna-be bodybuilder is always trying to keep his abz and ends up not feeding his growth enough.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:23 AM   #4
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I also notice that a lot of power lifters do rep work. They just don't talk about it. We "get the blood flowing" with 100s of reps at weight that would crush most of the people I see in the commercial gyms.

I'm not discounting your points above OR, I think they are all valid, just adding other things as I think of them.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
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I'm not discounting your points above OR, I think they are all valid, just adding other things as I think of them.
Well, I'm not married to this theroy, It's just something that's been rattling around in my noggin.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:26 AM   #6
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I've always heard it's about building different muscle fibers. Slow twitch vs Fast twitch. Lighter more frequent exercise builds slow twitch, which is larger by volume, but doesn't contract with as much power. Larger = better for bb. Fast twitch has more power but smaller = PL & strongman.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:43 AM   #7
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I've always heard it's about building different muscle fibers. Slow twitch vs Fast twitch. Lighter more frequent exercise builds slow twitch, which is larger by volume, but doesn't contract with as much power. Larger = better for bb. Fast twitch has more power but smaller = PL & strongman.
So you're saying it has more to do with moderate intensity and higher volume for muscle building, and higher intensity coupled with lower reps for strength? I would agree with that. But how much do you think rest and recovery has to do with the different goals?
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #8
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So you're saying it has more to do with moderate intensity and higher volume for muscle building, and higher intensity coupled with lower reps for strength? I would agree with that. But how much do you think rest and recovery has to do with the different goals?
I think rest and recovery are needed for both...just more for lifting extreme weights. Maybe not for the muscle recovery, but for joints too.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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Totally amateur opinion here, but I think food is the answer too.

I cardio lifted 5 days a week (cardio+ plus high rep sets with weights), with a fairly strict 2000K a day diet, all the way down to about 184 and looked fairly buff, but wasn't very strong. I ditched cardio and went low rep 3-4 days a week for the most part and ate whatever I want within reason and am now 194, look much bigger but not buff, and am twice as strong.

I agree somewhat with Ryano. High rep with slow lifts builds slow twitch muscles to the max to gain size but not necessarily strength, but high rep with fast lifts like cleans or whatever will build fast twitch which grow bigger overall and will just torch fat off your body.

I remember reading that Alexyev ate like 7-8K per day, sometimes 24 eggs at a time, in order to keep up with his training (and then some obviously!

I think there's a tipping point between size and density too. I don't know what that is, but it seems you can get bigger, but not as dense (a low level BB'er for example), or get stronger and very dense muscles but not really much bigger (Naim Suleymanoglu for example).

Again just thinking out loud. Could be total crap. HA!
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:31 AM   #10
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I believe that strength gains are neural and more frequent loadings would be helpful in learning the firing patterns and make you stronger.
Frequency has helped my strength, tied to intensity of course.

I have found that for squat and deadlifts, it's more beneficial to lift frequently than it is to worry about training volume or working a muscle. I have a solid muscular base, of course, so that has to be kept in mind by anyone reading this who doesn't know me or my experience levels. I am certainly no bodybuilder though.

During the last 3 months, though I am lifting more frequently, I rarely perform more than 5-7 working reps on squats and deadlifts per week. Would this work for others? I don't know. It doesn't work as well for my bench press. I do know that when I walk out of the gym I am not physically destroyed, and feel ready to go again the next day.
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