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Old 04-24-2011, 08:02 AM   #1
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Default Hypertrophy from Strength 101

From this article @ Elite

Strength 101: Part I Strength and the Body

Quote:
Hypertrophy has also been controversial. An older model of hypertrophy held that there were two methods of enlarging muscles: myofibrillar hypertrophy, which involved making actual muscle fibers larger; and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which involved increasing the volume of sarcoplasm around the muscle fibers. The theory went that lifting in the 1-5 RM range triggered useful hypertrophy that made the working parts of the muscle—the myofibrils—larger, which is why powerlifters appeared to be stronger than similarly-sized bodybuilders. Meanwhile, reps closer to the 10 RM range just swelled a muscle with cytoplasm, and had little effect on increasing the size of a muscle’s working parts, or of increasing its strength. The takeaway thought was that working in the 10 RM range (or with even less weight) had no positive effect on athletic performance.

Some older studies did back up the theory, though newer work downplays their conclusions. Of course, looking at the neural sources of strength, it’s easy to understand that a bodybuilder using 10-15 RMs (which are about 75% or less of a one-rep max) wouldn’t regularly be improving his rate coding or synchronization, or as forcefully engaging and converting his motor units towards the fastest end of the spectrum. On the other hand, strength athletes and recreational lifters alike have long used similar reps to get bigger and stronger, with biopsies on both populations showing fiber hypertrophy.

What seems more likely is that both bodybuilding and powerlifting rep ranges stimulate myofibrillar hypertrophy and neural strength gains. In addition to being connected to muscle fiber nuclei, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy may correlate to a combination of nutrient depletion, nutrient ingestion, and resistance training.[xi],[xii] It may be that sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is more connected with the metabolic demands of an activity than anything else, and may be largely absent in activities that don’t have great metabolic demands (such as a one-rep max bench press). The common factor of seemingly all effective strength programs is a general increase in the amount of total weight lifted over time. We’ll explore this topic better in later parts.

Before leaving muscles behind, an interesting physical aspect should be noted. If the eccentric portion of a lift is rapid enough, the stretched muscle unit can actually store energy like an elastic band.[xiii] This effect—known as the stretch-shortening cycle—is why pausing at the bottom of a lift is hard. “Bouncing” a squat out of the hole is an example of how to take advantage of the stretch-shortening cycle.

This quote is the reason I posted the article:

Quote:
What seems more likely is that both bodybuilding and powerlifting rep ranges stimulate myofibrillar hypertrophy and neural strength gains. In addition to being connected to muscle fiber nuclei, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy may correlate to a combination of nutrient depletion, nutrient ingestion, and resistance training.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:14 AM   #2
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Very interesting!! Bookmarked!
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:08 AM   #3
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Hmmmm...
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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The comment I always attach to articles like this is the reality that very few lifters train in only low rep ranges. We know that 5x5 systems are effective for muscle building. We also know that low rep sets can build muscle when clustered (Max Stim).

I guess the only thing we don't is if singles or doubles only could build muscle, because no one trains that way.

My guess is that anything with progression will build muscle. But who the heck wants to use a singles/doubles only program with 3-4 minutes of rest between sets? Not me. Not very practical. Also, when the weight gets heavy, we also have to deal with ideas like Prilepin and the Russian research.

So at the end of the day the entire argument, to me, is a waste of time. A low, low rep set approach as the ONLY way of training sets is not a viable approach for beginners, nor is it viable for most advanced lifters. It might be viable in a cluster training format (in fact, I'm sure it is), but then it isn't really the low rep, heavy weight style training being talked about in the article.

Did I ramble enough?
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