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Old 01-20-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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Default Strength Training Doesn't Build Muscle

I see it dozens of times every week: (in fact, just read another thread about it)...

"Strength training doesn't build muscle."
"You have to work in the 8 to 12 rep range for hypertrophy."

I will state for the record that most of my sets over the course of my life were under 6 reps. Most of my sets now are under 4-5 reps. I like training in this range. I get ADD on high rep sets. I don't appear to be shrinking.

What say you on this "controversial" topic?
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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i dont know, most of my training is done in the lower than 10 rep range also... and i aint gotten no smaller
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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One of the core "myths" in this belief is that powerlifters train all sets as single, doubles or triples. This is simply not the case.

But even singles, doubles and triples can produce muscle gains, especially when a tight rest between sets is kept. Daniel Moore and Max Stim showed us this years ago. It was Daniel Moore who inspired me to rethink my training.

For some reason, some bodybuilders tend to believe that somewhere, in top secret gyms, powerlifters are deadlifting 500 pounds and still look as frail as your grandmother. To these guys, I recommend subscribing to Powerlifting USA. Even the lighter powerlifters have good muscle density and overall muscle. The small guys might not be bodybuilder-built, but they have more muscle they they're given credit for.

Another interesting aspect to this discussion is that some bodybuilders are starting to alternate between straight strength and hypertrophy workouts. This is gaining popularity.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:36 AM   #4
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Most of my 3 yrs of training have been in the 8-12 rep range. But after I got on the original Slingshot training, I incorporate a 4-6 rep set on my second working set for the bigger compound movements. But still, I'll say most of mine are over 8 reps and I even do some up around 20. I feel that I actually appear stronger than I am. But that's just my opinion
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:01 AM   #5
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here is my theory, inorder to stimulate a maximal hypertrophy response you have to cause fatigue while using a very heavy weight (85%-95% of 1rm). I mean lets look at your typical bodybuilding routines, whether you train with HIT or HVT the goal is to fatigue the energy systems that control the muscles, and once they are in that fatigued state, it is easier to cause damage to the fibers, this is the same principal at work in a program like C&P, the use of a circa-maximal weight combined with short rest periods between sets to allow for the fatigue and then damage.

On the other hand maximal strength is built by avoiding that fatigue. This allows you to focus on your nervous systems efficency, as Pavel says "your muscles can already lift a car, they just dont know it yet". Also one last point is that, according to recent studies is that even the best athletes can only access a maximum of 50% of their muscles, unless under exteme conditions. SO what that would mean is that while their would be less hypertrophy through this training style, your muscles will still be forced to hypertrophy in order to continue getting stronger during training conditions.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:01 AM   #6
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Talk that broscience BS to this man.

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Old 01-20-2010, 11:08 AM   #7
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And another thing.

Go look up these names.

John Grimek
Marvin Eder
Reg park

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Old 01-20-2010, 11:21 AM   #8
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I pretty much believe that rep range isn't as important as progression. I simply hate working high reps because low reps keeps a tempo that I enjoy. But with that said, I like doing higher reps for legs.

I see many female bodybuilders that work in the 12 to 20 rep range. For some reason women "tend" (hate to generalize) to like higher reps. Maybe it's because low reps equals heavier weight...who knows.

Overall, I don't believe that under 5 reps is for strength but little muscle, and 6-12 is for hypertrophy. I believe you can gain strength and muscle at any reasonable rep range. Sure, under 5 reps is good for pure strength. But I believe the mantra, "should I train for size or strength" is silly. They've always been hand in hand for me.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:25 AM   #9
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5x5 with 1 minute rest between sets has been good for strength and hypetrophy for myself.

That said, I do like to vary my ranges from time to time, but I do like the power 5x5 style of Reg Park, and will keep it as my main core of my program.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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I will add that I don't really think a lot of science means jack squat in the weight room. Sure, we know that the Carpinelli meta analysis of training reveals that it's the last rep(s) are most important to a set. And we know that 3 sets per exercise is ideal. And we know for naturals, one hour max is best. And we know that full body routines have an advantage over splits.

But big whoop. It still all comes down to moving more weight then before.

I'm not discounting quality science. Don't get me wrong. Science can help point us in the right direction. But at the end of the day, you still have to move more weight in a manner that suits your body and mind.

Take every successful advanced powerlifter and bodybuilder. I would wager that a solid majority of them aren't doing a routine they found on bodybuddies.com.

I think we diminish personal instinct and body feedback in training. Science can't trump that. I have to train in a way that stimulates me physically and mentally, that excites me, and that produces gains. But too many times young lifters read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read...

And they try to piece together all the science. All the while Joe Schmuck is in the corner smashing fucking weights, crazed on natty testosterone, ignorant of systems and schemes...but fucking pounding reps, hungry for one more.

I am convinced that all the studies in the world are meaningless to the Joe Schmucks of the world. He's in the gym. He never makes excuses. (My ass hurts, my nads hurt, my mom's ass and nads hurts...). And he's relentless about moving more weight.

Science can't measure determination, will and drive. Let us not forget that issue. Joe Schmuck can use science to refine his training, for sure. But the training science and knowledge without Schmuck's drive is useless.

I spend most of my day on other forums trying to help beginners. But it doesn't take me long to know who will succeed and who will fail. I give all of them the right science, and a scientifically sound approach. But that approach only works for 10% because they go and crush weights. The other 90% are busy making excuses. I can smell failure.

Success is guys like NT and Ripped and GL and BWYS and Jwood and Rick and BBG all the other guys on this forum who workout every fucking week, rain or shine, ass hurting or not. I know these guys will succeed. (Sorry if I didn't mention your name)

The determined eventually go after the science. The undetermined spend 20 years mucking it out in the gym, knowing the science.

The end.
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